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The 2011 disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex made clear that inundation of power reactors can endanger the public. What is less well known is that flooding from dam failure could threaten some three dozen commercial nuclear power plants in the United States. That is something the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has tried — unsuccessfully — to keep secret. Now a watchdog group is suing the NRC for withheld documents.
Not all of those US plants face severe hazards, but Duke Energy's Oconee plant in South Carolina is one that does, according to one document that the NRC does not want to release, made public by the Huffington Post.
The watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsiblity (PEER) filed suit August 15, 2013, under the Freedom of Information Act to force the NRC to disclose more of what it knows about risks the dams and plants present to the public, and the government's apparent failure to take swift protective action.
- "Lawsuit To Ventilate Reactor Inundation Nightmare Scenarios," Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Release of August 15, 2013.
- "Leaked Report Suggests Long-Known Flood Threat To Nuclear Plants, Safety Advocates Say," Huffington Post, October 19, 2012, by Tom Zeller Jr.
- "Screening Analysis Report for the Proposed Generic Issue on Flooding of Nuclear Power Plant Sites Following Upstream Dam Failures," US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, July 2011.
- List of US nuclear facilities that could be endangered by dam-failure inundation.
- Previous Story: EJToday Headlines of October 22, 2012.