Brittle Diablo: NRC Commissioners punt to staff


San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace and Friends of the Earth — long-time watch-dogs on the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant on central California’s Pacific coast (pictured) — responded to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioners’ ruling on the environmental coalition’s demand Unit 1 be immediately shut down. The groups are urging the reactor pressure vessel’s (RPV) neutron radiation embrittlement level be tested. Pressurized thermal shock can fracture an RPV through-wall, causing core meltdown, and large-scale release of radioactivity. Diablo’s Unit 1 is the third most brittle in the U.S., after only Palisades (see related entry) and Point Beach Unit 2 in Wisconsin, wedging Lake Michigan. The commissioners punted the issue back to their staff, which has neglected the risks for many decades.

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