NRC Hid Meltdown Threats to Nuke Plants from Dam Failures: Watchdogs

"An un-redacted version of a recently released Nuclear Regulatory Commission report highlights the threat that flooding poses to nuclear power plants located near large dams -- and suggests that the NRC has misled the public for years about the severity of the threat, according to engineers and nuclear safety advocates."

"'The redacted information shows that the NRC is lying to the American public about the safety of U.S. reactors,' said David Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer and safety advocate with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

A redacted version of the report was posted to the NRC website on March 6. An un-redacted version was recently obtained by the environmental group Greenpeace and shared with The Huffington Post.

Among other things, evidence in the report indicates that the NRC has known for a decade or longer that failure of a dam upriver from the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina would cause floodwaters to overwhelm the plant’s three reactors and their cooling equipment -- not unlike what befell Japan's Fukushima Dai-chi facility after an earthquake and tsunami struck last year. Three reactors at Fukushima experienced a full meltdown, which contaminated surrounding farmland and exiled hundreds of thousands of residents."

Tom Zeller Jr. reports for the Huffington Post October 19, 2012.
 

Monday, October 22, 2012