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  RE: virus: Koeberg nuclear sabotage.
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   Author  Topic: RE: virus: Koeberg nuclear sabotage.  (Read 830 times)
Blunderov
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RE: virus: Koeberg nuclear sabotage.
« on: 2006-02-28 12:37:13 »
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[Blunderov] Local politics gets down and dirty. Polling day is tomorrow and
the ANC has been taking stick because of major power outages in the Cape.
With the announcement that Koeberg has been sabotaged, the ANC has been very
fast to claim that this was politically motivated.The day after tomorrow
probably not too many people will care if they were correct in this
assertion or not.

But is this a whiff of a future? It is not impossible to imagine that the
nuclear industry will soon become as all-pervading as the airline industry
became. And then there was 9/11.

Best Regards.

http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__nati
onal/&articleid=265559
<snip>
Koeberg damage 'was sabotage'   
   
Pretoria, South Africa       
   
28 February 2006 02:25   
   

The damage to the Koeberg nuclear plant was done deliberately and was not an
accident, Minister of Public Enterprises Alec Erwin said on Tuesday.

"The investigation is ongoing and we will bring criminal charges against
individuals soon," Erwin said.

One of the two generators at Koeberg was damaged in December in what Erwin
now described as sabotage, causing severe outages in the Western Cape over
the past month.

Early on Tuesday morning, the other generator at the plant was shut down
automatically due to a trip in the high-voltage power line.

"It will take some time to bring Koeberg up again," said Valli Moosa,
chairperson of the Eskom board.

Erwin said this means that suburbs of Cape Town will go without power for
periods of about two hours until the generator is running again. </snip>



attached: winmail.dat
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Hermit
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RE: virus: Koeberg nuclear sabotage.
« Reply #1 on: 2006-03-01 04:41:14 »
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A small story, about Koeberg, disaster preparedness and such forth.

Koeberg has, as I'm sure every nuclear power-reactor has had, since its inception, an extremely comprehensive, and thoroughly classified "Emergency Procedures Handbook" in which every possible and many completely impossible eventualities are catered for.

When the Table Bay powerstation was decommissioned, there was a lot of amusement poked at the fact that it still had a steam driven generator of a few kilowatts capacity dating from the 1900s installed and running - with switch gear which allowed it to be connected directly into the National grid. Despite having such antiquated features as a hand-operated greaser and injection pump it had been maintained in pristine condition. Nobody present could imagine why this was the case - at least until much later.

A few years later the transmission lines connecting the Cape Peninsula to the National Grid over du Toits Kloof went down during a massive winter storm. By then the Table Bay power-station's equipment had been sold for scrap and the buildings were long demolished. The oil-burning Salt River power-station was mothballed, leaving just the Athlone and Koeberg power-stations in operation. Athlone, being a (dirty) coal burner was shut down (but could be brought on-line fairly fast) and Koeberg, South Africa's only commercial reactor was temporarily shut-down for IIRC refueling and a cooling system issue. A general black-out ensued. Neither Athlone nor Koeberg could be fired up without power to run vital control systems, blowers and pumps, feed systems and such forth. Power which would normally have come from the National Grid. Power which was now unavailable. The situation was unprecedented. All of the Peninsula power-stations were tied together by redundant routes so that, even when the Grid connection was lost, the power-stations  had provided power (and synchronization) to each other.

Recourse was had to the "Emergency Procedures Handbook" at Koeberg, which instructed, "Isolate all delivery switch gear for the Cape Peninsula, call the duty operator at Table Bay and request him to put the 5kW steam generator on-line to provide emergency start-up power." or words to that effect. After the blank looks had become a glow of dawning realization of the scope of the SNAFU, the long retired author of that bit of the document was contacted and explained exactly why a generator capable of an unpowered start-up had been carefully preserved. "You did what to it? Oh, you didn't realize it was important because it was classified information. You thought it had been preserved for sentimental reasons. Right." Shortly thereafter ESCOM bought several large rapid-start gas-turbine stand-by generators and a number of these were installed at each power-station.

I'm sure there is a lesson for somebody in there. I'm equally sure that, like most lessons, it has been ignored. Would that amount to "sabotage" in the new South Africa? My thanks for mentioning this story.
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Blunderov
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RE: virus: Koeberg nuclear sabotage.
« Reply #2 on: 2006-03-01 07:04:22 »
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[Hermit] I'm sure there is a lesson for somebody in there. I'm equally sure that, like most lessons, it has been ignored. Would that amount to "sabotage" in the new South Africa? My thanks for mentioning this story.

[Blunderov] Thanks for your informative reply. I know more now than I was able to glean from the local press. Perhaps I should forward your post to the local hacks?

Thanks also for bringing me up to speed on the DU issue. Can't say I'm glad to hear how easily obtainable it is.

Best regards,
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RE: virus: Koeberg nuclear sabotage.
« Reply #3 on: 2006-03-01 07:32:12 »
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I mentioned it here merely as an ancient historical footnote and because I suspected that it would amuse you. If it were more widely spread it might embarrass people who really don't deserve it (although I would imagine that many if not all of them have retired by now). I pulled the names out of the story as I wrote it before posting it here, as the point of the story was that the system broke down precisely because the perceived need for security prevented people from doing their jobs effectively. Which some tried to spin as sabotage (think Rooigevaar). Despite this I know for a fact that a number of reporters knew the real story (although I don't recall if it was subject to a DNP notice - it may have been as so many of the very best stories were back then - and probably still are).

Regards etc

Hermit
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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