Reblogging to show a common problem with enviro-reporting.
An un-redacted version of a recently released Nuclear Regulatory Commission report highlights the threat that flooding poses to nuclear power plants located near large dams — and suggests that the NRC has misled the public for years about the severity of the threat, according to engineers and nuclear safety advocates…
The NRC report identifies flood threats from upstream dams at nearly three dozen other nuclear facilities in the United States, including the Fort Calhoun Station in Nebraska, the Prairie Island facility in Minnesota and the Watts Bar plant in Tennessee, among others. More at HuffPo
Important discovery, but the reporting seems over the top. Comparing the threat, for example, of a fresh-water river flood to a salt-water tsunami from the ocean is plainly disingenuous and frankly journalistically lazy.
I get that nuclear power plants are vulnerable to environmental change and climate impacts. Indeed, I have written about the threats several times, but this story smells of fear-mongering.
It’s an interesting article, no doubt. It shows that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission published two different reports, one of which was published publicly.
But discovering that there are two (or more) versions of a report is certainly not proof of a “cover-up.” Writing different versions of the same report is standard operating procedure to my mind.
The NRC has historically been blunt about environmental threats to nuclear power plants - indeed, that’s a primary objective of the commission. One would need crystal clear evidence to successfully accuse such a high-level, highly-scrutinized organization.
Besides, the very flood vulnerabilities discussed in both versions of the report are in fact being mitigated. So, what exactly is the problem here?
Finally, as is common with environmental reporting, the piece does not provide a plan of action to resolve the issue. It doesn’t say that the commission should be disbanded and replaced, nor show that the work being done to mitigate floods are flawed. The article subsumes the public will act, which is plainly disproportionate to the accusation at hand.
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