Last month former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chair Jaczko said all 104 operating U.S. nuclear power reactors are unsafe. This month former Indian Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Chair Gopalakrishnan says the reactors currently building in India, already three years behind schedule and now found to incorporate numerous defects and deficiencies amid gross lack of transparency, must be stopped. When will the NRC stop the restart of the flawed and non-transparent San Onofre 2? When will the NRC or GA PSC or the GA legislature or even Southern Company coming to its senses stop the 19-month-late $1-billion-overbudget flawed-concrete Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 before they waste any more of our resources that could be going to solar and wind jobs and energy?
Nuclear Intelligence Weekly wrote 29 March 2013, Safety: Jaczko Calls for Phaseout in US, Says Plants Aren’t Safe,
Former Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Gregory Jaczko says that the current fleet of operating plants in the US should be phased out because regulators can’t guarantee against an accident causing widespread land contamination. In two key decisions last week Jaczko said the agency “damaged significantly” its international reputation for upholding safety and he accused the five commissioners of “just rolling the dice” in dealing with severe accidents.
Dianuke.org today, Koodankulam Must Be Stopped: Dr. A Gopalakrishnan, about the two 1000 MWe VVER nuclear reactors at Koodankulam Project (KKNP-1), under commissioning and testing,
If news trickling out of KKNP-1 site is to be trusted, the Russian special check valves in the passive long-term core flooding system (hydroaccumulator system- stage 2) are defective as received and, at this late hour an order to manufacture one or more such valves has been placed on a reputed Hyderabad company. One or more of the new Russian valves show cracks even at the finish of initial commissioning tests. Similarly, the passive heat removal system (PHRS) is not functioning as per specifications, because the damper — air heat exchanger — vane system has not been integrally tested at the Russian manufaturer’s works as required and problems were not sorted out there itself . There are other problems to list, but the above are typical of the flaws holding up the reactor commissioning. Almost all these malfunctioning components and sub-systems have been produced by ZiO-Podolsk, and all of them are crucial to the safety of the plant, under beyond-design-basis accidents.
The Bellona Foundation, an international environmental NGO based in Norway (), stated ( http://www.anti-atom.ru/en/node/3468) in February 2012 that the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) had arrested Sergei Shutov, the procurement director of ZiO-Podolsk, on charges of corruption and fraud. The FSB has charged Shutov with buying low-quality raw materials on the cheap over the years, passing them off as high-quality materials, and pocketing the difference.
It is not clear how many reactors have been impacted by this alleged crime, but reactors built by Russia in India, Bulgaria, Iran and China are among those suspected to have received sub-standard equipment and components, given the timeframe of work completed….
Under the circumstances, KKNP Unit-1 commissioning and KKNP-2 construction work must be stopped forthwith, and there can be no question of resuming these works towards start-up of both these reactors until a thorough and impartial investigation is carried out into the impact of this corruption scandal and sub-standard supplies on the safety of these reactors.
PS: Owed to Kumar Sundaram.