Saturday, March 26, 2011

Reactors in the US Similar to Japan's Fukushima

List of US Nuclear Reactors with the same weak containment design as the Fukushima Reactors.

General Electric Boiling Water Reactor MARK I Containments (24 units) in U.S.:
    * Browns Ferry 1, 2 and 3, Decatur, AL
    * Brunswick 1 & 2, Southport, NC
    * Cooper, Brownville, NE
    * Dresden 2 & 3, Morris, IL
    * Duane Arnold, Palo, IA
    * Edwin Hatch 1 & 2, Baxley, GA
    * Fermi 2, Monroe, MI
    * Hope Creek, Artificial Island, NJ
    * Fitzpatrick, Scriba, NY
    * Millstone 1, Waterford, CT
    * Monticello, Monticello, MN
    * Nine Mile Point Unit 1, Scriba, NY
    * Oyster Creek, Lacey Township, NJ
    * Peach Bottom 2 & 3, Delta, PA
    * Pilgrim 1, Plymouth, MA
    * Quad Cities 1 & 2, Cordova, IL
    * Vermont Yankee, Vernon, VT.

In 1986, Harold Denton, then the NRC's (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission) top safety official, told an industry trade group that the "Mark I containment, especially being smaller with lower design pressure, in spite of the suppression pool, if you look at the WASH 1400 safety study, you'll find something like a 90% probability of that containment failing." Denton has previously "served" as the NRC's point man sent into Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor control room in the first hours and days of the 1979 meltdown accident.

Vermont Yankee (Reactor), just several days ago (from March 12 news), got a 20 year license extension from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, effectively overriding the deep and broad opposition to the license extension, from the Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin, to the State Senate which voted a year ago by 26 to 4 to shut down the reactor, all the way to grassroots environmental activists across the state. 

Obviously, the Vermont Yankee containment is questionable now -- it's been questionable for decades. While earthquakes may be considered rare in Vermont, they are not unheard of, or beyond the realm of possibility. But of course there are other pathways for accidents, or attacks, at Vermont Yankee, that could end in similar results as what is unfolding at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant -- from age related degradation at the 40 year old Vermont Yankee atomic reactor causing systems, structures, or components to fail, to an intentional attack on the fragile, flimsy facility.


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