Article Archive for October 2013
I just stumbled across this New Scientist story from a year ago (and presumably the situation hasn’t improved…)
European nuclear power plants ill-set for disaster
It’s just as well earthquakes and tsunamis are comparatively rare in Europe, because the continent’s nuclear power plants are ill-equipped to cope with them, a report has revealed. Commissioned in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011, the investigation by the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group used “stress tests” to assess the readiness of Europe’s reactors for similar events.
Of 145 reactors checked, 121 had no or inadequate seismic instruments to detect earthquakes, and 32 lacked venting systems to prevent pressure build-ups in reactor vessels if the primary cooling system fails. Without these systems, reactors can explode and release radioactive pollution, as happened at Fukushima. Some 81 reactors did not have adequate equipment available …