Nuclear accidents only in the movies, right? | Wis.Community

Nuclear accidents only in the movies, right?

Milwaukee Magazine's News Buzz:

Filmmakers will use a building on [Milwaukee's] Tower Automotive site to stage a scene that is supposed to take place at the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine — where a 1986 meltdown remains the world’s worst nuclear power accident.

Why not just use Point Beach,(pictured), a real nuclear plant, not too far up the road?

Point Beach hasn't had a major accident yet, although it is one of the oldest opeating reactors in the nation.

But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which inspects the nation's 102 operating reactors, has only issued five "red findings," the most serious safety warning, since it began using that system. Three of the five red warnings have gone to Point Beach.

In bureaucratic terms, the NRC says a red finding has a "high safety significance." How high? Well, there is no color higher than red on the scale.

But not to worry. The reactors have been relicensed to operate until 2030 and 2033, when they will be 60 years old. No one has ever operated a nuclear reactor safely for that long, so we will be breaking new ground.

The chances of a major nuclear accident are remote -- certainly no greater than the chance there would be a major failure of an offshore oil drilling platform.

So sleep soundly. And enjoy the Chernobyl movie.


July 20, 2010 - 4:20pm