Union of Concerned Scientists official says NRC allowing Palisades to limbo beneath safety bar

Apr 11, 2013

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant
Credit WMUK

The Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists Nuclear Safety Project is speaking Thursday in Southwest Michigan. David Lochbaum will speak at the Bernhard Center at Western Michigan University at noon. He will be at the Beach Haven Event Center in South Haven Thursday night beginning at 7:00. The group Beyond Nuclear is one the event's sponsors. WMUK's Gordon Evans spoke with Lochbaum Thursday morning. 

David Lochbaum
Credit WMUK

The Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report on the regulation of nuclear power plants. It found that the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant to be one of the top three plans in the country with significant safety events or "near misses" (Mlive Kalamazoo story). Lochbaum says the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been allowing the plant to operate when regulations dictate that it should have been shut down. He also says the plant has not met fire protection regulations. Lochbaum says the NRC has set the safety bar, but has allowed plants like Palisades to limbo beneath that. 

Two years ago there was a disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan after an earthquake and tsunami (Christian Science Monitor story). Lochbaum says plants in the U.S. have studied the situation in Japan. He says they have developed good plans to handle a disaster. But Lochbaum says they haven't been implemented. He says that amounts to "safety IOUs."