We were blown away too. There are discussions at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about allowing nuclear plants to write their own self-assessments. You know, as a way of cutting back on all that pesky regulation.
C-10 recently took the opportunity to file comments opposing this idea. Below are excerpts. Read more about the design inspection review process on this NRC site, including detailed comments by Dave Lochbaum, Director of the Nuclear Safety Project with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Here are some of the reasons we believe surrendering safety review to plant operators would put the public at risk:
“As for-profit entities that weigh safety as only one performance metric among many, there is an inherent problem in expecting commercial nuclear plant owners to be unbiased and completely transparent when it comes to safety concerns that could put the public at risk — no matter how small or large they are perceived to be.
It will generally be in the plant owners’ and shareholders’ interests to minimize any problems that might be detected, rather than self-reporting and calling forth regulatory and public scrutiny. The possibility for reduced transparency concerns us as citizens whose lives are immediately impacted by ongoing safety problems at Seabrook Station, including and not limited to the problem known as alkali silica reaction. Transparency and the opportunity for public input is an essential part of NRC’s work, and key to C-10’s ability to function as citizen watchdogs.” Read our full comments, here.