U.S. Nuclear Plants As Flood-Endangered as Japan’s, Part 2

posted by admin @ 23:37 PM
October 24, 2012

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NCR) accidentally leaked an un-redacted report this week, and the fallout reveals that NRC officials know several nuclear plants in the U.S. will endanger American lives if flooding occurs.

Advocates for safer nuclear power policies now insist that NCR has been lying to the public for years.  While behind the scenes they site private ownership of power plants for unsafe conditions, and ever so gently nudge private companies make power plants safer ‘as soon as possible’––they tell the public plants are safe!

Duke Energy operates the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina.  Tom Zeller, Jr. writes in ‘Leaked Report Suggests Long-Known Flood Threat To Nuclear Plants, Safety Advocates Say,’ “. . . 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.”

Employees of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have publicly questioned the safety of the Jocassee Dam, that sits just 11 miles from the Oconee Nuclear Power Plant.  One of the employees, Larry Criscione, has extensive concerns about flood damage that will occur because flood waters will not have exits to large bodies of water as in Japan.  Americans will be threatened.

In his letter to Congress, Criscione says if, after much flooding, Duke Energy is unable to re-establish cooling to the containment buildings. . . “a dam break at Jocassee Lake will cause a Fukushima-style accident in Oconee County, South Carolina.  Except instead of blowing out to sea as happened in Japan, depending on the winds, the radioactivity will be blown over Columbia or Charleston or Atlanta or Huntsville or Knoxville or Charlotte. Whatever the winds, the radioactive fallout will occur over farmlands and not merely over the ocean.”

The un-redacted report also admits that NRC calculates that the odds of the  Jocassee Dam failing in the next two decades are “far higher” that the odds of a tsunami causing a meltdown at the Fukushima plant.

Moreover, Zeller reveals:  “The NRC report identifies flood threats from upstream dams at nearly three dozen other nuclear facilities in the United States, including the Fort Calhoun Station in Nebraska, the Prairie Island facility in Minnesota and the Watts Bar plant in Tennessee, among others.”

Yet the NRC has not required these 36 plants to build high flood walls that could withstand massive Fukushima-type floods.   If the NRC even suggests better safety, companies like Duke just complain.  Recently, the company replied: “. . . an upstream dam failure of our modern dams is a one-in-a-million-years type event.”

Hmm.  Interesting they can so easily gamble with the lives of customers paying their salaries?  I may expect this in Japan, but not here.  As Christian messages warn “Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29: 19).  The American people and the NRC need new visions of the dangers of nuclear power!

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