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WSJ: Shakeup After Nuke-Plant Glitches

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:18 PM
Original message
WSJ: Shakeup After Nuke-Plant Glitches /

July 16, 2007, 12:25 pm
Shakeup After Nuke-Plant Glitches
Posted by Staff

Elizabeth Cowley of Dow Jones Newswires has this report on the repercussions of recent glitches at nuclear-power plants in Germany:

The German arm of Swedish-state owned Vattenfall Group has suspended key management staff following incidents at its two German nuclear power plants, the company said. Vattenfall Europe AG said the chief executive of Vattenfall Europe Nuclear Energy, Bruno Thomauske, has been removed from office, while the head of its European corporate communications, Johannes Altmeppen, will also step down.

Vattenfall Europe spokesman Steffen Hermann said: “This has taken place because of all the developments at our two nuclear power plants, where there were several technical problems.” The shakeup comes less than a month after Vattenfall Europe’s Kruemmel and Brunsbuettel nuclear power plants had to be shut down unexpectedly. The 1.3-gigawatt Kruemmel reactor was shut down June 28 after a fire broke out in a transformer and is not expected to come back on line until the end of August, according to the company. On the same day, Vattenfall Europe’s 771 megawatt Brunsbuettel nuclear power plant was also shut down due to a glitch. Both outages occurred as precautions, and the reactors were not endangered by the problems, Vattenfall said.


Germany’s environment minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed the procedures announced by Vattenfall Europe to address the issues with its nuclear plants, saying they are the start of the discussion over whether old nuclear plants should be closed down earlier than planned. Gabriel supports a nuclear shutdown law passed by Germany’s previous government of Social Democrats and Greens in 2000, under which the country’s 17 nuclear power plants would be phased out by 2021.

Vattenfall Europe’s woes follow parent company Vattenfall’s problems at home. The company was last year plagued by a series of failures at its Forsmark nuclear power plants. A fire in an electrical switchboard last summer shut the plant down, and since December last year, it has suffered repeated outages. The ensuing health and safety concerns led Sweden’s government to invite U.N experts to review the country’s nuclear plants to help repair its reputation as a safe and reliable nuclear operator.


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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:33 PM
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1. Good idea Sigmar. All your shiny new coal plants should be able to take up the slack.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:40 PM
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2. Good. Fire the louts, hire new staff, and get the plants back on line.
But if the current crew is being scapegoated and removed for political reasons, same response: take the bad guys to the wall.

Energy is serious business. We should have no tolerance for game-playing on the part of our politicians or engineers. Build 'em right and operate 'em right, or find someone who can.

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:20 PM
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3. How many people has Vaterfall and EOn suspended because of safety lapses at coal plants?
I heard that German coal plants released hundreds of millions of tons of dangerous fossil fuel waste last year and no effort was made to contain them.

Further I heard that all of the power executives in Germany have made plans to expand this practice.

As a result, tens of thousands of Germans have been injured or killed by the waste releases.

True or false?
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 04:53 PM
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4. None of the "key management" at First Energy were sacked after a long period of lying to the NRC
...and back dating inspection reports before the hole in the reactor head of Davis Besse was discovered. They just made scapegoats of three senior engineers, including one contractor.
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