Doesn’t that teeny weeny nuclear power plant on the bluff look like our very own San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station?!
This illustration, from a recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission report soberly titled “Tsunami Hazard Assessment at Nuclear Power Plant Sites in the United States of America,” says that those rogue waves most often caused by big earthquakes “can result in a severe hazard to safety-related cooling-water systems as well as other structures, systems and components important to safety of a nuclear power plant.”
“The primary effect of the tsunami waves on a plant site is flooding … and loss of cooling water (due to dry intakes during drawdown caused by receding tsunami waves).”
“However, there are also several other effects, mainly from hydrodynamic forces that can cause severe damage to structures and the foundations of these structures.”
The NRC last updated its construction guidelines for this type of thing more than 30 years ago - in 1977.
GEE, THANKS. ONE MORE THING TO WORRY ABOUT.
OK, so, the economy is crumbling beneath our feet and must we ponder a tsunami hitting the local nuclear power plant and sucking away cooling water and producing radioactive chaos?
“In the wake of the December 26, 2004, Sumatra earthquake and its accompanying tsunami that resulted in widespread loss of life and property in the Indian Ocean region, hazards posed by tsunamis have emerged as some of the most severe caused by natural phenomena,” the NRC’s report says. ”One operating nuclear power reactor was shut down during this tsunami, and, therefore, international nuclear power plant operators and reviewers felt the need to review the approach towards tsunami-hazard assessment for existing and proposed sites.”
Since dozens of new nuclear plants are in the pipeline to be built, the NRC is reworking regulations to be more confident plants can weather such rare but crippling crises. Like, specifically, making sure cooling water intake pipes are far enough off shore - and in deep enough water - that they won’t be left high and dry if water recedes.
WE’LL BE FINE
There’s not much to worry about here, says Gil Alexander, the very good-natured spokesman for Southern California Edison, which runs San Onofre.
“San Onofre was engineered to meet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s stringent safety design standards plus provide a large margin of safety beyond those standards,” Alexander said in an email (on his day off, after reading through the report and contacting company mucky-mucks). “The plant’s two operating units are designed to safely shutdown during natural disasters including major earthquakes and tsunamis.”
The NRC is accepting comments on its draft report through Dec. 5, and new regulations are expected to emerge some time after that.
'It's a tornado' cry terrified Suffolk residents
Powerful winds and a cold front in southern Britain created ideal tornado conditions
Report on Napoli Beaching Incident
On Nov. 6, The Maritime and Coastguard Agency delivered its in-depth 103 page Report to the Chairman of Devons local Inquiry into the circumstances leading to the beaching of the MSC Napoli off the East Devon coastline.
The Report summarises the Agencys activities from the moment the incident broke on the18th January 2007, when the MSC Napoli was on passage in the English Channel, loaded with 2,318 containers and bound for South Africa and when she suffered a catastrophic hull failure and got into severe difficulties.
A number of possible locations were assessed by both the French and British authorities for a place of refuge on both sides of the Channel; however, the south coast of England provided better options for a place of refuge. The conclusion was that the least environmentally risky option was to tow the vessel to a place of refuge in UK waters.
Working with the French authorities, the Secretary of States Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) decided that the ship was in danger of breaking up and polluting the English Channel and should be towed to Portland Harbor.
The SOSREP consulted with local authorities and environmental bodies to the fullest extent possible within the time available. With the condition of the ship deteriorating rapidly, it was necessary for the salvors and the SOSREP to make a fast decision in order to avert a potential environmental catastrophe.
During towing, the weather deteriorated and the salvors and the SOSREP decided to beach the ship in Lyme Bay to minimize the pollution threat.
The MSC Napoli was beached in Lyme Bay on 20 January 2007. Over the next six months the 3,500 tonnes of fuel oil and the containers were systematically removed. The final container was removed on 17 May 2007. Explosives were used to split the MSC NAPOLI into two sections. On 20 July, the ship was successfully split into two pieces and the bow section was towed a short distance away.
The bow section of MSC NAPOLI was removed from Lyme Bay and taken to Harland and Wolffs dismantling facility in Belfast in mid-August 2007. The remaining stern section was left in situ in Lyme Bay, to be cut up and taken away to a recycling facility.
Toby Stone, Head of the Agencys Counter Pollution Unit said, “The successful way in which the MSC NAPOLI was handled demonstrates the effectiveness of the UKs arrangements for handling incidents at sea and the professionalism of all of those involved.”
“We also hope that our submission to the Inquiry will set the record straight on several issues, including of course, the overriding practical reasons for beaching the vessel at Branscombe, and the function of a Shoreline Response Centre. In this case there was no need for such a Centre to co-ordinate the shoreline clean-up operation because the third party insurers retained the services of contractors to do the necessary clean-up work.”
The finalized report will not only be published for general consumption but is intended also to form the Governments contribution to Devon County Councils MSC Napoli Public Inquiry, for which public hearings started on 3 November 2008 and will finish on 7 November 2008.
The report is a factual account of the response to the incident, with conclusions, lessons learned and recommendations. In addition to the response by the MCA, it includes coverage of the actions of other relevant authorities.
(Source: The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office)
SCI Announces the Christmas at Sea Gala & Auction 2008
Event Opens 175th Anniversary Celebration
October 9, 2008. The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) announces its annual holiday party, the Christmas at Sea Gala & Auction on Tuesday, December 2, 2008, at the New York Yacht Club in midtown Manhattan. A party aimed at fundraising for the Institute, this event evokes a very warm sentiment. During the cold month of December, SCI celebrates the Christmas at Sea knitting program, the volunteer knitting program of SCI. It has, for 110 years, been collecting and distributing warmth in the form of scarves and hats to mariners working at Christmastime. This year’s event also marks an important year milestone in the history of the entire organization. The party jump-starts the Institute’s celebration of its 175th Anniversary in 2009.
Jennifer Koenig, Director of Special Events and Donor Relations at SCI, has been planning this event for months. “What I really like about this annual event is that the holiday spirit of goodwill and peace harmonizes with the mission of the Institute.” Koenig points out that SCI’s history of serving the maritime industry is a history filled with generous gifts in support of SCI’s mission to mariners. “People who come to this event are a part of spreading holiday cheer, and it means that we can continue the Institute’s various service programs to mariners.”
In addition to peace and goodwill, there is another aspect of the holiday which features prominently in the evening’s festivities, says Koenig—presents. The Christmas at Sea Gala & Auction includes, as its name suggests, an auction of various donated items. All of the proceeds go to the Seamen’s Church Institute. Auction items in the past have included tropical cruises, ski vacations, and historic maritime memorabilia. Koenig says of this year’s auction, “We will have some great items up for bid this year, and because the holiday is an atmosphere for fun surprises, we will have some of those too.”
Invitations for the Gala & Auction will go out next week. If you would like to receive an invitation, email Special Events Associate Carrie Brennan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Koenig hopes that the event will be well attended. She says, “As with all parties, the more the merrier. In the case of the Christmas at Sea Gala & Auction, with more people attending, we will be able to make merrier the Christmases of many mariners.”
The Model Room at the New York Yacht Club, host to the 2008 Christmas at Sea Gala and Auction.
THE NEW USS INDEPENDAN
Have a really great weekend..Snow and all!