Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Vermont May Revoke Nuclear Plant License

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the green-glowing-mountain-state dept.

Power 163

mdsolar writes "Following the Vermont Senate's 26-to-4 vote not to approve a 20-year license extension for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, the Vermont Public Service Board will consider revoking its operating license as well. Meanwhile, the plant continues to operate without its Director of Nuclear Safety Assurance, who has been placed on administrative leave; the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has merely issued a Demand for Information rather than shutting down a plant that is lacking a full complement of safety personnel. It may be that the NRC is not capable of doing what is needed with regard to Entergy, the plant owner, which is also facing prosecution by the Mississippi Attorney General."

cancel ×

163 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299500)

What the hell is "Entergy"?

Re:The hell? (3, Insightful)

sam.haskins (1106069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299532)

Entergy is a power-production company

http://www.entergy.com/ [entergy.com]

Re:The hell? (3, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299818)

huh...thought it had something to do with walking trees

Re:The hell? (2, Insightful)

Seraphim1982 (813899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300040)

Do you just stop reading when you hit a word you don't understand? Because the three words after "Entergy" tell you "What the hell" it is.

"Entergy, the plant owner,"

Re:The hell? (4, Funny)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300264)

I think perhaps GPP was a comment on the absurdity of corporate naming schemes. "We can't just be 'the power company,' we need a name that proactively maximizes stakeholder value by black-belt leveraging of core mission parameters ... I know! Entergy! It's like 'energy' but with a 't' for extra six-sigma network impact!"

Re:The hell? (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300588)

Don't underestimate the value of six-sigma network impact!!

Re:The hell? (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301154)

A failure to proof read.

Re:The hell? (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301166)

and that's a failure to read the post below.

Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (3, Funny)

StarDrifter (144026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299510)

Oh, this can 't be happening! You're operating without a T-437, Vermont!
Sweet mother of mercy!

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299540)

Heh, not sure if you were being sarcastic or not. But although I support nuclear power, maintaining long-term credibility and safety does require regulation, and action to follow through when the regulations are not met. Nothing could discredit the nuclear industry more than letting things slide. (The fact nobody thinks to make any long-term changes every time another couple dozen coal miners are buried alive is a separate issue...)

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299614)

Heh, not sure if you were being sarcastic or not.

Hint: to recover the original quote, apply the rule s/Vermont/Springfield/

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299826)

Springfield, VT. Oddly fitting.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300502)

If it experiences an unplanned fission surplus they'll be renaming it Chernobyl, VT.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (5, Insightful)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299636)

No matter how pro nuclear power one is, it's really, really hard to support licensing and approving operating permits for an outfit who apparently can not read the blueprints for their own nuclear power plant. AFAICS, Entergy is not capable of safely operating a coffee maker, much less a 600MW nuclear reactor.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300302)

No matter how pro nuclear power one is, it's really, really hard to support licensing and approving operating permits for an outfit who apparently can not read the blueprints for their own nuclear power plant.

It's not hard at all. Read some of the other comments to this story and you'll see it's quite easy for some people. There's a crowd that, any time any safety issue relating to any nuclear plant is mentioned, react with howls of "OMG the liberal socialist greenies want to take our clean safe never-has-any-kind-of-problem-EVAR nuclear power away!!!" They're pretty much the other side of the same coin as the "nuclear power is dangerous 'cause it's got atoms in it!!!" types, and just as ignorant.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (2, Interesting)

Golddess (1361003) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301028)

I cannot say I have ever seen a comment stating that nuclear power "never-has-any-kind-of-problem-EVAR", except when followed with a "when the proper safety procedures are followed". I mean, it's kinda hard to ignore Chernobyl* and TMI** when the "nuclear power is dangerous" crowd keeps trying to shove them in everyone's faces as examples of why nuclear power is dangerous.

*What happens when proper safety procedures are not followed.
**Not a problem at all, but they still try and bring it up despite the fact that proper safety procedures were followed, and thus the risk was minimal.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (4, Interesting)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301206)

Three Mile Island is an example of how safe nuclear power is, NOT how dangerous it is.

Safety only comes with effort (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301808)

I suggest reading my other post here or in fact anything at all which describes the events at TMI.
TMI was an example of fairly unique good initial safeguards put in place for other reasons and dumb luck saving us all from the complacency and stupidity that had set in prior to the accident. It was an example of what could happen which woke up the nuclear industry for a while and resulted in a lot of effort to prevent worse incidents from occurring.
Your post is an example of the sort of stupid complacency that led to the accident, but that's not a problem unless those responsible for implementing or even funding the safeguards believe this bullshit as well.
TMI was like sacking all the highly trained tiger keepers at a zoo and letting part of a fence rust away, and then the tiger not finding it's way out through a gap in the second fence before someone tracked down the keepers. There's no point pretending this stuff is safe, "clean", "too cheap to meter" or whatever - it requires adult supervision by people that take it seriously and not just PR. Pretending it's safe just leads to less expensive effort being put in to make it safe until the next thing that happens which scares a lot of people. TMI was the ideal accident since nobody died and the nuclear industry stopped taking stupid shortcuts for a long time. A lot of the US plants of that era were a lot more dangerous than Chenobyl, but they got shut down or upgraded after TMI.
It's not just a nuclear thing, the power industry, chemical industry and also large public works like highway bridges also suffers from this short term approach.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31301078)

Fuck you hippy scum. Go pound solar panels up your ass.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300596)

I live in Vermont and agree that Entergy is run by a bunch of first class idiots (ala a lot of companies). However, Vermont has them over a barrel, they can force them to do whatever they want. They could force them to fix anything that we know about, make them pay for a independent on-site VT government appointed inspection team for the next 20 years. Allow for surprise audits at any time (and make them pay for them). The list goes on.

Instead of using the re-licensing as the HUGE leverage it is to get anything and everything the state wants they just pander to the eco-nuts that don't even understand what they're talking about and shut down a plant that provides a third of our power at very low rates.

Uh... What would be the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31301424)

What would be the point of appointed inspection teams, allowing surprise audits, etc. (wait, they currently have the option of not to allow inspectors to enter their plant??) if there are no actions taken when flaws are found? They can only keep saying "Okay, you wronged us. Next time you wrong us, we'll actually do something!" for so long... Surprise audits can find flaws but we have already found some. If we do nothing about those we already know of, demanding surprise audits would be just a joke.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31301872)

A coffee maker? Really? Hyperbole much?

I don't have a horse in the race; I just hate reading stupid shit like that.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299672)

It's presumably the same thing that drives the different approaches to safety between passenger cars and passenger aircraft.

Stalin said "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic."

However, from the perspective of the news media, "The death of one man is an obituary, the death of millions is a long-running and frankly rather tedious investigative series on page A15, and the deaths of a few hundred all at once is days of front page stories with large pictures"....

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300176)

However, from the perspective of the news media, "The death of one man is an obituary, the death of millions is a long-running and frankly rather tedious investigative series on page A15, and the deaths of a few hundred all at once is days of front page stories with large pictures"

And just wait until a blonde teenage girl is killed — they'll talk about that crap for YEARS. *coughcough*Austin yogurt shop murders*coughcough*

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (0, Offtopic)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300218)

And the death of around 3000 or 0.001% of the country's population requires an ongoing a war on terror including invading a couple of countries not involved at all, but killing 100 times as many people, mostly civilian, who were also not involved in the original incident, and almost matching the original 3000 in your own troop deaths.

The world does not make sense.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (1)

mqduck (232646) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300592)

Stalin said "The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic."

Not that it's really relevant, but no, he didn't [wikiquote.org] .

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (3, Interesting)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300114)

You could not be more right. The entire reason that nuclear power can be considered safe is due to never-ending, unyielding and eternal vigilance in maintenance, oversight, and operations.

If the industry starts to look like any other where things just, you know, slide for a while then the whole notion of safety becomes quite laughable. This isn't a business where you allow inertia to determine whether a plant continues to operate. If a plant fails to meet standards in any significant way it should be ordered to begin an orderly shutdown immediately.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300164)

I know this sounds laughable when everything that breaks can be replaced with a new shiney thing, but we could also try repairing the plant to bring it up to standards. It's like a leaky faucet. You could throw your whole kitchen away and buy a new one, or you could replace the gasket.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300480)

Nothing could discredit the nuclear industry more than letting things slide.

TMI was a perfect example of starting off well and letting things slide later.
In the early design and construction stages a lot of care was taken, the small risk of getting hit by a large aircraft from a nearby airport resulted in building containment vessels to withstand impact. However years later by the time it was up and running nobody cared much about the control systems and they wouldn't have been acceptable in any other form of power plant, chemical plant or oil refinery in the country. When the accident happened the carefully designed containment vessels which were unique at the time saved everyones bacon but nobody knew what happened because the instrumentation and control systems were rubbish. It was sheer dumb luck that it happened there and not at another of the plants where the consequences would have been worse. It gave us the best sort of nuclear accident you can get - one that wakes everyone up.
Now far too many have gone back to sleep. There are of course plenty of petty idiots that like to pretend that only Russians get things wrong and there is no need to be careful.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301494)

There was a pretty steady decline in US coal mining deaths until they plateaued around 2000. They might be heading down again now though. http://www.msha.gov/stats/centurystats/coalstats.asp [msha.gov] The Mine Safety and Health Administration does try to learn from past accidents but coal mining remains an unsafe occupation. Things may also get worse as Appalachian coal declines in quality and mining gets more technically challenging or a shift to western open pit mining may help out.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (2, Informative)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301858)

Of course the real answer is to recognize that coal is dirty, ban the construction of any new coal power plants and start building replacements for the ones already operating.
If we arent using coal, there is no need to mine it. And then no-one will die in the mines.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299804)

mod parent up. Doesn't anyone recognize a Simpsons reference anymore?

Langdon Alger

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (0, Redundant)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299848)

'nuf said.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299908)

There's 20 years of Simsons episodes. Some people have better things to do than memorize hundreds of hours of Simpsons dialogue. Heck there's probably Slashdot readers these days that are younger than the show.

Re:Oh, my God. Oh, God, no! (1)

ThAwes0me (1754416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301760)

Somehow, we've managed to survive.

Hard to Replace (2, Insightful)

sam.haskins (1106069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299516)

One of the issues with shutting down Vermont Yankee is that it provides over a third of the electricity to the state. I feel like a lot of the reason it has been treated so leniently is because of the massive increase in price Vermonters face in getting power elsewhere in that kind of volume. Hydro-Quebec provides a good portion of the rest, perhaps they have the capacity, but there's nothing quite like homegrown cheap power.

Re:Hard to Replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299550)

Assuming of course you can buy that kind of capacity elsewhere, and have it available even on the coldest or hottest of days

Re:Hard to Replace (3, Funny)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299566)

The region currently has a power-generation surplus of 4,000-5,000 megawatts, meaning it could lose up to 16 percent of its generation and not face a power deficit.

The article seems to take very lightly that the region has enough spare capacity to power only 3-4 Deloreans...

Re:Hard to Replace (1)

sam.haskins (1106069) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299610)

They must be referring only to the Windsor county area? That's an odd way of putting it... my wikipedia statistics (which match with many I've heard on other media) indicate that the surplus cannot apply to the whole state...

73% of the state's electrical generation capacity which is 35% of the state's electrical needs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_yankee [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hard to Replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299876)

4,000-5,000 megawatts surplus implies they mean large region including neighboring states and much of Canada.

Re:Hard to Replace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299620)

christ that took me some time to get, but good one sir.

Re:Hard to Replace (2, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299968)

please, they won't shut it down. it's just another government department flapping it's wings about a technicality. "director of nuclear safety" sounds like every other safety job i've ever seen in the resources sector. paper pushing, meetings and nothing concrete. a directors job would consist of nothing more then managing the lower rank safety staff and communicating with the government department, having them on leave won't actually effect the safety of the plant at all - that's all down to the engineers and tech's that run it.

Reactionary Policy (0)

jmactacular (1755734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300022)

What amazes me is their Senate voting to effectively shut down the source of over 1/3 of their power generation *before* they have even found a source to replace it. This is the kind of reactionary short-term thinking that leads to poor policy decisions. It's not like they can build a coal power plant over night. Maybe they can drop a few hundred mill on some Bloom boxes. =^)

Re:Reactionary Policy (2, Interesting)

y86 (111726) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300242)

What amazes me is their Senate voting to effectively shut down the source of over 1/3 of their power generation *before* they have even found a source to replace it.

Typical response from people with small minds. How about the MILLIONS in high paying jobs it dumps into the local economy? It isn't like these people are going to stay and work at Walmart for 8$ an hour if the plant closes. Vermont like Maine(which I moved to Florida from) is run by short sighted liberals who run on SMUG and fail to embrace reality.

Re:Reactionary Policy (2, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300474)

Millions dumped into the local economy aren't worth much if the entire area is rendered uninhabitable by a serious radiation leak. That's just hell on property values, whether you are a smug liberal or a stingy reactionary. Yes, it sucks that if this sticks, a bunch of people will lose their jobs. No argument from me. But the decision was taken as a result of some very bad behavior on the part of Entergy officials. If these people screw up badly, we all (that is, all of us who live in the area) lose in a very big way. So if we can't trust them, it really doesn't matter whether or not the plant is actually safe: we can't *tell* whether or not it's safe, and so we have to assume it's not.

Emergency NRC Acting Director? (2, Insightful)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300152)

What I don't get about this whole situation is why the NRC doesn't bring someone in (either an NRC employee, or maybe a qualified consultant) to be the Acting Director of Safety? Doesn't the NRC have anybody qualified to take over operations of Nuclear Plants when necessary? If Entergy can't run the plant safely, bring in someone who can (at least temporarily, until the 'permanent disposition' of the situation can be sorted out). If Entergy really did something bad, perhaps they should be forcibly divested of their ownership of the plant (probably with some partial compensation, but perhaps not complete compensation, as a punitive measure), and the plant sold to a company who has a track record for running nuclear plants safely?

I'm sure none of the Vermont legislators wants to appear to be taking the safety of Vermont residents 'lightly', so they are rushing to this idea of permanently shutting down the power plant. I do agree that something needs to be done, but shutting down a plant which just needs some repairs (and possibly retrofitting some 'safety upgrades') seems like an irrational, knee-jerk reaction.

Re:Emergency NRC Acting Director? (3, Informative)

Ndkchk (893797) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300418)

The Vermont legislators aren't "rushing to this idea of shutting down the power plant." They're voting not to extend the license, thus stopping the plant's operation at the end of its designed lifespan. Entergy wants to run it for another 20 years past that.

Re:Emergency NRC Acting Director? (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300768)

It's designated lifespan. We don't know what the design life was, nor do we know how long that could be extended with judicious maintenance, upgrades, and equipment replacement.

Re:Emergency NRC Acting Director? (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300486)

The NRC can't do that because it would be spending Entergy's money, which it has no right to do, or else spending public money fixing something that belongs to Entergy, which again it has no right to do. Entergy has to fix it. But people are so disgusted with Entergy's message-managing that they don't trust that Entergy will actually do what it takes to keep the plant running safely. It's a really crappy situation--you're right that fixing the plant might well be cheaper than replacing it--but it's a situation Entergy created of their own free will, and now they (and we) are reaping the consequences.

Re:Emergency NRC Acting Director? (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301736)

"The NRC can't do that because it would be spending Entergy's money, which it has no right to do, or else spending public money fixing something that belongs to Entergy"

Ok, first, I don't really know that it's necessary in this case, BUT: I have no problem with applying *special rules* to nuclear plants that we don't normally apply to most other types of businesses, if necessary. I have no problem with the government spending a nuclear operating company's money if it means protecting public safety, and I also have no problem with taxpayer money being spent (and then reclaimed in fines or in the forced sale of the power plant, if necessary and appropriate for a given situation).

I believe that we do need some nuclear power in our energy supply, and I also think that because of public safety concerns, there is absolutely a reasonable and rational argument for the government to protect the nation against any operator which would put it at risk. I *hope* that whatever Act of Congress authorized the NRC to license these companies, also gives the NRC *ANY POWERS* they need to keep the nation safe from Nuclear Accidents.

Re:Emergency NRC Acting Director? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300888)

That would seem to blur regulating a licensee and running a licensee's power plant. The problem is more that the NRC seems to be generally supportive of a run-to-failure attitude in licensees and does not care at all about whistleblower protection. That is how Nuclear Fuel Services, for example, has run into a ditch. http://www2.tricities.com/tri/news/local/article/safety_issues_keep_nuclear_processing_work_on_hold_at_nfs/41758/ [tricities.com] It should not be forgotten that the NRC was covering up a near criticality accident there four years ago http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/05/us/06cnd-nuke.html [nytimes.com] Failure to regulate is the problem with this regulatory agency.

Re:Emergency NRC Acting Director? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31301422)

Talking about knee-jerk reactions ...

The operating license and technical specifications for a plant require certain positions to be filled to safely operate the plant. They also require certain programs to be implemented. The Director of Safety Assurance is not one of these persons, and filling the manager position does not mean that his program is not being implemented. And none of this means that nuclear safety is at risk, because the Operations Department owns nuclear safety. In fact, the owner can't force the Operations Department to do anything they don't want to do, nor can it replace them since licensed operators are the only ones that can legally direct the operation of plant equipment (and operators have repeatedly refused corporate directions, since they are personally held responsible by the the NRC). Theoretically, the owners could try to punish Ops, but this will never happen for two reasons: multiple people would resign and it would take 2+ years before the plant could re-license enough operators, and punishing an operator for acting on even a completely unfounded safety concern would probably cause the license to be revoked. Either of these would cost the company about $1 billion.

Cheap power? (3, Interesting)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300956)

Entergy claims they have saved Vermonters $300 million over 8 years http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2010/02/26/leaking_credibility_vt_yankee_must_step_up_or_face_closure/ [boston.com] But they have also failed to contribute to the decommissioning fund required for all nuclear plants and the deficit seems to be just about that much. So really, what they have been doing is faking cheaper power to constrain competition in a dishonest manner.

Did they really lie? (2, Interesting)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299522)

FTA:

The following week Vermont Yankee officials were accused of misleading state regulators and lawmakers by saying the plant did not have the type of underground pipes that could carry tritium.

Actually, I don't think they were misleading the regulators... It appears that they didn't have pipes that could carry the tritium. If only we could figure out why they were there in the first place.

Re:Did they really lie? (4, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299722)


Actually, I don't think they were misleading the regulators... It appears that they didn't have pipes that could carry the tritium. If only we could figure out why they were there in the first place.

Maybe, maybe not. I found this statement interesting:

"The Entergy responses were limited to only pipes that touch soil, (not those encased in concrete) that carry liquid (not gaseous matter) and that are part of whole systems as defined by law," Entergy's statement said.

To me that's kind of a lawyering statement where they're trying to get out of any legal repercussions by trying to be very precise about what they say they meant. I don't know the actual quote of what Entergy said to regulators, or the context in which they said it so it's hard to make any definitive analysis here. At this point I wouldn't give the company the benefit of the doubt though.

Re:Did they really lie? (3, Funny)

sincewhen (640526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300240)

"I did not have sexual relations with that tritium."

Re:Did they really lie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300442)

Maybe the person/people answering the questions didn't actually have every bit of information about the plant in his/her/their head/s, and only investigated the question asked, or provided the answer required by law.

We won't know unless we have all the details - probably more than the person answering the question had...

Re:Did they really lie? (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300904)

Only pipes that touch soil: Because the contamination is in ground water. Pipes encased in concrete are much less likely to be the culprit because they are ENCASED in concrete.

Pipes that carry liquid: Well, unless we are talking about very large amounts of heavy water vapor then this is a no brainer.

As part of whole systems as defined by law: No clue. I don't really know what piping could be defined as not part of a whole system. Maybe piping left over from construction days that never go used for anything.

The statements Entergy gave were limited to logical conclusions. They were not all encompassing. Water could be leaking from a valve into a junction box then dribbling down through electrical conduit underground until it leaks out; however, I would not start my investigation by digging up all electrical conduits under a building.

Re:Did they really lie? (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301676)

That's naive, unfortunately. Concrete cracks. Pipes embedded in concrete can be far worse than pipes that are in soil, because you can't get at them. If they are leaking, the leak will wind up in the soil, and the only way to fix them is to jackhammer out all the concrete, which is contaminated, which means you're operating a jackhammer in a radiation suit. And of course once you're done jackhammering, the concrete is more low-level radioactive waste you have to get rid of.

Re:Did they really lie? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300926)

They now think that they have found the cracked pipes after weeks of digging.

VERNON – The state Department of Health said late Wednesday that Entergy Nuclear had made an "important finding" in its seven-week search to find the source of a radioactive tritium leak at the Vermont Yankee reactor.

In its daily news release, the health department said that Entergy had found "an indication of a crack" in the concrete duct around the 2-inch advanced off-gas line.

who owns the place mr burns? (2, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299546)

who owns the place mr burns?

Re:who owns the place mr burns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299770)

who owns the place mr burns?

If they declare backruptcy you and I own it, or at least the cost of clean up.

no the bank will just make Lenny in charge of it. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299886)

no the bank will just make Lenny in charge of it.

Horrors, some was reasonable! (5, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299656)

the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has merely issued a Demand for Information rather than shutting down a plant that is lacking a full compliment of safety personnel.

Give me a break. If you strip away the inflammatory wording, this seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do. When was the last time you heard of a coal fired plant or a coal mine being shut down because they didn't have a "full complement of safety personnel"?

The NRC "merely" did something reasonable rather than taking some draconian action that the fossil fuel industry apologists could then use to argue against the safety and reliability of their biggest competitor ("Look! They had to shut it down for safety violations! Oh Noooooooo!")

-- MarkusQ

Re:Horrors, some was reasonable! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299712)

mdsolar is not a fossil fuel apologist. He is a new-age solar energy proponent who has a hatred of nuclear power. For some reason Slashdot continues to post his frenetic articles.

Not new age (1, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301112)

Stodgy old protestant I'm afraid. I do get romanticized on slashdot which is a little uh, disturbing. I support nuclear power in naval propulsion applications but it is pretty clear that civilian nuclear power is a mistake. I have a fairly low acceptance-to-submission ratio for articles, around 0.16 last I checked.

Re:Horrors, some was reasonable! (3, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299762)

Yeah, the bias in the 'article' (and summary) is disgusting. Vermont is simply doing exactly what -should- be done when safety procedures are not being met. I would hate to see -any- nuclear plants shut down, but it's a lot better to shut it down than let it run unsafe, even for a short time.

No kidding (1, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299850)

Okay, so the company suspended the safety director only four days ago, and the submitter is bitching about "lack of full complement of safety personnel", and implying that the plant should be shut down? Give me a fucking break. He has assistants and subordinates that can fill in for him until a replacement is chosen. It's not like he never took vacation or was away from the plant during the time he was working there.

This is a serious situation and needs to be looked into closely, especially given the deceit on behalf of Entergy. I agree that long-term license renewal should not be granted until they agree to additional oversight and put forth concrete plans for resolving the maintenance problems that currently exist. However, the plant is not unsafe at this time, the problems can be fixed, and there is no reason that it shouldn't be.

Seriously, mdsolar, just STFU. It is people like you that make me ashamed to be associate with environmental groups at all.

Re:No kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299880)

It's people like him that make me hate the environment and club baby seals in my spare time.

Re:No kidding (0, Offtopic)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300236)

I'm not sure which is more annoying. The hardcore environmentalists, or the hardcore assholes like you.

Re:No kidding (1)

mellon (7048) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300504)

How do you *know* the plant is not unsafe at this time? If you really know, there's a job opening at the plant you should probably apply for. If you don't, isn't it a bit silly to claim otherwise?

Same submitter keeps trolling (4, Informative)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299906)

If you've been following this story you'll see its always submitted with an inflammatory summary. The slashdot janitors are too lazy to read the actual story and fix the summary.

Re:Same submitter keeps trolling (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300738)

The submitter also coincidentally seems to own a company selling solar panels.

Entergy was way out of line (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299794)

the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has merely issued a Demand for Information rather than shutting down a plant that is lacking a full compliment of safety personnel

What's bizarre about the whole thing is the level of radiation leaks that started all this trouble weren't even that high, near the level we can measure accurately. There was no need to lie, unless they were trying to cover up something even bigger. They could have owned up to their troubles and fixed most of what was wrong and probably stayed out of trouble.

Now they're screwed. After the NRC proctological exam, they probably will get shut down. Of course, with all the protections the Supreme Court gives artificial corporate people, you can be sure no one will actually be held accountable.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (2, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299882)

What's bizarre about the whole thing is the level of radiation leaks that started all this trouble weren't even that high, near the level we can measure accurately. There was no need to lie, unless they were trying to cover up something even bigger.

This is the problem with the Nuclear Industry. Although there have never been any major accidents or injuries, they have a 40 year history of:

Massive cost over-runs on almost every nuclear power plant built
Poor management
Poor maintenance
Not fixing identified problems until forced by government action
Getting caught lying about things big and small
Having no plan for dealing with radioactive waste other than bury it in someone's backyard and let them deal with it when the containers start leaking.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (1)

sictransitgloriacfa (1739280) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299958)

Or, put more briefly, they have a 40 year history of being run like a typical American business.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300256)

No they have history of being run by MBAs and not engineers just like most big US companies. Don't worry about the European Business Model though they have started to think MBAs are the way to manage technical businesses. MBAs don't see technical problems they only see money related problems aka cost of implanting safer systems vs financial risk of a failure of unsafe systems. Really Engineers know that Engineering is a educated guessing game so if some tells you it will hold for 10,000 lbs of load maximum under absolutely ideal conditions like minimum shock loading, perfect assembly, skilled operator not making any mistakes etc. They will know not to load it beyond say 3,500 lbs and if he thinks that's the biggest load he'll need then he'll buy something with a higher rating in case people were wrong about what the biggest load really was or a encase of a change in design. But an MBA will say 10,000 maximum load okay great our heaviest load is only 8,500 lbs lets buy that and save $20,000. Oops, design change we really need to load 12,000 lbs. MBA will say it's okay to use the already install 10,000 lbs thing for that one piece while engineer will be ready with a 30,000lbs setup probably even more if he's in high risk field like Nuclear Power. Know your going to tell me that an MBA will have engineers that will tell him to spend the extra money on safety but the problem is that the MBA will higher engineers who think like him and try to save money not lives. Engineering is also a problem solving thinking ahead game aka if you build a building what are going to be the effects on the area around the building on other building etc. MBAs only see past statistics.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300028)

so what you are saying, is they are like every over industry and government department ever? i can find examples of all of them lieing,poor managment, poor maintenance and not fixing problems until forced.

though your last point should be marked as flame bait because it's completely untrue. care to show me an instance of a western run nuclear plant that put nuclear waste in someones backyard where it leaked? oh right you can't, because they put them deep under ground in them middle of no where, in geologically stable areas in multiple casings which can't leak.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (3, Informative)

blind monkey 3 (773904) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300274)

care to show me an instance of a western run nuclear plant that put nuclear waste in someones backyard where it leaked? oh right you can't, because they put them deep under ground in them middle of no where, in geologically stable areas in multiple casings which can't leak.

I suspect that he was being figurative - but:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/oct/19/nuclear-waste-landfill-threat [guardian.co.uk]
http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=12578 [edie.net]
I guess it can't leak if they just dumped it into the soil though.

No, I am not against the use of nuclear power.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (1)

cycoj (1010923) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301248)

so what you are saying, is they are like every over industry and government department ever? i can find examples of all of them lieing,poor managment, poor maintenance and not fixing problems until forced.

though your last point should be marked as flame bait because it's completely untrue. care to show me an instance of a western run nuclear plant that put nuclear waste in someones backyard where it leaked? oh right you can't, because they put them deep under ground in them middle of no where, in geologically stable areas in multiple casings which can't leak.

Yeah right, have a search for Schacht Asse in Germany, that's a salt mine where they stored all kinds of radioactive waste (without proper approval) and they've had water leaking into it for years, but the nuclear industry and the government covered it up for decades. Salt+water+nuclear waste is not a really good mixture.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (4, Insightful)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300154)

No plan for waste? I'm sorry, there are two things that come out of a nuclear power plant: old fuel rods and other misc. waste. The fuel rods should be reprocessed - there is no reason not to and it is a horrible waste of materials not to do so. The other waste is currently shipped off to be buried and is relatively low-level. I believe old salt mines are pretty popular today for this stuff.

Additionally, there is a plan that has existed since the 1970s for dealing with high level nuclear waste - not fuel rods, but other stuff. That has been consistently kicked around and the State of Nevada has pretty much sat down and said they will not permit the facility to operate. So there is a plan, just nobody wants it in their State and the State that was selected has refused to allow it.

First thing that would make a positive impression on uninformed people would be to start reprocessing fuel rods. A fuel rod is no longer useful when around 3% of the uranium has been used and there are significant quantities of other isotopes present. Reprocessing would recover the 97% of the uranium and the other isotope materials leaving little or no "waste".

Now if you want to treat the used fuel rods as waste I recommend that we also consider automobiles to be waste after five full tanks of gasoline and force the owners to store them in their garage until they rust away into dust. This would make about as much sense as the current fuel rod policies and would put the problem into proper focus.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (1)

cycoj (1010923) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301204)

No plan for waste? I'm sorry, there are two things that come out of a nuclear power plant: old fuel rods and other misc. waste. The fuel rods should be reprocessed - there is no reason not to and it is a horrible waste of materials not to do so.

Well except for the fact that reprocessing is very energy inefficient and you actually produce several times the amount of nuclear waste you had before, just instead of being highly radioactive relatively short half-life time waste it's now medium radioactive very long half-life time waste.

The other waste is currently shipped off to be buried and is relatively low-level. I believe old salt mines are pretty popular today for this

Yeah and salt mines are a very bright idea. Because you know what happens if you mix water with salt don't you? And you know what that does to the metal containers which are usually used for storing the waste?

stuff.

Additionally, there is a plan that has existed since the 1970s for dealing with high level nuclear waste - not fuel rods, but other stuff. That has been consistently kicked around and the State of Nevada has pretty much sat down and said they will not permit the facility to operate. So there is a plan, just nobody wants it in their State and the State that was selected has refused to allow it.

First thing that would make a positive impression on uninformed people would be to start reprocessing fuel rods. A fuel rod is no longer useful when around 3% of the uranium has been used and there are significant quantities of other isotopes present. Reprocessing would recover the 97% of the uranium and the other isotope materials leaving little or no "waste".

Now if you want to treat the used fuel rods as waste I recommend that we also consider automobiles to be waste after five full tanks of gasoline and force the owners to store them in their garage until they rust away into dust. This would make about as much sense as the current fuel rod policies and would put the problem into proper focus.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300344)

All those negatives, and still they have released far less radioactive material into the environment than coal power.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (0, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300814)

They have released far more fission products which are the dangerous radioactive materials since we are not adapted to them. The ORNL page on this is complete BS.

Re:Entergy was way out of line (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300890)

Do you mean to imply that we are adapted to the uranium and radium released by coal plants?

Re:Entergy was way out of line (0, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300998)

Yes, actually. It remains in the ash which is the soil of the forest that became coal. It is about as radioactive as other low carbon soil that we are used to. It is fission which is unnatural and dangerous in this respect. Coal does have a problem with airborne mercury and sulfur.

Troll? (2, Informative)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301378)

Someone has been fooled by the coal is radioactive propaganda.

Tritium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31299944)

I didn't even know a nuclear plant made Tritium.

Never mind that they apparently have to pipe it somewhere.

do7l (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300138)

a conscious 5tand USERS. BSD/OS very distractinG to subscribers. Please the above is far big deal. Death

What a crock (4, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300312)

mdsolar is promoting:

1) his lame political affiliation and
2) his business "renting" solar solutions

Can you spell opportunist a-la Al Gore?

Nuclear Power is so last century (1)

RonMcMahon (544607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300600)

Nuclear power was the best idea of the last century but we now know of so many better and cheaper ways to safely generate stable and reliable power that to continue to pursue the old idea of nuclear energy is foolish. That toxic technology has killed thousands, rendered vast areas of Europe with toxic levels of radioactivity and has burdened thousands of future generations with the obligation of securing and maintaining the waste created by this idea whose time has passed.

The sooner that our governments move our energy production to safer and more reliable systems like geothermal, the better. Building up an entirely new and stable energy system based upon the vast heat resource under our feet would boost our economy out of the recession we are in while improving our security and safety through the complete dismantling of the toxic legacy of nuclear power generation.

Re:Nuclear Power is so last century (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300730)

You do realize that a more likely alternative is coal, a technology that produces more radioactivity, more toxic waste, and has killed far more people?

Re:Nuclear Power is so last century (1)

RonMcMahon (544607) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300840)

We would only build new coal generation if we choose to.

In the same way that governments ran after nuclear power in the mid 20th Century, governments of today must choose to pursue clean, reliable and safe energy sources like geothermal and deliberately shut down and dismantle our toxic collection of nuclear power stations.

Re:Nuclear Power is so last century (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300862)

You can put a nuclear plant *anywhere*. Just like a coal plant, except no one is "downwind" of the nuclear plant. You can only put geothermal plants near hot rocks (which might be natural reactors anyway...). One day we might be able to drill a "deep" geothermal well and mine the magma for energy, but that day is a long way off.

In terms of output and reliability, only hydroelectric even comes close, and you go back to the limited locations problem again.

I know this might be hard to hear if you're the kind of environmentalist that really just wants everyone back in caves, mud houses, and leather tents, but if you think carbon output (or pretty much any kind of output) is a problem, then the only technology that can mitigate that today (rather than the far-off future) is Nuclear. "doing with less power" is not an option, especially if you intend to transition to electric transportation.

Re:Nuclear Power is so last century (0, Troll)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31301198)

Nuclear power plants can only be put where they can be cooled which usually means close to population centers where the large slow flowing rivers are. There continue to be restrictions on land use owing to fallout as far downwind from Chernobyl as the UK

Fine. Ban nukes. (4, Funny)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#31300772)

Freeze in the dark for all I care you fucking hippies.

FIRS(t (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31301768)

common knowledge NetBSD user A popular 'news ofone single puny time I'm done here, asshole to others Usenet posts. found out about the
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>