US nuke regulators weaken safety rules

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. Full Story »

Posted by Lynn Caporale

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Lynn Caporale
4.9
by Lynn Caporale - Jun. 24, 2011

1)I've added a link to a second AP story, focused on leaks from aging pipes that are buried and rarely inspected. 2) This turned out to be a 4-part AP story. It was followed up by a reporter's dream, at least some Senators proposing to investigate further. I have added a link to that AP report as well

Records show a recurring pattern: Reactor parts or systems fall out of compliance with the rules. Studies are conducted by the industry and government, and all agree that existing standards are “unnecessarily conservative.” Regulations are loosened, and the reactors are back in compliance. That’s what they say for everything, whether that’s the case or not," said Demetrios Basdekas, an engineer retired from the NRC.

An extensive in-depth investigation that goes beyond the he said, she said of too much contemporary reporting to provide specific examples and quotes from inside experts.

Tens of thousands of pages of government and industry studies were examined, along with test results, inspection reports and regulatory policy statements filed over four decades. Interviews were conducted with scores of managers, regulators, engineers, scientists, whistleblowers, activists, and residents living near the reactors, which are located at 65 sites, mostly in the East and Midwest. AP reporting teams toured some of the oldest reactors

Tens of thousands of pages of government and industry studies were examined, along with test results, inspection reports and regulatory policy statements filed over four decades. Interviews were conducted with scores of managers, regulators, engineers, scientists, whistleblowers, activists, and residents living near the reactors, which are located at 65 sites, mostly in the East and Midwest. AP reporting teams toured some of the oldest reactors

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