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Published by AJ Weberman
What happened in Japan would be nothing compared to what could happen in America if terrorists target a nuclear reactor.
What happened in Japan would be nothing compared to what could happen in America if terrorists target a nuclear reactor.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: AJ Weberman on Mar 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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9/11 Flight 93 and its full tank of fuel could have collided with the containmentbuilding of operative Three Mile Island Unit 1, located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, ata speed of 450 miles per hour. But Three Mile Island had one of the most robustcontainment buildings of any nuclear reactor, with three feet of concrete and six inchesof steel protecting the reactor, due to the fact that it was located in the flight path of planes landing at Harrisburg Airport.
 In September 2002 nineteen prominent nuclear experts concluded that a reactor containment building could withstand a jetliner crash. Atest was performed in 1988 by mounting an unmanned plane on rails and “flying” it atabout 480 M.P.H. into a test wall.
 The engines penetrated only about two inches andthe fuselage even less. The International Atomic Energy Agency, however, had to admitthat no commercial reactor in the world was designed to withstand the impact of a largejetliner at high speed with a full load of fuel. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissionreluctantly was forced to say the same. It was not the terrorists mission to settle this
1. In September 2002 a cooler holding metal containers linked with the Three Mile Island nuclear plant was found at the Flight 93crash site, spurring an FBI investigation. Investigators weren’t sure what to make of it and said they discovered no explosives,radiation or other threats. It was reported the FBI summoned a hazardous-materials unit from Philadelphia to further examine thecooler that held two stainless-steel containers roughly the size of a coffee cup that in some way indicated that they were from ThreeMile Island but police would not say exactly how they made that connection. When the Philadelphia Hazmet people were contactedthey denied having been dispatched. The containers have not yet been opened. Police said it’s possible that anything could beinside – including a forgetful visitor’s stale coffee. “We don’t know if someone left it here as a prank, or whether it’s misplacedproperty.”2. Matthew Wald “Experts say Nuclear Plant can Survive Jetliner Crash.”
New York Times
September 20, 2002.
dispute as they could have hit a “softer” target such as the spent fuel rods at thePeachbottom or Hope reactors.Built in 1968 on a 620-acre site on the banks of the Susquehanna River, justnorth of the Maryland state line the Peach Bottom Nuclear Facility had its spent fuelrods stored on top of the reactor: Certain types of reactors, called Mk. 1 and Mk. 2, keeptheir spent fuel five stories above the reactors. This is aparticularly vulnerable situation and at Peach Bottomthere was nothing between the spent-fuel pool and adirect hit from an airliner except for corrugated steel.
 Once the water escapes from the fuel pool, the spent fuelrods will become red hot since the fuel rods still generateheat, even years after being removed from a reactor andthe water is needed to prevent meltdown. Water alsoprovides radiation shielding. But the pool requiresadditional systems: heat exchangers to keep the water from boiling away, and filtration systems to pick out theradioactive material that builds up in the water. A jet airliner’s fuel, once ignited, will putan abrupt end to the fuel pools functionality.The NRC has never performance tested a power plants ability to protect spentfuel pools from an aerial attack. In October 2000, the NRC started to recognize theproblem of spent fuel fires in a study of the effects of accidents. However, in over 100pages of analysis, they never considered a jetliner filled with fuel flying into it. The spentfuel pools are so dangerous that a
with a knapsack filled with explosives couldattack it. This would allow him to blow a sizeable hole in the reinforced concrete bottomor wall of a spent fuel pool. At nuclear plants that have boiling water reactors (likePeach Bottom and Hope Creek) things could be even better for the terrorists. In thesecases where the spent fuel pools are above ground and not inside the containmentbuilding, a certain kind of explosive could be launched from outside the fence line intothe side of the pool – the terrorist would not even have to enter the secured area.According to an unclassified study by Brookhaven National Lab, under certainconditions the pool would start draining immediately.
This could result in the immediaterelease of high levels of radiation, quickly turning into an uncontrolled radioactive fire,and the plant could do nothing effective to stop it. This report found that a severe fire inthe spent fuel pool could render about 188 square miles uninhabitable, cause as manyas 28,000 cancer fatalities, and cost $59 billion in damage. It could also destroy thecontainment building underneath it, cause a nuclear meltdown and result in theformation of a radioactive cloud.Following the Islamist terrorists airbourne commando attacks of September 11,2001, the NRC commissioned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine potentialeffects of sabotage directed at spent fuel pools. The Corps conducted several
3. Faye Flam “Scientists Debate Terror Risk At US Reactors” Phillynews.com September 20, 2002 http://www.eco-pravda.km.ru/nute/nn21s.htm4. Danielle Brian “Nuclear Plants and Terrorism” Counterpunch June 5, 2002.http://www.counterpunch.org/brian0605.html
computer-based analyses of the potential effects of armor-piercing weapons and highexplosives on typical spent fuel pools. The analyses found that the penetration of armor-piercing weapons and high explosives could vary considerably, depending, among other things, on the size of the weapon or explosive and the sophistication of the attacker.
 The neat grid of 3,819 spaces at the bottom of the pool where the Peach Bottom plantstores its spent fuel has steadily filled with fuel rods.New Jersey State Assemblyman Gary Guear said he received information from areliable National Guard source that a map of the Hope Creek plant was found by U.S.military forces inside a cave in Afghanistan.
The Hope Creek is a General Electric Mk.1 boiling water reactor, where the spent fuel pool is situated above the main reactor –outside of the main containment area—in the upper third of the reactor’s building.Though Public Service Electric and Gas Nuclear Power Company nuclear spokesmensay the spent fuel pool are protected by hardened concrete and steel-reinforcedstructures, they are not fortified to the same extent as the main reactors. Since the poollounges above ground, it is easier to drain.The Commander and Chief of the United States’ “Zionist-Crusaders” said this inhis State of the Union Message “And the depth of their hatred is equaled by themadness of the destruction they design. We have found diagrams of American nuclear power plants [in their safehouses].”
Had al-Qaeda targeted Peach Bottom, it wouldhave caused the greatest panic America had ever seen. Millions of people would havehad to leave the Washington, Maryland, Virginia area, government employees such asFBI and CIA would have been dislocated, the American economy would have collapsed,cancer rates in all of America would soon have increased rapidly and the revenge of thePalestinians and other Muslims would never be forgotten. There were nuclear reactorsthat were closer Washington like Calvert, but Calvert’s was not a Mk. 1 or Mk. 2 typereactor. One day, by Allah, this will happen! The terrorist scum will not make the samemistake again.
Attacks on nuclear facilities have figured into many terrorist communiqués. TheLiberation Army Fifth Battalion, the group of imprisoned lice who carried out the firstWorld Trade Center Event, had this to say:If our demands are not met, all our functional groups in the army willcontinue to execute our missions against military and civilian targets inand out the United States. This also will include
some potential nuclear targets
. For your own information, our army has more than 150 suicidalsoldiers ready to go ahead.
5. GAO Report July 2003 “Spent Nuclear Fuel – Options to Further Enhance Security.”http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03426.pdf 6. Dennis Thompson and Adam Taylor “Lawmaker Stirs Up Nuclear Plant Worries” Wilmington Delaware News Journal April 5,2002. Jim Garamone “The Price of Freedom Is High, but Never too High” American Forces Press Service February 1, 2002 15:05:21 –0800

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