Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nuclear Power...It is safe....Really....Trust them.‏

Last year Obama said Nuclear Power Plants in the United States are safe.  Sure Russia has had problems in the past.  And sure Japan has had problems more recently.  And sure there were issues at 3 Mile Island a couple of decades ago.  But this is 2012 and everything is safe as can be….Don’t you even worry your silly little head.  Just trust them…… 

federal regulators have determined that design flaws appear to be the cause of excessive wear in tubing that carries radioactive water through California's troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant 

The twin-reactor plant between Los Angeles and San Diego has been idle since January, after a tube break in one of four, massive steam generators released traces of radiation. A team of federal investigators was dispatched to the plant in March after the discovery that some tubes were so badly corroded that they could fail and possibly release radiation, a stunning finding inside the virtually new equipment. 

Eight tubes failed during earlier pressure tests in the Unit 3 reactor and "we have not seen that in the industry before,"
"It's these four steam generators that either have, or are susceptible to, this type of problem," Collins said, referring to the unusual damage caused when alloy tubes vibrate and rattle against each other or brackets that hold them in place.
"It's not too hard to frame up the problem," he added. "The answers are very difficult, or they already would have emerged."
What's at issue is why so many tubes degraded so quickly, when the design changes were intended to improve the plant's performance and longevity. 

The tubes have to be thin enough to transfer heat, but thick enough to hold up under heavy pressure. They represent a critical safety barrier — if a tube breaks, there is the potential that radioactivity can escape into the atmosphere. Also, serious leaks can drain protective cooling water from a reactor.

Everything sounds safe to me….

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