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ARTICLE ARCHIVE

Nuclear Power

Nuclear power cannot address climate change effectively or in time. Reactors have long, unpredictable construction times are expensive - at least $12 billion or higher per reactor. Furthermore, reactors are sitting-duck targets vulnerable to attack and routinely release - as well as leak - radioactivity. There is so solution to the problem of radioactive waste.

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Saturday
Jun252011

Luckily, Nebraska tornadoes far to west of flooded nuclear power plants

Photo taken by Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant workersThe powerful tornadoes that ravaged central Nebraska a few days ago, with film footage aired by BBC, were fortunately over 100 miles to the west of the flooded Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant site on the Missouri River north of Omaha. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that one tornado was a powerful EF3, with winds as high as 165 miles per hour. It, along with a number of less powerful tornadoes, took down power lines in several places across Nebraska. As KLKN TV reported, 3,500 Nebraskan households lost electricity due to the downed power lines. If the Ft. Calhoun and Fukushima-twin Cooper atomic reactors in eastern Nebraska had similarly lost off-site power, they would then have been thrown onto emergency diesel generators -- themselves put at risk by the historic flood waters on the Missouri.

As shown by the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in Japan, "station blackout" at atomic reactors and high-level radioactive waste storage pools can cause catastrophic radioactivity releases, due to loss of cooling water circulation. And most U.S. reactors have less back up battery power -- the last line of defense -- than did the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant -- 4 hours instead of 8. Tornadoes have come precariously close to causing severe damage, or even overheating of reactor cores and radioactive waste storage pools, at U.S. nuclear power plants in the past. In 1998, the Davis-Besse atomic reactor near Toledo came close to complete failure of its emergency diesel generators after the grid was lost due to a tornado passing between the reactor containment building and the cooling tower on site. Last decade, a powerful tornado that went on to destroy the town of La Plata, Maryland came within a mile or two of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant on the Chesapeake Bay (see photo at left). And in June 2010, a tornado damaged the Fermi 2 nuclear power plant in Michigan; fortunately, the emergency diesels worked -- they had been inoperable from 1986 to 2006.

Thursday
Jun232011

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reports on flood risks at Nebraska reactors

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has reported on the risks posed to the Fort Calhoun and Cooper atomic reactors in Nebraska by the historic flooding of the Missouri River. She also reports on the A.P. exposé about 3/4ths of U.S. reactors leaking tritium, and gives the latest news on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.

Saturday
Jun112011

Arnie Gundersen warns a dam break on Missouri River upstream could be an "inland tsunami" for Ft. Calhoun atomic reactor in Nebraska

Image from http://www.cartoradiations.fr/Fort_Calhoun.phpIn a 36 minute long radio interview with Robert Knight of Pacifica Radio's "Five O'Clock Shadow" broadcast from WBAI in New York City, Fairewinds Associate's nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen (pictured at left) warned that a dam break upstream of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska could send a wall of water down the Missouri River, the water of which is already lapping at the edges of the nuclear power plant. Gundersen also translates from "Nukespeak" into plain English the Ft. Calhoun "event report" about a fire that cut power to cooling pumps in the high-level radioactive waste storage pool, resulting in the water's heat up at a rate of 2 degrees per hour. Eventually, the pool could have boiled dry, and the high-level radioactive waste could have caught on fire, had not the circulation pumps been restored. Pools are not considered safety significant by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, so backup power is not required. Also, pools are not located within a primary containment structure, so potentially catastrophic releases of radioactivity would be released directly into the environment.

Saturday
Jun112011

Kevin Kamps to speak at Jersey Shore Nuclear Watch event against Oyster Creek, June 20

Oyster Creek atomic reactor, of the same Mark 1 General Electric Boiling Water Reactor design as Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 to 4Jersey Shore Nuclear Watch has invited Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, to speak at an event in Toms River, NJ on Monday, June 20th. Entitled "THE TRUTH ABOUT JAPAN IS BEING WITHHELD FROM OUR CITIZENS!", the meeting will take place at 7pm in the Ocean County Library's Mancini Hall at 101 Washington Street. Dr. Titus North, Executive Director of Citizen Power Pennsylvania, is also scheduled to speak. As conveyed on the Jersey Shore Nuclear Watch flyer promoting the event

"The truth about the Japan nuclear disaster is being withheld from our citizens.  Radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant is still leaking and spreading all over the globe.  This nuclear disaster has sparked legitimate fears about nuclear power. The Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant is the same flawed design as the failed Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan. We need to have a voice in our energy policy."

For more information, contact Jersey Shore Nuclear Watch at Phone:  732-240-5107 or 732-818-0402, or contact Edith Gbur by email at gbur1@comcast.net 

Thursday
Jun022011

Dave Brower's torchbearers warn against nuclear risks

David Brower, founder of FOE and Earth Island Institute.In their respective (and respected!) newsletters, both the Earth Island Institute and Friends of the Earth have quoted passages from their founder, David Brower, from decades ago, warning about the risks of nuclear power. The Arch Druid, as biographer John McPhee dubbed Brower, was an early and prominent voice against atomic energy. Another classic Brower quote: "Have fun saving the world, or you are just going to depress yourself."