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Experts: US Still 'Needlessly Vulnerable' to Fukushima-Style Disaster


#1

Experts: US Still 'Needlessly Vulnerable' to Fukushima-Style Disaster

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) did not adequately account for safety hazards when approving certain upgrades to nuclear sites around the U.S., meaning the risk of a Fukushima-like disaster caused by a reactor fire is still high, according to an article published in the journal Science on Friday.


#2

The NRC has been a poster boy and booster to the nuclear industry for over thirty years. Anything the corporations want just gets rubber stamped. That's why reactors that hit their legal or designed lifetime requested extensions, and an increase in power output. Some of them had had fires and damaged wiring, but just about all of them got a rubber stamp.
* Now that we seem to be stuck with living in the Trumpire, I'm sure that the NRC may well be cut back or disassembled like everything else related to the health and welfare of We the People.
* After all, profits are profits and we can't let anything stand in the way of that, can we.
;-})


#3

This article was an often heard lament before regulatory boards during the 1970's and 80's.

Updating slightly. All those old nukes were sold off to shaky companies and allowed to boost output to 125% so wall street could get a cut.

Thus; the us nuke fleet consists of beyond design life jalopies running peddle to the metal on bald tires and rotten pipes.

Adding insult to injury; nobody will tell how much more bigger is the billowing invisible radioactive cloud that pours out the top during normal daily operations at 125%.

Do baby teeth get a 150% dose?


#4

The risk-based models that were used to promote nuclear energy are fiction science at best. The cognitive dissonance one has to undergo to plug away at assumption (with associated "probability") after assumption (with associated "probability") is beyond belief. I cranked through many such models for about half a decade. Toto died long before finding the curtain(s).


#5

The other huge problem is that many of these sites are in highly populated areas now that weren't very populated when they were built.


#6

Nadia thank you for this news.
It is suspected by many nuclear experts that reactor #3 at Fukushima had a small nuclear detonation. It would be one of the only reasons that plutonium which is only found in the fuel rods of the reactor was found on the streets of Tokyo.

This leads to the fact that not just fire can happen in dry spent fuel pools. Pretty much anything runs dry without coolant in a nuclear plant and very quickly the surrounding area in is danger of great loss of life. In this article those effected would be east coast residents who would be forced to move.

The nuclear industry was created to serve the nuclear weapon production of the US. All the BS about to cheap to meter and safety etc were lies and propaganda. We will be paying for this mistake for as long as humans are on this planet.


#7

Rather like sitting on a time bomb. Tick Tick Tick


#8

A number of Fukushima Daiichi reactors were General Electric Mark 1 models, copies of currently running U.S. reactors.

We know from Fukushima, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, the U.S.S. Thresher nuclear submarine and then piles of small disasters and almost disasters on top of the major disasters that the next one is going to pop soon enough. For that matter, we know that Al Qaeda almost took one out in central Europe but at the last minute they went for an airport bombing instead. So, the goal is to shut them all down before the next one pops.

Reporting on Fukushima casualties is a Japanese government state secret punishable by jail time. Info has leaked out. Lots of kids grew nodules on their thyroid glands, which is not good.

The North Pacific ocean has turned from green to blue! The plankton died off. Vast numbers of starving species are washing ashore onto beaches everywhere, from Alaska to California and all over Hawaii, reports ENEnews.org The dieoff may have been from climate or it may have been from fallout, similar to the dieoff following nuclear tests in the South Pacific in the 1950s. Nuclear fallout has consequences.

Nuclear reactors get brittle. Fission changes uranium atoms into a vast array of other elements, some of which are corrosive. The steel and concrete put into a reactor may have been of high quality in the beginning, but adulterating the steel with a stew of random heavy metals and other chemicals turns the steel into a rather brittle gunk. So, the thing falls down even under the best circumstances. In Fukushima a Richter 8 earthquake was way beyond a brittle plant's safety margin, although the plant might have survived such a quake when it was new.

We can also be pretty sure that nearly bankrupt nuclear holding companies are rolling the dice big time, trying to stay afloat. That's just what always happens.


#9

Small nuclear detonation? I bet that's from enenews.com. Them and theirs reader are the only ones capable to come up with something like that.


#10

Thanx for the truth in the nuclear industry. Instead of closing down reactors the industry has greased the wheels to let out of date reactors to remain on line. The disasters are downplayed and costs, even in the short term future, are severely under-estimates of actual costs projected into the future. Chernoybol happened in 1986. They are still trying to contain the contamination 30+ years later and the number of people killed is, or never to be, known for sure. Fukushima is still melting down beyond the containment vessels and they have no idea how far the reactors will borrow into Earth. When they tried to send robots to see the damage, they were cooked almost immediately and after a few tries were given up. The distinct possibility of radiation poisoning the planet and the inhabitants are consistently left out of any discussion on what to do about nukes, civilian and military. Plutonium doesn't go away, at least not for many thousands of years and there's about 1800 metric tons on Earth, and they don't know what to do about it, really. Reactors produce plutonium as a side effect of nuclear reaction; in other words it's still being produced. It's time world leaders come to terms with the ever present dangers of nuclear material and devices, before we have many Fukushima's and Chernobyl's to deal with.


#11

There is a film on Amazon Prime called "The Polygon" that has some harrowing pictures of fetuses in jars with severe defects as well as one live teen whose face is severely deformed and he was born after the tests were over. Nukes of any sort are a clear and present danger to Earth and all her children.


#12

I did see that on ENEnews.org. The site tries to be scientifically balanced and they present their evidence. They aren't anything like salaried corporate nuclear industry trolls hanging out on other people's comments sections, just naysaying and disparaging all day.

Mr. Gundersen's arguments can be summarized as follows:

The melted reactors were irregularly releasing quantities of a common short-lived radioactive iodine isotope long after the initial meltdowns. This indicated that the nuclear piles were loose inside, sometimes forming a barely critical mass, sometimes generating enough brand new internal heat to shift things around inside a second time and turn off the nuclear chain reaction. Accidental critical nuclear piles in water have happened before, for example, at a United Nuclear facility at Wood River Junction in Rhode Island (1 dead). So, something bigger falling over inside and creating a slightly stronger critical mass once or twice would be entirely possible.

Of three units that popped their tops, the nature of one of the explosions was different than the other two. Gundersen felt that two were hydrogen gas explosions, but the third seemed to be a steam explosion. This would be consistent with a notably hot critical nuclear pile vaporizing all the cooling water (and vaporizing all the uranium metal and other radioactive gunk too, plus some of the steel and concrete).

The mushroom cloud looked fairly consistent with this steam explosion theory. It wasn't a real A-bomb explosion in terms of kilotonnage, but it was loaded with 40 years of long-lived radioactive elements such as cesium..

Little microscopic glassy particles were falling on downtown Tokyo. They're easy to spot with a geiger counter and they can be picked up (carefully!!). This would be consistent with a reactor going somewhat supercritical, vaporizing the core, and then little bits of core material fusing as the mushroom cloud cooled below 1000 degrees C. A really powerful A-bomb such as the Hiroshima bomb would have dispersed the individual atoms of the bomb all over the place, so no microscopic glassy particles would form.

Almost all of Unit 3's core is gone. If the core went straight up as vapor/plasma and then came back down as microscopic glassy fallout beads, this would explain where the core went.


#13

I'm pretty sure if "If the core went straight up as vapor/plasma and then came back down" nobody would be hanging out there right now or for the next thousand years.

Arnie Gunderson is about the only one that has actual knowledge of the nuclear industry and engineering and has some credibility. Most other "activists" are history teachers, pediatricians, photographers or lawyers slowly building cases.


#14

I am an "activist" and nuclear veteran (Redwing, Marshall Islands, 1956) and I am right in Arnie's corner.
* Jellyfish babies in the Marshall Islands, various mutations in children exposed, or from parents exposed to radiation (such as nuclear vets), radioactive elements found worldwide and, of course Depleted Uranium (DU) which now is everywhere.
* The night Fukushima failed so spectacularly, I wrote to the effect that it would probably be a few years before the effects surfaced in children's cancers, various cancers and diseases that are caused by exposure, such as thyroid cancers. Not to mention fetal problems with mothers pregnant at the time in the prefecture. I also pointed out at the time that, because sickness and cancers take years to develop, the nuclear shills would use that to "prove" that it probably is due to something other than radiation exposure.
* I also pointed out the probable damage to the ecosystem, down to plankton at the bottom of the food chain.
* Well, it has all come to pass, and now it is a felony to report on this in Japan, or presumably to show a cancer-ridden child in public over there.
* Arnie has done a great job in pointing out the dangers and the results of the melt-downs.
* However, MIMIC wants its profits, so you rarely ever hear of the problems. Frankly, I fear Fukushima will be with us for many years, not to mention what will happen if other firecrackers in the GE string start popping.
;-})


#15

....and humans will not be on this planet... for very much longer.... AS THE POLITICAL, ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHAOS GROWS WORLD WIDE..... THE OVER 400 NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS AROUND THE WORLD... WILL NOT HAVE ENOUGH BABYSITTERS....


#16

Would this be happening if humans did not exceed their habitats carrying capacity and shared natural resources more equitably? Paradise Lost.

Direct Democracy


#17

That smoke stuff pouring up and outa that reactor building is........ Anyone saying? I'll betcha it's nothing like the smoke smoldering at the Racetrack 2 fire that was just contained, out here in Arizona-stan (Thank you Bob Kincaid for the '-stan'). I think, at the time, 3-3-2011, it smelled more like the smoke pouring from a metal fabricating plant. Maybe someone cutting through steel bar.

If that were only the case! We are not looking at a friction-caused hot cloud of atomized steel. No. Much hotter. Same metallic taste, but no-one should ever taste that! lol

Past this point, the reader must decide on either: "the red pill' or "the blue pill' like in "The Matrix" where, (from Wikipedia) ~~

"Neo, is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill. The red pill would allow him to escape from the Matrix into the real world, but living the "truth of reality" is harsher and more difficult."

The Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole follows: with the radioactive "flying monkeys", trolls and the criminal banks that are at the end of this story's plutonium 239 Brick Road! This story is fraught, fraught I say! With falsehoods, betrayals, by our physics science community - for not coming forth in great numbers, as yet!


#18

Any effective regulation will be driven by public pressure.

The entire industry is structured so that any decision to shut down or cut back can only be made by people who will lose fortunes by doing so.

Casting back, it is hard to imagine any industry outside of the military where profit and status and respect are so completely arrayed against human health--and there are, actually, a good few "honorable mentions."


#19

"Gundersen felt that two were hydrogen gas explosions, but the third seemed to be a steam explosion. This would be consistent with a notably hot critical nuclear pile vaporizing all the cooling water (and vaporizing all the uranium metal and other radioactive gunk too, plus some of the steel and concrete)."

Gundersen's crackpot theory was that the unit 3 large explosion was due to a prompt critical nuclear detonation originating in the spent fuel pool, triggered by the hydrogen deflagration deforming the spent fuel racks.

That, by the way, was the video in which I discovered what a total fraud Gundersen is. Nobody who knows the first thing about physics or engineering could have proposed such a laughable theory as being even remotely possible. And Gundersen's specialization in nuclear engineering was supposedly in spent fuel racks, and yet he didn't know the first thing about their structural strength or about the neutron absorbing borated separators between the fuel assemblies?

"The mushroom cloud looked fairly consistent with this steam explosion theory."

The far superior steam explosion theory, on the other hand, was advanced by the graphic artist Ian Goddard, and it was well-grounded in evidence and plausible physics. Here's his detailed presentation in which he lays out the case for his theory:

http://iangoddard.com/fukushima01.html

Goddard had originally accepted Gundersen's spent fuel detonation theory (Goddard is an anti-nuke, so he can be forgiven for not understanding the nuclear physics involved and deferring to a self-styled expert on the subject), but then Goddard actually looked at the evidence, and here, he demolishes the pool detonation theory:

So far as I've seen, he was the first to do so. And then a few months later, underwater images came out showing the spent fuel racks in pool 3:


close-up detail:

The racks were not collapsed or warped, or exploded, or burned, or even dislodged. Absolutely no evidence that a nuclear detonation happened there.

In the mean time, apparently someone had pointed out to Gundersen 1) pool 3 did not go dry, 2) hydrogen would not have sunk and accumulated at the bottom of the pool even if it had gone dry, and 3) you can't get a prompt critical reaction in adjacent nuclear fuel assemblies without liquid water moderation. (Water vapor, such as would be produced by burning hydrogen, doesn't have nearly a high enough concentration of hydrogen to moderate the neutrons over such short distances.) So sometime mid to late 2011, he quietly modified his theory by simply leaving the pools full of water, and postulating that the hydrogen deflagration above the pools could have collapsed the racks in the bottom of the pools (!), and caused a moderated prompt-critical detonation.

Here's Gundersen late in 2013, still peddling his preposterous exploding pool theory (now modified to include the word "moderated") while also taking a swipe at the steam explosion theory:

"I’ve been saying all along that I think Unit 3 had something called a prompt moderated criticality in the fuel pool and that particles of fuel would be found lying outside Unit 3 is an indication that that happened. If the fuel had come from inside the nuclear reactor, it would have had to go through the containment and through a very circuitous path, so to my mind its very unlikely"

http://enenews.com/gundersen-major-problems-inside-pool-fukushima-unit-3-pieces-nuclear-fuel-rods-blown-during-criticality-explosion-building-could-shatter-big-quake-hits-video

"It wasn't a real A-bomb explosion in terms of kilotonnage, but it was loaded with 40 years of long-lived radioactive elements such as cesium."

Anything in the reactor would have been a few years old at most.

"This would be consistent with a reactor going somewhat supercritical, vaporizing the core, and then little bits of core material fusing as the mushroom cloud cooled below 1000 degrees C. ... Almost all of Unit 3's core is gone. If the core went straight up as vapor/plasma and then came back down as microscopic glassy fallout beads, this would explain where the core went."

The cores melted down. The odds are good that Unit 3's core melted through though the bottom of the reactor and dropped into the containment vessel. Goddard's steam explosion theory, elegant as it was, ultimately proved to be incorrect. (That happens with theories sometimes.) In order for an upward explosion to have come from the reactor well, the cap of the pressure vessel would have had to blow off or rupture, and the three tiers of the concrete reactor well shield plug would have been blown high into the air. Here's the first proof that didn't happen:

That's the roof lattice structure lying in crumpled heap after the large explosion. Notice the position of the reactor well. Notice that the lattice structure directly over the well is one of the most intact parts. If tons of steel vessel cap and concrete shield plug had been shot up like a mortar, they would have torn through that lightweight structure like tissue paper. And underneath the lattice structure (most visible towards the top of the well circle) you can see the large gantry crane, which was parked directly over the reactor well at the time of the explosion. That would have been launched as well.

When they cleared off unit 3, this is what they found:

The round thing is the well shield plug. It is three layers of concrete fitted into a layered hole like an upside-down layer cake, and there are three segments to each layer. You can see the middle segment of the top layer has buckled and caved in slighly. That was from the weight of the gantry crane falling on it. But otherwise, nothing dislodged, so clearly no explosion came through there. (You can also see the adjacent spent fuel pool is entirely intact with no surrounding cracks, and if there had been a nuclear detonation in that pool, especially under a few hundred tons of water, that pool would have been obliterated.) But if you look at the region in the red circle, that appears to be the focus of the explosion. And if the explosion originated there, that would also explain why the baffle plate between the reactor well and spent fuel pool was blown out of position towards the pool.

And then in 2015, they managed to photograph a section of the catwalk that runs under the reactor vessel.

They didn't get a picture of the grate directly below the reactor, but what they did photograph is still informative. If there had been a nuclear detonation or even a steam explosion powerful enough to create that mushroom cloud, the grate should have been massively deformed by the blast. Failing that, there should at least have been shrapnel, rubble, and debris all over the place. But whatever happened there doesn't even appear to have been violent enough to strip off the peeling paint.


#20

With the trump regime in power one can only imagine the even more precarious nuclear future we all face.

Indian Point nuclear complex, 35 miles north of Manhattan, a case in point, threatening near 20 million within 50 mile radius has had fire and other safety standards/regulations repeatedly lowered by the industry lap-dog NRC.
The Cuomo/Entergy deal to "close" IP by 2021 (great leadership there, eh?...) forces taxpayers to fund aged upstate nuke plants is a dangerous roulette scam allowing IP to remain without clean-up under "SafStor" up to 60 more years....its doubtful it will ever be returned to "greenfield"/pre-industrial condition. The three upstate threats will remain operating under Cuomo's scam "deal" fueled by his ego & presidential ambitions.....

http://www.stopthecuomotax.org/

http://www.nypirg.org/pubs/201701/final_media_packet_1.11.2017.pdf

Andy Cuomo: best corrupt DINO politician money can buy.........