Flood Threat To Plants Covered Up By Regulators: NRC Whistleblower

"In a letter submitted Friday afternoon to internal investigators at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, a whistleblower engineer within the agency accused regulators of deliberately covering up information relating to the vulnerability of U.S. nuclear power facilities that sit downstream from large dams and reservoirs."

"The letter also accuses the agency of failing to act to correct these vulnerabilities despite being aware of the risks for years.

These charges were echoed in separate conversations with another risk engineer inside the agency who suggested that the vulnerability at one plant in particular -- the three-reactor Oconee Nuclear Station near Seneca, S.C. -- put it at risk of a flood and subsequent systems failure, should an upstream dam completely fail, that would be similar to the tsunami that hobbled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility in Japan last year. That event caused multiple reactor meltdowns. ...

In addition to the Oconee facility, the report examined similar vulnerabilities at the Ft. Calhoun station in Nebraska, the Prairie Island facility in Minnesota and the Watts Bar plant in Tennessee, among others."

Tom Zeller Jr. reports for the Huffington Post September 14, 2012.

Source: Huffington Post, 09/17/2012