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Nuclear Energy Institute confident that Japan explosion will ‘reassure’ Americans

All told, the industry expects up to eight new reactors to be churning out power by 2020, according to Mitch Singer, a spokesman for the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade group.

Mr. Singer said he doesn’t think the accident in Japan will derail the U.S. nuclear boom. In fact, he said the explosion should reassure Americans that their own plants will be prepared for any emergency, because the industry will disseminate lessons learned in Japan around the globe, helping other reactors shore up their defenses against even devastating natural disasters, like the quake and the tsunami that followed.

“At this point,” Mr. Singer said, “I don’t think we’re going to see a major impact on the U.S. nuclear industry.”….   – By STEPHANIE SIMON, 13 March 11,.


March 13, 2011 Posted by | marketing, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear crisis continues in Japan

there has been no word so far on the spent fuel at the site which would be kept in pools at the reactor. Any breakdown in the cooling system could cause the spent fuel to melt, with the risk of a significant release of radioactivity.

There is widespread uneasiness despite the reassuring noises coming from the authorities over the situation, in part because of the industry’s history of ignoring warnings and covering up safety problems.

Japan earthquake: the nuclear crisis is not over, Julian Borger5, 13 March 11, Japan says disaster has been averted at the Fukushima nuclear plant but serious questions remain. Continue reading

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Cloud over nuclear power’s future in Europe

many in government and the private energy sector in the UK are worried that the raising of the spectre of nuclear disaster will have implications for the coalition’s huge building programme for ten new power stations to replace the UK’s ageing reactors.

Nuclear safety worries spread to Europe. Disaster puts pressure on governments, with protests in Germany and concern over new plant plans in Italy and the UK  Tracy McVeigh,  12 March 2011 Tens of thousands of people have taken part in an anti-nuclear demonstration in southern Germany. The demonstration had been planned for some time, but after the news of Japan’s nuclear emergency, organisers were overwhelmed by crowds of around 50,000 people who turned up. Continue reading

March 13, 2011 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Nuclear ‘renaissance’ losing its gloss in USA

Even before the explosion in Japan, economic reality had taken a bite out of the nuclear industry’s ambitious expansion plans in the U.S.

Natural gas has been so cheap that utilities have turned to it to generate electricity, rather than contemplate building multi-billion-dollar reactors. The recession has also dampened demand for electrical power, further diminishing the appeal of a massive investment in nuclear facilities….

Japan Nuclear Crisis Could Cause Reassessment in U.S. By STEPHANIE SIMON, 13 March 11, The U.S. nuclear power industry believed it was poised for a renaissance. Continue reading

March 13, 2011 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Who will pay for the Japanese nuclear damage? Not Insurance!

Insurance policies often exclude certain factors from coverage….exclusions on earthquake damage in the property insurance for reactors and exclusions on nuclear damage for homeowners’ insurance policies…..What remains is likely to be an international liability pool, where reactor operators insure each other against claims in situations like this one. How deep that liability extends is unknown, however — Japan is not a party to major international conventions limiting the nuclear liability of operators.

Insurance industry likely spared Japan nuclear threat | Reuters, 13 March 11, “……….most experts agree the growing threat of disaster from damaged nuclear reactors is unlikely to have much effect on the mainstream insurance business because of the way insurance for the nuclear power industry is structured. Continue reading

March 13, 2011 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Rating the Fukushima damage on a nuclear danger scale

On Saturday, before emergency measures were announced at a second reactor at that plant, Japanese nuclear safety experts rated the accident a four, putting it just behind the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 near Harrisburg, Pa. That accident, the worst in United States history, was designated a five……..The government issued evacuation orders for about 170,000 people in the surrounding area……..

Nuclear Emergency Is Worst in Decades,, By ANAHAD O’CONNOR  March 12, 2011 The earthquake and tsunami that battered northern Japan on Friday set in motion one of the worst nuclear accidents in over two decades. The International Atomic Energy Agency rates the severity of radiological events, with a scale starting at one, an “anomaly,” and rising to seven, a “major” accident. A six and seven designate full meltdown, where the nuclear fuel or core of a reactor overheats and melts. The scale of the ensuing uncontrolled release of radiation that follows differentiates the two. Partial meltdowns, in which the fuel is damaged, are rated a four or a five. Continue reading

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Technical information on the Fukushima nuclear loss of coolant

Moreover, in the spent fuel pools usually situated next to nuclear power plants, there are large numbers of additional fuel rods, used ones, disposed of as waste. There must be constant water circulation in the spent fuel pools. In what is labeled a “loss-of-water’ accident in a spent fuel pool, the zirconium cladding of the fuel rods is projected as exploding—sending into the environment the lethal nuclear poisons in a spent fuel pool…….

Behind the Hydrogen Explosion at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, Common Dreams, by Karl Grossman, 12 March 11, The explosion at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is being described as caused by a “hydrogen build-up” The situation harks back to the “hydrogen bubble” that was feared would explode when the Three Mile Island plant in 1979 underwent a partial meltdown…… Continue reading

March 13, 2011 Posted by | Japan, safety, technology | 1 Comment