Paula Giese's notes, background sources, pix for own story on Prairie island nuke, casks, Dakota people in MN spring floods, April 1997. Indian journos may use source material freely pix credits below where known. Backgrounder for Indian journos: conta ct Akwesasne notes 1-518-358-9531, Ft. covington NY. Get Double issue Fall 1995 my article "the burial ground no one wants to save" pp 33-39 for whole situation, good explanation of reactor, storage casks, everything except Chernobyl possibility which I didn't mention then. Author ID is by me, sez "non-Indian of some Anhisnaabeg heritage" (nonstatus, grandfather from Beaver Lake band, Sask.). I said non-Indian then, perhaps I should say Indian, dunno., seemes so many fakes, with a little "Indian blood" somewhere back. If I'm Indian it's not really from that. anyway.
Indian journos freely given permish to use anything from Notes article and roughs and sources collected below. Pix will be low-rez for printing because of web low resolution.
See also my web page about PI/MN:
Has map of MN reservations, click Prairie Island for more info (& links) before the flood situation. Notes below very speculative, some very long source material included here. Contact Paula Giese 612/872-2352 (Minneapolis). I am webmistress of the Indian educational site on which this info was posted and the PI and MNrezmap appears, and author of the materials therein unless otherwise attributed in page credits (in case this thing gets separated from my posting).
Latest: 4 p.m Sat april 12: Called Volunteer centers asked about sandbagging at Prairie Is. Ind community. She asked supervisor who had no info. Told her that yesterday's DEM situation report had just been posted said near end that as of Fri, PI Ind comm homes were said to be under 1-6' water, I assumed Indians were evacuated, where? Nobody any info, however oads coordinator told me roads "around" PI and RedWing were open and a bridge (I think near Hastings) was being sanded to be kept open as long as possible.
Flood crest from Minnesota River expected to hit Lock & Dam #3 (the nuke, essentially, PI rez is between the nuke and the dry cask hot waste barrels) Mon. MN River crest running 7.2 feet above previous record flood levels. (actually that's 17.2 feet apparently) Mississippi river expected crest may hit a little earlier (Sunday, passing through St. Paul right now -- Sunday afternoon). No info on the "extended crest" or "secondary crest follow on that DEM (emergency management) has been discussing with its staff via web. Miss. River running well above some flood stages of past but cannot find out how much. If both crests hit lock&dam #3 will whatever the army did to secure the casks hold? The nuke plant?
How will the plant behave when the crest(s) hit? Containment domes intended to keep things in, but at least it has a foundation down to bedrock (sandstone unfortunately). Of water gets in how will that affect safeties etc? If dome leaves foundations? I know too little about the mechanics of this to see how to compare it to Chernobyl except that the energy equivalent must be around 8 times larger, if it goes a much bigger blast (there are 2 reactors at PI). Blast would be a wateburst, firestorm last several days, pouring up live steam containing very finely powdered hot particles, much worse for country side and everything tha t breathes. No one in Redwing would survive, cannot estimate what "blast" type effects would be too many unknowns. Electronics in Twin Cities would surely be knocked out (for good) no phone radio cars, TV planes helis etc, anything with a chip in it is junk. Mp trtanmsport, no communications, no heavy construction equipment, no electrical pwoer 9grid electronics will go). This is the effect of burst radiation, not temporary like static, the electronics is ruined. 100% "no news" about nuke and casks makes me very apprehensive, obviously this is "so the public won't panic" but what if we know about this kind of thing already? I'm not exactly panicked, but sure don't like it.
Some pix, Army Corps of Engineers flood info pages (not restricted but not public as to URL's either):
Overview of the whole river basins area around here, Army Corps of engineers pages. Shows Minnexzota river coming in just above (upstream) of lock& dam #3. Nuke and rez right above dam there. St Crois r. comes in just below lock & dam #3
Locksmap.gif shows string of locks running from just above Mpls on Mississippi south through lock& dam 3 (nuke) and futher downstream. This map[ shows MN river coming in *below* #3. both from same Corps pages, plled from databae query form. Not too encouraging Corps knows what it's doing.
Photo by NSP of the whole PI site complex, taken from "tour of nukes" environmental page., http://www.cannon.net/~gonyeau/nuclear/prairie.htm. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the PI Dakota village in the background, left we are looking northward here,. Cannot see casks. think sweatlodge on Amos's land is specks left of radio tower, i.e. couple houses there where sweat was.
Overview of the whole river basins area around here, Army Corps of engineers pages.
lock and dam 2 upstream from #3 which couldn't find pic of. From Army Corps Engrs database.
At this point, the below items are very rough notes for an article I myself hope to be able to write for Akwesasne Notes, as discussed by phone with ed. on Wed, April 9. This will be a FU to mine of Fall special double issue given the stupid catchy tito]le "The Burial ground nobody wants to save" re Prairie Island nuclear "dry cask" storage and its broader implications. That article is good bG for this FU., especially "how a nuke works". And how it can turn into a bomb, 2 bombs in this case, aspect not there discussed at all. That article was written and submitted around march, 1994, and there have been many events since its publication and now. In my 1995 article, I gave no attention at all to PI as a big atomic bomb, i.e. the so-called meltdown situation as we must see it worst-case since Chernobyl.
In the event I am unable to write this article, and communications with this area (Twin Cities MN) appear somewhat strange, this info on the Fond du Lac tribal college server near Duluth should survive & be available. In the event of a worst0-case, all electronics in the vicinity of the blast and most likely the Twin Cities will be non-functional -- i.e. comptuer,s comm systems, telecoms, and also anything with any electronics in it.
Situtation here is such that at present I am having to use the "Sherlock Holes method of 'the dog that didn't bark in the night,' where a murder had been committed that required the murder to past a v. large, able, active, alert& doud watchdog. No barking was heard, mystifying all. The dog's owner was of course, the killer, as Holmes concluded. In this instance, the floods coming downstrdeam on the Mississippi and MN rivers (converging right above Lock & Dam, the nuke plant) have been widely and carefully reported, and there are also publicly accessible websites by the emergency management team: State DEM, Army corps of engrs, etc. *All* have focussed on fact, human interest, bigger pic (disast4er area) and human interest stories upstream. Very little on Twin Cities, not even arrival of floodcrest estimates in public. (But many local roads-under-water bridges out reroutings of traffic here already.)
Very tight censorship appears to be in place through the area, as massive floods continue along the Minnesota and Miss. River basins, approaching us in the Twin Cities. The reason I think this -- hypothesis of tight censorship "to avoid public panic" is reasonable is that the PI nuke has been *much* in the news, even lately, with the filing of lawsuits, special investigative and negotiating committies, etc. All of these with regard to the dry cask storage discussed in my 1995 Notes article. Safety on sand in floods on a floodplain river island has always been upfront in opponents of the casks at PI. I.e. total blackout on any public mention of Prairie island makes no news sense, and implies total censorship.
The average, reasonable person in the circumstance of so much attention to the spring thaw-snow-rain floods moving downstream in an elevated and prolonged cresting must surely to be a few moments of wonder "What about that nuke/those casks?" Since ther ehas been no attention wshatever to NSP's nuke in the cernobyl sense -- that is that "meltdown" is kind of a euphemist for "nuclear bomb" a little "slower" than a weapon burst, but ultimately perhaps more destrutive for that, public attention might wander to "those casks tipping over in floods" since that was a focus of a certain amount of attention, once (chf my article about undermining of the flat slab they sit on in the event of flood conditions on the sandy, low-lying island in the Miss. R.). Just about any media journo would at least take a crack at "What's the story on protecting those *casks* and the question "...and the nuke itself?" would surely arise. There has been nary a peep. Phone service to PI is not interrupted, in the sense you get any error msg. Known phones there simply ring unanwered. (Same thing at the Upper Siouxz Indian community near Granite Falls, where heavy human interest and other reporting of dike-building, failures, staying or abandoning homes, etc. has been going on. The whole area -- Yellow Med. Co, Lac Qui Parle, is a declared disaster area, most evacuations, Montevvideo etc. are the small white towns along the river.
The Army Corps of Engineers and the Minnesota Disaster Emergency Management both have "public" but unpublicized websites, on which certain info and situation reports are being published and updated, including "volunteer" call numbers, army assembly points, deploymenty of pumps and heavby equipment. The *only* mention of PI during this period was anywhere was on 4/8 (DEM situation reports page) , where "vounteers" for sandbagging (dikes) at the PI community's sewage treatment ponds was mentioned. 175,000 sandbags delivered there were to be emplaced -- 75,000 the first day of work. The following day's situation report said 600 volunteers had been sent to various 'sandbagging' sites that included PI. This means the max possible volunteer work crew couldn't do very much of the pr9oposed job. There was no mention of PI in the last available situation report, Thursday, 4/11. Situation report for Friday 4/11 is not posted a note says it will be today (Sat) and Sat's will be posted Sun.
A call to the volunteer info number, saying I as an Indian wanted to volunteer specifically for sandbagging at Pi produced the response that site had sufficient volunteers. I also called road conditions public number to inquire if I could go down to PI and bring some relatives back with me. I was told all roads to the PI site are closed and the nearest I would be able to get was RedWing the nearby white minicity, where NSP PI nuke employees live. (Goodhue Co MN). In some report I saw mention of evacuees in shelters in Redwing. I believe the PI rez may have been evactuated., but that is speculative, upon the evidence cited. I have also been unable to establish the status of the "Grainite Falls" (i.e. Upper Sioux Sisseton-Wahpetonwan Dakota rez) despite all the attention given to the heroic dike sandbag efforts that are "losing" at Granite Falls. The same situation of phone ringing endlessly occurs.
[Aside: 2 pix of casks and 1 of the nuke, and some BG may be found on my PI rez page, click on the MNREZMAP here at PI). A better one may be uploaded, and some links as well, I also ahve a large relatively hirez of Lock& Dam #2).
Communications emergency management system: A couple yea4rs ago a Leech Lake friend who works for Mpls sent me some government computer job notices that had come her way. One highly poaid one was for a computer network systems ad programmer for the civilian communications emergency system. An unusual feature of this very highly-paid job (about twice scale) was that the person would go "somewhere" and live in a highly shielded secret-location "hole in the ground" for some months at a time to carry out his duties. I talked and laughed by phone with the person who'd sent it to me, and said they would never hire *me* (security risk -- AIM background) but that I might apply to try to find out more about the system. Upon later calling to set up an interview, was told auite curtly "the job is no longer open." Neverthelss the description had a lot of info. The general idea is the emerge4ncy backup can "take over" not only from downed surface/air comm but also can 'take it over" *any time*. Of course it would control alternate channels of communication, but it would also be in control of anything "it" wanted to be of existing equipment and connections. the model was obviously the military one (hole in the ground, takeover comm) and I speculated those dopes were implementing a system designed for cold war days, when nuclear attacks (the commies) were thought to be imminent.
I now think the system was designed particularly for the area, because of the PI nuke, i.e. in the event a disaster turns it into a Chernobyl-like bomb. (No disaster has to occur for the comm takeover of course).
I speculate the crest may have hit yesterday, sparse reports of sandbagging "upstream" on the Miss R and what appear to be some really frantic sandbaggings on the Minnesota. One of the Corps of engineeer mpas I snaffled (Miss R. basin) shows the confluences of respective rivers -- right where max backup into the areas of the nuke (US Lock & Dam 2) occurs. No it didn't. It probably hit around 4:30 eqrly Monday, 4/14 when the lights were flickering a lot.
Below are copies of "background" notes gathered from web pages whose URL's are below the respective notes. Fulltext form most of those should be available no matter what occurs here, since their servers are not local here.
Friday situation report (MN DEM) just posted Saturday afternoon, note near the bottom 3' of water in PI Indian Community" and Goodhue Co request for flyover, total nothing about either nuke or casks. What follows below is a bunch of captures. usually I gave URL's for where it came from.
DAMAGE ASSESSMENT: Beginning Monday April 14, FEMA will send inspectors to do a Preliminary Damage Assessment in those counties that have already experienced significant damage in Categories C through G (road damage, facilities, public utilities, etc.), so that costs in those categories are eligible for federal and state reimbursement. Documentation of costs related to flood fight activities is vital (i.e., regular employeesı overtime, any additional staff costs, contractor costs, supplies, etc.) Counties that wish to be added to the major disaster declaration need to complete a damage assessment. Damage assessment forms may be obtained from the DEM regional program coordinators. If the cost of recovery from this disaster is clearly beyond the resources available within the county, the county board should pass a resolution requesting that the county be declared a major disaster area. A sample resolution was attached to Flood Situation Report #10 dated April 11, 1997. The resolution plus the completed damage assessment forms should be sent to DEM. If you need more information about this process, contact a DEM regional program coordinator. VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES: The Volunteer Coordination Unit at the State Operations Center referred 30 volunteer workers to one site in St. Paul on Friday. If you need volunteers for a mission, please call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798. WEATHER: Latest weather forecast calls for statewide lows in the mid teens to mid 20s, highs from mid 30s to mid 40s. Other than scattered snow in the extreme south this morning, no precipitation is forecast. The Minnesota River is cresting at 32.2 feet in Jordan today and near 718.5 feet in Shakopee tomorrow. The Mississippi River is cresting near 23 feet in St. Paul on Sunday or Monday. The St. Croix River is cresting at near 91 feet in Stillwater on Sunday and Monday. The Red River crested in Fargo-Moorhead Friday but will remain steady at high levels for several days. The Red will crest a second time near 18.5 feet this weekend in Breckenridge. Other points along the Red River will not crest until mid to late April. MISCELLANEOUS: The Interprovincial Pipeline from Canada to the United States has been shut down. This is one of the crude oil supply sources into both Koch and Ashland refineries in Minnesota. This pipeline also serves the Chicago area. Koch and Ashland do have other sources of crude oil, but this may be a reason for some companies to raise the price of gasoline. The Mid-America Power Pool (MAPP) headquartered in Minneapolis said yesterday that the region has lost only one generation plant due to flooding: Dairylandıs Alma plant in Wisconsin. Only a few small plants are sited along the Red and Minnesota rivers, and they are still available. Many large plants are located along the Mississippi, and to date they are all still operating. The major regional damage was the result of the ice storms in the Dakotas and northwestern Minnesota. There was significant damage, and crews are still working to restore service. The American Red Cross reported that 59,422 meals have been provided to date. The number of fixed feeding sites has decreased to seven. There are five mobile feeding sites in operation. A total of 147 people are housed in three shelters currently. Tim Hunt, director of emergency management in Otter Tail County, has agreed to share a plan he drafted for reentry into flooded areas. If you are interested in receiving a copy of this plan, contact your DEM regional program coordinator. More than 500 applications for assistance have been made through the FEMA teleregistration program. Assistance that may be available includes: Disaster Housing Grants to cover temporary rent or make essential repairs to your home Small Business Administration loans to repair homes, personal property and businesses Grants for serious needs not met by other programs Persons who live or work in one of the declared counties may apply by calling toll-free teleregistration at 1-800-462-9029. For those who use TTY: 1-800-462-7585. FEMA is conducting a concentrated community outreach program in the declared counties. REGIONAL UPDATE: Paul Jacobs, Regional Program Coordinator for the northwest region, reported that Norman County is evacuating Hendrum Township located west of Ada on the Red River. This follows the evacuation of Shelly which was accomplished yesterday. In Ada, the water has gone down, and Department of Transportation plows are trying to push the ice off the streets. More than 1,500 persons have been evacuated from Ada, and 800 homes have sustained damage. Residents are being allowed limited entry to their homes, but electricity has not been restored. Re-entry will begin on the west end of the city and will be accomplished on a block-by-block basis. Inspectors will need to accompany residents so that a safe reentry can be accomplished. Electric power in the region is being restored. However, repair crews are having difficulty reaching the damaged poles and lines because of closed roads and water-filled ditches. Thief River Falls in Pennington County lost power yesterday, but it had been restored as of this morning. Pennington County is continuing to monitor the river levels and is sandbagging some areas. Oak Port Township located north of Moorhead in Clay County has been cut off by rising waters. Extra pumps have been ordered. Roy Holmes, Regional Program Coordinator for the northeast region, reported that the Rainy River in Lake of the Woods County is okay. The dam activity has been decreased. Congressman Collin Peterson will do a flyover of the area. Roseau County is continuing to monitor the river and is sandbagging. Red Lake County is getting more sandbags and reported one road washed out. The northeast area of the state is reporting no problems. Judy Rue, Regional Program Coordinator for the west-central region, reported that Breckenridge is preparing for a second crest of 18 to 18.5 feet on Saturday. Four communities in Big Stone County are flooding. Twelve families are out of their homes in Stevens County. Duane Hoeschen, Regional Program Coordinator for the southwestern region, reported that reentry is being accomplished in Montevideo and Granite Falls. Homes are being inspected before power is turned on. The water levels are down to the 1969 flood levels now. The contamination of the water supply has been confirmed in both Montevideo and Granite Falls. Residents have been advised to vigorously boil the water for five minutes before using it for drinking or cooking. The National Guard sent two water buffalo into Montevideo on Thursday, and Ahnheiser Busch has volunteered to supply cans of drinking water to both communities. Highway 23 is now open. Craig Strand, Regional Program Coordinator for the southeastern region, reported that communities along the Mississippi River are all experiencing some localized flooding Six homes are surrounded by one to three feet of water in the Prairie Island Indian community. Goodhue County has requested a flyover of the river. Wabasha has five to 10 homes affected, and Lake City has 10 homes affected. In Winona, the major problem will be seepage. Some 75 homes are affected by minor flooding in Houston County, while three families have been evacuated. NOTE: MN river crest not yet over to there. Supposed to crest in Shakopee tomorrow (Sunday) not far from PI (crest could arrive PI Sunday nite). Not clear if Mississippi crest there yet or not. If not, MNriver & MI River crests will hit about same time. If Mis River has already hit, may be passing or past by time MN River crest hits. Total silence on nuke and casks. Chernobyl... 10 Years On On 26 April 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident occurred. The No. 4 reactor of Russia's Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded. The explosion and fire sent streams of radioactive material into the atmosphere above the USSR and across Europe for more than a week. Ironically, the accident occurred in the course of a safety test. The damaged reactor core and graphite surrounding it began burning at a temperature of around 1600oC). Radioactive nuclei like 90Sr, 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs vapourised and were carried away with the combustion gases. The fatal effects of the accident were to prevail for many years to come. t was calculated that the reactor came close to exploding like a nuclear bomb. The energy released caused a steam explosion that lifted the lid off the reactor. Radioactive nuclei like 90Sr, 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs were released in the accident. After the accident, the Soviet Health authorities found out that there was a great increase in thyroid cancer, especially in children. How does this link to the Chernobyl accident? Ten years have passed since the Chernobyl Incident, but its effects are still felt, especially around Chernobyl itself. A recent newspaper article in the Straits Times (3 April 1996, Pg 25) entitled 'Fear was the Deeper Wound 10 Years after Chernobyl' reported that "Fewer than 500 people died as far as a direct result. By contrast, the chemical leak at Bhopal, India, in 1984 killed at least 2,000 people and injured 200,000. But in terms of political significance, economic dislocation and absolute and enduring fear, Chernobyl stands alone." The Chernobyl incident was due to miscalculated human error, causing grave repercussions. Besides being released by accidents, radioactive nuclides may also be released by planned human actions. The recent nuclear tests carried out by the French government between September andMay despite protests from environmental bodies is a relevant example. [PG NOTE: Water burst: this is like the ocean bomb tests somewhat, but Miss (and MN) rivers are moving (fast) in "trenches" pouring more in. ] The blast from the nuclear test explosion in French Polynesia was over in a nanosecond, causingno more visible effects than the momentary frothing and churning of the turquoise waters around Mururoa atoll... While the medical consequences of exposure to radioactivity is known, little is known about the potential effects of nuclear testing on nearby island populations. 1.The blast from the nuclear test explosion raised a dome of water and turned the surfacewhite. Suggest why. Forgot to record URL for above, it was from a course to encourage tech students to "think about" and research using web and pull it together. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE: ONE DECADE AFTER CHERNOBYL Summing up the Consequences of the Accident Vienna, Austria 8-12 April 1996 Sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), European Commission (EC), and World Health Organization (WHO) in co-operation with the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDHA), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Highlights of Conclusions and Recommendations I n accordance with a dynamic approach to safety all nuclear power plants that do not meet an internationally acceptable level of safety need appropriate upgrading or should be shut down. In 1991, the IAEA conference The Safety of Nuclear Power: Strategy for the Future formulated a consensus that "safety standards of older operating plants should be reasonably compliant with current safety objectives". Active commitment to this objective remains of prime importance for ensuring an acceptable level of safety for nuclear installations and for increasing public confidence in nuclear energy. 48.The main causes of the Chernobyl accident was the coincidence of severe deficiencies in the reactor physical design and in the design of the shut-down system and the violation of procedures. The lack of 'safety culture' in the responsible organisations of the Soviet Union led to the inability to remedy such design weaknesses, even though they had been known before the accident. [PG NOTE: them commies is just like ants, no safety culture.] 49.In addition to those features of direct relevance for the causes of the accident, the original design of RBMK plants was affected by further deficiencies. In particular the original design of the first RBMK generation falls short of current safety objectives. Remaining deficiencies such as the partial containment concept require further attention. 50.A significant number of nuclear safety remedial measures were undertaken during the past decade at the existing RBMK plants: technical and organisational measures taken immediately after the accident, as well as safety upgrading performed between 1987 and 1991 essentially removing the design deficiencies contributing to the accident. Progress has also been achieved in areas such as plant management, training of personnel, non-destructive testing, and safety analysis. As a result, a repetition of the same accident scenario seems practically no longer possible today. However other accidents with substantial releases can not be excluded. 51.Some of the concerns regarding safety might also apply to other reactors designed to earlier standards if no sufficient improvements have been performed in the meantime. The importance of recurrent safety reviews is widely recognized in this regard. 52.For all RBMK plants there exist plans for further safety upgrading regarding those RBMK design deficiencies that are not directly related to the Chernobyl accident. The implementation of these plans is essentially behind the needs because the new independent states lack the necessary resources due to their tremendous economic problems. 53.Accelerated implementation of what is agreed necessary and has already been planned has been identified as a top priority for the national nuclear programmes as well as for international co-operation: - necessary safety improvements must be carried out independently from consideration of early decommissioning of the plants; - more resources must be made available for the safety of the RBMK plants currently operated; - strengthening the status of national regulatory authorities and their support organisations. 54.Similar backfits as for other RBMK units were also performed at the Chernobyl NPP. However, safety concerns with these units are not only related to the remaining generic design deficiencies, e.g. to the quality of equipment. 55.The Ukrainian decision to shut down the remaining units should not result in neglecting safety needs and backfits during the remaining time of operation. Sarcophagus 56.The sarcophagus around the destroyed reactor has met its protective objectives for ten years now. In the long term however its stability and the quality of its confinement are questionable. A collapse could lead to a release of radioactive dust with significant exposure of the personnel employed at the site. About 200 tonnes of irradiated and fresh nuclear fuel are in the "Sarcophagus" now, mixed with building materials etc. mainly in the form of dust. The total activity is estimated to be 700 x 1015 Bq of long-lived radionuclides. Even in the worst case, widespread effects (outside the 30 km zone) are not expected. 57.It has been found that the sarcophagus is currently safe from a criticality point of view. However,it cannot be completely excluded that here exists configurations of fuel masses inside the sarcophagus that could reach a critical state when in contact with water. However, even if this could lead to significant radiation levels inside the sarcophagus, large off-site releases are not expected. The impact of such a state on site personnel needs clarifying. 58.There are very different opinions about the significance of the risk of an accident in unit 3 caused by a collapse of the sarcophagus. More detailed investigations on this issue are required. 59.The safety of the remaining units and the stability of the sarcophagus are not the only importantproblems to be solved at the Chernobyl site. Further concerns relate to the contamination, in particular to the radioactive material buried at the site. All these issues are closely interrelated and an integrated concept is therefore required to solve them. The proposed construction of a secondshelter should be part of that approach. The actions financed by the European Commission in thisarea contribute to achieving this objective. However, the approach needs to be generalised should integrate more effectively the know-how of the competent organisations of the formerUSSR. 60.A cost-effective procedure requires suitable steps according to the progress of investigations and the financial conditions. The first step should be the stabilisation of the existing sarcophagus. This step would significantly reduce the risk of a collapse of the shelter and thus provide the time required for careful planning of further measures (e.g. a second shelter). Perspective and future prognosis 61.Complete rehabilitation of the 30km zone is currently not possible owing to the following: the existence of 'hot spots' of contamination very near residential areas; possible local radioactive contamination of ground water; hazard associated with the possible collapse of the Sarcophagus; severe restrictions imposed on diet and lifestyle. 62.Any estimates of the total number of fatal and non-fatal cancers (in the case of thyroid) attributable to the accident should be interpreted with caution recognizing the uncertainties involved with the assumptions made. Such projection, however, provide the perspectives on the magnitude of the problem (long-term health effects) and help to identify areas of special attention at the present time (e.g. leukaemia in the liquidators and thyroid cancer among people who were children at the time of the accident) as well as in the future. 63.There is a major discrepancy between the number of thyroid cancers appearing in those who were children at the time of the accident and the number of cancers that are predicted based on standard thyroid dosimetry and current risk projection models. This difference may be the result of several factors unique to the accident which are not typically incorporated into standard models. It is important to clarify these issues as well as to continue the thyroid tumour detection programmes. 64.There will most probably be an increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer that will persist for several decades. While it is not possible to predict with certainty on the basis of current data, the estimated number of thyroid cancers among those who were children in 1986 is in the range of a few thousands. The number of fatalities should be much lower than this number if cancer is diagnosed in the early stage and appropriate treatment is given. This group should therefore continue to be closely monitored throughout their lives. 65.Many factors, such as economic hardship, are having a marked effect on the health of the population in general, including the various groups exposed following the accident. Examination of the statistics for the exposed population in neglect of the clear general increase in morbidity and mortality in the former Soviet Union can lead to the misinterpretation that the trends seen were due to the accident. 66.The public perception of the present and future impact of the accident may have been exaggerated by the difficult socioeconomic circumstances in the USSR at the time, by the countermeasures that the authorities took to minimise the accident's impact, and by the public's impression of the risks from the continuing levels of radioactive contamination. 67.Past experience of accidents unrelated to radiation has shown that the psychological impact may persist for a long period. In fact, ten years after the Chernobyl accident, the evolution of symptoms has not ended. It can be expected that the importance of this effect will decrease with time. However, the continuing debate over radiation risks and countermeasures, combined with the fact that effects of the early exposures are now being seen (i.e. the significant rise in thyroid cancers among children exposed in 1986), may prolong the symptoms. The psychological impact cannot be completely dissociated from that of the breakup of the USSR, and any forecast should therefore take into account the economic, political and sociological circumstances of the three countries. The symptoms such as anxiety associated with mental stress may be among the most important legacies of the accident. 68.In view of the low risk associated with the present radiation levels in many of the contaminated areas, the benefits of future efforts to reduce doses still further to the public would be outweighed by the negative psychological and economic impacts. All potential impacts of future measures to be taken in response to the accident should be taken into account. In addition, measures to mitigate the psychological impact should be considered. 69.It is important to develop strategies that take into account both the real radiological risk and the economic, social and psychological impacts in order to yield the greatest benefit in human terms. On 26 April 1986 the most serious accident in the history of the nuclear industry occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former Soviet Union, near the present borders of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. As a result of the accident, the reactor was destroyed and, over the ensuing 10 days, large quantities of radionuclides were ejected into the environment. During these ten days, severe actions had to be taken to bring the release of radioactive material under control, to deal with the reactor debris, and subsequently to construct by November 1986 the so-called "sarcophagus" to cover the damaged reactor core. 2.The overall response to the accident was conducted by a large number of ad hoc workers, including operators of the plants, emergency volunteers such as firefighters, and military personnel, as well as many non-professional people. These people became known by the term translated from Russian - liquidators. Approximately 200,000 liquidators worked in the region of Chernobyl during the period 1986-87, when the exposures were most significant. In total some 600,000 to 800,000 persons took part in the cleanup activities to 'liquidate' the consequences of the Chernobyl accident. This figure also includes persons who participated in the clean-up after the accident (cleaning up around the reactor, construction of the sarcophagus, decontamination, building of roads, destruction and burial of contaminated buildings, forests and equipment), as well as many others, including physicians, teachers, cooks, and interpreters who worked in the 'contaminated' territories and received on average low doses. 3.Over the period 27 April to mid-August 1986, about 116,000 members of the public were evacuated to protect them against high levels of radiation. A so-called "exclusion zone" was established on the most contaminated territories, to which access was prohibited to the generalpublic. This zone was continued into the succeeding three independent countries of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine and covers in total 4300 km2. MINNESOTA The MN dry cask siting report, (Oct 1996) part III: http://www.me3.org/issues/nuclear/eqbnukes3.html (casks, radiation only, nothing about the nuke as a bomb; long. Followed by some more notes by me) A major issue associated with the storage of spent nuclear fuel is exposure to radiation. The MEQBıs 1991 Final EIS for the Prairie Island ISFSI contained a health risk assessment conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), which concluded: The ISFSI will deliver an annual average offsite radiation dose to the most exposed residents of Prairie Island of 0.35 mrem (millirem). This level of offsite radiation is well below the NRC limit of 25 mrem. However, gamma radiation from the ISFSI will produce a lifetime risk of cancer incidence to the most exposed residents of 6 per 100,000. This risk is higher than the MDH criterion of 1 per 100,000 for carcinogenic risk from any single source of exposure to an environmental carcinogen. The radiation doserate to members of the Mdewakanton Sioux Community is below the Minnesota criterion of 0.054 mrem per year. Cancer risk below this dose is less than 1 per 100,000. The most exposed residents live to the north northwest of the proposed facility. If the site were moved to either of the two alternatives to the south, it would be possible to build the ISFSI as proposed, while reducing the radiation dose to the most exposed residents sufficiently to achieve the Minnesota criterion for acceptable risk of 1 per 100,000. Use of an alternative site might require additional berming to the south and east of the ISFSI, in addition to the berming already contemplated to the north and west. (FEIS, p. 6.16): In response, NSP agreed to construct the facility at its alternate site IV and to place a 16 foot+ high earth berm on all four sides, bringing the off-site dose due to operation of the ISFSI within the MDHıs acceptable criterion for cancer incidence. All calculations assumed that 48 casks, as originally proposed by NSP, were in place. At this location, the nearest resident is 0.45 miles northwest and had a calculated dose of 0.016 mrem. In subsequent MPUC CON proceedings, the dose calculations were reviewed again, and the Commissionıs order limited radiation exposure to the closest resident to 0.054 millirem per year. It further ordered NSP to file a radiation monitoring plan after consultation with the MDH and the PI Indian Community. The MPUC ultimately approved a negotiated monitoring plan. Due to the proximity of the plant to the Mississippi River, flood potential and possible impacts must be taken into account in design of the ISFSI as well as all structures at the Prairie Island plant. Figures developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predict a 500 year flood elevation of approximately 690 feet. The ISFSI is proposed to be built at an elevation of 693 or greater, and so impacts from a 500 year flood event should be minimal. Additional analysis done by NSP as part of their plant safety analysis report (SAR) describe the probable maximum flood which could ever be experienced at Prairie Island. This is the hypothetical flood that would result if all the factors that contribute to the generation of the flood were to reach their most critical values that could occur concurrently. The probable maximum flood is derived from hydrometeorological and hydrological studies and is independent of historical flood frequencies. It is the estimate of the boundary between possible floods and impossible floods. Therefore, it would have a return period approaching infinity and a probability of occurrence, in any particular year, approaching zero. The probable maximum flood projected for the Prairie Island plant was determined to have a flow rate of 910,300 cubic feet per second and to have a corresponding peak stage of 704.1 feet. If a flood of this magnitude were to occur, the lower half of the casks would be standing in the flood waters. The lids and seals would not be submerged. Calculations of force upon the casks at this point have shown that the casks would not tip over at the expected flood velocities, and so the containment and isolation of the spent nuclear fuel would not be jeopardized. The drag force from the probable maximum flood was calculated to be less than 20% of that needed to cause the cask to slide or tip. The probable maximum flood level used in the SAR was an elevation of 706.7 feet above mean sea level, with a water velocity of 6.2 feet per second. This includes wave run-up The ISFSI would be sited and designed such that the lowest point of potential leakage into the cask is above the level of the probable maximum flood. For this reason, no inleakage of water can occur. Also, the interspace between the containment seals and the containment vessel cavity are pressurized to approximately 6 atmospheres and 2 atmospheres, respectively, to further preclude any possibility of water inleakage. [PG NOTE THAT SO FAR AS CASKS GO, THIS IGNORES THE SLAB THE CASKS SIT ON. Workmen reported the slab is just a 3' flat slab with no footings, and any foundations added somehow (unlikely unless on new slabs) can't go very deep. This structure is very vulnerable to flood-in-sand. Proverbially so: "They have builded upon sand." Finally, what about the nuke itself in these types of floods (such as we are presently experiencing, though not with the max combo of melt and HEAVY rain? There will be rapid undermining of the slab, the casks will tilt and fall, long before the slab goes. But based on ocean/riverfront concrete, water action, slab will also begin to crack and break up at some point, the weight of casks will *contribute* to breakup, not stabilize it. ] 2. Accidental Releases (FEIS, p. 4.19) The casks have been designed for safe storage of spent nuclear fuel under a series of severe natural conditions described in part D (Protection from natural calamity) of this chapter. Since no release of radioactivity would be expected under these conditions, no resultant doses would occur. The Safety Analysis Report (SAR) which accompanied NSP's license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission examined the potential impact of several type of accidents which could result from human error or mechanical failure. An ammunition barge explosion has been postulated to occur at a location on the river approximately 2600 feet from the ISFSI. This would result in a pressure wave of 2.25 pounds per square inch at the ISFSI, which would have no effect on the storage casks or spent fuel contained within. The SAR states that there are no credible circumstances under which a cask tip accident could be postulated to occur. It does, however, also provide an analysis which examines the performance of various casks feature should a cask tip accident occur. These calculations show that even if the cask were to tip over and crash onto the ISFSI pad the cask confinement barrier would not be breached. Therefore, no radioactivity would be released and no resultant doses would occur. [PG: It does not just tip over, and it's not just "a" cask. They all rock and sway, and begin to tip. Meanwhile the slab however reinforced is being undermined unevenly. So soon they're all over and the river begins to roll them with the pieces of broken-up conrete.] The FEIS also looked at hypothetical airplane crashes and terroristic attack, concluding that the casks would not be breached, with one exception (p.4.22): [And that's a dumb conclusion! Presumably a terrorist attack if any would ahve researched the cask seals and also had some plan to tip them by blast. Unless they were just idiots.] Despite the absence of an identified domestic threat, the NRC has considered it prudent to study the response of loaded casks to a range of sabotage scenarios. The study is classified. However, an overview of the study is provided in the following paragraphs. Being highly radioactive, spent fuel requires heavy shielding for safe storage. Typical movablestorage casks are of metal or concrete, weigh 100 tons, and have wall thickness from 10 to 16 inches of metal or 30 inches of concrete. The structural materials and dimensions enable the casks and vaults to withstand attack by small arms fire, pyrotechnics, mechanical aids, high velocity objects, and most forms of explosives without release of spent fuel. After considering various technical approaches to radiological sabotage, the NRC concluded that radiological sabotage, to be successful, would have to be carried out with the aid of a large quantity of explosives. [Or a suitcase nuke, terrorists, Arab] The consequences to the public health and safety would stem almost exclusively from the fraction of the release that is composed of respirable particles. In an NRC study, an experiment was carried out to evaluate the effects of a very severe, perfectly executed explosive sabotage scenario against a simulated storage cask containing spent fuel assemblies. The amount of fuel disrupted was measured. The fraction of disrupted material of respirable dimensions (0.005%) had been determined in a previous experiment. From this information, an estimate of the airborne,respirable release was made, and the dose as a function of range and other variables wascalculated. In a typical situation, for an individual at the boundary of the reactor site (taken as 100 meters from the location of the release) and in the center of the airborne plume, the whole-body dose was calculated to be 1 rem and the 50-year dose commitment (to the lung, which is the most sensitive organ) was calculated to be 2 rem. [And so? Moreover that whole cask scenario ignore the Chernobyl like blast. In that even they and all in them go up. It's a waterburst, landburst, with renewed river pouring in, steam is carrying it all up for about as long as the CChernobyl fires lasted. We in an undertermined area and dependeing on wind directions certainly all die if we happen to need to breathe.] Two in-plant scenarios were analyzed: One accident which was examined was the inadvertent loading of a newly discharge fuel assembly into a cask designed for ten-year cooled fuel. To prevent this accident from occurring, a final verification of the assemblies loaded into the casks and a comparison with fuel management records will be performed to ensure that the loaded assemblies do not exceed any of the specified limits. Through this, appropriate and sufficient actions will be taken to ensure that an erroneously loaded fuel assembly does not remain undetected. In particular, the storage of a fuel assembly with a heat generation in excess of 0.675 kilowatts is not considered credible in view of the multiple administrative controls which will be enacted. For this reason, this was not considered a credible accident and resultant doses were not calculated. The final accident scenario examined in the SAR is also not considered credible. In this accident, a simultaneous failure of all protective layers of confinement is postulated to occur by someunspecified nonmechanistic means in the cask. An example of this type of failure could result from an incident such as a cask dropping 50-60 feet during movement on the crane into the spent fuel pool area of the Auxiliary Building. To prevent this type of accident occurring, NSP is now modifying the Auxiliary Building crane to make it single failure proof. [PG: No object can be made "failure proof.]" Probabilities againstfailures you did ancicipate can be increased.] In summary, the information in the EIS did not establish that there was potential for any releases to the Mississippi River from the Prairie Island ISFSI. [PG: Thus demonstrating the report was insifficient.] VI. Present Siting Process A. The Legislative Mandate for Siting an Offsite Facility. The Minnesota Court of Appeals determined that the issue of what to do with spent nuclear fuel from Prairie Island was one that had to be resolved by the Legislature. See In the Matter of Prairie Island Dry Cask Storage, 501 N.W.2d 638 (Minn. Ct. App. 1993). The Minnesota Supreme Court denied a request by the MPUC to review the case, and the Court of Appeals decision became the final resolution of the matter. The matter came before the Minnesota Legislature during the 1994 Session. It was a highly controversial matter and the issues were debated extensively. The idea of finding another site to store the spent nuclear fuel did not surface until last minute conference committee negotiations. The Legislature ultimately provided that NSP could store a certain number of casks at Prairie Island in the ISFSI but that NSP had to search for another storage site and that second site had to be in Goodhue County. Minn. Stat. ¤ 116C.771 (1994). The MEQB was directed to be the agency to review and permit any proposal by NSP for a second site. Minn. Stat. ¤ 116C.80 (1994). What the Legislature envisioned was that the Prairie Island ISFSI would be used to provide interim storage until a second offsite facility could be located, and then the onsite ISFSI would be decommissioned, resulting in continued pool storage of 1386 spent fuel assemblies at PI and dry cask storage off-site of 680 assemblies. If implemented, the mandated alternate site storage facility would be the first off-site dry cask storage ISFSI in the nation. Commercial ventures were envisioned in the 1970's for independent pool storage, but these efforts were subsequently abandoned for a number of reasons, one being that the DOE announced in 1977 that the federal government would accept and take title to spent fuel assemblies from utilities. The NSP shipment of Monticello waste to GEıs Morris, Illinois pool facility was one of the last to a commercial pool facility (GE had intended to expand its storage capacity at Morris in the mid-70's to serve utility storage needs. The state of Illinois had banned further shipments into the state, though this was ruled unconstitutional. See People of the State of Illinois v. General Electric Company, 683 F.2d 206 (7th Cir. 1982), in which the United States Court of Appeals struck down the Illinois Spent Fuel Act, which prohibited the importation of spent nuclear fuel.) From a licensing perspective, the NRC regulates an off-site dry cask storage ISFSI the same as an on-site dry cask storage ISFSI. The transportation element is addressed in the cask design review, and shipments are regulated by the US Department of Transportation separately. Similar NRC regulations and license review apply to a Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS - the DOE concept for interim storage) and to any private initiative (such as the Mescalero project). A noted distinction between the Minnesota mandate and other (failed) MRS and private initiatives is that Minnesota has required a limited capacity, off-site ISFSI under a non-volunteer siting process, and all other federal and private efforts have sought to find volunteer host communities with compensation packages. B. The MEQB Siting Process When the issue of locating a second offsite facility in Goodhue County came up in the Legislature, legislative research staff consulted with MEQB staff about the applicability of the power plant siting process as a mechanism for siting an off-site storage facility. The staff responded that the power plant siting process was an effective means of providing an open, formal environmental review of controversial electric energy facilities and could be adapted to apply to an off-site ISFSI. The Legislature thus adopted a mechanism whereby NSP had to apply to the MEQB for a Certificate of Site Comparability for the second site. Minn. Stat. ¤ 116C.80, subd. 2 (1994). [PG: but of course thhey bypassed NIMBY, guaranteeing that no such would be found.] The Legislature directed the MEQB to adopt procedures, considerations, and rules from the Power Plant Siting Act and the Power Plant Siting Rules that could apply to the siting of the second dry cask storage facility. Minn. Stat. ¤ 116C.80, subd. 3 (1994). The MEQB essentially lifted the entire siting process from the power plant siting rules, leaving out only irrelevant or very generic portions, and renamed it as Procedures for Dry Cask Siting. These procedures retain all substantive elements of the power plant siting rules. Draft procedures were distributed, and after a 60-day public comment, during which no comments were submitted, the MEQB adopted the Procedures for Dry Cask Siting without change to the draft in October 1994. A major difference between the Procedures for Dry Cask Siting and the Power Plant Siting Rules is that the Power Plant Siting Rules do not constrain the agency in looking at potential alternate sites, while the dry cask siting procedures do. That is because the Legislature put constraints on where a second dry cask storage facility could be located. This second site had to be in Goodhue County and had to be off Prairie Island. It made no sense to develop a mechanism for considering sites that were in conflict with the statutory mandate. C. NSPıs Application Northern States Power company filed an Application for Certificate of Site Compatibility with the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board in July 1995. In its application, NSP proposed two alternate sites in Florence Township, 18 miles southeast of the Prairie Island Plant. (NSP Application, p. 1.10). NSP identified its two proposed sites after conducting a site screening process that made three assumptions: (1) avoidance of floodplain, (2) avoidance of karst geology, and (3) proximity to a railroad. The proposed cask design concept involved a sealed canister that would require separate storage and transportation overpacks and would minimize handling of the spent fuel. The MEQB accepted NSPıs application as being complete in August 1995 and initiated the siting process. D. Status of Siting Process At the beginning of the siting process, MEQB staff established an estimated schedule and budget for the Goodhue County Dry Cask Storage Alternate Site project, which anticipated an 18-month process concluding in late 1996 or early 1997 at an assessed cost to NSP of $275,000. As the first step in the process, public information meetings were held in Red Wing and Lake City, Minnesota in September 1995 to explain the site designation process, to receive comments on the scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment, or EIA, (same as an EIS), to be prepared, and to respond to questions raised by the public. After opportunity for any person to submit nominations, the MEQB Chair appointed a Site Advisory Task Force comprising citizen representatives of Goodhue County, and charged the Task Force to evaluate the NSP application, recommend additional site alternatives if it wished, and recommend issues to be addressed in the EIA. All meetings were held in the project area, were open to the public and were noticed in advance by mail to all interested persons and in paid newspaper advertisements. Area newspapers provided substantial news coverage of Task Force meetings, which were rotated among affected communities. NSP identified two proposed sites in its application, labeled NSP Proposed Site P (its preferred site) and NSP Proposed Site O (an alternate site). Both proposed sites are in Florence Township, Goodhue County, near Frontenac, Minnesota. In accordance with the Procedures for Dry Cask Siting adopted by the MEQB, the applicantıs proposed sites are to remain as candidate sites throughout the siting process. In January 1996 the Site Advisory Task Force Report issued its report (Summary attached as Appendix D). In the report the Task Force discussed its consideration of the two sites proposed by NSP and 16 alternate candidate sites that met the legislative constraints of being off PI but within Goodhue County and that had been brought to the Task Forceıs attention by citizens. Based on its review and analysis, the Task Force concluded, ³that neither the sites proposed by NSP nor any of the 16 properties proposed as alternate sites by concerned citizens was feasible and prudent and should be subject to further consideration by the EQB². EQB Task Force Report at p. 113. In making the recommendation that off-site storage not receive further consideration, the Task Force Report included the following statement of concern: The Task Force, after evaluating the alternatives, finds that on-site storage is less onerous than off-site storage in that it avoids some of the dangers associated with transportation and the difficulties of emergency response. The Task Force, however, also supports the public perception that spent fuel should not be stored in close proximity to any human population. Further, the question of permanency is unresolved. There is no demonstrated, viable alternate site and there is no assurance of when irradiated fuel will be moved to an interim or permanent storage facility. When this is combined with the preference for long-term, on-site storage, there is an inherent conflict in the Prairie Island situation. That conflict is the proximity of NSPıs plant and storage to the Prairie Island Mdewakanton Dakota Community (EQB Task Force Report, p. 115). The Task Force did go on in its Report, however, to include a summary of the environmental issues, referred to as the ³scope², which should be addressed in the EIA to be prepared by MEQB staff. Independent of the work of the Task Force, a single alternate site was properly proposed by an individual in the Red Wing Industrial Park. After submittal of the Task Forceıs Report in January 1996, the siting process was at a point where the MEQB must act to establish which alternate sites, if any, would continue to be reviewed with the two NSP proposed, and what issues would be addressed in the EIA. This is the procedural point at which the project stands in June, 1996. If the siting process were to move ahead, MEQB staff would bring the decision on alternate sites and EIA scope to the MEQB, and with Board direction, begin preparation of the EIA. Approximately six months would be needed to complete the EIA. Public hearings would then be held and all comments on the EIA addressed. A final record would be brought before the MEQB for a determination on the adequacy of the environmental review and a site designation. At least 12 months will be required to complete the siting process. The scoping record has remained open since the process began in August 1995. Since the January 1996 presentation of the Site Advisory Task Force Report, additional public comment has been received by the MEQB. A summary of the scoping issues received to date is attached as Appendix E. An important issue that has been identified is transportation. The required movement of spent fuel from the PI plant to an off-site facility is an element of NSPıs application that needs further analysis. NSPıs assumption that rail transport was a site-limiting factor was questioned in the Task Forceıs review of other candidate sites in Goodhue County. Because the only available mainline railroad follows the Mississippi River, sites away from the river were constrained without consideration of road transport. Though the Task Force did not recommend any new alternate sites, numerous transportation issues were raised about both road and rail transportation. Of particular concern were questions relating to emergency scenarios relating to response and handling of casks without immediate access to the PI pool (Task Force report at pp. 25-30). A detailed analysis of alternative transport routes, cask handling and possible accident scenarios will be required in the EIA. Further, subsequent transport from an off-site facility to a future federal facility, and the need for handling at that time, will have to be addressed. Current NSP planning assumes subsequent rail shipments out-of-state will be from their proposed Florence Township site via the same route back through Red Wing, passing the PI plant and continuing to the metro area for connections to Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A non-rail site would require trucking, first to move the spent fuel to the site, and ultimately to a rail-loading facility for shipment to a federal facility. At this point in time, the following issues remain crucial and would likely require extensive discussion in the preparation of an EIA: 1.alternate sites, 2.term of storage question, 3.transportation (only recently did we know the vendor and selected design), 4.reracking option, 5.the ³no build² alternative. [NB96.07-15] US: Draft legislation that would have allowed the development of on-site dry storage at the Prairie Island plant to continue, in exchange for payments to the local Indian community by Northern States Power, was withdrawn after ten Minnesota state senators declared their intention to vote against it. (SpentFUEL, 19 February, p3; see also News Briefing 96.04-5) [NB96.44-9] US: The Prairie Island Indian community has filed a lawsuit to reverse decisions by the state of Minnesota to allow Northern States Power to keep spent fuel at its Prairie Island plant and to load another four casks for on-site storage. At the heart of the dispute is a 1994 state law requiring Northern States to select an off-site storage site for NRC certification and to meet other criteria in return for being allowed to fill four casks for on-site storage at Prairie Island. Although Northern States fulfilled the necessary requirements, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board has now refused to approve the proposed off-site storage location, asked Northern States to withdraw its NRC certification application, and given the utility permission to fill and store more casks on site. (SpentFUEL, 4 November, p3; see also News Briefing 96.07-15) http://www.uilondon.org/nb/nb96/nb9644.html On October 8,1996 the Prairie Island Coalition filed a lawsuit in the District Court against the Minnesota Department of Public Service, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission and the Minnesota Attorney General alleging violations of state law which require these agencies to keep records of meetings which involve their official duties. The meetings in question were with Northern States Power Company officers to brief the agency personnel about the details of the settlement of NSP's lawsuit against Westinghouse Electric Corporation. NSP had sued Wesstinghouse for selling faulty steam generators for the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant. This suit was settled out of court and the terms of the settlement have been kept secret. NSP publicly stated, however, that it had shared the terms of the settlement agreement with 'appropriate' state officials. When queried the agencies listed above admitted to attending briefing meetings but denied that they had kept any records of them. PIC is asking the court to require them to reconstruct records of the meetings and make them available to the public in accordance with the Minnesota Data Practises Act. http://report.ewatch.com/Environment/reports/961122/article.6.html MORE PG NOTES: Bomb situation: 1. The containment dones are designed to keep "it" in, and allegedly only lousy Russian engineering failed. I do not believe this. The International reports about Russian attitudes toward safety engineering" are obvious propaganda "those commies are like ants, they don't think of human life like us." In fact since the use of nuykes for generators, no one (ebofere Chernobyl) considewred a meltdown runaway situation to have any bomblike characteristics. The design of pellet dispersals in the fuel rods is supposed to absolutely preclude this. 2. But the first "pile" (nuke) to "go critical was at the University of Chicago campus, under Fermi, in the WW II bomb broject. I( helped to prepare the bomb project papers archives at UCX in the 1960's as a grad student 9and BAtyomic S employee) then. I interviewed some scientists who were present that day, including Herb Anderson who also wrote a very vivid pamphlet about the experience. I asked herb how many scientists had (contra security regs) sent away wives, family from the Chicago area. He said it was all who believed the bomblike possibility would not ignite the earth's atmosphere had done so. The onlyh ones who did not tell wives and kids to go away were the small minority who believed it would. All calcs were "hypotheticals" but there were finite, measurable possibilities of both occurrences. When the last of the fuel rods went in and the geigers' count began to rise and then rise rapidly, and the damper rods were going in. All present realized that in effect they had just "speculated' about the end of the world (i.el. atmosphere ignites -- a sort of early "hydrogen bomb" effect, but one that would be uncontrollable). There was absolute silence and attention as the count continued to rise, then began to slow, then steadied and had held steady for a minute or so, Herb says he believes no one actually could tell the time. Then a cheer burst out and they drank the wine in the paper cups. From that point on, all the atomic scientists and their later successors appear to have believed that bomblike behavior of "piles" or as we now say nukes was impossible. Chernobyl shows they were quite wrong. In fact we cannot tell from what info has been made available (the studies etc as published) whether or not meltdown is even possible, i.e. any runaway may be a bomb and nothing else, perhaps. We only have that one example of a complete runaway, all the other incidents have been brought under control that we (the general public, scientists who talk quite freely among themselves, etc.) know of. I think it prudent to make the worst-case hypothesis that runaway reactionb=bomb. In the cfase of PI, there are 2 reactors, and I must guess from outputs that their size (energetically) is at least as big as the one at Chernobyl, probably actually several times as big. 2. Containment dome: I don't think it's humanly pssible to build an above-ground structur4e to contain a "fairly large" blast, but do not know how "fairly large" should be defined. Hiroshima was approxi 20 kilotons. Let's say the engineering limit is that, but anything above 1 megaton can be contained only by a below-ground structure such as the salt dome caves used in Gnome-Gasbuggy underground bomb tests . 3.. Nevertheless it follows tha thte dsign will have been engineered to keep in everything, e.g. hot steam leaks, rod spills, etc. This affects everything: pressurizing, locks and compartments, etc. In short, the opposite of a sub, whose design is intended to keep water out, or minimize its entrance if it breaches anywhere (or weapons make the breaches from outside). 4. Thus in a massive flood, the design direction is all wrong, instead of helping to keep water out, the "containment" design will tend to help the water get in. I know too little about the nukes' actual engineering to assess the effects of that, who much & where, etc. I'm also assuming its foundation goes to bedrock because they are criminal fools if it doesn't. Bedrock here is St. Peter sandstone, not granite, however, and that's not good, whatever the depth, and the greater the depth the less secure the plant's foundation. The 2 prior unusual floods were 1965 (winter melt) and 1993 (summer heavy rains). Above are a lotta calcs based on "average heavy floods" and 500 year floods. All assumptions about the latter (for which there are no reliable observations or measurements) are bullshit. 5. The bottom line on the idea that the floods may breach the dome and override whatever safeties they have on the nuke and turn it into a bomb is that "nobody knows." All that stuff about the Russian engineering is so bad and they don't care about safety, etc. is bullshit.
It is dawn Monday 7:53. I work around 3, so went and did some comput4er work, probably should ahve cleaned this up but didn't. Around 4:30 -4:54, there was a lot of lights flickering, modem disconnects but comp. kept going. Sun rose regular dawn, I sang and prayed at the east-facing window. I think crests hit, and flickers were some kind of midewst grid inadequacy. Perhaps they dissassembled both piles, i.e. rods out to non-sustaining reactions, I would have commanded this if in charge of things. Likely to be difficult to get there for days yet, and no word on if the casks spilled, that might be covered up forever if they did.
I'm going to upload this which with the pre's marking inside the table will hopefull be a little cleaner to read. I also sharpened, saturated and condensed the missing lock& dam2 (since 3 was not available) photo and will try to upload that. Actually having a great deal of trouble uploading by FTP.