reply to post by Arbitrageur
"The General Electric-designed nuclear reactors involved in the Japanese emergency are very similar to 23 reactors in use in the United States,
according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission records.
The NRC database of nuclear power plants shows that 23 of the 104 nuclear plants in the U.S. are GE boiling-water reactors with GE's Mark I systems
for containing radioactivity, the same containment system used by the reactors in trouble at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. The U.S. reactors are in
Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
In addition, 12 reactors in the U.S. have the later Mark II or Mark III containment system from GE. These 12 are in Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi,
New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington state. See the full list below.
GE via NRC
GE's Mark I containment system.
(General Electric is a parent company of msnbc.com through GE's 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal and Microsoft are equal partners in
Msnbc.com sent questions Saturday to GE, asking whether the Japanese reactors differed from those of the same general design used in the U.S.
A GE spokesman, Michael Tetuan, referred all questions to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade and lobbying group. Tetuan said GE nuclear
staff members in Wilmington, N.C., are focused on assisting GE employees in Japan and standing by to help the Japanese authorities if asked to help.
The NEI on Sunday confirmed that the figure of 23 is correct.
On Monday, GE Hitachi Nuclear sent the following statement, in full: "The BWR Mark 1 reactor is the industry’s workhorse with a proven track record
of safety and reliability for more than 40 years. Today, there are 32 BWR Mark 1 reactors operating as designed worldwide. There has never been a
breach of a Mark 1 containment system."
On Friday, GE posted rebuttals to the most common criticisms of the Mark I containment system.
The six reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant, which had explosions on Saturday and Monday, are all GE-designed boiling-water reactors, known
in the industry as BWRs. Five have containment systems of GE's Mark I design, and the sixth is of the Mark II type. They were placed in operation
between 1971 and 1979.
A fact sheet from the anti-nuclear advocacy group Nuclear Information and Resource Service contends that the Mark I design has design problems, and
that in 1972 an Atomic Energy Commission member, Dr. Stephen Hanuaer, recommended that this type of system be discontinued.
"Some modifications have been made to U.S. Mark I reactors since 1986, although the fundamental design deficiencies remain," NIRS said. The group
has a commentary online describing what it says are hazards of boiling-water reactors: human invervention needed to vent radioactive steam in the case
of a core meltdown, and problems with aging.
Since the earthquake struck Japan on Friday, the early statements by the industry's Nuclear Industry Institute have emphasized that only six plants
in the U.S. have precisely the same generation of reactor design (GE boiling-water reactor model 3) as the first reactor to have trouble in Fukushima
Daiichi. Problems then developed at different reactors of GE model 4.
But aside from the generation of reactor design, the following 23 U.S. plants have GE boiling-water reactors (GE models 2, 3 or 4) with the same Mark
I containment design used at Fukushima..."
Of course nuclear reactors should not vent as a matter of course, but in a meltdown situation as part of safety measures, they need to be able to vent
without human intervention. If the Fukushima plants had been able to do this, this would have helped a lot.
I was being accused of disinformation, and to be frank I think that was very rude.