Nuclear Power Regulators Find Faults in U.S. Nuclear Emergency Preparedness

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. - The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) held a public meeting today to release the 60-day findings of the NRC task force reviewing NRC processes and regulations in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns.  The review found faults in plant preparedness systems and the regulations that prescribe the extent of those systems.  For example, the review highlighted the fact that ‘Severe Accident Management Systems’ are inconsistently implemented across the country.  The NRC has continued its licensing and re-licensing of nuclear reactors without any new protections against disasters.

Environment America’s Clean Energy Advocate, Sean Garren, issued the following statement:

“The events unfolding in Japan are a wake-up call for Americans about the dangers of nuclear power, but the NRC seems to have hit the snooze button as its own task force rings the alarm. The findings released today point to many gaping holes in the safety of our nation’s nuclear power plants.  In continuing to its licensing and re-licensing of nuclear reactors, the NRC is gambling with our environment and our families’ health, and the odds just keep getting worse.

“We have now seen that the consequences of losing this bet are enormous. On the same day as the NRC task force highlights some of the risks associated with U.S. nuclear plants, the Japanese government announced they will evacuate yet more families from around the Fukushima reactors, highlighting the disaster we risk.

“At this juncture, we should ensure the relative safety of existing plants, put a moratorium on any new plants, and begin to phase out our use of nuclear power. In all cases the process should start, but not end, with plants on fault lines, near coasts or large bodies of water, in the hurricane zone or of the same design as the reactors in Japan.  We can and must move away from energy technologies that put our environment and families’ health at massive risk and repower our country with clean, renewable energy, like wind and solar power.”