Monday, May 23, 2011

US Inspections Show Some Nuclear Plants are Unprepared

Following the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident, the US launched inspections of the 104 power plants in the U.S. Of them, less than one-third were found to have design or safety flaws that would pose a significant threat in the event of a dual emergency, such as a fire and an earthquake.
Although the number of nuclear plants found not to be prepared for coinciding disasters was some-what low, the results of the inspection bear cause for concern:  
“Firefighting equipment staged to respond to severe fires or explosions was not stored in hardened buildings because a severe fire and an earthquake "were not assumed to occur coincidentally."
The obvious question here is why are some nuclear plants not prepared for the worst? If nuclear energy is the cure-all for our ever growing need of energy, shouldn’t nuclear plants be built with a worst-case-scenario mindset? If they were, it’s possible that some fears would diminish and nuclear energy could get more credit (and more funding).
~Erin Bovelle~

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