Posts Tagged: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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…)

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.

The nuclear options

Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk will convene a meeting in downtown Chicago tomorrow to discuss the state of Illinois’ 11 nuclear reactors, reports Tammy Webber of Bloomberg News. Illinois has received attention from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission: four of the state’s reactors are the same age and design as the plants involved in Japan’s nuclear crisis. Exelon, the company that runs the oldest reactors, has agreed to participate in tomorrow’s meeting.

Replacing an Illinois nuclear plant

Zion nuclear plant

Here is a local example of how the national energy economy is at something of an impasse. Between 1973 and 1998 there stood the largest U.S. nuclear plant in the town of Zion, which lies on the border of NE Illinois and NE Wisconsin. Run by the Exelon company, the plant was routinely cited for health and safety violations by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Twelve years after Exelon shut down the plant they have now started the “largest nuclear plant dismantling ever undertaken in the United States.” But the dismantling comes as local officials are uncertain what will replace the plant. (more…)