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Engineers Warn: Two US Nuclear Plants May Cause New Fukushima

Written by Ajorlo

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Senator Joe Lieberman is the current chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affairs, but will retire in 2013. Two nuclear engineers have asked him to spend his last days in Congress investigating the threats posed by two nuclear power facilities.

Paul Blanch, a retired nuclear engineer who used to work at the Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan, N.Y., and Lawrence Criscione, a risk engineer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) headquarters, sent a letter to the senator, warning that a Fukushima-like meltdown is in America’s future if no action is taken to improve the facilities at Indian Point and Oconee.

The engineers claim that the gas lines leading to the facilities, as well as nearby dams, are vulnerable to sabotage. Engineering failures or natural phenomena like earthquakes or floods can also cause a meltdown.

“The potential energy released in a gas line rupture at Indian Point is equivalent to that from a massive conventional bomb; the 2010 explosion and fire in San Bruno, Calif., is an example of the destructive force, which a pipeline rupture can unless,” the letter states.

“The flooding resulting from a failure of Jocassee Dam at Oconee would be similar to that experienced at Fukushimafollowing the tsunami,” it describes.

While the facilities themselves are well-guarded, their support systems meant to prevent meltdowns can be easily damaged. A meltdown of their reactors could result in “severe radiological and economic consequences to areas surrounding these plants,” the engineers wrote. Areas within and possibly beyond 50 miles of the facilities “could be rendered uninhabitable for generations,” which would include New York City if the Indian Point facility’s gas pipeline explodes, Blanch and Criscione warned.

Although the conditions are dire, the issues have been ignored for years. Two nuclear whistleblowers publicly accused the NRC of taking steps to cover up the dangerous shortcomings of America’s power plants. Earlier this month, Richard H. Perkins and Criscione compromised their jobs by speaking out about their concerns to the Huffington Post.

The men claimed that the NRC repeatedly refused to acknowledge that there was any sort of risk involved in keeping the plants open and tried to keep the flaws secret. The NRC has “allowed a very dangerous scenario to continueunaddressed for years,” Perkins said. Nuclear power plants are required by US law to able to withstand all types of weather conditions that could occur in the region they are located, but many of their flood walls are inadequate and don’t consider the floodwaters that could result from nearby dams.

http://english.irib.ir/voj/news/nuclear/item/84327-engineers-warn-two-us-nuclear-plants-may-cause-new-fukushima

December 24, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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