Archive for April 5th, 2012

America’s Dangerous Aging Nuclear Power Plants, Part 2

posted by admin @ 16:27 PM
April 5, 2012

 Just today, Michael R. Blood of the Associated Press ran a story that the downed San Onofre nuclear plant expected heat waves this summer may cause blackouts in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas:

 “State energy officials have already warned of rotating blackouts in the region if a heat wave hits and San Onofre stays dark, and plans for replacement power remain shaky.” And it may take two months to restart retired replacements.

 The San Onofre plant was closed down just two months when a tube break made the Unit 3 reactor inoperable.  As with this latest incident, radiation escaped, “but officials said there was no danger to workers or neighbors.” Haven’t we heard that before?  And again, the problem is eroding tubing within steam generators.

 Apparently, even with San Onofre running, the San Diego area suffered from lack of “reliable energy transmission” for several years.  Michael Shames, Director of Utility Consumers’ Action Network says: “There is the potential for service interruptions. I could definitely see some customers being curtailed.”

 Blood’s report indicates that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has admitted that the “tubing carrying radioactive water is eroding at an unusual rate.”  Gregory Jaczko, NRC Commission chairman will visit the plant tomorrow “to highlight the agency’s concern over the ailing equipment.”

 The San Onofre plant produces electricity for 1.4 million homes.  In addition, its power is needed to transfer power to and from other sources.  Jennifer Ramp of San Diego Gas & Electric says that power from the loss of San Onofre “can restrict power imports into San Diego area by up to 30 percent.”

 According to Blood, unexplained vibration and friction among tubes is causing them to wear early.  “The tubes are a critical safety barrier — if one or more break, there is the potential that radioactivity could escape into the atmosphere. Also, serious leaks can drain cooling water from a reactor.”

 Meanwhile, environmental groups, Friends of the Earth and San Clemente Green, insist that plant officials are not telling NRC the full story.  They insist that if a “full determination” of plant problems is not immediately disclosed, the plant should be shut down permanently.

 Citizens must ask:  “Why are these old reactors still running?”  “Why haven’t officials, who are paid to insure power is reliable, planned ahead for this time when nuclear plants can’t function?”  “Don’t they know lives are at stake?”

 When nuclear power is involved, those responsible must tell the truth!  Christian messages insist ‘truth’ is necessary protection for society:  “A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies (Proverbs 14: 5).”  It is time for Americans to demand the truth when it comes to this most dangerous nuclear power!

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