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Monday
Mar182013

David Lochbaum of UCS to speak about Palisades in west MI on Thurs., April 11th

David Lochbaum, Nuclear Safety Project Director, Union of Concerned ScientistsAs announced by these fliers, the Union of Concerned Scientists' director of nuclear power safety, David Lochbaum, will speak in Kalamazoo, MI, at Western MI U., at noon time Eastern, and in South Haven at the Beach Haven Event Center (at 7 PM Eastern), about safety risks at the problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor belonging to Entergy Nuclear, on Thursday, April 11th. Beyond Nuclear is proud and honored to be a co-sponsor of the events.

Lochbaum's new report, “Tolerating the Intolerable (Holes in the Nuclear Safety Net),” unfortunately, yet again this year, prominently features Palisades as having suffered one of the nearest-misses to disaster at U.S. atomic reactors in the past year.

Last year's report ("Living on Borrowed Time") documented 2 near-misses at Palisades alone, and a total of 5 at Entergy reactors (2 at Palisades, 2 at Pilgrim near Boston, and 1 at Cooper in Nebraska, operated by Entergy on behalf of owner Nebraska Public Power District). Thus, Entergy was responsible for a third of the near-misses in the U.S. that year.

Taken together, Palisades' three near-misses in just the past two years places it tied with Fort Calhoun, NE (with three near-misses), and just behind Wolf Creek, KS (with four near-misses), as the atomic reactors with the most near-misses in the past three years (since Lochbaum began publication of his annual NRC and nuclear power safety reports). 

Lochbaum has long watch-dogged Palisades in particular, due to its uniquely bad (that is, risky) operational performance. For example, in July 2010, he wrote a report about Palisades' 40 years of control rod drive mechanism (CRDM) seal leaks: "Headaches at Palisades: Broken Seals and Failed Heals." His report included a CRDM through-wall leak at Palisades in 2001. His current annual report, mentioned above, highlights the significance of a 2012 CRDM through-wall leak at Palisades, the subject of an "All Things Nuclear" blog Lochbaum wrote last December, "Palisades reprises Davis-Besse," referring to the Hole-in-the-Head, reactor lid corrosion fiasco of 2002 at a reactor near Toledo, which the U.S. Government Accountability Office has reported as the most infamous nuclear safety incident in the U.S. since the Three Mile Island meltdown 34 years ago.