The idea of self-policing and minimizing government regulatory oversight worked so well for Boeing and its still-grounded 737 Max 8 jetliner fleet, the Trump administration now wants to expand those same powers to the nation’s aging nuclear power plants.What could possibly go wrong?The industry insists that self-policing can work and that operators of the 90-plus nuclear plants across the country don’t need the kind of rigorous federal inspections that have been required annually or once every two years under previous administrations.Under plans now being contemplated, inspections would be reduced to as little as once every three years.A Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff report, recently made public, recommends cutting back on nuclear reactor inspections to improve efficiency and save money.Competition in the energy-generating industry has grown much stiffer with the increased use of cheaper natural gas and renewable sources.Nuclear power generation has long struggled … [Read more...] about EDITORIAL: Bad idea: Nuclear power plants policing themselves
Nuclear power plant explosion
Oregon has had a moratorium on nuclear energy facilities for 40 years, but legislators are considering whether to explore the potential in small modular reactors to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals Tucked into a bill calling for additional data collection on Oregon’s carbon dioxide sequestration potential is a provision directing the state’s energy department to study the viability of small modular nuclear reactors to help reach greenhouse gas reduction goals. These reactors are smaller and housed underground in large pools of water, making the technology safer than traditional nuclear reactors, according to developers of the technology. But critics say their safety is questionable and Oregon should instead be looking to wind and solar, which are cheaper and pose less risk. Rep. David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford) brought House Bill 3433 forward last month to accompany the passage of Oregon’s cap-and-trade legislation. He told fellow members of the Joint … [Read more...] about Could nuclear power return to Oregon?
In explosive new book, calls for U.S. reactors to be shut down before 'catastrophe' Mark Albert, Hearst Television Chief National Investigative Correspondent Updated 4:36 pm PST, Monday, January 14, 2019 FILE - This Nov. 3, 2008 file photo shows one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila Beach, Calif. A panel created to develop a strategic vision for decommissioning of California's Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant wants the process to begin immediately after the Central Coast facility shuts down in the middle of the next decade. The report Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 by the Diablo Canyon Decommissioning Engagement Panel will be sent to Pacific Gas & Electric and the California Public Utilities Commission. The panel seeks to have radiological decontamination completed 10 years after shutdown. less FILE - This Nov. 3, 2008 file photo shows one of Pacific Gas and Electric's Diablo Canyon Power Plant's nuclear reactors in Avila … [Read more...] about Former top regulator now says nuclear power ‘hazardous’
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- The nation's electrical grid worked well for 80 years without the Internet, but today it is as vulnerable to cyber-based missteps and attacks as it was during the Great Blackout of 2003, says a national engineering security expert. This vulnerability cannot be protected by software engineers, Joseph Weiss, an electrical engineer and managing partner of California-based Applied Control Solutions, told a conference of security experts gathered at the IX Center on Tuesday. Weiss, a 40-year veteran mechanical and computer systems engineer including 15 years with the Electric Power Research Institute, has assisted congressional committees in trying to figure out how to harden the national gird and is currently helping the Nuclear Regulatory Commission develop new rules for power plant security. Joseph WeissPlain Dealer file He blames Information Technology, or IT, engineers for the failure to develop engineering to protect the grid as well as pipelines, power … [Read more...] about Electrical grid, power plants, pipelines vulnerable to cyber attack, security expert says
Rolf Schulten/ullstein bild via Getty Images Looking for news you can trust?Subscribe to our free newsletters. This story was originally published by Wired. It appears here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. On March 11, 2011, a one-two, earthquake-tsunami punch knocked out the safety systems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, triggering an explosion of hydrogen gas and meltdowns in three of its six reactors—the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Fukushima’s facility was built with 1960s technology, designed at a time when engineers underestimated plant vulnerabilities during natural disasters. In the US, 20 plants with similar designs are currently operating. One of them is slated for a head-on collision with Hurricane Florence. Duke Energy Corp’s dual-reactor, 1,870-megawatt Brunswick plant sits four miles inland from Cape Fear, a pointy headland jutting out into the … [Read more...] about This Nuclear Power Plant Is Designed Like Fukushima—and Florence Is Heading Straight for It