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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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  • by cyberpocalypse ( 2845685 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @03:34PM (#45146293)

    This is what happens when you let companies oversee themselves without any real penalties. Imagine a speeding sign. You speed, cop pulls you over, gives you a warning. You do the same, he pulls you over and gives you a warning. ... You will keep speeding. Government has allowed many of the NRCs to self-govern causing all sorts of stupidity ranging from: "we can't do security testing here, it will bring down the grid!", to all other forms of nonsense the NRC lobbyists will throw around. The reality is simple, the gov can't just "shut these places down." What are you gonna do, allow NYC to go dark. The entire regulatory "Dosey Do" one's partner is as old as the industry itself: "If you speed..." All bark and no bite. Its surprising we haven't had any major malfunctions on a constant basis

  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Wednesday October 16, 2013 @05:59PM (#45147475)

    As opposed to TEPCO / Fukushima, which is apparently run by Homer Simpson, and appears to have no enforcement at all.

    Shesh folks. Give these folks a break. Hindsight is 20/20 and this Monday morning quarterbacking of the Fukushima incident is getting rather old.

    Remember, this incident was the result of an earthquake that far exceeded the design requirements of the plant and was beyond the scope of their contingency planning. What we have there now was deemed an acceptable risk prior to the earthquake that NOBODY expected or planned for.

    Now, you can argue that we SHOULD have designed for larger earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis and the facts are on your side. But one needs to go back and remember that TEPCO was doing what the government REQUIRED it to do if not more, NOBODY was expecting that big of a quake, and when you get right down to it, the Plant held up quite well considering how far beyond design limits the earthquake actually was.

    So it's great fun to skewer TEPCO and point out the mistakes they've made or things that in hindsight might not have been the best choice, but you must realize that we are way outside of "normal" conditions here. Sometimes you have to make judgment calls and act NOW even without all the necessary facts or time to accomplish the engineering analysis required. Under the post earthquake conditions it was EXTREMELY difficult even to approach the site, much less move any equipment or materials around. They did really well, considering the nature and extent of the damage.

    Could things have been better? No doubt, but TEPCO has managed not to make any MAJOR mistakes or killed anybody throughout this whole mess. Further, even though the environmental damage is significant, they've managed to not make it that much worse though a bad choice of theirs. So we've had a few hundred gallons of radioactive water wash into the sea or some guy accidentally shut off some pumps that needed to stay running. So? Mistakes happen but so far, nothing major has been messed up.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.