Radiation Contamination on Nikon & Canon Products

Started Apr 3, 2011 | Discussions thread
Chato
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The NRC is a lap dog to the industry
In reply to Chato, Apr 12, 2011

In my previous post I listed a number of industry near misses from one year alone. Here's an article about the larger problem

Top nuclear industry officials maintain the public has nothing to fret about -- that the NRC is a tough regulator that asks tough questions. NRC critics counter that the agency might ask tough questions, but is all too willing to accept easy answers.

Concerns about the NRC's oversight are nothing new. A clear illustration is a series of reports issued since 2002 by the NRC's internal inspector general and the U.S. General Accountability Office related to a near-catastrophe at Davis-Besse, a nuclear reactor on the shores of Lake Erie.

FROM THOSE REPORTS:

In 2002 the GAO found the NRC weighed the financial impacts of its safety-related decisions on the industry's bottom line -- stalling a forced reactor shutdown at Davis-Besse because the NRC fretted about the impact on the plant owner's finances and the "black eye" an emergency shutdown might give the industry.

In 2004 the GAO found that little had changed within the NRC's safety and inspection culture since Davis-Besse.

http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Nuclear-Regulatory-Commission-Watchdog-or-Lapdog-1330384.php

The thing is, that for all the talk about how unsafe Japans industry is, they had a better safety record then we did. What has occured is that the lid has come off the Japanese Industry, while we await a disaster - Disasters that have come very close to occuring.

Here is some additional information about one of the David Besse incidents, and how close we came to disaster.

In March 2002, plant staff discovered that the boric acid that serves as the reactor coolant had leaked from cracked control rod drive mechanisms directly above the reactor and eaten through more than six inches[10] of the carbon steel reactor pressure vessel head over an area roughly the size of a football (see photo). This significant reactor head wastage left only 3/8 inch of stainless steel cladding holding back the high-pressure ( 2500 psi) reactor coolant.

A breach would have resulted in a loss-of-coolant accident, in which superheated, superpressurized reactor coolant could have jetted into the reactor's containment building and resulted in emergency safety procedures to protect from core damage or meltdown. Because of the location of the reactor head damage, such a jet of reactor coolant may have damaged adjacent control rod drive mechanisms, hampering or preventing reactor shut-down. As part of the system reviews following the accident, significant safety issues were identified with other critical plant components, including the following: (1) the containment sump that allows the reactor coolant to be reclaimed and reinjected into the reactor; (2) the high pressure injection pumps that would reinject such reclaimed reactor coolant; (3) the emergency diesel generator system; (4) the containment air coolers that would remove heat from the containment building; (5) reactor coolant isolation valves; and (6) the plant's electrical distribution system.[11]

Under certain scenarios, a reactor rupture would have resulted in core meltdown and/or breach of containment and release of radioactive material. The resulting corrective operational and system reviews and engineering changes took two years. Repairs and upgrades cost $600 million, and the Davis-Besse reactor was restarted in March 2004.[12] The U.S. Justice Department investigated and penalized the owner of the plant over safety and reporting violations related to the incident. The NRC determined that this incident was the fifth most dangerous nuclear incident in the United States since 1979.[3]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davis-Besse_Nuclear_Power_Station

Dave

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