Monday, January 04, 2010

Turkey Point: The news doesn't get better

Living on Miami Beach, in North Beach, am I far enough from Turkey Point? This question forms in my mind while reading the Miami Herald’s story today fleshing out incidents at the nuclear power plant that already were known. The control-rod indicators that were old and stuck – you had to tap the dial face to see where the all-important control rods were. The valued supervisor who resigned in mid-shift rather than take action he deemed unsafe.

The long story ends with this paragraph:

The October FPL report also said, ``Employees perceive that management has created an urgency to implement change and react immediately to issues without considering resources and work environment impact.'' FPL said it was taking strong corrective actions through mid-summer 2010 to improve employees' attitudes.
So, please advise: is the “corrective action” aimed to operate a safe plant or aimed to improve employees” attitudes?

Reminds of a conversation over the holidays with a lady friend who’s a veteran airline pilot, the topic was the “miracle on the Hudson” and the new book about Capt. Chesley Sullenberger and the Airbus 320 that he ditched in the Hudson River a year ago. It was possible for a superb pilot and a wonderful airplane to combine for a no-fatalities escape from catastrophe. With a lot of luck, too, in the form of the boats that quickly rescued people standing on the wings but partly in the icy river.

It just doesn’t sound like what we’ve got in Turkey Point. Hope our luck is good.

Footnote: The new book is “Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson,” by William Langewiesche.

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