reactor safety

Going Beyond the “Design-Basis Event”

A conventional approach to safety is based on the concept of design events.  A building code might say, for example, that a building should be able to survive a 7.0 earthquake.  This approach has been basic to the regulation of nuclear reactors.  As the interim report of the post-Fukushima NRC task force explains: [The regulation[ …


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 …