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Former NRC Chairman Dale Klein Blasts Fukushima Panel for Comparing Fukushima to Indian Point

That anti-nuke panel discussion led by former NRC Chairman Greg Jaczko went off just about as expected today, with Jaczko asserting that local stakeholders should get together soon to arrange for the closure of the plant. You'll forgive us if we beg to differ. In the meantime, another former NRC Chairman, Dale Klein, issued the following statement through NY AREA concerning how many members of the panel attempted to compare a potential accident at Indian Point with the accident at Fukushima Daiichi:
“Comparing the accident at Fukushima Daiichi to a hypothetical accident at Indian Point or Pilgrim is intellectually dishonest and resembles the classic fear mongering intended to create unnecessary anxiety. The additional safety systems and safety procedures added to the US nuclear power plants after the 9/11 attacks have greatly enhanced their ability to handle the loss of off-site power, loss of the emergency diesel generators, and the loss of back-up battery supplies. Just like automobiles today have additional safety features compared to the 1970s designs, todays US nuclear power plants have added considerable safety systems from their initial designs. The nuclear power plants at Fukushima Daiichi did not have the same improved safety systems as implemented at our US nuclear power plants. Comparing the US nuclear power plants to those that have not added new safety systems and procedures is simply wrong.”
More later, if warranted.


Dr. John Miller said…
Your claim that post 9/11 improvements have "greatly enhanced" US plants' ability to fight off a Fukushima accident is itself intellectually dishonest. The nuclear industry was not going to stand for any changes that cost a lot. Remember, since 1997 the industry runs the NRC, not the other way around.

Dr. John Miller
Anonymous said…
I think there are several problems with fission plants: cost vs. the sun's fusion power(solar/wind), insurance not at "free" market, high burnup fuel waste storage requiring 15 years in overfilled pools, and long term radioactive waste transport/storage vs. tempting terrorists. More thoughts:
Bill Rodgers said…
Well it is interesting to see the anti-nuclear faction come out early with the usual non-fact filled comments.

The US based plants were already in better shape then their Japanese counterparts before Fukushima. They are slowly being upgraded to deal with floods even where floods are impossible. So yes, the US nuclear power plants are in a better place to deal with a complete loss of off-site power then the Japanese reactors.

And please provide proof, verifiable, hard proof that the NRC is being run by the monolithic nuclear industry. Claims of the NRC being run by the nuclear industry are just conspiracy type comments without hard evidence. They do nothing to further the debate on US based nuclear power.
Anonymous said…
Wow! It is obvious to anyone working in a nuclear plant licensing capacity that Dr. Miller has no idea what it is like to appease the NRC nowadays. They definitely do NOT work for us.
Anonymous said…
... all that needs to be said about the first comment...
Anonymous said…
"... since 1997 the industry runs the NRC, not the other way around." (Dr. John Miller)

For as long as I've been following nuclear energy issues (since about 1973), the anti-nukes have always accused the NRC (like the earlier AEC) of being an industry lapdog; forever finding newer, more shocking cover-ups, conspiracies, infiltration, and insinuations of murder.

And wasn't Gregory Jaczko the NRC chief during this very era when the Commission was allegedly pro-nuclear-industry? Somebody must have goofed -- unless there realy is no industry control of the NRC.
Anonymous said…
That is correct! The NRC is definitely independent. A good example of the NRC and prevention is Ft. Calhoun. Ft. Calhoun continues to be monitored by the NRC and the folks out at the plant are doing a good job to comply with regulations and NRC oversight.
Anonymous said…
Let's not forget that many of the older (pre-1980) plants operating today are still licensed by the NRC to outdated pre-1970s standards, draft-standards, and regulations in spite of comparisons and claims to the contrary. NRC just cannot face the pushback from licensees if they were to upgrade these safety requirements especially when the plants undergo life extensions and power upgrades. Clearly, the industry is running the show, while the NRC continues to overule their own staff when many safety issues are brought to light.
Anonymous said…
The nuclear industry like almost all industry has to comply with CURRENT regulation to continue operation. That means meeting CURRENT safety standards for protecting the health and safety of the public. Unlike most other industries they also have an Industry supported watchdog in INPO and WANO that assess them to the best in class (Regulation +++). This assessment is used to determine a number of things including their insurance rates.
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said.... Anonymous said..... Anonymous said..... typical anti-nuclear web troll posting links to anti-nuclear drivel and pseudoscience....

So here's pro-nuclear Anonymous post as counter-point...
Traveling Super said…
I think Dr. Miller and Anonymous should do some more research. I have been in the nuclear industry for over 40 years and I am one of those people who has been working at updating the "old" plants since the TMI accident. Contrary to comments here, all plants across the country are on a constant regimen of updating the plants to the latest standards.
As far as solar/windpower go. Watt for watt they don't even come close to competing with nuclear. And whild nuclear has waste to be dealt with remember this: to put in enough wind power to replace one nuclear plant, you - John Q public will give up several hundred square miles of property you can never use again so you're wind mills can juice up your ipad.
What is the better trade off?
The Traveling Super
Anonymous said…
Take away the federal subsidies for wind and solar and see how competive they would be compared to nuclear.
Anonymous said…

It is a sad state of affairs when supposedly competent engineers claim that US plants have to comply with current regulations to continue to operate, and further that they are being continuously updated to the latest standards.

These individuals should know that every plant is unique when it comes to the their committed compliance design and licensing basis. Get smart and get informed on how and why NRC permits older plants to continue to operate using standards and regulations that were applicable, sometimes as drafts in the late '60s and '70s, regardless of life extensions and power uprates!!
gmax137 said…
This discussion is somewhat disingenuous, on both parts. Of course all plants must comply with the current regulations. OTOH, many regulations are written with grandfather clauses ("plants w/ construction permit before xx/xx/xxxx must do (a) (b) and (c); plants with CP after xx/xx/xxxx must do (a) (b) (c) and (d)..."). Further, the standard review plan (SRP) in NUREG-0800 or previously in NUREG-75/087 is not a regulation and is not mandatory. Finally, when the general design criteria (in App A to 10CFR50) were finalized, the licensees had to explain how and to what extent their plants complied with the final GDCs; and the NRC "blessed off" on the designs. Finally, in the context of power uprates/ license extensions, the NRC has generally allowed the plants to maintain their design basis - but not always. They have required extensive modifications in some cases.
Anonymous said…
Dr. Miller's resumes indicates he is an ex-navy nuke LT, with 4 years total in the Navy and zero commercial nuclear experience. He also states he supervised the sonarman, radioman, cooks and storekeepers, these are not nuclear personnel on a sub. For me, he has little credibility to be expressing opinions about the NRC or anything else related to commercial nuclear.
Anonymous said…
...and you would be...?
Anonymous said…
Nuclear power would not only be uncompetitive without it's federal subsidies -- it would not exist. You are an anonymous ostrich.

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