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Spent nuclear rods a Vulnerable Target

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posted on Dec, 31 2003 @ 12:38 AM
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Another thought or direction.....spent reactor fuel storage. Yucca mtn is to be a containment storage facility.

But many sites exist that store spent rods temporarily.

In the aftermath of September 11, a great deal of attention has been paid to nuclear power plants themselves, which are vulnerable to a World Trade Center type of attack. Like the Twin Towers, reactor containment buildings were designed to withstand hurricanes, floods, or accidental aircraft collisions of a certain scope. They were not designed with homicidal 767 operators in mind. "If you postulate the risk of a jumbo jet full of fuel, it is clear that their design was not conceived to withstand such an impact," International Atomic Energy Agency spokesman David Kyd told reporters in Vienna, Austria. Such a strike could disrupt a plant's cooling systems, triggering a steam explosion and releasing a radioactive cloud.

But spent fuel facilities are far softer targets. They are generally located outside the containment structure, and are thus more vulnerable to attack. A recent report by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that the consequences of a serious spent fuel pool accident "could be comparable to those for a severe reactor accident." The NRC analysis, published in February, also assumed that in the event of an accidental direct hit by an aircraft, there was a 45 percent chance it would breach a five-foot thick containment structure. Dry-cask storage facilities -- like the one under development at Wiscasset -- are probably even more vulnerable. There are 16 such facilities already in operation and many more planned or under construction. They are usually unenclosed and, in the case of decommissioned plants, are not subject to the same level of security. Each has guards, fences, and motion detectors to repel an infantry-style assault or an attempt to steal waste; but the two-story tall casks stand in even rows under the open sky. Steve Kerekes, a spokesman for the industry-funded Nuclear Energy Institute, said dry cask facilities are "fairly robust sites" but that questions about their vulnerability to terrorist attack were "a bit ahead of the curve."

dukeemployees.com...

"These facilities are designed to survive more serious events than the average building, but they haven't been designed to survive a direct hit from a large commercial airplane," says Kelley Smith, spokesperson for two other decommissioned power plants -- Connecticut Yankee and Yankee Row -- which are also building dry cask sites. All the more reason, she says, for the government to take the waste to Yucca Mountain.


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[Edited on 31-12-2003 by smirkley]




posted on Dec, 31 2003 @ 01:00 AM
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how about all the spent rods stored in water at nuclear power plants. dont tell me they are secure. ive driven a boat within 100 ft of some in the past 8 months with no problem. just think if someone launched an RPG or worse into the spent rods. even if the radiation didnt cover a large area, there would be mass histeria and distraction from a possible major event. just a thought



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