Currently, civilian nuclear power in America is being discussed in silos as if it is an energy issue, or a climate issue, or an energy security issue or an economics issue. While relevant, each of these is a subset of the raison d’être for America’s full engagement in nuclear energy—that being, the national security of U.S. vital interests, which is provided to a great extent under the umbrella of American primacy in nuclear technology. It wasn’t a singular response to the Soviet Union possessing nuclear weapons. It was America’s response to the sobering reality that nuclear science and technology couldn’t be contained by U.S. military might or sequestered for American interests only. Nuclear science was available to any nation willing to commit resources to probe the power of the atom. Moreover, the secrets of that atom were indifferent to geographical boundaries and agnostic to geopolitical motivations—good or bad. America’s strategic response, therefore, was to pursue primacy in the nuclear space and assume authority to set the rules governing the use of nuclear technologies in international affairs.
Forbes 7th Sept 2017 read more »
Florida’s two nuclear plants are in line for a possible direct hit from Hurricane Irma, but they are braced and ready, the plants’ owners said Friday. NextEra Energy’s Turkey Point, which stands amid mangroves 25 miles south of Miami, and St. Lucie, located on a barrier island about 125 miles north of Miami, together provide about 13 percent of Florida’s electricity. Natural gas provides the overwhelming majority of the state’s electricity. Each site has a pair of reactors. Turkey Point’s date back to 1972 and 1973; St Lucie’s were commissioned in 1976. Turkey Point survived Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm that in 1992 passed directly over the nuclear plant. Andrew remains the most destructive hurricane to hit the state. Forecasters say Irma will be near South Florida by Sunday morning.
Washington Post 8th Sept 2017 read more »
Hurricane Irma will pose the toughest test yet for U.S. nuclear power plants since reactors strengthened their defenses against natural disasters following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan in 2011.
Reuters 8th Sept 2017 read more »
National Hurricane Center forecasts suggest the Texas-size storm may penetrate deep into the US mainland after pummeling Florida, blowing down trees, knocking out power, and triggering flooding far away from the sea. On Friday, one inland area still well within Irma’s threat zone was the Savannah River Site: a sprawling 310-square-mile nuclear reservation in South Carolina that borders northeast Georgia. During the Cold War, scientists and technicians there produced weapons-grade bomb material for the US military as well as plutonium-238 for NASA’s pluckiest spacecraft. These activities also created millions of gallons of nuclear waste that’s stored in dozens of tanks, plus burial grounds filled with contaminated objects.
Business Insider 8th Sept 2017 read more »