Oyster Creek Response
12 Oct, 2011
[Approx. Read Time: 2 min]
This letter is in response to: http://berkeley-nj.patch.com/articles/petitioners-to-nrc-shut-down-all-fukushima-like-nuclear-plants
I am a Chemical Engineer that works at a Mark I plant. I choose to live within ten miles of the plant knowing that the operations of the facility are safe and reliable. I love the community at which I live and I am very confident telling my neighbors and family that I am keeping them safe and providing them with reliable power everyday.
I can tell you that the information in this article is incorrect. The nuclear utilities in the US are working very closely with Japan to learn from their event and help them recover. We have world class nuclear professionals from the US in Japan right now working along side them. Due to some of the retrofits from September 11th we have some modifications in our plants that would mitigate a similar event along with more robust response plans for loss of power.
There are a lot of incorrect facts in this article but the one I want to address particularly is that this article incorrectly states that radioactive fuel fragments were found scattered around the Fukushima site. While there was core damage, the fuel remained in containment. This article suggests a lot of things that are not true such as operating outside of our license from the NRC which is our “contract”. If we do not follow our license, we break the law and there are serious consequences for the company and even the individual plant worker. This is definitely not something we take lightly. It also suggests that we “experiment” with our plant with installing vent systems. I have no idea where this came from but nuclear power is special and unique and we do not experiment with our plants. Every design change or change in operations is carefully reviewed by multiple scientists and engineers internally and externally to ensure that the change is safe. On top of that we have to prove to the NRC and other government agencies that we are operating safely on a daily basis.
I am asking that if you are reading this article and you are interested in this issue that you reach out and find the facts. Please reminder that most facts do not include absolutes (always, never, etc.).
Please listen to all sides of the arguments and make your own judgment.