Official: Fissures in earth now suspected under dam upstream of nuke plants — “There’s plenty of rumors… We’re considering all possibilities… Leak is actually in embankment, that’s where all the focus is” — Speculation that problem to go on for years — New drone footage shows excavation in progress (VIDEO)

Published: January 16th, 2015 at 9:40 am ET


Follow-up to: ‘Sinkhole develops under dam in US — 7 nuclear reactors downstream — NRC notified of ‘stability issues’, plants begin evaluating potential flood impacts‘ and ‘Muddy seepage coming up near foundation of Boone Dam — Officials working around clock, using submarines and ground-penetrating radar

Bristol Herald Courier, Jan 14, 2015 (emphasis added): Water is still seeping at Boone Dam and the cause has yet to be determined… Boone Dam has two portions, a concrete portion [and] an earthen embankment. “The leak is actually in the embankment, that’s where all the focus is,” Travis Brickey, a spokesman for TVA, said Monday… TVA is currently drilling around the area where the units discharge water… Though there is no clear timeline on how long the investigation will take, Brickey said that it’s safe to say that there will be a project at the dam. But he’s not sure… how long the project will last or how it will impact the reservoir.

WJHL, Jan 12, 2015: TVA… says it plans to make an announcement about… water seeping out of a nearby riverbank near Boone Dam [after] what’s now being described as a “prolonged analysis” to find the source of the water moving underground… [TVA spokesman Travis Brickey] confirmed TVA engineers now suspect water is moving through fissures in rock under the earth-filled section of Boone Dam… TVA has lowered Boone Lake [to reduce] pressure on the dam [and] stopped passing water through its power-generating turbines at Boone Dam as a safety precaution… That’s forced TVA to release water [which is] shooting into the air… a highly visible water release that seems to have fired speculation about what’s going on at Boone Dam… TVA is non-committal about its plans to refill the lake in the spring. “It’s too soon to tell,” Brickey said.

TVA spokesman Travis Brickey, Jan 12, 2015: “We are considering all possibilities and continue to analyze the data… We’ve installed additional monitoring equipment along with an extensive core drilling campaign… We’re aware that there are plenty of rumors… Our engineers are working to develop next steps.”

More from Brickey: “We’re doing a lot of engineering work and looking at repair options and what that might entail… I assure you there are a lot of people working on this.”

WCYB, Dec 29. 2014: People who visit Boone Lake won’t be seeing normal water levels any time soon… Brickey says that TVA is reviewing repair options on Boone Dam… But, the longer it takes for TVA to announce the plans, the more concerned many marina owners are becoming.

Kingsport Times-News, Dec 29, 2014:It’s all speculation,” Brickey said of rumors that the lake’s drawdown could last two years or longer… TVA’s most recent press [said] “reservoir levels could be lowered further if conditions change… The duration of the drawdown will depend on the results of the ongoing analysis.”

Watch the WJHL broadcast here

Published: January 16th, 2015 at 9:40 am ET


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270 comments to Official: Fissures in earth now suspected under dam upstream of nuke plants — “There’s plenty of rumors… We’re considering all possibilities… Leak is actually in embankment, that’s where all the focus is” — Speculation that problem to go on for years — New drone footage shows excavation in progress (VIDEO)

  • they say WIPP is 3 years from "recovery", just admit it….WIPP you got a problem… got a plutonium problem and you don't even know how to deal with it.

    It will be $2B and 10 years and you will still have a problem.

    I wonder how president Mohammed Farok Shariff feels now about his accomplishments of cranking up WIPP from 2 shipments a week to 30 shipments, and a lax safety culture.

  • byron byron

    This is about archiving this website..
    Could save as PDF files, saves a lot of storage. Another option is to not include the Comments section, just the news items. There's a 'reader view' in the browser that doesn't show the comments. Hit that and then save as PDF.
    But good info does get posted in comments. Some kind of script that would count how many messages were posted by each username in a thread. Most good messages are near the limit of characters. The short comments are most frequently one liners and quite bad. Person reviewing the comments could select to include all comments by username or not on each news thread.
    This process would make a bunch of PDF files that could be posted on an alternate website.

    • AGRP is working constantly on including crowd sourced comments and links, with credit, as well as links to ENenews.

      But the value of that linking only works if ENEnews is still around in the future.

      AGRP is working on this project both positive to prevent it, and worst case in case it does happen..

      Anyone interested in pursuit of worst case scenario and coming up with strategy to counter that, contact agreenroad atsymbol

      • Sickputer

        Don't worry about the impending domain renewal. Most smaller websites renew on a one to two year lease at most. Only super big websites renew for five to ten years.

        The costs for a higher bandwidth site like this one is well above a small personal website. Thousands a year versus less than $200 for most small websites. Donations and ads help pay the hosting fees here.

        I seriously doubt Enenews will fold up unless the special interests attack it from several directions.

        And even if it's expunged (as Fred A. would say) there will others stepping forward to fill the void.

        Keep the faith. Pixels of light will not go dim everywhere.

  • Dick Shenary

    Byron – thanks for the archiving suggestions.

    • byron byron

      Thanks for noticing my archiving ideas. We need to have at least all the news items preserved so when the website goes away someone can post all of the news items in PDF form on many alternate websites. CDs or flash drives could also contain PDF files of news items. Thought about the Comments section but that might be the follow-on project once all the news items are archived. The "Reader View" function (part of the web browser functions) is a good way to do the first step with just the news items. It's takes about 20 seconds to make each PDF file, then click the next link to go to the next or previous news item and repeat.

  • Dick Shenary

    During quiet times like now, some latitude should be given for off topic posts. Wikipedia – “Juragua Nuclear Power Plant was a nuclear power plant under construction in Cuba when a suspension of construction was announced in 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the termination of Soviet economic aid to Cuba.” Interesting NPP in that the first reactor housing was built and photographed and the site sits on the coast of Cuba. I have heard of no fuel problems as nuclear fuel bundles probably never arrived from the USSR. President Putin himself visited the site in 2000 and offered big money to power-up reactor one over a six year plan but Castro said no thanks because the Cubans wanted to cut back debts owed to the former USSR. The Russians wanted no part of debt reduction discussions so this NPP project ran out of steam (financially). It has been abandoned. This means that Cuba is probably nuclear technology free – relatively – as I’m sure nuclear medicine is there. Now that relations between the US and Cuba have been normalized, Americans will go there and some will move there. Some will go there for health reasons and stay. Tickets to Cuba are much cheaper than tickets to anywhere in the southern hemisphere. Of course, Cuba will not escape the generalized fate of the northern hemisphere, but they are completely free of localized problem reactors and waste issues. That is getting to be a solid plus these days.

  • Dick Shenary

    Now that BD sleeps, someone needs to keep the hit count up.
    Would you be angry if some foreign power managed to contaminate large areas of this country for longer than the age of the earth? Would you accept their story about freedom from tyranny, while it is your oil and health that are being stolen? Would you tolerate this country to engage in two, not one, limited nuclear wars? Most people would say yes – no and no to these questions and then add – very unlikely scenarios. Yet that is exactly what has happened. Some diabolically clever people figured out how to use nuclear weapons against the enemy with no one being the wiser. Simply put uranium inside conventional weapons and insure that no fission reaction can occur. This can be done under the discussion of penetrating power, a favorite topic of young men and the military. Since 2003, the west has fired, at the enemy of the moment, uncounted tons of depleted uranium in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Future generations, yet unborn, will bare the burden of these quiet nuclear attacks. Make no mistake, these nuclear wars are deadly, yet go completely unnoticed by the embedded media. The truly sad part is that the military, being victim to their own propaganda, have not been cautious with our own troops. Military personnel, media tag-alongs, and the public have all been exposed to uranium oxide dust. The long term outcome to these exposures is not expected to be good.

  • Dick Shenary

    Do nations have the same rights and responsibilities as people similar to corporations? Corporations have demanded the rights of people while avoiding the responsibilities. Western nations have attacked two middle eastern countries with nuclear weapons and then westerners utter – Why on earth do they hate us for our freedoms? Perhaps the west is hated for our unhindered freedom to destroy anyone or any nation that would dare to cross us. The nations are wounded by DU (depleted uranium) while the individuals are hit by drones. While in no way do I justify terrorism for any reason, the level of violence dished out by the terrorists pales in comparison to that coming from western nations. This would be difficult to dispute.

    • How To Prevent Terrorism Without Trashing The Constitution, Surrendering All Freedoms And Bill Of Rights

      • melting mermaid melting mermaid

        I love you, Dr goodheart. Dick, you are so right. Industrial, technocratic, state sanctioned murder is still murder. What if everytime you heard a plane you thought it might kill you? I can't even imagine. But I know a lot of people are suffering that and I think it's abominable. And DU is the worst crime or war crime imaginable. If it weren't for Fukushima, people would be dying from that illegal, completely unnecessary war for thousands of years. That they managed an ele definitely doesn't exonerate them. The heartless bastards. Quit murdering people with my tax dollars, quit murdering the world!

  • Dick Shenary

    Dr.G – For a long time, I have wanted to say Thank You not only for your astute comments here but for your excellent website which I have found to be a fine resource. I hope it is a labor of love for you.

  • Dick Shenary

    A letter to the nuclear powers that be: “While you were amassing your arsenals, we were, to our shame, distracted by our personal concerns and content to let you beat your chests and leave us in peace. But now you threaten us all and seem quite willing to indiscriminately annihilate so many of the amazing life forms that share this planet with us. We have not the strength to oppose you. We have not the commitment to set aside our preoccupation with worldly goods and unite to fight actively against you. (sad) But let us make one thing unmistakably clear. If you dare to continue to wreak havoc on our beautiful world, either by nuclear war or the insidiously slow poisoning of the lands, those of us who manage to survive will hunt you down. Never will you be conquering heroes. We will storm your ramparts. We will pull you down from your towers. We will post to all future generations that you were the vilest criminals ever to emerge from our species. We will take vengeance on behalf of all life and eliminate you and your kind forever from the face of the earth.” A Primer in the Art of Deception – 2009 – Paul Zimmerman

  • Dick Shenary

    Straight and blunt talk in that letter addressed to the nuclear powers that be. All people should ask themselves, if their employment in any way benefits other people or is it part of the destructive forces so prevalent today. College graduates are told there is good money to be had in the destruction industry. If we taught people in college how to think and not just memorize, this would not be such a big problem.

  • Doctors Roy is a geeky scientist who carries around a CO2 meter. But he also has genuinely humorous presentation style, and great charts.

    Just last week I was reviewing a "Warmista"site (you can already see where I am coming from right?) from some University Scholars who were paid to do a study, and they choose to come up with a model that showed the cost of a ton of CO2. Their estimate was 6 times higher than any supposed cap and trade type The Warmistas insist on hanging their hat on computer models, and it is becoming increasingly more difficult for them to hide the fact that they are ignoring REAL DATA. Check this chart.

  • rogerthat

    Next closure issue: San Onofre waste
    Activists worry about plan to bury canisters along coast

    … Activists and nearby residents worry about what amounts to a radioactive dumping ground a few dozen miles from so many homes and businesses.

    They question Edison’s choice of containers and say the company is pushing ahead without due consideration of alternate proposals. They also say Edison has a history of skirting rules and punishing whistle-blowers.

    “This section of the southern Californian coast is densely populated should there be any radiation leakage,” Laguna Beach resident Sherry Keith complained to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is overseeing the plan. “Furthermore, radiation leakage endangers the entire marine ecosystem.” …

    • AirSepTech AirSepTech

      Great piece.
      SCE owns huge acreage in the middle of the Mohave desert-Daggett.
      Take the crap out there, far away from the ocean, people, and short minded nincompoops.

      This points out the hot potato/musical chair silliness of the game.

      The government owns the fuel, the user just 'leases' it kinda-sorta
      At the end of 'lease' the government takes it back, but the government has refused to allocate a safe place, so stupid as we are, we will just live with it in an unsafe place.

  • rogerthat

    Braus: The storage of nuclear waste threatens our future
    Brattleboro Reformer

    In November, 2014, I attended a conference with 70 other anti-nuclear activists, many of whom have a deep technical grasp of the overwhelming problem of safely isolating toxic radioactive waste.

    As Vermont Yankee is closing, local people are learning the ugly truth of nuclear energy — that the sites hosting nuclear reactors for four or five decades will probably be hosting high-level waste forever Those of us living in the region around the reactor should have a voice in the manner in which this waste is stored. However, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Entergy, a corporation with no long-term commitment to our region, will be making all the choices.

    Entergy's decision to build a concrete pad in the flood plain of the Connecticut River and store the tons of high level radioactive waste in Holtec casks seems like a fine interim solution to the waste storage problem until you delve more deeply into the issue.

    Are these casks flood proof? In the era of a warming planet and sea-level rising, does anyone know if these casks protect the environment from their lethal contents when they are immersed?

    How are these casks monitored for cracking and radioactive emissions? The NRC requires examining of 1 cask per site out of dozens, only once every 25 years…

    • rogerthat

      These casks have a history of cracking, and, due to the relatively short time these casks have been in use, nobody knows if they will maintain structural integrity in 50 or 100 years.

      Should this incredibly dangerous waste be out on a concrete pad? Would we all be safer if it were in a reinforced building, or at least behind a berm, and not so vulnerable to attack by a terrorist or a deranged person.

      How can Entergy withdraw all funding from the Emergency Planning Zone process next year? The risky process of moving the highly radioactive spent fuel from the pool into the casks will not be completed until some time around 2020.

      Far more technically sophisticated casks are used in Germany, France, and Japan — casks with a thicker metal wall, and allowing for real time remote monitoring to alert those in charge of the waste should there be a pressure change , or another worrisome development. Why are these casks not even in use in the United States?

      There is a reason why those who understand the risks of moving this waste to a central repository label the process "mobile Chernobyl." If there should be an accident, the area around the site could be forever uninhabitable. Our rail lines and interstate highways travel through urban areas, endangering millions of citizens. Our roads, rails, and bridges have many structural weaknesses due to neglected and deferred maintenance…

      • rogerthat

        As desirable as it would be to rid the Vermont Yankee site of this waste, can we support the transport of this most toxic cargo?

        If a cask fails and the waste needs to be transferred to a new cask, can it be done? The only method for moving fuel from one cask into another is in a fuel pool. Yankee's fuel pool will be taken down as part of decommissioning. The nuclear industry promises that new technology will be available, but we have heard their promises about future waste storage methods before and cannot trust them to come through.

        The idea that we have no say in creating the safest possible high level waste repository in our region is unacceptable. The only hope in this dangerous process is to change the federal laws that allow corporations to hold all the cards.

        We would like our home to be livable into the distant future.

        Nancy Braus is a member of the Safe and Green Campaign. She lives in Putney.

      • Sickputer

        rt typed these pixels of light: "Why are these casks not even in use in the United States?"

        SP: I am sure you know the answer: the unwillingness of the nuclear power plant owners to expend more than the bare necessity in disposing of nuclear waste. The same question "Why spend?" can be applied to a million other toxic human industries. The company executives (and other lower level employees vested in retirement plans) don't want their pensions shattered by a bankruptcy. So there are a lot of variables to safely storing nuclear waste for eternity and they are all tied to money. If money was no object there would be more (not all) but some solutions to storing the alien poisons produced by naked apes.

        Unless a person is insane they want clean air, food, and water and the environment as a whole to be conducive for their heirs to thrive for the next ten thousand years. But the way the Fallout Age is going our heirs will be short-lived sick inhabitants on mother earth. And extinction is a definite possibility.

        Welcome to the world of Future Shock. It will be an ugly place in the coming years. Enjoy life as much and as long as you can. Find habits and strategies to survive. Your leaders don't have your back.

  • name999 name999

    stock…you seem to be switching your trademark to climate hoaxes…wondering why?

  • Sam Sam

    Martin Luther King Day Tomorrow–Speak Truth to Power
    Take a moment of time tomorrow and reflect and listen to the words of Dr. Martin
    Luther King.
    He gives us inspiration to continue to speak truth to power.
    Our work is not done and will never be done till all Nuclear is shut down.

    Our common work here is to protect the Commons here.

    We must never be silent in the presence of anyone attempting to
    disrupt, intimidate, spew falsehood, advocate violence and promote the
    deadly continuation of all things nuclear. To do so in silence is to be an
    accomplice to our own deaths and the destruction of this Earth. That is how
    come I resist these forces here. Not clean and neat. It is messy. Combat
    is never pleasant. We win in the end. Duff is gone. Long live this community.
    Peace with a strong conscience and courage to defend.

  • Sam Sam

    Martin Luther King Day on Monday January 19, 2015

  • Dick Shenary

    The current waste storage plan for the now closed San Onofre NPP needs to be re-examined. Someone must start giving consideration to the future people who will inherit a now defunct power plant with a huge waste burden. The current Edison proposal calls for forty-five ton casks with 5/8” stainless steel plates to be buried underground for added safety. Seems some people are nervous about storing high level waste close to the Pacific Ocean. Perhaps the UC system and other universities on the west coast could hazard some wild guesses as to why. Edison tells us they will require over one hundred such casks with a licensed lifetime of forty years. Let’s do a small thought experiment with this plan. If the plan were to remain unchanged – which it won’t, and we select a time frame to eliminate plutonium isotopes (200,000 years) we will only have to dig up and replace each forty- five ton cask five thousand times each. Future suckers I mean ratepayers will be unhappy unless the costs of waste containment are shared by all. There are no current plans to change the Private Profits and Public Loses system, but no doubt this system cannot last much longer.

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