With 1.5 million residents now under orders to evacuate their homes in preparation for Hurricane Florence's landfall in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the region faces the possibility of catastrophe should the storm damage one or more of the nuclear power plants which lie in its potential path.
There are more than 100 nuclear reactors in the US – about 2 in every state – which take a minimum of a year to shut down and then you are still left with the WASTE.
These plants are on or near waterways because the reactors require millions of gallons of water every minute for cooling. There are two on Lake Erie which is a source of drinking water.
There are approximately 500 nuclear reactors worldwide –
This is an example of the increasing threats that Global Warming brings – and it is impossible to say how they will all compound as our scientists continue to tell us …
Additionally, there has never been a solution to Chernobyl and neither has there been a solution to Fukushima – nor will there ever be.
In 2014, Shane Shifflett and Kate Sheppard at the Huffington Post reported on the risk storms like Florence pose to nuclear plants:
Most nuclear power facilities were built well before scientists understood just how high sea levels might rise in the future. And for power plants, the most serious threat is likely to come from surges during storms. Higher sea levels mean that flooding will travel farther inland, creating potential hazards in areas that may have previously been considered safe.
During hurricanes, many nuclear facilities will power down—but this is not a sure-fire way to avoid disaster, wrote Sheppard and Shifflett.
"Even when a plant is not operating, the spent fuel stored on-site, typically uranium, will continue to emit heat and must be cooled using equipment that relies on the plant’s own power," they wrote. "Flooding can cause a loss of power, and in serious conditions it can damage backup generators. Without a cooling system, reactors can overheat and damage the facility to the point of releasing radioactive material."
And now all the “progressive” pro-nukers who suggest that nukes can be a solution to climate change will rain down with multiple false charges that nukes are safe and nuke waste can be successfully managed by human beings, citing the work of George Monbiot, among others.
Meanwhile radiation from Fukushima continues to wash up along the West Coast of North America. But a Call earthquake and the Handford nuke reservation will get them a hellofalot worse. And as for the many millions of human beings around the globe who suffer from cancers and pollution of the U.S.-created Nuclear Era, well they’re just another “international issue” and don’t really count in our myopic scheme of things.
Well, what a great reason to hammer the coal mines back into production! Then, we can deal with waste pits full of poisonous coal ash, which will be diluted with flood waters, washed into rivers, lakes, and the ocean, and then start piling up in the food chain. The climate change deniers will have another field day with this one. As has been noted elsewhere, shutting down nuke plant is not as easy as flipping a switch, and the fuel stays toxic and dangerous for centuries. Don’t worry, the current President is the only one who can solve problems, and the current head of the Energy department didn’t even know the DoE handled nuclear reactors. The movie, Idiocracy, is becoming a prescient preview on a daily basis.
I should also say that this is an example of our increasing knowledge of the insanities
of our government leadership and Congressional leadership which has done nothing but
set up the earth and all here for a violent ending –
whether due to the religious delusions of these men, or simply their delusions.
Another issue is the flooding of hog waste lagoons in CAFO-heavy eastern NC, not to mention the deaths of many of the hogs themselves. The hog producers like Smithfield are madly spraying the toxic hog waste out into agricultural fields to lower the lagoons in advance of the hurricane. Major pollution a likely result of both the hurricane and the suppsed remedy - way more than the usual air and water pollution that constantly affects local residents’ health.
This piece says " The 2011 Fukushima disaster remains the highest-profile nuclear catastrophe caused by a natural disaster. The tsunami that hit Japan in March of that year disabled three of the plant’s reactors, causing a radioactive release which forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes."
That is a very weak outline of the Fukushima catsasstrophe where the “disabled” plants 3 in-service reactors (of 4) had core meltdowns! The destroyed plant under the TEPCO incompetent idiots is still dumping radioactive water into the Pacific and the cores were only located last year!
“There (are) at least 5 nuclear power plants in the projected path of Hurricane Florence; at least that many more at risk from the storm surge. All are decades old. Many are the exact same model as the failed Fukushima reactors, which you might recall didn’t handle flooding very well.”
There is controversy about whether the earthquake damaged the cooling sausing the disaster and the tsunami finished the job…either way poor design, performance, and incompetence trying to “clean-up” what is not “cleanable” - nuclear is forever! STOP the threats NOW!
When talking or writing about nuclear plants, and the nuclear industry, and the corrupt NRC, we should not soft-peddle the potential horrific consequences or the incompetence of the corporate entities operating them!
Fortunately, the safeguards on nu–cu-lar power plants are so redundant that it would be impossible for any nuclear plant including the Fukushima nuclear plant and Chernobyl nucler power plant to have any problems due to a natural or man-made event.
In fact, the so-called Fukushima meltdown obviously must be a Liberal myth that never happened and the story was created just to discredit nuclear power. After all, we all know that no one died at Sandy Hook, another Liberal myth created just to take away our guns.
Seriously, as an engineer I have always been appalled at the hubris of the engineers who claim that nuclear power is safe. Even without the very real concern for operational safety, consider the task of guarding nuclear waste for the next 100,000 years, more than ten times the span of current human history. The greatest engineering effort of all time was probably the pyramids that only lasted 4,000 years and still failed to keep intruders out.
Finally, I recently watched an episode of “Madam Secretary” on Netflix where of course Nuclear Power is the most logical solution to global warming and anyone would be crazy to question how great Nuclear Power really is. Such unabashed propaganda is absolutely sickening to anyone with an engineering education, but that is not who the writers/producers are aiming at. No wonder someone like Trump was elected with a media presenting such one-sided solutions.
Just taking a break from barricading my porch:) It seems Chapel Hill is about dead center of the bulleye and the ground is already totally saturated. It’s going to be an interesting couple of days. Back to work…
There have been many such hurricanes that have hit the US since nuclear plants were built and I recall any resulting disasters. But there are always concerns that something catastrophic could happen. Some kind of nuclear disaster is probably quite a way down the list of concerns with a storm like this but it is something to worry about.
“Flooding-prone Brunswick Nuclear Plant among rickety old Fukushima-style reactors in likely path of Hurricane Florence. See 2016 story”
Are you people seriously comparing the wind loads and 15ft storm surge to the seismic loads and 40ft waves from Tohoku?
Are you people seriously comparing a hurricane to a tsunami? Unlike in the event of a tsunami you can actually prepare for a hurricane and shutdown your reactor to reduce cooling times, reactivity and pressure.
A friend of mine said, “The animals will breathe a sigh of relief when the humans are gone.” I reminded him that then there will be no one to mind the hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world and we’re the only creatures that can prevent all out nuclear meltdown resulting in a radiated and possibly uninhabitable planet for most plants and animals.
Agreed - the reactors in North and South Carolina are being shut down because they have several days to plan - so it is not at all like an earthquake followed quickly by a Tsunami. I don’t really see much of a threat on that score.