The NRC Ducks the Hard Questions

As Fukushima revealed, the Japanese nuclear industry had a very cozy relationship with regulators.  That kind of coziness is not unheard of in the U.S. context, either. After the Three Mile Island accident, Congress divided the responsibilities of the Atomic Energy Commission, giving its mandate to promote nuclear power to DOE and its regulatory authority …


Rethinking NRC Policy

An NRC task force seems to be heading for some significant policy shifts in light of the Fukushima reactor failures, including tighter requirements for re-licensing and reduced reliance on voluntary guidelines.  The two commissioners on the task force seem to be reassessing the Commission’s previously nonchalant attitude toward extreme events.  ClimateWire reports: NRC policy has …


A Modest Proposal for Increasing Nuclear Safety

The N.Y. Times has a revealing, lengthy article about the NRC that raises disturbing questions about the agency’s oversight of the industry.  Here are three points that are especially disturbing: First, the NRC has weakened requirements for relicensing to the point where the process involves expensive red-tape but the result is a forgone conclusion.  For …


Multiple Failures Exposed Diablo Canyon to Higher Risk

It is a coincidence that the Union of Concerned Scientists has released  a new report on nuclear power plant safety while the Japanese nuclear crisis continues to unfold. Yet, the heightened awareness that many people now have of the importance of nuclear plant cooling systems may put us in a better position to understand the …