“Emergency situation” as fractures suspected at nuclear reactor — Ten U.S. plants may use same component — “Likely to reignite a debate over the risks of nuclear energy” -Financial Times

Published: August 10th, 2012 at 11:02 am ET


Follow-up to: [intlink id=”fox-nuclear-reactor-halted-on-suspicion-of-cracks-we-have-found-anomalies-says-belgium-official-afp-possible-cracks-in-reactor-vessel” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: Belgium shuts down nuclear power plant
Source: Financial Times
Author: James Fontanella-Khan
Date: August 9, 2012 5:47 pm
Emphasis Added

Belgium has temporarily shut down one of its seven nuclear power plants after the country’s atomic energy regulator discovered “several anomalies”, including possible cracks, in the tank containing the reactor’s core. […] suspected fractures at the Doel 3 reactor […]

Several other nuclear sites around the world – including the US, Germany and Spain – use tanks produced by the same company, according a nuclear energy expert who asked not to be named.


“We are talking with all regulators as we would in any emergency situation … it is essential to co-ordinate efforts,” Ms [Karina De Beule, AFCN spokesperson] said. “At present we can guarantee that there are no risks to workers, citizens and the environment.”


The incident at Doel 3 is likely to reignite a debate over the risks of nuclear energy nearly 18 months after a 9 magnitude earthquake devastated the north-east of Japan and triggered a severe crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant.


Title: EU calls for more nuclear tests after Belgian fears
Source: AFP
Date: August 10, 2012
Emphasis Added

The discovery of possible cracks in a Belgian nuclear reactor should trigger urgent testing around the EU, but such decisions are for national governments to take, a European Commission spokeswoman said on Thursday.

“National authorities will conduct tests, that seems obvious,” said Marlene Holzner, spokeswoman for EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger.


The agency is also mulling the permanent closure “in the worst case” of a second reactor in the country’s south near Liege, also produced by now-defunct Dutch firm Rotterdam Drydocks.

As well as the two Belgian reactors, French daily Le Monde said another 10 went to the United States, two each to Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland, plus another one each in Argentina and Sweden.


Published: August 10th, 2012 at 11:02 am ET


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23 comments to “Emergency situation” as fractures suspected at nuclear reactor — Ten U.S. plants may use same component — “Likely to reignite a debate over the risks of nuclear energy” -Financial Times

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Replacing all nuclear plants with safe, hydroelectric, solar, wind power is what is needed.

  • arclight arclight

    if i wasnt breathing the emmissions from this or penly or dungeness or la hague etc etc, i would be extactic! sure none went to england?? 🙂

    rads have dropped today in london but we are still getting small clouds of isotopes up to 0.17 mcSv/h with and average of about 0.11 mcSv/h maybe slightly higher.. dont know what the air quality will be like for the olympics marathon on sunday .. the guardian newspaper was hopeful (and decieving)! 😉

    it really does look like the uk will be the only european nation running reactors.. and china has put a bid in and edf are selling cheap.. its a buyers market..

    nuclear is history! imo

    you gotta love the chinese though! ;/

  • in msm germany there is another nice hint: due to the fact that the company which made the reactors is closed noone knows where the reactors really are.
    sounds strange in the good documented nuke industry

  • patb2009

    is this the westinghouse PWR design?

  • nonuke nonuke

    Doel 3 reactors are the PWR We 3-Loop design. If it's the 3 Loop systems that are being affected by this, then there are 13 candidates in the USA.

    BEAVER VALLEY-1 & 2 (PWR WE 3-Loop) :: Shippingport, Pennsylvania
    FARLEY-1 & 2 (PWR WE 3-Loop):: Dothan, Alabama
    H.B. ROBINSON-2 (PWR WE 3-Loop):: Darlington County, South Carolina
    NORTH ANNA-1 & 2 (PWR WE 3-Loop):: Louisa County, Virginia
    SHEARON HARRIS-1 (PWR WE 3-Loop):: Wake County, North Carolina
    SURRY-1 & 2 (PWR WE 3-Loop) :: Surry County, Virginia
    TURKEY POINT-3 & 4 (PWR WE 3-Loop) :: Homestead, Florida
    VIRGIL C. SUMMER-1 (PWR WE 3-Loop) :: Fairfield County, South Carolina

  • nyarlathotep nyarlathotep

    I only know it's a 2nd generation PWR… Anyhow, glad to see this bugger go.

  • Jebus Jebus

    And yet the all knowing NRC has continued, quietly, to uprate these shattered old relics from the past.
    They add ever increasing percentages of enriched uranium (w/plutonium), close to MOX specs, and increase the pressures to squeeze every last watt of electricity out of them.
    All the while telling us that they are safer than they have ever been.
    Not to mention the TONS of nuclear waste sitting, sometimes within a few feet, of these nuclear time bombs…
    We pay to have the NRC dictate to us…

    Power Uprates for Nuclear Plants

    When the NRC issues a license for a commercial nuclear power plant, the agency sets limits on the maximum heat output, or power level, for the reactor core. This power level plays an important role in many of the analyses that demonstrate plant safety, so the NRC’s permission is required before a plant can change its maximum power level. A “power uprate” only occurs after the NRC approves a commercial nuclear power plant’s request to increase its power.
    Utilities have used power uprates since the 1970s as a way to generate more electricity from their nuclear plants. As of April 2011, the NRC has approved 139 uprates, resulting in a gain of approximately 18,063 MWt (megawatts thermal) or 6,020 MWe (megawatts electric) at existing plants. These uprates are listed in Table 1 at the end of this document.


    • Jebus Jebus

      U.S. is increasing nuclear power through uprating
      Turning up the power is a little-publicized way of getting more electricity from existing nuclear plants. But scrutiny is likely to increase in the wake of Japan's nuclear crisis.

      The U.S. nuclear industry is turning up the power on old reactors, spurring quiet debate over the safety of pushing aging equipment beyond its original specifications.

      The little-publicized practice, known as uprating, has expanded the country's nuclear capacity without the financial risks, public anxiety and political obstacles that have halted the construction of new plants for the last 15 years.

      Tiny uprates have long been common. But nuclear watchdogs and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's own safety advisory panel have expressed concern over larger boosts — some by up to 20% — that the NRC began approving in 1998. Twenty of the nation's 104 reactors have undergone these "extended power uprates."


  • Jebus Jebus

    How to expand nuclear power without attracting (too much) attention

    Since the 1970s, construction on new nuclear reactors in the United States has largely ground to a halt, thanks to public protests, regulatory obstacles and tight financing. Yet over that same period, U.S. utilities have managed to increase the amount of electricity they get from nuclear power. By quite a lot, in fact.

    How is that possible? Through a process known as “uprating.” According to a new analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the operators of 98 of the country’s 104 commercial nuclear reactors have asked regulators for permission to boost capacity from their existing plants. All in all, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved more than 6,500 megawatts worth of uprates since 1977. That’s the equivalent of building six entirely new nuclear reactors—and during a period when fresh plants were impossible to build.


  • omniversling

    Who knows what other surprises are in store for us:


    "Tanaka says the reactor pressure vessel inside Fukushima’s unit No. 4 was damaged at a Babcock-Hitachi foundry in Kure City, in Hiroshima prefecture, during the last step of a manufacturing process that took 2 1/2 years and cost tens of millions of dollars. If the mistake had been discovered, the company might have been bankrupted, he said."



  • omniversling

    Number of San Ono
    fre cooling tubes increased to improve cooling, allowing 'hotter' operation. Now the stay cylinder (in the central area that had structural importance) is filled with more tubes that were not in the original design. They're vibrating, hitting each other and the support plates and wearing away.

    San Onofre Bad Vibrations: Mr. Arnie Gundersen


    250,000 gallons of high pressure boiling water every minute passing through faulty tubes…the figures are staggering, and only minutes away from catastrophe, always..

  • arclight arclight

    and heres what happens when you get cracks in yer metals

    1.00 hrs bst clearish sky, warm, still air and the rads are hotting up!

    44 CPM or 0.14 mcSv/h average
    regular strong surges

    winds from belgium/france in a circulating pattern that will break up on saturday bringing winds direct from ne europe


    heres a graph showing a huge release

    BE55700 – La Calamine (Belgium)

    at 19.00 hrs cet
    20000000000 nanosieverts/h


    and no other monitor is showing and the winds are heading south and east from begium??
    they have all the monitors pinned down i suspect..

    the european mapping system is not very good as was descibed in the effectiveness report.. they couldnt even find a chernobyl with this system especially after recent "improvements"! butt the nearest monitor has popped! to let us know..

    when the germans vent their reactors they give the downwinders a heads up so they can move, this is likely, hopefully a normal release but local children are at risk.. criirad would tell you that i suspect..

    there is a pressure zone over this area and the gases will be moved around slowly and will be heading to london for sundays marathon! nightmare! worse than lead PB210!??

    • arclight arclight

      thanks mungo for the update on eurdep..

      germany and italy have stopped publishing on eurdep public radiation monitoring

  • Uprates! Cs137 inventory leak also uprated! Gofman's gushes at 1 part in a thousand..Thus 4 to 5 Chernobyls worth of Cs 137 leaks! in 25 years! Without blowing the lid off any of the illth and filth producers.

  • Jebus Jebus

    Risks? Here's the human element…

    Fermi 2 supervisor accused of drinking on the job
    DTE Energy spokesman says employee is being disciplined, no longer allowed on plant grounds without escort

    A supervisor for DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 plant is in trouble after being caught drinking on the job.