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AP IMPACT: US nuke regulators weaken safety rules via Yahoo Green

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation’s aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.

Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews.

The result? Rising fears that these accommodations by the NRC are significantly undermining safety — and inching the reactors closer to an accident that could harm the public and jeopardize the future of nuclear power in the United States.

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  1. Norma Field says

    It’s an interesting twist on this story that Gregory Jaczko, the chair of the NRC, was recently under attack for having recommended the (now deemed excessive) 50-mile evacuation zone around Fukushima for US citizens on the basis of the belief that the spent fuel pool at reactor #4 was nearly dry.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hkaABjgff79S2kjPbzCGYeY0LUOQ?docId=30c71eeb8d94454f933fa2a2868e3575

    But the 50-mile zone seems appropriate regardless of the state of that pool, especially as compared with the Japanese government’s prevarications. Of course, we now know, or should know, that comparative safety can only be defined relatively and temporarily because of changing meteorological conditions as well as nature of the terrain and other factors.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. The Atomic Age » U.S.: spent fuel pool never went dry in Japan quake via The Minichi Daily News linked to this post on 2011/06/21

    [...] Also, related link and comment: AP Impact: US nuke regulators weaken safety rules [...]



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