American Nuclear Plants Are In Danger of Melting Down
The risk of a nuclear meltdown in the United States is even greater than it was at Fukushima.
Yet the U.S. Nuclear regulatory Commission (NRC) has weakened safety standards for U.S. nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster.
David Lochbaum – Director of the Nuclear Safety Project for the Union of Concerned Scientists, who worked as a nuclear engineer for nearly two decades, and has written numerous articles and reports on various aspects of nuclear safety and published two books – explained today:
There are a lot of safety regulation shortcomings that we think need to be rectified to provide a solid foundation for the existing nuclear power plants and any new nuclear power plants we build in the United States. For example, half of the reactors operating today in the United States do not meet the NRC’s fire protection regulations, even though the fire hazard represents the same threat of reactor core meltdown as all other threats combined. And that’s when you meet the regulations. In addition, about a third of the reactors in the United States aren’t protected against flooding if an upstream dam were to fail. So another 25, 27 reactors are not protected against earthquake hazards. And we’ve known this for years, and we’ve tolerated that rather than fixing it.
The proper foundation for nuclear power new and existing would be a nuclear regulator that enforces federal safety regulations, rather than in just setting them and watching plants live well beneath them year after year.