Nuclear Whistleblower: “Spent Fuel Pools In US Are A Potential Timebomb, Situation Can Get Worse Than Chernobyl”

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Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:04 | 1159697 Spalding_Smailes
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Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:16 | 1159943 IQ 145
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 All thirty three boiling water reactors share the same spent fuel pool design--- well, fuck me mother. That's not a "design" that's a piece of in-exusable stupidity that was approved by the NRC. If you want to get mad at somebody, get mad at your federal government; please. they deserve it. I can't stand to think about this any longer so I'm signing off; bye now.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 08:17 | 1161049 trav7777
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there's nothing wrong with that pool design; it wasn't designed to be a PERMANENT STORAGE repository for spent fuel rods.

It's like using cinder blocks for a jackstand

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 16:05 | 1162832 d_senti
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Yes but even when they're not permanent, you have hot nuclear fuel sitting without containment for up to 6 years until they're ready for dry storage. It is a design flaw, not with the pool itself, but with the idea that you wouldn't give it some sort of even minimal containment.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:03 | 1159705 AUD
AUD's picture

Long term storage issues?

I thought that was already addressed in the form of turning radioactive waste into weapons & spraying them over 3rd world countries?

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 02:00 | 1171538 OldTrooper
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I see some don't appreciate dark humor.  Oh well, you can't please everyone.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:02 | 1159707 FunkyMonkeyBoy
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Can we please stop mentioning this Japan earthquake/nuclear disaster non-story.

It is now a month post this event and you can clearly see than the S&P 500 and DOW are at higher levels than BEFORE the 'disaster'.

This means all is well, got it? Am i surrounded by imbeciles or something... are you lot dense? Which part don't you get?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:07 | 1159724 NorthenSoul
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We congratulate the DOW and S&P500 for their outstanding expertise in nuclear physics and engineering.

What would we do without these 2 pillars of superhuman wisdom?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:45 | 1159865 disabledvet
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rumor is "their expertise is in reverse engineering and not engineering per se. (italics possibly added--but that's i think how they put it so there.)"  now "you go get the help to clean up than thingermagoooey."

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 04:40 | 1160786 tonyw
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I don't know about these 2 pillars of superhuman wisdom but in the true Us tradition of dealing fairly with whistle blowers

George Galatis will probably be stripped and locked up like Bradley Manning just in case he "harms himself":-(


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:01 | 1159708 AldousHuxley
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Standard Safety Protocol


  1. Disregard any recommendation by experts
  2. Disregard any risks
  3. Profit privately
  4. When disaster strikes, put someone else in the spotlight to deal with it
  5. Pay off victims
  6. Wait until public is distracted by something else
  7. Come out pointing fingers at others
  8. Repeat


Substitute spent fuel rods with derivatives regulation and criminal characters on wall st. and DC, situation IS worse than Great Depression.


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:48 | 1159872 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

what was number 5 again?  a "what" again?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:06 | 1159719 Buck Johnson
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Truly truly amazing, eventually we may have our Fuchishima problem.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:16 | 1159765 Dugald
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And you all thought your criminals were just in banking, Wall street and the mafia......

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:08 | 1159732 AldousHuxley
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Global earthquake activity since 1973 and nuclear power plant locations
Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:14 | 1159743 Rodent Freikorps
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By Roberta Rampton and Ayesha Rascoe Roberta Rampton And Ayesha Rascoe – Thu Mar 31, 7:32 pm ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican lawmakers on Thursday pressed the Obama administration on its decision to stop work on a permanent nuclear waste storage site inside Yucca Mountain, Nevada, launching a formal probe and grilling the nuclear regulator on Capitol Hill.


"Nobody likes to spend $12 billion and see it washed down the toilet," he said, referring to the amount of money Congress has spent so far on the Yucca project.


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:02 | 1160046 Heroic Couplet
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Republican BS. The objection to Yucca Mountain in Nevada is coming from the insurance companies. Start with Yucca Mountain. Draw concentric circles. Eventually you come to a structure, a property holding, a shopping mall. There's an insurance company bearing all the risk if something goes wrong, and with nuclear waste, something always goes wrong.

The idea of safety I like is you don't need Yucca Mountain. You figure out the top 10 people who are going to profit, and you bury the nuclear waste in their basement. Then you know what safe really means.

I'm all for Jack Welch, Karl Rove, and Rush Limbaugh going to Japan and reporting from right in front of the reactors. That they haven't is all I need to know about Fukushima.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:26 | 1160084 Rodent Freikorps
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No one thought of that before spending $12billion?

You are full of shit.

So, the insurance companies will cover the pools, but not a mountain in the desert?

Give me a break you Dem retard.

And I'll repost: pressed the Obama administration on its decision to stop work on a permanent nuclear waste storage...

Since you seem too stupid to have absorbed it the first time.

You, lame, lying crap weasel.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 09:21 | 1161163 Commander Cody
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In addition to your astute assessment of the hero's condition, might I add that insurance companys already take exception to liabilities caused by nuclear accidents and attacks.  Check your homeowner's policy to verify.

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 02:08 | 1171550 OldTrooper
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Paying claims would be bad for business.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:13 | 1159754 Encroaching Darkness
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THANK YOU SENATOR REID OF NEVADA, for preventing use of the Yucca Mountain facility that was designed and built over decades to store used nuclear fuel rods. Thanks to your selfless defense of an empty mountain in NV, we ALL can look forward to our own exposure to nuclear hazards!

If there ever was a case for TREASON and MALFEASANCE, Dingy Hairy is it!

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:18 | 1159771 Dugald
Dugald's picture

Why is it you always assasinate the wrong people?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:38 | 1159814 Encroaching Darkness
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(1) You are mistaken - I have not assassinated anyone.

(2) The blame for this rests squarely in Senator Reid's shoes - he represents NV, and in particular was responsible for delaying, denying and finally defeating the operating permits for Yucca Mtn. repository - I live next door in Utah, and had a good view of it from here. His "concern" that Yucca Mtn. was improperly designed was not due to any background as a nuclear engineer or designer - it came from his "NIMBY" supporters in Las Vegas, who raised all kinds of spurious claims that it would contaminate groundwater, and so forth.

(3) An empty mountain in NV would seem to be the IDEAL place to put nuclear waste, if you are not going to reprocess it - thank you, JIMMY CARTER for preventing that rational plan to deal with it. Since Carter denied reprocessing (and no one since has had the good sense to re-investigate it), we are stuck with storing it - and since Reid defeated the permits for Yucca Mtn., the rods sit in pools around the country, instead of in a secure facility DESIGNED TO HOLD THEM. Did you read the article above? Are you happy knowing that lots of rods sit all around the country, near LOTS of metropolitan areas instead of out in a desert inside a mountain?

Harry Reid will be responsible for the assassination of THOUSANDS or MILLIONS, unless you want to blame Carter for preventing a rational solution to the problem. Political payoffs are a bitch - when they make YOU glow in the dark.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:52 | 1159880 disabledvet
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ironically President Carter really was a nuclear expert.  And "he was President when we had our biggest nuclear crisis."

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:03 | 1159910 Rodent Freikorps
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Never trust the MFM.

According to the Naval Historical Center, LT Carter was honorably discharged from the US Navy on October 8, 1953 so that he could return home to care for the family farm. He had only started his nuclear power training on March 1, 1953. The training, in those very early days of the Navy’s nuclear program before the start up of Navy training courses, was conducted at civilian colleges, and Union College was one of the locations. However, it was definitely not a place where one could earn a master’s degree in nuclear engineering in just 7 months. That is especially true when you understand a bit about the Navy and realize that LT Carter probably did not do too much studying after he found out that his father had passed away in July 1953. (Leaving the Navy is not as simple as walking out the door.)


Fri, 04/15/2011 - 02:13 | 1171559 OldTrooper
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And to think that all these years I've wondered how a nuclear enginer could be so dense.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:53 | 1159891 goodrich4bk
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Of course you're right.  The creators of nuclear waste and those who profit from its power are not at all to blame for not having a good place to store it.  That's all Harry's fault and those damn NIMBY's and Eco Frauds.

How soon we forget.  The Eco Frauds were opposed to ANY nuke plants until the storage solution was found.  The profiteers and religious wing nut faction of the Republican Party who don't give a damn about what happens on our children's watch (their children will be long taken in the Rapture) successfully allowed plants to be built with storage solutions to come "later".

Well, now is later.  So while I bring you up short on your facile view of Harry, you are essentially correct: almost ANYWHERE would be a better storage solution than next to active plants that are prime terrorist targets.

My vote is either Yucca or a couple of miles deep in the Pacific Trench.  But do something NOW!

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:04 | 1159912 Rodent Freikorps
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Strawman much?


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:23 | 1159956 Encroaching Darkness
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Why are you ignoring reprocessing?

So-called "spent" nuclear fuel still has much useful uranium in it - which can be recaptured in a "reprocessing" scheme. Basically, you have to grind up the pellets, leach them out with acid, concentrate the useful uranium into new pellets and find a place to put the thorium, plutonium or whatever else until it decays. The VOLUME reduction from "spent rod" to "radioactive waste" is a decrease of A HUNDREDFOLD or more.

Yes, the residuals are more toxic than the spent fuel - but they can be encapsulated in glass, or stored in other ways because the reduced volume generates less heat - but such details as those don't matter to you, or to anyone else stuck in a NIMBY mindset; ALL nuclear waste is fearful, unmanageable DEATH to Gaia, or whatever environmental deity you're worshipping at the moment.

The Environmental Fundamentalist Religionists were NOT just opposed to any nuke plants UNTIL THE STORAGE SOLUTION WAS FOUND - they were opposed to them AT ALL, anywhere, under any circumstances. Gaia must be protected - and WE know how to protect her!

But I see no point in blaming the industry - back when these plants were on the drawing boards, they might have foreseen a viable reprocessing plant SOMEWHERE in America; before Jimmy Carter stopped any consideration of it, and all environmentalists since then have screamed bloody murder at the thought of new nuclear facilities of any kind.

I am not at all "brought up short on my facile view of Harry", as you put it - he is as opportunistic, short-sighted and CORRUPT as any other politician. Nor am I Democratic or Republican - they have both sold us out in so many ways it's impossible to count them all.

Ironic, really; more nuclear power might have saved the lives of quite a few coal miners, invalids with emphysema and tuberculosis and "black lung", and prevented the emission of quite a bit of mercury (by-product of coal burning) into the air, to be breathed by us all. In the last few years, the environmental fundamentalist religion has finally figured that out, and in order to protect Gaia are now SUPPORTING nuclear power, in some instances.

But yes, do something NOW - re-consider reprocessing, and use Yucca Mtn. to store whatever is left over - would probably be sufficient for centuries, until we discover even better ways to generate power with less waste of any kind.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 03:58 | 1160766 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Thank you for the thoughtful post. It was well said.        Milestones

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:55 | 1161786 Encroaching Darkness
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you're more than welcome - "thoughtful" is at least one of my goals! Also, informative, mildly entertaining, useful......

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 08:24 | 1161062 trav7777
trav7777's picture that Cobalt Coal show on Spike or whatever. Talk about inbred hillbillies. They run over the power cord for the coal cutting machine it seems like almost daily and emerge from the mine with soot-covered faces. Not a great life but they sho is dumb.

Gaia worshippers should worship in the dark. No electricity.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 15:11 | 1162613 MSimon
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Look up the rad waste problems from reprocessing. They are immense.

Hanford, Savannah River. Hanford is the biggest and most costly Superfund site in America.


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:26 | 1159796 Rodent Freikorps
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Reid is the reason I'm boycotting Vegas. They re-elected the worm.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:53 | 1159883 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

easy there tiger.  "when the Apocalypse finally comes" i know where I'm headin'.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:04 | 1159919 Rodent Freikorps
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Fri, 04/15/2011 - 02:24 | 1171567 OldTrooper
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Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:35 | 1159961 samsara
samsara's picture

Just about 100 miles north of Yucca in the last week


Hmm.  Look on 4/11

y/m/d h:m:s
  MAP  3.3   2011/04/11 01:05:00    38.375   -118.739  6.0   NEVADA MAP  2.6   2011/04/11 00:31:09    38.305   -118.873  0.0   NEVADA MAP  2.6   2011/04/11 00:27:00    38.372   -118.736  16.1   NEVADA MAP  4.2   2011/04/11 00:22:21    38.379   -118.735  13.8   NEVADA MAP  4.0   2011/04/11 00:21:17    38.374   -118.739  15.3   NEVADA MAP  3.5   2011/04/11 00:20:17    38.363   -118.741  9.4   NEVADA MAP  3.3   2011/04/11 00:13:12    38.337   -118.746  10.2   NEVADA MAP  2.8   2011/04/11 00:01:09    38.374   -118.732  15.2   NEVADA

 about 10+ earthquakes a couple days ago in Nevada, 4.0  the biggest one.(so far)

How about we find one of those Tectonic subduction zones like the 7 mile deep maranis trench and have it subducted back inside?

Google images of Subduction Zones

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:35 | 1159990 Rodent Freikorps
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You have to admit the tsunami danger is minimal in Nevada.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:35 | 1159992 Encroaching Darkness
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Perhaps a combination approach?

(1) Reprocess

(2) Encase waste in glass (prevent leaching into seawater if unsuccessful)

(3) Drop in Marianas Trench

(4) Install Geiger counters to track any "shipments" that are "diverted" instead of subducted

That might work; but geologic processes aren't my specialty; any takers?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:19 | 1159769 squexx
squexx's picture

Dump it all in Detroit, it's not like anyone will notice or care!!!

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:21 | 1159775 trav7777
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whistleblower?  WTF...I have been saying the same thing for 4 weeks now!

DOE's paper that I repeatedly cited studied this exact accident scenario.

The complete abdication of responsibility for decisionmaking on permanent repositories for nuke waste is what is the "timebomb" and it bit Japan totally in the ass.  This accident would have been FAR easier to deal with had they not had this can kicked by government for 50 years.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:43 | 1159854 Maxter
Maxter's picture

I think the wisleblowing part is about the 1992 memo.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:14 | 1159920 samsara
samsara's picture

"...I have been saying the same thing for 4 weeks now"


When this started some nitwit rube bragging to the effect that 'Our' waste was being managed properly in Yucca Mountain.

People hear sound byte news clips and piece together a reality that was never said.

Yes, we have a mountain, 

NO we haven't put a thing in it.

Like you I informed him that each reactor site has TONS and TONS literally that are in various places all around the site.

55 gallon drum sized containers with low level waste,  'Ponds' and 'Swimming pools'  filled with spent rods,

.... Just 'Waiting' for that mythical 'Someday'  when they will be transfered to that mythical location where they will 'Permanently'  be stored for 10,000-20,000 years. 

'We are just humans and Reality is WAY above our heads"

Collectively, We're playing WAY above our heads with our technology. 

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:24 | 1159786 High Plains Drifter
High Plains Drifter's picture

oh yes, they do the same damn thing here that the japanese were doing with the spent fuel rod storage. accident looking for a place to happen. shut them all down and get out of this business..........

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 09:10 | 1161205 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Immediately?  And replace 20% of the generating capacity in the US with what?  And just walk away leaving spent fuel pools and dry storage facilities at every plant while pretending there "might" be a solution down the road?  Wait for another blue ribbon panel to make recommendations that will be ignored?  Its fun and easy to be an idealist, yipee!  Not so much to be a realist with actual problems to solve.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:28 | 1159798 honestann
honestann's picture

This is an accurate article, as far as it goes.  However, a great many other blatant frauds and fiascoes involving nuclear plant design, location and approval were also revealed by other nuclear engineers over the past several decades.

While nuclear power plants can probably be designed to be safe and still remain cost effective, the current designs are utterly and completely irresponsible in many ways, including those mentioned in the article.

The predators-that-be in the large corporations and government care zero about the consequences of their actions, especially in the world of today when they have absolute, total control of the so-called "legal system".  Everyone involved in TEMCO and GE should be arrested, locked up, tried for fraud, criminal malfeasance and crimes against humanity, then hung (or better yet, imprisoned in reactor building 3 until nature and justice takes their course).

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:28 | 1159803 Everybodys All ...
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Does anyone know if there are nuclear facilities here in the US that have multiple reactors on the same site as are at the Fukishima plant site?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:45 | 1159866 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Why, yes - they usually get numbers, such as Indian Point #1 and Indian Point #2. It appears from a quick perusal of the NRC website that the highest number of reactors on one site is 3 - as in Florida's Oconee #3. (Note that there's also a Turkey Point #4, but no mention of T.P. 1&2 - they may have been shut down).

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 09:20 | 1161225 Commander Cody
Commander Cody's picture

Three US plants have 3 operating reactors: 1) Palo Verde in Arizona, 2) Browns Ferrry in Alabama, and 3) Oconee in South Carolina.  With applications under review by the NRC for additional plants to be added at existing sites, there is a possibility (remote in my view considering the economy and the lack of interest in financing anything worthwhile on Wall Street) that there may be a number of 4-unit sites in the future.  Turkey Point 1 and 2 are fossil units, while 3 and 4 are nukes.

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