EVERY TWO WEEKS
   Please leave this field empty
Institute for Policy Studies
RSS Feeds
  • August 24, 2011

    Bellona

    Visit the publisher's website

    Robert Alvarez, a former Energy Department official under the Clinton Administration and the head of the Institute for Policy Studies, drew attention to troubles with North Anna’s spent nuclear fuel storage pools – another issue that plagued the early days of the crisis at Fukushima.

    Spent fuel pools vulnerable to disaster

    "Nearly 40 percent of the radioactivity in the North Anna spent fuel pools is cesium-137 - a long-lived radioisotope that gives off potentially dangerous penetrating radiation and also accumulates in food over a period of centuries,” he said in a statement today.

    “The North Anna Pools hold about 15-30 times more Cs-137 than was released by the Chernobyl accident in 1986 ,” he said.

    The North Anna plant, like the majority of American nuclear reactors’ spent fuel storage pools, are intensely over crowded – more so even than those at Fukushima where.

    According to Alvarez, “the spent fuel pools at North Anna contain 4-5 times more than their original designs intended.”

    He added that “As in Japan, all US nuclear power plant spent fuel pools do not have steel lined, concrete barriers that cover reactor vessels to prevent the escape of radioactivity. They are not required to have back-up generators to keep used fuel rods cool if offsite power is lost,” he said.

    “Even though they contain these very large amounts of radioactivity, spent reactor fuel pools in the US are mostly contained in ordinary industrial structures designed to protect them against the elements,” he said.

  • August 24, 2011

    The Hill

    Visit the publisher's website

    Robert Alvarez, a former senior policy adviser at the Energy Department under then-President Bill Clinton, said the earthquake shouldn’t be seen as “Mother Nature’s warning that we need to adopt the [task force’s] recommendations.”

    That warning, he said, came from the disaster in Japan.

    “I don’t think the quake has caused any reason to be alarmed with what’s happening with this reactor, but the problem here is that a much more important warning has come out of Japan about what can happen and how nature can overcome the best engineering judgments we have,” said Alvarez, who is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.

  • August 23, 2011

    The Los Angeles Times

    Visit the publisher's website

    “When you have a malfunctioning backup generator, it’s something you need to be concerned about," said Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a former assistant Energy secretary during the Clinton administration.  “It’s something that isn’t necessarily going to lead to any serious problem, but those kinds of things should not be happening.” 

    The North Anna plant has accumulated one of the largest concentrations of radioactivity in the U.S., Alvarez said, and the plant’s spent fuel pools contain “four to five times more than their original designs intended.”

  • July 19, 2011

    Project On Government Oversight

    Visit the publisher's website
  • July 14, 2011

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Visit the publisher's website

    But Robert Alvarez, a former senior adviser to the energy secretary and an expert on nuclear power, points out that unlike fuel pools, dry casks survived the tsunami at Fukushima unscathed. "They don't get much attention because they didn't fail," he said. Moving all the nation's fuel once it has cooled in pools for at least five years could cost $7 billion, Alvarez said.

  • July 7, 2011

    Greenpeace International Blog

    Visit the publisher's website

    “Power companies don’t want to pay for it,” says Robert Alvarez, former senior policy adviser at the US Energy Department.

  • July 5, 2011

    The New York Times

    Visit the publisher's website

    But Robert Alvarez, a former senior adviser to the secretary of energy and expert on nuclear power, points out that unlike the fuel pools, dry casks survived the tsunami at Fukushima unscathed. “They don’t get much attention because they didn’t fail,” he said.


    Mr. Alvarez contended that this precaution was not enough to prevent an accident. “A single reactor has five to 10 times more radioactive material in the pool than was released in the Chernobyl accident” in 1986, he said in a telephone news conference on the fuel pools in May.

  • July 2, 2011

    Seattle Times

    Visit the publisher's website

    "We need to step back and take a serious look at the advisability of extending the license on this reactor — and others like it — until these concerns are addressed," said Robert Alvarez, a former top Energy Department official and nuclear-policy analyst for the progressive Institute for Policy Studies.

  • June 19, 2011

    The Tribune (San Luis Obispo) features report “Spent Nuclear Fuel Pools in the U.S.: Reducing the Deadly Risks of Storage”

    Visit the publisher's websiteSee the report

    “In protecting America from nuclear catastrophe, safely securing the spent fuel by eliminating highly radioactive, crowded pools should be a public safety priority of the highest degree,” wrote Robert Alvarez in May in a report for the Institute for Policy Studies, a liberal Washington, D.C., think tank.

  • June 16, 2011

    National Geographic News

    Visit the publisher's website

    The report’s lead author, Robert Alvarez, said, “The largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet will remain in storage at U.S. reactor sites for the indefinite future.”

Page Previous2345678910 Next