OT: Quake risks at New England nuclear plants cited
US Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth Warren are calling for increased safety measures at two area nuclear power plants after a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report found potential vulnerabilities to earthquakes.
In a letter to NRC chairwoman Allison Macfarlane on Friday, Markey and Warren asked the commission to require that Pilgrim Power Station in Plymouth and Seabrook Station in Seabrook, N.H., “implement mitigation measures against seismic risks that were previously unknown.”
Following the 2011 meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, which was sparked by an earthquake and tsunami, the NRC established a task force to evaluate possible vulnerabilities at US nuclear facilities and the need for enhanced regulatory oversight, according to the NRC report released Thursday.
Markey and Warren were “alarmed” by the newly evaluated seismic risks at the two area facilities, which are greater than they were originally licensed to withstand, the senators said in the letter.
NextEra Energy Seabrook Station, which runs the New Hampshire plant, said on Friday night that it will be conducting an evaluation.
“The further evaluation of Seabrook does NOT mean that safety systems, structures or components are inadequately protected against a seismic event,” said Sarah Cloutman Gebo, a spokeswoman for the company, in a statement. “Seabrook is designed and built to withstand much stronger earthquakes than ever recorded in its region, and the plant is designed to safely shut down within seconds in the unlikely event of a strong earthquake.
“This initial screening used highly conservative assumptions about highly unlikely events, comparing the existing seismic design of Seabrook to revised seismic standards. At this point we do not anticipate that any major modifications or enhancements to the plant will be needed.”
Note: Sen Marky is a rabid anti-nuke. Thank goodness he announced he's retiring!
I am not surprised by what the two Bay State US Senators say and do. It is particularly odd to me that similar criticism HAS NOT ARISEN from US Senators Ayotte and Shaheen. These elected US Senators actually represent New Hampshire in that august body. Per Lewis, US Sen. Markey is anti-nuke. I suggest that US Sen. Markey explain to his constituents what his immediate solution is for replacing the amount of nuclear power that his state presently uses.