“Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said U.S. plants affected by a blackout should be able to cope without electricity for at least eight hours and should have procedures to keep the reactor and spent-fuel pool cool for 72 hours. Nuclear plants depend on standby batteries and backup diesel generators. Most standby power systems would continue to function after a severe solar storm, but supplying the standby power systems with adequate fuel, when the main power grids are offline for years, could become a very critical problem. If the spent fuel rod pools at the country’s 104 nuclear power plants lose their connection to the power grid, the current regulations aren’t sufficient to guarantee those pools won’t boil over — exposing the hot, zirconium-clad rods and sparking fires that would release deadly radiation.”
Asteroid or Comet
Liquid Helium is essential for the efficient operation of many Nuclear Power facilities, most notably cooling and cooling systems that prevent a meltdown. Yet Helium in the form required exists in only finite quantities on Earth.
When the Helium is gone – it’s gone, and we may be gone too. (The Guardian: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/why-the-world-is-running-out-of-helium-2059357.html )
Scientists now concede that catastrophic changes in our climate die top human activity may be inevitable. We know sea-levels are rising in many parts of the world. We know our weather systems are becoming increasingly erratic and unpredictable. The exact impact of seal level rise on Nuclear Power plants is mostly uncertain but worrying none the less. In the 12970’s and 1980’s when a large number of new Nuclear Plants were build the United States, the sea level rise in future decades was predicted to be much lower. Due to the constant requirement for water to cool atomic reactors, a total of 9 U.S. nuclear plants were built within two miles of the ocean. Similar thinking has been applied to other nuclear power stations in other countries including France, China and the United Kingdom.
“As many as 12 of Britain’s 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change. Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as being vulnerable now, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future. The sites include proposed new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.” (Climate State: http://climatestate.com/2015/05/19/the-impacts-of-sea-level-rise-on-nuclear-power-stations/)