“It’s premature for the company to assure the public that there was no safety hazard at this point. This is a reactor vessel that has very high pressures pushing outward,” said NC WARN’s Jim Warren. Warren said the plant being shut down could cost Duke Energy $1 million a day. Warren believes Duke Energy will put the bill on its customers.
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“To have a crack in a reactor vessel head that went undetected for at least a year, that’s very troubling,” said Jim Warren, executive director of utility watchdog NC WARN, a frequent critic of Duke and Progress.
An oft-repeated jibe against renewable energy sources like wind and solar power by (usually) smug nuclear power proponents is, “What are you going to do when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow?”
Thirty-seven clean energy groups today submitted a formal petition for rulemaking to the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking adoption of new regulations to expand emergency evacuation zones and improve emergency response planning around U.S. nuclear reactors.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is legally required to slow down reactor licensing and relicensing in order to address major changes urged by the agency’s own experts who have reviewed the Fukushima accident, according to 19 separate legal challenges filed today by a total of 25 public interest groups.
Also see this article about the legal challenges:
Groups step up call for NRC delay after Fukushima – Reuters, August 11, 2011
These are rocky days at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which finds itself under attack from the outside for decisions ranging from new reactor designs to safety issues that have languished for years, including the agency’s failure to get serious about fire hazards.
“Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind,” Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.
Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening or ignoring those standards.
Associated Press Exposé
Tritium leaks found at many nuke sites, June 21, 2011
U.S. nuke regulators weaken safety rules, June 20, 2011
Three Minute AP Video Summary, June 20, 2011
Populations around US nuke plants soar, June 27, 2011
Other News Items
U.S. regulators opening up on flawed nuclear power plant policing – Center for Public Integrity, June 21, 2011
NRC waives enforcement of fire rules at nuclear plants – ProPublica, May 11, 2011
A more likely nuclear nightmare – Center for Public Integrity, May 10, 2011
Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.