The nuclear industry is back at it again: promoting dirty, dangerous, expensive reactors at the public’s expense. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is reviewing an “Early Site Permit” application for up to a dozen reactors in Tennessee – with potentially no evacuation plans. This would be a dangerous precedent.
This time, the industry wants us to believe the “solution” is small, modular reactors – or SMRs. Their idea is to design each reactor smaller, and combine a bunch of them into one big power plant. However, these reactors aren’t really “small” and putting a bunch of them in one place only means more potential for disaster. The Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant only had three reactors operating when disaster occurred in 2011. They all melted down.
You’d think that would have taught NRC a lesson. But no – NRC is considering exempting SMRs from longstanding emergency planning requirements, even eliminating the need to have evacuation plans for nearby communities in the case of a meltdown.
Even worse, NRC is flatly ignoring the reality that there is no justification for nuclear power. NRC is supposed to consider both the need for electricity and the alternatives to a nuclear power plant, but its review of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s application ignores both. TVA’s demand for electricity is declining, not growing, and solar, wind, and energy efficiency are far cleaner, safer, and more affordable than the theoretical, untested SMRs.
Send a public comment to NRC, demanding that the agency withdraw its Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and conduct a new, objective study.