Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Areva Nuclear Plants Not Safe

The nuclear power industry -design and construction arm - continues to amaze, all the while shooting itself in the foot.

Today's news states that nuclear regulating agencies in three countries - France, Britain, and Finland - ordered Areva "to modify the safety features on its European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) due to insufficient independence between the day-to-day systems and the emergency systems."

That such modifications are necessary is shocking, given that nuclear proponents (nuts) shout from the rooftops that modern nuclear plant designs are safe. They also scream that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission was responsible for the cost overruns during the 1970s and 80s, such that if the NRC had left the designs alone, the plants would not have been so expensive. Yet, it appears the US NRC had nothing to do with this safety upgrade. One wonders if the nuclear nuts will be as vocal in denouncing the Europeans who required this safety change.

This is sure to create more expense and delays for the Areva EPR reactor being built in Finland, where the project is already years behind schedule (with no end date in sight), the parties involved are blaming each other, and the cost has escalated by many billions.

It is time for sensible, rational people to realize that the nuclear power industry is much like an alcoholic. How can one tell when an alcoholic is lying? When their lips are moving.

No comments: