AP A survey reveals how the industry has found a simple solution to aging: to weaken safety standards until the creaky floors to meet
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aging is not enough: things start to crackle or stop working all together. The good news, one would think, in the case of nuclear power plants is that you can replace worn, cracked or corroded with new ones.
But an impressive year long research in the field of nuclear energy in the U.S. by The Associated Press reveals how regulators and industry have repeatedly found a much easier to aging: to weaken safety standards until the creaky floors to comply. yesterday afternoon, some commentators have argued that the issue of safety engineering is not unique to nuclear energy, which means that it is unfair to criticize the nuclear industry from the problems that go unnoticed elsewhere. I disagree for the simple reason that if the stakes are enormously high for nuclear reactors: safety standards should be much stricter because the consequences of severe accidents have these enormous economic and social costs. Remember, the agreement is signed when you build a reactor is the control of atomic hell for decades, then take care of the waste for thousands of years.
This brings us to the point that underlies the AP survey. The incentive to maintain security systems cost is directly contrary to the main incentive for operators of nuclear power plant, which is quite reasonable, is to make money. The problem comes when, over the year passed without serious incident, that the heavy regulation, the face begins to look like an unnecessary burden.
And that is exactly what journalists AP found:
federal regulators have worked closely with the nuclear industry in the United States for old reactors in the country operate under safety standards repeatedly weaken these rules, or simply fail not to enforce them. Again and again, U.S. officials Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) decided that the original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins can be relieved safely, according to records and interviews.