“Credible threat of severe accident at two nuclear reactors” due to Hurricane Harvey — “Clear potential for major disaster” — Plant “could be overwhelmed by raging flood waters” — Officials refuse to provide public with information

Published: August 29th, 2017 at 10:49 pm ET
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Reuters, Aug 29, 2017 (emphasis added): [W]atchdog groups called for the [South Texas Project nuclear] facility to shut due to Tropical Storm Harvey… The groups expressed concern about workers at the plant and the safety of the general public if Harvey caused an accident at the reactors… When asked if the plant would shut if flooding worsened, [spokesman Buddy Eller] said “We are going to do what’s right from a safety standpoint.”… Eller said 250 “storm crew” workers were running the plant… Personnel from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are also at the plant, assessing storm conditions…

teleSUR, Aug 29, 2017: Groups Warn of Nuclear Accident… In the midst of Tropical Storm Harvey’s drenching onslaught, energy watchdogs are sounding the alarm over the continued operation of two nuclear reactors in East Texas that are running at full capacity despite what they claim is the clear potential for a major disaster… [The nuclear plant] risks being flooded as water pours across the region, threatening the embankment wall shielding the power plant… Beyond Nuclear is one of three groups calling for an immediate shutdown of the twin reactors in case the embankment wall surrounding the plant is breached, which could lead to electrical fires and “cascading events” could result in an accident that threatens major core damage… Some fear the threat of a new Fukushima-style disaster

Common Dreams, Aug 29, 2017: The South Texas Project nuclear power facility in Bay City, Texas could be under extreme threat from historic flood waters, groups warned… energy watchdogs groups are warning of “a credible threat of a severe accident” at two nuclear reactors… [They] are calling for the immediate shutdown of the South Texas Project (STP) which sits behind an embankment they say could be overwhelmed by the raging flood waters and torrential rains… Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the STP operator have previously recognized a credible threat of a severe accident initiated by a breach of the embankment wall that surrounds the 7,000-acre reactor cooling water reservoir,” said [Beyond Nuclear’s] Paul Gunter… [Harvey] was declared the most intense rain event in U.S. history[B]reach of the embankment wall surrounding the twin reactors would create “an external flood potentially impacting the electrical supply from the switchyard to the reactor safety systems.” In turn, the water has the potential to “cause high-energy electrical fires and other cascading events initiating a severe accident leading to core damage.” Even worse, they added, “any significant loss of cooling water inventory in the Main Cooling Reservoir would reduce cooling capacity to the still operating reactors that could result in a meltdown.” With the nearby Colorado River already cresting at extremely high levels and flowing at 70 times the normal rate, Karen Hadden, director of SEED Coalition, warned that the continue rainfall might create flooding that could reach the reactors… “Our 911 system is down, no emergency services are available, and yet the nuclear reactors are still running… This is an outrageous and irresponsible decision,” declared [Susan Dancer of the South Texas Association for Responsible Energy]. “This storm and flood is absolutely without precedent even before adding the possibility of a nuclear accident that could further imperil millions of people who are already battling for their lives.” As Harvey hovers over the coastal region, heavy rains are expected to persist for days

Beyond Nuclear, Aug 29, 2017: The NRC and South Texas have refused to provide any public information on the status of the water level within in the reservoir…

See also: Nuclear Worker: “Imminent flood coming” near nuke plant from Hurricane Harvey… “Potentially catastrophic”… Running out of food… Working tirelessly to manage problems… Area turned “upside down” (VIDEO)

Published: August 29th, 2017 at 10:49 pm ET
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653 comments

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