Published on Friday, February 10, 2012 by Common Dreams
We May Yet Lose
… Not to Mention Tokyo Alaska… and Now , Too Georgia
As the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves a construction/operating license for two new reactors in Georgia, alarming reports from Japan indicate the Fukushima catastrophe is far from over.
Thousands of tons of intensely radioactive spent fuel are still in serious jeopardy. Radioactive trash and water are spewing into the environment. And nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen reports that during the string of disasters following March 11, 2011's earthquake and tsunami,
There are some two dozen of these Mark I-style containments currently in place in the
Newly released secret email from the NRC also shows its Commissioners were in the dark about much of what was happening during the early hours of the
Reactor pushers have welcomed the NRC's approval of the new Westinghouse AP-1000 design for
NRC Chair Gregory Jazcko made the sole no vote on the Vogtle license, warning that the proposed time frame would not allow lessons from Fukushima to be incorporated into the reactors' design.
The four Commissioners voting to approve have attacked Jaszco in front of Congress for his "management style," but this vote indicates the problem is certainly more rooted in attitudes toward reactor safety.
The approval is the first for a new construction project since 1978. The debate leading up to it stretched out for years. Among other things, the Commission raised questions about whether the AP1000 can withstand earthquakes and other natural disasters. Even now the final plans are not entirely complete. Only two other
The industry is heralding the Vogtle approval as a major boon to the "Nuclear Renaissance." But it comes alongside the announcement that all 17 reactors owned by the Tokyo Electric Company are shut, as are all but two of
But the biggest shock waves this week were caused by Tama University Professor Hiroshi Tasaka, a key advisor to Prime Minister
Tasaka's statements came as a new temperature spike unexpectedly stuck Fukushina Unit Two. For reasons not yet clear, heat releases in excess of 158 degrees Farenheit spewed from the core, prompting Tokyo Electric to pump in more water and boric acid meant to damp down an apparently on-going chain reaction. Prof. Tasaka and others warn that this in turn will contribute to spreading still more radiation into the water table and oceans.
With bitter debate raging in
Without state ratepayers and federal taxpayers being forced to foot the bill, new reactor construction in the
And without a final resolution to the on-going horrors at
Harvey Wasserman's Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth, A.D. 2030, is at www.solartopia.org. His Solartopia Green Power Hour runs at www.talktainmentradio.com. He is senior advisor to Greenpeace
Source URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/10-2
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