2 Minn. Nuclear Plant Upgrades Factor in Lessons From Japan Disaster

Monday, 05 Mar 2012 05:10 PM

By Greg McDonald

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan a year ago are being used for expensive upgrades to Minnesota’s two nuclear power plants as a precaution against meltdowns, according to the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Minneapolis-based utility Xcel Energy, which owns the Monticello and Prairie Island plants, is expected to spend up to $50 million for more diesel pumps and generators to pump water on damaged reactors in the event of a natural disaster or accident.

Just last week, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the first safety upgrade measures for American nuclear plants since the Japanese catastrophe on March 11, 2011, when a 9.0 earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima reactors and caused a radiation leak. The measures are designed to bolster the safety operations already in place at the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors.

“We are talking about large diesel pumps, with the capability of sucking water from the river and pumping it into the reactor vessel, similar to what the Japanese ultimately ended up doing,” Dennis Koehl, Xcel’s chief nuclear officer and a member of the U.S. nuclear industry’s post-Fukushima steering committee, told the Star Tribune.

Some critics of the U.S. nuclear industry are criticizing Xcel’s plans, suggesting that more expensive equipment specifically designed for nuclear facilities should be bought and deployed.

“This is a public relations measure to create the illusion that the industry is jointly taking the issue seriously,” said Christopher Paine, who directs the nuclear watchdog program for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In an interview with the newspaper, Xcel’s Koehl acknowledged that the cost would be much more if the utility were forced to buy nuclear-qualified equipment for the safety upgrade, which also would include having to build earthquake-proof buildings to house it.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Cambodia HIV Outbreak: 100-Plus People Diagnosed; Investigation Sought

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:50 PM

More than 100 HIV infections in a single Cambodian village have spurred the country's prime minister to ask for an inves . . .

Slender Man Case: Two Girls Competent to Stand Trial in Stabbing

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:26 PM

Two girls who allegedly stabbed a 12-year-old friend over the online game Slender Man are competent to stand trial for a . . .

Kate Upton Sexiest Woman Alive; Model Apologizes to Teen Brother

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:52 PM

Model Kate Upton was selected as People magazine's first Sexiest Woman Alive, a month after Chris Hemsworth received the . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved