S nuclear regulators model risk from seismic activity or flooding based on past history. That’s leaving way too much to luck
Watchdog groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) warn that America’s nuclear facilities remain vulnerable to a variety of potential catastrophic events, both natural and resulting from deliberate sabotage or cyber-attack. And they say that federal regulations are currently inadequate to deal with all of these possible disaster scenarios.
Lochbaum points out in a blog that the risks of nuclear power generation are magnified by the fact that the plants are always located near a river, lake or ocean. That is because producing nuclear power creates a lot of heat, which needs to be dissipated by huge volumes of water. These cooling systems are all that prevents the plutonium in reactor cores from going critical and melting down, much like what happened at Fukushima.
But locating nuclear plants near bodies of water has its risks, which range from the clogging of intake pipes by barnacles and mussels – as happened at the Pilgrim nuclear plant near Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1981 – to potential damage from storm surges, such as those created by Hurricane Sandy.
Continue reading at America’s Nuclear Safety Under Scrutiny After Oyster Creek’s Sandy Alert