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Sabotage at Florida nuclear plant? April 2, 2006

Posted by dr. gonzo in Nuclear Power.

 A reader pointed me to this story at daily kos.Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, near Miami, Florida.

UPDATE: 4-19-06- You can read a brief update on this story here.

Apparently, operators at the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant in Florida found a hole drilled into a pipe at the facility. Note the use of the term drilled. Possible sabotage?

Perhaps. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission maintains a database of event notification reports, which I am using to compile the nuclear emergencies that have a occurred in the United States over the past several years.

The daily kos story states the discovery was made on April 1. UPDATE: Here is the link to an NRC release on the investigation. The NRC is apparently home for the weekend or golfing. No event reports for April have yet been released.

The MSM has picked up this story, to include stories in the NY Times and Wall Street Journal (No link because you have to subscribe to the paper to view its site, stupid huh?).

So despite the article at daily kos implying that the MSM was ignoring this story, they are not. It was in fact picked up March 31, (likely early on April 1), via the AP, by the Houston Chronicle and Wall Street Journal.

The author of the daily kos story seems like a nuclear fear monger in the vein of Rory Kennedy who directed the documentary Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable, which while good is mostly concerned with making the Indian Point facility near NYC look like it's about to go Chernobyl.

Of course, perusing the event notification reports from the NRC shows that Indian Point is far from the most dangerous plant in the U.S. In fact, it doesn't show up much at all as far as emergency declarations go.

And, yes, I am aware of wind power and solar power. But how viable are these options? Wind farms eat up massive acerage, look no further than Mendota Hills. Haven't seen to many solar cells, seems they have become more of a trendy environmental statement than an actual viable source of power for the masses.

Regardless, I doubt Miami-Dade County is about to be inundated with nuclear fallout. I don't think Turkey Point is going to explode. But this incident raises serious concerns about nuclear safety and most of all, nuclear security.

Remember Operation Noble Eagle? The homeland mission that put National Guard troops at airports and other key infrastructure, including nuclear power plants, right after 9/11. Those troops haven't been in place for years, resources to maintain the mission simply did not exist. But those troops were locked and loaded. I was told a story by a National Guardsman who nearly shot an unauthorized diver near a facility in Wisconsin, the man was a scientist.

Perhaps it is time to rethink our priorites as far as homeland security goes. How safe do you feel?

See other posts on nuclear power here.


1. yinn - April 4, 2006

How safe do I feel?

Well, I’m not particularly worried about the nuclear plants at this time. So I’m going off-topic. In 1998 a few extra-nutty KKK members were foiled in their plans to blow up an oil refinery. If they had been successful, casualties could have reached 30,000. There have been 60 attempts–some successful, many not–in the years since the Oklahoma City bombing. They like bombs & have even been known to set “extra,” later charges meant for the first responders. They shoot cops, too.

What puts us in extra danger at this time is that both the FBI & DHS have downgraded right-wing groups from #1 on domestic terrorism priority lists. Who’s #1? Left-wing animal rights groups & the so-called eco-terrorism groups. Even though they’ve killed no one.

The nativists–whose demagogues are ascending the anti-immigration movement hierarchy at this time–are composed of right-wingers who generally hate government & they are pissed as hell that the feds haven’t built that wall between us & Mexico yet. When the hate-filled anti-immigration bill gets defeated in the Senate, I look for some of them to plan retaliatory strikes. Lord knows if the feds have enough resources devoted to “defusing” them.

That’s what I’m worried about.

BTW thanks for applying your clear-headed analysis to the FL story.

2. amc - April 5, 2006

It has been clear, to me at least, for quite sometime that the DHS, FBI and in foreign intelligence the CIA have been completely inept and incapable of doing their jobs.

September 11 was just the first big thing that people really noticed, that really made them think that maybe the government wasn’t performing its oldest duty so well. Of course, in the lead up to 9/11 their were countless warning signals and even attacks that should have set off alarm bells in every administration from 1990 on. Attacks on the World Trade Center (93) and American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, not to mention Oklahoma City, Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Still, proper resources were never devoted to counter-terrorism neither domestic nor foreign. The issue was simply shuffled away to be dealt with at a later time. The threats were never taken seriously. 9/11 made the threats real for all Americans and the government seized that moment to play on fear. Fear of dying, fear of being attacked by “terrorists,” a situation that has ALWAYS existed for Americans. Legislation such as the PATRIOT Act and the immigration bill yinn mentioned are products of the proper manipulation of peoples fears. This time in the name of national security, in the past excuses have ranged from out and out racism, to war, to manifest destiny.

It’s easy to get the fear message relayed these days as well. Media conglomeration makes information dissemination all the more simple in an age of already lightning fast information gathering and dissemination.

The direction of America right now is just inherently wrong.

3. yinn - April 5, 2006

You are right that the direction is wrong. There’s plenty of fear but we are nowhere near to taking the actions needed for real security. Part of the problem is the politicization of agencies that have no business being played that way, one example the playing up of activities of the left-wing radical groups even though the right wing clearly poses more of a threat to average Americans.

Here is another symptom of our sickness. Recently I visited the DHS website & filed in their press releases was a statement by Chertoff endorsing Alito for Supreme Court Justice. Excuse me, Mr. Chertoff, your job is to keep me & mine safe & anything else is a distraction from that job. So knock it off.

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