Incompetent Nuke Reactor Design a Setup For Catastrophe

The government has thrown tens of trillions of dollars at the big banks, even though bailing out the big banks hurts – rather than helps – the American economy. See this, this and this

Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz says that the $3-5 trillion spent on the Iraq war alone has been very bad for the American economy. See this, this and this. Security experts – including both hawks and doves – agree that waging war against Iraq and in other Middle Eastern countries weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

The government has thrown money at all sorts of other useless projects.

And yet Congress refuses to spend a mere $100 million to prevent Armageddon. …

There are records from the 1850s to today of roughly 100 significant geomagnetic solar storms, two of which, in the last 25 years, were strong enough to cause millions of dollars worth of damage to key components that keep our modern grid powered.

“The Carrington Event,” raged from August 28 to September 4, 1859. This extreme GMD induced currents so powerful that telegraph lines, towers and stations caught on fire at a number of locations around the world. Best estimates are that the Carrington Event was approximately 50 percent stronger than the 1921 storm.[5] Since we are headed into an active solar period much like the one preceding the Carrington Event, scientists are concerned that conditions could be ripe for the next extreme GMD….

Unfortunately, the world’s nuclear power plants, as they are currently designed, are critically dependent upon maintaining connection to a functioning electrical grid, for all but relatively short periods of electrical blackouts, in order to keep their reactor cores continuously cooled so as to avoid catastrophic reactor core meltdowns and fires in storage ponds for spent fuel rods. …

The good news is that relatively affordable equipment and processes could be installed to protect critical components in the electric power grid and its nuclear reactors, thereby averting this “end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” scenario. The bad news is that even though panels of scientists and engineers have studied the problem, and the bipartisan Congressional electromagnetic pulse (EMP) commission has presented a list of specific recommendations to Congress, our leaders have yet to approve and implement any significant preventative measures. …

There are nearly 450 nuclear reactors in the world, with hundreds more being planned or under construction…. Imagine what havoc it would wreak on our civilization and the planet’s ecosystems if we were to suddenly witness not just one or two nuclear meltdowns, but 400 or more! How likely is it that our world might experience an event that could ultimately cause hundreds of reactors to fail and melt down at approximately the same time? I venture to say that, unless we take significant protective measures, this apocalyptic scenario is not only possible, but probable. …

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/preventing-armageddon-would-cost-only-100-million-but-congress-is-too-thick-to-approve-the-fix.html

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