Friday, June 17, 2011

The Monju monster

Giving credit when credit is due, the NYT has a mind-blowing article about another Japanese nuclear reactor that is also having several or more probleminos.

The Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor — a long-troubled national project — has been in a precarious state of shutdown since a 3.3-ton device crashed into the reactor’s inner vessel, cutting off access to the plutonium and uranium fuel rods at its core.
This is not long after a fourteen year shutdown after a fire, and you cannot make up this shit:
Prefecture and city officials found that the operator had tampered with video images of the fire to hide the scale of the disaster. A top manager at the plant recently committed suicide, on the day that Japan’s atomic energy agency announced that efforts to recover the device would cost almost $21.9 million. And, like several other reactors, Monju lies on an active fault.
The control that the nuclear industry and their toadies in government (cough, cough, President Drone) have exerted over information around the world is truly amazing. The Monju program was the Japanese version of the Yucca Mountain solution to nuclear waste, and instead of solving anything, it is proving to be a huge and possibly lethal nightmare.


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