nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Is Nuclear Power Just Too Dangerous?

The New Republic , 1 July 22,

A survey of the world’s worst nuclear disasters highlights the catastrophic consequences of technical hubris.

On February 24, 2022, Russian troops began occupying Ukrainian territory in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. The meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear plant 26 years earlier remains the worst nuclear disaster the world has yet experienced. …………….Soon enough it became clear that Russian forces were not actively targeting Chernobyl’s facilities, including the sarcophagus that protects the damaged reactor core. Rather, they had chosen the sparsely populated area as the fastest route from Belarus to Kyiv.

……………The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, issued assurances that there was no cause for alarm. But nuclear watchers could be forgiven for their panic. The spotty news emerging from Chernobyl this spring uneasily echoed the trajectory of several of the world’s major nuclear disasters, including Japan’s Fukushima and Three Mile Island in the United States. 

……………………None of this had yet transpired when Serhii Plokhy, a professor of history and director of the Ukrainian Institute at Harvard, began writing Atoms and Ashes: A Global History of Nuclear DisastersNuclear power has, in fact, been gaining popular support, despite its dangers. In recent years, some climate activists have aligned with the nuclear power industry to argue that nuclear power offers the only off-ramp from the urgent and existential threat of climate change. The World Nuclear Association, an industry lobbying group, wants to raise the share of electrical energy produced by nuclear plants from 10 to 25 percent by 2050.

While Plokhy acknowledges the threat of climate change, his study of the history of nuclear accidents has convinced him that the risks are simply too high. His account, which draws on contemporary reports of six radiological disasters as well as government investigations conducted after the fact, argues persuasively that nuclear reactors remain inherently unsafe. Nuclear engineers add new safety features after each disaster, only to be astonished by the devilish and statistically unlikely path of the next one. Citing research based on acknowledged nuclear incidents that predicts “one core meltdown accident every 37,000 reactor years,” Plohky forecasts that we will likely see another large-scale accident before 2036. We may be lucky to make it that long.

America’s first hydrogen bomb test did not go according to plan………………………………………………..

Similar scenarios unfolded in each of the cases Plokhy discusses in the book. ………………………….  a storage tank for radioactive waste at the Maiak plutonium production facility had exploded, in September 1957………………….   In the critical hours leading up to a reactor fire at the U.K.’s Windscale facility, one month later, operators struggled to understand the pile’s strange behavior during a maintenance operation that had been postponed several months in the name of plutonium production. ……………….. in March 1979. Plant managers at Chernobyl made the disastrous decision to press pause halfway through a test of the backup generators to satisfy demands made by the regional administrator of the electrical grid.    At Fukushima, plant designers located the backup generators below sea level for a facility nestled against the sea in a country vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis 

The technical details in these stories matter immensely, and Plokhy excels at breaking them down. …………… The bad news is that the authorities in charge of building nuclear power plants do not always incorporate these safety features into their designs. ……………   https://newrepublic.com/article/166949/nuclear-power-just-dangerous-atoms-ashes-serhii-plokhy.

July 2, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, safety

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: