Saturday, March 3, 2012

WSJ: Nuclear Rules Near Despite a Rift on Cost

Wall Street Journal p.A2 March 3, 2012

My summary: The article examines reluctance on the part of 3 commissioners to accept the necessity of spent fuel monitoring systems. These 3 commissioners are unwilling to bypass a cost-benefit analysis.

In other words, the 3 commissioners are insisting on a cost-benefit analysis to decide whether spent fuel monitoring systems are a good idea.

Jaczko, in contrast, has supported all of the recommendations made by a task force examining the Fukushima disaster.

Nuclear power has pushed for laws that externalize nearly all of its true costs to the public.

See Arnie Gunderson's discussion of the Price-Anderson legislation

My summary of his talk can be found here:

There is growing evidence that spent fuel pools were compromised at Fukushima. Spent fuel pool 3 may have been destroyed in the initial explosions and unit 4 spent fuel pool may have been cracked and burned, at least briefly.

Evidence for 3: According to NRC correspondence, petitioned for release with a Freedom of Information Request by Lucas of Enformable (posted at enenews at this link), the NRC felt that unit 3 might have been destroyed early in the disaster, including the spent fuel pool:
There were reports from the NRC and others that spent fuel pool #4 burned during the early days of the disaster:
“The pool at reactor No. 4 caught fire, and continues to burn, as of Thursday March 17, releasing massive amounts of radiation into the environment”

Plutonium around the plant was evidence of burning fuel:

Reuters 3/28 Plutonium found, problems mount at Japan nuke plant
"Plutonium found in soil at the crippled Fukushima nuclear complex heightened alarm on Tuesday over Japan's lengthy battle to contain the world's worst atomic crisis in 25 years—believed to come from #3’s spent fuel rods

Northern Japan is heavily contaminated despite the Japanese Government's unwillingness to expand the evacuation zone adequately.

This could happen in California at the San Onofre and Diablo Canyon plants and the NRC wants to conduct a cost-benefit-analysis of minimal safety measures such as spent fuel pool monitors.

This is madness. These plants all need to be shut down now.

Remember: 45% of Kids in Fukushima had Thyroid Exposure to Radiation. A June 26 survey found of soil in Fukushima city found all samples contaminated with cesium levels exceeding legal limit of 10,000 becquerels per.[i]  

Former senior policy advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Robert Alvarez, argued that fully 600 square kilometers were “technically uninhabitable” because of cesium-137 contamination.[ii]

[i]           “45% of Kids in Fukushima Survey Had Thyroid Exposure to Radiation,” Mainichi (2011, July 5):
 [ii]               “Japan Admits 3 Nuclear Meltdowns, More Radiation Leaked into Sea; U.S. Nuclear Waste Poses Deadly Risks,” Democracy Now (2010, June 3):

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