Gary Sachs

Everything about decommissioning Fukushima reactors is experimental

Thirteen years ago, no one knew how to remove radiation from water. Then the Great Tōhuko Earthquake occurred, and the Fukushima nuclear electric power station was flooded with water by the tsunamis of 2011. It is still flooded with water in an attempt to cool the reactors.

Literally every step of the decommissioning of the Fukushima reactors is experimental. It has never been tried before. Maybe it will work. Now, after 13 years of collecting the water that runs over and through the reactors to cool them, the storage of the tainted water that saturated the site is leading to the release of the supposedly treated water into the Pacific against the will of the South Korean and Chinese governments. Currently, Japan is involved with the fourth release of water to the Pacific.

Nothing like Fukushima had ever happened previously. Never before has more than one reactor had a meltdown, melting the fuel into massive "elephant's feet" of melted corium.

The best technological minds were no match for the destructive tsunami of 2011. The Fukushima earthquake and tsunami created three melt-throughs of the six reactors on site.

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Entergy: do the right thing and decommission VY immediately

Everybody missed it. All those stories about how Strontium-90 turned up in four test wells of the Vermont Yankee site. A 29-year half-life means that in about 300 years that property might be OK for a playground. I've no idea how many of us reading these words will be...

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If the state caves for fear, then what’s the point of a regulated utility structure

Congratulations, Brad Ferland, on the great press your single op-ed garnered. You open your piece with: “When the state of Vermont holds a major public hearing about Vermont Yankee and almost no one attends, what does it mean?” I do not know how many of these events you have...

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Vermont Yankee ripostes

RE: Responses to my letter [“As Vermont moves to green power, VY won't be missed,” May 8]: To John Dougherty [“VY will be missed,” Letters, May 22]: Vermont Yankee is approximately 2 percent of the New England grid. It will not be missed. Basically, it will be missed in a similar way that Kleen Energy Systems - the cogeneration plant in Middletown, Conn., that exploded in 2010 - will be missed. Not much. A 650 Mw reactor is a small...

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As Vermont moves to green power, VY won’t be missed

RE: “If Vermont Yankee closes, Windham County will get poorer” [Letters, May 1]: Entergy and first Vermont Yankee had a legal agreement with the state to operate the atomic reactor only until March 21, 2012. I do know Entergy has hired a number of PR firms to spin how fantastically needed VY is to the Vermont economy. It is not. Studies done by the Department of Public Service show that as we transition to renewable, sustainable, environmentally friendly sources of...

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It is about time that people saw the truth about nuclear power

RE: Richard January's letter [“VY workers committed to safety, precision, detail, dedication, skill,” Nov. 9]. What value does safety hold if the regulator is unable to stop either a) the waste stream, thus leaving waste that needs monitoring for thousands of years, or b) the risk of environmental destruction, in the event of an accident, complete with years, decades, and generations of genetic mutations? So much for safety. If, god forbid, something else should go dreadfully wrong, if there should...

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I assume that Corey Daniels continues to be the shop steward of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 300. He is a good man. After the initial “huge” release of radiation at Fukushima, unmonitored due to the electrical outage, a new radioisotope was found. I wish to congratulate Mr. Daniels. The new radioactive element has been named Corium.

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When will we ever learn?

Sometimes, lessons are not learned. Sometimes, it takes more than one warning to heed a lesson. Sometimes, we humans are slow and naive in our actions. The Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan continues to leak radionuclides into the air, water, and ground. Then, a flood breached the levees surrounding the Fort Calhoun nuclear reactor in Nebraska, and the country learned the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) could not control Mother Nature or the mighty Missouri river. The largest wildfire in...

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