As the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at US nuclear power plants rises, gaps in emergency planning, regulatory guidance and operator response measures are emerging. Operators are doing their utmost to keep their plants running, in some cases cutting corners when it comes to “social distancing” or using it as a reason for delaying necessary repairs. Meanwhile, the influx of thousands of temporary workers at refueling sites is prompting efforts by activists and state and local officials seeking more protection against the spreading virus — particularly from those workers who may be infected but are asymptomatic.
Nuclear Intelligence Weekly 9th April 2020 read more »
Already in the crosshairs of anti-nuclear groups for a major, multiyear regulatory overhaul, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) found itself in the firing line again this week when it announced steps to help operators through the cornonavirus pandemic — including relaxing work-hour limits and deferring inspections. While acquiescing in these respects, the agency’s critics noted, the NRC is doing nothing to curtail a spate of scheduled refuelings this spring which require hundreds of temporary workers to travel to various reactor communities to complete their specialist tasks.
Nuclear Intelligence Weekly 3rd April 2020 read more »
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is facing protests after proposing that low-level radioactive waste be disposed of in commercial landfills not explicitly designed to hold it, rather than at licenced radioactive waste sites. The NRC’s proposal, issued in March, declares that the agency’s intent is to limit this deregulation to ‘very low level radioactive wastes’, but Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (Peer) states that the actual proposal allows doses to the public equivalent to more than 900 chest x-rays over a lifetime, with a cancer risk 20 times higher than the upper end of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable risk range.
Chemistry World 15th April 2020 read more »