There was a recent report in the International Tribune about restarting the reactors in Japan.
David Lochbaum, a former nuclear engineer, director of the Nuclear Safety Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists and one of the authors of the new book-length account “Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster,” thinks it’s more than possible. The safety preparations at the plant before the accident, he says, weren’t that different from the precautions taken at U.S. plants. “It’s not that Japan was behind the standards of the rest of the world, or that the Japanese regulators or [Fukushima Daiichi operator] TEPCO was especially inept,” Lochbaum says. “They’re on par with everyone else.” U.S. regulators have already been warning operators about the possibility of Fukushima-type disasters happening in the U.S. for years.
The post goes on to say that the reactors are prone to flooding and fires.
In 2009, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff identified about 35 reactors in the U.S. (out of the 100 currently operating) that were vulnerable to dam failures, according to Lochbaum…The NRC adopted fire protection regulations to prevent another Browns Ferry incident in 1980, and updated them in 2004. But “today, about half of the reactors operating in the US do not comply with either the 1980 or the 2004 regulations,” Lochbaum says…With all of this potential danger for catastrophe, how can nuclear power still be a viable option? Lochbaum, for his part, says he’s not pro-nuclear or anti-nuclear — just pro-safety.
I would like to know how one can be both pro-safety and pro-nuclear, but it seems to be the position of the Union of Concerned Scientists. At times they, the UCS, seem to behave as the loyal opposition. The UCS identifies problems, and then says that they can be solved with good will and good science. They seem to be the enablers of those who have drunk the nuclear potions. This is what one would expect to be done by members of the Federation of American Scientists. They maintain that the nuclear alliance between the United States and Japan is of great importance.