The former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is back in the news with a story that’s causing a stir in the nuclear industry. At a Washington conference, Gregory Jaczko said all 104 nuclear power reactors in the U.S. are fundamentally flawed and should be phased out. What will be the fallout of his remarks in the industry and the public? Carnegie's James Acton spoke with Platts Energy Week host Bill Loveless.
"The chairman made remarks about the problem of decay heat and there is no question that the problems of mismanaging decay heat were vividly demonstrated in the Fukushima accident," Acton said, adding that he thinks that opposing the filtered, hardened venting, which is an issue that is going before the NRC at the moment, is a mistake on behalf of the industry.
"I think that had the industry been pro-active about this issue, as they had been very pro-active about the so-called FLEX approach for managing a severe accident should one occur, the industry would have done itself a much greater service than by trying to oppose the particular step of filtered, hardened venting," Acton said.
"My interpretation of the chairman's comments was that he was saying that there are issues with current reactors and that they should be phased out over time, that is something that I fundamentally disagree with," concluded Acton.
The Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program is an internationally acclaimed source of expertise and policy thinking on nuclear industry, nonproliferation, security, and disarmament. Its multinational staff stays at the forefront of nuclear policy issues in the United States, Russia, China, Northeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East.
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