- NRC whistleblowers warn of nuclear accidents caused by dam failures and effort to suppress disclosure (Beyond Nuclear, Oct 11, 2012):
Independent warnings from government whistleblowers within the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have surfaced alleging that U.S. nuclear power stations sited along major rivers and below reservoirs are vulnerable to a catastrophic nuclear accident following major dam failures. In July 2011 with the flood waters along the Missouri River still rising around Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power station, David Loveless, a NRC Senior Reactor Analyst concluded in a post-Fukushima technical review for the flood analysis at the nuclear power stations, that the reactor would not survive the gross failure of the Oahe dam—one of six dams on the Missouri River upstream from the nuke. Loveless cites analysis that a dam break would hit the reactor on the Missouri River with a wall of water knocking out electrical power systems and water pumps vital for reactor cooling. The group, Clean Nebraska, has recently written to NRC Chairwomen Allison Macfarland in an appeal to not allow the restart of the reactor pending a full investigation.
Then in September 2012, Richard Perkins, an Nuclear Reactor Regulations engineer and the lead author of “Flooding of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Following Upstream Dam Failure,” asked the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate his allegations that the NRC “staff intentionally mischaracterized relevant and noteworthy safety information as sensitive, security information in an effort to conceal the information from the public” where “agency records that show the NRC has been in possession of relevant, notable, and derogatory safety information for an extended period but failed to properly act on it. Concurrently, the NRC concealed the information from the public.”
Perkins further charges that his concerns regard a government deliberate cover-up and violation of law involving fraudulent safety claims to surrounding communities and their representatives.
Another NRC anonymous whistleblower, drew even more attention to risk of nuclear accidents following dam failure to the Oconee reactor in Senecca, South Carolina, stating, “The probability of Jocassee Dam catastrophically failing is hundreds of times greater than a 51 foot wall of water hitting Fukushima Daiichi,” the engineer said. “And, like the tsunami in Japan, the man-made ‘tsunami’ resulting from the failure of the Jocassee Dam will –- with absolute certainty –- result in the failure of three reactor plants along with their containment structures.