"Post-Fukushima, Arguments for Nuclear Safety Bog Down"

"Alarms sounded and lights flashed as control panel dials at a nuclear power plant in upstate New York warned that the power for safety equipment was failing. The room went dark until the emergency lights kicked in. But there was no reason to worry on this frozen winter morning."

"This was a simulation by Constellation Energy, the owner of the Nine Mile Point plant on Lake Ontario, for the benefit of two of the five members of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It was part of an intense lobbying campaign against a proposed rule that would require utilities to spend millions of dollars on safety equipment that could reduce the effects of an accident like the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown in Japan two years ago.

In this drill, the company tried to show it could handle emergencies without new devices and, of course, everything went according to plan."

Eric Lipton and Matthew L. Wald report for the New York Times February 26, 2013.

Source: NY Times, 02/27/2013