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Are Nuclear Plants Safe in Hurricanes? Incident During Sandy Suggests They May Not Be

By       Message Richard Schiffman     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H2 11/2/12

"The NRC has been in possession of relevant, notable, and derogatory safety information for an extended period but failed to properly act on it."

In another section of the report, about the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska, NRC redactors removed information indicating that the failure of the Oahe or Fort Randall dams could result in levels of rampaging water higher than the plant's flood protection walls. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission evidently believes that it is better to hide the facts about nuclear risks than to fix the problem.

Critics allege that not only does the NRC withhold critical information, but also fails in many cases to enforce regulations that are already on the books. David Lochbaum warns:

"I'm most concerned about the NRC's practice of allowing unsafe reactors to operate. UCS's Nuclear Power Information Tracker shows 47 reactors that NRC knows to violate fire protection regulations and 27 reactors with seismic protection known to be less than the seismic hazards they face. These pre-existing vulnerabilities mean that the American public is protected more by luck than by skill."

And if superstorm Sandy, and the increasing frequency of other extreme weather events in recent years is any evidence, America's luck may be running out.

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Richard Schiffman is the author of two spiritual biographies and is a poet based in New York City, as well as a freelance journalist. His passions are his love of nature, studying the world's great mystical traditions and activist writing and (more...)
 

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