FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Nukes in Rita’s Path

by RUSSELL D. HOFFMAN

South Texas Project 1 and STP 2 are two nuclear power plants located just 90 miles SW of Houston. That’s not very far if an accident occurs and radiation is released during 100+ MPH winds. There is no guarantee the plants can survive the conditions they are about to face.

STP’s two reactors, and all the spent radioactive fuel stored outside the reactor domes in pools at the site, could be subjected to a category 5 (strongest possible) hurricane (ie, bigger than Katrina). Swarms of tornados are also not unheard of during hurricanes. A fuel tank or truck could, for example, be picked up and lofted into the spent fuel pools. The plants will be off the grid (if they aren’t already) and operating on emergency generators, but these could be knocked out as well. The intakes or outlets for the cooling systems could be damaged or plugged. All of these are possible, but none of them are considered credible by the authorities.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing is the arrogance of the plant’s operators. Local residents should simply not trust their lame assurances.

And they want to build more nuclear power plants in these poor, hurricane-stricken areas!

Who knows if the workers at the plants will stay to try to prevent problems? After all, they didn’t swear an oath to faithfully do their job, as the cops in New Orleans did — many of whom walked off the job during Katrina. But even if the nuclear power plant workers DO stay and try to keep things working, there may be nothing they can do, and they will just be committing suicide. Who knows what might crash into these power plants when Rita hurls its fury at them? Who knows what problems might occur, leading to a meltdown and massive radiation release?

Details of the two plants are shown below.

Ronald D. Hoffman, a computer programmer in Carlsbad, California, has written extensively about nuclear power. His essays have been translated into several different languages and published in more than a dozen countries. He can be reached at: rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com

* * *

South Texas Project

LOCATION: Matagorda County (nearest major city: Galveston, TX; 90 miles SW of Houston, TX; 8 miles west of Wadsworth, TX, 12 miles SSW of Bay City, TX)

South Texas Project Electric Generating Sta.: Unit 1

1,250 Mw

PWR/Westinghouse “pressurized to 2,300 pounds per square inch to keep water liquid at 600º F” (Source: STP web site.)

Spent fuel on site: 320 tons as of 1995.

Commercial start-up date: Aug., 1988

Current Status: Making waste

1982 CRAC-2 est. “Worst Case” Casualties: 39,000; Property Damage: $112 Billion

South Texas Project Electric Generating Sta.: Unit 2

1,250 Mw

PWR/W (See Unit 1 for information.)

Commercial start-up date: June, 1989

Current Status: Making waste

1982 CRAC-2 est. “Worst Case” Casualties: 39,000; Property Damage: $104 Billion

The Reactor Containment Buildings are 200-foot domes. The plant site is an official wildlife area providing habitat for several threatened species, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, white-tailed hawks and alligators. (Source: STP web site.)

April 19th, 2003: “[A radioactive] powdery material was found April 12 on the outside of two instrument guide tubes where the tubes enter the bottom of the reactor”. (Source: New York Times; Unit unknown.)

May 8th, 1990: Pipe crack in reactor at South Texas (Source: Greenpeace; Unit unknown.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
Pete Dolack
Killing Ourselves With Technology
David Krieger
The 10 Worst Acts of the Nuclear Age
Lamont Lilly
Movement for Black Lives Yields New Targets of the State
Martha Rosenberg
A Hated Industry Fights Back
Robert Fantina
Hillary, Gloria and Jill: a Brief Look at Alternatives
Chris Doyle
No Fireworks: Bicentennial Summer and the Decline of American Ideals
Michael Doliner
Beyond Dangerous: the Politics of Climate
Colin Todhunter
Modi, Monsanto, Bayer and Cargill: Doing Business or Corporate Imperialism?
Steve Church
Brexit: a Rush for the Exits!
Matthew Koehler
Mega Corporation Gobbles Up Slightly Less-Mega Corporation; Chops Jobs to Increase Profits; Blames Enviros. Film at 11.
David Green
Rape Culture, The Hunting Ground, and Amy Goodman: a Critical Perspective
Ed Kemmick
Truckin’: Pro Driver Dispenses Wisdom, Rules of the Road
Alessandro Bianchi
“China Will React if Provoked Again: You Risk the War”: Interview with Andre Vltchek
Christy Rodgers
Biophilia as Extreme Sport
Missy Comley Beattie
At Liberty
Ron Jacobs
Is Everything Permitted?
Cesar Chelala
The Sad Truth About Messi
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail