Final report issued on San Onofre Nuclear Plant – Edison not to blame, it was a Mitsubishi computer glitch

The final review of the radiation leak at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) has been completed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Among its findings are that Southern California Edison (SCE) responded appropriately to the issue, while Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a company based in Japan, is to blame. They found that Mitsubishi’s “faulty computer modeling” resulted in mismatched components that, after only a year, had worn down significantly.

The good news is that we caught this issue before a catastrophic problem occurred, hinting that the safety protocols from SCE were adequate. The bad news is that we were one computer glitch away from a national disaster.

The outcome of all this is uncertain. You can bet that SCE would like to restart SONGS to start making money again, and they can do so by completing the checklist in the NRC report. They have said publicly this will not be until at least September, probably longer, meanwhile the public is digesting this news and preparing a public hearing from the NRC.

Many are speculating that since the plant was not needed during the heavy-use summer days, maybe it is not needed at all. But, that ignores the fact that other power plants were operating above capacity to compensate. Either way something will need to change, whether it’s an acceptance of the restart of SONGS, a new plan to make normal the over-operation of natural gas plants, or some blended model that takes into account the renewable energy sources coming online in the next few years.

 

More on this…

NRC:

 

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Researchers explore Chinese censors – find 13% of posts blocked but not those criticizing government

The 500m people who use the internet in China have long been aware of the presence of the censors who watch their movements online and delete their more inflammatory posts. Now those monitors may have to get used to someone watching over their shoulders.

Teams at Harvard and the University of Hong Kong have been using new software that allows them to watch the censoring of posts on Chinese social-media sites more closely than before. And now they have started to release some of their key findings.

  • Found that 13% of all social-media posts in China were censored.
  • Posts critical of the government are not rigorously censored.
  • But, posts that have the purpose of getting people to assemble, potentially in protest, are swept from the internet within a matter of hours.
  • Censoring of topics, days before the news broke.

Keep reading to learn how this data is allowing researchers to challenge the censorsThe Economist: Monitoring the monitors

 

 

Continue reading Researchers explore Chinese censors – find 13% of posts blocked but not those criticizing government