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Power Government

Uneven Enforcement Suspected At Nuclear Plants 93

mdsolar sends this news from the Associated Press: "The number of safety violations at U.S. nuclear power plants varies dramatically from region to region, pointing to inconsistent enforcement in an industry now operating mostly beyond its original 40-year licenses, according to a congressional study awaiting release. Nuclear Regulatory Commission figures cited in the Government Accountability Office report show that while the West has the fewest reactors, it had the most lower-level violations from 2000 to 2012 — more than 2½ times the Southeast's rate per reactor. The Southeast, with the most reactors of the NRC's four regions, had the fewest such violations, according to the report, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press. The striking variations do not appear to reflect real differences in reactor performance. Instead, the report says, the differences suggest that regulators interpret rules and guidelines differently among regions, perhaps because lower-level violations get limited review."
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Uneven Enforcement Suspected At Nuclear Plants

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  • Re:Experience (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @04:28PM (#45146701)

    There is a lot of political pressure in the Southeast to cover up environmental problems of any sort. A lot of agencies that are supposed to investigate environmental violations at the state level in the South are little more than pro-business fronts who rubber-stamp everything in favor of industry. I've seen governors down here openly instruct their environmental agencies to be more "pro business." In my state you almost have to be caught openly dumping toxic waste barrels into a river to get a fine, and even then it would probably be a small fine.

    So it doesn't surprise me that this has filtered up to the federal level in the region as well.

  • by Mr D from 63 ( 3395377 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:21PM (#45147149)
    I forgot to add... violations are often self-identified and reported. So a plant with more self identified violations could possibly just be policing themselves with greater scrutiny.
  • by mdsolar ( 1045926 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:31PM (#45147243) Homepage Journal
    Nice post. I think that the tire example is a little off though. Lots of plants are leaking tritium without fixing the problem.

    Also, I think that this really pins the issue of thinking of power as baseload and the problem of nuclear waste together. Eliminate the "baseload" mindset, and the waste problem stops getting worse. Economics seems to be helping with that. Baseload used to be cheap but inflexible. Now it is just inflexible. []

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes