Dave Lochbaum

Director, Nuclear Safety Project

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Mr. Lochbaum received a BS in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1979 and worked as a nuclear engineer in nuclear power plants for 17 years. In 1992, he and a colleague identified a safety problem in a plant where they were working. When their concerns were ignored by the plant manager, the utility, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), they took the issue to Congress. The problem was eventually corrected at the original plant and at plants across the country. Lochbaum joined UCS in 1996 to work on nuclear power safety. He spent a year in 2009-10 working at the NRC Training Center in Tennessee. Areas of expertise: Nuclear power safety, nuclear technology and plant design, regulatory oversight, plant license renewal and decommissioning

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Dave's Latest Posts

Nuclear Renaissance–Nuclear Requiem

There was considerable discussion a decade or so ago about the purported Nuclear Renaissance. New reactors were proposed almost everywhere but Delaware: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Read more >

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UCS Causes Meltdowns at US Nuclear Reactors (no, really)

Disaster by Design/ Safety by Intent #46

Disaster by Design

You won’t see it on our website. You won’t find it in materials we mail out to our members. You won’t hear it in the webinars we hold for prospective donors. But UCS caused a meltdown at a U.S. nuclear power reactor. Well, that’s only half the story. UCS caused meltdowns at two U.S. nuclear power reactors. In our defense, they (being the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the nuclear industry, started it. We only finished it. Read more >

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PRA Nuclear Power Safety

Disaster by Design/ Safety by Intent #45

Disaster by Design

Disaster by Design/Safety by Intent #44 described how diverse, independent barriers (DIBs) can be used to promote nuclear power plant safety. That commentary cited the various pumps for providing makeup water to the reactor vessel for core cooling as an example. This commentary uses this same example to illustrate how probabilistic risk analyses (PRAs) are used to better understand, and manage, nuclear power’s risks. Read more >

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DIBs on Nuclear Power Plant Safety

Disaster by Design/ Safety by Intent #44

Disaster by Design

Imagine that you have an extremely important appointment scheduled early tomorrow morning. To ensure that you get to the appointment on time, you might apply DIBs—Diverse Independent Barriers. Read more >

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Special Inspections: Safety Relief Valve Problems at Perry and Hatch

Near-Miss Summary

The Near-Miss

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) sent special inspection teams to the Perry Nuclear Power Plant in Perry, Ohio and to the Edwin I. Hatch Nuclear Plant near Baxley, Georgia early this year. Both plants feature boiling water reactors (BWRs) and both experienced problems with safety relief valves that prompted the NRC’s reactions. Read more >

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