Following a devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, one of its nuclear power plants is on the verge of multiple meltdowns. Now, many in this country are asking whether U.S. plants can withstand such a disaster. In “Nuclear Nation,” energyNOW chief correspondent Tyler Suiters looks at how American nuclear plants could be vulnerable.
Tyler interviews a former nuclear plant worker – now a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists – who sounded the alarm 18 years ago about what he believes are safety problems at plants with the same design as Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant. Dave Lockbaum wrote a book predicting a crisis similar to the one in Japan after the industry and Congress ignored his warnings. He believes the U.S. could be less prepared for a natural disaster than the Japanese were.
Tyler also talks to former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Dale Klein, who tells him that the U.S. industry will learn lessons from the situation in Japan and believes that U.S. nuclear plants have been built to withstand earthquakes and tsunamis.
Whistleblowers who called attention to problems at the Watts Bar plant in Tennessee and Diablo Canyon in California tell their stories and explain their worst fears abut potential problems at those plants and their aftermath.
And we ask the critical question: What's the biggest danger to the plants? A natural disaster or the deterioration of the plants over time?
Image credit: Amy via Flickr
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