Groups challenge insufficiency of NRC Post Fukushima Orders to install reliable hardened vents on all U.S. GE Mark I and II reactors and modify spent fuel storage pools
Beyond Nuclear has co-petitioned with Massachusetts-based Pilgrim Watch in a legal intervention and request for a public hearing before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission challenging the insufficiency of two of the agency’s post-Fukushima Orders issued to the nuclear industry. The groups seek a public hearing on the insufficiency of a NRC Order to require nuclear power plant operators to install “reliable hardened vents” on the unreliable containment structures at all GE Mark I and Mark II Boiling Water Reactors by December 30, 2016. The groups charge that the Order fails to require the installation of a radiation filtration system in the venting line to the atmosphere raising the risk to worker safety and public health during a nuclear accident. The groups have also challenged a NRC Order to require additional instrumentation and back-up power to make up water in overcrowded spent fuel pools because the Order fails to address the fundamental problem and threat from high-density storage by offloading the older and cooler nuclear waste into smaller onsite dry storage casks. Failure to reduce overcrowding in nuclear power plant spent fuel pools present unacceptable risks such as those now facing Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4 where the damaged reactor building is threatened with collapse in the next earthquake and as a result significantly larger radioactive releases than the combined reactor accidents at Units 1, 2 and 3.