Nuclear Movement Facing Meltdown
Just as Dems were getting on board with nuclear power, the Japan tragedy promises to be a new roadblock. As Chris Wallace reminds, Three Mile Island led to a 30 year moratorium.
Much of Japan's electrical and transportation infrastructure has been destroyed, and the battery backups being trucked in to keep the coolant pumps running last only about eight hours apiece. That makes this "far worse" than the threat of the Three Mile Island accident, Alvarez said.
Japanese officials have begun pumping seawater into a second nuclear reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant 140 miles north of Tokyo to cool the reactor core in a last-ditch effort to stave off a core meltdown. The action indicates that the reactor's normal backup cooling system has failed and is no longer able to supply fresh water to the core.
Officials at Tokyo Electric Power Co., which owns the plant, have been struggling to keep six shut-down nuclear reactors cooled because seawater from the tsunami that followed Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake damaged the diesel generators that power the circulating pumps.