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Public Trust, Economic self-interest and Disasters (waiting to happen)

2016/06/18

The rising cost of decommissioning a nuclear power plant

The Yankee Nuclear Power Station in Rowe, Massachusetts, took 15 years to decommission—or five times longer than was needed to build it. And decommissioning the plant—constructed early in the 1960s for $39 million—cost $608 million. The plant’s spent fuel rods are still stored in a facility on-site, because there is no permanent disposal repository to put them in. To monitor them and make sure the material does not fall into the hands of terrorists or spill into the nearby river costs $8 million per year. That cost will continue for an unknown number of years. David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that even without the ongoing costs of monitoring and security, the average reactor now costs about $500 million to deactivate.

Flashback

May 1953 Bulletin article, “How Shall We Establish a Nuclear Power Industry in the United States?” written by the director of research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Alvin Weinberg:

“There is the perfectly natural impulse of self-preservation among the many technical and administrative people in nuclear development; we realize that our personal futures depend on how well we succeed in establishing a nuclear energy enterprise which fulfills a persisting economic need, and that there is not too much time left before success will have to be demonstrated or funds will be cut.”

[Excerpt]

(Byline Dan Drollette Jr)
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
28 April 2014
All Rights Reserved.


USA nuclear plants going down like ninepins. Diablo next? — nuclear-news

Closing Diablo would make California entirely nuke-free Along with most nukes around the world, the only other remaining west coast reactor, WPPS2 on Washington’s Hanford military reservation, is also losing massive amounts of money. Should California follow suit at Diablo, its conversion to a wholly green-powered economy would accelerate, likely leading Los Angeles to become […]

via USA nuclear plants going down like ninepins. Diablo next? — nuclear-news


Related Posts

Costs of decommissioning of nuclear power plants (PDF)
Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities (January 2016)

See Also

  1. TV: EPA data reveals “sharp spike in radiation level” around US nuclear site — “It’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks” — Evacuations enacted… Almost 50 workers have sought medical attention… Symptoms include bleeding ulcers, burned lungs (VIDEOS) May 7, 2016
  2. TV: Huge explosion at nuclear plant near NYC — 200 foot high fire ball reported — “Huge black ball of smoke… alarms went off immediately… emergency vehicles coming from every direction” — Fire reignited after burning for half hour — Loudspeaker: “This is not a drill, please be aware, this is not a drill” (VIDEO) May 10, 2015
  3. EPA data shows radiation spike in major US city soon after explosions at nuclear waste facility nearby — AP: Drums of buried waste were blasted over site’s fence; Large crater reported — Emergency Official: US gov’t brought in “resources I’ve never even seen before, it was amazing” (VIDEO) October 25, 2015
  4. “Nuclear fire” erupts at radioactive facility near major US city — Footage shows underground explosions, massive smoke plumes — AP: “Unknown amount of radioactive waste burned” — EPA sends emergency radiological team — Residents: “We were flat out lied to… Why didn’t they evacuate the town?” (VIDEO) October 23, 2015
  5. AP: Ticking time bombs of nuclear waste at multiple U.S. sites? Lab checking for smoking drums — CNN: “Imminent threat from radiation” — Gundersen: Serious public health effects if one blows; “Very, very volatile… like nitroglycerin” (VIDEO) May 23, 2014
  6. Report: Landfill fire moved beyond equipment meant to stop its advance toward nuclear waste… Essentially ‘fire line’ is breached — St. Louis Official: Something must be done, but there’s nothing we can do — Asst. Fire Chief: “Words can’t explain how important it is” to have a good plan (VIDEO) July 31, 2013
  7. ‘Amazing’: Plutonium leak at U.S. nuclear site hidden from public — Official: “A very deliberate cover up… I will use the word that we were lied to” (VIDEO) May 22, 2013
  8. Japan Professor: Damage from Fukushima is unprecedented, a disaster never before experienced in human history; Some say it could affect whole northern hemisphere — Experts: “Very likely the largest nuclear accident which mankind experienced” December 16, 2013
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