Archive for the ‘Accidents’ Category

Jul
22
    
Aging Nuclear Power Plants in the USA and the World

Ages of US Nuclear Power Plants* at Closure
* Includes only commercial plants of significant size

Plant, Shutdown Date, Age, Reason

Connecticut Yankee, Dec., 1996, 29 yrs, Steam gen. cracking, ECCS undersized

Millstone I (CT), July, 199, 28 yrs, Improper operation, Cost of safety improvements

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Jul
01
    
Exposé Reveals Weakened Safety Standards for Reactors

In a special series called “Aging Nukes” the Associated Press revealed that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the nuclear power industry have been working in tandem to weaken safety standards to keep aging reactors within the rules. Just last year, the NRC weakened the safety margin for acceptable radiation damage to reactor vessels. The AP report also revealed radioactive tritium has leaked from 48 of the 65 U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard—sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.

Listen to a Democracy Now video with Jeff Donn the AP reporter who wrote the series: http://www.youtube.com/embed/3NzDoUu9ux0

Here’s a link to the NY Times story on the series as well http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/06/20/us/AP-US-Aging-Nukes-Part-1.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Nuke%20Safety%20Rules%20Weakened&st=cse

 

Jun
02
    
Massive nationwide protests call for an immediate end to nuclear energy

Massive nationwide protests call for an immediate end to nuclear energy
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15114349,00.html

More than 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets in 20 cities across Germany on Saturday to call for a rapid end to nuclear power, even as a government-sponsored national commission is expected to recommend that Berlin abolish nuclear energy within a decade.

 

Germans’ Deep Suspicions of Nuclear Power Reach a Political Tipping Point
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/world/europe/02germany.html

The NYT’s Alan Cowell explains Germany’s turn against nuclear power as the result of a pandering politician and an irrational public. The antinuclear position is presented as an extremist position much like creationalism.

 

Marine life soaking up radiation along Fukushima coast
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/Blogs/nuclear-reaction/marine-life-soaking-up-radiation-along-fukush/blog/34979

Greenpeace finds high levels of radioactivity in seafood far from Fukushima.

 

Radiated Water at Fukushima Plant May Breach Storage Trenches in Five Days
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-01/radiated-water-at-fukushima-plant-may-breach-storage-trenches-in-five-days.html

The time-lapse meltdown continues. Space to store highly contaminated water is  running out.

May
25
    
Climate change threat to nuclear power

Nuclear power is often touted as a solution to climate change, but Fukushima serves as a warning that far from solving the climate problem, nuclear power may be highly vulnerable to it…nuclear power plants are typically sited near large bodies of water, often seas or estuaries. It is this attachment to water that makes nuclear power vulnerable to climate change (Energy Policy, vol 39, p 318)…Nuclear regulators are already well aware of several safety issues, including flooding, loss of power, loss of communications, blockage of evacuation routes and equipment malfunction. Hurricanes pose the greatest threat….The final problem is droughts, which climate models predict will become longer and larger. Legal battles have already been fought in the US over scarce water resources in regions with nuclear power plants, including the Catawba river basin in the Carolinas and the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee/Flint river basin in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. These battles show us that adapting our systems – including nuclear power – to a reduced supply of water will not be easy…The bottom line is that if nuclear power is to be used to mitigate the effects of climate change, it must also be capable of adapting to them. There are serious doubts that it can.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21028138.200-the-climate-change-threat-to-nuclear-power.html?full=true

May
24
    
Day 73 after the Fukushima nuclear plant meltdowns

May 23, 2011, now seventy three days since an earthquake and tsunumi ravaged the northeast coast of Japan on March 11th, killing thousands of people, making many more homeless and causing the meltdown of Fukushima Daichi reactors 1, 2 and 3.  Throughout the period of intense focus on Fukushima, the global media showed a determined resistance to considering what must be happening at the plants based on a logical analysis of events. Instead the media focus was on what could be proved to be true. There was not a whole lot of information, partly because the information was controlled by TEPCO, the owner of the plants, and, partly because the damage to the reactors was so severe that it was not possible to confirm that the meltdowns had taken place. Now that the facts are coming out, the media focus has gone elsewhere.

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Apr
19
    
Nukes Shut Down with Heat Waves

In Southeast, Extreme Heat Is a Growing Concern for Nuclear Power
Operators: “Last summer, a heat wave forced a TVA nuclear plant to
run at 50% capacity for eight weeks, costing ratepayers $50 million,
an investigation finds.”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/17/967824/-Nukes-Shut-Down-With-Heat-Waves