Nuclear Plant Safety versus Profit09 Feb

In a blog post of December 4, 2011, I wrote, “Thirty percent of New England’s electricity generation is from nuclear plants (ISO Regional System Plan 2011). Three out of five of these five plants are past their design life time. All use mostly imported uranium, and exercise questionable safety by storing greater numbers of densely packed, spent fuel rods at the plants. Nuclear power plants have a finite lifetime. Replacing a decommissioned plant with another will be extremely expensive and time consuming. For example, an AP1000 nuclear power plant (Generation III+) built by Westinghouse will cost between $5B to $7B per reactor and be operational 60 months from receipt of order.

Those comments were reinforced with an article in the Boston Globe (February 9, 2012), “Officials question safety of Seabrook power:”

“Citing safety concerns, a growing chorus of local politicians is urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to halt the relicensing  process for Seabrook Station until a long-term solution is implemented to address concrete degradation at the plant.”

“Concrete surrounding an electric control tunnel at the nuclear power plant has lost almost 22 percent of its strength and is showing signs of an alkali-silica (ASR) reaction because of more than a decade of ground-water infiltration, according to an NRC inspection report released in May 2011.”

“The degradation was discovered during a below-grade inspection of the accessible portion of the foundation, including the tunnel, a safety structure with vital electric cables that support the cooling system used when the reactor is shut down.”

How many more Fukushima-Chernobyl wakeup calls are needed to put safety concerns ahead of profit motives?

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One Response to “Nuclear Plant Safety versus Profit”

  1. U.S. Nuclear Plant Safety Planning: No Better than Japan’s? | JHEverson Consulting Reply

    […] blog post of February 9, 2012 noted that the Seabrook nuclear plant in New Hampshire poses a serious safety […]

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About Dr. Everson

Prior to forming this SBIR consultant practice, Dr. Jeffrey Everson was director of business development for QinetiQ North America’s Technology Solutions Group (previously Foster-Miller, Inc.).

Dr. Everson has won and been the principal investigator for several SBIR programs, including a Phase I program for NASA, a Phase I project for the U.S. Air Force, and Phase I and II contracts from the U.S. Department of Transportation. For the Phase II program, he received a Tibbetts Award for exemplifying the best in SBIR achievement.

Previously Dr. Everson held senior scientist positions at Battelle Memorial Institute, The Analytic Sciences Corporation (TASC), Honeywell Electro Optics Systems Division, and Itek Optical Systems Division.

He holds a PhD in physics from Boston College and a MS/BS in physics from Northeastern University.

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For more information about how JHEverson Consulting can help your company with its SBIR and STTR proposals, please contact Jeff Everson.

JHEverson Consulting is based in the Boston area but consults for clients throughout North America. It also is supported by affiliated consultants.