Posts Tagged: fukushima daiichi

NRC says Diablo Canyon is safe — case closed?

Is Diablo Canyon destined for disaster? Well, according to a story by Suzanne Rust of California Watch published by the San Francisco Chronicle, that all depends on which government agency you believe.

According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (and the utility that owns the plant, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.), the plant is safe. Totally safe. So safe, the NRC insists, that further studies are unwarranted. (more…)

Go to the WSJ for your 24-7 nuclear power coverage

Maybe the Wall Street Journal is trying to set some kind of record.  A couple of days ago it ran four stories about nuclear power, covering issues like earthquake safety at nuke plants, the potential for danger from powerful floods at a Nebraska facility, a push by Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman Gregory Jaczko to move quickly to institute new safety standards, and debates and discussions within the Nuclear Regulatory Council about reforms in U.S. nuclear safety practice following the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan. (more…)

Preventive Journalism alert: Nuclear Regulatory Commission too cozy with nuke plant owners

Tom Zeller, Jr. delivers an intense and worrying look at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, or NRC, which is letting nuclear power plant owners off easy by delaying enforcement of safety standards, avoiding harsh penalties like plant closures, and allowing them to use products for plant safety that don’t meet industry standards. (more…)

Will California reach down deeper for renewable energy sources?

Tidal Farm

Less than five months after California voters strongly rejected a Republican effort to neuter the state’s commitment to renewable energy, the California legislature doubled down yesterday, advancing a bill to the governor’s desk requiring a sharp increase in the use of renewable energy. (more…)

Illinois accelerates nuclear inspections

The Japan nuclear crisis has led Illinois to accelerate inspection of their 11 nuclear reactors. Kurt Erickson of the Quad City Times writes that under pressure from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will review the plants in the next 90 days. The specific idea behind the review is to see if inspection fees need to be increased. State and federal agencies sounding the alarm bells after a major disaster is no surprise: Elizabeth Kolbert argues in the New Yorker that nuclear regulatory policy often depends on public outcry after the disaster.

Chicago nuclear company feels effects of Japan earthquake

Steve Daniels of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to impose new rules and requirements on the Chicago-based Exelon nuclear power plant company after Japan’s nuclear crisis. “A quarter of the nuclear power Exelon generates comes from 30-plus-year-old reactors,” Daniels writes, which “like the Japanese plant damaged by a devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, were built by General Electric Co. and are of the same type and vintage.” Exelon is the largest nuclear plant operator in the U.S. and, prior to the crisis in Japan, had planned a $3.8 billion capacity expansion.

From Fukushima to Diablo Canyon, it’s a small world . . . with a lot of nuclear power plants

With an emergency back up cooling system inadvertently disabled, Pacific Gas & Electric’s Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant was in a highly vulnerable condition for a year and a half, reports David R. Baker of the San Francisco Chronicle. In the event of an accident, the plant would have been unable to pump water to cool nuclear fuel rods — much the same problem as has struck the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami there.

The fault was corrected only after it was exposed during a drill. The incident, along with 13 others, is included in a report released Thursday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which reviewed plant inspections by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The report lauds the NRC for catching and correcting problems, but criticizes the agency for failing to examine and fix the underlying systems or procedures that contributed to specific problems. (more…)