Friday, July 6, 2012

Anonymous Releases NRC Report: Report Paves Way for Dystopic Future

Anonymous just released some NRC report. I saw the link at Fukushima Diary.

"Anonymous leaked IAEA, NRC and RC material about Fukushima"

At the moment I am looking at "NRC Lessons Learned From Japans:

TO: The Commissioners
FROM: R. W. Borchardt
Executive Director for Operations
PURPOSE: The purpose of this paper is to provide, for Commission consideration, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff’s proposed orders in response to lessons learned from Japan’s March 11, 2011, Great Tōhoku Earthquake and subsequent tsunami....

MAJIA HERE: This report is a total wash. Look at what it states on page 8

"The staff continues to affirm that current regulatory requirements and existing plant capabilities allow the NRC to conclude that a sequence of events like the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident is unlikely to occur in the United States." page 8

MAJIA HERE: HELLO! What about San Onofre, Indian Point, and every other nuclear power plant in the country that could face a power disruption?

The report issues 3 orders. Page 6:
1. Increased capabilities
2. Vents
3. Spent fuel pool instrumentation

Increased capabilities sound good but there is no clear operationalization and the major threat of power outages is not solved. On page 6 when discussing these increased capabilities the NRC begins by congratulating themselves on their existent "robust" defenses

"(1) prevention of accidents by virtue of the design, construction and operation of the plant, (2) multiple mitigation features to prevent radioactive releases should an accident occur, and (3) emergency preparedness programs that include measures such as sheltering and evacuation."

MAJIA HERE: On page 7 we learn that the solution to upgrading these robust defenses is the following:

"An order requiring development of strategies to deal with beyond-design-basis external events resulting in simultaneous loss of all ac power and loss of normal access to the ultimate heat sink is provided as Enclosure 4." (page 7)

MAJIA HERE: An "order requiring development of strategies"? That doesn't sound promising. It is especially disconcerting considering that "beyond-design-basis external events" include POWER OUTAGES.

Let me emphasize: THE REPORT OFFERS NO SPECIFIC STRATEGIES for dealing with beyond-design-basis external events.

It is worth noting that the NRC is just now coming to terms with the back up power issue:
U.S. Nuclear Plants Have Same Risks, and Backups, as Japan Counterparts 

San Onofre Power Plant Operated For Decades With Vulnerable Backup Power

There is NO sufficient back up plan for power disruptions and a host of other problems that afflict these unsafely conceived and designed monstrosities.

Video: nuclear engineers Mr Arnie Gunderson and David Lochbaum discuss how vulnerable nuclear power plants are to electrical disruptions. Their analysis even addresses the many vulnerabilities of the "back-up" generators

The NRC report's two grand ideas are vents and instrumentation.

The report sees VENTS as a solution for the vulnerabilities of these suicidally dangerous reactors. See page 7

"With regard to the order requiring reliable, hardened vents in BWR Mark I and Mark II containments (Enclosure 5), the events at Fukushima Dai-ichi highlight the possibility that beyond design-basis external events could challenge the prevention, mitigation and emergency preparedness defense-in-depth layers."

MAJIA HERE: Great. Their solution is vents. Vents will not stop a meltdown, although they may help stop a hydrogen explosion.

I think one of the real lessons of Fukushima is that a hydrogen explosion at a nuclear plant can trigger a nuclear criticality (not clear whether that occurred in a spent fuel pool or a reactor).

But the NRC isn't going to talk about that.

Back to the Report: One of my favorite "faux" solutions in the report is better instrumentation for spent fuel pools. Oh that is good. Wait until you read their description of how this instrumentation will help:

"Finally, Enclosure 6 to this paper contains an order requiring enhanced spent fuel pool (SFP) instrumentation. During the events in Fukushima, responders were without reliable instrumentation to determine the water level in the SFP. This caused concerns that the pool may have boiled dry, resulting in fuel damage." page 7

MAJIA HERE: Look at the narrative carefully. The NRC is saying that the instrumentation would have allowed operators to see that there was fuel damage. It says absolutely nothing about the role of instrumentation in preventing fuel damage.

My guess is because instrumentation merely refers to remote reading capabilities. If you have a cracked pool leaking water, which they did, instrumentation isn't going to fix the problem, merely allow you to monitor it more carefully until you have to evacuate anyway because the radiation is so high.

I cannot bear to read any more of this complete outrage of a "lessons learned" report.

These reactors and spent fuel pools do not need a disaster to melt down and poison millions. All it takes is a power disruption that is not fixed quickly.

There are many forces in nature that could produce an extended outage, including a solar flare.

I just posted on this

Nuclear is the path to our extinction and we are running down that golden brick road heedlessly toward an unthinkably dystopic future. . . . 

All nuclear reactors must all be shut down and all use of radiological weapons must cease, or we will all die.

My Lessons of Fukushima Conference and Presentation

Here is the link to the conference proceedings:

I was the second speaker on the 2nd day.

My extended powerpoint presentations can be found on these two websites:

This version has had minor grammatical editing and I believe 1 additional slide

Original version


1 comment:

  1. I have not had a chance to read much of the documentation yet.

    It occurs to me that the NRC and the IAEA have a very difficult job - namely, sound authoritarian enough that the gov can point to something being done - without letting the cat out of the bag that these things are ticking time bombs.

    So your observations are correct - they have no intention of doing anything significant.

    At the very least you would want them removing all spent fuel from the reactor buildings. Then securing a secondary cooling method in case the first one is damaged or broken.

    Anything less is ludicrous. Of course ludicrous is par for the course with these folks.

    The one thing that jumped right out at me was the IAEA section on liability limitation in the legislative guide. Apparently it's fully intentional to leave 100% of the liability off the industry as a whole.

    I believe the answer to the whole thing is this liability issue. If we could somehow get the operators to have to buy accident insurance for their plants, then they would cease to exist tomorrow. If they want to claim the reactors are safe - then fine - back it up with a commercial insurance policy, paid in advance - and place criminal consequences on those who don't comply.



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