Hurricane Irene Overwhelms Sewage Systems, Releases Millions of Gallons of Waste
Video of Raw Sewage Spill Illustrates Need for Better Protection of Streams

Did Earthquakes Shake Confidence in Nuclear Power?

Nuclearpower Did the recent earthquake across the Chesapeake region and East Coast make you nervous about nuclear power?  Voice your opinions.

In the wake of the  5.8 magnitude quake last month centered in Virginia, the North Anna nuclear power plant in Louisa County, Virginia, briefly shut down, as a precaution. Although no significant damage was reported, federal regulators are investigating whether the quake exceeded the maximum level the two reactors at the plant were built to handle, The Hill is reporting.   UPDATE 9/1/11:  A 3.4 magnitude aftershock earthquake was felt in Virginia this morning.

Questions about the ability of nuclear facilities to withstand earthquakes have become more frequent since the much larger quake and Tsunami in Japan damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and caused leakage of radiation, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Have your views about nuclear power changed in the aftermath of these two earthquakes? Let us know your thumbs-up or thumbs-down vote on nuclear power today, and explain why.

By Tom Pelton

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

(Photo from iStockphoto)

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

No it did not. Nuclear power is the best alternative and cleanest CO2 alternative to the nation's energy needs, being that we have not built a nuclear plant in 40 years, don't you think it's about time to build even safer power plants such as France which recycles the vast majority of spent nuclear fuel and powers over 80% of their country by nuclear power.

Thumbs down! I prefer clean sustainable power.
I consider nuclear power unsafe, but my
views have not changed since the earth quakes...though for me the earth quakes confirmed my total distaste for nuclear power reactors. I like Germany's response...If Japan can't handle them ... then no one can.
I feel uncomfortable living so close to Calvert Cliffs and unhappy with the location being within 50 miles of the Capital.
(below from Democracy Now)
Maryland Nuclear Power Facility Shut Down in Wake of Hurricane

In Maryland, the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant was shut down over the weekend after Hurricane Irene ripped a piece of aluminum siding from the plant and slammed the metal piece into an electrical transformer.

Thumbs-down on nuclear power. The earthquake has led me to resolve to relocate when I can to someplace at least 200 miles from any operating or proposed nuclear power plant. Our current lack of adequate safety mechanisms for the plants and their waste products doesn't look like it will be fixed anytime soon. Although there are many dangers in this world, this one is too scary and too easily avoidable. To solve our energy crisis, we need to institute drastic conservation measures (turn off those unneeded lights now!).

You are going to have to look hard for a suitable new home, Margaret!

There are 104 licensed nuclear reactors in 31 states across the U.S., including Calvert Cliffs in southern Maryland, and several in Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Nuclear power -- love it or hate it -- generates about 20 percent of the electric power in the U.S. In the wake of the earthquakes, I can see why people might want to move away from nuclear power. It certainly made me more nervous, with the Japan radiation leaks on my mind.

But if these nuclear generators in the U.S. were shut down, what would replace this reliable, 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year source of electricity? If it is natural gas or coal (the most likely sources), that would contribute more CO2 and/or methane to the atmosphere (in the case of coal, more deadly particulate pollution and toxic mercury, as well).

If the nuclear power plants were replaced with many thousands of wind turbines -- or solar panels -- the source of electricity would be less reliable when the wind died or clouds rolled in.

It isn't an easy puzzle to solve.

Well, in the demanding increase of energy we always tried to destroy our planet. Just look at the Global warming issues now.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)