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At least 300 tons of radioactive water still pour daily into the Pacific Ocean.The utility wants to dump even more untreated outflow into currents that are already testing radioactive along the California coast.““““““““““““““““““` The catastrophe that began at Fukushima four years ago today is worse than ever.
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Westinghouse pioneered and built the Pressurized Water Reactors that count for about half the world’s fleet.
The AP 1000 was meant to provide a safer, more economical upgrade.
(The iconic company dated back to the 1800s, when it won the contract to produce and deliver the first major loads of commercial electricity from Niagara Falls to the American northeast using technology developed by the legendary Nikola Tesla.) The Westinghouse bankruptcy has driven its parent company, Toshiba, to the brink of bankruptcy as well.
Toshiba has offered some $2.2 billion to help finish the South Carolina project, but many doubt the giant company could actually make good on the pledge.
Meanwhile, Germany is amping up its renewable energy generation with a goal of 80 percent or more by 2050.
France—once nuke power’s poster child—has turned away from new reactor construction and is moving strongly toward renewables.
An angry grassroots movement has kept shut all 54 reactors that once operated in Japan. Big industrial windmills installed off the Fukushima coast are now thriving.
Ohio’s Davis-Besse, New York’s Ginna, five reactors in Illinois and other decrepit American nukes could shut soon without huge ratepayer bailouts.
But anunending stream of technical failures and soaring costs, as well as plummeting prices for gas, wind, and solar, and a drop in electricity demand, doomed the project.
In a catastrophic financial failure, the four reactors it was building in South Carolina and Georgia drove Westinghouse into bankruptcy in March.
Diablo Canyon was retrofitted—probably illegally—with 2 million in replacement parts untested for seismic impact.