Tag Archives: Ageing Equipment

AP: US Nuke Regulators Weaken Safety Rules

by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

EMBARGOED UNTIL MONDAY JUNE 20; Map shows the locations for the 65 U.S. nuclear plants and their licensing status' for week 1. Graphic will run with the Aging Nukes package. 

Associated Press; Map shows the locations for the 65 U.S. nuclear plants and their licensing status’ for week 1. Graphic will run with the Aging Nukes package. 

In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010 picture, William de Camp, at podium at background left, speaks in a crowded room in Lacey Township, N.J. during a public hearing on a state proposal to force the Oyster Creek nuclear plant to build cooling towers to protect Barnegat Bay from its hot water discharges. Called "Oyster Creak" by some critics because of its aging problems, this boiling  water reactor ...

LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. June 20, 2011, 03:38 am ET

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.

Examples abound. When valves leaked, more leakage was allowed — up to 20 times the original limit. When rampant cracking caused radioactive leaks from steam generator tubing, an easier test of the tubes was devised, so plants could meet standards. Continue reading AP: US Nuke Regulators Weaken Safety Rules