Activists want California nuclear reactor closed over safety concerns
Washington Post journalist Anumita Kaur reports about environmental groups that have demanded the federal government immediately shut down one of two reactors at California’s last nuclear power plant, stating that until tests are conducted on critical components, there is risk of “nuclear meltdown.”
In a nutshell:
The groups, Friends of the Earth and Mothers for Peace, filed a petition with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, citing concerns about the risk of a nuclear meltdown due to delayed inspections of critical components, specifically the Unit 1 reactor's pressure vessel. They are calling for comprehensive testing and inspection using ultrasound equipment and other methods to assess the vessel's structural integrity before resuming operations, reports Kaur. PG&E, the plant's operator, asserts compliance with regulatory standards and safety measures.
“We will not sit idly by while PG&E and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission rubber stamp and streamline Diablo Canyon’s extension,” said Hallie Templeton, legal director at Friends of the Earth. “Our latest filing targets unlawful, delayed inspections of the nuclear power plant’s crumbling, dangerous pressure vessel.”
The big picture:
A nuclear meltdown could have severe health and environmental consequences. In the event of a meltdown, radioactive materials can be released into the environment, posing a significant risk to human health. Exposure to radiation can lead to acute and long-term health issues, including cancer, radiation sickness, and genetic mutations. The environmental impact also includes contamination of air, soil, and water, affecting ecosystems and potentially requiring long-term evacuation of affected areas.
Read the article in the Washington Post.
Learn more about aging nuclear power plants: Last year, Peter Dykstra wrote about utilities whose nuke plants are facing early closure because they’re aging and priced out of the market can apply to the DOE for relief.