Is This the “Safe, Clean” Nuclear Power We Hear So Much About?
Illinois nuke-power operator criticized for leaks and “incidents”
Quantity doesn’t equal quality with Chicago-based Exelon Corp., which runs all six nuclear plants and 11 nuclear reactors in Illinois. There were at least four “incidents” at Exelon plants last week, including a false alarm at one generating station that initiated the first “site-area emergency” at a U.S. nuclear plant in 15 years. These came on the heels of disclosures that there were eight radioactive leaks and spills at Exelon plants since 1996 that went unreported to the public. One spill of roughly 3 million gallons of tritium-laced water in 1998 wasn’t completely cleaned up eight years later. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) plans to introduce legislation this week requiring nuclear facilities to notify state and local officials of unintended or accidental radioactive leaks — or face possible loss of their operating licenses.