A nuclear reactor at the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina was shut down Sunday, March 6, 2016 after a series of explosions and a fire damaged a transformer. The operator declared the incident “unusual” but emphasized there was no threat of radiation release. Emergency crews contained the fire after it burned for 30 minutes.
The Oconee Nuclear Station located on Lake Keowee near Seneca, South Carolina, recalls the ongoing meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear reactor in Japan (See Henry Makow: The Argument Fukushima was Sabotaged.)
March 11, 2016
Tomorrow marks the five-year anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, visited not only on Japan but also on the Pacific U.S. and the rest of our country with the prevailing west winds. The endlessly ongoing Fukushima meltdown and coverup may be the greatest disaster of our lifetime (we can only hope, if a worse one isn’t created).
Due to Fukushima, the State of California has recently been closing crab fisheries. The consequent economic losses continue to be devastating. The continuing loss of California’s seafood industry has been a deadly blow to the beleaguered state. See: Global Research: West Coast fried with Fukushima Radiation.) Sadly and tragically, only the most foolhardy people continue to eat fish from the Pacific Ocean.
Nuclear Reactor shut down
Officials of Oconee County Emergency Management were quick to state: “Unit #1 was shut down as a precaution. (There) is NO POTENTIAL FOR RELEASE.” (Caps theirs)
RT News wrote that plant operator Duke Energy reported Units 2 and 3 continued to operate safely. Officials blamed the “unusual event” on electrical equipment failure inside a transformer located outside the building.
Authorities urged the public to stay away from the area as emergency personnel and Duke Energy staff work around the area. However they emphasized that there was no security risk that would require evacuations or traffic detours. (If that sounds familiar, it’s pretty much exactly what Fukushima officials said and continue to say.)Duke Energy said the transformer malfunctioned and caught fire at 3:20 p.m. and the “unusual event” was upgraded to an “alert” – a second level of emergency – at 4:58 p.m. Duke said an “alert” classification requires outside interference from emergency services but poses “no threat to public safety.”
The operator announced it will be conducting a thorough investigation of the cause of the fire. The nuke plant sitting on Lake Keowee opened in 1973. It is one of the largest nuclear power plants in the U.S with a capacity of some 2,600 megawatts and is the second to have its operating license extended for an additional twenty years.
99 Ticking Time Bombs in the U.S.
The U.S. Information Administration (eia.gov) tells us that in the United States there are 61 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 99 nuclear reactors in 30 states. Thirty-five of the 61 plants have two or more reactors. The Palo Verde power plant in Arizona has three reactors and the largest combined net summer generating capacity, while Fort Calhoun in Nebraska with a single reactor has the smallest net summer capacity.
The Fire Next Time
Three nuclear power plants with a total of four reactors were taken out of service in 2013: the Crystal River power plant in Florida with one reactor in February; the Kewaunee power plant in Wisconsin with one reactor in April; and the San Onofre power plant in California with two reactors in June. The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in Vermont, with a single reactor, was taken out of service in December 2014.
Hopefully the rest of the nuke plants in the U.S. will be taken off line by saner minds before they fail or are burned up or are sabotaged as Fukushima may have been. For our purposes, it makes no difference whether or not Fukushima was sabotaged; the important thing is that nuclear plants are absurdly vulnerable to catastrophic disaster, as the Fukushima meltdown is continuing to prove.
Here’s the lesson: It’s simply not true that it’s never too late to learn. It is too late for Japan, California, Washington and Alaska state fishing industries. Time will tell whether or not it’s too late for the rest of us.