What Would a Nuclear Meltdown Look Like? Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

What Would a Nuclear Meltdown Look Like?
 


3 April 2007 at 12:29:43 AM
salon

One would think nuclear power plant energy is just a Rosy, Rosy Picture. Not.

Nuclear power plants are vulnerable to many events that could lead to meltdowns, including human and mechanical errors; impacts from climate change, global warming, and earthquakes; and, we now know, terrorist attacks.

Statistically speaking, an accidental meltdown is almost a certainty sooner or later in one of the 438 nuclear power plants located in 33 countries around the world. Human error, compromise, laziness, and greed are implicit in the affairs of men; when these attributes are applied to the generation of atomic energy, the results can be catastrophic.

David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer from the Union of Concerned Scientists, points out, nuclear power plants are like people: they have numerous problems in their infancy and youth, they operate relatively smoothly in early-to middle life, and they start to show signs of stress and manifest pathology as they age. Every U.S. nuclear power plant is moving into the old-age cycle, and the number of near-misses is increasing. In a 13-month period from March 7, 2000, to April 2, 2001, eight nuclear power plants were forced to shut down because of potentially serious equipment failures associated with aging of their mechanical parts--one shut down on average every 60 days.

The article uses Indian Point Nuclear Power plant as an example.You can read some scenarios of how it might happen and what the effects would be. But this I found astonishing.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not make public its risk assessment studies on nuclear power plants, even though by law it is obliged to do so. David Lochbaum says this "agency continues to make regulatory decisions affecting the lives of millions of Americans in a vacuum."

Why isn't the NRC being held accountable to make its risk assessment studies public?


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