Sunday, April 17, 2011

NUCLEAR POWER PLANT DISMANTLED, 1986, by 200 worker at Shippingport, PA. under ideal conditions. Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant working conditions are far from ideal

April 18, 2011 UPDATE at bottom


SHIPPINGPORT, Pa.— PIECE by laborious piece, about 200 workers here are taking apart a nuclear power plant in a project that could affect the price of electricity throughout the country and the financial health of most major utilities.

In the process, the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, the world's first commercial nuclear generating facility, has become a radioactive classroom, a demonstration of the technological and economic feasibility of what is sometimes called ''nuclear power's missing link.''

Disassembling the reactor is a milestone in the atomic age - ''the capstone of the nuclear fuel cycle,'' said Cynthia Pollock, a researcher for Worldwatch, a nonprofit institute that studies the use of resources and energy. ''Most people have never thought about the idea that nuclear plants wear out - far less that they're contaminated. You can't just let plants sit forever.''

When the work is finished, the plant's seven-acre site on the south bank of the Ohio River 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh is to be restored to a grassy knoll suitable for any purpose including, say, a playground or a school.


Bechtel International, the construction company, recently bid $104 million to disassemble a new, never used and therefore uncontaminated plant in Zwentendorf, Austria. Both critics and proponents of nuclear power acknowledge it will be much more expensive to take apart contaminated plants.

Many states have started pressing utilities to set aside millions of dollars to finance the dismantling of their plants. But how much the utilities should set aside and who should provide the money are hotly debated.
Utilities now have three options for retiring reactors: mothballing, entombing and dismantling. Non-nuclear power plants can be demolished as cheaply and easily as any other structure. But large portions of nuclear plants become contaminated by radioactivity, which lasts for centuries. They therefore require careful treatment, even after they are retired.

Mothballing involves removing the fuel as well as guarding the structures and monitoring radiation. Initially, it is quite cheap. Since the plant remains radioactive for centuries, however, the continuing security and monitoring could make it more expensive than the other options, according to a study by the Atomic Industrial Forum, a lobbying group for the industry. In addition, it just postpones dismantling until a later day.

Entombment entails removing the fuel and covering the structure in a thick mantle of concrete. This is the option selected by the Soviet Union for the reactor destroyed in the Chernobyl accident. Entombment has many of the same advantages as mothballing, but the process exposes more workers to radiation. Since the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not approved entombment as a long-term decommissioning option, it is a temporary solution.

Dismantling retired nuclear plants immediately eliminates the need for long-term security and maintenance and frees the site for other uses, possibly including new reactors to replace the worn-out ones.

On the other hand, dismantling is costly in the short run and involves the highest occupational exposure to radiation. Shippingport's interior walls, for instance, are covered with yellow stickers whose bright red propeller symbols denote danger from radiation. 


Google search for Shippingport Station Decommissioning Project 

Shippingport Station Decommissioning Project

Hallam Nuclear Power Facility
Pique Nuclear Power Facility
Elk River
Peach Bottom
Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment
SRE (Sodium)  Editorial

Google search for  Los Alamos molten plutonium reactor experiment

Decommissioning the Los Alamos Molten Plutonium Reactor Experiment

The $98 million (1985 estimate) cleanup of Shippingport has been used as an example of a successful reactor decommissioning by proponents of nuclear power. However, critics point out that Shippingport was smaller than most commercial nuclear power plants; most reactors in the United States are about 1,000 MWe, while Shippingport was only 60 MWe. -Wikipedia

   UPDATE     A Link and a Comment from cacone

"...... less than about 400MWe in the above study"

"I wonder how much of this is still true...  -  cacone"

Fukushima Daiichi
Unit 1
- 439 MWe BWR, 1971

Unit 2
- 760 MWe BWR, 1974

Unit 3
- 760 MWe BWR, 1976
Unit 4
- 760 MWe BWR, 1978

Unit 5
- 760 MWe BWR, 1978

Unit 6
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1979

Fukushima Daini
Unit 1
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1982

Unit 2
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1984

Unit 3
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1985

Unit 4
- 1067 MWe BWR, 1987

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vancouver 125 years old, brings back memories, captured in photos of old and new paintings today

The Vancouver Sun, H section, Saturday, April 16, 2011

One of the icons of Vancouver restaurant history, the Aristocratic stands open for business at the corner of Granville and Broadway (south west corner) on September 25, 1951.  The eatery, now only a memory, was among several Aristocratics around the city.
Art Jones Photo, from the Vancouver Public Library special collections No. 81669
I remember this intersection well, my family's home was two and half blocks away.  One thing that is not mentioned in the Vancouver Sun on page H1, is that on the North East corner of Broadway and Granville there was another Aristocratic, a drive-in, somewhat like the WhiteSpot.   Too bad we didn't have a Google Streetview back then.

At Fir (one block west of Granville) and Broadway was a baseball stadium (North East corner all the way to Eighth Avenue)(Vancouver Center Park).  This was the predecessor to Little Mountain's Nat Bailey Stadium.  Rumour has it that Nat Bailey sold his first hot dog at the stadium at Broadway and Fir.

Four doors to the south of the Aristocratic, shown in this morning's newspaper, was the Ingledew shoe store which had the latest technology to make sure that the shoe was the right fit for their customers, young and old.

From the photo below you can see that the X-Ray machine was a well thought out design, where the customer would be encouraged to lean against it so that he could see his own feet inside his yet to be purchased high-priced leather shoes.  The saleman, lucky fellow, had the golden opportunity to see the same results, day in, day out, without lifting a fingers to test the distance of the customer's toe to the shoe's toe.

For some strange reason, the X-Ray machine was removed, should have been outlawed.  Don't know whether it was the WAC Bennett Provincial government, the City of Vancouver Health Inspectors, or the shoe Industry at large that finally woke up to the fact of the harmful effects of X-Ray while seeing the results in REAL-TIME (fluoroscopy).

The radiation hazards associated with shoe fitting x-ray units were recognized as early as 1950. The machines were often out of adjustment and were constructed so radiation leaked into the surrounding area.


The Vancouver Public Library has all sorts of photographs of our most livable city in the world, but here's another source, a local artist, Tom Carter.

Tom continues to capture new ideas from the photographs that he has collected over many years, by bringing them back to life in his paintings, especially under the weather conditions that we all so adore here.   Rainy, Saturday night where Theatre Row  is lit up with neon lights. 

The center painting below is the same Aristocratic's, at Broadway and Granville (South West corner), not sure if the photo to the left is inside the Aristocratic, but it looks just about right.
 Make sure your speakers are on.  Tom has captured not only the colour of Vancouver at night, but the sound as well.

"I love the urban environment - a fascinating cross section
of society where people in very different situations must
interact. Cities may also be where loneliness is felt more
My art explores themes of isolation versus inclusion – how
we fit into the world and society. I tend to set my subjects
in other eras which, besides satisfying my historical interest,
reveals elements that are timeless – truths do not change.
Although there might be cold and turbulence in my work,
all of my settings have a sanctuary, a place of warmth and
respite. We, as the viewer, have the option of going inside
but we choose not to; we stand outside observing."

- Tom Carter
Tom's painting are hanging at the Baron Gallery in Gastown:
Intersections - paintings by Tom Carter

Wednesday to Saturday                          Noon till Six pm

Who else can remember this, the construction of the Granville Bridge?   One of the finishing touches was that the city of Vancouver had a merry-go-round, and a ferris wheel too, for the opening ceremonies, in the area where the south bound bridge traffic would exit onto Fir Street and Fourth Avenue.