Sunday, 19 June 2011
Sweden and Norway have been alarmed by findings which show that Russian nuclear reactors are extremely dangerous and can pose serious security risk should any of them are affected by a type of disaster.
Reports in Sweden and Norway say that the Russian authorities have found serious deficiencies in the country's ten nuclear power plants, with some of the main deficiencies in the reactors that are closest to the Nordic countries. The confirmation of this comes from a report accessed by the Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten which is claimed to have come from the Russian nuclear authority Rosatom.
The safety report has been produced as a direct result of the nuclear accident in Japan in which the Fukushima plant had a melt down after being hit by the tsunami of 11 March.
Among other things, it was identified that earthquakes would be a major problem because most of the reactors will not stop automatically if there was an earthquake. The reason is that earth quake was not considered as a disrupting factor in the preliminary works on the design of the reactors. Automatic stop was emphasized as an important reason why the accident in Fukushima was not worse.
“I am shaken. It's dramatic reading, given that the report comes from the owner of nuclear plants,” says the Norwegian nuclear physicist Nils Boehmer, who normally leads the work of the Environmental Foundation Bellona, in Norway.
While chief engineer Ole Reistad at the Norwegian Institute for Energy determined that the report was spectacular.
“It reveals deficiencies that have not been known publicly in the past and that the Russian authorities had not informed anyone about it in the outside world,” he said to Aftonpoaten.
The report lists a total of 31 security flaws that make nuclear power plants ill-prepared for earthquakes, tornadoes, accidents at the nearby power plants or other disasters:
Danger of earthquakes is not rated by the location of nuclear power plants. This also applies to nuclear plants in earthquake-prone areas near the Ural Mountains.
Seismic data is not updated and there are no contingency plans for major accidents triggered by natural disasters.
Replacement solutions for the cooling of nuclear reactors are poor. Guarantees that have previously been given about cooling for at least one day, is not based on facts.
Storage of nuclear fuel is inadequate with unclear rules, full bearings and poor storage conditions that allow nuclear fuel the possibility to leak out by earthquakes.
The tubes providing cooling of the reactors have flaws in the welding seams. These are weaknesses that can be fatal in a disaster, say experts.
There are no plans for the resources management at nuclear power plants for them to be run safely.
It lacks competent repairers - and the supervisory authority Rostekhnadzor, to monitor security, lack of inspectors.
According to Aftenposten, the compilations of the problems have been presented Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last week.
Most of the problems are revealed in all Russian nuclear power plants, but some of the major areas identified are the aging reactors at the Kola Peninsula and others outside of St. Petersburg as being particularly vulnerable. Those are very close to the border with Finland and Norway.
Those outside of St. Petersburg are the same type as the one wrecked in Chernobyl, the world's biggest nuclear disaster.
By Scancomark.se Team