A Nuclear Christmas Gift

Bruce Thompson
Lost in all the noise about the 2 month extension of the payroll tax deduction is a wonderful piece of good news. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has just approved a new generation of reactor design which includes passive cooling in the event of an accident. Fox News reports:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission unanimously approved the AP1000 reactor on Thursday. The certification, to take effect within two weeks, will be valid for 15 years.

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said the newly approved design would ensure safety through simplified, passive security functions and other features. He said plants using the design could withstand damage from an airplane crash without significant release of radioactive materials - an issue that gained attention after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

 Approval of the design is a major step forward for utility companies in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas that have billions of dollars riding on plans to build AP1000 reactors in the Southeast. Without NRC approval, the utilities could not have gotten a license to build their plants.

Given all the concerns about the accident at Tokyo Electric Power's (Tepco) Fukushima power plant due the tsunami last March, this approval is a remarkable step forward.   By way of contrast, the German government is in the process of closing down its fleet of nuclear power plants in the residual panic caused by the Fukushima accident.

Even more remarkable good news: the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Gregory Jaczko appears to have moved away from the darkness. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, he made a fool of himself, unilaterally seizing control of the NRC (see below).

As American Thinker readers know, a timely response by the U S Navy's Supervisor of Salvage resulted in our military forces delivering large, portable salvage pumps to their counterparts in the Japanese Self-Defense forces, who in turn gave them to the Fukushima 50. By utilizing those pumps, the Fukushima 50 were able to get a reliable, high pressure source of cooling sea water with which to re-gain control of the reactor cores that were in the process of melting down. So while the Chairman of the NRC was spreading panic, the military was calmly helping solve the problem. This fact is why there was that amazing hearing before Congress where the other four commissioners united against Jaczko in a bi-partisan way. Fox news reported it this way...

The dispute comes after an inspector general's report released in June exposed long-simmering internal strife under Jaczko. The agency watchdog said Jaczko intimidated staff members who disagreed with him and withheld information from members of the commission to gain their support. 

In August, Republican senators asked the inspector general to investigate whether Jaczko had authority to declare the Japan emergency -- which grants him additional powers -- since the crisis occurred on foreign soil. The senators also said they were not certain that Jaczko has rescinded the order, despite his public claims to the contrary. 

In addition to the Oct. 13 letter to Daley, the four NRC commissioners also wrote a letter to Jaczko, saying his "intemperate and disrespectful behavior towards your fellow commission members is completely unacceptable." They cited an Oct. 5 meeting with senior staff in which he reportedly expressed "disdain" for commission procedures and "contempt for the commission" itself.

The letter called the conduct "absolutely unacceptable."

It seems that public humiliation before a bi-partisan hearing of the Government Oversight Committee under its Republican Chairman Darrell Issa, has power to persuade even a Green fanatic like Greg Jaczko to behave.

Merry Christmas America!

Lost in all the noise about the 2 month extension of the payroll tax deduction is a wonderful piece of good news. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has just approved a new generation of reactor design which includes passive cooling in the event of an accident. Fox News reports:

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission unanimously approved the AP1000 reactor on Thursday. The certification, to take effect within two weeks, will be valid for 15 years.

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said the newly approved design would ensure safety through simplified, passive security functions and other features. He said plants using the design could withstand damage from an airplane crash without significant release of radioactive materials - an issue that gained attention after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

 Approval of the design is a major step forward for utility companies in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas that have billions of dollars riding on plans to build AP1000 reactors in the Southeast. Without NRC approval, the utilities could not have gotten a license to build their plants.

Given all the concerns about the accident at Tokyo Electric Power's (Tepco) Fukushima power plant due the tsunami last March, this approval is a remarkable step forward.   By way of contrast, the German government is in the process of closing down its fleet of nuclear power plants in the residual panic caused by the Fukushima accident.

Even more remarkable good news: the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Gregory Jaczko appears to have moved away from the darkness. In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster, he made a fool of himself, unilaterally seizing control of the NRC (see below).

As American Thinker readers know, a timely response by the U S Navy's Supervisor of Salvage resulted in our military forces delivering large, portable salvage pumps to their counterparts in the Japanese Self-Defense forces, who in turn gave them to the Fukushima 50. By utilizing those pumps, the Fukushima 50 were able to get a reliable, high pressure source of cooling sea water with which to re-gain control of the reactor cores that were in the process of melting down. So while the Chairman of the NRC was spreading panic, the military was calmly helping solve the problem. This fact is why there was that amazing hearing before Congress where the other four commissioners united against Jaczko in a bi-partisan way. Fox news reported it this way...

The dispute comes after an inspector general's report released in June exposed long-simmering internal strife under Jaczko. The agency watchdog said Jaczko intimidated staff members who disagreed with him and withheld information from members of the commission to gain their support. 

In August, Republican senators asked the inspector general to investigate whether Jaczko had authority to declare the Japan emergency -- which grants him additional powers -- since the crisis occurred on foreign soil. The senators also said they were not certain that Jaczko has rescinded the order, despite his public claims to the contrary. 

In addition to the Oct. 13 letter to Daley, the four NRC commissioners also wrote a letter to Jaczko, saying his "intemperate and disrespectful behavior towards your fellow commission members is completely unacceptable." They cited an Oct. 5 meeting with senior staff in which he reportedly expressed "disdain" for commission procedures and "contempt for the commission" itself.

The letter called the conduct "absolutely unacceptable."

It seems that public humiliation before a bi-partisan hearing of the Government Oversight Committee under its Republican Chairman Darrell Issa, has power to persuade even a Green fanatic like Greg Jaczko to behave.

Merry Christmas America!