I can’t let the month of March pass without mentioning that we just marked the fourth anniversary of the triple melt-down at Fukushima Daiichi, a crisis that is still unfolding as contaminated water continues to seep into the groundwater and flood into the ocean.
It is also the 36th anniversary of Three Mile Island, another nuclear melt-down made worse by a slow corporate response that prioritized “damage control” ahead of population safety. A second reactor still operates on that Pennsylvania site, giving the operators an excuse to postpone decommissioning of the devastated unit until both reactors may be dealt with together, sometime after reactor 2 finally goes offline.
The news from Japan continues to be dismaying, as the Prime Minister presses for a return to nuclear dependance and TEPCO makes it clear that they are looking for a way to avoid paying the enormous cost of decommissioning their own crippled reactors at Fukushima.
Despite repeated assurances that, “from now on” there will be complete transparency, ugly surprises just keep cropping up. Most recently a sea of collected water on the roof of one of the reactors was revealed to have radiation levels many times that of water that was being routinely collected for treatment. The highly contaminated roof water had been draining directly into the ocean with TEPCO fully aware of it for over six months before finally acknowledging the existence of the problem.
Why would anyone believe that TEPCO can be trusted with such a preponderance of evidence to the contrary?
Of course, here we are in little old Vermont, contemplating a future in which our own “trusted” nuclear provider has issued veiled hints that it might simply cut and run from its own decommissioning obligation should it take longer than sixty years to complete.
Entergy fully intends to hire itself to do the decommissioning of Vermont Yankee, in any case; so no matter how things go down, Entergy intends to turn a nice profit.
I am obliged to add that I am a non-technical member of the Fairewinds Energy Education crew, but the opinions that I express on GMD are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Fairewinds.