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Feb-10-2012 15:17printcomments

Reactor Reax- Weekly Roundup of Nuclear-Related Articles

New reactors means no lessons learned...

Nuclear reactor
Nuclear reactor

(WASHINGTON D.C.) - In this week's roundup of stories about nuclear energy, Bloomberg reports that after decades of no activity, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 yesterday to award Southern Co. (SO) of Atlanta a license to build two reactors at its Vogtle plant near Augusta, Georgia.

This moves comes in the wake of the terrible disaster at Fukushima and also the near-drowning of a U.S. nuclear facility in the Midwest; both events that clearly illustrated the myriad problems involved with the use of such dangerous technologies.

But there is money in it, lots of investment cash, and it all comes from sources that are stripped of moral fortitude, more than willing to make a buck off of nuclear technology when they can, effectively dismissing the lessons taught by Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island.

And on the subject of Fukushima,according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey, a total of 573 deaths are now certified as "disaster-related" by 13 municipalities affected by the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Japan's Daily Yomiuri repors that the number could rise.

Southern's 'Monumental Accomplishment' Tempered by Fukushima, Bloomberg, February 10, 2012. "The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted 4-1 yesterday to award Southern Co. (SO) of Atlanta a license to build two reactors at its Vogtle plant near Augusta, Georgia. The agency should have required the company to implement lessons from Japan's nuclear crisis last year, said Chairman Gregory Jaczko, who opposed the license."

NRC approves construction of new nuclear power reactors in Georgia, Washington Post, February 9, 2012. "The new reactors, however, are no longer seen as the start of what the industry once predicted would be a nuclear renaissance. Virtually all of the 31 plants that had been proposed by 2009 have been shelved as a result of cheap natural gas, high construction costs, weak electricity demand and safety concerns following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan."

Florida doesn't need more nuclear power; don't make customers pay for it, (op-ed), Tampa Bay Times, February 3, 2012. Ellen Vancko: "The nuclear industry's business plan in Florida is to socialize the risk and privatize the profit, and it persuaded state officials to set it up that way. In 2006, the Legislature passed a bill allowing utilities to charge ratepayers for the cost of building new nuclear reactors long before those reactors produce any energy." Ellen Vancko is the nuclear energy and climate change project manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Nuclear Damage Control, Business Insider, February 10, 2012. "From the heyday of the environmental movement in the late 1960s through the late 1970s, many people were openly skeptical about the destructive potential of the nuclear power industry. After the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in central Pennsylvania in March 1979 and the explosion of Chernobyl's unit four reactor in the Ukraine in April 1986, few would have predicted that nuclear power could ever shake off its global pariah status."

573 deaths 'related to nuclear crisis', Daily Yomiuri (Japan), February 5, 2012. "A total of 573 deaths have been certified as "disaster-related" by 13 municipalities affected by the crisis at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey. This number could rise because certification for 29 people remains pending while further checks are conducted."

Rising temperatures at Fukushima raise questions over stability of nuclear plant, The Guardian (UK), February 7, 2012. "Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant say they are regaining control of a reactor after its temperature rose dramatically this week, casting doubt on government claims that the facility has been stabilised."

Some Nuclear Parts Shot, San Onofre Shutdown Costs Up to $1 Million a Day, Rancho Santa Margarita (CA) Patch, February 6, 2012. "Crucial components that contain high-pressure, radioactive water at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station are, in many places, nearly too worn to function, said an Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman."

"Reactor Reax" is featured on www.NuclearBailout.org, a Web site maintained by Physicians for Social Responsibility.




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