Thursday, March 13, 2014

WIPP - Mess: a Bad Signal for Finnish "Onkalo" and other Nuclear Waste Disposal Plans - BREAKING: AREVA Withdrawing from Olkiluoto-3 EPR Constructing Site?

Well, there was an incident at WIPP

( LINK - Wikipedia: ) in New Mexico, U.S.A. a few weeks ago. Several WIPP - workers were contaminated with Plutonium and Americium isotopes. The plant has been releasing Plutonium and Americium since the incident and the latest estimates tell 1 % of radionuclides to bypass WIPP filtering system instead of 0,13 % initially announced. The nearest city of Carlsbad, situated 42 km from the site, has also received small amount of Plutonium and Americium airborne particles. There is no detailed plan yet when the facility is able to return to normal operation because of high radiation levels inside the WIPP-plant.

Radioactive release is always a serious issue - the WIPP -incident is one of the worst nuclear dump accidents up to date. Nuclear industry is living on probabilities, not on reality. NPPs are releasing radioactive substances like tritium on daily basis, even when running normally.  - Arts-photo: Jukka Seppälä / C.F. 

The probability of a spontaneous explosion of a plutonium waste container has been estimated to occur once in 10 000 years. And the other possible cause of an incident resulting this kind of leak - collapsing ceiling or roof  of the cave - is estimated to happen once in a million years. WIPP -plant has now been running for about seven years.

WIPP Happens!








*   *   *  

What about Finnish "Onkalo", then? 

This nuclear waste dump is also calculated to be safe for 100 000 years. But is it really? Three studies show that inner copper cylinders containing the spent fuel may corrode in 1 000 years instead of 100 000 years promised by the industry. And now after 7 years of operating WIPP we have this one-million -year-event happening! Is nuclear engineer / geologist this clever?

Copper cylinders for Onkalo - Photo: Jukka Seppälä / C.F.

We should think twice before we dump nuclear waste. We should not produce any new nuclear waste by nuclear power generation. Unless we don't want to be the generation that becomes famous to kill its own children and grandchildren. We still are able to choose!

*   *   *  

And what about Areva?

Making big losses - 500 million euros last year, most of it from Finnish Olkiluoto-3 NPP -project - the company is rumored abandoning or freezing Olkiluoto EPR- construction site which is causing the project additional delays. The last estimate for Olkiluoto-3 to be finished is somewhere between 2018 to 2020, according to Finnish Kauppalehti:

Last year Areva estimated the total costs of Olkiluoto-3 EPR to rise up to 8,5 billion euros. Each extra year adds the cost. ( My estimate in 2012 was 10 Billion euros - time will tell which one was closer to reality  )

Olkiluoto-3 construction site - Photo: Jukka Seppälä / C.F.

Let's hope this crazy project to build the most expensive building mankind has ever built will be mothballed and abandoned 

before it is contaminated with radioactive isotopes. We still could make it a gas (biogas as well) powered power plant to give back up power for renewable power generation like wind and solar.



No comments:

Post a Comment