Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

The Fukushima next time

Posted by Charles II on March 7, 2012

It’s all very far away. Pay no attention. Build new plants near you. You are getting very sleeeeeepy:

Monticello Minneapolis, MN Nuclear Management Co. Routine testing of an emergency pump intended to prove that it was capable of performing its safety functions during an accident actually degraded the pump. The pump’s manufacturer recommended against running the pump at low speeds, but this recommendation was ignored during the tests.

Kinda lucky that they found out during testing that their policies and procedures would (predictably) lead to system failure. That’s one of the least serious incidents reported by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

More representative is this one:

Pilgrim Plymouth, MA When restarting the reactor after a refueling outage, workers overreacted to indications that the water inside the reactor was heating up too rapidly, and lost control of the reactor. The plant’s safety systems automatically kicked in to shut down the reactor.

In all, UCS reports 15 significant incidents during 2011.

Why are we building new plants instead of going full out to fix the ones we have?

6 Responses to “The Fukushima next time”

  1. jo6pac said

    Yep 0 and friends still on that clean coal and good nukes thingy when we should be on to the next big thing clean energy and none of those phony stuff about we can make it clean and safe.

    My neighbor brother worked at Pilgrim but since a contractor he has been to work in a few yrs.

    Isn’t this one near you Charles?

    I know SMUD closed theirs yrs ago and pg&e closed Humboldt way back when. Then again it’s those with the connections in the beltway that not only get what they want but the taxpayers pay for the building/clean up while they take the money and run. It couldn’t get any better than that.

  2. Phoenix Woman said

    With the rapid drop in solar panel prices, the main thing that’s keeping solar from becoming a baseload utility power source is that utility-scale batteries aren’t cheap enough to compete with coal — yet. But CSP, especially the use of molten salt to store energy overnight, may well be a good transition technology until such time as affordable utility-scale batteries are perfected.

    Once we get decent and cheap battery storage, there’s suddenly no justification at all for nukes.

    • Charles II said

      Superconductors? Capacitor storage? Chemical storage? Or even long distance transmission? There are problems with load matching, but if there were a serious effort to solve the energy crisis, I’m pretty sure these would be seen as completely solvable problems.

      • jo6pac said

        I agree we went to the Moon and back it’s insane to think this nation can’t/won’t do what needs to be done. Oh I forgot corp. needs to make a killing to make it happen. Please forget long distance transmission, every building should have generatoring walls and roofs in Amerika and anything left over in one part of the country yes could be sent to others that need it. No enrons just govt. workers pushing the buttons.

        I rent but have looked into this but the price is still to high for me. I just asked a friend to figure out what I would need and it’s still cheaper to stay on the grid. The house I rent is on a well and if I could just remove it during the day it would be a saving. The main cost in solar is the inverter, not cheap even if you build your own. I haven’t given up on building my own solar panel and it might become a winter project.

        then there’s this

        We are so far behind, I can’t find it but an Italian company received a contract to provide power to cell towers using sun to convert water to hydrogen what a concept.

      • Charles II said

        Actually, there’s a whole consortium that has been developing the solar-hydrogen route. Methane decomposition would be really cool, since methane is actually a more powerful global warming gas than CO2. A conversion route could help to prevent drillers from flaring gas, by making it a valuable feedstock.

        And who knows what’s next? Collection bottles for cows?

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