A tornado has reported struck a school and damaged homes in North Alabama.
The dangerous storms will last all day.
Let's take a look at nuclear reactors in the path of today's outbreaks - Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, South and North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia, so far.
Here's a map where one can plainly see that those are OLD reactors.
A more likely nuclear nightmare
Fires regularly occur at the 104 U.S. nuclear plants nearly 10 times a year on average. About half the accidents that threaten reactor cores begin with fires that can start from a short circuit in an electric cable, a spark that ignites the oil in a pump, or an explosion in a transformer. Even a small fire could trigger a chain of events that threatens a meltdown, and some have come close.
Evacuation Zones for Nuclear Reactors Interactive Map
In the case of a nuclear reactor accident, what can be done?
Do you live within 50 miles of a nuclear reactor?
One third of Americans do.
Property contaminated by nuclear materials is not covered by insurance, so if your house is affected, you could be displaced permanently and lose everything. Use the tool below to find out if you are within an evacuation zone and are at risk. Also notice the number of people who would have to be evacuated if there was an accident at the plant closest to you.
Do you really think that is possible?
The 25th anniversary of Chernobyl and the continuing crisis at Fukushima -- both Level 7 nuclear disasters -- are clear reminders that standard evacuation zones cannot protect the public from a nuclear accident. Current NRC regulations stipulate a 10 mile evacuation zone around nuclear plants. This is clearly insufficient and 50 miles has been recommended.
For those of you anywhere in the Chattanooga, TN area, this may be of interest:
Knoxnews.com: TVA evaluating plan to burn plutonium-loaded fuel
’TVA is evaluating the possible use of mixed-oxide fuel -- which contains surplus plutonium from the nuclear weapons program -- at its two Sequoyah nuclear power plants near Chattanooga and perhaps Browns Ferry or other reactors in the future.
The National Nuclear Security Administration, a sub-unit of the Dept. of Energy that runs the weapons program, announced today that TVA had signed a "letter of intent" to enter into negotiations with Shaw AREVA MOX Services LLC.
TVA spokesman John Moulton emphasized that the letter of intent is non-binding. "We have agreed to work together explore the potential use of weapons-grade MOX fuel in TVA reactors," Moulton said. The letter with Shaw AREVA MOX Services was signed July 6, 2009, the TVA spokesman said.’
Just over a week later, tornadoes forced the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Athens, Ala., to shut down after severe weather wrecked transmission lines and created problems for a plant in Tennessee.
The storms also disrupted siren systems that alert residents living near nuclear power plants to trouble. The sirens, which are connected to the electrical grid, failed during a blackout. Tennessee Valley Authority officials said they are in the process of adding sirens that have battery backups, meaning they would work even during a power outage.
At one point, only 12 of 100 sirens in the communities surrounding Browns Ferry worked. A similar problem occurred in the region surrounding the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., which lost 36 of its 108 sirens. If there had been a crisis at either nuclear plant, emergency officials would have driven vehicles with loudspeakers through affected areas to alert residents.
Yeah, right, like they did at Turkey Point during Andrew.
A far more tense shut-down came when off-site power was lost during 1992's Hurricane Andrew, whose eye passed directly over Turkey Point. At the height of the storm, communication from the control room was also dangerously lost. Tools and equipment valued at around $100 million were destroyed or simply blown away.
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