Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nuclear Energy

Just fifteen miles from my home is the Crystal River Nuclear Plant. In 2009 in the process of removing aged steam generators, cracks were discovered in the concrete containment walls. Expensive repairs have been continuing and the plant has not been producing nuclear energy since that time. The steam you see rising is from the fossil fuel portion of the Crystal River Energy Complex.

Ironically, manatees flock to the waters surrounding power plants to stay warm during unusually cold winter months. The view of the power plant is a photo I took from a local fishing pier on the gulf. With the ongoing disaster at the nuclear plant in Japan, I look at the plant near my home with even more trepidation than I did in the past.

I suspect nuclear plants all around the world are checking systems in more detail to make them as safe as they possibly can, but with the unpredictability of mother nature, how safe are they. I can't help but wonder how long concrete exposed to the rigors of nature is expected to last in the case of a disaster.

Now the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory in New Mexico is threatened with fire and officials are monitoring the air for radiation. Earlier this month floods threatened a Nebraska nuclear plant. I made the container the other day, it looks a bit like a cooling tower. So much to ponder in the world today. Tomorrow is the first day of the month, don't forget to say Rabbit, Rabbit first thing in the morning.


  1. These issues are on our minds and its all seems very tenuous. Concrete simply cannot last forever and no money to do all the necessary repairs. We're too busy using it to kill people in other countries. Use our money to bomb the hell out of their countries and then use it to rebuild them. It's insanity. I feel agitated sometimes and without any reason other than the world feels a little scary on so many fronts.

  2. I like your cooling tower. I was walking and talking to my friend this morning about those kinds of disasters, some waiting to happen, wondering what we might be exposed to. Sigh.

  3. I realy hope that the nuclear plants in your country are all safe and will be safe in the future. As for ours, we should not have built them because Japan is a country of many earthquakes and natural disasters. How silly we were!

  4. I think that there are too many risks involved with nuclear plants. Glad that the one near you is not active.

  5. Hi Linda,
    Sadly there seemed to be a push by the pro-nuclear lobby to convince us that it is more "green" than using fossil fuels, and many good people were starting to believe that argument. I'm hoping that the awful glimpse of what can go wrong that was given us by the sad, sad situation in Japan, will help all people, whatever their former beliefs, to say "no" to nuclear! Good for you raising the issue.

  6. Hi Teresa, thanks, yes these and so many other issues like the wars have been on my mind much more than they should or than I want them to be.

    Hi Mary, thanks, yes big sigh for sure, what can we do, it seems government isn't what it used to be.

    Hi Sapphire, thanks, I don't think your country was foolish, nuclear power was purported to be the end all when it first came about, now I think most countries are seeing in hindsight, not to build a car that doesn't have any brakes, which in effect what a nuclear plant is - no way to stop the deterioration or safetly store the radiation.

    Hi Peter, thanks, when nuclear power was first proposed, it was said it would be so inexpensive they wouldn't even have to charge us for it, - what a laugh that is now. Sadly many government or big business decisions aren't thought through completely; in the end they cost much more than they are worth and the little guy is the one who pays in more ways than one. I think the only way to reduce the need for fuels is to limit population growth and over time the increased need for fuels, food, supplies would stabilize.

  7. I wish we would use more wind power in this country. Of course I've heard the nay-sayers talking about how birds can fly into the fins and be hurt or die. I guess they think the birds would be much better off in a nuclear melt down.

  8. Hi Lori, thanks, I guess with any choice there is a drawback. I remember when plastic and styrofoam were chosen over paper to save the trees, now were returning to using paper. There is a plant called knaff which grows quickly and is an annual so we could have paper without cutting down trees.

  9. Nukes scare the crap out of me! Always have. I've been having much anxiety RE: the fires near LANL. You hope, but never know if the authorities are putting forth all the info. they are testing the air here & so far "clean." but what would happen if the fires reached the plutonium waste that is stored above ground? here in Santa Fe, it'd be all over. I'm ready to get out of here for awhile.


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