The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) adopted regulations in the mid-1980s seeking to ensure that nuclear power plant workers are fit for duty. The NRC’s regulations contained provisions seeking to verify that workers were trustworthy and reliable as well as measures intended to prevent workers from being impaired on duty. The former measures included background checks before workers could gain access to the plant while the latter components included drug and alcohol testing. Read more >
July 24, 2017 6:00 AM EDT
There has been considerable media coverage recently about alleged hacking into computer systems at or for U.S. nuclear power plants. The good news is that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the nuclear industry are not merely reacting to this news and playing catch-up to the cyber threat. The NRC included cyber security protective measures among the regulatory requirements it imposed on the nuclear industry in the wake of 9/11. The hacking reported to date seems to have involved non-critical systems at nuclear plants as explained below.
The bad news is that there are bad people out there trying to do bad things to good people. We are better protected against cyber attacks than we were 15 years ago, but are not invulnerable to them. Read more >
July 14, 2017 6:00 AM EDT
The Nebraska Public Power District’s Cooper Nuclear Station about 23 miles south of Nebraska City has one boiling water reactor that began operating in the mid-1970s to add about 800 megawatts of electricity to the power grid. Workers shut down the reactor on September 24, 2016, to enter a scheduled refueling outage. That process eventually led to NRC special inspections. Read more >
July 11, 2017 1:06 PM EDT
The Florida Power & Light Company’s Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station about 20 miles south of Miami has two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors that began operating in the early 1970s. Built next to two fossil-fired generating units, Units 3 and 4 each add about 875 megawatts of nuclear-generated electricity to the power grid.
Both reactors hummed along at full power on the morning of Saturday, March 18, 2017, when problems arose. Read more >
July 7, 2017 2:51 PM EDT
Remember this day, July 7, 2017. Today, history was made at the United Nations and the nuclear status quo was put on notice and most of the world stood up and said simply, “Enough.” Read more >