Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Neutron

February 2011

http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2011/02/18/premature-deterioration-detected-in-ge-hitachi-control-rod-blades-at-nuclear-plants021802.aspx

Premature Deterioration Detected in GE Hitachi Control Rod Blades at Nuclear Plants : Nuclear Street News Team Fri, Feb 18 2011 : GE Hitachi has discovered unexpected cracking and material distortion in some of the companies’ control-rod blades, according to a report made public Wednesday by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. GE Hitachi reported to the NRC that the problems could present a safety hazard, and the design life of the companies’ Marathon Blades may be reduced. Malfunction of control rods can limit operators’ ability to control the nuclear reaction within a reactor. “A recent inspection of near ‘end-of-life’ Marathon Control Rod Blades (CRB) at an international BWR/6 has revealed crack indications…”

http://www.tradingmarkets.com/news/stock-alert/mncof_xel_report-hints-at-problems-with-nuclear-plant-control-rods-at-monticello-1503507.html

“Report hints at problems with nuclear plant control rods at Monticello : Posted on: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 : Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy will replace four control rod blades at its Monticello Nuclear Power Plant next month after a major nuclear industry manufacturer reported a potential “substantial safety hazard” with control rods at more than two dozen nuclear reactors around the country. GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy sent the warning Tuesday to all the affected plants, including Monticello…The cracking and distortion could prevent the cross-shaped rod blades, which typically are 12 feet to 14 feet long, from inserting into the core when plant operators want to reduce power or shut down a plant, said Ken Riemer, chief of reactor programs for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission regional office outside Chicago. “They may get stuck and not move in and out of the core,” he said…”

March 2011

http://minnetonka.patch.com/articles/minnesota-nuclear-reactor-safe

“Minnesota Nuclear Reactor—Safe : As a meltdown seems almost certain at a boiling water plant in Japan, Xcel Energy, which operates two similar plants in Minnesota, is watching—closely. By Mike Schoemer : March 14, 2011 : The situation is worsening at the three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in quake-ravaged Japan. At last estimates, Japan has evacuated more than 150,000 people from a 30-mile radius around the plant. Meanwhile, nuclear administrators and workers at the local Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, less than 40 miles from Minnetonka, are watching with vested interest. And an uneasy local public wonders, “Could it happen here?” The short answer is probably not – the two plants in this state aren’t anywhere near a major fault line and a tsunami risk is virtually nil. But the long answer to a deadly one-two punch scenario like the one that hit Japan is, simply, unknown…”

http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/17/nuclear-energy-reactors-safe-the-onion/

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail allows us to be concerned about the things that really, really matter :-

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1366875/How-Japan-crisis-affect-money.html

“How will Japan crisis affect your money?”

Everything seems a bit gloomy for financial whizzkids :-

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/16/us-japan-quake-idUSTRE72A0SS20110316?pageNumber=1

“Japan scrambles to avert nuclear disaster, global fears mount…A stream of gloomy warnings and reports on the Japan crisis from experts and officials around the world triggered something of a meltdown in U.S. markets on Wednesday, with the Japanese yen surging to a record high against the dollar and all three major stock indexes slumping on fears of slower worldwide growth. European markets fared similarly. Traders were glued to their screens, hitting the sell button every time officials gave ever bleaker assessments of the situation on the ground in Japan…”

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