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Reactor Reax Top Stories - World Needs to Get Ready for Next Nuclear Power Plant AccidentSalem-News.com
"Reactor Reax" is brought to you by Physicians for Social Responsibility.
(WASHINGTON DC) - Today in Reactor Reax, experts warn that the world needs to prepare for the next nuclear accident. Three major atomic accidents in 35 years are forcing the world's nuclear industry to stop imagining it can prevent more catastrophes and to focus instead on how to contain them.
Also, in the Wake of Fukushima: Global Research examines Japan's Nuclear Energy Policy Impasse. "Tepco is not viable in its current form, having lost a stunning 81.2% of its market capitalization between March 10 of 2011 and April 2 of 2014."
World Needs to Get Ready for the Next Nuclear Plant Accident, Bloomberg, April 3, 2014. "Three major atomic accidents in 35 years are forcing the world's nuclear industry to stop imagining it can prevent more catastrophes and to focus instead on how to contain them. As countries such as China and India embrace atomic power even after the Fukushima reactor meltdowns in 2011 caused mass evacuations because of radiation fallout, scientists warn the next nuclear accident is waiting to happen and could be in a country with little experience to deal with it. 'The cold truth is that, no matter what you do on the technological improvements side, accidents will occur -- somewhere, someplace,' said Joonhong Ahn, a professor at the Department of Nuclear Engineering of University of California, Berkeley. The consequences of radiation release, contamination and evacuation of people is 'clear and obvious,' Ahn said. That means governments and citizens should be prepared, not just nuclear utilities, he said.
SC staff report on SCANA nuke project sees more challenges ahead, SNL Energy, April 8, 2014. "The nearly $5.7 billion project to expand the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina may continue to have problems with its modules, raising the possibility of more delays for the new reactors that are among the first to be constructed in the country in decades, according to a report from the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff. The report, publicly released by state regulators April 7, came a few days after Summer majority owner and SCANA Corp. subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said that a key date for the installation of a module for Summer unit 2, the first of the two new reactors, has been pushed back."
Under Revised Quake Estimates, Dozens of Nuclear Reactors Face Costly Safety Analyses, New York Times, April 5, 2014. "Owners of at least two dozen nuclear reactors across the United States, including the operator of Indian Point 2, in Buchanan, N.Y., have told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that they cannot show that their reactors would withstand the most severe earthquake that revised estimates say they might face, according to industry experts. As a result, the reactors' owners will be required to undertake extensive analyses of their structures and components. Those are generally sturdier than assumed in licensing documents, but owners of some plants may be forced to make physical changes, and are likely to spend about $5 million each just for the analysis."
Nuclear Safety Requires New NRC Commissioners: Author, Forbes, April 6, 2014. "The Oconee Nuclear Power Plant in Seneca, South Carolina remains vulnerable to the same earthquake, tsunami and flooding risks that led to meltdowns at Fukushima, according to Lyman. And the NRC continues to ignore earthquake risks at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant sited near a number of seismic faults on the Central California coast. Lyman blames industry influence over the NRC. The only two recent commissioners not approved by industry—former chair Gregory Jazcko, who resigned under pressure in 2012, and current chair Allison M. Macfarlane—had to be paired with industry favorites, Lyman said, to win Congressional approval."
In the Wake of Fukushima: Japan's Nuclear Energy Policy Impasse, Global Research, April 7, 2014. "Tepco is not viable in its current form, having lost a stunning 81.2% of its market capitalization between March 10 of 2011 and April 2 of 2014. It was nationalized in June 2012 via a YEN 1 trillion injection of public capital, the biggest state intervention into a private non-bank asset since America's 2009 bail-out of General Motors (Economist, 2012). Resolving pressing matters such as the Fukushima and area clean-up and compensation, the decomissioning of ruined assets and the like are well beyond Tepco's means. Some specialists question whether the other nuclear-dependent utilities are viable as well (Kaneko, 2013), and in early April of 2014 Kyushu Electric and Hokkaido Electric were revealed to be in discussion with the public sector Development Bank of Japan for bailouts (Financial Times, April 2, 2014). Kyushu Electric's reliance on nuclear power is 42% of generating assets and Hokkaido Electric's reliance is 30%. Their respective losses of market capitalization are 38.9% and 58.2%."
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