This is my personal view and comments on the issues and events that I feel a need to talk about or express my view. You don't have to agree, but lets carry on a adult, discussion and maybe you will see it the right way, mine. ;)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility storing melted fuel from the Three Mile Island nuclear plant has not done enough to address crumbling concrete modules encasing the radioactive material, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said in a letter made public April 15. The 30 dry shielded canisters at the DOE facility at Idaho National Laboratory contain melted fuel from the Three Mile Island-2 reactor core. The concrete modules are ―showing significant cracking and degradation,‖ even though they were built in 1999 to last for 50 years, NRC said in the April 7 letter. DOE analyzed the structural integrity of the modules, which have walls 2 feet thick, and determined the problem is getting progressively worse, NRC said. Since the inspection, DOE has identified funding to pay for repairs and will begin the work this construction season, a spokeswoman said in an email April 15. ―These cracks have no impact on the storage modules‘ ability to safely store spent nuclear fuel,‖ she said. NRC asked DOE to provide information about corrective measures, a schedule for their implementation, and a plan for monitoring the effectiveness of actions taken. The degradation of the modules was likely due to ―water intrusion and the annual thawing and freezing cycle,‖ NRC said. Chunks of concrete have fallen from areas of the modules and there are signs they are no longer water-tight, NRC said. Cracking was first recognized in 2000 but considered to be ―cosmetic,‖ NRC said. In 2008, DOE recognized that continued cracking called into question the ability of the modules to protect the fuel canisters inside from natural phenomena and shield people from the radiation of the fuel. A recent study determined that protective caps should be installed, damaged concrete replaced, and a sealant applied. NRC ordered DOE to respond within 30 days.


Comments
on Apr 19, 2011

even though they were built in 1999 to last for 50 years,

That 's government work for you!

on Apr 21, 2011

That is the third time in two weeks I have heard a variation of "That's government work for you". I am curious what is it about America where you settle for sub standard work just because it the government doing it?

on Apr 21, 2011

Flakey101
That is the third time in two weeks I have heard a variation of "That's government work for you". I am curious what is it about America where you settle for sub standard work just because it the government doing it?

Settle is the wrong word.  Resigned is more like it.  And the reason is simple.  While most people work for performance, government workers do not (most at least - some local and state do not have such rules).  They can sleep all day - and they cannot get fired.  So usually their work is not top notch. but more than that, in business, if you make a mistake, it costs your company, and likely you.  IN government - all you get is an "oops" as it costs them nothing (it costs the customer - but unlike business - they have no say in the operation).  So sloppiness and mistakes are much more common in government since there are no repercussions.

on Apr 22, 2011

Thank you Dr Guy for explaining it for me.

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