BUCHANAN - Indian Point 2 has sprung a new leak of radioactive water that may force company officials to shut down the nuclear reactor to repair a cracked pipe about 8 feet below ground.
The 8-inch pipe is leaking about 18 gallons of tritium and water a minute, and workers at the plant have been digging since early Monday morning, when water showed up near a manhole cover, regulators and plant officials confirmed.
The leaking pipe connects to a tank that stores condensation from steam generators used to turn turbines that produce electricity. The pipe is not on the nuclear reactor side of the operation, so concentrations of radioactive tritium are about 2,000 picocuries per liter, a tenth of federally allowable maximum levels for safe drinking water.
New age nuclear
Think Dalai Lama meets Carly Simon
Nuclear energy produces no greenhouse gases
What if we could (Notice how Tim phrases this, sets it up...what if, as in a question, or perhaps a whimsical hope spoken onto the written page in the hopes of pulling you the reader into his fantasy.) build a nuclear reactor that offered no possibility of a meltdown, generated its power inexpensively, created no weapons-grade by-products, and burnt up existing high-level waste as well as old nuclear weapon stockpiles? (Remember your mother telling you, "If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is?)And what if the waste produced by such a reactor was radioactive for a mere few hundred years rather than tens of thousands? (Just a few hundred years...few is defined as 2-9, so he is saying these waste steams could be around for up to 45 Generations of YOUR CHILDREN!) It may sound too good to be true, but such a reactor is indeed possible, and a number of teams around the world are now working to make it a reality. What makes this incredible reactor so different is its fuel source: thorium. (Notice...they are working on it. How close are they to successfully building one if the world is trying to talk us into spending TENS OF TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS in YOUR TAX MONEY building the AP1000 or similar reactors that rely on the same fuel rods in use today?)
Named after Thor, the warlike Norse god of thunder, thorium could ironically prove a potent instrument of peace as well as a tool to soothe the world's changing climate. With the demand for energy on the increase around the world, and the implications of climate change beginning to strike home, governments are increasingly considering nuclear power as a possible alternative to burning fossil fuels. (Nice touch there Tim...try to pull in the Depleted Uranium, High Strength Weapons Grade Plutonium, Anti War folks with your tale...DAM, Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill would be proud of this yarn.)
But nuclear power comes with its own challenges. (Like the BURST pipe at Indian Point that spilled 100,000 gallons of radiated water this past month?) (But folks, nuclear is CLEAN AND GREEN...ask Entergy.)Public concerns over the risk of meltdown, disposal of long-lived and highly toxic radioactive waste, the generation of weapons grade by-products, and their corresponding proliferation risks, all can make nuclear power a big vote-loser. (Rightfully so...oh, and lets not forget about all those CO2's in what is the most CARBON INTENSIVE FUEL PRODUCTION PROCESS KNOWN TO MANKIND...kind of the Inconvenient Truth if you know what I mean there Tim?)
A thorium reactor is different. (Shaking head as I snicker a little.) And, on paper at least (on paper at least...priceless, a Kodak Moment), this radical new technology could be (again, that COULD BE, the whimsical sigh of a Pro Nuclear numb nut who spent too much time hanging out in the spent fuel pool.) the key to unlocking a new generation of clean and safe nuclear power. (notice the way he says that...unlocking a new generation ...as in nuclear renaissance...but, the use of the word unlocking all but says the old generation, the current generation of aging reactors was and IS NOT CLEAN AND SAFE.) It could prove (again that DREAMY could be.) the circuit-breaker to the two most intractable problems of the 21st century: our insatiable thirst for energy, and the warming of the world's climate. (Maybe, just maybe we all would be far better off if we forgot about the failed experiment that is nuclear energy, and instead embrace the adage that LESS IS MORE.)