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Hard Lessons from Zion

"The Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, which is scheduled to close in 2022, is one of six nuclear plants across the U.S. expected to shut down over the next decade. Each plant and the community around it will need to address the same crucial problem that plagues the 30 reactors decommissioned since 1957: where do you send millions of pounds of fuel rods that will remain radioactive for tens of thousands of years? The answer, for now, is nowhere."

C Stuart Hardwick’s answer to What happened to the radiation that was supposed to last thousands of years in Hiroshima (1945)?

"If you were expecting Hiroshima to be uninhabitable for thousands of years, you are (understandably, given the deplorable state of science education) making a whole bunch of errors in your understanding of radiation.

First of all, radiation isn’t magic death cooties. You and I are radioactive (traces of unstable potassium in our bones). My kitchen is radioactive (traces of unstable uranium in my granite countertop). If you have smoke detectors in your home (and you should) there’s a good chance they are radioactive (americium—quite, quite radioactive, but harmless unless you eat it or inhale it)."

Buoyed by State Aid, U.S. Nuclear Plant Still Fails at Auction

Apparently in states where they don't hand out subsidies to nuclear plant operators like their Halloween candy, they aren't doing so hot.

"Exelon’s Three Mile Island station, scene of the worst accident in the history of U.S. commercial nuclear energy, may not be so lucky. After failing to clear at the past three PJM auctions, the plant is at risk of early retirement. It hasn’t made a profit in five years and remains “economically challenged” given the lack of federal or Pennsylvania energy policies that value zero-emissions nuclear power, the company said."

How Can The Colorado River Continue To Support 36 Million People In 7 States?

"One of the most remarkable chapters of your book has to do with something called Project Rulison in 1969, just, like, three weeks after Woodstock, when a nuclear weapon with more than twice the power of the Hiroshima bomb was used in a test to see if nuclear devices could be used basically for fracking, to break up rock and - you know, and release natural gas. How did you find out about this?"

Indian Point, Units 2 & 3 Monthly Output

Entergy Nuclear Indian Point 2 & 3 are two nuclear plants in Buchanan, Westchester County which are planned to be retired by April 2021. Consisting of two reactors, they have a nameplate capacity of 1,028 MW and 1,041 MW, respectively.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=29772

Numbers on the chart are total megawatt hours net output per month, for each plant.

Their peak output is typically during the winter months of December and January, reaching 1.54 terrawatt hours of electricity during January 2008 and 2009. Their output varies a bit due to equipment failure and re-fueling, the lowest output of these plants was during November 2002, when they only output a combined 563 gigawatt hours of electricity. Indian Point 2 was completely offline due an oil leak into river during April and May 2016, which mean that Indian Point contributed only 735 and 775 gigawatt hours during those months.

Data Sources:

Indian Point 2: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/plant/2497/?freq=M&pin=
Indian Point 3: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/plant/8907/?freq=M&pin=

Iodine 131 Readings at the Albany County Health Department

This is a graph of the iodine-131 concentration in air at the Albany County Health Department. Increases in concentration during March and April 2011 is due to the Fukushima accident. Variations in detection limit are due to variations in sample collection and measurement instrument performance. For more information please visit http://www.nyhealth.gov/radiation.

Data Source: https://health.data.ny.gov/Health/Environmental-Radiation-Surveillance-Background-Si/tuku-m6ed

Nuclear officials killed study on whether reactors posed cancer risk to nearby residents

"Federal regulators killed a rigorous examination of cancer in millions of Americans living near nuclear plants because they were convinced the study couldn’t link reactors to disease and would be too costly, newly released records show."

"Doubts over the study’s usefulness ran deep at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the agency overseeing America’s aging fleet of nuclear plants. But some study skeptics pushed to save it nonetheless, arguing that modern science could help address public concerns over possible health risks related to the plants. They couldn’t convince their bosses, however, who concluded that the $8 million price tag for the pilot study — which would have examined San Onofre and six other sites — couldn’t be justified."

"The previously unreported rift is captured in more than 1,000 pages of NRC documents obtained by Southern California News Group under the Freedom of Information Act. Some officials worried that killing the study would be “a PR fiasco,” reigniting questions about the demise of what some saw as the most significant federal examination of nuclear plant safety in a generation."