A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists says one in six nuclear reactors experienced safety breaches in 2012 due to lax oversight from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The report blasts the NRC for âtolerating the intolerableâ in failing to enforce its own regulations, something it calls âa gamble that places lives a stake.â In 2012, the NRC recorded 14 year ânear-missesâ at nuclear plants, events that increase the odds of a âcore meltdown by at least a factor of 10,â wrote study author David Lochbaum, director of the Cambridge-based environmental groupâs Nuclear Safety Project.
According to the report, 40 of the 104 nuclear plants operating in the U.S. at time of publication experienced one or more near misses in the past three years.
âThere is a large perception gap between how the NRC senior managers view conditions within the agency and how the work force views them,â Lochbaum wrote. âNRC managers cannot fix problems they do not believe exist.â
The NRC said that the report actually proves that they are keeping an eye on operations at nuclear power plants.
âFar from showing lax regulation or oversight, these special inspections show the NRC doing its job to protect the public and the environment by finding and correcting problems early, before they can cause real harm,â said an NRC spokesman to Bloomberg in an e-mail. âNone of the incidents cited by UCS actually affected public health and safety.â
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