Latest Posts

Nuclear Plant Containment Failure: Pre-Existing Damage

, director, Nuclear Safety Project

Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #31

Disaster by Design

Federal regulations require that nuclear plant containments withstand the temperature, pressure, hydrodynamic forces, humidity, and other consequences from design basis accidents and limit the amount of radioactivity to the atmosphere. By limiting the radioactivity release, containments minimize the harm to nearby populations and the environment.

The surest way for a containment to be damaged after an accident and be unable to fulfill this safety function is for it to be damaged before the accident starts. Read more >

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Indian Point and a Victory for Sound Science at the NRC

, senior scientist

UCS devotes a lot of ink to criticizing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for making bad decisions that reduce nuclear safety. So it is a refreshing change of pace to be able to praise the agency.  On May 4, the NRC commissioners did the right thing and voted to overturn a ruling by the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board in the Indian Point license renewal proceeding that, had it stood, would have set a terrible precedent for scientific integrity in regulatory decision-making. Read more >

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Photo: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Will Congress Reject the Administration’s New Plan to Dispose of Excess Plutonium?

, Washington representative and senior analyst

After several years and multiple studies, the Obama administration—led by the Department of Energy (DOE)—finally has a new plan to get rid of the excess plutonium generated by the U.S. nuclear weapons program: dilute the fissile material with non-radioactive materials and dispose of it in a geological repository. Read more >

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Kendall’s Telling Mistake on the LRSO

, Washington representative and senior analyst

In March, Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, submitted a flawed report to Congress on the proposed new nuclear-armed cruise missile known as the Long Range Stand-Off Weapon, or LRSO. The report includes a telling error, claiming that the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review calls for maintaining a nuclear-armed cruise missile, when it does no such thing. Read more >

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