FORUM: General Discussion Thread (Nuclear Issues) for Feb. 22 – 29, 2012

Published: February 22nd, 2012 at 9:47 am ET


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Once a week a Discussion Thread will be posted to be used as a place for general discussion of Fukushima and nuclear issues.

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Published: February 22nd, 2012 at 9:47 am ET


645 comments to FORUM: General Discussion Thread (Nuclear Issues) for Feb. 22 – 29, 2012

  • CNN VIDEO: A Look Inside Fukushima's Meltdown Zone

    A year after the reactors at the Fukushima plant suffered a meltdown, the area is still one of the most hazardous places on the planet … continue

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  • Fukushima contamination will be 'chronic' – experts

    Radioactive contamination levels from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have fallen sharply since the accident but will be "chronic and lasting" for many years, a French watchdog has said.

    "The initial contamination linked to the accident has greatly declined," Didier Champion, crisis manager at the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), told reporters almost a year after the disaster.

    "That doesn't mean that there won't be any more, far from it. Today, and for many years to come, we will have a situation of chronic and lasting contamination of the environment."

    It was essential for Japan to maintain vigilant monitoring of fruit, milk, mushrooms, game and fish, Champion said.

    "There are risks of chronic exposure at low dosage, and without care this can build up over time," he warned. …

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  • It's Not Just Fukushima: Mass Disaster Evacuations Challenge Planners

    The Fukushima evacuation zone raises the issue of what would happen during an evacuation in heavily populated U.S. metropolises during a nuclear meltdown

    "If this happened in the U.S., we would go out to 50 miles," said Bill Borchardt, NRC executive director for operations on March 17, according to transcripts of the days following the catastrophe. "That would be our evacuation recommendation."

    In fact, in the U.S., more than four million Americans live within 10 miles of the 63 sites of nuclear power plants with at least one operating reactor, according to data compiled by the NRC based on the 2000 census. That number swells when the radius extends outward to 50 miles to affect more than 180 million Americans, and includes major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego and even West Palm Beach, Fla.

    In the wake of the meltdowns in Japan and subsequent evacuations, could all these people in the U.S. be evacuatedor take some form of protective actionin time in similar circumstances?

    Planning for the worst
    Nuclear power plants are surrounded by two "emergency …

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  • Anti-Nuclear Japanese Farmer Visits South Africa

    A farmer evacuated from her home near a Japanese nuclear power plant visited Soweto to talk to impoverished South Africans about how the poor are worst hit by catastrophes. In an interview before addressing about two dozen people in the auditorium of a community college, Oga said she understood that Soweto, a neighborhood to which blacks were restricted under apartheid, was largely poor and beset by lack of jobs and housing and AIDS and other health issues. She said its residents needed to add nuclear energy to their already long list of concerns, because "they will be the ones that will suffer the most when they face a catastrophic accident."

    Greenpeace is calling on South Africa to "abandon its nuclear expansion plans in favor of a strong push to energy efficiency and renewable power." But the government has reiterated its commitment to building more reactors in the face of a growing energy crisis.

    Many in Oga's audience were from community groups more accustomed to brainstorming ways to find homes or jobs, or to help people who could not afford to pay their electricity or water bills. A Zulu translator at first stumbled over whether her home town was Hiroshima or Fukushima.

    Her listeners were nonetheless engaged as … continue

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  • NY Nuke Plant Offline for Transformer Repairs

    The Indian Point 3 nuclear power plant was disconnected from the electrical grid after combustible gases built up in a transformer. WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — The Indian Point 3 nuclear power plant was disconnected Wednesday from the electrical grid after combustible gases built up in a transformer.

    Plant owner Entergy Northeast and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said there was no release of radioactivity and no threat to workers or the public.

    The company said the transformer takes electricity from the main generator and changes the voltage to power some pumps and motors at the plant.

    NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said operators saw that gases were building up in the … continue

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  • CB CB

    US NRC to issue first post-Fukushima safety rules
    By Eileen O'Grady (Reuters) – As the first anniversary of Japan's Fukushima nuclear disaster approaches, US nuclear regulators have moved to issue the first new rules to deal with safety issues raised by the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years, …

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