by: Susanne Posel
July 16, 2012
Officials at the San Onofre nuclear power plant in California have admitted that conditions at the plant are worse than they anticipated.
Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear expert at the University of California, Santa Cruz, commented: “This reveals a far greater problem than has been previously disclosed, and raises serious questions about whether it is safe to restart either unit.”
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has downplayed concerns that prompted an investigation earlier this year when one reactor was closed. Published findings show that more than 3,400 steam generator tubes in the new steam generators at San Onofre have undergone some sort of damage — as well as about 1,800 in Unit 3 and 1,600 in Unit 2. Those tubes are instrumental in keeping the site’s 65 foot tall, 1.3 million pound generators up and running.
The aging facility, now more than a quarter of a century old, is in multiple stages of deterioration, yet it has not been scheduled for shut down. This endangers the populations living in the surrounding areas.
More than half of America’s nuclear power plants are suffering from wear and tear from aging, according to theNuclear Energy Institute (NRC). They point out that these facilities were intended to be used for 40 years, and they are now being pushed past the 60 year mark.
Now it has been concluded through research that 75% of the US nuclear power plants are leaking massive amounts of radioactive substance into local groundwater by way of corroded piping. The NRC has actually lowered their official standards to accommodate the reactors that are working below acceptable levels. Tritium, a dangerous carcinogen, is responsible for boosting cancer incidents. The US government’s response to this is to raise the acceptable exposure levels for the nation.
Propaganda keeps the nuclear programs in the US running passed their time under the guise of cheap power with no greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, nuclear only accounts for 20% of the US allocation of electrical power.
The 23 reactors that are beginning to give warning signs that they will fail in the near future are of the same Mark 1 design of those at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. General Electric (GE) is responsible for the Mark 1. GE claims that the Mark 1, originated in 1972 is a safe design. “Critics say its containment box is too small and its walls are too thin. They also say the waste storage pools, situated several stories above the ground over the main reactor and outside a key containment vessel, are vulnerable to terrorist attack or meltdown.”