Now, far be it from us to lecture people on how to run their nuclear reactors, but if yours has just suffered its eighth fire in two years despite repeated warnings about fire safety - as has happened at the the-dummies-built-it-in-an-earthquake-zone-and-there-was-an-earthquake Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant - might we humbly suggest you’re in the wrong business? Maybe a crematorium might be more your thing?
There’s also more news on French nuclear chumps Areva who, like a boxer long past his prime, seem desperate to fight anybody for money. Not content with going ten rounds with Finnish utility TVO over the increasingly embarrassing construction of the OL3 reactor in Olkiluto, Finland, Areva are now squaring up to erstwhile business partner Siemens. The German company, who announced they were splitting up with their French partner late last year, is now getting cosy with Russian rival Rosatom. Yes, it’s like a really bad soap opera, isn’t it? Who gets custody of the kids? Jealous Areva aren’t happy about this and are threatening to sue Siemens for breach of a ‘non-competition clause’. The French nuclear supervillain wants exclusive rights to destroying the planet and it’s not going to let any upstart Russians steal their moment of glory.
Next we have the imminent and history-making Mixed-Oxide (MOX) plutonium transport from France to Japan. The French army and riot police turned out in force – dozens of military and police vehicles - for the 20-kilometre journey between the La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant and the port of Cherbourg from where the cargo will set sail. It’s a shame the same attention to danger and security isn’t being given to the transport ship which will just have only light naval guns and 42 armed police to protect it during its 9,000-mile voyage. Keep an eye out for those Somali pirates, guys!
Speaking of which, it could be a good time for those guys if they wanted their own nuclear ‘renaissance’. If they fail to get their hands on the 18,000 kilograms of MOX plutonium on its way to Japan (enough for 225 Nagasakis), they could always raise the Jolly Roger and set their sails for one of these babies. That’s right – those crazy kids at Russia’s Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation are about to build four floating nuclear power plants. How many warships will it take to guard one? Who guards it when it’s docked? Are they torpedo-, tsunami-, iceberg- and Somali pirate-proof? Let’s hope these floating reactors don’t become undersea reactors. The power lines won’t reach that far for a start.