BEYOND NUCLEAR PUBLICATIONS

Search
JOIN OUR NETWORK

     

     

 

 

« UCS's Lochbaum: "2,000+ words on open phase condition at Oconee" | Main | SNL: "Palisades plant critics vow to continue fight over 'thermal shock' issue" (risks extend to Pt. Beach, Indian Pt., Diablo, & Beaver Valley) »
Friday
Mar042016

UCS's Lochbaum: "The NRC Seven: Petitioning the NRC over Safety"

Project Mercury Astronauts (Source: Wikipedia)The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has posted commentary by its Nuclear Safety Project Director, David Lochbaum, on the 2.206 (emergency enforcement) petition submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) by seven private citizens who happen to work for the NRC.

Lochbaum's "All Things Nuclear" blog begins:

Roy Mathew, Sheila Way, Swagata Som, Gurcharan Singh Matharu, Tania Martinez Navedo, Thomas Koshy, and Kenneth Miller—the NRC Seven— are not names as well known as Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton—the Mercury Seven astronauts—but their courage and service to the country are comparable.

The NRC Seven filed a petition with their employee seeking to resolve a safety problem affecting every operating nuclear plant in the United States, and the handful of new reactors currently under construction.

The Mercury Seven wore special gear to protect them from the harsh environment they could encounter during their journeys.

Hopefully, the NRC Seven will not encounter a harsh environment in response to their efforts to protect millions of Americans from a longstanding nuclear safety problem.

Lochbaum's blog then summarizes the key milestones leading to the NRC Seven submitting their petition, beginning with the reverlation of the problem on January 30, 2012 with an "open phase event" at Exelon's Byron nuclear power plant in Illinois.

An "open phase event," in short, involves dysfunction in a nuclear power plant's electrical systems, structures, and components essential for running vital safety and cooling systems, such as the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS). In certain circumstances, the ECCS is the last line of defense against reactor core meltdown, and catastrophic radioactivity release.

Reuters, Syracuse.com, EcoWatch, and Utility Dive have reported on this story.