[Marxism] Nuclear Issues

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 12 12:51:57 MDT 2006

>here is some more on that failed tunnel in Boston. if you don't think
>nuclear containment buildings have steel-reinforced concrete, please honk.
>again, i am not arguing, per se, that nuclear reactors are unsafe. i am
>saying that any such construction projects have to be evaluated relative
>to the process that creates them. meaning, engineering, design,
>oversight, construction, contractors, outside materials sourcing,
>testing and evaluation services, and the whole nine yards.
>les schaffer

THE Government has played down fears of radioactive contamination after an 
accident at the Sydney's Lucas Heights nuclear reactor last week.

The federal Opposition sought to exploit community concerns over nuclear 
safety, revealing the incident in Parliament yesterday.

Deputy Opposition Leader Jenny Macklin called on the Government to provide 
details of the accident which led to radioactive material being released 
into the atmosphere.

A staff memo from the Australian Nuclear and Science and Technology 
Organisation operations chief Ron Cameron, obtained by the Opposition, 
confirmed the accident occurred on Thursday.

''During the last evening run of the molybdenum-99 manufacture process, 
there was a rupture of a fission gas trap attached to a hotcell,'' said the 
memo sent out on Friday.

--The Advertiser (Australia) June 15, 2006


When federal regulators banished Andrew Siemaszko from the nuclear industry 
in April, they said the former Davis-Besse engineer deserved the unusual 
punishment because he intentionally misled others about his inability to 
fully clean and inspect the reactor's steel lid in 2000.

Hidden beneath a thick crust of dried acid that Siemaszko left on the dome 
when his bosses halted the work was a widening rust hole. The 
pineapple-size cavity brought Davis-Besse to the brink of a major nuclear 
accident before its discovery in 2002.

Plant owner FirstEnergy Corp. fired Siemaszko, and he is the only person 
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has disciplined in its three-year 
investigation of the Davis-Besse debacle.

But there is ample information in the NRC's and FirstEnergy's files that 
contradicts the agency's basis for barring Siemaszko from future reactor work.

The NRC appears to have overlooked or ignored records backing Siemaszko's 
claim that he didn't mislead anyone.

--Plain Dealer (Cleveland), June 11, 2005


Tens of thousands of litres of highly radioactive liquid leaked unnoticed 
for up to nine months from a ruptured pipe in the controversial Thorp 
reprocessing plant at Sellafield in what the IoS can reveal was Britain's 
worst nuclear accident for 13 years.

The leak, detected last month, was the result of a catalogue of human and 
engineering errors which resulted in a pool of nuclear liquor, half the 
volume of an Olympic swimming pool, being accidentally discharged. The 
magnitude of the incident throws the future of the troubled reprocessing 
plant into doubt this weekend as copies of an internal investigation 
circulate among senior ministers and officials.

British Nuclear Group, the company that runs the plant, last night admitted 
workers failed to respond to 'indicators' warning a badly designed pipe had 
sprung a leak as long ago as last August. The pool of nuclear liquor, 
83,000 litres, was eventually discovered on 19 April. The company has 
ordered a review to check for other potential leaks caused by metal fatigue 
and an urgent drive against staff 'complacency'.

--Independent on Sunday (London), May 29, 2005


JAPAN'S nuclear power industry, long plagued by problems and cover-ups, 
suffered its worst accident yesterday when four workers were killed at a 
plant west of Tokyo. Seven technicians and maintenance workers were 
injured, two critically.

The accident is believed to have been caused by a 24-inch rupture in a 
pipeline, allowing the escape of steam super-heated up to 200C. Authorities 
said there was no radiation leak.

The television monitor at the plant is reported to have flashed pure white 
at the moment of the blast.




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