While it sounds incredible, the NRC is moving forward with a short, 75-day comment period for the approval of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor. This fast-track process is continuing despite the fact that experts are signaling serious flaws in the AP1000’s design that could lead to the kind of catastrophic failure currently occurring in Japan.
There have been numerous concerns raised about the AP1000, including:
- In a March 7, 2011 letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Congressman Markey notes that a natural disaster or terrorist attack on the AP1000 “could result in catastrophic core meltdown.”
- The Congressman also notes that the material comprising 60% of the shield building has not passed important physical safety tests and is therefore too brittle. It is unconscionable that any design certification plans would proceed in light of such very real danger.
- One of the NRC’s own experts, Dr. John S. Ma, has noted that the AP 1000’s containment building could shatter “like a glass cup” if struck by a natural or manmade impact and found that the AP1000 design underestimates the force of earthquakes on the reactor, and stated that “the design will be grossly inadequate if the correct and actual earthquake analyses were used.”
Southern Company, which plans to build two AP1000 reactors in Georgia at its Plant Vogtle site, is already breaking ground, and has received $8.2 billion in federal loan guarantees from the Obama administration, covering more than half the new plants’ price tag. Additional AP1000 plants would be built in South Carolina and Florida, and many other sites around the world.
In light of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, join Green Americans nationwide in telling the NRC to suspend its rulemaking on the AP 1000 and take the very real concerns raised about this reactor seriously.
Go to Help Green America Stop the Nuclear Nightmare to take action today! All comments are due to the NRC by May 10.