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Jeff Goodell reports: "In theory, pools in the US were only supposed to hold spent fuel rods for a short time, until they could be moved to a permanent disposal site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. But the site has remained unfeasible despite two decades and $7 billion in research, prompting President Obama to finally pull the plug on it last year. That means tens of thousands of tons of irradiated fuel continue to sit in spent fuel pools at reactors across the country - America's largest repository of radioactive material. A release of just one-tenth of the radioactive material at the Vermont Yankee reactor could kill thousands and render much of New England uninhabitable for centuries."

Response was delayed to an Alert at Brunswick nuclear plant in Southport, NC, because workers didn't know how to operate the emergency computer systems. (photo: Progress Energy/US NRC)
Response was delayed to an Alert at Brunswick nuclear plant in Southport, NC, because workers didn't know how to operate the emergency computer systems. (photo: Progress Energy/US NRC)

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+6 # Glen 2011-04-28 13:01
Another issue of concern: how about the huge tornadoes we are now experiencing - take note of the big one in Alabama. Disasters can affect any of these facilities at any time.
+4 # angelfish 2011-04-28 13:22
Hopefully, I will be long dead by the time we have a really devastating Nuclear accident in this Country. Sad to say, I'll probably still be here having to deal with the aftermath with the rest of America because our Political Leaders are too dull and ignorant to see the handwriting on the wall! Chernobyl was the First warning, then Three Mile Island, and finally, Japan's National tragedy. Wake up, Washington! We can NOT afford even one accident. The death and destruction will be too horrific to contemplate. Again, sadly, as our Leaders stick their heads up their Alimentary Canals over Deep Water Drilling, they are doing the same thing over the SERIOUS potential for Nuclear Devastation in any one of our 109 aging out Nuclear Power Plants. Oh well, just turn towards the flash, lift up your arms and breathe deeply, with luck we will be killed instantly rather than having to linger for any great length dying of Radiation poisoning. Are you Listening Mr. Obama? Senators? Representatives ? Anyone?...
-10 # Bryce Johnson 2011-04-28 14:12
Reactor spent fuel stored at the sites in dry storage is harmless after a couple of decades. It's not recommended that you shove it down people's throats, but that's about all you couldn't do with it. It is criminal that we should give up the one energy source that can preserve our economy because of universal ignorance about the true nature of nuclear waste.
0 # rwerkh 2011-06-20 07:02
Safe after a couple of decades?

Do you know what is in those casks?

Do you know how many thousands of years it is dangerous for?

Which misinformation site did you get that bad physics from?
+5 # MainStreetMentor 2011-04-28 14:44
How about these nuclear site “mishaps”:
1966 – Monroe County, Michigan – Nuclear plant mishap
1975 – Browns Ferry, Alabama – Nuclear plant mishap
1979 – Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania – Nuclear plant mishap
1980 – Peachbottom, PA – Nuclear plant mishap
1983 – Salem, New Jersey – Nuclear plant mishap
2000 – Indian Point, New York – Nuclear plant mishap
2002 – Davis-Besse, Ohio – Nuclear plant mishap

When an electrical power generating water or wind power turbine fails, there can be some localized, immediate area property damage. When a nuclear powered electrical generating plant fails it can irradiate soil, structures, air, water, food and human beings for hundreds of square miles – for YEARS! Safe? Not hardly.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-04-28 19:20
Add Berwick Pa...perhaps 15 to 18 years ago, outside workers called off. Some refused to go in after alert off.
All pa plants have had problems
all New England Plants have had problems ones closed have spent fuel rods in them

Union of Concerned Scientists, Diversity Organization as well as Sierra Club have information.

There is no Safe Nuke Plant not here not in other parts of the World...look at Japan
+3 # Pickwicky 2011-04-28 16:10
The conclusion: human beings are too greedy to be in control of industries that are profitable, but exquisitely dangerous to large populations.
+3 # arupo 2011-04-28 17:34
Thank you! Thank you! What an excellent wake up call to where things stand in our country. I will spread the word and press for the repeal on the 1957 Price-Anderson Act so these nuclear power plant operatives are held accountable. Too many free walks going on across the board!!
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-04-28 19:20
Boycott GE Products I did years ago
-1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-04-28 19:16
England 1967 or so was one mishap? Read some info on NewsAlert USA from UK person

Also when winds or sever rain occurs, TMI and others would allow the excess mist to blow off. so I questioned the USA reading since Japan for the radiation to be as close as NY 8 days later. In fact it was all the Reactors blowing off and letting Japan take the blame. Most people in USA will never get facts of Rods...TMI has all their spent ones, I was at enough meetings.
Sierra Club was also present and other National Organizations. We were present due to a fad called Soil Burners but National Orgs had their priorities. Ours was real low level, Nuke blown off. Now Sierra Club is blowing off about Coal Mining, like we didnot discuss ASH 25 years ago at same meting, Cancer Affects? Union of Concerned Scientists had facts then. Now after ten years of mishaps with Fracking they are getting involved these last two months. State has no regs Gov loves his payoffs as do Reps/Senators. SWe had a mishap last week in Pa and wells are contaminated.
Dumped jet fuel in West Pa last Dec and not to worry, Berwick is online for two more reactors Gov is not going to say no. Add Berwick, Pa figure about 15+ years ago a problem developed! I know first hand, we read about it, and many workers refused to go in. If they go, Politicians will melt as quick as we do!
+2 # Uranus 2011-04-28 20:09
Discussing shortcomings of conventional energy technologies goes on, and the years and decades go by.

There are other clear, real methods of power supply. You don't need coal, oil, uranium, wind, solar, any of it.

I wrote that in an article cross posted to "Smirking Chimp" three years ago, and mentioned specific things. The site was hacked.

The three article series was so badly trolled, I removed all my submissions. Today, I find the level of suppression is greatly increased.

I'm not the only person who can tell you how to deal with all this, but there is a real problem spreading the message. There are people who don't want you to know the solutions are easier than you ever believed.
0 # Dave45 2011-04-28 23:16
Nuclear energy is rapidly becoming the femme fatale extraordinaire of the twenty-first century. So many promises—cheap energy, clean energy, limitless energy—all possible, as long as la femme is daily pacified by the fawning adulation of her suitors. When she fails to receive the attention she unashamedly demands however, she reacts violently, hellishly ravaging those who have foolishly sold their biological birthrights for a mess of her seductive pottage. We have all too often witnessed her wrath, and only those of a most uncritical belief in historical progress would suggest that this most rapacious of courtesans not be consigned to a bottomless pit and replaced by agents more friendly to the human species.
-1 # SeriousCitizen 2011-04-29 01:55
When the Fukushima reactors had their crisis, a major problem was that there were no extra redundant power lines to the reactors. So, the first week of the crisis in Fukushima, Tokyo Electric had to spend that week installing power lines to the reactor. While fire-trucks pumped sea water onto the tops the reactors.

If those power lines had been in place before the earthquake and tsunami, then on the first day after the earthquake and tsunami, they could have run the cooling pumps with electricity from the grid, avoiding the over-heating, avoiding the hydrogen explosions, avoiding the melting reactor cores, avoiding the boiling fuel storage pools, avoiding all of the problems.

Maybe it would be a good idea to demand that the other nuclear reactors install extra power lines now, before there is a crisis, not during a crisis. They should probably be in a different route than the normal aerial power lines. For example, put the back-up electricity lines in underground conduits.

Considering the wind speeds and sudden low pressures caused by major tornadoes, can nuclear reactors survive that? Illinois has many reactors and Illinois also has tornadoes.
+1 # propsguy 2011-04-30 12:50
that assumes that the earthquake and tsunami didn't trash the cooling equipment. electrical power won't make broken things work
+1 # tanis 2011-04-30 08:38
GM, Toyota, Ford all have recalls, why not GE? They could recall all the nuclear devises they have sold all over the world.

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