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Safety always an issue with nuclear plants

Nuclear plant still requires vigilance 8 Dec 09 “………..Just recently, we learned the local plant is dealing with a problem faced by almost every nuclear plant in the country — debris that collects in the water that pools at the bottom of the building that houses the reactor and can be used to cool the plant in the event of an accident. If that debris gets into the cooling pumps, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is concerned that it could damage them and further jeopardize efforts to bring the accident under control.

We also recently learned the plant is operating at only 65 percent power because of vibrations in one of its three generators. The problem was discovered when operators attempted to bring the plant back up to full power after a recent refueling outage.f there was any doubt the nuclear plant still poses a threat to residents of this region, the required test of the public alert system, with its wailing sirens, that took place recently should be an  indication. The fact that there still is — and will probably always be — a public notification system in place around the facility is an admission by those who are most familiar with the production of electricity using nuclear fuel that an accident can happen…………………….used nuclear fuel rods, which are highly radioactive, used to be kept exclusively in a spent fuel pool at the Seabrook site. That pool was filled with water and boron, which was meant to prevent any sort of nuclear reaction from occurring in pool, which is located outside the reactor building.

The plan was to eventually move the spent fuel to a national repository at Yucca Mountain in New Mexico. However, technical problems and political issues have kept that site from being developed, while nuclear plants all across the country, including Seabrook, continue to spew out thousands of spent fuel rods every year.

At Seabrook Station and many other nuclear plants, room in the spent fuel pools has run out and those rods are now being stored in specially designed, above-ground casks. Just how long they will remain there — and the as yet unknown effects of long-term storage of radioactive materials, as well as harsh New England winters and salt air — remain an issue…………

December 9, 2009 - Posted by | safety, USA | , , , , , , ,

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