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What You Won’t Hear When Gregory Jaczko, Peter Bradford and Arnie Gundersen Take to the Podium in New York and Boston This Week


The following is a guest post written by NEI’s Tom Kauffman. Though Tom works in NEI’s media relations shop. He also spent 23 years working at Three Mile Island, seven of those as a licensed reactor operator. What You Won’t Hear When Gregory Jaczko, Peter Bradford and Arnie Gundersen Take to the Podium in New York and Boston This Week This week in New York and Boston, anti-nuclear activists have scheduled panel discussions designed to scare the public into pressuring politicians into shuttering local nuclear power plants. The members of the panel are:
  • former NRC chairman Gregory Jaczko;
  • Peter Bradford, former NRC commissioner; and
  • anti-nuke extremist Arnie Gundersen, an engineer who never lets science or facts get in his way.
So what can you expect to hear from this trio? We figure it’s more or less a combination of the three following assertions: 1) The nuclear accident in Japan can happen here. 2) All U.S. nuclear energy facilities are unsafe. 3) All U.S. reactors should be permanently shut down. On the other hand, there are some facts they are sure to ignore:
  • Not one person in Japan was killed due to the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. And despite Gundersen’s prediction that “about a million cancers,” would result from the accident in Japan, the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation determined that no significant radiation related health issues have been found in Japan or elsewhere.
  • During the accident in Japan, Gregory Jaczko’s claim that the Unit 4 used fuel pool was empty was later proven false by NRC staff. This mistake, along with his resistance to correct it, likely made things worse for the Japanese.
  • All U.S. nuclear energy facilities are prepared for extreme events. Despite this, not one U.S. nuclear energy facility is subject to earthquakes or tsunamis the magnitude of those that caused the accident in Japan.
  • After more than a half-century (more than 7,500 reactor-years) of operation, including the accident at Three Mile Island, there is no evidence that any member of the public has been harmed by the radiation from any U.S. nuclear energy facility.
  • Gregory Jaczko’s call for a 50-mile evacuation zone around the Fukushima plant during the Japan accident was proven to be unnecessary and put people at risk.
  • The NRC has determined there is no scientific basis for expanding the 10-mile-radius Emergency Planning Zone (EPZ) around U.S. nuclear power plants.
  • The U.S. and Japanese nuclear energy industries are profoundly different in their approaches to nuclear safety with the U.S. industry effectively being decades ahead in levels of physical protection, regulatory control, safety culture and security.
  • While Gundersen likes to tout his experience as a “licensed reactor operator,” others who have taken a closer look at his background have concluded he’s engaged in puffing up his resume. And when he’s challenged to show his work, he comes up empty.

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