The next nuclear accident – question is not IF but WHEN and WHERE it will occur
Re “Safety Report Says Europe’s Nuclear Reactors Need Repair” (news article, Oct. 4):
I spent the last year reviewing Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima and so on and found that neither they nor practically any of the 435 operating nuclear plants around the world are designed for safe shutdown in case of simultaneous external and internal electricity failure.
Similarly, few of them are protected against hydrogen explosions, and practically none can handle regular or cyberterrorist attacks.
I also found that most are not fully automated but operated in the dangerous, old semimanual mode. Many were designed for a useful life of 30 years and yet reached 40. There is still no permanent disposal site for their waste, and decommissioning of the few that have been shut down takes decades: Chernobyl occurred in 1986, yet the end of decommissioning is planned for 2015.
In spite of all that, and in spite of the doubling of radioactivity in the atmosphere, 60 new plants are under construction, 150 more are planned and Europe is writing reports about possibly repairing some.
In short, while the question is not if but when and where the next accident will occur, even our presidential candidates neglect the issue.
Stamford, Conn., Oct. 4, 2012
The writer is the author of “’Post-Oil Energy Technology.”
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