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Ask the Dust (at Calvert Cliffs)

102320765-7dde5b05-8412-4c8f-88d0-4dba3aa026a1This is called overselling your story:

Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Facility in Lusby, Maryland recently began a lengthy roof replacement process, due to take over a year. During such renovations, it is common for dust and debris to become a menace, quickly covering all the surfaces in the building below. While such a mess is often a nuisance, in the case of a nuclear facility such as Calvert Cliffs, it can become a serious safety hazard. The tiniest wood splinters, or the smallest nails, could fall into the turbine’s mechanical openings and cause a nuclear accident. For this reason, the services provided by ShieldWorks are absolutely invaluable.

Well, no, it could likely not even cause a turbine accident. What’s supposed to happen? – all the nuclear electricity backs up from the broken turbine, overloads the reactors and causes untold grief? It’s like a nuclear Rube Goldberg machine.

A bit of a shame, really, because the story about ShieldWorks is pretty interesting. Nuclear facilities are really big industrial plants and ShieldWorks has found a unique niche for itself – making sure dust does not fly all over the place during construction projects – though the article would benefit from more explanation of the actual process. Trade secret, maybe.

When I first read the term ShieldWorks, I thought radiation. Nope. Dust. Worth a read, if the breathless disasters of the first paragraph don’t throw you.


The shooting took place on May 7 in Genoa, Italy, and responsibility was claimed (in a letter sent to a newspaper) by a group calling itself the Olga Nucleus of the Informal Anarchist Federation, or IAF. The victim, Roberto Adinolfi, was the CEO of a nuclear energy firm owned by the Italian State Defense group, Finmeccanica.


Adinolfi may have been an easy target, but in the letter they warn that this attack is just the beginning and that Finmeccanica will be targeted a further seven times, one attack for each of the Greek anarchist members of the Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei currently in prison.

Adinolfi was not killed. I doubt we need to tell anyone that this line of action basically kills all support for whatever it is being supported. Terror is terror, whether directed at nuclear energy concerns or political enemies. The Italians have been through this kind of thing before – I’m old enough to remember the Red Brigades and Aldo Moro – and I expect they can dispatch these creatures pretty quickly.


International Herald Tribune headline:

Who Will Be Next to Call Nuclear Energy Indispensable?

All together now: Me! I’ll be the next!!

Roberto Adinolfi.


jimwg said…
I kind of wish ShieldWorks did a rewrite or retraction of that blurb. It really undercuts the whole safety reason they're on operation, not to talk about unwittingly "confirming" the FUD out there.

Man, I'd love to present Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda with the giant brass gonads award for being one gutsy pol in the face of a sea of fear! Good man, good man! Let's hope he backs himself up with major nuclear public education programs and PSAs to remind people that it was waves that killed over there, not any nukes! I mean com'on, the worst a quake can do one and no lives lost? We happily tolerate hundreds if not thousands wiped out by oil and gas accidents without closing much down! Get that message out, Noda! Shunning nuclear energy is like looking a gift horse in the mouth!

James Greenidge
Queens NY

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