No Safety Guarantees at U.S. Power Reactors

WASHINGTON -- Public Citizen's Critical Mass Energy Project has issued a scathing indictment of the nuclear power industry, concluding that safety systems may not work in an emergency at 102 of 111 commercial reactors.

The 102 reactors reported over 500 cases of operating "outside design basis." That's legal jargon for how the government monitors reactor safety.

The study's author James Riccio, says, "If a reactor is operating 'outside design basis' it is impossible for the NRC or the utility to determine whether the reactor is 'safe' or whether its operation poses an undue risk to public health and safety."

--"Amnesty Irrational: How the NRC Fails to Hold Nuclear Reactors Accountable for Violations of its Own Safety Regs.," Public Citizen, August 1999;
New York Times, Aug. 11,1999.