On March, 9, 2012, Beyond Nuclear and the Syracuse, New York-based Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE) filed an emergency enforcement petition with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission calling for the closure of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant. FitzPatrick is a Fukushima-design GE Mark 1 Boiling Water Reactor located on the shores of Lake Ontario in Scriba, New York. Listen to WBAI (New York, NY) radio coverage here.
The coalition is calling for the suspension of FitzPatrick operations based on the discovery that the operator refused to voluntarily install a "hardened vent system" on their unreliable Mark I containment as recommended by the NRC in 1989. The NRC took no action to enforce the installation and instead approved FitzPatrick's pre-existing vent system orginally used to purge containment at low pressure so that workers could enter to perform maintence and inspections. FitzPatrick is uniquely the only Mark I unit of 23 in the US that did not install the "Direct Torus Vent System" or hardened vent. In the event of a severe accident at FitzPatrick today, the operator (Entergy) will vent extremely high pressure, radioactivity and explosive hydrogen gas into a building adjacent to the reactor building with the expectation that catastrophe will be avoided by blowing open the room's double doors to the outside environment.
Entergy's plan to vent a severe accident to save containment relies upon an assumption that there are "no likely ignition points" along the vent path that would detonate the hydrogen explosion seen over and over again at Fukushima. The groups are calling for a hearing to challenge such assumptions in a Post-Fukushima reality.