Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Jersey: Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant in serious trouble

It is not the only NPP in the BosWash megalopolis to suffer incidents and alerts, other four ones (Indian Point, Nine Miles Point, Limerick and Salem) are affected one war or another, however the difficulties faced by Oyster Creek NPP look like very big deal and I'm beginning to wonder if we face another Chernobyl/Fukushima level accident on the making (hopefully not). 

Oyster Creek NPP (CC KyleandMelissa22)

First of all the devastation in New Jersey's coast, where the plant is located, is in the words of the state governor, unthinkable, comparable in all to the tsunami that shattered Japan a year and a half ago. 

On the less negative side the plant only hosts one reactor (not six like Fukushima) and it was in refueling stop. Still the spent fuel, ilogically kept in the plant, needs permanent cooling, what is a serious problem when the electricity fails as happened with the hurricane. 

So far the worst we know that happened was that the NPP released steam to the atmosphere, what probably mean a radioactive release, even if radioactivity is low (what I do not know for sure yet). 

Source: EneNews (links: 1, 2, 3, 4).


Nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderssen admitted (podcast) that the Oyster Creek situation is almost identical to Fukushima in the sense that loss of power is causing all the problems.

There are some nuances in relation to the refueling stop (which may be a good thing overall) but, whatever the case, "stopped" or "spent" fuel rods still need cooling and it was surely the cause of the steam vent. 

Update (Nov 1):

The US authorities have lifted the alert as waters are receding and the plant has been reconnected to external power sources again. 

Source: Ex-SKF.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Comment moderation before publishing is... ON