Posted by | March 30, 2011 11:56 | Filed under: Planet Top Stories

An ABC News review of four years of Nuclear Regulator Safety Commission Records reveals 56 violations, including such items as missing or mishandled nuclear material, inadequate emergency plans, faulty backup power generators, corroded cooling pipes and even marijuana use inside a nuclear plant.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has very good safety regulations but they have very bad enforcement of those regulations,” said David Lochbaum, a nuclear scientist with the nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists…

Nevertheless, Lochbaum and the Union of Concerned Scientists found 14 “near misses” at nuclear plants in 2010. And there were 56 serious violations at nuclear power plants from 2007 to 2011, according the ABC News review of NRC records.

It’s not comforting to know that millions of Americans live near these plants.

At the Dresden Nuclear Power Plant in Illinois (pictured), for instance, which is located within 50 miles of the 7 million people who live in and around Chicago, nuclear material went missing in 2007. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined the operator — Exelon Corp. — after discovering the facility had failed to “keep complete records showing the inventory [and] disposal of all special nuclear material in its possession.”

Another example:

At the Indian Point nuclear plant just outside New York City, the NRC found that an earthquake safety device has been leaking for 18 years.

In the event of an earthquake, Lochbaum said, the faulty safety device would not help prevent water from leaking out of the reactor. A lack of water to cool the fuel rods has been the most critical problem at the Fukushima plant in Japan after the recent earthquake and tsunami.

Nuclear power advocates continue to press for further development and minimize the risks and possible long-term deleterious effects that we witness time after time.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.