Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Gov't chooses isotopes over nuclear safety

The government has now put a lot of pressure on the CNSC to paper over their difficulties and get the reactor running again. This, despite the fact that AECL did a Conrad Black over required seismic safety upgrades.

If this were the States, we'd put AECL in jail, but we can't. The hospitals are now getting isotopes with these 'generators' which I gather are shielded boxes with a hot core (cobalt?). Probably these isotopes are now 10 times more expensive, because apparently the gov't wasn't paying AECL much for the cheap stuff.

This bottom line is that this is an old clapped-out reactor in a very active seismic zone. I bitch a lot about OPG and the province not doing a good job on seismic, but this reactor takes the cake! There is nothing worse than being right on an active old rift. And this reactor was built when they would have said: "Seismic, who?".

Again, we wouldn't have had this problem if AECL had the slightest clue on the fundamental physics of these reactors, especially heat and water flow. They built the new reactors and found a big surprise! The same thing happened for Darlington. You can only step on Mr. Physics for so long before he bites back!

1 comment:

Monado said...

It's short-sighted, but what can you do? In the short term, cancer patients need radio-isotopes. Is there some other country from which we can buy them? Is there some other reactor that can be converted to producing them in the medium term? Can we start planning the next one? Gee, that would call for looking beyond the next election. And Harper's too busy stomping all over the idea of slowing global warming unless someone else does it first. Maybe he expects to be Raptured and to hell with his (and my) grandchildren.