Diablo Canyon plant shouldn’t be operating while safety is in doubt

According to the Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority, Fukushima was reassessed a year prior to the tsunami. It was determined that the plant needed to be retrofitted to withstand a much stronger earthquake. Had the plant been offline or retrofitted, the accident may have been far less severe.It is already known that Diablo Canyon, operated by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in San Luis Obispo County, may be subjected to 30 percent more ground shaking from nearby faults than Fukushima experienced. The first of several ongoing studies, published last week, states ground shaking at Diablo Canyon can exceed plant design. It is anticipated this will lead to years of more study. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will then consider ordering upgrades. Continue reading

Fukushima wash-up to hit US coast this year

Tokyo: Seaborne radiation from Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant will wash up on the West Coast of the US this year.

That’s raising concerns among some Americans including the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area city of Fairfax, California, which passed a resolution on December 6 calling for more testing of coastal seafood. Continue reading

Study: All 107 U.S. nuclear reactors vulnerable to terrorists

Every commercial nuclear reactor in the United States is insufficiently protected against “credible” terrorist threats, according to a new report (PDF) from the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

The report found that facilities were vulnerable to the theft of bomb-grade nuclear materials and sabotage attacks designed to cause a meltdown. Continue reading