Monday, May 16, 2011

US NRC to Stop 24-Hour Fukushima Watch, "Situation Stable and Improving"

Just when TEPCO and the Japanese government are coming clean of what they knew all along - that it was a core meltdown in all three reactors at Fukushima, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced that it will stop monitoring Fukushima on the 24-hour/day basis because the situation is now "stable" and continues to "improve".

Uh huh.

The NRC must have known all along about the core meltdown, if what they claimed was true, that they had access to all the information that TEPCO had.

From NY Times (5/16/2011):

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday that its 24-hour operations center had stopped monitoring the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant because the situation there had improved. “The conditions at the Japanese reactors are slowly stabilizing,” said William Borchardt, the agency’s chief staff official. “As conditions have continued to improve and the Japanese continue to implement their recovery plan, the N.R.C. has determined that it is time to adjust our response,” he said. The agency still has a team of engineers in Tokyo, he said. Mr. Borchardt said last week that the condition of the reactors was “static but not stable.”


Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

The NRC is happy to stop monitoring the nuclear industry whenever they can. Now they just ask the operators in the US to monitor themselves. The NRC cited the expense of 1 million dollars per year as the reason for ending the testing. The NRC has also severely truncated their safety inspections of facilities they mostly rely on the operators records and assurances to determine a facilities safety.

"The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ended its contracts with 34 states (all the states with reactors) to perform radiation monitoring around certain nuclear facilities at the end of 1997.

Elimination of this program, however, will not impact the NRC's ability to monitor and regulate safety at the facilities. Licensees are required to continue their own environmental monitoring activities to verify that radiation levels around their facilities are negligible."

I'm going to dig out my files on the very near catastrophe at the Davis-Besse NPP back in 2002. I have a picture of the hole in the reactor vessel and a report showing that the 3/16 inch stainless steel liner had cracked and bulged into the void. The NRC knew there was a problem but they allowed FirstEnergy to operate the reactor for two more months so they didn't lose $250,000 dollars a days because of unplanned outages.

"The NRC has to report its Davis-Besse findings to Congress, but neither lawmakers nor the public will be able to see the detailed analysis that led the agency to conclude that the rust hole was a serious near- miss. The bulk of the analytical work is classified due to the NRC’s post-9/11 security concerns. (Yeah, Al-Qaeda is going to attack our NPP's with criminal neglect and corrosion)

Critics called the decision to classify the work unnecessary and an attempt by the NRC to cover up its mistakes."

Anonymous said...

Robbie001 sez:

Look what I came across. Back in 1967 Minnesota challenged the AEC (pre-NRC)and forced them to revised the amount of radiation they were allowed to emit during normal operations.

"The first challenge based on routine operation"

Minnesota's actions relating to the Monticello reactor led directly to a dramatic tightening of regulations for nuclear power plant radioactive pollution. The reactor was nearing completion in 1967 — the year that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) was created. The first major application to the MPCA was for a permit to Northern States Power (NSP), now Xcel Energy, to "discharge certain industrial wastes" from the reactor. The application did not mention radioactive pollution.

The MPCA asked NSP for more information; it flatly refused, claiming that the AEC had exclusive jurisdiction over radioactive pollution and, hence, neither Minnesota nor any other state had any authority. That did not sit well with Minnesota officials. To make a long story short, Minnesota promulgated regulations on radioactive pollution that were about 100 times more restrictive than those of the AEC. These were based on NSP's claim that actual emissions would be that much below what AEC regulations would allow.

This was the first ever challenge to nuclear power on the basis of its environmental and health impacts during routine operation, not from accidents. Minnesota's action led to a major national examination of the health effects of radioactive pollution — in particular the cancer risks. NSP challenged in the federal courts; in the process, more than 20 other states joined the action in support of Minnesota. While the AEC won in court, it was forced to tighten its standards to approximately those proposed by Minnesota.

This article doubts a nuclear renaissance will come to Minnesota any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the NRC finally realizes that their job isn't important to the public? Ironically, tonight at the Davis Besse Plant in Ohio --the NRC public safety meeting was attended by media sources --First Energy administration and NRC staff---no one else ---no public people / residents bothered to show up --none! does lead a person to wonder...just why should the NRC do much of anything at all??? If the only parties who "care" are the media and the plant ownership = then who does really care????

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