Submitted by: Green America
Posted: May 03, 2011 – 02:41 PM EST
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 03 /CSRwire/ - National nonprofit organization Green America urged the Nuclear Regulatory Commission today to immediately suspend rulemaking for the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor design certification, citing statements from engineers and other experts that the new reactor, and especially its shield building, pose significant safety concerns.
The statement from Green America's Executive Director Alisa Gravitz read in part:
In the wake of last month's Fukushima nuclear tragedy, the fact that a new reactor design is moving forward should require greater scrutiny than ever. We are aware that the current design proposal includes a single, thin containment layer to block the escape of radiation. We share the concern expressed by Congressman Markey in his March 7, 2011 letter to the Commission 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.
Approval of the AP1000 design, currently being considered for construction in Georgia, South Carolina, and elsewhere would have profound implications for human and environmental safety. Safety issues need to drive the Commission's decision-making. Green America supports the petition filed by a dozen environmental organizations to suspend rulemaking on the AP1000 until we have definitive analysis of the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
In closing, Green America urges the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to suspend rulemaking on the AP1000 nuclear reactor design and to await the findings on the Fukushima nuclear crisis so that they can inform our nation’s nuclear policies going forward. We owe this to our citizens and future generations.
About Green America: Founded in 1982, Green America is a national membership organization that works to harness economic power - the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace - to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Our 150,000 individual members and 4,000 business members are deeply concerned about our nation’s energy needs and the importance of securing safe, renewable energy sources.
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