Nuclear plant incident, anyone?


Anyone hear the one about the nuclear power plant that was forced to shutdown due to some control rods that couldn’t be accounted for? And did you know this happened right outside of Chicago?

At first it was thought that three of the 185 control rods, which are used to cool down the reactor core, were out of place, forcing an automatic shutdown. After checking the monitoring instruments, it turns out that only 1 of the rods was actually playing hooky. Engineers are currently looking into what caused the malfunction, but plant officials state that the situation posed no danger. And the location of this power plant? 75 miles outside of Chicago, at Exelon Nuclear’s LaSalle County Generating Station. To find out more about this incident, as well as other information regarding possible radioactive leaks, read on (Chicago Tribune reg required).

My mind is currently running with images of Homer at the controls. Granted, the engineers running the plant are beyond qualified, but 75 miles is NEVER far enough away for me when it comes to a possible nuclear accident. I know that we’re all probably very safe, but it’s a quiet reminder that these plants are closer than you think. Donut, anyone?

6 Comments so far

  1. Nicolette Kittinger (unregistered) on February 21st, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

    75 miles away from a nuclear accident is, to me, too close for comfort. I mean…Chernobyl? The effects of that were felt and seen MUCH further away than a mere 75 miles.
    Then again, what’s the likelyhood of something like that happening again?

  2. steven (unregistered) on February 21st, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

    I’d like to think that the technology is much better these days compared to Chernobyl, and that’s not even what caused that disaster…it was the carelessness of humans. Which means it can happen anywhere, anytime. That’s what scares me.

  3. elizabeth (unregistered) on February 21st, 2006 @ 11:08 pm

    What is up with all the slip ups at nuke plants lately? (And by all the slip ups, I mean those two slip ups.)

    The Braidwood nuclear facility is mentioned in the article you linked, Steven. It recently came out that they had a tritium leak in 1998. Yeah. Guess who was going to high school less than one mile from that nuclear facility in 1998? Me.

    I keep waiting for my super powers to appear. So far no luck.

  4. Dean W. Armstrong (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2006 @ 9:42 am

    It was just the indicator for 3 of the 185 control rods wasn’t responding correctly that caused the problem. They were shutting down the reactor for refueling anyways and it wasn’t like the system was out of control or anything. It was like the tachometer on your car stuck if you went below 500 rpms.

    Cherynobl can’t happen in the US because 1. We would never violate every single safety rule in the book, which is what the operators did at Cherynobl, and 2. We don’t use graphite in our reactors, which after the accident burned and sent radionuclides into the sky and countryside.

  5. elizabeth (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2006 @ 3:23 pm

    Chernobyl was like a nuclear power plant run out of someone’s garage.

    But no one’s brought up three mile island?

  6. steven (unregistered) on February 22nd, 2006 @ 8:34 pm

    True, it wasn’t like the reactor was out of control, but the rods are used to cool the core. So if some rods are out of place, the core remains hotter than it should. And it doesn’t surprise me that we’re just now finding out about the leaks…there are probably a lot more that we don’t know about.

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