Hurricane Florence could unleash two dozen Fukushima's. Nobody in the MSM or in government are talking about the dangers. What do the experts say?
Lessons Learned from Fukushima
Fukushima is often spoken of by many, as a possible extinction level event because of the radiation threat. Fukushima was an extinction level event for the Pacific Ocean and it continues to wreak havoc upon the world and in the United States as we are being bathed in deadly radiation from this event.
Because of Fukushima, fish are becoming inedible and the ocean currents as well as the prevailing ocean winds are carrying deadly radiation. Undoubtedly, by this time, the radioactivity has made its way into the transpiration cycle which means that crops are being dowsed with deadly radiation. The radiation has undoubtedly made its way into the water table in many areas and impacts every aspect of the food supply. The health costs to human beings is incalculable. However, this article is not about the devastation at Fukushima, instead, this article focuses on the fact that North America could have a total of 124 Fukushima events if the necessary conditions were present.
A Festering Problem
Long before Fukushima, American regulators knew that a power failure lasting for days involving the power grid connected to a nuclear plant, regardless of the cause, including a disabling hurricane, would most likely lead to a dangerous radioactive leak in at least several nuclear power plants. A complete loss of electrical power poses a major problem for nuclear power plants because the reactor core must be kept cool as well as the back-up cooling systems, all of which require massive amounts of power to work. Heretofore, all the NERC drills which test the readiness of a nuclear power plant are predicated on the notion that a blackout will only last 24 hours or less. Amazingly, this is the sum total of a NERC litmus test.
According to Judy Haar, a recognized expert in nuclear plant failure analyses, when a nuclear power plant loses access to off-grid electricity, the event is referred to as a "station blackout". Haar states that all 104 US nuclear power plants are built to withstand electrical outages without experiencing any core damage, through the activation of an automatic start up of emergency generators powered by diesel. However, the ability to withstand such an event (eg Hurricane Florence), is not limitless. Are the authorities doing what they need to do to protect the power integrity of the two dozen power plants (ie nuclear) that stand in the way?
Further, when emergency power kicks in, an automatic shutdown of the nuclear power plant commences. The dangerous control rods are dropped into the core, while water is pumped by the diesel power generators into the reactor to reduce the heat and thus, prevent a meltdown. Here is the catch in this process, the spent fuel rods are encased in both a primary and secondary containment structure which is designed to withstand a core meltdown. However, should the pumps stop because either the generators fail or diesel fuel is not available, the fuel rods are subsequently uncovered and a Fukushima type of core meltdown commences immediately. At this point, I took Judy Haar's comments to a source of mine at the Palo Verde Nuclear power plant. My source informed me that as per NERC policy, nuclear power plants are required to have enough diesel fuel to run for a period of seven days. Some plants have thirty days of diesel. This is the good news, but it is all downhill after the 7/30 day scenarios. Let us collectively pray that is enough for what is coming.
The Unresolved Power Blackout Problem
A more detailed analysis reveals that the spent fuel pools carry depleted fuel for the reactor. Normally, this spent fuel has had time to considerably decay and therefore, reducing radioactivity and heat. However, the newer discharged fuel still produces heat and needs cooling. Housed in high density storage racks, contained in buildings that vent directly into the atmosphere, radiation containment is not accounted for with regard to the spent fuel racks. In other words, there is no capture mechanism. In this scenario, accompanied by a lengthy electrical outage, and with the emergency power waning due to either generator failure or a lack of diesel needed to power the generators, the plant could lose the ability to provide cooling. The water will subsequently heat up, boil away and uncover the spent fuel rods which required being covered in at least 25 feet of water to remain benign from any deleterious effects. Ultimately, this would lead to fires as well and the release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. This would be the beginning of another Fukushima event right here on American soil. Both my source and Haar shared exactly the same scenario about how a meltdown would occur. Subsequently, I spoke with Roger Landry who worked for Raytheon in various Department of Defense projects for 28 years, many of them in this arena and Roger also confirmed this information and that the above information is well known in the industry.
Placing Odds On a Failure Is a Fools Errand
An analysis of individual plant risks released in 2003 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission shows that for 39 of the 104 nuclear reactors, the risk of core damage from a blackout was greater than 1 in 100,000. At 45 other plants the risk is greater than 1 in 1 million, the threshold NRC is using to determine which severe accidents should be evaluated in its latest analysis. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Beaver Valley Power Station, Unit 1, in Pennsylvania has the greatest risk of experiencing a core meltdown, 6.5 in 100,000, according to the analysis. These odds don't sound like much until you consider that we have 124 nuclear power generating plants in the US and Canada and when we consider each individual facility, the odds of failure climb. Howmany meltdowns would it take in this country before our citizens would be condemned to the hellish nightmare, or worse, being experienced by the Japanese on a permanent basis?