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Climate change effects are stopping nuclear reactors from functioning

nuke-hotNuclear Reactors Can’t Handle Global Warming , Progressive, By Harvey Wasserman, August 5, 2013 An overheated world now threatens the ability of nuclear reactors to operate at all.

Just as the sales pitch that atomic energy could help with global warming gets its biggest hype, the reactors themselves go very wrong.

And as a “renaissance” turns into a rout, a “new generation” of reactors fades ever-deeper into the realm of expensive fantasy.

The bad news on nuclear power and global warming comes most recently from Cape Cod Bay. All commercial reactors spew huge quantities of waste heat into the rivers, lakes and oceans they use for coolant.

The worst instance (so far) is Fukushima, where hot radioactive effluent still pours into the Pacific Ocean after three explosions the industry claimed could never happen.

Reactors in Alabama, France, Germany, and elsewhere have already been forced to shut because of excess heat.

At Entergy’s Pilgrim, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, a global-warmed summer has heated Cape Cod’s waters beyond the legal limit for cooling a “normal” reactor. So in mid-July Entergy was forced to take Pilgrim down to 85 percent power. Entergy may ask regulators to let it operate at full power with overheated water anyway. Such requests–still under official consideration–have been made repeatedly at Connecticut’s Millstone 2, where the Long Island Sound has soared over 75 degrees.

Meanwhile, Nebraska’s Cooper and Ft. Calhoun reactors were shut in 2011 by massive global-warmed flooding. As many as three dozen U.S. reactors are at risk from dam breaks and the flooding unleashed by climate chaos. Ft. Calhoun may never reopen.

The irony of reactors closed by the global warming they’re supposed to cure seems lost on their pushers…..


August 6, 2013 - Posted by | climate change, USA

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