Talk Nation Radio for May 19, 2011
Paul Blanch part 2, US Nuclear Power Plant Safety Issues
Produced by Dori Smith, Storrs, Connecticut
Download at Pacifica's Audioport here or at Radio4all.net and Archive.org
We continue our conversation with nuclear expert and whistle blower, Paul Blanch, about symptoms of decay within America’s nuclear industry. They said they’d learn from the Fukushima Daiichi nightmare. But according to Paul Blanch the underground coolant pipes are decaying, and not being tested sufficiently. Interestingly, in Japan news, TEPCO officials theorize that although plant 4 was not operating before the earthquake and tsunami, it was nevertheless impacted by hydrogen traveling to it from an adjacent reactor through pipes and vents. Bloomberg is reporting that a radiation alarm was going off at Fukushima before the tsunami March 11, which could mean that it was in fact damaged by the earthquake before the tsunami wave hit. Tepco continues to pump water into Plants 1, 2 and 3, in an attempt to keep the reactors cool now that cooling water containment was breached, leading to a melting of rods.
As of May 19th TEPCO revealed that radioactive cesium-134 levels at plant 3 are at 1,800 times the legal limit. Lat week cesium-134 levels were at 32,000 times the legal limit. (See report here) These are the kinds of technical questions that would have been part of the job description for Paul Blanch who spent some 27 years in the nuclear field working for major companies. He is now a whistle blower and expert witness on license renewal for New England nuclear power plants.
Last time Paul Blanch told us the state’s safety plan for Millstone Nuclear Power Plant run by Dominion is not workable. In the event of a nuclear crisis at the plant, state DEP workers couldn’t distribute Potassium Iodine or manage an evacuation in the event of an accident. He expands on that, and describes conditions at plants in New England including Millstone, which has leaked Tritium, only mildly radioactive but nevertheless, a "marker" for problems such as corroded under ground coolant pipe lines.
See Also NY Times on Plant 1, Meltdown 'With Reactor Damage Thought to Be Worse, Tokyo Utility Sticks to Plan', By HIROKO TABUCHI
Published: May 17, 2011, 'Tokyo Electric said it would change some aspects of its plan to bring the reactors to what it called a “cold shutdown,” where temperatures at the core fall below the boiling point.-- The utility no longer plans to fill up the reactors with water to stabilize them, it said. Instead, the company will now try to keep the reactors cool by building self-circulating cooling systems at the damaged reactors'.
And NIRS, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Stop Wasting Taxpayer Money on Nuclear Subsidies
Tell your legislators that putting taxpayers on the hook for subsidies to the nuclear industry is bad business and will only delay or diminish investments in affordable clean energy alternatives.