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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

WORSE THAN FUKUSHIMA: AMERICAN DISASTER, NOT IF BUT WHEN


ABOVE: TWO MAPS SHOWING LOCATIONS OF AMERICA'S STOCK OF ACTIVE NUCLEAR REACTORS, OWNED BY GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE INDUSTRY AND BY 'RESEARCH FACILITIES' AT UNIVERSITIES AND 'TESTING LABS'.


ABOVE: THE SPREAD OF NUCLEAR FALLOUT/RADIATION FROM ONE FAILED NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN PENNSYLVANIA.

THE NEWS BROKE 5 DAYS AGO, BUT DID THE FOLLOWING APPEAR IN MAJOR MEDIA IN THE U.S.?
NO.
WHY NOT?
SAME REASON AS ALWAYS, SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DON'T GET 'UP ON ARMS' TO SHUT DOWN THE CURSED NUKE PLANTS AND COST THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY BILLIONS TO TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO SHUT DOWN AND CLEAN UP THE 100 OPERATIONAL SITES, AND THE MULTITUDE OF OLD, CONTAMINATED SITES ACROSS THE USA.
IT'S AS GOOD AS JAPAN'S "NUCLEAR NEWS BLACKOUT".
A PUBLIC THAT ISN'T AWARE OF ONGOING HAZARDS WON'T MAKE DEMANDS FOR THEIR SAFETY.

"If a fuel fire broke out at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania at the beginning of 2015, taking into account the weather conditions at that time, scientists showed the devastating extent of potential contamination in the area. Four major cities would be contaminated (New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.), The accident would have led to the relocation of around 8 million people and would have cost $2 trillion in damages, according to Science Daily, citing the article."

A major fire “could dwarf the horrific consequences of the Fukushima accident,” says Edwin Lyman, a physicist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. “We’re talking about trillion-dollar consequences,” says Frank von Hippel, a nuclear security expert at Princeton University, who teamed with Princeton’s Michael Schoeppner on the modeling exercise. The revelations come on the heels of a report last week from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.


At most U.S. nuclear plants, spent fuel is densely packed in pools, heightening the fire risk.


The contamination from such a fire on U.S. soil “would be an unprecedented peacetime catastrophe,” the Princeton researchers conclude in a paper to be submitted to the journal Science & Global Security."
I HAD NO IDEA HOW SERIOUS THIS IS UNTIL I READ THE PDF I INCLUDE EXCERPTS FROM  BELOW.
IT WAS A HARSH WAKE-UP CALL.

BECAUSE CONGRESS AND THE NRC (NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION) ARE MORE CONCERNED WITH NOT CAUSING HUGE FINANCIAL OUTLAYS BY THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY THAN THEY ARE CONCERNED WITH HUMAN LIFE, AS I SEE IT, AND AS MANY HAVE SEEN IT FOR DECADES, WE WON'T HAVE A CHOICE EXCEPT TO SIT HERE AND WAIT FOR DISASTER.


ABOVE: USGS EARTHQUAKE HAZARD MAP, SHOWING MOST VULNERABLE SPOTS IN AMERICA FOR EARTHQUAKES.

NOTE HOW MANY REACTORS LIE WITHIN THOSE HIGH-HAZARD AREAS?

WHAT FOLLOWS IS FROM A STUDY IN 2011 ENTITLED "SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL POOLS IN AMERICA: REDUCING THE DEADLY RISKS OF STORAGE", BY ROBERT ALVAREZ.
[NOTE: THIS IS AN INSTANT DOWNLOAD PDF, AND IS ALSO AVAILABLE AT THE NRC DOCUMENTS PAGE <HERE>, ALSO AN INSTANT DOWNLOAD. I INCLUDE AN IMPORTANT TABLE FROM THIS DOCUMENT AT THE END OF THIS BLOG ENTRY WHICH SHOWS A LIST OF THE MAJOR RADIOACTIVE PARTICLES RELEASED BY SPENT FUEL RODS. THERE IS MUCH MORE THAN CESIUM TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT.]

I WILL ADMIT TO YOU THAT, TO ME, IT IS ONE OF THE MOST FOREBODING, DISCONCERTING PAPERS I HAVE EVER READ REGARDING NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS:

"As of 2011, U.S. reactors have generated about 65,000 metric tons of spent fuel, of which
75 percent is stored in pools, according to Nuclear Energy Institute data.
A spent fuel rod gives off about 1 million rems (10,00Sv) of radiation per hour at a distance
of one foot — enough radiation to kill people in a matter of seconds.


There are more than 30 million such rods in U.S. spent fuel pools.
No other nation has generated this much radioactivity from either nuclear power or
nuclear weapons production.

U.S. spent pools hold about 15-30 times more cesium-137 than the Chernobyl accident
released.

For instance, the pool at the Vermont Yankee reactor, a BWR Mark I, currently holds
nearly three times the amount of spent fuel stored at Dai-Ichi's crippled Unit 4 reactor.
The Vermont Yankee reactor also holds about seven percent more radioactivity than
the combined total in the pools at the four troubled reactors at the Fukushima site.

U.S. spent nuclear fuel pools are mostly contained in ordinary industrial structures designed
to merely protect them against the elements.
Some are made from materials commonly used to house big-box stores and car
dealerships.

The United States has 31 boiling water reactors (BWR) with pools elevated several stories
above ground, similar to those at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi station.

As in Japan, all spent fuel pools at nuclear power plants do not have steel-lined, concrete
barriers that cover reactor vessels to prevent the escape of radioactivity.
They are not required to have back-up generators to keep used fuel rods cool, if offsite
power is lost. "


IMAGINE THIS:
WHETHER FROM EARTHQUAKE OR EXPLOSION, THE GROUND SHOOK, AND THEN THE FIRE BEGAN IN A SPENT FUEL POOL AT PEACH BOTTOM NUCLEAR PLANT, PENNSYLVANIA.

"At first, it would mostly affect a small part of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, also touching on New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. However, within three months almost all the East Coast from South Carolina to Maine would become contaminated to varying extents, with radiation going deeper into the land later on."

KNOW THIS: THREE STUDIES, TWO PRIOR TO THE ONE JUST  RELEASED, SHOW CLEARLY THAT THIS WOULD BE WORSE THAN FUKUSHIMA, WHICH MANY SCIENTISTS NOW SAY WAS WORSE THAN CHERNOBYL.


[
The paper, “Nuclear safety regulation in the post-Fukushima era,” was published May 26 in Science. For more information, see von Hippel and Schoeppner’s previous papers, “Reducing the Danger from Fires in Spent Fuel Pools” and “Economic Losses From a Fire in a Dense-Packed U.S. Spent Fuel Pool,” which were published in Science & Global Security in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The Science article builds upon the findings of a congressionally-mandated review by the National Academy of Sciences, on which von Hippel served.]


WE HAVE KNOWN OF THIS VERY REAL DANGER FROM EITHER TERRORIST ATTACK OR EARTHQUAKE, OR OTHER 'ACCIDENT' FOR AT LEAST 20 YEARS, YET NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO SAFEGUARD THE VULNERABILITY OF ALL THOSE SPENT FUEL POOLS...NOTHING!


June 7, 2005
Council on Foreign Relations
Washington, DC
Transcript of First Roundtable on Nuclear Security Issues:


According to Dr. Kevin Crowley of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, "successful terrorist attacks on spent fuel pools, though difficult, are possible. If an attack leads to a propagating zirconium cladding fire, it could result in the release of large amounts of radioactive material."

"The committee recommended that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission undertake plant-by-plant analyses to obtain a better understanding of potential vulnerabilities. The committee also recommended that the Commission undertake additional analyses to better understand the potential consequences of certain kinds of terrorist attacks and to better understand the initiation and propagation of zirconium cladding fires in spent fuel pools.

The committee concluded that once these analyses were complete, the commission itself might determine that earlier than planned movements of fuel from pools to dry casks might be prudent at some plants."



He continues:
"The main issue with dry cask storage is its cost.
It can cost a utility several tens of millions of dollars to build and license a dry cask storage facility and over a million dollars to purchase and load a single dry cask. The cask can only hold between 10 and 15 metric tons of fuel, so three to four casks are needed for each reactor discharge every 18 to 24 months.
The committee notes that such a system could be difficult to design and expensive to install and, moreover, that it may not be needed at all plants. It recommended that cost-benefit considerations be used to determine the needs for these systems."


IN SHORT, HE OFFERED A WAY OUT OF PUTTING THE SPENT FUEL IN DRY CASKS!
HE OFFERED A WAY TO SAVE THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY MONEY, BUT ADMITTED THERE WAS NO CURRENT DESIGN THAT COULD SAFEGUARD THE CURRENT OR FUTURE SPENT POOLS!

IF WE BEGAN TODAY, IT WOULD TAKE AN ESTIMATED $50 MILLION AND 5 YEARS PER SPENT FUEL POOL TO REMOVE AND SAFELY STORE THE CAUSE OF SUCH WIDESPREAD NUCLEAR FALLOUT.
IF WE BEGAN NOW...BUT WE WON'T.

THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY WANTS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THROUGH TAXPAYER FUNDS, TO FINANCE THIS SAFEGUARD THAT WOULD REDUCE SUCH A THREAT BY 99%.
THE FEDS WON'T COMMIT TO THAT, CONGRESS WON'T BREACH THAT POSSIBILITY BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS SICK AND TIRED OF BEING TAXED FOR EVERYTHING THE FEDS SCREW-UP, FOR ERRORS OF JUDGEMENT, FOR BLUNDERS AND OVERSIGHTS.
IT'S A STALEMATE.

THE BIG NUKE BOYS WON'T COUGH UP THE $$$$ AND THE FEDS WON'T COMMIT TO TRYING TO RAISE FUNDS, SO, TO PUT IT BLUNTLY, WE, YOU AND I AND GENERATIONS TO COME ARE SCREWED.
NOTHING STANDS IN THE WAY OF THESE THOUSANDS OF SPENT FUEL POOLS BEING TURNED INTO A MEGA-DISASTER.

THE NRC WON'T FORCE THIS ISSUE, CONGRESS WON'T WRITE LEGISLATION TO MAKE BIG NUKE COMPLY, EVEN THOUGH THAT ONE LOGICAL CHANGE WOULD MAKE CERTAIN THIS NEVER HAPPENS.

THE OLD MILITARY ACRONYM "FUBAR" COMES TO MIND AS FAR AS WE AMERICAN CITIZENS ARE CONCERNED.
BETTER TO PROTECT THE WALLETS OF THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY THAN SAFEGUARD AMERICAN LIVES AND PROPERTY.


“The NRC has been pressured by the nuclear industry, directly and through Congress, to low-ball the potential consequences of a fire because of concerns that increased costs could result in shutting down more nuclear power plants,” said paper co-author Frank von Hippel, a senior research physicist at Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security (SGS), based at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

“Unfortunately, if there is no public outcry about this dangerous situation, the NRC will continue to bend to the industry’s wishes.”

[NOTE: To access the Science article, see Edwin Lyman's, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, new blog post on their findings.]


"The NRC previously said the transfer of spent fuel, which could reduce the threat of radioactive releases by 99 percent, would require additional spending of $50 million per pool. "
An accident, ONE ACCIDENT, would result in $1 TRILLION TO $2 TRILLION in damages, as the research showed and radioactive contamination WOULD, ALSO AS SHOWN, go beyond 50 miles of the site.

BUT, ACCORDING TO THE NRC, THAT WON'T HAPPEN, MAYBE BECAUSE THEY THINK RADIOACTIVITY CAN BE TRAINED TO STAY WHERE IT'S RELEASED?
ONLY A FOOL WOULD THINK THAT.


"The NRC, in sharp contrast to the researchers' estimates., stated the leak would not extend beyond 50 miles and could cost just $125 billion in damages.".



WELL, IF THE LEAK WERE, SAY, IN NEW YORK, OR CALIFORNIA, HOW MANY MILLIONS OF AMERICANS WOULD GET HIT BY RADIATION?
HOW MANY ACRES OF FARMLAND WOULD BE LOST TO RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION IF SUCH AN ACCIDENT HAPPENED IN FLORIDA OR CALIFORNIA?
HOW MANY RIVERS, STREAMS AND HOW MUCH GROUNDWATER WOULD BE RENDERED TOXIC AFTER SUCH AN ACCIDENT?
HOW MANY FOOD ANIMALS, FISH, BIRDS WOULD BE LOST?
THE NRC AND CONGRESS DON'T GIVE A SMALL DAMN.
THEY'RE CONCERNED THAT THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY WOULD HAVE TO SHELL OUT $50 MILLION PER POOL TO FIX THIS.


"The NRC also said that the consequences would be dealt with within a year, while the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents have shown much worse effects, with the areas still deserted."

CHERNOBYL WILL NOT BE HABITABLE IN OUR LIFETIMES, AND JAPAN IS FORCING ITS PEOPLE BACK INTO KNOWN RADIOACTIVE TOWNS AFTER 6 YEARS BECAUSE IT WANTS TO LOOK GOOD FOR THE 2020 OLYMPICS, BUT A RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION LIKE FUKUSHIMA SHOULD REMAIN UNPOPULATED FOR AT LEAST 40 TO 100 YEARS, LONGER IF ONE TRULY CARES WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE GET CANCER FROM GONG BACK THERE.


In far too many instances, the NRC has used flawed analysis to justify inaction, leaving millions of Americans at risk of a radiological release that could contaminate their homes and destroy their livelihoods,” said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists and co-author of the (research) article.

“It is time for the NRC to employ sound science and common-sense policy judgments in its decision-making process,” he said.

The researches also stressed that a nuclear disaster could be brought about by a large earthquake or terrorist attack, the possibility of which was excluded by the NRC."

U.S. nuclear plants located near geologic faults | Fox News



Little-Known US Fault Lines Cause for Seismic Concern - ABC News 


"In two previous articles, von Hippel and Schoeppner released figures that correct for these and other errors and omissions. They found that millions of residents in surrounding communities would have to relocate for years, resulting in total damages of $2 trillion — nearly 20 times the NRC’s estimate. Considering the nuclear industry is only legally liable for $13.6 billion, thanks to the Price Anderson Act of 1957, U.S. taxpayers would have to cover the remaining costs.

The authors point out that if the NRC does not take action to reduce this danger, Congress has the authority to fix the problem.
Moreover, the authors suggest that states that provide subsidies to uneconomical nuclear reactors within their borders could also play a constructive role by making those subsidies available only for plants that agreed to carry out expedited transfer of spent fuel.

“In far too many instances, the NRC has used flawed analysis to justify inaction, leaving millions of Americans at risk of a radiological release that could contaminate their homes and destroy their livelihoods,” said Lyman. “It is time for the NRC to employ sound science and common-sense policy judgments in its decision-making process.”


Oddly, just two weeks before Japan was shaken by a 9.0 magnitude quake, 10 California lawmakers warned the U.S. Department of Energy that the state's two nuclear power plants are more susceptible to earthquakes than previously thought. Diablo Canyon was designed to withstand a 7.5-magnitude quake whereas San Onofre can only handle a 7.0.

But in 2008, the USGS discovered that the Diablo (near San Luis Obispo) power plant was built less than a half mile from previously unknown earthquake fault and that San Diego's San Onofre plant is highly susceptible to both earthquakes and tsunamis. California is at risk for both.The Cascadian Subduction Zone off the coast of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and the northernmost part of California shook with a vigorous 9.0 on January 26, 1700.


WELL, THIS IS JUST HOW IT IS, WHAT WE KNOW, WHAT WE CAN EXPECT, HOW WE'VE BEEN MISLED AND UNINFORMED.


Most Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant - PolitiFact

On MSNBC's Last Word on March 22, 2011, host Lawrence O'Donnell argued that evacuation plans for nuclear power plants in the United States are an unrealistic "fantasy" due to the huge population concentrations around them.

That's especially the case, he said, if there were a call to evacuate a 50-mile radius -- the distance the U.S. government recently urged Americans to evacuate around an earthquake-damaged Japanese nuclear power plant.

"The truth is, most Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant," O'Donnell said.


O'Donnell and his guest, Daniel Aldrich, author of 'Site Fights', used the example of the Indian Point nuclear power plant in New York.
A 50-mile radius around that plant alone includes almost all of New York City, and large chunks of northern New Jersey -- more than 8 million people.

Aldrich said evacuating a 50-mile radius around the Indian Point plant would cause a "tremendous amount of confusion and chaos as people locally flee and try to preserve themselves."

Said O'Donnell: "There is no real evacuation plan from a place like Indian Point."


We rate O'Donnell's statement True."

THAT THE NRC DENIES PEOPLE COULD NOT EVACUATE IN TIME TO AVOID BEING SERIOUSLY AFFECTED BY RADIATION SPEAKS VOLUMES.

THEY KNOW IT WOULDN'T BE POSSIBLE, BUT THEY CALM THE MASSES WITH FALSE PROMISES THAT ALL WOULD BE WELL.
THEY KNOW THAT IS UNTRUE.

AND NOW, WE KNOW THE FACTS.

WHAT NOW, AMERICA?








__________________________________
OTHER SOURCES, FURTHER READING:
[MY NOTE: IF I LIST A PDF, IT WILL LIKELY BE A LINK TO AN INSTANT DOWNLOAD...BE AWARE OF THIS WHEN YOU CLICK LINKS IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO DOWNLOAD A PDF.]


~ "Fact Sheet on Dry Cask Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel". NRC. PDF. May 7, 2009



~Reducing the Danger from Fires in Spent Fuel Pools


Radiological Terrorism: Sabotage of Spent Fuel Pool
Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)



~Nuclear power plant? Or storage dump for hot radioactive waste


~https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170525141544.htm 


~PLEASE NOTE: ANY TIME I LIST A WIKIPEDIA LINK, IT IS MERELY FOR CONVENIENCE TO READERS.

NEVER TRUST A WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE, BUT DO FOLLOW THE LINKS FROM THOSE AS SOME ARE VALID.
THIS ONE LISTS "INCIDENTS AND ACCIDENTS" AT NUCLEAR FACILITIES.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_and_radiation_accidents_and_incidents




~ The 69 Pressurized Water (PWR) reactors operating in the U.S. do not have
elevated pools, and also lack proper containment and several have large cavities beneath them which could exacerbate leakage.
For nearly 30 years, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) waste-storage requirements have remained contingent on the opening of a permanent waste repository that has yet to materialize.

One thing, however, is clear, whether we like it or not: the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet will remain in storage at U.S. reactor sites for the indefinite future.

In protecting America from nuclear catastrophe, safely securing the spent fuel by eliminating highly radioactive, crowded pools should be a public safety priority of the highest degree.

With a price tag of as much as $7 billion, the cost of fixing America’s nuclear vulnerabilities may sound high, especially given the heated budget debate occurring in Washington.

But the price of doing too little is incalculable. Without decisive action, the problem will only grow larger and more dangerous.

U.S. nuclear reactors generate about 2,000 metric tons of spent fuel each year.

Table 1: Estimated Radioactivity in U.S. Nuclear Reactor Spent Fuel.
DATA GIVEN BY :
Isotope, Half Life(years), Radioactivity(ci), Isotope Half Life (years), Radioactivity(ci)

Hydrogen-3 12.3 10,200,000

Europium-154 8.6 120,000,000
Carbon-14 5,700.0 95,000

Europium-155 4.8 22,000,000
Chlorine-36 30,000.0 750

Actinium-227 2.2 1
Iron-55 2.7 420,000

Thorium-230 75,000.0 18
Colbalt-60 5.3 27,000,000

Protactinium-231 33,000.0 2
Nickel-59 76,000 160,000

Uranium-232 69.0 2,600
Nickel-63 100.0 22,000,000

Uranium-233 69.0 4
Selenium-79 64,000.0 30,000

Uranium-234 250,000.0 84,000
Krypton-85 10.7 150,000,000

Uranium-235 720,000,000.0 1,000
Strontium-90 29.0 3,000,000,000

Uranium-236 23,000,000.0 18,000
Zirconium-93 1,500,000.0 160,000

Uranium-238 4,500,000,000.0 20,000
Niobium-93m 16.0 110,000

Plutonium-241 14.0 3,200,000,000
Niobium-94 24,000.0 56,000

Plutonium-238 88.0 240,000,000
Technetium-99 210,000.0 950,000

Americium-241 430 220,000,000
Rutherium-106 1.0 4,700

Curium-244 18 120,000,000
Palladium-107 6,500,000.0 8,800

Plutonium-240 6,500 36,000,000
Cadmium-133m 14.0 1,500,000

Plutonium-239 24,000 24,000,000
Antimony-125 2.8 3,600,000

Americium-243 7,400.0 1,900,000
Tin-126 1,000,000.0 59,000

Americium-242/242m 140.0 1,600,000
Iodine-129 17,000,000.0 2,400

Curium-242 0.5 1,300,000
Cesium-134 2.1 5,800,000

Curium-243 29.0 1,300,000
Cesium-135 2,300,000.0 36,000

Plutonium-242 380,000.0 140,000
Cesium-137 30.0 4,500,000,000

Neptunium-237 2,100,000.0 30,000
Promethium-147 2.6 18,000,000

Curium-245 8,500.0 29,000
Samarium-151 90 25,000,000

Curium-246 4,800.0 6,300

Total: 12,000,000,000 ci
Source: DOE/EIS-0250, Appendix A

The government's estimate of radioactivity in spent fuel is lower than actual amounts at reactors because it does not include other isotopes that have decayed away after 23 years and only includes long-lived radioactivity with half-lives ranging from tens of years to millions of years.




//WW

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