Nuclear plants need better protection from nature

  • Article by: Phillip Lipscy and Kenji Kushida , Special to the Washington Post
  • Updated: November 2, 2012 - 12:20 PM

Hurricane Sandy provided an important reminder that the United States has several low-lying nuclear plants on the Eastern seaboard, with minimal protection against inundation.

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cavellNov. 2, 1212:35 PM

Please. Nuke plants are the most over regulated safety conscious entities on this planet. The odds of the emergency generators being damaged due to floods/tsunamis in the US is approaching zero! Maybe they can build a 4 story high concrete reinforced bunker to house the generators.? Might cost 10M or so. Pretty small compared to $3B plant cost. Staff it 24/7 and spare no expense for the operators training. Heck, build them a cushy 4star hotel to stay in.

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traderbillNov. 2, 1212:53 PM

Cavell...just wait for one disaster and you will be leading the charge. Look how attitudes changed in Japan a country that other than nuclear and some hydro has to import its energy sources. I lived in California when issues were raised about the San Onofre reactor...it was built with the blueprints reversed AND on a fault! What if their was a proposition on the ballot to build one five miles from your house? Would you vote for it?

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bosshogNov. 2, 12 1:18 PM

cavell: The Oyster Creek plant in NJ declared an alert (which signals a potential substantial degradation in the level of safety) during Hurricane Sandy because the water levels were within 6 inches of taking out the water pumps to cool the spent fuel rods. If the water had risen another 6 inches they would have had to take emergency measures and start using fire hoses to keep the water from boiling off. If the fire hoses failed the water would have boiled off in 25 hours and a meltdown start.

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copper88Nov. 2, 12 1:46 PM

Really Cavell? Just one mishap like in Japan means that the land is contaminated for thousands of years. You really want to take this risk for our future generations so that a few bucks can be saved? Why don't you go read a book on isotopes?

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cman22Nov. 2, 12 2:41 PM

If we had used all nuclear in the last 50 years instead of coal we could have reduced the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by billions and billions of tons. This is just a fact...not an opinion. But no..the greenie antiTechnology Luddites convinced us not to use much nuclear. The only option then was the use of a lot of coal. If other alternative technologies would have worked, then where were they? We've been working on solar power since the 1970s and still can't cost justify it. The result? Much more CO2, more global warming and more extreme weather events. Thanks greenies.

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moron100Nov. 2, 12 3:08 PM

Why build these gigantic reactors when we can build small nuclear generators they use for subs and aircraft carriers? a lot safer and lower cost then building these behemoths.

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supervon2Nov. 2, 12 3:32 PM

Here's a great idea! Let's build a spent nuclear fuel storage and lessen further the results of any disaster. Oh, wait. Obama stopped that. Too bad everybody.

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westofmplsNov. 2, 12 3:47 PM

cman22, seeing as you are slamming the 'greenies' are you saying you'd be willing to have the spent fuel rods stored in your garage?

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davehougNov. 2, 12 5:13 PM

"All backup power generators should be located well above sea level and within watertight structures." - - - Betcha it fails when the whole structure floats and rips the powerlines out :)

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gadflyNov. 2, 12 9:00 PM

Anyone else notice that the author is a POLITICAL SCIENCE professor? 'Nuff said...

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