The Union of Concerned Scientists recommends safety and security measures that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and other government agencies can require to help prevent a nuclear disaster and reduce the damage if one does occur. Entergy should abide by these 23 specific recommendations:
“Nuclear power is an inherently hazardous technology; there’s no way to make it perfectly safe. But we can make it safer.”Union of Concerned Scientists
To protect our health and safety, these are among the fixes that need to be addressed as a condition of Pilgrim’s continued operation:
Require plant owners to install reliable, fail-safe containment vents, equipped with filters that would reduce the amount of radioactivity released to the atmosphere during a reactor accident.
Accelerate the transfer of spent fuel to dry cask storage; return the pool to its original, safer, low-density design.
Power cables must qualify to be in moisture; generators must store at least 14 days of fuel. Require reactors to be able to handle sustained loss of normal and backup power.
Modify emergency plans, including methods for radiation dose assessment and communications to cope with the sustained loss of normal and backup power supplies. Pursue emergency issues such as delivering equipment through off-site impediments (e.g. failed bridges, blocked roadways) and competing for emergency resources.
Expand Emergency Planning Zones around reactors in accordance with site-specific parameters (e.g. include all of Cape Cod) and make potassium iodide available beyond 10 miles. Require Entergy to provide sufficient funding for proper implementation in affected communities.
Improve security at Pilgrim to protect against potential attacks from the air, water, and land.
Develop procedures for severe accidents exceeding the level presently thought possible, integrating them with those for anticipated accidents and terrorist attacks.
Replace the once-through cooling system. Require plant owners to upgrade methods for adding water to a spent fuel pool during an accident and to install instruments to monitor pool temperature and water levels.
Implement real-time radiological and meteorological monitoring off-site.
Identify ways to prevent hydrogen explosions in the containment and building. Develop ways to improve protection against seismically induced fires and floods. Re-evaluate the seismic and flooding risks to reactors, upgrade protections against both, and upgrade seismic monitoring instrumentation.
Demonstrate full compliance with all NRC fire regulations. NRC Commissioner Jaczko stated in July 2008, “I don’t think there is one plant right now that is in compliance with those regulations.”
Meet current specifications for newly built reactors and provide sufficient funds for decommissioning.