Decaying concrete raising concerns at Canada’s aging nuclear plants July 8 2012 | Ottawa Citizen
…Of particular concern for any “life extension” is the dome-shaped containment building that encloses the 675-megawatt CANDU 6 reactor. The metre-thick, steel-reinforced concrete structure serves as the final physical barrier against radioactive contamination escaping into the atmosphere around Becancour, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from Trois-Rivieres and an hour’s drive northeast of Montreal.
“Special attention is needed for the containment structure in the longer term since it has been identified that containment concrete suffers from” a common type of concrete decay called alkali-silica reaction (ASR), says a 2010 report by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) in Ottawa.
Despite those long-term concerns, the CNSC last year renewed the plant’s operating licence until 2016.
“There is no impact on the safety of any of Canada’s nuclear facilities,” the federal nuclear watchdog agency said in a brief written statement this week. “These facilities are licensed by the Commission because they continue to be safe.”
Editorial: The business case for refurbishing Gentilly-2 is weak July 9 2012 | Montreal Gazette
Fukushima findings could affect future of Gentilly 2 March 29 2012 | Montreal Gazette
The fiscal and economic case against Gentilly 2 March 29 2012 | Montreal Gazette
Pushing back on the nuclear path: Part 2 March 28 2012 | Rabble
Letter in response to statements made by Robert Duchesne March 27, 2012 | CNSC
Earthquake risk and safety at Gentilly-2 nuclear plant March 19 2012 | CBC
Probing the safety of the Gentilly-2 Nuclear Plant (Part 2) March 19 2012 | CBC
Checking in on the Gentilly 2 nuclear plant March 15 2012 | CBC
Protest against refurbishing Gentilly-2 reactor March 11 2012 | CTV
Nuclear safety commission approves Quebec’s Gentilly 2 renovations June 29 2011 | News 1130
Hydro-Quebec pressured to close Gentilly-2 nuclear plant March 20 2011 | Postmedia
TEPCO admits to having ignored more warnings of Fukushima Daiichi tsunami risk May 16 2012 | Enformable Nuclear News
Tokyo Electric Power Company admitted to JiJi Press reporters on Tuesday that it was aware a tsunami could cause a total blackout 5 years before last March’s disaster, but did not act on the knowledge. TEPCO has been determined to have ignored at least one other warning years later of a possible 10-meter tsunami.
TEPCO said a public-private study panel that was attended by power companies, including TEPCO, and others, which concluded in 2006, 2 years after the Indian Ocean tsunami, that Fukushima Daiichi’s backup generators could fail if a 14-meter tsunami hit the plant…
Nuclear Disaster in Japan Was Avoidable, Critics Contend March 9 2012 | NYT
A year after a huge earthquake and tsunami caused nearly catastrophic meltdowns at a nuclear plant, Japan is still grappling with a crucial question: was the accident simply the result of an unforeseeable natural disaster or something that could have been prevented?
One of those whose warnings were ignored was Kunihiko Shimazaki, a retired professor of seismology at the University of Tokyo. Eight years ago, as a member of an influential cabinet office committee on offshore earthquakes in northeastern Japan, Mr. Shimazaki warned that Fukushima’s coast was vulnerable to tsunamis more than twice as tall as the forecasts of up to 17 feet put forth by regulators and Tepco.
Minutes of the meeting on Feb. 19, 2004, show that the government bureaucrats running the committee moved quickly to exclude his views from debate as too speculative and “pending further research.” None of the other 13 academics on the committee objected. Mr. Shimazaki’s warnings were not even mentioned in the committee’s final report two years later. He said the committee did not want to force Tepco to make expensive upgrades at the plant.
“They completely ignored me in order to save Tepco money,” said Mr. Shimazaki, 65.
Japan Weighed Evacuating Tokyo in Nuclear Crisis February 27 2012 | NYT
Japan Extended Reactor’s Life, Despite Warning March 21 2011 | NYT
Just a month before a powerful earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Daiichi plant at the center of Japan’s nuclear crisis, government regulators approved a 10-year extension for the oldest of the six reactors at the power station despite warnings about its safety.
The regulatory committee reviewing extensions pointed to stress cracks in the backup diesel-powered generators at Reactor No. 1 at the Daiichi plant, according to a summary of its deliberations that was posted on the Web site of Japan’s nuclear regulatory agency after each meeting. The cracks made the engines vulnerable to corrosion from seawater and rainwater. The generators are thought to have been knocked out by the tsunami, shutting down the reactor’s vital cooling system…
Japan ministers ignored safety warnings over nuclear reactors: Seismologist Ishibashi Katsuhiko claimed that an accident was likely and that plants have ‘fundamental vulnerability’ March 12 2011 | Guardian