Time: Conditions at 3 US reactors from Hurricane Sandy were similar to what caused Fukushima disaster

Published: November 7th, 2012 at 11:38 am ET


Title: Nuclear Power and Natural Disasters: Lessons from Fukushima and Sandy
Source: TIME.com
Author: Lucy Birmingham
Date: Nov. 07, 2012

Superstorm Sandy’s unexpected wrath makes a powerful case for revisiting Fukushima and the dangers to nuclear energy from natural disasters. As Sandy made landfall on Atlantic City, Oyster Creek nuclear power plant nearby was fortunately on a scheduled outage. But Indian Point 3 in Buchanan, N.Y., Nine Mile Point 1 in Scriba, N.Y., and Salem Unit 1 in Hancocks Bridge, N.J., all experienced shutdowns because of high water levels or electrical disruption. Last year, the dangerous Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown was caused by similar conditions after tsunami waves flooded the plant and short-circuited both the regular and back-up electrical systems.

Equally dangerous are drought and record heat conditions the U.S. experienced last summer. In August, one of two reactors at the Millstone nuclear power plant near New London, Conn., not far from where I grew up, was shut down because water in Long Island Sound needed to cool the reactors got too warm. Cool water is necessary to produce electricity.

[…] It’s time to face the facts: Mother Nature rules. The best we can do is try to lessen the damage from her wrath. Phasing out nuclear power is the safe answer.

Published: November 7th, 2012 at 11:38 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Feds dispatch more inspectors to nuclear reactors impacted by Sandy — 2 different plants in New Jersey likely to be shut down as eye of hurricane threatens October 29, 2012
  2. Governor: Hurricane Sandy is “largest threat to human life our state has experienced in anyone’s lifetime… The last time we saw anything like this was never” — Coast Guard: “It could be devastation” (VIDEO) October 29, 2012
  3. NRC: Spent fuel pool cooling lost at NJ’s Oyster Creek nuclear plant during Hurricane Sandy November 2, 2012
  4. Emergency Declared at NJ Nuclear Plant from Hurricane Sandy — Power lost, ocean water rising — Concern about cooling of reactor and spent fuel pool October 30, 2012
  5. Gundersen: 26 nuclear plants in area where Hurricane Sandy likely to hit — If power lost, only plan is to let spent fuel pools heat up… no generators to pump in water (AUDIO) October 28, 2012

15 comments to Time: Conditions at 3 US reactors from Hurricane Sandy were similar to what caused Fukushima disaster

  • "The lesson is glaringly obvious: when nature and nuclear energy collide the consequences can be lethal."

    "…we must weigh the risks."
    – Lucy Birmingham from article

    Glaringly obvious?

    Apparently not to those who continue to want to run, operate and extend the usage of these known Death Machines.

    The time is _N O W_ to phase out Nuclear!

    There used to be an car oil filter commercial where the mechanic, stated…
    "You can pay me now or you can pay me later".
    (early 80's, youtube is great)

    The simple statement applies to a lot of things.

    That's how I feel about decommissioning Nuclear Power plants. It may be costly, it may not be easy, but the payment later is going to be much… much worse.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      Depleted Uranium Effects In The Human Body; via A Green Road http://agreenroad.blogspot.com/2012/03/depleted-uranium-effects-in-human-body.html

      EMP; Electromagnetic Pulse Effect And High Altitude Nuclear Bombs; via A Green Road

      • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

        Our supposed civilization is SOOOOO very Fragile….

        One small CAT 1 hurricane shuts down a HUGE city and wipes out power to 8 million homes, causing acute fuel shortages, and havoc with air travel.

        What happens if an EMP pulse wipes out all power nationwide for ONE YEAR?

        What happens if a solar storm wipes out all power globally for a year?

        Civilization is just a thin, artificial veneer, on top of ????.

        Take away power, light, heat and food… what is left?

        We may very well find out…

        • Sickputer

          Re: my post yesterday on AA (Arctic Amplification). Sandy was a Cat 1 with wind, but had Cat 3 storm surges AND merged with a deadly second snowstorm. Not the Perfect Storm, but because of where it hit the damages will probably surpass Katrina.

          But as you say…what if it had been a Hurricane Camille direct type hit? The damages might exceed 1 trillion dollars instead of 100 million. Reminds me of the Dennis Quaid movie Day after Tommorow.

      • HoTaters HoTaters

        What the Homeland Security expert did not say is the Superpowers have had EMP weaponry for at least 50 years. It has been a given the EMP from a nuclear weapon exploded at high altitude would knock out ALL forms of electrical machinery and electronics.

        The hype about countries with nuclear capability looking into EMP weaponry as something new is just a bunch of HOOEY.

        It's not (unfortunately) that difficult to build a small-scale nuclear weapon. Getting it into the upper atmosphere would be more difficult of course.

        The nuclear scientists have been studying the effects of nuclear energy on the ionosphere and upper atmosphere since nuclear weapons testing first began.

        It's irritating to hear someone from DHS trying to convince the "sheeple" or are they just "sleeple" something new in weapons research is occurring. Just another "get the people to fear the potential terrorists and validate our expanding our bloated budget" ploy?

        That being said, the nukers are no doubt working on new and improved EMP weapons. Oh, goodie, then they can preempt the sun's causing a Carrington type event. The ultimate power trip (and pun intended).

  • nedlifromvermont

    … well … yeah!!!

    How 'bout we start with all GE (under-)designed Mark I Boiling Water Reactors ????

    Why not??

    " … because peace is too Godlike, and Man is too presumptuous!" Wilmosch Proehler, to my Dad, aboard the ChiChiBu Maru, headed for the Philipines, in 1928 …

    … peace …

  • harengus_acidophilus

    Downplay again…
    In Fuku, the rupture of tubes while the earthquake has caused the initial catastrophic (not just dangerous!) damages to the plants. The tsunami argument was used to tell the uninformed audience a wrong feeling of safety.

    "It’s time to face the facts: Mother Nature rules. The best we can do is try to lessen the damage from her wrath. Phasing out nuclear power is the safe answer."

    To ban nuclear power is the only answer!


  • nedlifromvermont

    … and a major Ho! to ChasAha, for your continued insightful and valuable remarks!!

    … peace …

  • 42

    I have always seen Time as the true blue american rah rah magazine. Interesting they now publish an anti-nuke article. Wonder whats changed?

    Also the claim the tsunami caused Fuku melt-down has now back-fired…since the extreme flooding of Sandy seems much closer to home for the US than a huge earthquake. All good 🙂

    • razzz razzz

      As noted here on this site before, for the worldwide nuclear industry to survive its claim of clean energy, Fukushima has to be thrown under the bus.

      Instead of denials about what happened and what is happening still at Fukushima, the change in tacit or talking points now allows to claim TEPCO cut corners, didn't do upgrades, plant site was flawed in design, etc., anything to show Fukushima would not have experienced melt through(s) if TEPCO followed the suggested and proper guidelines.

      The entire nuclear industry is focused on Fukushima and its outcome.

    • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

      WHere did they GET that info? Maybe enenews?

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Besides the forces of nature ..human error and mechanical error cause reactors to blow-up, as proven by past nuclear disasters.

  • weeman

    So that proves that the earthquake in Japan was the root cause of the melt downs, loss of cooling and off site power can be controlled.
    It also means that nuclear facilities do not meet their design parameters and should be closed immediately, if not by the building codes they where build to then the fire regulations and codes they were to meet.

    I know these organization are not responsible for nuclear facilities the NRC is, you can not regulate your self that is were the madness lies.
    This is a weak point in their armour.