Wolf Creek nuclear plant among three in U.S. that need more oversight, NRC reports (via McClatchy and The Kansas City Star)

You might want to make a copy of this post. When someone is carefully explaining to you as if to a small child that while there have been  problems, this kind of thing (meltdowns, leaks, etc.) couldn’t happen in the United States – While he is consigning you to the ranks of the unrealistic tree huggers who unlike him don’t deal with the “real world,” you might wave this in front of his often unseeing eyes and watch a momentary doubt pass like a wedding veil briefly over his face. He’ll think for a moment about claiming that the NRC is also a bunch of tree huggers but decide against it. Then smiling he will regain the offensive by saying, “Thats why it can’t happen here. Our guys are better than there guys when it comes to safety. See right there in the paper. You’ve proved mycase.”

At this point, give up on persuasion. Give up on logic and reason. You are dealing with a religion, a belief that the real world involves cruel often vicious decisions and when someone raises a moral or ethical question or even a simple fact, they are to be considered, “unrealistic.”

They believe that we must be cruel and unflinching, ever striving to be tougher and less principled than our enemies, who are everywhere.

I am willing to consider nuclear power as a part of an energy policy but I want careful safeguards and real assurances. The PR nonsense and hack formulaic writing gives me that impression that once I am consigned to the anti-nuclear wackos, my concerns are irrelevant.

If that is going to be the level of discourse, then I don’t want any nuclear power anywhere on this planet.

The concerns of many that there were problems in safety have been ratified cruelly by events. And yet I read over and over again how this is just a bump in the road while listening to the insults directed against those who committed the greatest crime possible in the dispute over nuclear power, being right.

James Pilant

By MIKE McGRAW From the Kansas City Star

The Wolf Creek nuclear power plant is among three in the United States that need more intensive oversight, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission told Congress on Thursday.

NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko stressed that all 65 nuclear generating stations, which have a total of 104 reactors, are operating safely. But Jaczko said Wolf Creek and two others need a higher level of review because of continuing problems with safety systems and unplanned shutdowns.

Jaczko told a House Appropriations subcommittee that the three plants “are the ones we are most concerned about.” The other two are the H.B. Robinson plant in Hartsville, S.C., and the Fort Calhoun plant near Omaha, about 180 miles northwest of Kansas City.

One thought on “Wolf Creek nuclear plant among three in U.S. that need more oversight, NRC reports (via McClatchy and The Kansas City Star)

  1. Andrew

    I agree with you. When it comes to our nuclear energy policy, we can never be too careful when it comes to safeguarding against meltdowns and leaks.

    I think a good place to start is to make the US Navys model for nuclear plant operation and maintenance the standard. The Navy has been managing reactors for over 60 years with no major incident. Navy reactors are designed to be much more robust and much safer. Afterall, not only do they need to power an entire submarine or aircraft carrier, but it has to potentially do it in a combat situation. Navy reactors have in excess of 3 times more insulation than the current minimum required in commercial plants in the United States.

    To put it in perspective, the amount of radiation released by ALL Navy nuclear activity in the PAST 10 YEARS is LESS THAN the amount released at any one commercial reactor this past year alone.

    Overall, I agree with your consensus. No matter how many safeguards we take, nothing can ever 100% guarantee that a meltdown will never happen again. No Titanic will ever be unsinkable. Nature seems to have a way of making sure of that. We can, however, do a better job of making sure that the probability of a catastrophic failure is as low as possible.

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