"Disaster Plan Problems Found at U.S. Nuclear Plants"

"ROCKVILLE, Md. — Despite repeated assurances that American nuclear plants are better equipped to deal with natural disasters than their counterparts in Japan, regulators said Thursday that recent inspections had found serious problems with some emergency equipment that would have made it unusable in an accident.

In addition, the staff of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission acknowledged that the agency’s current regulations and disaster plans did not give enough consideration to two factors that had greatly contributed to the continuing Fukushima Daiichi crisis in Japan: simultaneous problems at more than one reactor and a natural disaster that disrupts roads, electricity and other infrastructure surrounding a plant.

The briefing was part of a review requested by the commissioners to evaluate the vulnerability of American reactors to severe natural disasters like the ones that hit the Japanese plant in March."

Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times May 12, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Despite Problems, NRC Says US Nuke Plants Safe" (AP)

"Room For Improvement At U.S. Nuclear Plants: Task Force" (Reuters)

"Forget Earthquakes: Fires Are the Biggest Threat to US Nuclear Plants" (Mother Jones)

Source: NY Times, 05/13/2011