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Â«e Â· Norttiw.it Arkansoi TIMES, Sunday, Ott. 1Â», t9.74 . ARKANÂ«AI __Â· Despite High Hopes Of AEG Safety, Future Of Nuc/ear Powered Generators Cloudy OITOR-S NOTE - *./.. 'in ord, to be ^ teU the ^ water cooiin* Â« The. Â«Â£ a^it Â± s,, foe, ^jjjnjj* me U ftjjta, to H ood reactor eo.es with w, ^ear/ cHUe, ^ Unit Â«' 1^" EDITOR'S NOTE -- Are the nuclear power plants ! MfeT What about (hose to be built In the next decade? Theoretically, they're safe. But theory hag net yet been fully tested la experiments. And day-to-day eperatlon of some reactors Is turning sp problems no o n e Uiooght would occur. By WILLIAM STQCKTON WASHINGTON (AP) -- By 1965, .nearly one-third of the na- tion's' 'electricity is to be pro- 'duced By nuclear' reactors. But their safety is in doubt' and might remain m doubt for years. More than 110 reactors across the' country now are operating or being built By the early 1980s, there are to be 250 of the costly, installations producing 29 per cent of the nation's elec- 'In order to be free to tell the American people about the po- entially dangerous conditions n the nation's nuclear power plants." Dixy Lee Ray, the AEC hairman, dispatched the agency's top safety research admin- Â· Â· - - Â· -- Â·- late September to scientists at Idaho discuss their con- strator in meet with Falls and cerns. The reactor tricity Despite the Atomic Energy Commission's assurances that the reactors are safe, critics say the nation is staking much of its future energy supply on a technology that might in time be proven unsafe. Most of what is no\y :known about reactor safety is'' based on computer analyses and sim- reactdr behavior. been no full-scale illations of There have -- -tests of reactor safety systems under emergency conditions. These experiments won't take place until 1977 Even then, disagreements may continue because some experts contend the experiinents overlook potential reactor accidents. The'complex controversy has attracted new attention in recent ^ weeks. On'Sept. 20, the SEC prderec 15 reactors shut down within 60 days so that inspections.-- lasting a day or two -- can be made of small auxiliary pipes that are part of larger pipes which carry cooling water to reactor fuel. Cracks in pipes al two reactors have been found. Â· EXPERT QUITS Aiso ' in September, Carl J . Hocevar, a reactor safety ex pert, resigned his post at the ABC's Idaho Falls, Idaho, reac tor test facility where much lafety research has been con ducted. Hocevar's letter of res Ignatlon said he was quitting safety con- roversy usually: pits the Atom- c Energy Commission and the nuclear power industry against small citizens' groups around the country. Prominent scien- ists have lined up on both sides of the debate. The New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, with 100 members, is typical of the dozen or more organizations seek- ng to prevent construction of nuclear power plants. The central issue is whether the giant reactors can be operated without dangerous re- eases of radiation. These coulc come through small daily emissions, or because of a non-nuclear explosion caused by a mechanical failure that no one ihought would occur. Nuclear reactor safety sine the problems with which it plagues the reactor industry are symbofed by the Vermont Yankee reactor in Vernon, Vt. a 'rural village of 20D people on ;he banks of the Connecticut [liver. During 23 months of operation,. Vermont Yankee has shut down 17 times because o accidents, equipment failures lightning strikes, or to correc' dangerous conditions. VALUE FAILS The safety experts centered mary water cooling system ails. But last March 4 when engi- eers in the reactor control oom three floors above flipped black toggle switch to open 10-25A, .nothing happened. The alve gate was stuck. The dec- ric motor supposed to crank it pen quickly burned out. Vermont Yankee officials aid the -valve failure wouldn't ave threatened safety if the ommand to open had come uring an emergency. Other mergency systems would have aken over, preventing the rector from .overheating to the oint that fuel rods melt and adioactivity is released. But the failure was another 3 a 'string of problems laguing the $217 million reac- or since it started up late in 972 after five years' construe ion. Problems with nuclear fue' ods have caused higher than expected releases of radio active gases. Through operator error the Â·eactor ,was partially started up ast year while the reactor pressure vessel was open anc vorkers were inside .the reactor containment building. Automat c safety equipment took over and shut down the plant. No one was injured. their Valve attention V10-25A, recently or a steel alloy valve, larger than a man, dee] inside Vermont Yankee. Se cured behind locked doors In a room, of concrete walls lillec with oppressive heat and ma chinery noise, V1Q-25A hangs ir silent repose anticipating th catastrophic accidBnt everyon hopes will never occur. Valve V10-25A is part: of Ver mont Yankee's - emergency sys tern. AEC rules require -month ly . tests of the 1,0000-poun valve, which ; releases cool wa ter into the reactor if the pr hie accidents centers upon the uclenr fuel inside metal rods uspended in a reactor's prcs- ure vessel. The pressure ves- B! is a large, sealed metal ottle. Nuclear fission in the fuel reduces vast heat which is arried away by water flowing ver the Â· fuel rods. The hent roduces steam to spin turbines hat generate electricity. . In their worst nightmares, luclenr engineers imagine termination of the flow of cooling vater. They call it a "Class 9" accident. Heat from fissioning nude In MANY PROBLEMS all, Vermont Yankee ported 39 abnormal occurrence: lo the AEC,in. 1973 and 12 more ;hrough the first seven month, of 1974. Vermont Yankee's difficultie are typical of those besettini many nuclear reactors. Th AEC compiled 861 abnormal oc currences in 1973 for all reac tors and a similar number th year before. Taken . singly, the problem haven't threatened public safe ty. Nuclear power advocate, point, to the industry's safet record -- no member of th public ever has been injurec However, several plant worker have been hurt by radiation. Reactor ^manufacturers an the public utility companies that operate the plants contend the problems are an inevitable result of working the bugs out of a new, highly complex tech-' nology. . ' rods, ; releasing enourmous quantities of'deadly radiation to the pressure vessel and the reactor containment, a concrete dome surrounding the pressure vessel. , Â· V : . Hydrogen gas might be generated, in the process. If it exploded, the containment might be ruptured, releasing clouds of radion-ladon steam. Adverse meteorological conditions might produce grave loss of life. SAFETY SYSTEMS To prevent this, elaborate emergency systems, similar to it Yankee's, stand readj flood reactor cores with wa- With some exceptions, most experts agree the emergency systems would supply the necessary water if all components functioned properly. Â·But there is . a sharp disagreement over whether the water would prevent a reactor core meltdown. The most intense arguments are about how the fuel rods would behove when the emergency flood waters pour over them. The rods' geometry is plex. The flow ot water over them during ordinary reactor operation must be exact. patterns critics flood would ' be that flow different, . producing hot spots in llio fuel rods. Melting could result, further disrupting water flow and producing more melting. The nuclear reactor industry contends this won't happen. It bases Its confidence on complex calculations and computer-generated mathematical models of reactor behavior. : Noting the high incidence of abnormal occurrences -at nuclear reactors, an AEC task force this year called for tougher inspections throughout the reactor industry. To prevent prob- Vermont Yankee's ,,,,.... valves, tho task force said, the quality.of reactor design construction and operation should be more, closely mom- Â°Em'plias!zing dm'ing an interview that he spoke only for himself, Herbert J. C. Kouts, head of the AEC's reactor safety research program, called for creation of rigorous standards Viirni.nJii i/t *!Â£,"Â· ~ -- - tlmt would assure the use ot "nuclear grade" equipment in koy reactor areas. because a valve has worked well in .a chemical "Just lÂ»vll\vvt Â·Â·**Â·Â· -- . - - . r plant doesn't mean it s O.K. for a nuclear reactor," Kouts said. Old Doc Noss'Gold Still Haunts Army EDITOR'S NOTE :~r' The deep Â·haft Is there all.right, in the desert peak, just as the legend, says. But Is the bidden hoard of (old at the bottom? Enough evidence that it's there has excited a battalion of claimants, as well as the U.S. Army, and won they all may get their an- Â·wer. . . _ . . By LARRY CALI.OWAY" - Associated Press Writer WHITE - SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M (AP) -- Old Doc Noss is haunting the U.S. Army again. His tale of a cavern of gold bars in. the New Mexico desert won't rest. The part-Cheyenne Indian wanderer and occasional foot doctor, whose legal name was Milton Â·Ernest Noss, has been dead ; these 25 years. But the Ito'ry of his gold is perpetuated by' : Ova Noss, his first wife, and by others who still seek the treasure. Lately F. Lee Bailey, the well-known Boston lawyer, has Joined with the believers. Bail ey says his secret clients have found gold hear the Noss claim aining 10 years chipping at e cave-in, looking for lateral assages , and improving two her timbered shafts on thei ountain. . ' CLAIM REFILED In January, 1949, Ova Noss nd a partner refiled the Noss aims on Victorio Peak in eir own names. By this time IB couple was divorced and bss had remarried. He lowed up soon after with exas businessmen Charley yan and Roscoe Parr as part- er-backers. ' One unverified and office report s a y s Ova Fearing an unscientific, un military gold rush, the Army has placed an entire basin in the moonlike San Andres Moun tains under guard. 24-hour armed In; the center of the basin ilahds the lone peak where ' Noss said he found and lost his '.' fortune in the late 1930s. He de j scribed thousands of gold bars '.I stacked in a cavern like cor ".Â· dwood, chests of coins and jew ; .' els, church relics, armamen Â·"' arid 27 tied and tortured human I skeletons. '. That's what Ova Noss, now ;Â· 78, told 'an Albuquerque Trib- 5 une writer in an interview ir -: her trailer home in Cloyis N.M;, before her attorneys iso ;; lated-her from the press. Sh " showed two old swords, a silve Â·' napkin ring with an 1868 dat '-Â· and a two-handled silver bow '-- engraved "Brazil." FOUND CAVERN ; Doc Noss found the cavern . at the bottom of a natura ; shaft, while hunting in 1937 Â· Mrs. Noss recalled the day ; few weeks later when her bus Â· band climbed out of the cavern : dropping'a metal bar at he '- feet. "That's the last one ', those I'm going to haul out." : '.'Why, Doc -- that's yellow -; it must be gold!" ". And Noss, shouting in th Â· desert: "If that's gold we ca . make John' D. Rockefeller loo Â· like a tramp!" Â· In the next two years, Mrs ! Noss related,'she and her chi ' dren.vby. a- previous marriag Â· helped Noss pull heavy sack . out; of the shaft, but he neve ; allowed them or anyone else 1 Â·Â· Me the cavern. She said som 2 Â« f , t h e gold bars were burie Â· elsewhere by Noss, arid other he'iold. ; , Â· Â· Â· . -':;-:.Â·' .' In 1939, as.in so many los ; mine'tales, the treasme cav : was lost. With the.help of a Â· enfjneer, Noss placed riynamil Â· chargts at a narrow plac '.. about 180 feet down the shaf vThe miscalculated blast cave ^ J* in. Â· ; Nosa spent much ot his re Mandatory Measures Could Slop Imports WASHINGTON AP) - The United States might be able to top importing oil by 1985, but m a n d a t o r y energy-saving measures would be needed to iccomplish the feat, the Feder- J Energy Administration says. Outlining preliminary "Proj ict Independence" findings Fri day, the FEA estimated that ome 2.1 million barrels per day could be saved by 1985 i: mandatory controls were im posed.- President Ford called Tues Jay for voluntary conservation iteps that he said could save ,nc million barrels a day by he end of 1975. The FEA said that if the gov ernment takes no new steps tc speed domestic energy produc ion, the nation still would havi ;o import anywhere between 3.! million and 10.2 million barrel: of oil a day in 1985, depending on the price of oil. Present imports averagi some 6.5 million barrels a day. For the short , : run. the FE/ said, U.S. domestic productior cannot substantially affect th .evel of imports. By 1985, the agency proj ected, development of the Nav al Petroleum Reserve in north ern Alaska could provide 2 mi lien barrels of oil a day; otl rhore leasing in the Pacifi Ocean could provide 1.2 millio Barrels; development of o shale could add 750,000 barrel and oil leasing in the Atlanti could provide 500.000 barrels. It said shale oil, synthetic o and geothermal power woul not be significant energ sources before 1985, while sola energy would come into use i the 1980s and 1990s. Energy savings equal to 2. million barrels a day could b achieved through such requin menu as a 20-mile-per gallo fuel-consumption standard fo automobiles; standards fo home and office insulation commercial lighting, appliance and power .plants; tax credit for improving the' energy.eff ciency of dwellings and com mercial buildings and researc to improve industrial processes the FEA said. The TIMES Is On Top of The Newi Seven Days a Weefcl oss kicked him off the peak. Ryan rented a house at atch, N.M., and : Noss visited m there March 5, 1949. An ar- j ument over the gold developed nd witnesses said. Noss ran out E the h o u s e to his pickup ruck, where there was a re- olver. Ryan shot twice from he porch. The career of the 44- ear-old foot doctor-prospector nded with a bullet in the back J his skull.. Police found $2.16 in his vorkclothes pockets. Ryan was ried and acquitted. The Army acquired Victorio 'eak several years after Noss' leath and for nearly two decades has stood between the mountain and the civilian heirs o the Doc Noss dream. "Allowing access to treasure e e k e r s cqujd result in (reaches of national security as well as exposing the searchers o dangerous levels of radiation and possible detonations," says an Army fact sheet. In conversation, information officers adc snakes and scorpions. GOLD FEVER But the Army also admits to an embarrassing spell of mili- 'ary gold fever at the peak 13 years ago. Bailey says, "I'm satisfiec ;hat some Army personnel have looked for the gold in the pas and probably still are." Lt. Col. Donald Keller, range nformation chief, responds: 'Anyone who thinks the Army is officially up there scratching around for a legendary treasure doesn't have his thinking in perspective. We're just flat not in that business." The business here is testing missiles and studying war. The security-restricted range is 100 miles long and 40 miles wide, and the desert is wired with $1.1 billion in scientific equipment;,The place is so desolate it hid the world's first nuclear explosion in 1945. alley says his clients have found treasure and want only to bring it out legally, present it to a New Mexico State court and prove their finders-keepers ownership. The timing is 'good. After Dec. 31, Americans will no longer be prohibited from owning gold bullion. New Mexico Atty. Gen. David Norvell l a s t year signed an agreement giving Bailey's clients immunity from state prosecution for trespass if they gave 25 per cent of the gold to the state. Then he went on to sue the Army lo let the gold claimers in. The Noryell suit raised an old accusation that the Army is conducting "unauthorized and unlawful covert operations" at Viclorio Peak. Ova Noss said the same thing 13 years ago. At first the range commander, Maj. Gen, John Shinkle, denied the story. 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