Archive for the ‘Environmental Effects’ 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

Read the rest of this entry »

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