Sunday, December 02, 2007

Nuclear Power Information Tracker

The Union of Concerned Scientists, one of the best watchdog and energy advisory group around, offers a comprehensive online guide to the existing reactors in the U.S. The interactive map also provides some startling surprises, such as when you click on the button labeled "Show Inherently Safe Reactors" and get this popup:

An inherently safe reactor, in theory, would be designed, operated, and monitored in such a way that the reactor would never be damaged and, as a result, no radioactivity would ever be released to the environment. No such reactor currently exists. The risk from existing reactors is so real and so large that liability insurance from private companies is financially impossible, thereby requiring federal liability protection

The catalog of reactor problems, near misses, forced shutdowns, and spotty safety records is eye opening and a clear indication of the nature of the beast.