Originally Posted by iPoster
Huh? That is the exact opposite of what I linked to.
Like I said, security from land attack is a concern. No reason to shut down all plants (and increase our reliance on foreign oil/US coal, plus emit more CO2). Plus those tests referred to are going on 10 years old, that PDF you linked to is from 2003. Hopefully security would have improved since then. (I don't have any handy data on that so I can't comment directly) How would the terrorists get the missile launchers into the country? Our security is still fairly loose, but not that loose.
How is security at your local water treatment plant? Many people don't realize that thousands of pounds (maybe cubic feet, not sure how it's measured in large quantities) of chlorine gas are stored at those facilities. The last Navy base I was stationed at had an evacuation plan for the possibility of the neighboring treatment plant suffering a massive gas leak. AFIK the adjoining town where we lived had no planning whatsoever, even though it had the potential depending on wind, etc. to kill everyone withing several miles of the facility.
My family and I live about 30-40 minutes from a nuclear plant. We are much more likely to die in a car crash on the way to the store than a one in a million (billion?) incident that somehow exceeds the design limits of the reactors. That doesn't mean I advocate getting rid of cars and trucks.
Chlorine gas was used as a chemical weapon by the Germans. I can't believe they'd have so much stored like that, amazing.
You said, "The only real security concern I have is some ground force occupying a plant and knowing enough to bypass the safety systems to cause a meltdown". Which is highly likely in my opinion and once they take control what's to stop them using whatever means at their disposal, like explosives to break through the containment wall?
Here's how a CNN piece described the security training in the face of a terrorists attack-
"They are training for an attacking force of five, when in reality they'd come in with at least 12," said Stockton, noting that they also don't allow the "terrorists" to use automatic weapons or high-powered explosives. "It's ridiculously unbelievable."
I live about thirty miles from a nuclear power station and UK security is even more lax than US security. So maybe they'll try attacking a few here first and see how they get on.
Uh oh.....70 times worse than Chernobyl...
"Terrorists targeting the high-density storage systems used at nuclear power plants throughout the nation could cause contamination problems "significantly worse than those from Chernobyl," the study found.
Strapped for long-term storage options, the nation's 103 nuclear power plants routinely pack four to five times the number of spent fuel rods into water-cooled tanks than the tanks were designed to hold, the authors reported. This high-density configuration is safe when cooled by water, but would likely cause a fire -- with catastrophic results -- if the cooling water leaked. The tanks could be ruptured by a hijacked jet or sabotage, the study contends.
The consequences of such a fire would be the release of a radiation plume that would contaminate eight to 70 times more land than the area affected by the 1986 accident in Chernobyl. The cost of such a disaster would run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, the researchers reported."