Listen: Three Mile Island, Chairman And NRC discussed on Thom Hartmann
"Nuclear regulator by Gregory be Jackson. Former chairman of the us Nuclear Regulatory Commission start with last paragraph of chapter one. And then I'll start reading chapter two in hindsight. The Fukushima incident revealed what has long been the sad truth about nuclear safety the nuclear power industry has developed too much control over the NRC and congress in the aftermath of the accident. I found myself moving for my role as a scientist impressed by nuclear power to a fierce nuclear safety advocate. I now believe that nuclear power is more hazardous. Than it's worth because the industry relies too much on control in his own regulation that continued use nuclear power will lead to catastrophe in this country or somewhere else in the world. This is a truth. We must all confront chapter to the Fukushima accident in Japan was not the first accident to belie the promise of nuclear power in its early years the nuclear the commercial nuclear industry, had only a limited understanding of the operation science, and engineering of actual power plants. This ignorance led to the first major nuclear power plant accident, just outside Harrisburg, the state capital, Pennsylvania in one thousand nine hundred seventy nine. Three Mile Island prompted a flurry of reforms and a pile of promises that the public would be protected from future nuclear calamities through the mid nineteen eighties. It appeared these promises were being kept construction on new plant slowly resumed without major accidents. Then suddenly strange radiation, measurements were detected in Sweden. Excuse me, governments in Europe. And throughout the world. Soon learned the disaster had occurred at the chair noble nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union. Like a developing photograph in a bath of chemicals. The reality of nuclear power was starting to come clear one. Nuclear accident was an oversight a mistake and aberration to nuclear accidents hinted at a serious problem with the technology. A third with cement the conclusion the nuclear power plants are simply going to have accidents on a relatively consistent schedule after Three Mile Island after Chernobyl the third incident. Accident nearly occurred in two thousand and two at the troubled Davis Bessie nuclear power plant in Ohio. The problem is that with each new accident all the people in charge of nuclear safety seemed to revert to the belief that this one would be the last one as chairman of the NRC I battled nearly every day against this instinct to believe that the worst was over you can prepare for the next accident only if you get all the players to admit that the next one is coming. Even if an winner impossible to predict before Fukushima too, many people I encountered simply did not believe the next one would ever come. Their view is not surprising accidents are rare and Chernobyl and through mail island had happened decades. Earlier yet, I continue to believe I could challenge this complacency. I seized one opportunity just after I became chairman. Four days before President Obama tap. It'll lead the Commission I spoke at a conference organized by the North American young generation in nuclear an industry group of professionals entering the field as nuclear operators designers of reactors or academic experts in nuclear technology, as I looked out at the crowd at dawn on me that many of these people had never lived through a nuclear power accident. Even if I had been only nine years old when Three Mile Island occurred when Chernobyl happened. I was a teenager more worried about surviving my freshman year of high school than about nuclear disaster. The people I was speaking to or even younger, I wonder how they hit experienced these seminal events Meena scientists I decided to conduct an experiment. I asked everyone in the audience to stand if they were born after nineteen Seventy-nine the three year island the year the year of Three Mile Island. Nearly everyone stood after they down. I asked them to stand. If they were born after nineteen Eighty-six the date of the chair noble accident. Once again, nearly everyone stood these industry defining accidents have become dry case. Studies taught in college classes, the next generation of American nuclear power professional says never experienced the confusion of a nuclear accident as it is happening. And so essentially, we remember and teach the lessons at Three Mile Island insured double for reviewing these accidents shows common themes of missed opportunity, Hugh, and Phillies aliens, and technological overconfidence. No amount of forgetting can change these simple facts. The March nineteen Seventy-nine accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania seems almost like something out of a science fiction horror film, cover of time magazine captured the national mood of chaos confusion and fear the emergency red phrase nuclear nightmare, slashed across the dark, the dark black cooling towers of the plant. There was no live streamed video as there would be after the Fukushima accident, but the public could imagine the scene inside the reactor just twelve days before the accident, the China syndrome, a feature films starring John Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas as reporters who uncover a major incident a nuclear plant had been released perhaps the hundreds of journalists gathered outside Harrisburg believed they would land such a story. It started on March twenty eighth at around four AM when a water pump stopped working the field pump affected the steam generators large cylinders filled with many tiny metal tubes that helped turn hot water from the nuclear engine into steam. So that the turbines can generate electricity when the? When the flow of water was cut off this massive heat exchange stopped working, creating the conditions for a serious accident. The reactor engine was immediately turned off this along as the reactor fuel remained hot which it would for quite some time. It's natural radioactive decay would continue producing enough heat called decay heat to melt through the metal containers. Enclosing the reactor fuel the same problem with later affect Fukushima. And then he goes through the whole process their confessions of a rogue nuclear regulator by Gregory be Jackson. Welcome back Thom Hartmann here with you. And.."