Earthquake Rocks US Nuclear Industry From North Anna to Indian Point NYC

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Indian Point Nuclear Power Station

Indian Point Nuclear Power Station

[Hu’s on First]

The good news is that the 5.9 richter earthquake that struck Virginia and shook the entire eastern seaboard from Canada down to Atlanta didn’t cause any big problems at any nuclear reactors. These things are about 1 in 100 years for the east, but once a year in California, and Fukushima has been getting even bigger aftershocks it seems every other week or so that would have been big news if they didn’t pale in comparison with the 311 killer quake.

Our good professor Michio Kaku mentioned on ABC News that the design basis for Indian Point near New York City was only 6.1, and it’s a good thing it was far away. Then I found out that the epicenter was just 10 miles from the two reactors at the North Anna site, and the design basis was for a 5.9 to a 6.1 quake. Usually the two numbers are the level for a safe operation, and then the maximum number for a safe shutdown. In other words, the level beyond which you’ll have a catastrophic Fukushima or Chernoybol type meltdown releasing gazillions of radioactive particles for hundreds of miles around, so it’s nowhere near a safe safety margin of error. The site lost power, but even without a tsunami, one of the four generators failed to work.

Now for even more fun, Wired magazine says the government simulated a replay of the Dec. 16, 1811 magnitude 7.7 that hit the New Madrid fault line 200 years ago. The fault borders Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. It was the biggest recorded earthquake to strike east of the Rockies, and the simulation predicted that 100,000 would die quickly and 7 million people would be homeless. It’s not clear if that included meltdowns of one or more of the 15 nuclear power plants around the area, with a one-in-50 chance of such a quake every 50 years, and previous big ones in 1450 and 900

Chernobyl On the Hudson

Way before Fukushima, but after Chernobyl, the Union of Concerned scientists did a study of vulnerability to terrorism of Indian Point. One footnote in particular blasted the assumption that a Chernobyl type radiation release was impossible in a US reactor, but that point was proven by Fukushima recently:

The nuclear industry often argues that a Chernobyl-type accident could not happen in the United States because the reactor was of a different and inferior type to US plants and lacked a robust containment structure. While it is true that the specific accident sequence that led to the destruction of the Chernobyl-4 reactor and the resulting radiological release was characteristic of graphite-moderated reactors like Chernobyl and would not likely occur at a US light-water reactor (LWR), it is simply false to claim that there are no possible accident sequences that could result in consequences similar to those of Chernobyl — namely, core melt, loss or bypass of containment, and large radiological release to the environment. In fact, because such an event is not as likely to be as energetic as the Chernobyl explosion, and the plume is not likely to be as hot as the Chernobyl plume (which was fed by the burning of a large mass of graphite), the radiological release from a severe accident at a US LWR will not rise as high or disperse as far. Therefore, radiological exposure to the public near a US LWR could be far greater than was the case at Chernobyl, because the plume would be more concentrated closer to the plant.

In other words, while US plants are less vulnerable to meltdown than Russian designs, they can also suffer from severe accidents (which could be caused by terrorist attacks), and Fukushima showed that a beyond-design-basis quake alone is likely to be enough to explain at least the first meltdown. Now that we have seen a 5.8 earthquake make a direct hit on a station designed at that very limit, we either need to a) assure that the chance of a Fukishima type failure is ZERO, b) start planning for such a failure, radioactive cattle and fish and sewage, kids thyroids, urine and mothers breast milk, fallout shelters and all or (c) shut these things down as soon as possible.

The New York Daily news asked if Indian Point 35 miles north of New York City could become a Chernobyl-on-the-Hudson. It was designed to withstand a magnitude 6.1 quake when the most powerful one in the state was a 5.25 way back in 1884. But Columbia University found it was within a mile of two fault lines in 2008, with a 1.5% chance of a mag-7 every 50 years. Oddly, the NRC “… has not permitted any new information to be used or old information on which the old licenses were based to be contested,” when it was approved to run another 20 years. Another post 9/11 terrorism analysis found that if there were a meltdown, it would affect people in a 500 mile radius and evacuate 93 million Americans and Canadians for a very long time.

Earthquake stories

Here’s a story I got from a friend:

WOW!! We just had an earthquake just outside DC!!

I thought the house was going to fall and I ran out to save myself!! It lasted long and got worse and worse, I’ve never experienced anything like it. We had a tiny one years ago, the first I ever felt, but in this case the house was deforming and everything was swaying, I’m still psychologically rattled.

Neighbors were outside equally shaken!

Can’t get a phone call through, lines are jammed. Not a good sing.

My nerves are still unsettled. I literally thought my house could come down on me and ran for my life. I’ve never run for my life that I can think of, and certainly not like that. I swear that the square of the room was deforming!
I’m capturing in memory the moments and it was like this

thud thud thud thud thud thud …..

The first jolts were gentle and tiny but each ‘thud’ kept getting stronger. You could hear the thuds by their impact on the house. There was also ‘rolling’ going one, like the house was on unsettled shifting gravel.

It went on maybe 30-40 seconds before I ran out of the house. I was just dumbfounded and in shock. Calming down now.

I rode out the big one in San Francisco back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I was in Sacramento.

Riding a motorcycle when it hit. I suddenly couldn’t keep the bike going straight so I stopped. The ground was rolling
under my feet like standing on a wave or a waterbed. That was 100 miles from the center

Me, I remember the Seattle 6.8 of 2000, it was like surfing in place for about a minute, but the building never felt like it was going to break. Buildings around Seattle had brick walls crack, and some bricks fall done, but nothing really major. All the years I was in the SF bay area the strongest one I felt was pretty minor.

FukuFallout 30 Times Hiroshima

The video of medical expert Tatsuhiko Kodama telling a Diet committee that Fukushima Daichi spewed some 30 times more radioactive materials all over Japan than the Hiroshima A-bomb attack got over a million youtube hits. It’s probably fair to add the constant observation that “not one person has directly died from radiation” as long as we don’t count people who committed suicide because their livelihoods have been destroyed, or who were medically neglected when hospital staff fled the meltdowns, or workers who died of heat stroke.

He thought Tokyo was safe enough for his two grandchildren in the Tokyo heat. “My two grandchildren swim outside in the pool, and there is no concern with the safety of food at this point.” But his picture of the area around the plant was dire: “Cesium has been detected from urine and breast milk from those residing in Fukushima Prefecture”. Kodama says there are not enough statistics to even guess at how many cancers will result or when. Kodama does recommend that the government act now to at least measure the radiation and clean up as much as it can. Kodama’s Radioisotope Center figures the amount of fallout is 29.6 times of that released by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, but even more ominously, that radiation will only decrease by one-tenth per year. That is ONE HUNDRED TIMES SLOWER THAN HIROSHIMA (shouting caps mine).

Japan’s Radiation Damage Prevention Law targeted small radioactive incidents on site at nuclear plants, not the widespread radioactive contamination which has been distributed by the winds well beyond 200 km, so it needs to be revised. Local governments are short of equipment to measure radiation contamination in food and other produce. As US local governments probably lack this as well, it might be a good idea to for both Japan and US to “invest in and develop, even mass-produce, equipment that can allow checks for radiation.” as companies in Japan think they could develop better equipment in just 3 months.

He recommends each community should be able to call in to get people who can conducts quick cleanup on request (that sounds a lot like a fire department) The government already spent ¥800 to clean up the mass cadmium poisoning of 1912, but the Fukushima crisis is 1,000 times that affected area.

The Truth Is Out There On Conspiracy Planet

Who needs Kodama who has absolutely no idea how many cancers they will be when we have people on trusted websites like “Conspiracy Planet” including Chris Busby who predicts 417,000 new cases of cancer on “Russian Propoganda Today” on “if it’s on the internet it must be true” internet television. The website of the Muslim Brotherhood Busby also said that the effects of US troops using depleted uranium in Fallujah Iraq against Mujahideen freedom fighters, the rate of cancer and congenital deformities has significantly risen since the city was attacked by the US in 2004 and the “suffering is exceedingly worse than that suffered by Hiroshima residents as a result of the nuclear bomb”. Harun Yahya cited Busby’s research to call for “events in Fallujah show that Muslims must unite at once… Hazrat Mahdi will wage an intellectual struggle that will totally silence the weapons of the system of the dajjal; Darwinism and materialism”. Meanwhile Leuren “BEWARE THE ZIONIST THREAT” Moret who has appeared as a guest expert on Iran’s PressTV says Obama and other governments are “complicit in genocide” in covering up her charge the Japan was deliberately targeted by a “false flag(TM)” government/corporate caused HAARP earthquake operation. That sounds like either total insanity or anti-Zionist pro-terrorist disinformation for the global network of 9-11 conspiracy websites fronts for pro-terrorist groups and states as any website that publishes her and her friends is chock full of other lunatic conspiracy and UFO theories in addition to pro-Hamas/Hezbollah propoganda. However, her other idea that the “northern 1/3 part of Japan has become uninhabitable and must be evacuated” may unfortunately not be all that far fetched.

Here’s some more information on Moret’s resume:Leuren K Moret often asserts that she was a “nuclear scientist” at two DOE National Laboratories. This letter, obtained from the University of California operated Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under the California Public Records Act shows that Moret was not a “scientist” and worked very briefly at the Laboratory. Moret was a Senior Scientific Technologist in the Center for Applied Scientific Computing for less than a year from 1989 to 1990. Moret also claims to have been trained in radiation detection by Manhattan Project Scientist Marion Fulk. Fulk’s employment from 1964 to 1984, a normal 20 year career, as a Chemist at the Laboratory is also addressed in this letter. The Manhattan Project ended in 1946 so it is very unusual for a Manhattan Project scientist to wait 18 years to begin a 20 year career at the Lab. Moret never worked with Fulk either since Fulk retired in 1984, five years before Moret began work at the Lab.

Speaking of Iran, somebody has been posting this comment on seemingly every article that has anything to do with Iran’s peaceful nuclear program:

Beware the NONSTOP SPECULATIVE Propaganda Campaign for War against Islamic Republic of Iran

This is all nonstop propaganda lies of nonsense like in IRAQ with WMD by zionist US aggressor from Iraq, Afghanistan to Libya.
Iran has no nuclear weapons program and has been consistent all times.
For about 12 years, Israel has claimed that Iran will have a nuclear bomb within 6 months or a year.
The USA constantly issues accusations about Iran’s “nuclear weapons” but to this day, has not produced one shred of evidence to support those accusations.
So, why should one believe anything they say now? any potential delay in it is just imaginary.
Iran wants to enjoy the benefits of NPT for peacefull nuclear energy that’s why Iran is to remain in NPT
Otherwise, Iran has quit from NPT a long time ago.

In principle, however, nothing in international law or in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty forbids the enrichment of uranium. Besides Iran, several other countries, parties or not to the treaty, enrich uranium without being accused of “threatening the peace.” And in Iran, this activity is submitted to inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. These inspections, it is true, are constrained by a safeguards agreement dating from the 1970s. But it is also true that the IAEA has never uncovered in Iran any attempted diversion of nuclear material to military use.

While the US possesses and has used nuclear weapons in the past, Washington, in a politically-motivated move, is imposing unilateral sanctions against Iran, which does not possess nuclear weapons nor does it seek to develop such weapons.
WikiLeaks – A fabricated conspiracy of nonstop propaganda lies to isolate Iran from other Muslim nations for US’s benefits on behalf of unbreakable bond Israel.

Provides for the right of countries to engage in military action in self-defense, including collective self-defense (i.e. under an alliance) FOR IRAN TO NONSTOP FIGHT FOR ITS RIGHTS AND FREEDOM, LIBERTY. IRAN IS A LAND OF THE BRAVES

Now I’m not saying that this fellow represents the official view of the Iranian propoganda agency. But could there be any living red blooded American who was NOT acting for a foreign government who could seriously spout wackiness like this and expect anyone to agree with him? Seems that if you assume everything in this post is a lie, it makes much more sense if you assume it is proof that the opposite is true. It is interesting that both Moret and this fellow agree that the true threat to world peace is the zionist aggressor, not terrorism, and that Moret is a good buddy of Chris Busby who is getting a lot of press attention as a “nonpolitical” nuclear “expert”.

Four Big Pollution Diseases of Japan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Here’s an entry I found on the ‘pedia that nobody so far has related to Fukushima, probably because nobody has officially died of radiation YET, but the nuclear disaster seems to certainly belong in this category of pollution disasters:

The Four Big Pollution Diseases of Japan (四大公害病 yondai kōgai-byō?) were a group of manmade diseases all caused by environmental pollution due to improper handling of industrial wastes by Japanese corporations.[1] Although some cases of these diseases occurred as early as 1912, most occurred in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

Name of disease

Minamata disease / Mercury poisoning / Chisso chemical factory / 1932 – 1968
Niigata Minamata disease / Mercury poisoning / Shōwa Electrical Works/ 1965
Yokkaichi Asthma/ Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide / Air pollution in Yokkaichi / 1961
Itai-itai disease / Cadmium poisoning / Mining in Toyama Prefecture/ 1912

Due to lawsuits, publicity, and other actions against the corporations responsible for the pollution, as well as the creation of the Environmental Agency in 1971, increased public awareness, and changes in the practices of the responsible companies, the incidence of these diseases declined after the 1970s.


About the Author

MIT electrical engineering computer science graduate has written conservative columns on politics, race / culture, science and education since the 70s in MIT The Tech and various publications in including New Republic and National Review.