Where’s Chuck DeVore when you need him? Of course, he’s in Texas writing fiction about the Rick Perry miracle. But close to home and across the Pacific, the ‘nuclear power is perfectly safe” argument continues to lose some luster.
First off in Japan, things are still bad at the damaged nuclear reactor in the Northern part of the nation. Crooks and Liars has this post that spells out how bad it still is:
The temperature of the No. 2 reactor was 70.1 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) as of 6 a.m. today, according to preliminary data, Akitsuka Kobayashi, a spokesman for the utility, said by phone. The reading fell from 72.2 degrees at 5 a.m. this morning, and is below the 93 degrees that’s used to define a cold shutdown, or safe state, of the reactor.
Since Feb. 1, temperatures at the bottom of the No. 2 reactor vessel have risen by more than 20 degrees Celsius, according to the company’s data. Tepco, as the utility is known, and the government announced that the Fukushima plant reached a cold shutdown on Dec. 16, nine months after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami wrecked the nuclear station, and caused three reactors to meltdown and release radiation.
And in December, tons of radioactive water may have been released in the Pacific.
In all, as much as 220 tons of water may now have leaked from the facility, according to a report in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper that cited Tepco officials.
The newspaper says the water may have contained up to one million times as much radioactive strontium as the maximum safe level set by the government, and about 300 times as much radioactive cesium. Both are readily absorbed by living tissue and can greatly increase the risk of developing cancer
Avoid sushi from that part of the world for, oh I don’t know, forever…..
And closer to home, Senator Barbara Boxer has called for a saftey probe of the nucelar facility in nearby San Onofre over multiple reports of leaks. Hat tip to OC Weekly’s Navel Gazing for this post.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) has sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking a comprehensive safety review of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) in light of the recent leaks and mishaps at the plant. “I ask the NRC to thoroughly assess the conditions at the San Onofre plant to determine what further investigation and action is required at this time, and whether similar actions may be needed at other nuclear facilities,” reads Boxer’s letter to NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko.
Besides leaks in tubes that led to the recent shutdown of Unit 3, which may have prompted radiation to seap into the atmosphere, as well as the subsequent inspection and discovery of unusual wear to similar tubes at Unit 2, which was closed for maintenance, Boxer’s letter cited a SONGS worker falling into a pool of water laced with a small amount of radiation. It is feared the worker accidentally consumed some of that water, although he did not get sick.
The plant was evacuated in November due to a non-toxic leak. I’m sure it was non-toxic.
The amount of energy produced by nuclear power isn’t sufficient in terms of storing the toxic waste that’s lethal for thousands of years. But again, where’ Chuck DeVore to defend this? All hat and no cattle in Texas…..