WARNING: “Credible threat of severe accident at two nuclear reactors” due to Hurricane Harvey — “Clear potential for major disaster” — Plant “could be overwhelmed by raging flood waters” — Officials refuse to provide public with information

 

Reuters, Aug 29, 2017 (emphasis added): [W]atchdog groups called for the [South Texas Project nuclear] facility to shut due to Tropical Storm Harvey… The groups expressed concern about workers at the plant and the safety of the general public if Harvey caused an accident at the reactors… When asked if the plant would shut if flooding worsened, [spokesman Buddy Eller] said “We are going to do what’s right from a safety standpoint.”… Eller said 250 “storm crew” workers were running the plant… Personnel from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) are also at the plant, assessing storm conditions… Continue reading

Bigger Guns, Bigger Problems? How High-Powered Ammunition Could Affect Nuclear Power Plants

Lest we forget the substations that were sabotaged via sniper attack in California in 2013, causing electricity to go out. Although the high-powered ammunition in this article’s case is on the side of security, what’s to stop the security personnel from being infiltrators themselves bent on industrial espionage and sabotage?

 

(Shutterstock)

 

More powerful ammunition meant to protect nuclear reactors was capable of piercing control panels and critical piping.

(TNS) – Shortly after the horrors of 9/11, a curious package landed on Dave Lochbaum’s desk.

It was flat but heavy. Inside the bubble pack was a battered steel plate, blasted with dents and holes from semiautomatic weapons fire. Each pockmark and perforation was carefully labeled – by hand, in permanent ink – with the type of ammunition used to produce it.

Security forces at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and nuclear plants nationwide had increased their firepower to take on a more formidable terrorist threat. The steel plate, sent by a San Onofre security manager, graphically illustrated what Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer, considered a potentially devastating, increased risk: Continue reading

Russia’s Permanent Representative To NATO Amb. Grushko: The NATO-Russia Council Meeting Attests To NATO’s Failure To Isolate Russia

On April 20, 2016, the NATO-Russia Council’s first meeting in almost two years took place in Brussels, Belgium. The last time the NRC met was in June 2014.[1] Following the Ukrainian crisis and the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, civilian and military cooperation between NATO and Russia was suspended; however, some channels of communication remained open, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov several times during the past two years. Following the NRC meeting, Stoltenberg said that NATO and Russia continue to have “profound and persistent disagreements.”[2]

All the heads of missions of the 28 NATO member states participated in the meeting, which went nearly two hours longer than planned. Russia was represented by its Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Alexander Grushko. Continue reading

America’s Nuclear Power Plants Vulnerabilities

A year-long study found that the present legal and regulatory approach to EMP/Space weather threat to America’s nuclear power plants are inadequate and dangerous. This sorry state is anchored in the industry efforts to maintain safety regulations dating back to the 1980s, and a national security mentality relevant at the end of the Cold War.

This has been successful, in part, due to a campaign to brand nuclear power as a clean, safe source of energy. To their credit, the NRC and industry have demonstrated a commitment to safety where design basis events are concerned. However, EMP and GMD are beyond design basis events. Once these occur, there are no guarantees and few strategies with which to cope.  Continue reading

Diablo Canyon plant shouldn’t be operating while safety is in doubt

According to the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority, Fukushima was reassessed a year prior to the tsunami. It was determined that the plant needed to be retrofitted to withstand a much stronger earthquake. Had the plant been offline or retrofitted, the accident may have been far less severe.It is already known that Diablo Canyon, operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in San Luis Obispo County, may be subjected to 30 percent more ground shaking from nearby faults than Fukushima experienced. The first of several ongoing studies, published last week, states ground shaking at Diablo Canyon can exceed plant design. It is anticipated this will lead to years of more study. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will then consider ordering upgrades. Continue reading

UK and ‘mini-NATO’ for the Arctic: can it work?

An interesting proposition for the emergence of a distinctly northern European security arrangement has been circulating the airwaves: a UK-led initiative that would see London align security and defence policies in the Arctic in tandem with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia. The goal is to establish a framework that addresses ‘common interests’ between each nation. This article is going to look at the possible architecture of such a structure, what its goals might be, and the reasons the UK has to begin this partnership. Continue reading