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Entergy Admits 2005 Tritium Leak 385

Posted by Soulskill
from the what's-a-few-neutrons-among-friends dept.
mdsolar writes "The leaking Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant was hit last week by a whistleblower allegation that a previous tritium leak had occurred. Now the parent company, Entergy, has admitted the occurrence of at least one prior leak to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This is particularly significant for three reasons: because the leak occurred in pipes that company officials later testified under oath did not exist, because the Vermont Senate will likely soon vote to deny Entergy a needed approval to extend the power plant's license for another 20 years, and because President Obama just put taxpayers on the hook for new nuclear power plants in Georgia."
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Entergy Admits 2005 Tritium Leak

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  • WHAT! (Score:2, Interesting)

    I'm absolutely glowing [wikimedia.org] that this wasn't brought forward earlier. This is something I would never want to happen on my watch [amazon.com]

    • Re:WHAT! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wizardforce (1005805) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:12PM (#31247338) Journal

      The difference being that the Tritium in luminous devices is contained and no one has lied under oath about it. I am a big supporter of nuclear power for environmental and economic reasons and I believe these guys ought to be nailed to the cross over this. Nuclear power is one of the few technologies that are capable of displacing fossil fuels to any extent and the last thing we need is some corporation cutting corners and getting away with it. The public's confidence in nuclear power needs to be strengthened by making damn sure these corporations are doing what they are supposed to do in order to keep these plants safe.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HungryHobo (1314109)

        seconded.
        nail em to the wall.

        This is a trivial leak but a serious matter.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TooMuchToDo (882796)
        There are not enough mod points in the world for your comment.
      • Re:WHAT! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by HangingChad (677530) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:06PM (#31248224) Homepage

        I am a big supporter of nuclear power for environmental and economic reasons and I believe these guys ought to be nailed to the cross over this.

        Having worked in the nuclear industry, I understand there's a lot of unreasonable fear about radiation and radioactivity. I also understand that 2.5 million picocuries per liter sounds like a huge amount, but it's closer to a drop of tritium in a swimming pool. That's a very low level of contamination.

        Even at that, lying under oath and otherwise being dishonest is not okay. Patient education and being truthful will win over time. Yes, you'll have to sometimes make expensive repairs, which you'll then pass on in the form of rate hikes. That's life in the nuclear business.

        ...I believe these guys ought to be nailed to the cross

        I'll help pound the nails.

      • Re:WHAT! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:24PM (#31248546)

        The only part of this article worth mentioning was the lying under oath. The tritium leak was harmless to anyone not 3 feet away when it happened. As for the American taxpayers being 'on the hook' for new power plants that will only happen if the plants somehow default on their loans, something no nuclear power plant has done in American history and given the subsidies already given to nuclear power it is highly unlikely that any new (and therefore more easily maintained and more efficient) reactor would do so.

        The summary reads like a troll to me, but YMMV.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Nazlfrag (1035012)

          The leak was into groundwater. It was in no way harmless. From http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20100210/NEWS02/2100351 [rutlandherald.com]:

          The Vermont Department of Health last month confirmed that the tritium contaminated water was reaching the Connecticut River, since one of the most polluted groundwater monitoring wells was about 15 to 20 feet from the river.

          ...

          According to the Department of Health, there is a general increase in tritium contamination at the wells that do show the radioactive isotope.

          The well that shows the highest level of contamination decreased a little on Tuesday, down from 2.52 million picocuries per liter to 2.4 million picocuries, according to the latest post from the Department of Health Tuesday afternoon.

          The first well that showed contamination measured 39,000 picocuries, the next worst well measured 890,000 picocuries, and there were two other contaminated wells, one measuring 81,000 picocuries and another, 2,500 picocuries.

          One well tripled in contamination in recent days, going from 6,900 to 23,000 picocuries per liter.

          The federal standard for drinking water is 20,000 picocuries per liter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rei (128717)

      Tritium is pretty safe outside your body. Not so safe inside it.

      • That defines any alpha or beta emitter ;)
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by gibbled (215234)

        Kind of like bullets and knives...

  • Troll summary. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <[Satanicpuppy] [at] [gmail.com]> on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:06PM (#31247224) Journal

    I don't want to be all "So what?" but so what? One plant leaks an unspecified amount of a weak beta emitter...It tested at the leak at a whopping 2 million picocuries, which is a bullshit measurement that's clearly chosen because it's more shocking than 2 microcuries. 2 microcuries is about what you'd get for a basic thyroid test at the docs office. Trituim doesn't stay resident in the body, it's half life is 12 years long, and it's a beta emitter: if you drink it you'll get a few rads, but you can take a shower in it without any problem.

    The whole thing is clearly being pushed as an example of the horrible dangers of the super scary nuclear power industry, but what I see is the dangers that are inherent in running antiquated plants for years beyond their design life because a bunch of poorly informed hysterics have blocked all attempts to modernize them for the last 40 years.

    And what the hell is the point in talking about the plants in Georgia? That's a different type of plant, being built by a different company! Georgia has the largest coal fired power plant in the us: where's that outrage? Where is the outrage over the radiation it emits?

    • Re:Troll summary. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheKidWho (705796) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:08PM (#31247266)

      It's obviously a troll summary, the OPs username is mdsolar.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by maxume (22995)

        He's been grinding this axe for the last couple of months.

        (Taking them to task for the leak and the lying is okay, but the trying to tie in the loan guarantees and the nucular scare tactics are silly)

      • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:07PM (#31250356)

        Do you think he knows about the radiation risks of solar? I mean, that is studied, and proven to cause skin cancer!

    • Re:Troll summary. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:10PM (#31247294)

      I believe the point is the fact that they lied about the leak in the first place. Sure, this time it might be something like tritium, but whose to say at some later date it's not something worse? Why should anyone believe anything they say about the safety of their plant(s) if they're willing to lie under oath about something this minor?

      • Granted, but as accidents go this is trivial by power company standards. I mean, compare it with the Kingston Coal Ash spill [google.com], or Love Canal [wikipedia.org].

        And both of those were done by companies that specialize in hydroelectric power.

        • Yeah, but the anti-nuclear crowd is full of hysterics like the "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!" crowd. They won't bother to see that this is only a minor leak or that the plant is like 30 years old. They will just hear about how there was a leak at a nuclear plant and that the company lied about it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rthille (8526)

          Right, so the leak is trivial. So why not fess up about it? Do you think we can expect them to be more forthcoming if there really is a non-trivial problem?

          When my daughter lies about something trivial, it doesn't make me think, "If there really was something going on, she'd tell me the truth..."

      • Exactly. The leak its self was nothing to worry about, it was the fact that they felt it neccessary to lie about the leak that is troubling. Now as far as nuclear power goes, the technology is very safe as long as these corporations are held accountable.

        • Now as far as nuclear power goes, the technology is very safe as long as these corporations are held accountable.

          Unfortunately like with that whole anti-Usenet campaign by that braindead NY Attorney General and his "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!" reaction, the anti-nuclear nuts are going to eat this up and overly extrapolate it to do so. Whenever these corporations do stupid shit like this, it does nothing but further and further erode any confidence in the public over nuclear power and so we end up with more and more dirtier power plants instead.

        • I'm not condoning their cover-up, but with some of the anti-nuke people out their, perhaps they thought it was just a white lie that would have been better for the industry if they kept it hush-hush. I don't really know as I don't work for VY, Entergy, or the NRC, but that would seem plausible. Nuclear energy is trying to get a rebirth as a safe, clean technology and regardless of how small this is, the NIMBYs and BANANAs will point and shout, "See! See! I told you this nukular stuff is evil!".
          • Crap! Sorry for the wrong "there"; I should have double checked my words. I hate homonyms.
          • I'm guessing they just didn't want to do the expensive paperwork.

            As a supporter of nuclear energy I say nail em to the wall.
            Prosecute so hard that no other exec will dream of fucking with nuclear safety regulations.

          • The problem with that is that eventually they'll be found out. It may not be soon but it will most likely occur at some point and when it does it just sends the message that the nutters of the world may have a small point. They don't, but it appears that way to people who do not know any better.

          • Yes, but lying about the situation and being found out feeds the nonsense even more than just coming clean in the first place.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Khyber (864651)

        "I believe the point is the fact that they lied about the leak in the first place."

        No, the fact is that they lied about existing infrastructure when asked about it. The leak happening is a result of that lying, as if that infrastructure were known about, it could have been properly inspected.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Epi-man (59145)

        Why should anyone believe anything they say about the safety of their plant(s) if they're willing to lie under oath about something this minor?

        I often wondered that about President Clinton....didn't exactly carry a lot of weight in these parts though.

    • Yes but (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:10PM (#31247302) Homepage
      Yes this leak isn't a big deal as a leak. Nor for that matter is the recent leak. The problem is they lied under oath. And once people are lying about the state of things you don't know what else they are or will lie about. These might not matter, but they might very well lie about the next leak when it is a serious problem. As with many issues, the initial incident isn't nearly as much of a problem as the coverup.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rmckeethen (130580)

        The problem is they lied under oath. And once people are lying about the state of things you don't know what else they are or will lie about. These might not matter, but they might very well lie about the next leak when it is a serious problem. As with many issues, the initial incident isn't nearly as much of a problem as the coverup.

        How do you know they lied? How can you be sure it wasn't an honest error by a company official who simply didn't understand the technical details of the reactor's plumbing? I don't know about you but, in my experience, these types of corporate misstatements and goof-ups are pretty common in any industry, nuclear or otherwise. I'm not convinced that isn't the case here. TFA doesn't provide enough evidence one way or the other on this point. It certainly doesn't substantiate a deliberate coverup. There'

      • Re:Yes but (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:55PM (#31249236)

        The problem is they lied under oath.

        Not necessarily. They didn't lie at all about the leak.

        What they are accused of lying about is "they were not aware of any underground or buried pipes that carried radioactive materials.".

        Now, given that juxtaposition (underground or buried pipes), and that the pipes in question were in a pipe tunnel (you know, the sort of place that people where walk along beside the pipes, looking at them, as opposed to underground or buried pipes like the water pipes into my house), it's just possible that the questioner meant one thing, and the answerer heard another.

        Note also that the answerer was not an Entergy executive necessarily - TFA merely describes them as "Entergy representatives"

    • by loafula (1080631)
      It's less about the damage the leak caused and more about the dishonesty and cover-up. I live in Massachuestts, on the Connecticuit River, about 80 miles downstream from Vermont Yankee. I, for one, will be happy to see this place's license not extended. If they covered up something this (as you claim) trivial, I would hate to see what else they are capable of covering up, or would cover up.
    • by Hatta (162192)

      The leak itself is not a big deal. That company execs perjured themselves about it is a big deal.

      Also, just because something is a beta emitter doesn't mean it's harmless. [32]P emits high energy beta particles that can be dangerous without shielding.

      • While you are correct in noting that a beta emitter isn't necessarily harmless (and emphatically correct that the perjury is by far the bigger issue), I'd like to note that tritium, being an isotope of hydrogen, tends to escape straight up, very fast. Molecules of "normal" hydrogen are VERY light, and rise so fast when released that they can reach escape velocity, plus hydrogen is good at diffusing through containers. Thus, it's safe to conclude that the tritium in question bolted for the stratosphere at it

        • Well, it leaked underground, and probably was in the form of tritiated water (HTO) which would tend to stick around a little longer.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          Sure, if it's diatomic tritium. The article isn't exactly clear what form it is, but if they're finding it in water around the plant, we're probably talking about tritiated water. That is, water where at least one of the hydrogens is tritium. I'm not sure why they'd have gaseous tritium anyway.

          In any case, the radiation levels they're finding are well within the normal ranges of background radiation. Nothing to worry about. What is worrying is the cover up. I really hope it doesn't damage the prospects

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The problem isn't the tritium leak. As you say, tritium isn't wildly dangerous to begin with, and there isn't that much of it floating around.

      The problem is that the plant management is now known to be lying about safety and operations goings on at the plant. Further, their grasp of what the hell is going on seems to be shaky where it is not actively dishonest.

      This particular tritium leak(or, for that matter, was the last one, the one that officially never happened) is not particularly dangerous. Ther
      • by vlm (69642)

        A)There is no reason to believe that plant management would act competently to avert them. B)There is no reason to believe that plant management would be honest about admitting to them if they were to occur. and C) It does not appear that the NRC is up to the task of forcing plant management to undertake A and B.

        Throwing soda cans in the trash instead of recycling is naughty, although its effect on the public is mostly harmless. About as bad as dumping 2 microcuries of 3H.

        I admit, I threw a soda can in the trash. Intentionally, even. (That's because I have personal, generally secret knowledge that the janitorial staff simply empties both the trash bucket and the recyclable bucket into the same trash cart, but that's beside the point)

        My CEO has no idea I failed to recycle.

        I'm sure my CEO would testify that we hav

    • by gillbates (106458)

      Problem is, you might just be drinking it. Tritium combines with oxygen to form water, so any leak has the possibility of making it into the water supply.

      And, if the leak wasn't serious, why would they lie about it? How can you be sure it was just 2 microcuries when the company lied about the leak in the first place?

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Because the culture of media sensationalism that has grown up around nuclear power is such that I will bet they made a decision about whether it was better to cover it up (since it really is the equivalent to spilling a gallon of benzene on the floor during a transfer in a chemical plant - not great, but really no big deal as long as it is dealt with effectively) or put it on record.

        The very fact that the rad measurement has been given as 2 million picocuries instead of 2 microcuries is a clear indication o

    • by lwsimon (724555)

      Bravo, sir, bravo.

      The leak itself is nothing to be concerned about. The lying under oath should be dealt with harshly, but nuclear power is hardly the only industry with the potential for mass casualty if you screw up badly enough.

      • Yeah but people are still worried about the big bad nuclear boogeyman after so many years of the cold war and all the nuclear missle scares.

    • by Rei (128717)

      ..It tested at the leak at a whopping 2 million picocuries, which is a bullshit measurement that's clearly chosen because it's more shocking than 2 microcuries. 2 microcuries is about what you'd get for a basic thyroid test at the docs office.

      1) That's 2 million picocuries *per liter*. The average adult human drinks 2.4 liters of water *per day*.
      2) The human body naturally contains about 0.1 microcuries. So yes, combining that with above, this amount would be significant if it were to contaminate drinking

    • Re:Troll summary. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:44PM (#31247886) Homepage Journal

      I don't want to be all "So what?" but so what?

      Someone lies under oath abouty the operation of a nuclear power plant and you say "so what?" Are you on crack, or are you on this company's board of directors?

      The whole thing is clearly being pushed as an example of the horrible dangers of the super scary nuclear power industry

      No, it's an indictment of dishonest corporations in any industry. I'm starting to suspect that all big corporations are run by sociopathic thieves. I don't want any power plant, nuke, coal, or gas, run by sociopaths. And I'm damned glad there's an NRC, OSHA, and EPA, because these bastards don't give a damn about anything but their money.

      I'd like to see someone go to prison over this, preferably someone with a seven figure salary. It's the only way this shit will stop. The next time it may be a serious leak of some truly nasty shit, what makes you think they'll react any differently?

  • New (Score:5, Informative)

    by endianx (1006895) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:06PM (#31247226)

    because President Obama just put taxpayers on the hook for new nuclear power plants in Georgia

    The keyword there is "new".

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Saishuuheiki (1657565)

      I agree, in that I'd say the only conclusion is that we don't want Entergy building the new plants

      • Oh yea, well the new ones are being built by Southern Company which, like most power companies, is run by baby-raping plutocrats who would kill anyone for a buck if they thought they could get away with it. That's not sarcasm. That's honestly what I think of them.

        You're living in a dream world if you think some other company is better, just because they haven't been caught yet.

        My point of view is that all methods have a downside, and that nuclear has a more moderate downside than coal or oil. Hell, even hyd

  • by zero_out (1705074) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:08PM (#31247258)
    That plant has to be at least 30 years old. I think that technology has changed a bit in that time. In general, new is usually better than retrofitted old.
    • Precisely. The vast majority of reactor leaks/accidents occured in 30+ year old nuclear plants and frankly, our ability to construct safe designs has increased drastically since these plants were built. It's like suggesting that cars are inherently dangerous because the 30 year old clunkers had a few problems. The solution is to design better cars/reactors not freak out about the entire technology.

      • The thing that bothers me most is that crap like this gets massive screaming headlines, but things like PCB dumping (which happen all the time and are about a million times more destructive) are treated as no big deal.

        • That's probably because few people know about the chemical's existence or about the dumping. Nuclear plants are far more higher profile.

          • I'd far rather drink a glass of water right from that pipe than drink an equivalent amount of pcbs. If you live through the HTO, you're fine, but those pcbs will keep killing you for decades.

            • I wasn't trying to claim that PCBs are safe or that I'd want to drink of. But ask a random person what they know about PCBs and you'll get a blank stare versus how they can go on and on about the dangers of a nuclear plant.

        • Things that happen all the time like car accidents and heart attacks aren't published that often either. It's the rare occurances that get the attention.

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            Rare, yes, but so insignificant it is just silly.

            This leak is akin to me spilling something hazardous at lab scale and just mopping it up without telling anyone.

      • by Rei (128717)

        Nuclear power plant capital repayment is presaged on very long lifespans.

        I just don't see PWRs as the future. Now, I'd be more interested if we were talking about lead-bismuth breeders like BREST [nikiet.ru]. Someone, please go ahead and NIMBY this:

        * A "bathtub" design sunk into the ground, so for any radiation to reach people outside the plant, it has to go through an awful lot of ground first.
        * A breeder, so the amount of fuel available is huge and the burnup is great
        * A type of reprocessing that, combined with the

    • by zero_out (1705074)
      Furthermore, the summary is a bit misleading with regard to the new plants that SoCo is building. To say that the taxpayer is "on the hook" implies that this is money being given away, never to be seen again. In fact, these are loan guarantees. The money is expected to be fully repaid, and considering how well SoCo performs as a business, this is a sure bet.
  • Hurray! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:10PM (#31247292) Journal
    Corporate malfeasance, a dash of coverup, and a more or less fully captured regulatory agency!

    I, for one, am fully confident that the present minor tritium leak is the only thing going wrong, or likely to go wrong in the near future. Everything else is absolutely fine and, if it weren't, those involved would do the responsible thing and fix it....
    • Yeah exactly. If they are willing to lie about a tritium leak, whose to believe that something worse isn't also happening that they are covering up.

      • by Knara (9377)
        Yeah, they prolly put saccharine into the break rooms, too! And said that it was better than sugar! The bastards.
  • mdsolar (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    you're not biased.

    • Re:mdsolar (Score:5, Informative)

      by SovBob (471280) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @03:20PM (#31248476) Homepage

      In case the username wasn't enough, here's some more evidence to suggest that mdsolar might have a bias.

      From mdsolar's profile page:
      http://slashdot.org/~mdsolar/ [slashdot.org]
      "Very recently, I've gotten involved in a startup that plans to rent solar photovoltaic systems in the residential market. My guess is this is going to catch on. My homepage is where you can sign up."

      There's also various submissions and journal entries going back as far as 2007 denouncing oil and nuclear power and extolling the virtues of renewable energy (particularly solar.)

  • This is clearly an issue of lack of oversight/integrity of a few operators, who are choosing to have unsavory business practices with regard to disclosure. Sure, if they lied they should be prosecuted, but this is hardly evidence that Nuclear Power is inherently flawed.

    But go ahead, politicize it. I have my one-liner ready: "No One Died When Entergy representatives to the Vermont Public Service Board Lied."

    • Sure, if they lied they should be prosecuted, but this is hardly evidence that Nuclear Power is inherently flawed.

      This is very true. The anti-nuclear crowd will eat this up because Entegy has basically fed them easy talking points. But the fact remains that when you have a company like this lying about minor stuff that tends to erode any confidence that they wouldn't be lying about any bigger issues that may have already happened or may happen in the future.

  • Entergy got subsidies for their plants. Their performance was close enough for government work. Predictable.
  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:15PM (#31247372)
    I just love how the anti-nuclear comes out every time. Yes, it is significant that this leak was hidden from the NRC. Yes, it should affect that company from getting an extension. And yes, because they lied to the government about these pipes when they knew they existed (since they obviously covered up the previous leak), they should get heavy fines (to the individuals, not just the corporation), and even jail time. And absolutely should get denied operating license extension, and possibly even have their existing license revoked.

    But all of the above is already covered under existing law and policy, and has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with a DIFFERENT COMPANY building a NEW PLANT in a DIFFERENT STATE. It would be like arresting every person in the country who owns a Silver or Gray car because a Silver/Gray car was involved in a hit and run Rhode Island.
  • Just like pretty much every other company on Earth their primary interest is money. All other concerns are secondary including the safety of the public. It's not the technology that is dangerous, it's the terrible people operating it. I believe nuclear energy can be safe in theory but in practice it's the people who inject the danger to the process. This little omission is just one of thousands, if not tens of thousands of cover-ups by the nuclear industry who are their own worst enemy when it comes to the

    • by lwsimon (724555)

      As opposed to government officials, who are either blinded by power or "following protocol" depending upon their lever in the organization.

      People are fickle. Nothing is going to change that - and the fact is, monetary incentive happens to be the most reliable, by far.

  • Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sackvillian (1476885) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:20PM (#31247464)

    It's ridiculous that the summary implies that, in the context of this leak, Obama setting aside funds for building new power plants is a negative thing.

    If anything, the fact that America's only nuclear power comes from relatively ancient, decaying reactors of obsolete design should be motivation for building new nuclear power plants. This might be the best tangible thing Obama has proposed to date and informed citizens should be applauding it.

  • Tritium does not produce neutrons (few radioactive materials do). It emits only[1] electrons which can only penetrate a few mm of air.

    [1] It also emits nearly indetectable electon neutrinos. Billions of neutrinos pass through your body every day

  • the market does not take care of itself

    repeat: the market does NOT take care of itself

    with things like energy utilities, you do NOT privatize. you heavily involve the government and you heavily regulate

    no, it is not red tape that interferes with the normal functioning of the marketplace, it is the only way things fucking work right

    for examples like this, for the example of the economic meltdown in 2008, for the example of healthcare, and for examples like enron

    no, it does make you a fucking communist to adm

  • Slow Down (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aldhibah (834863)
    Before we talk about nailing the company to the wall perhaps we should look into the reporting requirements a little closer. The linked article itself states, "The NRC is investigating why it took Entergy five years to report the leak, but for it to have been reportable, it has to meet certain off site dose limits. It is also investigating how Entergy responded to the problem." So we don't even know if the leak met reporting requirements. Also, there is much hay made over Entergy lying about the existenc
  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @02:56PM (#31248064)

    Sure, it can be done safely. But, when you've got Corporate American running things with CEOs who'd sell their own mothers to bury one quarter of lackluster PR, you get these kinds of results. Toyota tried to bury a potentially life threatening flaw in order to postpone a little bad press resulting in a major scandal years later. This is the fundamental flaw in Free Market thinking. Companies aren't going to do the Right Thing because profitability dictates it. They'll lie about it then leave the train wreck for next guy.

    If Toyota is willing to lie about a little brake problem that's probably killed people, you trust a company not to lie or cut corners when it comes to expensive waste disposal?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RudeIota (1131331)
      Absolutely right. I'd like to add that reasonably free-willed capitalism can't sustain itself without 'moral ethics'.

      Unfortunately, we've entered a period where our society has disregarded ethics in favor of profit. Of course, profit is almost always the primary motivator in the free-market, but profit needs to be accompanied by ethics or I'd wager the system will ultimately fail. This kind of stuff is often the result of those lack of moral ethics.

      For all of you dirty business men/women out there who t
  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @04:30PM (#31249780) Homepage Journal
    Entergy has announced it will sell 3% of its power VT Yankee at close to its old rate of 4 cents/kwh though it has not agreed to a price for the other 97%. http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_14455061 [reformer.com]
  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Tuesday February 23, 2010 @05:49PM (#31251074) Homepage Journal
    Maryland's Calvert Cliffs reactors seem to be becoming unreliable: http://wjz.com/wireapnewsmd/NRC.inspectors.sent.2.1514222.html [wjz.com] And, South Carolina's Oconee just sprung a leak as well http://www.independentmail.com/news/2010/feb/09/oconee-nuclear-station-reports-tritium-exceeds-ind/ [independentmail.com] It is probably a mistake to run these plants past their 40 year design lifetime.

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