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Thread: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station | Seabrook Nuclear Power Station

  1. #1
    Full Grown Moose RVGuy's Avatar
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    Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station | Seabrook Nuclear Power Station

    I have been watching the grim situation in Japan with the nuclear power station and wondering just how much danger we would be in if there was a major problem like the one in Japan right now.

    How did we ever come to think nuclear power was a good idea? What a mistake it has turned out to be.

    Experts say the radiation from Chernobyl is still in our environment, not to mention 3 Mile Island and now the one in Japan is "worse than they thought." Well it's too late now.

    Today I hear the tones go out on my scanner for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and the 20 or so towns they call for the first alarm in the event of a problem at the power plant. It was just a drill, but to hear it on the scanner give me chills.

    Here we are recycling coke cans when right over the border they are oozing cancer-causing radiation into the soil. Something is wrong with this picture!

    Time to do away with this harmful and environmentally dangerous source of energy.

  2. #2
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    Re: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station | Seabrook Nuclear Power Station

    Quote Originally Posted by RVGuy View Post
    I have been watching the grim situation in Japan with the nuclear power station and wondering just how much danger we would be in if there was a major problem like the one in Japan right now.

    How did we ever come to think nuclear power was a good idea? What a mistake it has turned out to be.

    Experts say the radiation from Chernobyl is still in our environment, not to mention 3 Mile Island and now the one in Japan is "worse than they thought." Well it's too late now.

    Today I hear the tones go out on my scanner for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station and the 20 or so towns they call for the first alarm in the event of a problem at the power plant. It was just a drill, but to hear it on the scanner give me chills.

    Here we are recycling coke cans when right over the border they are oozing cancer-causing radiation into the soil. Something is wrong with this picture!

    Time to do away with this harmful and environmentally dangerous source of energy.
    yes it is time to get rid of nuclear power stations and start using wind turbines (windmills), solar power and hydro power. we are making a big mistake with nuclear power!

    one of these days when i buy my own home i will install a windmill on my property and if the town wont give me a permit to install my windmill i will move to another nh town that will give me a permit.

  3. #3
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    Unhappy Re: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station | Seabrook Nuclear Power Station

    Cheryl Hanna presents what, citlhaabry, could be called a policy argument, since it has no basis whatever in law or the Constitution. It sugars down to this: whatever energy source the feds want to foist off on the rest of us constitutes sound energy policy. It's hard to know where to begin to refute this.Let's start here. As the Attorneys General of both VT and MA have pointed out, we live under a carefully crafted Constitutional scheme of law, which provides for the sovereignty of BOTH the federal and the State governments. In rare instances, when this dual responsibility would result in untenable or confusing law, the Constitution allows Congress to use its authority to preempt State sovereignty, establishing uniformity across the nation. Such is the case here, where Congress determined that the national interest requires that there be only one regulatory authority in matters concerning the safety and nuclear aspects of energy generation. as the Supreme Court put it in the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) case.Thus, in the Vermont Yankee ( VY ) case, no one contests the exclusivity granted to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to determine whether VY is safe or whether it should be re-licensed according to NRC's regulations. So that is NOT at issue in this case. Instead, the question is who should regulate all of the OTHER aspects of nuclear energy generation and thus of VY's continuing operations.Following the Constitutional reasoning just articulated (and nicely reviewed in the MA AG's amicus brief), the Supreme Court and the federal agency (NRC) have determined that the remaining regulatory and policy determinations remain with the States. This is elegantly articulated in the VT AG's reply brief, which reviews the Atomic Energy Act, the Court decisions, and the NRC's regulatory language to find that there remains a significant role for State jurisdiction. As the Supreme Court put it in PG&E: But as we view the issue, Congress, in passing the 1954 Act and in subsequently amending it, intended that the Federal Government should regulate the radiological safety aspects involved in the construction and operation of a nuclear plant, but that the States retain their traditional responsibility in the field of regulating electrical utilities for determining questions of need, reliability, cost, and other related state concerns.Need for new power facilities, their economic feasibility, and rates and services, are areas that have been characteristically governed by the States. (p. 205) Underscoring this point, the Court goes on to point out that the role of the States in these matters is long-established (with an exception carved out for what is now FERC), that it has NOT been removed by the AEA, that, Congress did NOT intend to leave a regulatory vacuum, and that therefore the only reasonable inference is that Congress intended the States to continue to make these judgments. (p. 208)Indeed, they didn't stop there either, but went on to examine legislative history and text, and the NRC's own interpretation of its authority, finally concluding This account indicates that, from the passage of the Atomic Energy Act in 1954, through several revisions, and to the present day, Congress has preserved the dual regulation of [212] nuclear powered electricity generation: the Federal Government maintains complete control of the safety and nuclear aspects of energy generation; the States exercise their traditional authority over the need for additional generating capacity, the type of generating facilities to be licensed, land use, ratemaking, and the like. (pp. 211-212)Entergy and Hanna ignore all of this, attempting to turn a dual regulatory scheme into a solo act for the NRC. There is simply no basis in law, or in policy for this. A few points follow.First, the remaining significant legal point. Entergy attempts to shoehorn decisions granting FERC sole authority over rates into the PG&E decision, claiming that between nuclear safety and rates, the federal government has covered all the bases. It's true that the regulation of rates at merchant generating plants like VY is no longer a matter of state authority; indeed, that's uncontested here. But rates are just ONE of the long list of powers that the Court noted are reserved to the States. More importantly, the Court's language concerning the powers of the States is meant to exemplify areas that are NOT reserved to the federal government, rather than to list ALL of those that ARE granted to the States. Like the Constitution itself, the Court makes no attempt to articulate State powers, instead leaving to them the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States . (9th Amendment). The simple fact of the matter is this: from a legal point of view, Entergy has nothing but its own repeatedly rejected view of federal preemption on which to rest its case. In a word, its case is a castle (more of a hovel, really) built in the air.Finally, some policy points to address some of Hanna's arguments. First, she fails to address why it is bad national policy for different regions of the country to make different energy policy choices. The fact is, that's exactly how things are now. The Pacific Northwest is highly dependent on hydro power, thanks to the efforts of FDR during the depression. The Southeast is heavily dependent on coal and nuclear, while New England depends most on natural gas and older nuclear plants. As a matter of policy, Hanna does not say why Congress should interfere with this distribution of choices, trump local decision-makers, and impose one form of power generation nuclear on citizens who no longer want it, especially since it's quite clear that it's not now and never has been an economically viable choice, without massive subsidization and support from the federal government and tax code.Second, she does not address the regulatory vacuum which would occur if States are unable to regulate and the federal government has made no provision to do so. Let's take a simple, but telling example. The NRC regulates the decommissioning of nuclear facilities to insure that all radiological aspects of a site are returned to what it considers an acceptable level for the general public. (I've simplified and subsumed many complex matters in that statement, but they don't concern us here). But the NRC is completely indifferent to all OTHER aspects of a decommissioned site. Thus, if a nuclear operator chose to remove everything radioactive from the site in compliance with the NRC's regulations, and then leave a pile of non-radioactive rubble where the plant used to be, the NRC would have nothing to say about that. Nor, according to Entergy and Hanna, would the State, since they've eliminated all OTHER governmental regulation. Is that what Hanna considers good energy policy?In sum, Hanna presents NO legal arguments to rebut the massive and convincing edifice erected by the Constitution, the Court cases, federal laws and regulations, and State laws and regulations, but simply points the NIMBY finger at those making complex, but well-documented arguments. And instead of thoughtful energy policy, she presents us with what would rapidly degenerate into exactly the kind of policy disaster we witnessed at Yucca Mountain, where federal legislators attempted to impose the siting of nuclear waste on a powerless state (a bill known at the time as the screw Nevada bill ), only to find that the tables had turned twenty-five years and $15 billion later when Nevada's congressional delegation became more powerful.This is no way for a democracy to function: it's bad law, bad policy and bad politics.
    Last edited by Unregistered; 12-08-2012 at 03:08 PM. Reason: qvbRiLfhdCOPfeARG

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    Angry Re: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station | Seabrook Nuclear Power Station

    Ok, this just made me have to reply. Chernobyl, as well as Fukushima, were both caused by man made problems. Yes, it's true that whenever you add people to an idea it loses its perfection, but the problems of both were caused by men. Look at what happened at Chernobyl: (this is the quick version) The plant normally operated at 3200 MW thermal. For the standard test procedure they were supposed to run it was to be between 700 and 1000 MW, no more, no less. They let the level drop to about 30 MW, then realized and raised it to 200 MW. Then they decided this was good. WRONG. What happened was because of the man made test problems, the reactor had been "poisoned" (reactor poisoning is the production of SHORT LIVED neutron absorbers). When the test was started, someone manually pressed the EPS-5 button, which started SCRAM, the procedure to shut down the reactor within about 2 seconds. When they were shutting down, a massive spike in power happened, and stopped the neutron absorbing spikes about 1/3 of the way down. This caused a fracture in the spikes, stopping them and causing a massive steam buildup, which resulted in the first explosion. Then a nuclear excursion was the second powerful explosion, which dispersed the core and started a graphite fire. This burned all of the radiation into the air and destroyed the 4th reactor.
    In Fukushima, the plant survived the earthquake fine, shut down, and was cooling the reactor with the backup generators. The problem was that the generators had been placed on the side of the plant closer to the shore, rather then protected from it, where on this island they knew tsunamis were a real threat. This caused the cooling to stop and the reactor to meltdown.
    I agree that nuclear power isn't the permanent solution to our energy crisis, but it's a great stepping stone on the path to cleaner, greener, and renewable energies i.e. wind, solar, wind hydrogen, wave/tidal, geothermal, etc.

  5. #5
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    Angry Re: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station | Seabrook Nuclear Power Station

    Also, the fuel of nuclear power releases so little emissions before it is used, that you can hold it or touch it and do whatever and get just as much radiation as you do walking around every day. And no radiation EVER escapes from the power plant, because of storage. Water is a natural shield for radiation, and concrete also is a shield. Storage of spent fuel rods goes into wet storage or dry storage, both of which give off no radiation to the environment. In fact, you can swim in the water that covers the fuel rods. Not that they'll ever let you, but you'd have to swim down about 12 feet (depending on the depth) to get any radiation. Next time you want to criticize a power source, do the research and visit your power plant. (Also, i live in range of Seabrook Nuclear Power Station)

  6. #6
    Full Grown Moose RVGuy's Avatar
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    Re: Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station | Seabrook Nuclear Power Station

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Ok, this just made me have to reply. Chernobyl, as well as Fukushima, were both caused by man made problems. Yes, it's true that whenever you add people to an idea it loses its perfection, but the problems of both were caused by men. Look at what happened at Chernobyl: (this is the quick version) The plant normally operated at 3200 MW thermal. For the standard test procedure they were supposed to run it was to be between 700 and 1000 MW, no more, no less. They let the level drop to about 30 MW, then realized and raised it to 200 MW. Then they decided this was good. WRONG. What happened was because of the man made test problems, the reactor had been "poisoned" (reactor poisoning is the production of SHORT LIVED neutron absorbers). When the test was started, someone manually pressed the EPS-5 button, which started SCRAM, the procedure to shut down the reactor within about 2 seconds. When they were shutting down, a massive spike in power happened, and stopped the neutron absorbing spikes about 1/3 of the way down. This caused a fracture in the spikes, stopping them and causing a massive steam buildup, which resulted in the first explosion. Then a nuclear excursion was the second powerful explosion, which dispersed the core and started a graphite fire. This burned all of the radiation into the air and destroyed the 4th reactor.
    In Fukushima, the plant survived the earthquake fine, shut down, and was cooling the reactor with the backup generators. The problem was that the generators had been placed on the side of the plant closer to the shore, rather then protected from it, where on this island they knew tsunamis were a real threat. This caused the cooling to stop and the reactor to meltdown.
    I agree that nuclear power isn't the permanent solution to our energy crisis, but it's a great stepping stone on the path to cleaner, greener, and renewable energies i.e. wind, solar, wind hydrogen, wave/tidal, geothermal, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Also, the fuel of nuclear power releases so little emissions before it is used, that you can hold it or touch it and do whatever and get just as much radiation as you do walking around every day. And no radiation EVER escapes from the power plant, because of storage. Water is a natural shield for radiation, and concrete also is a shield. Storage of spent fuel rods goes into wet storage or dry storage, both of which give off no radiation to the environment. In fact, you can swim in the water that covers the fuel rods. Not that they'll ever let you, but you'd have to swim down about 12 feet (depending on the depth) to get any radiation. Next time you want to criticize a power source, do the research and visit your power plant. (Also, i live in range of Seabrook Nuclear Power Station)
    Sounds like you know a lot about nuclear power reactors and such. That's great but the reality of it (for me anyway) is that just a single disaster can really cause a lot of harm to the environment and people's health. When Chernobyl had the melt down, the radiation stayed in our atmosphere for decades, in fact, don't experts believe the radiation from that nuclear accident still with us? Why are so many people getting cancer? I mean really? I know like 25 people that had, have or have passed away from cancer in the last 10 years, including 5 family members!

    Nuclear accidents may happen because of human error, but honestly I don't care who did it or how it happened. To me this is irrelevant when you're talking about the health and safety of every person on the planet, it's a global disaster when one of these useless nuclear power plants fail!

    I really frown upon towns that make it hard for people to build a windmill, or when the Kennedy's stopped the proposal of windmills off the coast of Nantucket because it was going to ruin his view from their multi-gazzillion dollar compound.

    I appreciate your knowledge about nuclear power but I am a strong disbeliever that we need these ticking time bombs all around us.

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