Friday, January 22, 2010

This Week in Nuclear Begins It's 5th Year!

podcast-150x150Download the MP3 Here

Last week the Pakastani government arrested five American citizens on the suspicion that they were planning to attack the Chashma Nuclear Plant.  All five men are dual nationals of Pakistan and the USA and they recently lived in Washington DC. 

According to news reports all five have been questioned by both the Pakistani police and the FBI.  They were arrested while trying to make contact with Al-Qaeda terrorist groups.  Another news report indicates the five have been charged and will stand trial in Pakistan.

The Chasma Nuclear plant is a small 300 Mw pressurized water reactor that was built in Pakistan with the assistance of China.  It is very similar to the Quinshan nuclear plant.  The plant is very reliable – during a recent fuel cycle it ran at 95% capacity factor.  It’s unclear what sort of threat the men posed to the plant, but it is doubtful that there was much of a risk to the plant or to the public.  Even if the men had taken control of the plant, without detailed knowledge of the plant’s safety systems it would be very difficult for them to cause reactor damage.  Core damaging events usually take many hours to reach the point at which the fuel begins to over heat and by that time the military would be able to retake control.khan20091226181810718

Happy Holidays everyone!  This week marks the 4th anniversary of the first episode of This Week in Nuclear.  Wow!  Time has flown by!

Producing the show has been an amazing experience for me; I’ve met people from all around the world, many of whom I consider my friends; I’ve been exposed to new ideas and new situations; and I’ve expanded my knowledge of the nuclear business in areas like politics, communications, and financing.  While I came into this adventure with a lot of experience operating nuclear plants and training nuclear workers, and the longer I do this the more I learn.  God willing I’ll be at this for at least another four years!  Thank you for your support!

I apologize for the slow down in the number of shows over the last three weeks.  I’ve had a very busy time at work since the beginning of December trying to get the typical end of year things taken care of in time for the holidays.  I’m taking some time off, too, so I had to make sure everything was set before I left.  Thank you for your patience and I’ll be starting back up again the first week in January.  Until then I’m taking a little time off.

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