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The Nuclear Industry Wants Fewer Inspections

ID 7610959 © Meryll | Dreamstime.com

On Wednesday, the United States and India agreed to building six U.S. nuclear power plants in India.  The two countries have been discussing the supply of US nuclear reactors to India for more than a decade.  However, India has only now met liability rules, which require the costs of any accident to be channelled to the operator rather than the maker of a nuclear power station.  India plans to triple its nuclear capacity by 2024 and wean themselves off fossil fuels.  Meanwhile in the United States, the nuclear industry is pushing for fewer inspections.  Specifically, the industry group has asked that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reduce the “burden of radiation-protection and emergency-preparedness inspections.”   They have also requested the NRC cut back on what it tells the public about plant problems.  Reasons for the request stem from the impact on utilities when the NRC makes public the problems found at a plant. Utilities are bombarded with questions from press and locals and they are concerned with the potential financial impact press releases can have.  Does full dislosure hurt business?  

Nevelyn Black's picture

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on March 26, 2019

Nevelyn, because understanding of nuclear energy by the public is mostly gleaned from horror films and sensationalist media accounts, yes - I believe nuclear plants should be permitted to restrict disclosure to only events which might endanger the public.

If airlines were forced to disclose every maintenance issue to the public no one would ever fly. Like airplane maintenance, issues arise all the time at nuclear plants - hundreds every day - but for some with too much time on their hands, each is a sign of approaching Armageddon.

For Greenpeace and other anti-nuclear fear factories (NRDC, EDF) those people are gold. For the rest of us, they're only making climate change a bigger problem than it already is. They either need to 1) get a life, or 2) educate themselves, or 3) both? Me, I'm not holding my breath in wait for any of those to come true.

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