Exelon Pushes To Store Nuclear Fuel I...

Exelon Pushes To Store Nuclear Fuel In Limerick

There are 59 comments on the Cbs3.com story from Jul 10, 2006, titled Exelon Pushes To Store Nuclear Fuel In Limerick. In it, Cbs3.com reports that:

LIMERICK, PA Officials from Exelon Corporation will meet with Montgomery county officials and residents Tuesday to defend the company's plan to store spent nuclear fuel in outdoor casks at the Limerick Nuclear ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Cbs3.com.

LimRes

Pottstown, PA

#21 Aug 1, 2006
Just because terrorists haven't done it yet, doesn't mean that they won't try. Who ever thought that 9/11 would happen?

"Published reports, however, including one released in April by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, suggest the NRC's requirements might not be stringent enough to defeat a terrorist assault.

The GAO reported that the NRC downgraded some requirements after meetings with industry representatives. Doing so, the GAO wrote, created the appearance "that changes were made based on what the industry considered reasonable and feasible to defend against rather than on what an assessment of terrorist threat called for."

"Exelon's decision to go cheap on ... compliance led inevitably to difficulties for the rank-and-file security staff, conflicts about how to cope, tension about whether respondents could get away with the skimping, and the formation of cliques and alliances that would stymie any team effort to comply," the complaint said."

These are legitimate public concerns. The fact that the NRC and nuclear industry are in bed together and that Exelon likes to cut corners, does not inspire public confidence. I disagree with your statement on safety as it is and should be paramount. This is part of our government's role and why we pay taxes.
LimRes

Pottstown, PA

#22 Aug 1, 2006
[QUOTE who="Donnie]But no member of the public has ever been harmed by an unsafe act that occured at a US nuclear power plant. That is true even though anti-nukes have been begging the terrorist to attack a nuclear power plant for 5 years.
[/QUOTE]

"On July 10, the NRC issued a notice to all nuclear facilities in the U.S. that tritium had been discovered atfive nuclear power plants, three of which -- Braidwood, Byron and Dresden -- are in Illinois and are all owned by Exelon...A leak in 2004 at the Dresden plant in Illinois led to tritium being found in groundwater wells of three nearby homes. The Illinois EPA revealed groundwater tritium levels were more than 500 times the permitted level, resulting from approximately 650,000 gallons of tritiated water leaking from underground pipes."

There are several lawsuits because of this leak. People drank, swam and bathed in this water and you do not know the long term effects, therefore you cannot say that people were not harmed.
Donnie

Akron, OH

#23 Aug 1, 2006
LimRes wrote:
<quoted text>
"People drank, swam and bathed in this water and you do not know the long term effects, therefore you cannot say that people were not harmed.
It is certain that none of those people were harmed. The long term effects of such low levels of tritium are well known. It is a health benefit.

Health benefits that are imagined to be harmful do not constitute harm just because a lawyer is a skillful liar.
Donnie

Akron, OH

#24 Aug 1, 2006
LimRes wrote:
I disagree with your statement on safety as it is and should be paramount.
Does that mean that you replace the tires on your car every 6 months? If not, than safety is not paramount to you.
What

Pottstown, PA

#26 Aug 1, 2006
oops, sorry.

Anyhow. I am confused why people from out of state are attacking people from this area because they are concerned about this particular Nuclear Power plant. It seems to me that there are some legitimate concerns being addressed here, and possibly local people have a right to be concerned. Although it seems obvious that some of the posters work in the Nuclear Energy industry, and have further knowledge than the general public, I don't think this gives anyone license to ignore concerns. Also, some of the concerns may only apply to the Limerick plant, and these should be dealt with locally.

All I'm saying is that instead of getting on your soapbox about Nuclear Energy, maybe Exelon or whoever should stop ignoring concerns and instead address the concerns and show that they are willing to spend extra money or whatever in order to be EXTRA safe. It is disconcerting to me to see people who obviously are intelligent enough to work in the Nuclear Energy industry making comments that seem obviously intended to insult people.

I hope that all makes sense and that all these issues are worked out soon. I do live within eyeshot of the plant and have never been too concerned before, but it does seem that there are some unanswered questions of local residents.
From PA

Pottstown, PA

#27 Aug 1, 2006
Donnie wrote:
<quoted text>It is certain that none of those people were harmed. The long term effects of such low levels of tritium are well known. It is a health benefit.
Health benefits that are imagined to be harmful do not constitute harm just because a lawyer is a skillful liar.
I think your comments about tritium exposure being a health benefit are misleading, and you should put some sort of source and attach a specific level/time of exposure for that type of information. Happily I will say that it seems that Limerick has never had a tritium leak.

http://www.pottstownmercury.com/site/news.cfm...
Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen and can be found in the environment as a chemical or a compound mixed with air or, most frequently, with water, according to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

It is produced in higher concentrations in water used in nuclear power production and its release is regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commis-sion.

The health risks associated with long-term tritium exposure include increased occurrence of cancer and genetic abnormalities in future generations, according to the NRC, which said no health risks have yet been associated with exposures below its standard of a 500 millirem maximum dose for a pregnant worker...

"Any unintendend release of a radioactive substance from our plants in unacceptable," Exelon’s Chief Nuclear Officer Chris Crane said in the release.

Beth Rapczynski, a spokeswoman for the Limerick station, echoed that sentiment.

Although no tritium release has been documented at Limerick, "any release is unacceptable to us," she said. In February, she confirmed with The Mercury that an tritium assessment was being conducted there.
Chrissy

Philadelphia, PA

#28 Aug 2, 2006
Algernon Sidney wrote:
<quoted text>Are you going to protest highways and automobiles or coal-fired power plants? They each kill thousands of people every year. Nuclear waste has never killed anyone in more than 50 years.
YOu do not have to live next to it. I DO. Why do you think that the hospital that is less than 3 miles away has the biggest cancer center in the region? And it is alway jam packed with people. Is not because of all to tulips that are growning in our back yard.
Algernon Sidney

Green Springs, OH

#29 Aug 2, 2006
Chrissy wrote:
<quoted text>
YOu do not have to live next to it. I DO. Why do you think that the hospital that is less than 3 miles away has the biggest cancer center in the region? And it is alway jam packed with people. Is not because of all to tulips that are growning in our back yard.
No, the choice is yours. I live near nuclear spent fuel and can move at any time. But there is no reason to. Cancer centers are built where they are for economic reasons. The spent fuel has nothing to do with it. The states with the highest radiation exposures have the lowest cancer rates. However, nobody near the plant gets any radiation from the spent fuel.
Donnie

Akron, OH

#30 Aug 7, 2006
What wrote:
maybe Exelon or whoever should stop ignoring concerns and instead address the concerns and show that they are willing to spend extra money or whatever in order to be EXTRA safe.
They are, that is why no member of the public has ever been injured or killed by the operation of commercial nuclear power plants. No other industry can point to such a safety record.
Donnie

Akron, OH

#31 Aug 7, 2006
From PA wrote:
<quoted text>
no health risks have yet been associated with exposures below its standard of a 500 millirem maximum dose for a pregnant worker...
I guess you missed this part of your post. Nobody has received a radiation exposure even close to 500 millirem from any of the tritium leaks.
Old vet

Austin, TX

#32 Aug 7, 2006
Chrissy wrote:
<quoted text>
Why do you think that the hospital that is less than 3 miles away has the biggest cancer center in the region? And it is alway jam packed with people.
Where are those people from?
LimRes

Pottstown, PA

#33 Aug 9, 2006
Donnie wrote:
<quoted text>I guess you missed this part of your post. Nobody has received a radiation exposure even close to 500 millirem from any of the tritium leaks.
"ARJUN MAKHIJANI, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research: Tritium in any amount would present a health and safety standard. Just because there is a drinking water limit of 20,000 picocuries per liter doesn't mean that 5,000 or 1,000 picocuries per liter won't hurt you. They do pose a risk, proportionately a lower risk, but it's not a zero risk.

So I think Exelon should just cool it and stop telling people that there is no harm from low levels of tritium, because it's contrary to the established science, and the official scientific guidance, and the basis of all regulations."

I guess you forgot the part that many people received chronic exposure to tritium because of these leaks and children exposed would be more susceptible to any negative effects. The power companies and the NRC look out for each other and try to supress the negatives of nuclear power but we all know they are there. The problem is when these power companies have the means to reduce the risk and do not or "neglect" to inform those who would be affected of leaks or other hazards.
Donnie

Akron, OH

#34 Aug 9, 2006
LimRes wrote:
<quoted text>
"ARJUN MAKHIJANI, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research: Tritium in any amount would present a health and safety standard. Just because there is a drinking water limit of 20,000 picocuries per liter doesn't mean that 5,000 or 1,000 picocuries per liter won't hurt you. They do pose a risk, proportionately a lower risk, but it's not a zero risk.
So I think Exelon should just cool it and stop telling people that there is no harm from low levels of tritium, because it's contrary to the established science, and the official scientific guidance, and the basis of all regulations."
There is a difference between "risk" and "harm". Risk can result in harm or benefit. For example, everyday I risk my life by driving to work. But for decades, that risk has never resulted in any harm to me, only benefit.

The risk claimed from low levels of tritium has caused no harm. The main reason is that it isn't even a risk at the low levels involve. I would be happy to drink water all the time with even higher levels of tritium.
LimRes

Pottstown, PA

#35 Aug 9, 2006
Donnie wrote:
<quoted text>
The risk claimed from low levels of tritium has caused no harm.
Prove it! If there is no harm than why are there established levels?
Donnie

Akron, OH

#36 Aug 9, 2006
LimRes wrote:
<quoted text>
Prove it!
It has already been proven by decades of research on the relationship between radiation exposure and health. Chronic doses in excess of 1000 millirem per year are required to cause harm. However, thousands of people who have been exposed to substantially larger doses have not shown any statistically significant negative health outcomes.
LimRes wrote:
<quoted text>If there is no harm than why are there established levels?
Ignorance, hysteria and dishonesty. In addition, it is often prudent to establish levels that are more conservative than necessary for protection from harm. For example, a barrier may be placed between a playground and a cliff even though the edge of the playground is twenty feet from the cliff. Later a regulator may note that the barrier appears to be a prudent risk-avoidance measure. So she may write a regulation for such barriers. Noting that the barrier she saw was twenty feet from the cliff, she may write a regulation that requires the barrier to be placed 25 feet from the cliff, just to be on the "safe" side. Yet, does harm result at the playground with the barrier 20 feet from the cliff just because it is not in compliance with the regulatory level?

Speed limits provide another example. How much harm results from exceeding a 65 MPH speed limit by 2 MPH on a straight, level highway with light traffic on a nice day?

Established levels are often established for ease of enforcement or convenience of the regulator and are not precisely based on risk or harm.
LimRes

Pottstown, PA

#37 Aug 9, 2006
Donnie wrote:
<quoted text>For example, a barrier may be placed between a playground and a cliff even though the edge of the playground is twenty feet from the cliff. Later a regulator may note that the barrier appears to be a prudent risk-avoidance measure. So she may write a regulation for such barriers. Noting that the barrier she saw was twenty feet from the cliff, she may write a regulation that requires the barrier to be placed 25 feet from the cliff, just to be on the "safe" side. Yet, does harm result at the playground with the barrier 20 feet from the cliff just because it is not in compliance with the regulatory level?
Speed limits provide another example. How much harm results from exceeding a 65 MPH speed limit by 2 MPH on a straight, level highway with light traffic on a nice day?
Established levels are often established for ease of enforcement or convenience of the regulator and are not precisely based on risk or harm.
You are comparing apples to oranges with barriers and radiation. A cliff is a known danger and we all know what happens to your body when you are exposed to a cliff. Nothing unless you jump or fall from it. Not true with radiation. Decades of research still has not given a definitive answer and not every scientist or researcher is in agreement on this issue.
Donnie

Akron, OH

#38 Aug 9, 2006
LimRes wrote:
<quoted text> You are comparing apples to oranges with barriers and radiation.
In this case apples and oranges are close enough. An allowable level or limit on radiation exposure is identical to a barrier to another type of potential hazard.
LimRes wrote:
<quoted text>A cliff is a known danger and we all know what happens to your body when you are exposed to a cliff. Nothing unless you jump or fall from it. Not true with radiation.
Absolutely true with radiation, as well. Nothing bad if the radiation level is low enough (less than 1,000 millirem a year for certain). If it were not true we would all be dead because we have lived in a sea of radiation (almost all natural) since before our births. The hazard (and benefits) of radiation is one of the most studied and most easily measured potential hazards that mankind deals with. We know that the states with the highest radiation levels (mostly natural) also have the lowest cancer rates in the US. We also know that places with much higher radiation levels have no measureable increases in negative health effects (Kerala, the black beaches of Brazil and Ramsar). Many people in Ramsar, Iran have gotten more radiation every year since before birth than US radiation workers are allowed to get each year after they turn 18 (5,000 millirem a year).

www.richel.org/hormese/Karam.pdf

http://www.angelfire.com/mo/radioadaptive/int...
LimRes wrote:
<quoted text>Decades of research still has not given a definitive answer and not every scientist or researcher is in agreement on this issue.
One definitive answer that any reputable scientist or medical researcher will agree on is that "risk" is not "harm".

One reason there is no definitive answer on the benefits of low levels of radiation is that almost all of the research money is on the "harm" and "risk" side of the research effort. There is no financial incentive to pay any attention to the "benefit" side of the research effort. But a few scientists and medical researchers continue to document the reality of actual exposures to radiation. All of the research into the reality of chronic low doses of radiation points to the same answer: it is good for you.

http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/q299.htm...

Then there are the people who live in the radiation accident in Taiwan, who have lower cancer rates than the rest of the country.
http://www.ecolo.org/documents/documents_in_e ...

Do you know how much background radiation you receive each year? Probably about 300 mrem a year. But many people get much more from medical and dental procedures. People who live in Pennsylvania who are afraid of radiation should check the radon levels in their homes.
Chaos

Philadelphia, PA

#39 Aug 10, 2006
Donnie wrote:
<quoted text>Used nuclear waste is one of the least volatile items in the universe.
Donnie.., you are wrong with that one. Spent nuclear fuel is considered as 'High Level Waste'. High-level radioactive wastes are the highly radioactive materials. It is still thermally hot, highly radioactive, and potentially harmful.

High-level waste and spent fuel must be handled and stored with care. Since the only way radioactive waste finally becomes harmless is through decay, which for high-level wastes can take hundreds of thousands of years, the wastes must be stored and finally disposed of in a way that provides adequate protection of the public for a very long time.

Please check the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's website for more information at:
http://www.nrc.gov
http://www.nrc.gov/waste/high-level-waste.htm...
Donnie

Akron, OH

#40 Aug 11, 2006
Chaos wrote:
<quoted text>
Donnie.., you are wrong with that one.
Look up the meaning of the word "volatile" and then try to explain why I am wrong.
Chaos wrote:
<quoted text>Spent nuclear fuel is considered as 'High Level Waste'. High-level radioactive wastes are the highly radioactive materials.
True, but that has nothing to do with volatility.
Chaos wrote:
<quoted text>It is still thermally hot, highly radioactive, and potentially harmful.
It remains thermally hot for only a few years.
Chaos wrote:
<quoted text>High-level waste and spent fuel must be handled and stored with care.
It is, unlike many other hazardous wastes.
Chaos wrote:
<quoted text>Since the only way radioactive waste finally becomes harmless is through decay, which for high-level wastes can take hundreds of thousands of years, the wastes must be stored and finally disposed of in a way that provides adequate protection of the public for a very long time.
Or until it is recycled for its valuable energy content
Chaos wrote:
<quoted text>Please check the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's website for more information at:
http://www.nrc.gov
http://www.nrc.gov/waste/high-level-waste.htm...
John

Fergus Falls, MN

#41 Aug 11, 2006
A second way to get rid of long lived actinides is to fission them in a high temp reactor. Separating out the actinides from fission products of intermediate life (cesium and strontium) can shorten the storage period to 500 years or less. The casks for dry storage are constructed of extremely strong design and material. It is reported that they are designed to maintain integrity in a train crash. Dry cask storage is a reasonable storage solution because future reactors will fission the long lived isotopes. This is really good news because all of the bomb making material is destroyed so that the proliferation threat of peaceful use of nuclear energy is removed. The fission products will need to be stored for up to 500 years but its volume will be on one per cent of spent fuel from light water reactors. A concern of storage for more than 50 years is that decay reduces the level of radioactivity so much that terrorists would not be immediately kill by handling the spent fuel. This is one reason for wanting centralized fuel storage. Incidentally new fuel rods are not very hot. I personally held a new fuel rod in my hands some 43 years ago! I think that I have read that spent fuel which so hot that even a brief period of exposure would bring nearly instant death. The level of radiation drops 1000 fold in forty years. Dry storage sites are sought because both cesium and strontium are water soluble.

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