From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Some stuff that's in the current path of Rita...

September 21st, 2005


South Texas Project 1 and STP 2 are two nuclear power plants located just 90 miles SW of Houston.  That's not very far if an accident occurs and radiation is released during 100+ MPH winds.  There is no guarantee the plants can survive the conditions they are about to face.

STP's two reactors, and all the spent radioactive fuel stored outside the reactor domes in pools at the site, could be subjected to a category 5 (strongest possible) hurricane (ie, BIGGER than Katrina).  Swarms of tornados are also not unheard of during hurricanes.  A fuel tank or truck could, for example, be picked up and lofted into the spent fuel pools.  The plants will be off the grid (if they aren't already) and operating on emergency generators, but these could be knocked out as well.  The intakes or outlets for the cooling systems could be damaged or plugged.  All of these are possible, but none of them are considered credible by the authorities.

Perhaps the most dangerous thing is the arrogance of the plant's operators.  Local residents should simply NOT TRUST their lame assurances (see below).

And they want to build MORE nuclear power plants in these poor, hurricane-stricken areas!

Who knows if the workers at the plants will stay to try to prevent problems?  After all, they didn't swear an oath to faithfully do their job, as the cops in New Orleans did -- many of whom WALKED OFF THE JOB during Katrina.  But even if the nuclear power plant workers DO stay and try to keep things working, there may be NOTHING they can do, and they will just be committing suicide.  Who knows what might crash into these power plants when Rita hurls its fury at them?  Who knows what problems might occur, leading to a meltdown and MASSIVE radiation release?

Details of the two plants are shown below, along with a CNN puff piece (or is it just a press release from the STP owners?).

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

South Texas Project

LOCATION: Matagorda County (nearest major city: Galveston, TX; 90 miles SW of Houston, TX; 8 miles west of Wadsworth, TX, 12 miles SSW of Bay City, TX)

South Texas Project Electric Generating Sta.: Unit 1

1,250 Mw

PWR/Westinghouse “pressurized to 2,300 pounds per square inch to keep water liquid at 600º F” (Source: STP web site.)

Spent fuel on site: 320 tons as of 1995.

Commercial start-up date: Aug., 1988

Current Status: Making waste

1982 CRAC-2 est. “Worst Case” Casualties: 39,000; Property Damage: $112 Billion

South Texas Project Electric Generating Sta.: Unit 2

1,250 Mw

PWR/W (See Unit 1 for information.)

Commercial start-up date: June, 1989

Current Status: Making waste

1982 CRAC-2 est. “Worst Case” Casualties: 39,000; Property Damage: $104 Billion

The Reactor Containment Buildings are 200-foot domes. The plant site is an official wildlife area providing habitat for several threatened species, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, white-tailed hawks and alligators. (Source: STP web site.)

April 19th, 2003: "[A radioactive] powdery material was found April 12 on the outside of two instrument guide tubes where the tubes enter the bottom of the reactor". (Source: New York Times; Unit unknown.)

May 8th, 1990: Pipe crack in reactor at South Texas (Source: Greenpeace; Unit unknown.)

List of nuclear power plants in America:

Visual display of nuclear activities in America:


From: Molly Johnson <>
Subject: Nuclear plant to shut down for Rita

"Thanks Augie, the problem will not be with the
containment, but with the Auxiliary building which
houses the radioactive waste processing as well as the
spent fuel pool.  That building normally only has a
metal siding.  Interesting.  We'll see how this plays
out. Ernie Goitein - nuclear engineer"

Nuclear plant to shut down for Rita
2 Texas reactors built to stand up to Category 5 storm

(CNN) -- Officials at a Texas nuclear power plant in the path of Hurricane
Rita prepared Wednesday to shut down two reactors.

The South Texas Project plant serving 1 million customers is built on
elevated ground in Bay City, 12 miles inland from the Texas coast. It is
designed to withstand storm surges from Category 5 hurricanes.

"We have a specific plan in place on what to do with a hurricane
approaching," spokesman Alan Mikus said. "Our plan calls for the complete
shutdown of the plant in advance of the storm's arrival."

(Watch video of a strengthening Rita -- 1:53)

The two reactor containment buildings are made of 4-foot-thick
steel-reinforced concrete walls -- strong enough to withstand a Category 5
storm, or the direct impact of a Boeing 767.

They are two of the strongest buildings in Texas. "The plant is designed
to withstand tornadic force winds, which are higher than hurricane force
winds," Mikus said.

He added that the plant shutdown would likely occur about seven hours
before landfall. If Rita maintains the forecast track, the hurricane would
come ashore early Saturday somewhere between Corpus Christi and Galveston.

Customers will not lose power during the shutdown because other power
companies will pick up the load, the spokesman said. The nuclear plant
itself will operate off power from other companies for cooling the fuel
supply and spent fuel storage, he added.

If the power grid fails, Mikus said, on-site diesel generators will
provide back-up power to maintain the proper cooling. Asked his biggest
concern with Rita headed toward the region, Mikus said, "I don't know if
we have any."

He said the plant has a "safe shutdown condition" and was designed "to
protect the safety of the public."

Bob Watts, the emergency management coordinator for Matagorda County, said
he is confident the plant "will be on top of the situation."

The South Texas Project is the largest employer in the county, with about
1,300 workers. "Non-essential" workers are being asked not to come to
work, and about 300 "essential" workers will ride out the storm at the
plant, Mikus said.

Construction began at the plant in 1976, with the first reactor going into
operation in 1988 and the second going online a year later. In addition to
the 4-foot-thick walls of the containment buildings, each reactor is
housed inside a carbon steel vessel with 6-inch-thick walls.

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