CENSORED IN 1981:

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A DEAD NUCLEAR REACTOR?

On July 23, 1976, Pacific Gas & Electric’s Humboldt Bay nuclear reactor in northern California shut down for refueling — and has not reopened since. The plant is located in an earthquake zone and regulators closed it down due to fear of possible ground movement.

Now the facility is a leading candidate to become the largest light-water commercial reactor in the nation ever to be decommissioned. Previously decommissioned reactors have been government sponsored experimental projects.

The problem is that PG&E apparently does not know how to decommission Humboldt Bay; it has never before had to deal with a dead nuke. Further, researchers discovered that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) does not require decommission plans at the time off licensing….

Two solutions being explored by the NRC are “mothballing” and “in-place entombment.” Both possibilities have a problem — they require more than 230,000 years of safe storage.

This story, which appeared in the January, 1981, issue of Mother Jones, was the #3 censored story of 1981.

REPORTED IN 2010:

6.5 QUAKE ROCKS HUMBOLDT COUNTY

The Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat reported on January 10, 2010, that “A powerful earthquake measuring magnitude 6.5 and centered 27 miles off the coast of Ferndale caused significant damage in Humboldt County on Saturday, but no deaths or injures were reported.

“The quake hit at 6:27 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey, shattering storefront windows in the Victorian town of Ferndale, emptying grocery shelves and toppling chimney, bookcases, and cabinets in some homes. Power was cut off in several coastal communities, gas lines ruptured, and furniture and televisions were knocked over in Eureka and Arcata.”

On January 13th, the Press Democrat reported that “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in Humboldt County“… saying the total damage could top $28 million.

Ed Note: The only reference to the nuclear power plant appeared in the January 10, 2010, issue of the San Francisco Chronicle which noted that PGE “reported no damage at its gas-powered Humboldt Bay Power Plant, where a batch of spent nuclear fuel rods have been stored for years.”

Those who cannot remember the past

are condemned to repeat it!

-George Santayana