Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mumbley Peg

Hey am I freakin you out? Hah...I kin do this all night long! I gets better after a I has a few drinks or four or five...
Don' try tuh stop a man when he's playing mumbley peg cause you might git hurt...
You watch in fascination as the Nuclear Industry plays mumbley peg with the Earth...heck, they only had a few accidents. It's not like they blew up the whole damn planet...Chernobyl, don wanna go there, there's a whole lotta other places to go. Heck, Three Mile Island happened in the 70's and people still around there. Coulda bin worse, lot's worse...but we take our chances because we think we know how to play the game. It's all about playin the game. The big companies have to make more money and the way they do it is by cutting every safety measure in the book. It's like mumbley Peg, see? 
But Fukushima was predictable. In America, there are three nuclear reactors that regulators are most concerned about. Like the predictable crisis now threatening the Fort Calhoun Reactor in Nebraska.
Last year, federal regulators, questioning the plants flood protection protocol, told the Omaha Public Power District that they had to do more sandbagging in the event of major flooding along the Missouri River.
After initially contesting the findings, the plants operator, The OPPD, said the problem had been resolved.
On Tuesday,The Daily Mail reported that the flooding on the Missouri River had risen to 18 inches of its walls, threatening to shut down the plant and flood it, raising fears that a Fukushima type of event was a real possibility.
Likewise, the Cooper Nuclear Reactor, also in Nebraska is threatened by the flooding as well. Water has already risen to within 2 feet of the danger level that would force a shut down of the plant. On the Missouri side of the border, a levee is dangerously close to being washed away. It is only a matter of time before the area around Hwy 136 in Atchinson County is flooded.
The Cooper plant had a major fuel rod accident in March which is still being investigated. The Federal Governments own Sandia National Laboratories have found striking similarities between the Cooper and the Dai-Ichi Plant in Japan, specifically: a lengthy loss of electrical power could cause a nuclear meltdown.

Hopefully, both the Nebraska reactors will survive this little mumbley peg incident.
But as I have been writing and doccumenting in this blog for  few years now, corporate nuclear policy has never paid any real attention to safety. Disasters have happened and will happen. If a nuclear incident like Fukushima occurs in America, it will be shown to have been entirely predictable.
Indeed, as shown by the Center for Public Integrity , many American reactors are built on earthquake faults:
What are the risks of an earthquake beneath a reactor near you? This image combines a 2006 map by the United States Geological Survey showing varying seismic hazards across the U.S. with locations of nuclear reactors. Reactors in black are active; reactors in blue are proposed sites for the new model known as the AP1000. Probability of strong shaking increases from very low (white), to moderate (blue, green, and yellow), to high (orange, pink, and red). Kimberly Leonard/Center for Public Integrity. The red lines represent the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers which illustrate the danger of flooding which is occurring now.
Nearly six years before an earthquake ravaged Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, U.S. regulators came to a sobering realization: seismic risks to nuclear plants in the eastern two-thirds of the country were greater than had been suspected, and engineers might have to rethink reactor designs.
But, rethinking nuclear plant design is again pouring money into a death wish. Nuclear energy will never be more than a dangerous high profit industry. A game of mumbley peg with the highest stakes. Each slip creates a nuclear sacrifice zone which incrementally increases the danger to us all for untold generations.
There are major reactors on earthquake faults all over America. Indian Point outside of New York City is a good example of how rules and regulations have been ignored and modified to get the plant back on line in 2013 after regulations were modified and ignored
The NRC is wholly captive to industry. The NRC has never turned down the request of a nuclear power plant to be relicensed in the United States. Relicensing is solely a paper process; there is no safety review.
The NRC's assumptions regarding a worst-case accident are ridiculous. For example, the NRC assumes only 1% of the fuel could meltdown, while 70% melted down at Fukushima. The NRC assumes no loss of containment, while there has been a major loss of containment in reactors 1-3 (especially 2) at Fukushima.
If there was a free market in energy, nuclear power would be over ... immediately". Nuclear plant owners can't get insurance; they can only operate because the U.S. government provides insurance on the taxpayer dime. The government also granted a ridiculously low cap on liabilityIf we had no subsidies for nuclear, coal or oil, we'd have a clean energy economy right now<
We have 4 reactors in California - 2 at San Onofre 2 at San Luis Obisbo - which are vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis.
No state or federal agency knows who would be in charge in case of an accident at Indian Point. It's like the Keystone Cops
Rolling Stone writes:
The NRC has long served as little more than a lap dog to the nuclear industry, unwilling to crack down on unsafe reactors. "The agency is a wholly owned subsidiary of the nuclear power industry," says Victor Gilinsky, who served on the commission during the Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979. Even President Obama denounced the NRC during the 2008 campaign, calling it a "moribund agency that needs to be revamped and has become captive of the industries that it regulates.In the years ahead, nuclear experts warn, the consequences of the agency's inaction could be dire. "The NRC has consistently put industry profits above public safety," says Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear executive turned whistle-blower. "Consequently, we have a dozen Fukushimas waiting to happen in America.
And remember that a major nuclear accident - such as one at Indian Point - could bankrupt a nation.
Let's have another drink and play some more mumbley peg...Hell, I still have a few fingers left.....

No comments: