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Saturday, March 5, 2016

The NRC is a Captured Agency, Their Conflict of Interests have Made Them Dangerous Overseeing Nuclear Power in USA

This shows it clearly.  A known nuclear plant risk, with a simple fix, and the NRC decides to "do nothing" in fact rejecting multiple attempts from engineers within the NRC to push for the required safety upgrades.

The NRC itself claims the risk to be just 1E-4 (using confusion at every chance to get people to turn off their brains).    1E-4 risk of a meltdown per reactor year.   Now what does that really mean?

Well let the NukePro shed some light with clarifying numbers. 

If we trust the NRC's own numbers, that means 1 in 10,000 chance of a meltdown per reactor year.    We know the NRC has been low balling risk for decades.   Even in 1990, after TMI they pegged the risk of a reactor meltdown in USA at 1 in 1,000,000, when in fact there have been 5 meltdowns in the world with 440 nuclear plants, so the risk is greater than 1 in 100.

Now lets get back to the calcs.    There are about 100 reactors in the USA, so that means every year there is  100 reactor years.    So 1/10,000 times 100 = 1/100 chance of a reactor meltdown per year.

This means in 10 years, there is a one in 10 chance of a meltdown in the USA.  Again, that is if we trust the NRC low-ball numbers.

The cost of a meltdown can vary, but lets put a range of 100B to 800B.

Lets say the safety fix at the plants is $10M each.   A total of 1 Billion.

In 10 years the chance of a meltdown is 1/10, and the cost is 100B to 800B, so the "Expected Value" is 10B to 80B in a 10 year period.  

This would be a VERY smart bet to implement the safety features.   Yet the NRC refuses to put this cost onto the dying nuclear industry.   Clearly they do not have our best interests at heart.


The "NRC Seven" have been unable to get the NRC to take effective safety action, and are so frustrated that they have gone outside the NRC to file a petition.

I can imagine their future promotions will be greatly curtailed, but good on them!

These are modern day heroes, like the Fukushima 50
Roy Mathew, Sheila Way, Swagata Som, Gurcharan Singh Matharu, Tania Martinez Navedo, Thomas Koshy, and Kenneth Miller

Here is the petition

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Seven electrical engineers who work for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have taken the unusual step of petitioning the NRC as private citizens in hopes of compelling regulators to fix a "significant safety concern'' that affects all but one of the nation's 100 nuclear plants.

The petition filed this week by the NRC Seven, as some call them, is similar to what anti-nuclear activists or other outside watchdog groups would file to raise a concern with the NRC.

The engineers say there is a design flaw in the electric power systems of all but one of the 100 U.S. nuclear plants. The flaw prevents the detection of certain disruptions on power lines connected to the plants. If a degraded power line were called into service during an emergency, the reactor's motors, pumps and valves could burn out, preventing a safe shutdown.

No such catastrophe has occurred. But since discovering the flaw in 2012, NRC staff have looked back and identified 13 events since 2002 when an undetected electrical fault could have resulted in serious problems during an emergency plant shutdown, the employee petition said. 

Here is more 

The NRC refuses to listen to its own people to protect the public.
Roy K. Mathew
found it
Mr. Mathew has extensive experience and background, approximately 33 years, in the nuclear power plant design, construction, start-up, and operation. Mr. Mathew joined the NRC in 1988 as a Reactor Engineer in Region I. He led NRC inspection teams from Regions and headquarters such as EDSFIs, SSFIs, ORATs, AITs, and AE Design Inspections. He was the lead senior staff for developing many of the Engineering, Maintenance, and Surveillance program inspection procedures for ROP. He was a Team Leader in the Division of License Renewal, NRR. He has been the Acting Chief of the Electrical Engineering Branch, NRR. He is currently a team leader in the Electrical Engineering Branch, Division of Engineering, NRR.
Prior to joining the NRC, Mr. Mathew worked as a design engineer, construction engineer, start-up engineer and a supervisor for Bechtel Power Corporation. He received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering from University of Kerala and attended Master’s Degree program in Electrical Power System at the California State University. He is a graduate of the NRC Team Leader Development Program. He is a member of the IEEE. He represented NRC in developing several standards at the IAEA, IEC, and NEA.


  1. Many have said (before 3/11/11) that the chance of a meltdown was 1 in a 1000 years or even 1 in 10,000 years but what is too often forgotten is that the chances of something occurring is that it can happen EVERYDAY or even many times in a single day, not at some far time in the future.

    Depending upon who you believe Fukushima produced not 1 but 3 meltdowns in less than a week, which should help readers realize that accidents do happen despite world class engineering and when nuclear reactors have BAD accidents it produces Trillion Dollar Eco-Disasters like Fukushima.

  2. Just because a meltdown occurred doesn't mean pre311 analysis was flawed. It just meant a Black Swan likelihood was realized. You are falsely operating under the assumption that a triple meltdown is a planet killer. Fukushima showed us that the actual versus theoretical is sometimes off kilter.

    Livelihoods don't matter a posteriori.

    1. Oh what a "precious" freudian slip of the keyboard....

      Indeed to nukist, other people livelihoods don't matter before or after a nuclear accident.

      Straight from the nukist mouth.

    2. Autocorrect. Lives matter. Evacuation without a good reason risked lives. More people could have been saved by shelter in place. The doses were vanishing trivial.

    3. Lying arse nukist, the doses are still in the range of 200 to 600 mSV a year when they become internal.

      Vanishingly Deadly

  3. Who do you want running regulations? Greenpeace? Gundersen? Not qualified. Plain and simple.

    1. See, another nukist false argument, deflection.

      We are arguing with the need for a regulating agency, we are insisting with the threat of a Nuremberg type trial, that those who are paid to regulate for us, using our money, truly acts as agents of the citizens and ratepayers.

      Those who allow themselves to be captured, those scientists that function as lying grant whores, stand the risk of a Nuremberg type trial.

      Got it?

    2. There is no Nuremberg analogy here. People weren't murdered by nuclear. Try the fossil industry, and the 10,000 more industries that had proven riskier than nuclear.


    3. Grants fund R&D and R&D enables innovation and innovation evolves the tech, improves the situation and solves problems.

      Nuclear reactor inherrent safety and used fuel issues are solvable. Politics and psychology a little harder.

    4. The NRC regulates nuclear to a much safer level than the FAA regulates air travel.

    5. Actually the NRC operates on a cost-recovery basis. They charge utilities something like $300/hr for license application review. Surprise.

    6. Actually the NRC operates on a cost-recovery basis. They charge utilities something like $300/hr for license application review. Surprise.

    7. If 1 in 100 planes crashed in their life, no one would fly.

      Over 1 in 100 nuke plants blow up.

  4. It would be nice to have an edit feature to these blogs.


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