Skip to main content

No Sharks at a Nuclear Plant

It’s just a little thing, but after hoping that one of the sharks in Sharknado last night would sail toward a nuclear plant, I recalled that there was an equally fine picture about a nuclear energy plant in the path of a tornado and the “disaster” that would occur if the two crossed paths.

So I poked around on IMDB and found it: Atomic Twister (2002), starring Sharon Lawrence and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (between gigs on Saved by the Bell and NYPD Blue, I guess).

Now, in truth, nuclear facilities have been smacked by tornados – Davis-Besse in 1998, Grand Gulf in 1978 – and others by hurricanes – and nothing outlandish occurred. Plants powered down due to switch yard or power line damage or even because it seemed prudent with a storm on the way (this happened during Hurricane Isaac). One reactor at Indian Point powered down for super storm Sandy. Weather can provide considerable jitters, no question, but large industrial structures in general are meant to withstand it – and they have a good record doing so.

Now, all that said, let’s zero in on the IMDB Goofs page for Atomic Twister:

Too many inaccuracies in the way a nuclear plant and nuclear reactor work to list.

And the rating? 3.9 out of 10. Oof – Sharknado got a 4. Well, even into Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s career may an ill wind blow.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…