Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuke accident, a US model of ineptitude

Company: Japan Radioactive Leak Bigger -

The malfunctions and a delay in reporting them fueled concerns about the safety of Japan's 55 nuclear reactors, which have suffered a string of accidents and cover-ups. Nuclear power plants around Japan were ordered to conduct inspections.Adding to the urgency of any investigation was new data from quake aftershocks that suggested a fault line may run underneath the mammoth power plant.The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant, located 135 miles northwest of Tokyo, has been plagued with mishaps. In 2001, a radioactive leak was found in the turbine room of one reactor. It is the world's largest nuclear plant in power output capacity. '

As an excellent illustration of safety systems failures, this nuclear accident is easily the finest, although very tragic, example of what could happen in the future to any of our 103 aging nuclear reactors. We need to close Indian Point, not only because it is ancient and outdated, but for its proximity to the very densely populated New York City. Its evacuation plan is not widely distributed, nor do most of the local area residents know of this plans existence.

Several days ago problems surfaced with the early warning system's sirens; they accidentally started sounding for hours. Causing undue fear and nuisance, Entergy turned off this system and is asking for more time to fix them; surely this is another sign that the reactor is dangerous to the public. Without this warning system, how will the public know that an excursion or catastrophe occurred at the reactor; when they hear about the accident from someone in South Dakota!

Entergy and its supporters should quit looking at the Japanese situation as a fluke or an act of God; rather they should see this as an excellent opportunity to truly serve their customers by offering to shut down Indian Point voluntarily. It takes a great man to admit he is wrong, but when he does, he shows that he is truly great.

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