Friday, October 12, 2018

Is Hurricane Michael the New Norm? What Risks for Nuclear Power?

The Wall Street Journal has a a front page story and picture of Hurricane Michael's "Trail of 'Unimaginable Destruction'" (Kamp & Campo-Flores, 12 Oct 2018 p. A1).

Described as among "the most powerful hurricanes to ever hit the US," Hurricane Michael represents a state shift in climatic conditions towards more volatility.

That volatility is going to have terrible impacts, including disrupting food production. The current push to get people to eat less meat is a rational policy response. And the meat industry does need reform.

But the nuclear industry is an even more pressing concern. Aging nuclear reactors are having their decommissioning postponed years beyond engineering specifications because no one wants to pay for the clean-up required and there is no place to store the accumulating radioactive fuel at aging plants.

These aging plants are sometimes pushed by "upgrading" their fuel (see here), which increases heat-related stress on aging reactors (e.g., see Zinkle & Was, 2016 here).

Escalating climatic changes are going to stress brittle nuclear infrastructures. Hurricane Michael illustrates the kind of storm we can expect to see more frequently.

Yesterday, the operator of the two-unit Joseph M. Farley plant reported that it was reducing power to both of its units. The operator of the Farley plant is Southern Company subsidiary Southern Nuclear. The owner is Alabama Power:
NRC centre activated ahead of hurricane 11 October 2018
Based on the map of nuclear power plants in the region I posted at my blog yesterday, the Joseph M. Farley plant was in the most direct path of Hurricane Michael.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission activated its Atlanta regional incident response centre yesterday.

No unusual events have so far been reported at the NRC website.

The operating license for unit 1 at the Farley plant was initially granted in 1977

At 9:31 today west coast time the NRC reported that reactors 1 and 2 were running at approximately half of capacity.

There are no unusual incidents regarding Farley reported to the NRC available on their webpage at this same time:

A potential disaster averted, at least temporarily, until the next Hurricane blows in.


  1. Places not to live: coastal (hurricanes and earth quakes); near the Madrid fault; with in range of a super volcano--Yellowstone and one in southern CA. That leaves a relatively small safe area until it cools down and then even that shrinks.

    "Australia is Entering a Mega Drought the Repercussions"

    Of couse even in the little safe area there will likely be a food shortage. And if you are right the nuclear power plants were melt down . . . sounds pretty grim.

    1. Bloody Henrys Nuclear waste project
      France, Japan, The USA are hauling in trains and trucks, millions of pounds, of the worst radioactive waste through ports and across the USA to Texas . IT will be stored in West Texas. Megatons of the most dangerous, poisonous, evil shit on earth trucked and trained across everyy cornwr of the USA on unsuspected road and railroads in murica. One rupture could wipeout a small town.

      The most dangerous shit on earth. Eac cask has tons of thw highest level radioactive poison on earth. Full of Strontium 90 , radioactive cesium, plutonium and more. Any small amount, can be made into nuclear and or dirty bombs.

      It is stored in the flimsiest containment, on a concrete pad, in one of the hottest places in America.

      If one of the thin casks ruptures, or it sets off a fire, it can cause multiple ruptures of the huge casks. It can cause fires and perhaps explosions. So much hi level nuclear death, dangerously stored, in the flimsiest containment, in one place. Never done before.

      A catastrophe can ensue that will poison Texas, NM, Ok, Co, Utah, Arizona. As if those states are not contaminated enough. The catastrophe will affect Mexico too. Nobody gives a shit, in Murica or Mehico. Bidnessas and massive corruption as usual.

      Remember how WIPP blew in New Mexico? Those drums of plutonium in kitty litter. They could not access it for months.

      Three, large hi level casks in idaho blew up, in recently.

      The company nuclear waste company is owned by Henry Kissinger of Nixon neocon fame. Of course no regulations binding bloody Henry. So is above ground concrete pad, in Texas owned by Kissinger.

      Remember the SCi Fi show , Space 1999 from the seventies. The base story of the show was a massive explosion of huge amounts of plutonium nuclear waste. In the show, set in a future later than 1978, massive amounts nuclear waste stored on the dark side of the Moon Blow up. It knocks the moon out of orbit.

      We know now, that hi-level rad waste is very volatile. Generates its own heat. The radionuclide alpha, beta, gamma, and neutrons degrade containment relatively quickly.

      The waste may not cause criticalities, but could poison millions. How frikin stupid is that?

      The attorney General of texas, is getting kickbacks. So is the Rump family and Rick Perry. Just when u thought it might not get much worse, with the trump turds.

      A 1000 tons, already there. Stored above ground, in Texas heat.

  2. "Escalating climatic changes are going to stress brittle nuclear infrastructures. Hurricane Michael illustrates the kind of storm we can expect to see more frequently."

    In my opiniong we lack the kind of informaton to allow for predictions of escalations and the kinds of storms we can expect. Climatology is about as dependable as political polls at this time. I have seen all over the place falsified data and poorly done deductions and inferences . . . getting grants has replaced getting truth.

  3. The problem: old nuclear power plants still functioning and perhaps edging their way towards a melt down; located in danger zones; and largely out of the public consciousness until or if they do melt down. That looks rather serious. People near these plants ought to be scared, and I suppose a few are.

    This might seem very puzzling except there are quite a few people living in the subduction zone in the Northwest in Oregon and Washington. And south of there we have even more living along the San Andreas Fault in California.

    Now this is the same phenomenon that allows people to board a large plane and fly over the Pacific Ocean or across the USA, comforting themselves with the thought that it is safer than traveling by car--which of course really depends greatly on the driver. It must have something to do with groups. What would a M9 do to Silicon Valley?

    Maybe it is time to study NDE. And in a general way the after life. Perhaps subconscious consciousness of an after life is what allows humans to take great risks?


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