Tag Archives | Nuclear Reactors

Fukushima Radiation About to Reach U.S. West Coast

VOA Herman - April 13 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant-04When the mainstream media like USA Today is reporting on radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster reaching the Unites States’ West Coast, you can pretty much be sure that it’s no longer alarmist environmentalists and other activists sounding the alarm:

Very low levels of radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster likely will reach ocean waters along the U.S. West Coast next month, scientists are reporting.

Current models predict that the radiation will be at extremely low levels that won’t harm humans or the environment, said Ken Buesseler, a chemical oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who presented research on the issue last week.

But Buesseler and other scientists are calling for more monitoring. No federal agency currently samples Pacific Coast seawater for radiation, he said.

“I’m not trying to be alarmist,” Buesseler said. “We can make predictions, we can do models. But unless you have results, how will we know it’s safe?”

The news comes three years after the devastating Japan tsunami and resulting nuclear accident.

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Federal Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

Should the feds really be able to force Vermonters to accept proven radiation leaks in their state? Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times:

A federal judge on Thursday blocked Vermont from forcing the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor to shut down when its license expires in March, saying that the state is trying to regulate nuclear safety, which only the federal government can do.

The judge, J. Garvan Murtha of United States District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., also held that the state cannot force the plant’s owner, Entergy, to sell electricity from the reactor to in-state utilities at reduced rates as a condition of continued operation, as Entergy asserts it is now doing.

The nuclear operator filed a lawsuit last year challenging the constitutionality of a state law giving the Vermont Legislature veto power over operation of the reactor when its original 40-year license expires.

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America’s Most Vulnerable Nuclear Power Plants

3596889720_f52826d665_zIs this list a case of fear-mongering? Possibly, but I would want to be aware if I lived nearby one of these wildcards. The Daily Beast presents a ranking of our nation's most ripe-for-disaster nuclear reactors, as determined by a panel of experts, with Indian Point (Buchanan, NY), San Onofre ( San Clemente, CA), and Limerick, PA rounding out the top three:
1. Indian Point Location: Buchanan, NY (24 miles north of New York City) Reactors: 2 Electrical Output (megawatts): Unit 2: 1020; Unit 3: 1025 Year Operating License Issued: Unit 2: 1973; Unit 3: 1975 Population within 50 Miles: 17,452,585 Relative Safety Rating: bottom third
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Radiation Dose Chart

Randall Munroe of the blog xkcd took the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake tragedy (with its resultant fears of nuclear contamination) as an opportunity to construct a chart putting into perspective the quantities of radiation received from various sources — allowing for comparisons between Fukushima, Chernobyl, living near a coal plant, taking a walk, getting an x-ray, flying on an airplane, and the largest and deadliest cases of exposure. Read and learn:

radiation-dose-chart-4490-1300581517-54

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Fake ‘Radiation’ Text Messages And E-mails

Fukushima Nuclear Reactors 1-4. Photo: National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs, Ministry of Land, Infastructure, Transport and Tourism

Fukushima Nuclear Reactors 1-4. Photo: National Land Image Information (Color Aerial Photographs, Ministry of Land, Infastructure, Transport and Tourism

Many citizens across Asia have been warned about faux messages being sent, such as this e-mail: “Japan Government confirms radiation leak at Fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. If rain comes, remain indoors first 24 hours. Close doors and windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Take extra precautions. Radiation may hit Philippine at around 4 pm today. If it rains today or in the next few days in Hong Kong. Do not go under the rain. If you get caught out, use an umbrella or raincoat, even if it is only a drizzle. Radioactive particles, which may cause burns, alopecia or even cancer, may be in the rain.” BBC reports:

A fake text message warning people that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked beyond Japan has been panicking people across Asia.

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