Skip to main content

Five of the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power station are boiling water type GE Mark 1. Now we have the revelation that three G.E. scientists who were working on the design of the Mark 1 Reactor quit their jobs over GE's failure to correct the design flaws that have become so disastrously evident at the Fukushima Daiichi power station.

Fukushima: Mark 1 Nuclear Reactor Design Caused GE Scientist To Quit In Protest

Thirty-five years ago, Dale G. Bridenbaugh and two of his colleagues at General Electric resigned from their jobs after becoming increasingly convinced that the nuclear reactor design they were reviewing -- the Mark 1 -- was so flawed it could lead to a devastating accident.

Questions persisted for decades about the ability of the Mark 1 to handle the immense pressures that would result if the reactor lost cooling power, and today that design is being put to the ultimate test in Japan. Five of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been wracked since Friday's earthquake with explosions and radiation leaks, are Mark 1s.

"The problems we identified in 1975 were that, in doing the design of the containment, they did not take into account the dynamic loads that could be experienced with a loss of coolant," Bridenbaugh told ABC News in an interview. "The impact loads the containment would receive by this very rapid release of energy could tear the containment apart and create an uncontrolled release."

I should note that ABC ran this story and not GE owned NBC.

In the 1970s and 1980s GE marketed their Mark 1 reactor to utilities across the U.S. and to countries around the world.

23 US reactors share design with failed Japan nukes

There are 23 nuclear power plants operating in the U.S. using the same General Electric Mark 1 reactors as the Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 that suffered a hydrogen explosion on Saturday  and then again early Monday, according to a fact sheet just released by the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, a Maryland-based nuclear power watchdog group.

This design,  a General Electric Mark I, has been criticized by nuclear experts and even Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff for decades as being susceptible to explosion and containment failure.

And where are these 23 reactors?

FACTBOX-U.S. nuclear plants similar to Japan plant in peril

GE has rolled out several versions of the Mark 1, and some
of the U.S. reactors could be slightly different than the
Daiichi Unit 1 reactor.

Reactor                  Location         Size (MW)   Year
Browns Ferry 1     Decatur, AL           1065        1974
Browns Ferry 2     Decatur, AL           1104        1975
Browns Ferry 3     Decatur, AL           1105        1977
Brunswick 1          Southport, NC         938        1976
Brunswick 2          Southport, NC         920        1975
Cooper                 Nebraska City, NE   770         1974
Dresden 2            Morris, IL                  867        1970
Dresden 3            Morris, IL                  867        1971
Duane Arnold       Cedar Rapids, IA      580        1975
Hatch 1                Baxley, GA                876        1975
Hatch 2                Baxley, GA                883        1979
Fermi 2                Monroe, MI              1122        1988
Hope Creek         Hancock's Brdg, NJ   1161        1986
Fitzpatrick            Oswego, NY               854        1976
Monticello             Monticello, MN           572        1971
Nine Mile Point 1   Oswego, NY              621        1969
Oyster Creek        Toms River, NJ           615        1969
Peach Bottom 2     Lancaster, PA         1112        1974
Peach Bottom 3     Lancaster, PA         1112        1974
Pilgrim                    Plymouth, MA           685        1972
Quad Cities 1         Moline, IL                 867        1972
Quad Cities 2         Moline, IL                 867        1972
Vermont Yankee     Vernon, VT              620        1972

Fortunately none of these Mark 1 Reactors is located in America's most seismically active areas along the edge of the Pacific Plate. A part of the Ring of Fire that just shattered parts of Japan.

UPDATE:

This come from a New York Times article published today that was pointed out in one of the comments:

Experts Had Long Criticized Potential Weakness in Design of Stricken Reactor

In 1972, Stephen H. Hanauer, then a safety official with the Atomic Energy Commission, recommended that the Mark 1 system be discontinued because it presented unacceptable safety risks. Among the concerns cited was the smaller containment design, which was more susceptible to explosion and rupture from a buildup in hydrogen — a situation that may have unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Later that same year, Joseph Hendrie, who would later become chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a successor agency to the atomic commission, said the idea of a ban on such systems was attractive. But the technology had been so widely accepted by the industry and regulatory officials, he said, that “reversal of this hallowed policy, particularly at this time, could well be the end of nuclear power.”

In an e-mail on Tuesday, David Lochbaum, director of the Nuclear Safety Program at the Union for Concerned Scientists, said those words seemed ironic now, given the potential global ripples from the Japanese accident.

The Telegraph reports on a wilileaks cable that may prove embarrassing to the  Japanese Government and Prime Minister Kan.

Japan earthquake: Japan warned over nuclear plants, WikiLeaks cables show

An official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in December 2008 that safety rules were out of date and strong earthquakes would pose a "serious problem" for nuclear power stations.

The Japanese government pledged to upgrade safety at all of its nuclear plants, but will now face inevitable questions over whether it did enough.

Dale Bridenbaugh's and his colleagues who quit in 1976 and their revelations about well founded doubt about the Mark 1's design just now emerging, makes me recall another scientist whistle blower from the Space Schuttle Challenger disaster, Roger Boisjoly who worked for NASA contractor Morton Thiokol. All of them were bitterly disappointed when their employers' corporate imperative for cost cutting trumped sound science and  prudent engineering. In both cases with disastrous results.

Originally posted to Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:27 AM PDT.

Also republished by Nuclear Free DK.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  GE now has more employees overseas than in US (123+ / 0-)

    so I don't know if we should think of it as an American Company.

    "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:14:36 AM PDT

    •  Spent fuel storage is a question for us. (31+ / 0-)

      Newer PWR designs are inherently safer than these old reactors. I am concerned about the spent fuel pools in these old reactors. They may be harder to keep covered with water than newer designs. I am concerned that spent fuel is kept above ground level, in a location that may be subject to loss of coolant.

      We need to look hard at how we are storing spent fuel. Some of these old reactors store 40 years total of old fuel rods. There's an enormous inventory of radioactive isotopes in the spent fuel.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:44:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama's gonna take down those whistleblowers! (7+ / 0-)

      They are hurting our "national security" by even being alive today!  

      How dare they discuss these matters with the untrustworthy, uneducated, unwashed masses!  Don't they realize this could hurt the executive compensation of Obama's job-czar buddy?

      Throw the fuckers into Quantico!  Right now goddammit!!!

      Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider! - George Carlin

      by Earth Ling on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:45:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Importiant background article (8+ / 0-)

      Not about GE, but the industry regulators and the hazards handling spent fuel rods.

      If you think the way regulators handled off-shore oil rigs was outragous better take some blood pressure meds before reading

      Time : NUCLEAR WARRIORS (1996)

      GEORGE BETANCOURT LOOKED UP FROM HIS DESK AS George Galatis burst into the office, a bundle of papers under his arm. On that morning in March 1992, the two men--both senior engineers at Northeast Utilities, which operates five nuclear plants in New England--were colleagues but not yet friends. Apart from their jobs and first names, they seemed to have little in common. Betancourt, 45, was extravagantly rebellious--beard, biker boots, ponytail sneaking out the back of his baseball cap--while Galatis, 42, was square-jawed and devout: Mr. Smith Goes Nuclear. But Galatis respected Betancourt's expertise and knew he could count on him for straight answers.

      On this day, Galatis wanted to know about a routine refueling operation at the Millstone Unit 1 nuclear plant in Waterford, Connecticut. Every 18 months the reactor is shut down so the fuel rods that make up its core can be replaced; the old rods, radioactive and 250 degrees F hot, are moved into a 40-ft.-deep body of water called the spent-fuel pool, where they are placed in racks alongside thousands of other, older rods. Because the Federal Government has never created a storage site for high-level radioactive waste, fuel pools in nuclear plants across the country have become de facto nuclear dumps--with many filled nearly to capacity. The pools weren't designed for this purpose, and risk is involved: the rods must be submerged at all times. A cooling system must dissipate the intense heat they give off. If the system failed, the pool could boil, turning the plant into a lethal sauna filled with clouds of radioactive steam. And if earthquake, human error or mechanical failure drained the pool, the result could be catastrophic: a meltdown of multiple cores taking place outside the reactor containment, releasing massive amounts of radiation and rendering hundreds of square miles uninhabitable.

      :: snip ::

      Ten years after the disastrous uncontained meltdown at Chernobyl, 17 years after the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, most Americans probably give only passing thought to the issue of nuclear safety. But the story of George Galatis and Millstone suggests that the NRC itself may be giving only passing thought to the issue--that it may be more concerned with propping up an embattled, economically straitened industry than with ensuring public safety. When a nuclear plant violates safety standards and the federal watchdog turns a blind eye, the question arises, How safe are America's nuclear plants?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:39:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One small correction I wanted to make (8+ / 0-)

      One of those on your list, Fermi II in Monroe (about 30-45 minutes south of me) was damaged by a tornado some years back.  While we may not have earthquakes, tornadoes are pretty fucking scary and strong, and a bigger one could cause some real issues. Secondly, the damn thing sits right up against Lake Erie, which doesn't make me feel that much better either.

      So, earthquakes, no, but Fermi, Dresden, Cooper and Quad Cities on that list are all in tornado-heavy areas.  Still a risk, and still a big reason that nuclear power isn't safe AT ALL.

      I will respect the Republican Party the day they decide to start respecting all Americans....therefore, I will never respect the Republican Party.

      by wolverinethad on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:11:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One additional problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster, Larsstephens

      A loss of cooling in the core apparently cannot be corrected without the fuel rod casings melting and creating explosive conditions.

      If coolant is lost and the tops of the rods become exposed, then a special condition is created that changes the behavior of the zircalloy casings, reducing their melting point by 1000°K, which in turn causes them to oxidize rapidly, releasing high levels of hydrogen. This in turn results in the very kind of explosion to which the core is so susceptible.

      "Quenching of an overheated fuel element with water from the bottom (simulating flooding of an uncovered reactor core) initially gives rise to further heating of the bundle components as a result of intensive oxidation of metallic constituents, which is associated with the formation of local melts and the additional generation of considerable amounts of hydrogen within a very short period of time."

      In short: there is no safe way, in this design, to restore cooling once the tops of the fuel rods become exposed to air.

  •  I'm slogging my way through (38+ / 0-)

    a 1999 study from 2 Russian scientists re: the build up of hydrogen when there is a catastropic failure in a nuke plant and coolant is lost.

    This study seems pertinent to your diary.  The first response with loss of coolant is to replenish.  Because the rods are extremely hot and clad with zircaloy (a zirconium product) the zircaloy can crack and hydrogen gas is released.  What the study seems to suggest is that there has to be a solid system to vent the hydrogen gas because not adding coolant is asking for a total meltdown.

    As we have seen, the build-up of hydrogen gas caused explosions.

    Radgeeks have pointed out that, while there were redundant power systems (diesel generators and batteries); there should have been more redundancy which would not have been damaged in situ.

    We can only hope that the government demands a post containment report and that it is released and open to public comment.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:44:54 AM PDT

    •  Or not use water as a moderator/coolant (5+ / 0-)
    •  A physicist on Rachel's show said... (5+ / 0-)

      the zirconium serves to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen, leading to explosions.

      To do everything I can to make sure our economy is growing, creating jobs, and strengthening our middle class. That's my resolution for the coming year.

      by BarackStarObama on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:06:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oy, that's simplistic. (11+ / 0-)

        Radiation causes hydrolysis too. The natural reactor at Oklo, in Africa, separated hydrogen from oxygen. The billion year plus old natural reactor zones have a shell of minerals that were chemically "reduced" by reactions with hydrogen. Outside of that shell is an oxidized zone where reactions with oxygen affected the mineralogy.

        look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:50:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Zirconium oxide formed at high temps... (8+ / 0-)

        ...when the zirconium cladding is exposed to water.  The zirconium combines with oxygen from the water leaving gaseous hydrogen.  When the H2 is released with steam from the reactor vessel it can react explosively with oxygen in the atmosphere if the H2 concentration exceeds 4%.  Presence of steam retards the reaction, but when the steam vents into an area that is cooler than the reactor vessel, which is just about anywhere in the rest of the plant, the steam condenses, removing that retarding factor.

        The main point being, keep the core cool, below that critical temp.  Which I don't remember because I'm sleep deprived. :\

      •  Zr + 2 H2O -> ZrO2 + 2 H2 (9+ / 0-)

        This is analogous to dropping a chunk of sodium metal in water. At temps less than about 1000 F, Zr metal forms a very protective oxide coating of zirconia (ZrO2), which passivates the metal. The oxide is chemically very stable and it prevents further reaction. Similar oxide coatings happen with stainless steel, titanium and especially aluminum.

        If a mercury film is put on base aluminum, and this is put under water, the aluminum will crumble into aluminum oxide/aluminum hydroxide rapidly, because the Hg separate the protective oxide from the base metal.

        At high temperatures, like when the fuel rod glows cherry red from the heat made by "daughter products" decaying, the ZrO2 film separates from the base metal enough to allow the water to react with more metal. And that's when the sodium analogy holds. Same for magnesium - if Mg is heated high enough in a water vapor (no oxygen) atmosphere it too will "ignite", and form MgO and H2. A stick of burning magnesium will keep on burning if placed underwater, too.

        Nukes are NEVER supposed to have their hot fuel rods out of water long enough to get that hot. Since we know this has happened at TMI and now several times at Daiichi, that leads to the question of why this nuke was ever conceived in the first place. It NEVER should have been constructed and installed.

        But, by building these, alternatives were not allowed to be developed/installed (tidal, for example). And for the last decade, Japan has been making high quality commercial scale wind turbines - mostly for export. It turns out that the highly subsidized nukes made the price of electricity low enough so that nukes undercut most other forms of electricity production. A recent report from the Japanese Wind Power Association gives Japan's average wind power  potential as 133 GW - enough to power up the country and then some. And I'm sure they could do better, as Japan has lots of hard working smart people who would LOVE to take up this kind of challenge. For them, it would be a piece of cake to do, but they are not  ALLOWED to do so - why, that would threaten the very investment in all those old nukes (now probably worth less than a ton of sewage sludge)..... let alone 17 new nukes. BTW, Hitachi and Toshiba are really big in nukes, as are a host of other big Japanese companies, who provide subcomponents, like Mitsubishi (fuel rod assemblies and fuel rods).

        Nb41

        •  Wind power has an opportunity now (7+ / 0-)

          Wind turbines can be put up quickly to replace the dead nuclear plants. They can't build new nukes quickly enough to meet the demand for replacement power.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:30:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Even more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lefty Coaster

          This study found that the zircalloy casings have a unique, unanticipated reaction if exposed to air, overheated, then cooled from below. Of course, the reactor design is such that you can only cool from below, unless the housing on the core has been compromised: their melt point drops by 1000°K at the same time that the fuel heats up rapidly, causing local melting of the casing, which means more oxidation, releasing more hydrogen more rapidly.

          All of which I take to indicate that exposed fuel rods == boom under almost any circumstances in this type of reactor.

           The rare exceptions would be: very brief exposure that did not lead to sufficient heat buildup, or the top of the core is gone and cooling can be done from above. However, in the latter case, there are probably extenuating circumstances that would prevent access to cool from above...

    •  Any disaster capable of taking out (4+ / 0-)

      local power generation, is very likely to take out a connection to a remote backup.

      The problem doesn't appear to have been with the amount of redundancy (I believe it was four generators per reactor), but with the vulnerability of it. It just doesn't seem like they were thinking of things like major tsunamis in the design of the site itself, which they should have been siting it on the coastline of ring-of-fire nation.

      This whole disaster just seems to be making a strong case that if you're going to do nuclear, you should be doing molten salt reactors, where the coolant is nonvolatile and nonreactive, where if your cooling systems all fail the fuel can simply drain to safe storage, and where nothing in the system is at high pressure. The whole concept is so much safer than a BWR.

      Doesn't help from the information front that the plant is operated by TEPCO, whose record of openness is, shall we say, deficient. Might help that the current PM of Japan seems rather pissed off at TEPCO.

  •  Well, This really isnt relevant. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SpamNunn, Samulayo

    Those reactors have worked fine for over 40 years.

    This accident was caused by a tsunami that knocked out all the cooling systems and backups.

    The "Reactor" as worked fine. And is in no way responsible for this accident.

    Id say this was more of an architectural problem. The seawall wasn't high enough and/or strong enough to stop the size of the tsunami that hit it.

    •  At least one reactor vessel failed (19+ / 0-)

      and three melted down. 40 years of neutron bombardment takes its toll on a reactor vessel making it brittle. Now its apparent GE should have designed in a wider margin of safety.

      "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

      by Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:05:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thats a huge stretch (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpamNunn, Dirtandiron, vets74, NYFM, koNko

        They were pouring seawater over it. Which caused a Hydrogen explosion.

        None of which GE designed for. Which was needed, because the cooling systems failed.

        It simply isn't GE's fault. It was a gigantic natural disaster. This disaster wiped out all the cooling systems.

        It was all downhill from there.

        No amount of "Safety Factor" is enough when using something in a way that it simply wasn't designed for.

        There is no way do design a system that isnt vulnerable when you are down to spraying sea water with firetrucks.

        •  Then why did these three scientists quit?? (26+ / 0-)

          That's a pretty serious step, and with all three in agreement they should have been taken seriously by G.E. But GE's bean counting managers negligently disregarded them.  

          "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

          by Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:34:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe... they were wrong. Or else (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Nose, KenBee, koNko, Larsstephens

            what they thought might happen turned out to be a long-odds unlikely event that never turned up "sixes."

            Obviously, these reactors are doing pretty damn well considering that the external cooling got wiped out, including backups.

            One surprise: there was no plan to replace cooling.

            Portable generators are off-the-shelf for any size you want. Pumps are simple things. Water is water.

            Every fire department has all that packed up as pumper engines.

            The nukes on carriers have triple-redundancy on reactor cooling. They assume that worst case is a sabotage action with heavy penetration of the command structure.

            TEPCO, not so much.

            Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

            by vets74 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:55:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where to begin... (9+ / 0-)

              1.  Let's start with the most obvious problem:  Don't design a reactor to end up dry in the event of circulation loss.  If you have the rods gravitationally submerged when circulation is down, then you have reasonable time to respond.  If you don't, overheating of the rods is going to be rapid.  Some 1970's analyses said it would only take about 10 minutes for things to become irreversible.  (Sorry, I don't have links.)

              2.  The mechanical concerns were well founded apparently.  The early Mark 1's torus had a tendency to bounce up and down during transients and some stiffening was done in later upgrades.  It's the torus that is supected to be leaking on at least one of the reactors at present, probably two of them.

              3.  Six reactors, so minimum of six portables...that would have to be moved into place, connected and brought online.  A panel/switch system or somesuch for this would be required (I'm not an EE.)  

              4.  They would have to be moved into place during a tsunami, aftershocks, typhoon, volcanic eruption, whatever the disaster. Time is the problem...see point #1.

              5.  Staffing for this and other operations becomes a long term issue, extra operators 24/7 for 30 years to fulfil this function.

              6.  Plus the generators have to be refueled and serviced.  And we are seeing a lot of issues with operators not being able to approach these areas based on TEPCO's statements.

              7.  Engineers who are willing to risk their careers and start over with new employers because of safety concerns typically are the more competent ones.  The technically weaker one will give management the answers that they want to hear.

              8.  Which pumps are you talking about?  Circulation pumps for something like this aren't off the shelf (especially with radio isotope and hydrogen containing water), so I assume you mean hooking up for emergency submersion.  Of course with that there is the problem of what head is required.  The thick containment vessel walls suggest a pressure that pumper trucks couldn't manage without first venting the vessel.  

              9.  If you think the U.S. is better in that regard, I seriously doubt it.  Watched a report last night talking about how much trouble some of our plants had with non-functioning back up diesel.  And they often were/are not tested.  They sounded much sloppier than the chemical plants I've worked at, where we routinely tested/rotated back ups.

              10.  If having all six of six reactors looking at meltdown, with 2/3 already there, is "doing pretty damn well", then expectations are set far too low.  

              One of the things I learned doing safety drills is to do as many of the actions as permissable--because doing so often identified problems with the written plans.  (Ask Houstonians about how poorly the Hurricane Rita evacuation was bungled only a month after Texas was disparaging NOLA for its evacuation.  We had 3-4 times as much notice, but Texas had not drilled their traffic management...governor's office never ordered fuel trucks, highways couldn't be converted to contraflow until evacuation window closed, etc.)

              Renewing the Bush tax cuts was the ultimate sell out of a presidency without any scruples.

              by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:09:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Strong F@%$ing Vessel (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Larsstephens

              What they got right in this system is the reactor vessels were obviously over-engineered and I kiss the ground the engineers walk on becuase otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion now. hProbably a forged vessel MFG by JSW.

              The rest? No further comment needed.

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:12:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps they should have anticipated that... (9+ / 0-)

          ...in the event of an accident and a loss of coolant, humans might start pouring sea water over it.

          We're kind of funny that way. Hot reactor...cool sea water. It doesn't take a psychologist to imagine how humans might react in such a situation.

          They were pouring seawater over it. Which caused a Hydrogen explosion.

          None of which GE designed for.

          violence is the status quo...nonviolence is the revolution

          by ehrenfeucht games on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:00:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What idiot of a wannabe (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Simplify, Larsstephens

            engineer/designer put the containment vent inside the weakest part of the aux building to save the price of pipe to vent it outside? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

            Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

            by Joieau on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:03:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Probably done for regulatory reasons (5+ / 0-)

              They are supposed to be contained, non-venting.  So this emergency should never happen.

              Of course, if it does it makes appropriate response impossible.  Catch-22

              Apparently, they assumed they would never have to vent hydrogen.  Unfortunately, they didn't design the reactor so that it would be flooded in the event of circulation loss.  And if it isn't flooded, the rods overheat and hydrogen is generated.  Major design FAIL.

              Renewing the Bush tax cuts was the ultimate sell out of a presidency without any scruples.

              by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:16:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Don't build them (15+ / 0-)

          Can't build them to withstand earth's environment, then don't build them.

        •  But you shouldn't have to get down (6+ / 0-)

          to that level.

          And the design should have taken the tsunami issue into account because of the faults in the area.

          You're letting GE off the hook quite unnecessarily here.

          These plants are promoted as safe and failure-proof. They never are and here we have an example.

        •  Then they never (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vacantlook, Lefty Coaster

          should have been built in the first place. Atoms for fucking peace... that would be funny if it weren't so unforgivably evil. GE - and every other nuclear industry cheerleader who had a hand in making this ridiculous mess should be ashamed.

          But they don't even have enough human decency left to do that much.

          "It's not our fault!" is NEVER gonna fly, Xdust.

          Now, more than ever, we need the Jedi.

          by Joieau on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:01:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Incorrect, seawater didn't cause hydrogen (10+ / 0-)

          As various sources have explained it, the elevated temperature from a LACK of sufficient cooling water results in the zirconium of the fuel rods oxidizing and releasing hydrogen.  Just plain water does it.

          The hydrogen explosion was external, not internal and was the result of yet more design flaws of the misnamed "containment vessel."  Because the containment vessel is undersized and lacks passive failsafe it has minimal capacity to actually contain hydrogen generation.  That means that in emergencies the vessel headspace must be bled in order to add water...so it isn't real containing things.

          But since it is a containment vessel and emitting radioactive vapors is not permissable, there is no external stack.  So instead the idiotic design is to vent hydrogen rich gas into the structure.  

          Then of course, the same gas detonates, blowing the massive structure apart and raining said parts back down onto adjacent structures, damaging them.  Let's play dominoes!

          And the containment vessel is not structurally durable enough to deal with this sort of insult.  It was not designed to be so, that was the cost saving "innovation" that GE introduced with the Mark 1.

          But, hey, I'm not through yet...even if the pressure vessel could handle all of that, it most likely could not withstand weeks/months of molten fuel rod collected in its base.  Why?  Because in the event of cooling loss, seawater or other higher chloride material would be introduced, plus there would be plenty of hydrogen in the reactor atmosphere.  Stainless steel doesn't like these conditions so failure is a matter of time.  Seems like about even odds that pressure and or temp will drop below excessive levels before the bottom melts out of the reactor.

          Your basis about the safety factor is incorrect.  What was required was time.  The cost cutting in the Mk 1 design lacks a reasonable safety margin between loss of cooling, and onset of irreversible meltdown.  

          Renewing the Bush tax cuts was the ultimate sell out of a presidency without any scruples.

          by Celtic Pugilist on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:02:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You just made a case (0+ / 0-)

          To dismantle all LWRs

          Quote:

          They were pouring seawater over it. Which caused a Hydrogen explosion.

          None of which GE designed for. Which was needed, because the cooling systems failed.

          It simply isn't GE's fault. It was a gigantic natural disaster. This disaster wiped out all the cooling systems.

          It was all downhill from there.

          No amount of "Safety Factor" is enough when using something in a way that it simply wasn't designed for.

          There is no way do design a system that isnt vulnerable when you are down to spraying sea water with firetrucks.

          Your first sentance is wrong. The root cause appears to be the opposite; the rods were exposed leading to a partial meltdown which damaged the cladding and made them vulnerable to generating hydrogen in any water.

          And that sequene of events violates the cardinal rule: never, ever, let the rods out of water when they are "hot".

          And the system designer is responsible to engineer a system where that never happens with due consideration to conditions at the site.

          The system failed.

          The other thing you have got wrong is that the fault is "the system was misused". No, the system failed and an ad hoc solution was devised as an emergeny response to avert far greater consequenes.

          But your assbackwards reasoning manages to convey the basic reason this is insane, so I salute you.

          Rec'd.

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:02:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Did you know that nuclear plants (30+ / 0-)

        were built to known standards until after some years of use it was discovered that being around all that radiation caused structural elements to weaken in unexpected ways?

        Did you know that whistleblowers have been trying unsuccessfully to draw attention to shoddy manufacturing and inspection, esp. zircon tubes AND backup diesel generators.

        Did you know that there was no requirement in Japan to build the plant to the highest standard that this earthquake and tsunami should have required?

        Have you ever seen photos of the original TMI control room and the improvised labels?

        •  Life spans of reactors designed before (8+ / 0-)

          radiation caused structural degradation was understood fully should be shortened accordingly.

          No I haven't seen those photos. Do you have a link?
          I haven't done much reading on T.M.I.  The last thing I read was Medvedev's "The Legacy of Chernobyl"

          "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

          by Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:55:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Maintenance operations hate testing them dang (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy, Larsstephens

          backup generators.

          Makes too much noise.

          Wastes diesel fuel.

          Smells bad.

          Et cetera..............................................

          BTW: TEPCO is getting these generators running. #6 generator is up doing #6 and #5 as planned.

          Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

          by vets74 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:01:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Back in the 70s (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          myboo, badger

          Washington State was building four reactors, but the project got canceled when they were half-way up, wiping out bond holders. I subsequently knew one of the electrical inspectors on that project. He was the sort of guy who was stoned, constantly. By his account that was the norm on the job site. It was funny to think about in the context of reactors which would never be switched on. But it would be a strange thing indeed if other reactors being built in the early 70s didn't have similarly lax standards for their construction crews. Those reactors are running today.

          This is not to say that being stoned doesn't in some cases markedly improve the level of craftsmanship. In fine crafts - jewelers, luthiers - it often does. But nuclear plants?

        •  It was never likely (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          that the Japanese would design with a 9.0 quake in mind. Until this disaster, the maximum quake potential of the fault was believed to be around 8.0. Given the Chile earthquake also greatly exceed what was believed to be the maximum potential of the fault that moved, it's apparent that what we thought we knew about fault potentials was seriously deficient.

      •  There seems to be major confusion (0+ / 0-)

        in the reporting of this incident, over the distinction between the reactor vessel and the containment structure.

        I haven't seen anything to suggest that a pressure vessel has been breached. In reactor two, where it is feared there's a containment breach, the damage is thought to have been caused by debris from the hydrogen explosion in reactor three.

    •  I think reactors should be fail-safe (8+ / 0-)

      in the event of total electrical power loss.

      Gravity feed coolant? Small heat-driven auxiliary generator adjacent to the containment vessel?

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:17:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You can't design for "fail-safe" when (23+ / 0-)

        you don't fully understand the risks! (who would have thought anyone would crash fully loaded passenger jets into buildings. . . . .).

        I'm starting to think that higher safety could be achieved if the financial risk was never socialized.

        As it is, Japanese taxpayers will be paying for the aftermath, cleanup, etc. at Fukushima, not the owners.

      •  There are reactor designs that will... (10+ / 0-)

        survive loss of cooling power without melting down.

        Pebble-bed designs have potential, although they aren't accident-proof; an incident in 1986 saw operators trying to restart a jammed feed line by increasing the coolant pressure, forgetting to close some valves, and ended up blowing radioactive dust right out into the air. But the damning thing about that is less the reactor design itself, than the human-factors issues: a gas-coolant system should warn operators if any part of it is open to the air, and then the company that owned the reactor lied and tried to blame higher-than-normal radiation readings on Chernobyl's failure.

        The problem is, even if this was a perfect and fully mature technology, replacing a power station is expensive. Replacing a nuclear power station with anything is even more expensive. Replacing any power station with a nuclear generator is even more expensive on top of that. And, for better or for worse, the whole "the perfect is the enemy of the good" mentality that might work for other technologies does not work for nuclear power. It's political in a way that coal and natural gas aren't.

        "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

        by Shaviv on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:29:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  want a pebble bed reactor? go to China, or (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYFM

          South Africa. I might be wrong, but it is my belief that the Chinese and the South Africans are kicking our asses all over the place with this.

          •  I was under the impression (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KenBee, Andhakari

            that although these reactors are more or less meltdown-resistant, they aren't any less likely to release radioactive material into the air or water. The transmutation is the same, so whether it's radioactive gas, radioactive water or radioactive dust, machinery still decays and a screw-up will still send hot stuff out.

            I wonder if those countries have a different way of funding their nuclear power, or if they've only started more recently.

            "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

            by Shaviv on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:37:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think the new (and not yet in production) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify

        Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors are designed that way. A combination of simplifications, more air cooling, and positive reactor control rod positioning means that if you cut the wires and walked out the door, the reactor would end up in a non-critical state.

      •  Westinghouse AP1000 (0+ / 0-)

        Puts a huge tank of water over the reactor.

        AP1000

        But let's keep talking  lots of things can go wrong.

        Theoretically, of course. In the real world, humans have control of the situation.

        Nice

        Westinghouse is following the situation in Japan closely, and our thoughts are with those who have been bereaved by the terrible tragedy that resulted from the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and related tsunami that occurred on March 11, 2011.

        "We at Westinghouse express our sincerest concern for the people of Japan, including all of our friends and colleagues, who have been affected by the tragic earthquake and tsunami of March 11," said Aris Candris, President and CEO of Westinghouse. "May we as individuals and collectively as a company keep them in our thoughts and prayers."

        Pray.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:30:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting, indirect evap cooling (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          koNko

          Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

          by Simplify on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:57:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

            But the question is, under what conditions would it fail.

            As reactor designs go this one is considered pretty safe but I wonder how it would hold-up in a 9.0 earthquake.

            Iteresting that the PR blob about the JP quake does not contain any refernece to the reactor problem. Not importiant, I guess.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:23:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  A Nuclear Power Plant... (46+ / 0-)

      ...is the entire system.

      And if any part of the system - including the "non-nuclear parts" - are flawed, then the entire system is flawed.

      As former Secretary Reich pointed out recently:

      Profit-making corporations have every incentive to underestimate these probabilities and lowball the likely harms.

      This is why it's necessary to have such things as government regulators, why regulators must be independent of the industries they regulate, and why regulators need enough resources to enforce the regulations.

      I worked building Nuclear Carriers and Subs for almost ten years, and one the things that is doctrine in Naval Nuclear construction is that the vessel is part of the system: a flawed hull means a compromised reactor.

      I get what you're asserting: the reactor was fine, but the backup systems (placement of diesel generator, height of the seawall) failed. Again, they are still part of the entire system, so when those system elements were proposed, designed, approved and constructed, the billions in capital and millions of work hours dedicated to building the reactors became compromised.

      The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

      by Egalitare on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:48:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Elegant statement but wrong (0+ / 0-)

        We're talking about a land based nuclear reactor, not a submersible vessel.  This is more akin to a car's engine, which is a complex system, but nonetheless has individual, replaceable parts which can be changed and the engine still runs.
        A "flawed vessel" simply alludes to the fact that a seaborne nuclear reactor is dependent on the seaworthiness of its host vessel or its safety is compromised.
        A seawall has very little to do with a nuclear reactor's control and coolant systems.  A seawall is a site specific feature, which not a part of the specifics of reactor systems.

        •  I think the statement is spot-on. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Larsstephens

          It is precisely your logic that he disagrees with. If the sea wall is necessary for the plant to survive, then by definition it IS part of the system. Of course it is not part of the mechanics of the reactor system. And neither is the submarine hull. But by expanding the envelope of the system to include these features, you greatly decrease the likelihood of catastrophe.  I think it is a near-perfect analogy.

          Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

          by bigtimecynic on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 12:32:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  excellent comment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, happymisanthropy, badger

        the nuclear industry is always compartmentalizing away risk.  

        This big picture approach should apply to the entire nuclear fuel cycle.  When comparing nuclear to alternative energy nuclear advocates often discount the environmental and public health costs of mining, milling, processing, transporting and reprocessing nuclear fuels.

        "Welcome to Costco, I love you" -- Greetings from "Idiocracy"

        by martinjedlicka on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:39:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  architectural problem? (4+ / 0-)

      you do realize the problems were caused by a failure of the cooling system, right?  they had no power for the cooling pumps.  what architecture?

      Judging from picturebooks, apparently Heaven is a partly cloudy place. - Rilo Kiley

      by Cedwyn on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 04:44:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's comforting. (7+ / 0-)
      The "Reactor" as worked fine. And is in no way responsible for this accident.

      I feel better already.

      violence is the status quo...nonviolence is the revolution

      by ehrenfeucht games on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:52:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Want To Fly In A Plane With 40 Years Flight Time? (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't think so

    •  It's not relevant... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      ...that something that was foreseen to be a problem thirty-five years ago has now proven to be a problem just as the scientists said it would be?

      Bull...
      ...shit.

  •  In VT (29+ / 0-)

    we are HOPING that the Yankee plant will be shut down on schedule in 2012. Naturally, the NRC told us that the plant could be safely operated for another 20 years! Entergy is the owner, and they have already lied, and also tried to spin off the plant into a separate financial entity, which would allow them to call it bankrupt and drop the cost onto the taxpayers. So far, they haven't been able to pull it off. But stay tuned: they have one more card up their sleeve.

    The agreement signed with VT has a line in it that lets them wait 60 years before decommissioning the plant. No cleanup, just a pile of radioactive debris, which if it lost power would be another Fukishima sitting right here in the cow state. These CEO types will stop at nothing.

    I should put something smart or witty here, but can't think of anything.

    by onionjim on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 03:45:27 AM PDT

  •  GE (8+ / 0-)

    stands for "Good Enough".  Instead of their motto of "Imagination at Work" it should be "Imagination in the Marketing Department".  GE makes reality like Bush II administration made reality.

  •  Just one quibble. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bernardpliers, Dave925, KenBee

    Nine Mile 1 and Fitzpatrick are actually in Scriba, NY about 10 miles from Oswego. Not that that makes much difference if there is an accident.

  •  Read up on the New Madrid Seismic Zone. (12+ / 0-)

    I appreciate the Bias-of-the-Coasts.   But factually 4 of the 10 largest earthquakes in recorded US history occurred in the midwest in an area called the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

    Wikipedia Link to Madrid Seismic Zone History

    At least three of these Quakes were at or above 8.0 on the Richter Scale.

    Decatur AL with three Mark 1 plants of nearly identical construction to the Fukishima plants is 211 miles from the epicenter of these historical quakes.

    My use of GoogleMaps indicates the Fukishima plant was apx 305 miles from the epicenter of this most recent earthquake.

    Morris and Moline IL Mark 1 plants are also apx. this distance from New Madrid.

    •  Distance to/from faults isn't all. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KStreetProjector, polecat

      From a lot of the reporting, it seems that the geography around Fukishima (e.g., it's near the shore) contributed to tsunami damage that you probably wouldn't see in more geographically central parts of the USA. I say probably, because IIRC nuclear reactors tend to be near waterways, for a source of cooling water.

      "But there's one thing that gives every Marine the willies, and anyone saying otherwise is a liar. Drop pods. That shit is terrifying, son."

      by Shaviv on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:33:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Indeed Geology is important. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't have any expertise to comment on the Geology issue.
      Perhaps someone else here can.

    •  usgs says 109 miles: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster
      129 km (80 miles) E of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
      177 km (109 miles) E of Yamagata, Honshu, Japan
      177 km (109 miles) ENE of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
      373 km (231 miles) NE of TOKYO, Japan

      http://earthquake.usgs.gov/...

    •  No Bias just Quake Frequency = Likelihood (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      Earthquakes happen with far greater frequency along the West Coast. Though the much rarer quakes in the East and Mid-West are potentially just as catastrophic as ones inh the West.  

      "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

      by Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:54:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  7 Plants on List are Within Central US Quake Area (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KStreetProjector, Larsstephens
      Fortunately none of these Mark 1 Reactors is located in America's most seismically active areas along the edge of the Pacific Plate. A part of the Ring of Fire that just shattered parts of Japan.

      Unfortunately, 7 of them are in States  that are in one of the next most seismically active areas in the US.  

      Reactor                  Location         Size (MW)   Year
      Browns Ferry 1     Decatur, AL           1065        1974
      Browns Ferry 2     Decatur, AL           1104        1975
      Browns Ferry 3     Decatur, AL           1105        1977

      Dresden 2            Morris, IL                  867        1970
      Dresden 3            Morris, IL                  867        1971

      Quad Cities 1         Moline, IL                 867        1972
      Quad Cities 2         Moline, IL                 867        1972


      Not sure if the area of the State in which they are located is implicated but you could check for your state here:

      Impact of Earthquakes on the Central USA

      Press Release:

      The Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center at the University of Illinois announces the release of its report entitled 'Impact of Earthquakes on the Central USA'. The report is the outcome of one of the largest and most comprehensive earthquake consequence assessment projects funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The report contains earthquake impact assessments for the 8 central US (CUSEC) states, and lists damage and other consequences to the built environment as well as social and economic impacts. The earthquake scenarios used represent the New Madrid, the Wabash Valley and the East Tennessee seismic zones. The analysis employs new and more reliable hazard and inventory data that has not been used before.

      The project is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, and the work was undertaken in partnership with the Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management at the George Washington University, with contributions for the 8 State Geological Surveys, IEM, FEMA, US Geological Survey and CUSEC.
      ...


      http://mae.cee.uiuc.edu/...

      Page from which full report, main body and appendicies can be downloaded (the latter is quick and dirty way to check the impact on your state.)

      https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/8971

      The region of potential impact due to earthquake activity in the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) is comprised of eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee. Moreover, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone (WVSZ) in southern Illinois and southeast Indiana and the East Tennessee Seismic Zone in eastern Tennessee and northeastern Alabama constitute significant risk of moderate-to-severe earthquakes throughout the central region of the USA. The investigation summarized in this report includes earthquake impact assessment scenarios completed using HAZUS-MH MR2 for several potential earthquake scenarios affecting the aforementioned eight-state region. The NMSZ includes eight scenarios - one for each state - whilst the WVSZ scenario in Indiana and the ETSZ scenario in Alabama complete the suite of ten total scenarios. These ten scenarios are designed to provide scientifically credible, worst case damage and loss estimates for the purposes of emergency planning, response and recovery.

      The earthquake impact assessments presented in this report employ an analysis methodology comprising three major components; namely hazard, inventory and fragility (or vulnerability). The hazard characterizes not only the shaking of the ground but also the consequential transient and permanent deformation of the ground due to strong ground shaking. The inventory comprises all assets in a specified region, including the built environment and population data. Fragility or vulnerability functions relate the severity of shaking to the likelihood of reaching or exceeding damage states (light, moderate, extensive and near-collapse, for example). Social impact models are also included in the current assessment methodology and employ infrastructure damage results to estimate the effects on populations subjected to the earthquake.

      ...
      This dataset contains various types of critical infrastructure that are key inventory components for earthquake impact assessment. Transportation and utility facility inventories are improved while regional natural gas and oil pipelines are added to the inventory, alongside some high potential loss facility inventories. ...

      The results indicate that the State of Tennessee incurs the highest level of damage and social impacts. Over 250,000 buildings are moderately or more severely damaged, over 260,000 people are displaced and well over 60,000 casualties (injuries and fatalities) are expected. Total direct economic losses surpass $56 billion.

      The State of Missouri also incurs substantial damage and loss, though estimates are less than those in Tennessee. Well over 80,000 buildings are damaged leaving more than 120,000 people displaced and causing over 15,000 casualties. Total direct economic losses in Missouri reach nearly $40 billion.

      Kentucky and Illinois also incur significant losses with total direct economic losses reaching approximately $45 and $35 billion, respectively.

      The State of Arkansas incurs nearly $19 billion in direct economic loss while the State of Mississippi incurs $9.5 billion in direct economic losses.

      States such as Indiana and Alabama experience limited damage and loss from NMSZ events with approximately $1.5 and $1.0 billion, respectively.

      Noting that experience confirms that the indirect economic loss due to business interpretation and loss of market share, amongst other features, is at least as high if not much higher than the direct economic losses, the total economic impact of a series of NMSZ earthquakes is likely to constitute by far the highest economic loss due to a natural disaster in the USA. The contents of this report provide the various assumptions used to arrive at the impact estimates, detailed background to the above figures, and a breakdown of the figures per sector at the county and state levels. The main body of the report gives state-level impact assessments, whilst the Appendices give earthquake impact modeling results at the county level. The results are designed to provide emergency managers and agencies with information required to establish response plans based on likely impacts of plausible earthquakes in the central USA.
      ...

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:15:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  90% Chance of 6 or 7 Magnitude - Next 50yrs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KStreetProjector, Larsstephens
      According to Hildenbrand et al. (1996), the chance of a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake occurring within the next 50 years is roughly 90%. Additionally, more than 3,000 earthquakes have occurred in the NMSZ since 1974 (Johnston & Schweig, 1996).

      https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/8971/ImpactofEarthquakesontheCentralUSA%20-%20Main%20Body.pdf?sequence=3

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:25:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  None of them may be near the Ring of Fire (4+ / 0-)

    but one of them is right down the road from where I work...

    Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
    ¡Boycott Arizona!

    by litho on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:08:31 AM PDT

  •  The NYTimes was running this story yesterday (3+ / 0-)
  •  Sigh. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose, Larsstephens

    The one thing we successfully exported turned out to be a time bomb.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:18:55 AM PDT

  •  I can tell you, for a fact, that some of the (8+ / 0-)

    reactors on your list are designed more than "slightly differently" than the Japanese reactors.  

    For example, emergency diesel fuel storage tanks are in hardened concrete underground bunkers with protected flexible stainless steel mesh supply lines.   If they had these in Japan, there would be no problem today.

    Thus, this part of your article is very true:

    GE has rolled out several versions of the Mark 1, and some of the U.S. reactors could be slightly different than the Daiichi Unit 1 reactor.

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:20:39 AM PDT

    •  Hi Spam (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      newpioneer, SpamNunn, Larsstephens

      What's your brother's current assessment of the situation in Japan? Has he had to revise his opinions?

      "These days man knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

      by metiche on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:10:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Slightly. Still # 3 after TMI. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metiche, milton333, Larsstephens

        He said that those reactors never run again, but that the fuel rods can be cooled and the radiation contained with relative ease now.  He doubts that anyone will be ever be permitted to live within a few miles of the place - SOP.  

        His opinion of the media is still very poor.  He found the Surgeon General's comment about West Coasters taking iodine, to be safe, to be ludicrous.  

        Those Japanese reactors are designed very differently from the Mark 1's that he is familiar with.   He said that could never happen here.  

        If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

        by SpamNunn on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:20:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I guess this means that we have to build new (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, Larsstephens

    nuke plants to replace the older plants before they become completely obsolete.  I am sure that our government will get right on that.  

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:23:15 AM PDT

    •  Does you brother (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal, newpioneer

      know how this problem of inevitable obsolesence was factored into the original feasibility studies for making nukes a large part of our energy supply system? They wouldn't start us down this road if they didn't have a plan for replacing the failing capacity, would they? I mean other than just renewing operating licenses beyond their original termination dates.

      "These days man knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

      by metiche on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:14:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, you have to wait (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metiche, MixedContent

        Until some of them start failing before you bother to do anything about it.  It costs too much, right?

        They tortured people to get false confessions to justify invading Iraq.

        by yet another liberal on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:37:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Our own government has been holding up permits (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        metiche

        to replace obsolescent reactors with newer reactors.   They let the old ones operate because they don't have anything to replace their generating power with, or a place to put the waste.   Yucca Flats, anyone?  

        Thus, the anti-nuke contingent has put us more at risk than the nuke industry, itself.  Ironic.  

        If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

        by SpamNunn on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:24:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I like the way you think (7+ / 0-)
          Thus, the anti-nuke contingent has put us more at risk than the nuke industry, itself.  Ironic.  

          Anyone who thwarts my plans is to blame for any mishaps that befall us. A perfect logic.

          But seriously, the experts who study systems failures are too sophisticated to attribute catastrophe to only one cause. The old railroad strategy of "blaming the pin puller" has evolved into an understanding that most accidents ocurring in complex industrial environments are the result of multiple factors ranging from operator error, to low level mismanagement, to upper level mismanagement, to regulatory failure, to bad policy making. I'd add to that list, Black Swan like acts of Nature.

          I'm just saying.

          "These days man knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing." - Oscar Wilde

          by metiche on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:40:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good! They should be canceled (0+ / 0-)

          Yucca Flats was a political hot potato. The Geology for waste storage is much more favorable under the Great Plains  (lots of stable granite formations).

          "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

          by Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:02:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nobody wants it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badger, Lefty Coaster

            Decommission the old plants, process and store the waste, pay the true costs, and see how competitive nuke power is.
            It hasn't been done, and it never will.
            The entire nuclear industry is built on a framework of bullshit promises: it's cheap - no; it's safe - not hardly; the waste will be sent away - ha, ha, ha!

            "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

            by Andhakari on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 12:45:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No, they haven't (0+ / 0-)

          if the anti-nukes had their way, the plants would never have been built in the first place. So, no nuclear danger.

    •  depends how much government _largesse_ (0+ / 0-)

      is involved, don't you think?

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      -Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:19:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You sure NBC didn't run it? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    perro amarillo, NYFM, betson08

    I know MSNBC has been covering it.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:23:43 AM PDT

  •  Last night, Rachel "needed talking down" (9+ / 0-)

    (She seemed kind of - understandably - freaked) not about the reactors... but the spent fuel being stored adjacent to them.

    She had a physicist on discussing this and basically the upshot is this: They store the horribly hot, radioactive waste in what amounts to a "fancy swimming pool" inside a building, with essentially no containment whatsoever.

    The best guesses are that there are about 8 reactor's worth of fuel sitting in this "swimming pool".  They sit there for years until they cool down enough to transport away from the site.

    If the "swimming pool" drains... it's not good. It basically means 8 (maybe more) reactor's worth of spent - but equally deadly - fuel rods get exposed to the air and melt down.

    I'm not weighing in on the design flaw(s) of these reactors. I suppose it's difficult to design much of anything that can withstand a 9.0 earthquake and 30 foot tsunami traveling at 500 mph. But again, her worries were not with reactor containment but spent fuel rod containment that's stored in a pretty stupid way, so I guess there's lots of blame in terms of human error to go around.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 05:45:04 AM PDT

    •  Water is available. Generators getting delivered (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Snud

      to power pumps.

      Similar to these generators being offloaded in Japan.

      http://www.japanbases.com/...

      http://www.japanbases.com/...

      http://www.japanbases.com/...

      http://www.japanbases.com/...

      A water buffalo on a treadmill could pump enough water for all the four reactors and the pair of drop rod pools.

      Getting water in where it is needed is the # 1 issue. Pipes and valves look to be the physical problem. Pumping water in directly is what works at the # 4 tower -- so these ad hoc / Rube Goldberg / Apollo 13-looking fix-its are doing the job today.

      Hopefully they've learned to expect the hydrogen-combustion gas fires. Aerial water bombs seem to take care of that, similar to fighting forest fires.

      Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

      by vets74 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:31:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not the best analogy (0+ / 0-)

        Air support at most slows the spread of a wildfire or redirects it - over an acre or two in size air attack won't put out a fire.

        We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. - John F Kennedy

        by badger on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:04:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some of the largest magnitude (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, Dave925

    earthquakes that have occurred in the US are where many of these plants are located.  In ther early 1800's there were at least 2 earthquakes over 8.0 on the Richter scale.

  •  Before it's built all we here (12+ / 0-)

    is how safe it will be, how nothing can go wrong, how it will solve so many problems, employee so many people, and be so inexpensive.
    After it's built it's how prices need to be raised because of unreasonable regulation and laws.
    And after the shit flies all we hear is that it wasn't their fault, that the regulators weren't watching closely enough, and that all the laws were obeyed...
    ... and that they'll need more money to clean it up and build a new (whatever-it-is) that's even better, bigger, faster and shinier.
    Enough is enough.  The nukers have had their chance.  Now please go away.

    "I almost died for the international monetary system; what the hell is that?" ~ The In-laws

    by Andhakari on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 06:37:47 AM PDT

    •  TOTALLY (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger

      I think this comment could be expanded to be a diary. Use each point and then get an example from the nuclear industry. I'm sure the current VT controversy has plenty of quotes that perfectly illustrate these points.

    •  Here is the thing for me (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schnecke21, Andhakari, badger

      about Nuclear Energy.

      ..we are dealing with so many uncertainties.  

        Large groups of people who run a business tend to lie or cut corners to make a profit.  Its actually their value system because after all that is the point of business. Make as much profit as possible.

       The government can drop the ball on regulating anything   It is a political entity after all.  If you get the wrong Congress, regulations tend to go out the window.

        There are always some workers somewhere who aren't 100 percent on top of their job on any given day. Because you know..they are human beings like all of us   Maybe some are less on top of their jobs than others.  Think of the scientists who got made the measurement mistake on the Hubble telescope. Brilliant people probably but that didn't stop human error.

        Mother Nature is unpredictable.  Can we actually think ahead of absolutely everything.  The buildings in California can withstand a 7 or 7.5 quake.  Er but what if its an 8 or an 8. 5?   Maybe its unlikely but its still completely  possible.  What if there is an unexpected disaster along with it.

        You  may say this happens any industry and there are always accidents.but not something where the end product is so deadly you have to evaculate 180,000 people! and could possibly make a large area uninhabitable after that.  Not when the risks are so great.  

       

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    John Kasich, R-OH-gov hates black people, women, children, and unions, I guess that covers almost everyone.

    by OHknighty on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:06:58 AM PDT

  •  GE brings good things to life (6+ / 0-)

    Also, creates new forms of life by encouraging rampant mutations...

    All kidding aside - it's the f'ing oligarchy, stupid.

    by nightsweat on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:11:20 AM PDT

  •  Duane Arnold (9+ / 0-)

    It's been a while, and the details are a bit hazy, but I recall Duane Arnold having an automatic shutdown back in the late 70s, that inspections showed was caused by a leak in a cooling pipe. In addition to a visible gash in one pipe that caused the shutdown, they found that another cooling pipe had intermittant cracking all the way around.

    Apparently, it was a design flaw, and about a dozen other Mark I reactors all around the country were shut down and inspected, revealing similar cracking in the cooling pipes.

    There were problems with the repairs, and 13 of us blocked the road leading to the plant in an effort to nonviolently stop the plant from restarting.

    We were arrested, and brought before a judge day after day, refusing to pay bail. Finally, the judge must have got tired of demanding bail, so he let us out on PR.

    We had a jury trial a year or so later, where we put on a necessity defense and were found not guilty by a jury of 12 of our fellow Iowans.

    violence is the status quo...nonviolence is the revolution

    by ehrenfeucht games on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 07:12:32 AM PDT

    •  Good for you! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ehrenfeucht games, KenBee

      I was in elementary school in C.R. right before they built that thing. I remember them bringing in propaganda films to show us how wonderful and modern it was going to be. No explanation, just: watch this film, kids. I remember at the time (fifth grade?) that it seemed very, very weird to me. Why are they telling us this stuff? I suppose it was some long-term brainwashing plan they had--make schoolkids think it was cool so they'd go home and tell their parents nice things about it?
      Even at that age I was creeped out and suspicious. And in hindsight, why would the school agree to show this propaganda to the students? Yick.

      Anyway, in the 70's I was long gone so appreciate hearing your story.

      ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

      by sillia on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:43:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The year is kinda important. 1976? or 1975? (4+ / 0-)

    The diary headline and body make reference to 1976 being when they quit in protest over design. If that's true, then virtually every reactor on the list was already built (I'm assuming the years listed are when they got licensed and went operational, not when construction began). Only 4 were built after 1976. 2 others became operational that year -- so construction was largely completed by then.

    On the other hand, the quote -- if it's correct -- says they identified problems in 1975. That might have been enough time to do something about the 2 completed in 1976, and maybe even the 4 that went on line in 1975. Even still, more than half were already operating before then. Protesting the design at that time was kinda pointless. Too late to do anything about it. Of course, this was before TMI, so the scientists might have thought their gesture could have some impact on future construction. They didn't know there would be almost no further nuclear construction in this country.

    Having said all that, it would be interesting and important to know if there's anything the reactor companies can do to retrofit and control for or prevent loss of power.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:16:53 AM PDT

    •  Not pointless (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FischFry

      Some design flaws could be compensated for even in a plant already contructed. A great example in the post above yours, where cracks were found in the cooling pipes and were replaced. Did all of these have this same defect? Were others around the country also corrected?
      Also if plant operators were aware that scientists had serious concerns, it would possibly make them more aware of certain issues or less 'trusting' that everything was failsafe.
      And, if in the future (ie, right now) a problem was exposed, the fact that these scientists had made this dramatic gesture and not just written a memo, would help to raise an alarm everywhere there is such a plant, and not just brush it off as local issues.

      ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

      by sillia on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:52:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One small correction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster
    Oyster Creek        Toms River, NJ           615        1969

     The Oyster Creek plant is actually in Forked River (Lacey Township) NJ, not Toms River NJ. Two different towns.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 08:38:57 AM PDT

  •  I wonder how much of the fearmongering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    comes from interested parties ?

    Those who want oil prices to rise ?

    Shorting the nuclear industry and power companies ?

    Media are reporting peoples' fears, as though the fears are fully justified. But it's only the media reports that cause these fears.

    Snake swallowing its own tail....

    Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

    by vets74 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:09:28 AM PDT

    •  Ah yes. (5+ / 0-)

      No threat here.  No danger.  Nothing to see.  Just move along.  Trust the corporate and pro-nuke government forces telling you everything's fine.  It's all in your head.

      •  Pro-nuke =EQ= 1/100th of what's pro-oil. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KenBee

        Not to speak of pro-coal.

        The fearmongering is what's not to be trusted. Rumors of meltdowns in progress, for example.

        Financial capitalism's criminals + Angry White Males + KKK wannabes + Personality Disorder delusionals + George Will =EQ= The GOPer Base

        by vets74 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:02:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You saying nothing has "melted down"? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andhakari, badger

          Thought it was pretty well established that there was a partial, temporary "meltdown" that occurred in one of the reactor cores.  

          Is that just a rumor or a fact admitted to by TEPCO?

          Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

          by Into The Woods on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:33:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  no, it's not rumor, it's well established (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badger, greengemini

            Tepco and gov't officials have confirmed partial melting of core in Reactor No. 1, potential meltdown feared in Reactor No. 2, partial melting of core in Reactor No. 3 feared,

            vets74 like others are holding on to their opinions, instead of following what's actually happening. if vets74 was following nhk or kyodo news, he would know better.

            above language re: "melt" direct from daily report on  "Status of quake-stricken reactors at Fukushima nuclear power plant" posted at 0:25 a.m. Thursday Japanese time (current Japanese time 4: 21 a.m.)

            that's not to mention problems with boiling water (confirmed on Tuesday) and/or no water in spent fuel pools) from an earlier 4-17 story at Kyodo

            The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the first priority should be pouring coolant water into the pools at the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors, which are apparently boiling. Unless the spent fuel rods are cooled down, they could suffer damage and emit radioactive substances.

            If cooling operations do not proceed well, the situation will ''reach a critical stage in a couple of days,'' an agency official said.

            latest breaking news alert on Kyodo News agency site, posted 03:42 a.m. Japanese time 17 March:

            NEWS ADVISORY:[from the fear-mongering sensationalistic anti-nuke left-wing crazy U.S. gov't]

            U.S. advises citizens in 80-km radius of Japan nuke plant to evacuate

        •  big natural gas tv ad buys (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vets74

          in the middle of this nuclear problem, yep, you got it: market manipulation wherever possible, no doubt about it.

          "Responsible people leave neither loaded guns nor paranoid, eliminationist ideologies laying around for the mentally ill to play with".....Driftglass

          by KenBee on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 02:13:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I Suppose "Damaged" Might Not Include Melted. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      badger

      But then again, it very well might given the statements of various Japanese government officials.  

      Total uncontrolled meltdown?  Certainly no evidence of that yet.

      But partial, temporary "meltdown"?  

      Better tell NISA to stop spreading those "rumors".  

      Meanwhile, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said an estimated 70% of the nuclear fuel rods have been damaged at the No. 1 reactor and 33% at the No. 2 reactor.

      http://www.latimes.com/...

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 12:20:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't let facts get in the way of your (0+ / 0-)

      ranting, vet

      I see traitors, but they don't know they're traitors....

      by hcc in VA on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:39:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Political decisons to improve economics. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martinjedlicka, wonmug, badger, KenBee

    Nukes were built in the 70's as A FINANCIAL WINDFALL  for investor syndicates, big banks.

    Why give a utility 400 million for conventional gas/coal generators when a 5 billion dollar loan for a nuke build/decommissioning is better,  and the public rate setters/utility commissions will give the cost of build a repayment increase in the rates for the next forty years?

    Bigger is more profitable.  Insurance costs to the investor/builder are capped,and the public pays. imagine how Japan is going to come up with the billions over and above the value of Tokyo Electric to clean up after the private utility is tapped out. Same would happen here.

    Only flaw was the disaster at TMI and Chernobyl that scared people into not approving new nukes.

    Question: why do nukes get market advantage vastly out of proportion to what other energy/electric generators get?   Coal gets a pass on pollution, nuclear gets the free ride on insurance, and alternatives non toxic, non polluting get a miserly one or two year tax incentive that is a tiny fraction of the real investment, a capped one at that not unlimited as do the fossil fuel guys.

    corruption, bribery, lying, theft.  Meet your masters of disaster.  

    France has 80% of its electric thru nuclear, but has a standardized, simplified design. Meaning much cheaper to build, easier to manage, simpler to operate plants.More reliability and prompt fixes because of standardization, not a unique design each and every time approval is asked for.

    USA has 19 to 20 % as baseload  electrical generation via nukes.  However, there are a lot of unecessary and dangerous shortcuts being pushed.

    A levelled playing field would allow decommissioning on schedule of 40 year old nukes and improved designs brought on line in remote areas or on top of  existing sites to modernize and replace them.  That should only happen with a parity in wind and solar so THOSE forms get to be 25, to 50% of power in the next 30 years.  We could see a 50/50 split eventually, and fossil down to 10% or less.  Cut out imported oil.  Can't happen without a plan, a strategy to use and avoid overuse.

    That is a  purely political decision, not a technical or technology to be dreamed of one.  Cleaner and cheaper power, using nukes to transition until the full availability of a better grid  wind and solar thermal/photovoltaic comes on line.  

    The Europeans, Chinese are committing to it with billions and incentives which is why American companies are taking advantage of the favorable markets over  there to invest in modern plants in the rest of the world and thumbsucking and puppet show  fantasy by politicians in America of what is happening here.

    cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

    by Pete Rock on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:30:52 AM PDT

    •  Interesting comment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Coaster, KenBee

      Great info

      I still think that this works only as long as you socialize the costs involved with storage, which nobody on the planet has addressed in an acceptable way yet - maybe because there IS no truly safe way to store it. Too many geographic and political faultlines around the world for safety as far as I'm concerned.

  •  Despite the resignations (0+ / 0-)

    Japan still went ahead and built the nuclear reactors anyways, and they had run them for 40 years without incident until the quake/tsunami.

    If you're going to blame GE, you should also blame everybody involved in the process in Japan - engineers & physicists there who gave it their initial approval; regulators in Japan who approved it then and have inspected it since; and all of the people who have worked there in the 40 years since it was built and have continued its operation.

    "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

    by newjeffct on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 09:34:03 AM PDT

    •  This is about flawed corporate ethics/culture (0+ / 0-)

      not about affixing blame.

      Or would your rather ignore the problem?

      "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

      by Lefty Coaster on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 11:05:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So one horrible disaster every 40 years (0+ / 0-)

      is ok with you?  But you're right, supposing that earthquake had caused a Wind Spill instead, now that would have been terrible.

      I see traitors, but they don't know they're traitors....

      by hcc in VA on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 01:41:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no (0+ / 0-)

        I'm saying that it's not entirely GE's fault.  GE sold the reactor, but the Japanese engineers & physicists who bought it from GE must have thought it was a good product.  I highly doubt that the nuke reactor was purchased with a wink and a handshake, sight unseen, with the GE salesperson having his fingers crossed behind his back hoping that the Japanese don't discover he's pulled the wool over their eyes.  

        And, since the reactor has been up and running these past 40 years, the Japanese regulators, scientists, engineers and physicists have had ample opportunity to find fault with the reactor and/or correct any problems.  And, if they thought there was a problem, they could have shut it down.

        So, while it may be a problem with the original design by GE, there is plenty of blame to go around beyond GE.

        "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

        by newjeffct on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 08:39:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Nuclear Power Industry (3+ / 0-)

    has to be the Ultimate example of what happens when
    a huge amount of Hubris is combined with an Equal
    amount of Greed.

    Every technology ever invented has drawbacks. Every
    Choice we make has Unintended Consequences.

    My only hope is that the Tragic events in Japan can
    become the tipping point that MOVES US in a new
    direction.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:29:55 AM PDT

  •  I remember the name Dale Bridenbaugh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, KenBee

    from my anti-nuclear-power activist days in the eighties. It's tragic to have this "I told you so" moment at all, and even more so that it is affecting the already-traumatized people of Japan.

    Pollan's Rule: Cook! What two people eat for dinner: My 365 Dinners 2011

    by pixxer on Wed Mar 16, 2011 at 10:37:08 AM PDT

Renee, RakDaddy, tmo, nofundy, Mogolori, ogre, wytcld, tommurphy, OtherDoug, musicalhair, LEP, eeff, polecat, Matilda, expatjourno, hubcap, opinionated, bronte17, litho, OCD, tmmike, Aquarius40, roses, ovals49, Miss Blue, ctsteve, SneakySnu, scorpiorising, mrkvica, Dr Colossus, grannyhelen, duncanidaho, cosette, Chirons apprentice, houyhnhnm, Calidrissp, lcrp, Wayward Wind, Pohjola, zerelda, ybruti, Curt Matlock, Emmy, vacantlook, wolverinethad, rapala, humphrey, Tinfoil Hat, NoMoreLies, PBen, kitchen sink think tank, Simplify, Kdoug, stagemom, Brooke In Seattle, trinityfly, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, SaraBeth, neroden, Snud, accumbens, skywriter, martini, esquimaux, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, BlueInARedState, profundo, mooshter, Prognosticator, KenBee, The Wizard, erratic, SadieSue, sceptical observer, dirtfarmer, onionjim, Timothy J, FiddleDeeDee, goinsouth, AllanTBG, OHdog, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, nathguy, dotsright, SpecialKinFlag, FWIW, vets74, FishOutofWater, DvCM, DWG, newpioneer, bnasley, SeaTurtle, gchaucer2, owl06, GeorgeXVIII, journeyman, JML9999, TomP, KLS, mconvente, Senor Unoball, filby, Akonitum, mikeconwell, inHI, TomFromNJ, bluesheep, mofembot, elpacifico66, doppler effect, dmhlt 66, papicek, Leo in NJ, legendmn, Fiddlegirl, Bule Betawi, greengemini, An Affirming Flame, bondibox, Partisan Progressive, Zotz, IndyRobin, JesseCW, DefendOurConstitution, avadoria, Lacy LaPlante, A Voice, Andhakari, mahakali overdrive, schnecke21, Larsstephens, commutergirl, samanthab, ItsSimpleSimon, Earth Ling, Georgia Liberal, roystah, Floande, Barbara Marquardt, Lost Left Coaster, poorbuster, FarWestGirl, imokyrok, BarackStarObama, antimony, Imhotepsings, stlsophos, metiche, Only Needs a Beat, Whimsical Rapscallion, OHknighty, Trotskyrepublican, martinjedlicka, peachcreek, Daniel Roche, ehrenfeucht games, evergreen2

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site