COVID-19 Lessons from Three Mile Island #2 — the NRC

My last column was about crisis management lessons I learned back in 1979 while investigating the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the President’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island (TMI). Let’s just say that FEMA wasn’t ready for a nuclear meltdown. Today we turn to the other federal agency I investigated at that same time — the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). While FEMA was simply unprepared and incompetent, the NRC was unprepared and lied about it.

Like FEMA, the NRC had recently undergone a rebranding from its previous identity as the Atomic Energy Commission — a schizoid agency that had been charged […]

Is anything nuclear ever really super safe small and simple?

Absent some terrible news from Japan this will be my second and last column about the nuclear accidents unfolding there. It turned out I was right last time about the sodium polyboride or boric acid or whatever neutron absorber the Japanese authorities dumped in first one and now two reactors along with a lot of sea water in an attempt to quench the reaction heat. I think it is pretty clear, too, that most of these reactors will not be coming back online… ever. This column looks at what that can mean for the nuclear industry in Japan and I also want to look at how these accidents are or aren’t like Chernobyl — a comparison I am seeing far too often in news […]