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Archive for Tuesday, June 21, 2011

NRC takes Wolf Creek nuclear power plant off increased oversight list

The Wolf Creek nuclear power plant, which went online in 1985, is shown in this Jan. 11, 2000, photograph.

The Wolf Creek nuclear power plant, which went online in 1985, is shown in this Jan. 11, 2000, photograph.

June 21, 2011

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— Federal regulators have removed the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant near Burlington from its increased oversight list.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Monday that the plant had passed a new inspection and has returned to a regular inspection schedule.

The NRC increased the oversight level for Wolf Creek in March because of concerns about safety system failures and unplanned plant shutdowns in 2010. It was one of three reactors placed on the third level of its heightened oversight.

NRC spokeswoman Lara Uselding says Wolf Creek will be returned to level one. The Wichita Eagle reports that she said the operators of the plant had taken corrected the issues that caused the action in March.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

The NRC might just be made up of folks from the industry.

Those foxes in the chicken coop.

The insurance industry won’t insure against nuclear power plant accidents. Nuclear power plant operators rely on a government-backed "Price-Anderson" insurance scheme that limits their liability in the event of an accident or attack.

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Clark Coan 2 years, 10 months ago

This has been resulting in releases of radioactive tritium:

(AP) BRACEVILLE, Ill. - Radioactive tritium has leaked from three-quarters of U.S. commercial nuclear power sites, often into groundwater from corroded, buried piping, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The number and severity of the leaks has been escalating, even as federal regulators extend the licenses of more and more reactors across the nation.

Tritium, which is a radioactive form of hydrogen, has leaked from at least 48 of 65 sites, according to U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission records reviewed as part of the AP's yearlong examination of safety issues at aging nuclear power plants. Leaks from at least 37 of those facilities contained concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard -- sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.

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Randall Uhrich 2 years, 10 months ago

Not safer, just looser standards: By JEFF DONN, AP National Writer Jeff Donn, Ap National Writer – Mon Jun 20, 3:38 am ET LACEY TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.

Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews.

The result? Rising fears that these accommodations by the NRC are significantly undermining safety — and inching the reactors closer to an accident that could harm the public and jeopardize the future of nuclear power in the United States

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