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Thursday
May192011

Beyond Nuclear and co-petitioners demand NRC come clean on flawed "fixes" at Mark I reactors

In a press statement released on May 18, 2011, Beyond Nuclear demands that the NRC make public how many U.S. Mark I reactors have, or have not installed the venting system that demonstrably failed at Fukushima. Following on an exposé in the New York Times and the April 13, 2011 filing of its own emergency enforcement petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Beyond Nuclear is renewing its call on the NRC to suspend the operating licenses of 23 Mark I units in the United States. Twenty one of the US Mark I reactors are nearly identical to the Fukushima reactors that exploded into shambles and that are leaking radioactivity into the air and sea. All 23 units installed the same experimental containment venting system that failed at Fukushima.

Beyond Nuclear charges that while some U.S. Mark I reactors possess the same now demonstrated failed venting systems, the NRC is aware that other Mark I  reactor operators may not even have installed – and some may even have uninstalled – the now controversial venting systems. If the venting systems had worked as designed they would have prevented extensive damage to containment from the devastating hydrogen explosions witnessed at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

“The NRC left the retrofit of this experimental venting system to the voluntarily discretion of the US reactor operators,” said Paul Gunter, Director of Reactor Oversight at Beyond Nuclear. “Now that this experimental containment vent is demonstrated to have failed at Fukushima, we need to know who installed it at US plants, who didn’t and the justification for the continued operation of these deeply flawed and dangerous reactors,” he said.

Read the full Beyond Nuclear petition.