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Report Blames NRC For VT Yankee Leak 136

Posted by kdawson
from the tritium-adds-a-piquant-je-ne-sais-quoi dept.
mdsolar writes "A new report from a nuclear watchdog group finds that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 'is ignoring its oversight and enforcement responsibilities at the nation's increasingly leaky, uninspected and unmaintained nuclear power plants.' Because of this lack of oversight, 'at least 102 reactor units are now documented to have had recurring radioactive leaks into groundwater from 1963 through February 2009.' So, the leak at Vermont Yankee that Slashdot has been following is not just a fluke, but is systemic."
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Report Blames NRC For VT Yankee Leak

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  • So says a site... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 23, 2010 @11:55AM (#31956410)

    "Working for a world free of nuclear power..." right in their masthead.

    • Re:So says a site... (Score:5, Informative)

      by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:03PM (#31956512)

      mdsolar is a well-known troll. Basically about 90% of all the submissions from this tool is basically FUD against nuclear power.

      • by bl8n8r (649187)

        RTFA before blaming it on troll behaviour. How can you argue with a statement from the U.S. Regulatory Commission?
        "Numerous incidents of unplanned releases of radioactivity have been reported to the NRC within the past few months."
        "These incidents of leaks, overflows and spills have resulted in contamination of areas outside of plant buildings. "

        • Re:So says a site... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:25PM (#31956896) Journal

          For one thing, the story here is billed as kind of a 'breaking news' 'new findings' kind of thing.

          But the summary makes it clear it's a rehash, a dredging up of every bad thing the anti-nuke site it is hosted on could dig up, going back to 1963.

          • it's a rehash, a dredging up of every bad thing the anti-nuke site it is hosted on could dig up, going back to 1963.

            Might be so, but what about the numerous leaks documented in the report? [beyondnuclear.org]. What are the facts of the matter?

        • by Ares (5306)

          Numerous incidents of unplanned releases of radioactivity

          as opposed to, say, planned releases of radioactivity?

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          Mr Burns: What do you think you're doing? Put those precious electrons back into the core where they belong!
          Lenny: But that's where they leaked out of, Mr Burns.
          Mr Burns: Put them back before someone trys to hock them on eBay. They aren't iPhone prototypes, you know!
          Mr Smithers: I'm on it, Mr Burns.
        • by electricprof (1410233) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:56PM (#31957264)
          First, the quote, "Numerous incidents of unplanned releases of radioactivity have been reported to the NRC within the past few months." "These incidents of leaks, overflows and spills have resulted in contamination of areas outside of plant buildings. " is not actually in the article but rather it is in the link from the NRC in 1979 about responding to the leaks. The article then goes on the say "the NRC is capitulating to an industry decision to take almost three more years before announcing an action plan" but the link supporting this is broken, so I can't evaluate it. The next two paragraphs have no links or citations, just general accusations. The next paragraph seems to be supplying substantive information about tritium leaks, but both of the supporting links are broken, so again, I can't evaluate them. I downloaded the full report but just wasn't interested in reading 50 pages of stuff after trying to evaluate these few paragraphs.
          • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

            by electricprof (1410233)
            Oops ... yes I just noticed that I failed to spell "attempt" correctly.
          • by arogier (1250960) *
            I liked the article from a while back that proposed Thorium as the fuel of the future much better.
          • Really, the recommendations are basically what slashdotters have been writing regarding VT Yankee. It just turns out that the problem is very wide spread. http://www.beyondnuclear.org/storage/documents/LeakFirstFixLater_ExecutiveSummary_April2010.pdf [beyondnuclear.org]

            1. Regulatory oversight, authority and enforcement must be strengthened;

            2. Buried pipes must be promptly replaced so that systems carrying radioactive effluent can be inspected, monitored, maintained and contained in the event of a leak;

            3. The nuclear ind
    • Probably also working for a world free of nuclear families.

  • Coal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Friday April 23, 2010 @11:55AM (#31956414)

    So far nobody has died because of the nuclear industry's negligence. What we need is a probe of our coal industry, and expansion of the comparably clean nuclear engery, with research into minimizing and recycling nuclear waste for fuel.

    • Re:Coal (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Friday April 23, 2010 @11:57AM (#31956438)

      The funny thing about this whining about nuclear plants is that coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste [scientificamerican.com].

      • That's really interesting, I had no idea of that.

        But after reading that article, the title seems misleading. What was studied was contamination of the soil around the power plants.

        That is not the same as comparing radiation levels of fly ash and nuclear waste.

        • Yeah, they did have a correction at the bottom of page 2. It's still important to note though:

          As a general clarification, ounce for ounce, coal ash released from a power plant delivers more radiation than nuclear waste shielded via water or dry cask storage.

      • by nomadic (141991)
        No, it's not. It's like saying there's more cyanide in ocean water than in a glass of cyanide, because there's more cyanide collectively in the ocean as a whole.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's like saying there's more cyanide in ocean water than in a glass of cyanide, because there's more cyanide collectively in the ocean as a whole.

          Huh?

          As a general clarification, ounce for ounce, coal ash released from a power plant delivers more radiation than nuclear waste shielded via water or dry cask storage.

          That sounds nothing like your analogy at all.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by nomadic (141991)
            As a general clarification, ounce for ounce, coal ash released from a power plant delivers more radiation than nuclear waste shielded via water or dry cask storage.

            I saw that and found it meaningless, and certainly no "clarification" for the purposes of this thread; I would hope that shielded nuclear waste would release less radiation into the environment than unshielded coal ash. The point remains that while coal plants may produce more radiation per unit of energy created than nuclear plants, "ounce f
            • Don't let him drag you down with the bullshit - people have been raving about nuclear material coming out of the stacks for 40 years but nobody has been able to find anything yet despite it only being a matter of setting up an absorbion spectrometer to look at the flue gas.
              The whole misdirection to coal thing is a trick and a waste of time anyway. We don't want dangerous power plants of any kind when we can have well regulated ones.
              Nuclear has to keep it's promises and argue on it's own merits. This sort
              • by cynyr (703126)
                nukes experimental?! when did that happen, we've only been using them for how many decades now? It's not really experimental now.
                • Each new plant is different and increases our knowledge in the area - it is actually a good thing because we get improvements. Care to find a dictionary now?
                  That is one reason why nuclear advocates will never ever give you any sort of result for a single operating plant and instead give you a rubbery figure for the benefits of nuclear power in general. The figures are never going to look so good for periods when tests are being performed on the plants early in their lifetimes so it's not really a fair tes
              • by Cyberax (705495)

                "Don't let him drag you down with the bullshit - people have been raving about nuclear material coming out of the stacks for 40 years but nobody has been able to find anything yet despite it only being a matter of setting up an absorbion spectrometer to look at the flue gas."

                ????
                http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1997/fs163-97/FS-163-97.html [usgs.gov]

                A team at my university did the same measurements with the same results. As you've said, it's a rather simple matter of taking and analyzing samples.

                • by dbIII (701233)
                  Cool so somebody actually found something in cenospheres instead of the usual trick of just lying about it.
                  Unlike me, they actually saw some heavy elements, but in their summary they wrote the following:

                  "The vast majority of coal and the majority of fly ash are not significantly enriched in radioactive elements, or in associated radioactivity, compared to common soils or rocks."

                  That's a pretty good answer to all of the stupid bullshit about coal ash being more radioactive than nuclear waste.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          Not really since people living downwind of coal fired power plants receive more radiation than people living downwind of nuclear powered plants.

          Any yes I am leaving out those that lived near Chernobyl. That plant was a disaster from stop to bottom. It is a design that would never have been built in the West and never run the way that it was in the USSR.
          Bring up Chernobyl went talking about western nuclear power plants is as out of place and clueless as bring up the Titanic as a reason to not take a Caribb

          • by MrKaos (858439)

            Not really since people living downwind of coal fired power plants receive more radiation than people living downwind of nuclear powered plants.

            Well considering we are talking about *groundwater* contamination with radioactive isotopes "downwind" is not really relevant.

            Any yes I am leaving out those that lived near Chernobyl. That plant was a disaster from stop to bottom. It is a design that would never have been built in the West and never run the way that it was in the USSR.

            Well PBMR have similar conta

            • by LWATCDR (28044)

              "Well PBMR have similar containment structures proposed "
              Chernobyl had No containment building at all. Russia used to say that their reactors where so safe that there was no need of containment buildings. Truth was that was cheaper.
              Pebble bed reactors are very different from Chernobyl. Pebble bed reactors are thermally stable.
              Also the there are no PBMRs yet in service. So why bring them up at all since it is a clear red herring.
              Also the AP-1000 is totally different design from Chernobyl as well in every way

              • by MrKaos (858439)

                Chernobyl had No containment building at all. Russia used to say that their reactors where so safe that there was no need of containment buildings. Truth was that was cheaper.

                You may not be aware but PBMR reactors are proposed to be built without a concrete containment building for exactly that reason. Concrete and steel are the largest input cost to building reactors.

                Pebble bed reactors are very different from Chernobyl. Pebble bed reactors are thermally stable.

                PBMR have radically different failure mods

      • Re:Coal (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dbIII (701233) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:43PM (#31957120)
        Read right to the end of the comments on that article and track it back to it's source and you will see that it's poorly researched bullshit based on an Oak Ridge Labs newsletter article written by a guy more famous for his books on "southern humour". It's a beat-up based on the situation that most people have never heard of background radiation.
        It was a very low moment for Scientific American.
        In case people haven't noticed coal kills real people in real ways already without this imaginary bullshit. This stuff really comes from a failed 1970s PR effort that went along the lines of "coal pollutes, why can't we do the same?" and should have died off before most readers here were even born.
        I was looking at which elements were in fly ash with backscatter in an electron microscope in the 1990s for a while and never saw enough of anything heavy that made it out of the noise - and now we get this bullshit about it all being radioactive. Think about it - if there's all this stuff why hasn't anyone been able to detect it coming out of the stack sine the 1970s, after all the spectrometer you'd need to find it was invented over a century ago?
        There's an easy answer - you've been conned by slick PR.
        • by jmichaelg (148257)

          John McPhee's book, Rising From The Plains [amazon.com], documents his time spent with John Love in Montana. Love was one of the pre-eminent geologists of the 20th century and the primary author of two state geologic maps of Montana. During the Uranium Boom of the 50's, Love was offered a job paying a million dollars/year because he was so good at finding uranium. He repeatedly found deposits where other geologists had said there wouldn't be any.

          During their travels around Montana, Love described how uranium easily diss

          • Re:Coal (Score:4, Interesting)

            by dbIII (701233) on Friday April 23, 2010 @02:06PM (#31958152)

            uranium goes up the smokestack

            Then some time over the last 40 years somebody should have been able to find some of it going up the stack. No luck so far despite a lot of monitoring.
            I mostly mentioned my experience because usually some idiot insists that 100% of all ash is nuclear waste, and at least this dispels the extreme view. When I was looking at the ash I'd never even heard of this bullshit because it emerged and was buried as a laughing stock in the 1970s (apparently) and then was regurgitated again around 2000 or so.
            It's irrelevant anyway. Get enough of it in your lungs and it will kill you without any of this pretend nuclear waste bullshit.

        • Naturally regulation is essential. But the point is that at current levels of regulation, nuclear is much safer than coal.

          • by dbIII (701233)
            That's not really a good excuse for spreading lies though it it? Nuclear has to stand on it's own merits and it is competing against a lot more than just coal.
      • So we should not use either one?
    • by Fwipp (1473271)

      I think you mean the American nuclear industry. Otherwise, there might be a few residents of Chernobyl who would like to have a word with you.

      • Or the French, German, Japanese, UK, Canadian nuclear industries (among many more that could be listed). But because there happened to be one accident at a single nuclear power plant that clearly means all nuclear plants are unsafe!

        • There are a few dead nuclear workers in France for one that disrupt your little fantasy.
          Nuclear works - but there's no point of all this bullshit pretending it's clean, a solved problem and we don't have to be careful about safety when it's a dangerous, dirty process just like a lot of other things we use. The fluffy, clean, runs off magic beans without farting bullshit is counterproductive and has certainly held up research into waste management and better reactor designs in the USA. It's about 20 years
          • by Cyberax (705495)

            And there are several magnitudes more of dead coal miners and people with lung cancer from coal ash-related pollution.

            So nuclear power IS a clean and solved problem. At least compared to fossil-based fuels.

            • Yes, coal is much dirtier than nuclear power. Yes, nuclear power is inevitably going to have to be part of our power generation portfolio for the foreseeable future (probably a fairly significant part). But you can't wave away the real issues involving nuclear power by saying "but but but... coal is worse!" Nuclear energy is safe when we make it safe - by putting a lot of time, expense, and effort into safety systems and processes. If/when we let safety systems degrade, we neglect to train in safety procedu

              • by Cyberax (705495)

                "Nuclear energy is safe when we make it safe - by putting a lot of time, expense, and effort into safety systems and processes. If/when we let safety systems degrade, we neglect to train in safety procedures, and we fail to conduct proper oversight of nuclear plant operations... then it won't be clean and safe anymore."

                So? So far the track record for nuclear power plants is pretty good. Cynically speaking, one Chernobyl every 80 years is _still_ better than fossil fuel.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Mr. Hightower? [illinoistimes.com] Is that you?

      The fates did not blow up these 29 people. They are dead because self-serving profiteers in the coal industry have routinely used their enormous political clout to fend off commonsense safety regulations by the big, bad government, thus making these "accidents" inevitable. In the case of Upper Big Branch, the profiteer is one of America's biggest coal corporations, Massey Energy Co., along with its right-wing, multimillionaire CEO, Don Blankenship.

      King Coal, as the industry is kno

    • by Maxmin (921568)

      So far nobody has died because of the nuclear industry's negligence.

      Chernobyl killed 31, with another 4,000 cancer deaths expected. Maybe you meant the American nuclear industry?

      The jist of the issue is true, however: the NRC has turned into a rubber-stamp machine, in favor of the industry. That's probably the only way that many of the aging power plants will get recertified (remember, few reactors have been built in the last 20 years.)

      Some plants have serious issues, for example the fire safety problem a

    • by MrKaos (858439)

      So far nobody has died because of the nuclear industry's negligence.

      Wow, even the official report into Chernobyl had 56 people die, in actuality many more did.

      What we need is a probe of our coal industry,

      What about a probe of the Nuclear Industry, I'm sure it's got many more dirty little secrets hidden. We could uncover theirs as well.

      and expansion of the comparably clean nuclear engery, with research into minimizing and recycling nuclear waste for fuel.

      Compared to what? Coal? Because that's the only

  • Figures (Score:4, Insightful)

    by flaming error (1041742) on Friday April 23, 2010 @11:58AM (#31956454) Journal

    Numberous aviation accidents between the years 1905 and 2009 may indicate the FAA is not doing it's job, either.

  • Nice Try (Score:2, Informative)

    by ArchieBunker (132337)

    Nice try mdsolar. Maybe the mods are too stupid to realize you submit every story with a noted bias against nuclear plants but I'm not. All the other stories about the leak are submitted by this guy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      What's funny is that he's submitted like 10 or 11 stories in just the last 3 months on this plant.

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        What's funny is that he's submitted like 10 or 11 stories in just the last 3 months on this plant.

        Ignorance is bliss.

  • I used to think nuclear reactors were strictly regulated. Then I wondered why all the plants in my yard grew larger than normal. Considering I can see the coolant steam from my street, I guess now I can just assume the stereotype. After all, it's a navy training reactor, so why can't I assume?
    • So nuclear waste is getting to your garden and making plants grow bigger your ignorance makes my head hurt, if anything the extra heat will cause your plants to grow faster but more then likely it's just in your disillusion head. Being exposed to nuclear waste does not make plants grow bigger, give people super powers, or give fish 3 eyes.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SnarfQuest (469614)

      I can't see the nuclear reactors from where I live, but you'd think that the 30 or 50 of them would lead to numerous transformed monstrous animals, but all we've got are jackalopes. They do make a nice sandwich spread, but so far no buildings have been destroyed with laser beams coming out their eyes.

  • at least 102 reactor units

    You guys have that many? Good on ya!

    • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

      101,119 Megawatts from 104 reactors, 1 building and 30 planned or proposed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by maxume (22995)

      The U.S. has more watts of nuclear than any other country.

      We also have more watts in general, so the above sort of gets lost in comparisons.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ColdWetDog (752185)

        We also have more watts in general, so the above sort of gets lost in comparisons.

        But the big problem is that we have more 'wuts' in general. And they just get lost.

  • A better source... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ProdigyPuNk (614140)
    Firstly, I can't believe the only source for the article is a report from "Beyond Nuclear". Here's a much better look at the risks when Tritium is run through buried pipes: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/buried-pipes-fs.html [nrc.gov]

    The NRC’s regulations focus on systems necessary to safely operate the plant or safely shut it down in case of an emergency. These safety systems’ buried piping is subject to inspection and testing requirements laid out in agency regulations and

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:14PM (#31956696)
    NRC page on tritium http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/fact-sheets/tritium-radiation-fs.html [nrc.gov]. Even the levels at so called "contaminated wells", assuming you drink from it every day for a year, are negligible compared to other sources of background radiation and even potassium in your body.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      And the level of contamination in the surrounding soil and water is far less than what you get around even the cleanest of coal plants.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by arogier (1250960) *
        And tritium is used in sealed glass capsules as a source of illumination in consumer products like Luminox watches.
      • So there is tritium in coal now? Is that from spontaneous three body fission of uranium then? Not even close on this one....
  • There are two links in the original article that supposedly point to PDFs of the list of events. Both links are returning Page Not Found.

  • by Mr Otobor (1097177) on Friday April 23, 2010 @12:34PM (#31957002)

    I'm not sure what I'm supposed to take away from this... for instance:

    at least 102 reactor units are now documented to have had recurring radioactive leaks into groundwater from 1963 through February 2009.

    (which is a broken link from the linked article/page)

    So the NRC is a 50 year epic fail? That leaks are increasing? Increasing... post-Regan/post-90's/post-40-year-old-reactors? No implied pattern? Caused by what... maintenance failures? Expected wear? Unexpected wear? Lack of oversight?

    Sorry, I just tend to take a somewhat guarded view to statements that amount to, "It's all f*cked up!" and not much more.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheKidWho (705796)

      It's mdsolar, he sells solar panels online and regularly posts these anti-nuclear FUD tinged posts.

      You do the math.

  • by darkwing_bmf (178021) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:15PM (#31957482)
    I thought this story was going to be about the National Republican Committee, Virgina Tech and baseball.
  • by SovBob (471280) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:16PM (#31957502) Homepage

    I seem to notice that there is a lot of FUD and misinformation out there (not just from mdsolar and Beyond Nuclear) regarding nuclear power. This is helped in part because of ignorance by the general public. It's important to understand that there is a wide range of radioactive sources. Most of them are naturally occurring, or occur is such small amounts that they present no health hazard.

    Radiation exposure is usually measured in Rem (or mRem). Let's take a look at some common activities [nyc.gov] and see how they compare.

    One chest X ray (8 mRem)

    One mammogram (70 mRem)

    One X ray of the abdomen (300 mRem)

    One renal nuclear medicine procedure (310 mRem)

    One CT head scan (3000 mRem)

    CAT scan of whole body (5000 mRem)

    As you can see, there is a wide variance of radiation sources. Most people in the US receive approximately 300 mRem / year from natural background radiation sources (primarily from radon and sun exposure.) So, how much radiation exposure do you need to cause bodily damage [epa.gov]?

    There is no agreed-upon level which is considered "safe", however there is relatively clear agreement on thresholds where radiation has noticeable effects on the human body. (NOTE: These are listed in Rem, not mRem)

    Changes in blood chemistry (5-10 Rem)

    Nausea (50 Rem)

    Fatigue (55 Rem)

    Vomiting (70 Rem)

    Hair loss (75 Rem)

    Diarrhea (90 Rem)

    Hemorrhage (100 Rem)

    Possible death (400 Rem)

    Death within 1-2 weeks (1000 Rem)

    Damage to central nervous system (2000 Rem)

    Death within days (2000 Rem)

    But what about cancer? The risk for cancer can be increased by radiation exposure, which resulted in increased mutation rates of cell growth. The EPA [epa.gov] estimates that in a group of 10,000 people 2,000 of them will die from cancer. If each person received 1 Rem (not mRem) of non-natural ionizing radiation exposure accumulated over their lifetime, 2,006 people would die from cancer.

    So, now that we have an idea of just how bad different levels of radiation exposure are, what about these tritium leaks that have got certain people so upset? The highest reading that these monitoring wells have read was 2.45 microcuries / liter. This translates into roughly 425 mRem / year (assuming it was not diluted). 425 mRem is substantially higher than the current NRC limits, but still much too low to present a health hazard.

    When people hear words like "nuclear reactor piping leak" they naturally assume that high-level radioactive particulates are getting out to the environment. The fact is that the incident at Vermont Yankee represents a very small health hazard to the public.

    • by MrKaos (858439)

      So, now that we have an idea of just how bad different levels of radiation exposure are, what about these tritium leaks that have got certain people so upset? The highest reading that these monitoring wells have read was 2.45 microcuries / liter. This translates into roughly 425 mRem / year (assuming it was not diluted). 425 mRem is substantially higher than the current NRC limits, but still much too low to present a health hazard.

      Tritium is biologically mutagenic *because* it's a low energy emitter. This

  • On top of all this, most plants are not designed to contain tritium, and those that can contain it must somehow transfer it to another containment vessel.

  • No! No! NO! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Un pobre guey (593801) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:22PM (#31957578) Homepage
    Jesus H. Christ! How many times do I have to tell you! It's clean, not dirty! It's the cleanest of them all! Cleaner than coal! Cleaner than gas! Cleaner than oil! Cleaner than those stupid degenerate bisexual latte-drinking atheistic hippie socialist wind generators! Get it through your god-damned head already!
  • by beefubermensch (575927) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:30PM (#31957694) Homepage

    Canadian nuclear plants emit 40 times more tritium every day when functioning normally than the Vermont Yankee leak emitted in a year:
    http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-much-tritium-leaked-from-vermont.html [blogspot.com]

    A 1 GW(e) natural gas turbine will emit about 9 curies/year,* which is 20 times the rate of radiation from the VT Yankee leak at its highest.

    Oh, and natural gas "fracking" produces toxic and radioactive wastewater. This article from last summer discusses EPA tests that found nasties from the fracturing fluid in domestic well water:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=chemicals-found-in-drinking-water-from-natural-gas-drilling [scientificamerican.com]
    New York State is doing fracking in something called Marcellus shale. This article from last fall says that surface wastewater from these sites was found to contain Ra-226 in concentrations "thousands of times" the limit for drinking water:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=marcellus-shale-natural-gas-drilling-radioactive-wastewater [scientificamerican.com]
    This page
    http://www.epa.gov/radiation/tenorm/oilandgas.html [epa.gov]
    says, "more than 18 billion barrels of waste fluids from oil and gas production are generated annually in the United States".

    -Carl

    * Radioactivity of fossil gas. This abstract
    http://rpd.oxfordjournals.org/content/97/3/259.abstract [oxfordjournals.org]
    gives 200 Bq/m^3. It doesn't say where they measured, but given context of the paper I'll assume it was at the consumer end of the line, at STP. I don't know if gas used at electrical plants is any fresher, but I'll assume it's no more stale. Pure methane has an energy content of 55.5 kJ/g and a density of 667 g/m^3, or about 5 Wh(e)/L from a 50%-efficient combined-cycle plant. So about 40Bq/Wh, or 1 nanoCurie per Wh, or 9 Curies/GW-yr.

  • Since the NRC hasn't allowed any new plants to be built for 40 years (all the plants in operation now are based on 1960's designs), we've been stuck extending the life of our first generation commercial plants - well beyond the original design life of them, instead of building safer, more efficient plants as we learn and develop new technologies (like the ESBWR)
  • And this is why we actually need effective government.

    There is something seriously wrong when a report can be written with a straight face that blames somebody other than the perpetrators for the problems they cause.

    "You didn't make me stop" isn't a valid excuse for dumping waste, nor for ignoring existing LAWS.

    Corporations need to grow up and have some personal responsibility, in a similar manner that Libertarians and Free Market Captialists, Randians, et at have been beating everyone over the head with pe

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