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Are modern nuclear reactors safe?


The economic downside to nuclear energy GREEN>BLORGE by Susan Wilson 10 Nov 09

“……….Are new modern nuclear reactors safe?”  The difficulty in this question is finding a nuclear reactor that has been built within the last 10 years.  According to Der Spiegel there aren’t any new reactors built within the last ten years that are up and running.  Current projects in Finland and France are experiencing severe problems with the construction and the design.  Finnish electric company TVO contracted with French nuclear power conglomerate Areva and German company Siemans to design and build the plant.  To date over 3,000 mistakes have been made including:

The concrete, they say, is porous, the steel is brittle and some of the design principles seem so risky that experts from the Finnish nuclear regulatory agency can only shake their heads in wonder.

The French project is experiencing similar problems.  Both are well over budget and are taking years longer to complete.  Even when completed it is possible that neither will actually be put into service.

Of 52 nuclear reactors under construction world wide, 13 have been under construction for 20 years.  Twenty-four reactors may never go into service.  Thirty-six nuclear plants are planned for China, Russia, India, and South Korea.  None of the named countries is known for its stringent safety requirements.

On top of poor designs, lax safety protocols and construction issues there are the problems with untrained personnel.  Twenty-six thousand jobs at existing nuclear power plants will need to be filled over the next few years because older experienced workers are due to retire.

The answer to the  question is probably not. ……..


November 13, 2009 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety | , , , , , , ,

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