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

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Nuclear Whistleblower: “Spent Fuel Pools in US are a potential timebomb, situation can get worse than Chernobyl”

Interview by Tuur Demeester

George Galatis became world famous in 1996, when Time Magazine
featured him in its cover article “Nuclear Warriors”. Today, he warns
that that the situation in the USA may soon become much graver than that
in Japan.

Working as a Senior Engineer at Northeast Utilities company (NU) in
Connecticut, Galatis noticed that across the country, high-level
radioactive waste was being stored in overfull spent-fuel pools,
creating the kinds of risk that could lead to a nuclear disaster with
radiological consequences greater than those in Japan today, graver than
even the Chernobyl disaster. Indeed, along with a host of other safety
related issues, his 1992 memo specifically mentioned that some of the
pool’s cooling pipes weren’t designed to withstand an earthquake as they
were required to.

After a lengthy legal battle, and dealing
with an uncooperative Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Northeast
Utilities Company was eventually convicted of 25 federal felonies, was
forced to sell all of its nuclear plants, and lost over $3 billion in
what company CEO Bruce Kenyon called “the largest management turnaround
in the history of the nuclear industry”. Eventually, NU grudgingly made
the fuel pool cooling system changes that Galatis had suggested. Though
treated as a hero by the public, collegues continued intimidation and
threats, according to Galatis, which eventually killed his career in the
nuclear industry.

In light of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, where spent fuel rods are
in effect melting down in the aftermath of an earth quake and
subsequent tsunami, these sentences of the 1996 Time article have a
prophetic ring to them:

“Because the Federal Government has never created a storage site for high-level radioactive waste, fuel pools in nuclear plants across the country have become de facto nuclear dumps—with
many filled nearly to capacity. The pools weren’t designed for this
purpose, and risk is involved: the rods must be submerged at all times. A
cooling system must dissipate the intense heat they give off. If the
system failed, the pool could boil, turning the plant into a lethal
sauna with clouds of reactive steam. And
if earthquake, human error or mechanical failure drained the pool, the
result could be catastrophic: a meltdown of multiple cores taking place
outside of the reactor containment, releasing massive amounts of
radiation and rendering hundreds of square miles uninhabitable.
” (Emphasis added.)

So what does whistleblower George Galatis make of the global nuclear
crisis that developed since the earthquake and tsunami of March 11?

George Galatis: “Since
the start of the Japanese nuclear crisis, I have been very concerned
about its consequences to the Japanese people, to the general public,
about the lack of attention to what I perceive as being the real issue.”

Tuur Demeester: What is the real issue at stake, in your opinion?

GG: “The real issue is that
of nuclear safety. Right now the true risk to public health and safety
associated with the generation of nuclear power is intentionally kept
from the public. Because of misplaced trust, these enormous risks are in
effect being enforced on the public without their knowledge or consent.
People need to know about and agree to accept the real risks involved
so that when a scenario like Fukushima—or worse—arises here, there is
already a degree of acceptance. Without this formal public acceptance,
nuclear power will never be cost effective nor will it survive.”

“And despite many years of hard work of
the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and others such as Robert
Alvarez of the Institute for Policy Studies, the risks associated with
nuclear power and in particular, the storage of spent fuel in the spent
fuel pools, have not been properly addressed by the nuclear industry and
its Federal regulator. Without appropriate action, the nuclear tragedy
in Japan may very well be reproduced on American soil at some point in
the near future.”

TD: Why were these risks kept hidden from the public?

GG: “The reason for
this, in my opinion, is that the radiation dose limits of a spent fuel
pool accident would now exceed the limits set by Congress and originally
agreed to by the public when the license to operate or build a nuclear
plant was approved. Had the radiological consequences or risks
associated with a spent fuel pool accident been communicated to the
public prior to the NRC and the nuclear industry opting to
perform full core off loads and store vast amounts of spent fuel in the
pool, the public would not have accepted them. So, the NRC opted instead
to ignore this change “from original operation” and its radiological
impact by offering this as their official position: “the agency [NRC]
analyzes dose rates at the time a plant opens—when its pool is empty.
The law does not contain a provision for rereview.” Unfortunately, the
industry also went along with this line of reasoning, even though it
blatently contradicts reality.”

TD: Could you name some specific risks the public is facing today?

GG: “For example, one of
the big surprises the public has become aware of is that the spent fuel
pools in the Japanese nuclear power plants do not have a containment
structure over them to prevent the escape of radioactive contaminants.
People today can not believe how the design of a plant could so grossly
compromise the health and safety of the general public. Yet this is one
of the key safety issues we have right here in the USA as well: 23
American reactors are based on the same ‘Mark I’ blueprint as the
Fukushima plant, and all 33 US Boiling Water Reactors share the same
spent fuel pool design.”

TD: What are the safety issues with the spent fuel pools?

GG: “These pools
were originally designed to hold less than half of a reactor’s core of
fuel as a normal mode of operation, and that on a temporary basis. They
were never intended to serve as a long-term nuclear fuel storage
facility. However, today most nuclear plants in the USA contain more
than five cores, which is at least ten times their original design for
normal operation, and at least 2-3 times more than the amount held at
the Fukushima unit 4 spent fuel pool.
This means the US power
plants, especially those with elevated spent fuel pools, are potential
ticking timebombs, waiting for earth quakes, human error, acts of
malice, or terrorism to cause a radiological crisis.”

TD: Your success as a nuclear whistleblower did not turn the tide?

GG: “Only
temporarily, but I knew that beforehand. Many warnings to the industry,
the nuclear industry regulators, and Congress, have not been heeded at
all. For example, after the 9/11 attacks here in the USA, a
Congressional Commission was formed and one of the issues was how
vulnerable the nuclear plants were to terrorist attacks, especially
airplane attacks. In response, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued a
public proclamation that the plants are safe because of the concrete
dome protecting the ‘reactor’. Their initial answer was entirely beside
the question, and the issue of the spent-fuel pools remained unanswered,
in my opinion intentionally.”

TD: Worldwide, there are sixty
reactors under construction in 15 countries, with most in Asia, the USA,
and eastern Europe. According to the Council of Foreign Relations,
the USA currently has 25 reactors in the planning stages, with $8.33
billion in loan guarantees for the construction of two nuclear reactors
in Georgia. What are your thoughts about this expansion of nuclear power

“In the USA, I would not consider any future expansion until the
current nuclear safety, national security, and long-term storage issues
have been addressed, approved by all stakeholders (public, industry,
regulators, legislators), implemented fully, and are fully functional. 
It would be premature and unwise to start building new plants when the
issues of the present plants haven’t been addressed yet, especially the
spent fuel and national security issues.  In addition, much can be
learned from from the current Japanese crisis which may need to be
incorporated into the new designs once that evaluation and analysis is
completed. “

TD: Do you have any final words of advice to share?

GG: “In my
experience, official sources of information are often confusing and of
little transparency. Given the enormous risks involved, it is vitally
important for everyone to do their own research and become more
informed. Fortunately today, thanks to the Internet, there are
sufficient resources available. As I mentioned before, I think the Union
of Concerned Scientists is doing an excellent job in addressing the
pressing issues at hand and educating the public. Hopefully, the
industry, the NRC, and Congress will heed their advice and remember
whose interests it is they are supposed to serve: those of the general

Recommended background articles:

Time Magazine 03/04/1996: “Nuclear Warriors

Time Magazine 03/17/1997: “Nuclear Safety Fallout

New York Times: “Experts Had Long Criticized Potential Weakness in Design of Stricken Reactor

The Boston Channel tv: Plants stockpiling nuclear waste?

All Things Nuclear: Internal NRC Document Reveals Doubts about Safety Measures

Union of Concerned Scientists: Nuclear Power Safety

Union of Concerned Scientists: Sabotage and Attacks on Reactors

CNN: “Nuclear Whistleblower Explains Design Flaws of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan

Wikipedia: List of Boiling Water Reactors


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Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:04 | 1159697 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:16 | 1159943 IQ 145
IQ 145's picture

 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
trav7777's picture

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
d_senti's picture

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
OldTrooper's picture

I see some don't appreciate dark humor.  Oh well, you can't please everyone.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:02 | 1159707 FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

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
NorthenSoul's picture

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
disabledvet's picture

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
tonyw's picture

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
AldousHuxley's picture

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
Buck Johnson's picture

Truly truly amazing, eventually we may have our Fuchishima problem.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:16 | 1159765 Dugald
Dugald's picture

And you all thought your criminals were just in banking, Wall street and the mafia......

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:08 | 1159732 AldousHuxley
AldousHuxley's picture

Global earthquake activity since 1973 and nuclear power plant locations
Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:14 | 1159743 Rodent Freikorps
Rodent Freikorps's picture
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
Heroic Couplet's picture

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
Rodent Freikorps's picture

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
Commander Cody's picture

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
OldTrooper's picture

Paying claims would be bad for business.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:13 | 1159754 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

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
Encroaching Darkness's picture

(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
disabledvet's picture

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
Rodent Freikorps's picture

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
OldTrooper's picture

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
goodrich4bk's picture

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
Rodent Freikorps's picture

Strawman much?


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:23 | 1159956 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

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
Encroaching Darkness's picture

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
MSimon's picture

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
Rodent Freikorps's picture

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
Rodent Freikorps's picture


Fri, 04/15/2011 - 02:24 | 1171567 OldTrooper
OldTrooper's picture


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
Rodent Freikorps's picture

You have to admit the tsunami danger is minimal in Nevada.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:35 | 1159992 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

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
trav7777's picture

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 ...
Everybodys All American's picture

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.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 11:52 | 1161781 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Thank you for that information! I'm not all that close to nuclear, but had passing interest in it a while back.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:46 | 1159868 Maxter
Maxter's picture

I will talk out of my ass here, but I'm pretty sure they all have more than one.  For economic reasons.

Chernobyl had 4.  3 of wich continued to work until the year 2000 or so.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:37 | 1159819 IdioTsincracY
IdioTsincracY's picture

I think they're saving all those rods for the American taxpayer. As we bend over for another round of "trickle down" wealth, we'll find pleasure as they shove those rods up our arses.
I think that just about does for 'screwing up' the American people.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:36 | 1159827 QaplaSilver
QaplaSilver's picture

Does anyone else get the nagging feeling that the people in charge of the government and the mega-corps seem to almost want to create mass suffering? Or are they just so stupid, deranged and arrogant that even Caligula would be embarrassed?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:54 | 1159886 trav7777
trav7777's picture

they're really just stupid but they have been told how great they are their entire lives.

Read about Antoinette's reaction to being taken to her own execution in a horse cart; she was incredulous that she was not given a carriage.  Our "elites" are really that out of touch.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:55 | 1159890 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Caligula would blush.  Good one.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:56 | 1159893 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:51 | 1159881 IdioTsincracY
IdioTsincracY's picture

We are the stupid ones. It sort of feels like those tens of thousands of Jews who could not muster up the strength to revolt against their guards in their camps. [Not intended to offend anybody] As we see these few people ruin our life, we do absolutely nothing as we keep going about our 'pursuit of happiness' (or lack thereof).
Millions of us against few thousands of them ... but the sheeple can only fight each other....
What a shame!!

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:07 | 1159923 trav7777
trav7777's picture

hell they couldn't muster the strength to not board trains to concentration camps

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:28 | 1159975 djsmps
djsmps's picture

I'm not Jewish and certainly wasn't there during the holocaust. But, I don't buy your analogy. First of all, they didn't know , except maybe the last transports from Poland, that they were going to their deaths. I think if they know and understood that they were facing the unimaginable, it would have been different. But who, even during those times, could even imagine the Nazi's would do what they did. And there certainly were uprisings in some camps by survivors, particulary Treblinka.

We have much more knowledge now, except most people just believe what they are told. This was quoted a few days ago in this forum, and it bothers to think this may be the way most people in this country react:

 “In a way, the world-view of the Party imposed itself most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. They simply swallowed everything. . .”  George Orwell. "Nineteen Eighty-Four"

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:08 | 1160059 Psquared
Psquared's picture

There were plenty of revolts ... nothing widespread or organized because it couldn't be. But where there were revolts the Jews were gunned down unmercifully.

Gee, I wonder why all those prisoners in Guantanamo Bay don't rebel against their captors and bust right outta those cells.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 07:40 | 1160952 moneymutt
moneymutt's picture

same thing for slavery in southern US, revolts happened but they never could succeed but they couldn't overthrow like Haitians did due to things being spread out, difficulty of organizing...its like saying north koreans are passive but those south koreans, they knew how to fight for democracy.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 20:51 | 1159884 max2205
max2205's picture

Crap, now if it happens here we won't be surprised.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 21:55 | 1160028 paperhead
paperhead's picture

What to do with spent fuel rods:

1) keep them in the swiming pool--danger Will Robinson!

2) ship to Yucca or someplace else- Right past your house.

3) Bury them on-site in a 30000 foot deep well drilled with modern oil well type rig.  Way below the water table.  Use directional drilling to create dozens of 1000 meter long holes from the same surface hole.  Put the rods down there in small bunches. Concrete them in place in well spaced out bunches.  This should keep them out of our hair for 100million+ years. Problem solved, cheap, safe.  Why aren't we doing this now?


Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:02 | 1160048 Encroaching Darkness
Encroaching Darkness's picture

Someone above brought up earthquakes, in relation to Yucca Mountain; although I believe (could be wrong) that there was some consideration given in the design of the facility to earthquakes; also, I'm aware that Fukushima was NOT designed with an 8.0 earthquake in mind (although, it withstood that, it was the tsunami that caused the failures).

Still, to address your suggestion (actually, not too shabby) we would have to address the seismic stability of each site; if you drill down and encase in concrete next door to a large fault, it might not be a hundred million years before problems "resurfaced", or found other routes to recontact. I would like to reclaim the usable uranium, since we aren't finding a whole lot of it lately, and the Russians are about to quit selling us old warheads to recycle; if the grounds are seismically suitable, something like what you suggest might be practical.

To address your "shipping" point - surely all these fuel rods were shipped IN? Why should it be any more bothersome to ship spent rods OUT? (properly radiation shielded, of course).

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:57 | 1160284 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Whoa. There are no 30,000-ft wells and no one is going to do any ultradeep horizontal drilling. 15,000 ft onshore with four 1000 meter laterals = $10 million. No known technique for shoving "bunches" of fuel rods downhole, but assume it exists. Who are you going to hire to do the drilling? Convict labor? Jeez. Abandoned hard rock mines, bub.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 06:57 | 1160872 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Even those costs are too low, a well shaft is not large enough in diameter to transport the dry casks down, much less the machinery for horizontal drilling.   

$12 BILLION is what the government paid for doing basically the same thing close to the surface (Yucca).  Yucca achieves economies of scale in regards to implementation cost and storage capacity.  However, it also introduces the risk of transportation (the current alternative being the brilliant spent fuel pool model).  Assuming that each US reactor has a suitable geological profile, you would still have to spend billions of dollars at each reactor site...  

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:05 | 1160051 Psquared
Psquared's picture

Okay, somebody tell me exactly WHY we cannot put spent fuel rods on rockets and fire them into the sun?

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:52 | 1160272 TomJoad
TomJoad's picture

"Ours always blow up."


Actually though; current tech has high earth orbit payload costs around $10k per pound, so about $40,000,000,000 for just what was in the pools at Fukushima. Seems cheap now.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:33 | 1160133 Madhouse
Madhouse's picture

This is one sure fact about nukes: the owners never live closer than 100 miles to any one of them - and never upwind. That business has to go the way of tobacco.

Scum pieces of shit.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 15:20 | 1162645 MSimon
MSimon's picture

Tobacco is the drug of choice for schizophrenics.

Schizophrenia and Tobacco

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 22:33 | 1160143 luckly123
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Tue, 04/12/2011 - 03:54 | 1160763 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

I am really tired of this chink.

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Mon, 04/11/2011 - 23:02 | 1160311 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Tyler please yank this asshole's account. Thx.

Mon, 04/11/2011 - 23:34 | 1160406 Cameli
Cameli's picture

Just drop 'em in the Marianas trench. How much damage can they do down there?

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 00:04 | 1160487 nah
nah's picture

its like the terrorists lets do it


declare war against nuclear power ! spends some trill and kick som ass

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 00:02 | 1160488 nah
nah's picture

United we stand

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 03:54 | 1160761 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

So the government has been assuring us that a plane couldnt crash thru a hardened containment building and put one reactor core at risk, when there are five cores in an open pool 50 yards away. I think if i were a terrorist i would aim for the open cooling pools and release five cores with my cessna packed with explosives.

Tue, 04/12/2011 - 05:25 | 1160811 ivars
ivars's picture

Short summary with data and table why Fukushima moved into 7 and how 10% of Chernobyl has been calculated. Actually, Cs-137 with 30 years half life is has been already leaked at amounts =20% of Chernobyl total. And its reactor 2 which has been and still is responsible.

Fri, 04/15/2011 - 09:12 | 1171990 mess nonster
mess nonster's picture

Nuclear power is as safe as playing Russian roulette. So, when NP boosters claim it is safe, it is the difference between playing Russian roulette once a month (less safe) versus playing Russian roulette once a year (more safe). That about sums it up.

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