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1997-08-28 08:02:54


Specialist Predicts NRC Will Shut Down Nuclear Plants in 12/99



Rick Cowles has a Web site devoted to electrical utilities. He is mildly optimistic, but not with respect to the decisions of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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. . . the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will order the shutdown of every nuclear power facility in the U.S. no later than 12/30/99.

This scenario will occur unless each license holder (utility) can conclusively prove that their reactor control, turbine control, event logging, safety related embedded control systems, emergency core cooling systems, and administrative systems such as plant maintenance scheduling, and security systems (at a minimum) will not be adversely affected at the turn of the century. Current federal regulations (10CFR50.59, 10CFR50 Appendices A and J) and individual plant operating licenses require cessation of operations when operating in an "unanalyzed condition".

At a nuclear power facility, it would seem to me that Y2K would be the ultimate in unanalyzed conditions. Given the dependencies in all of the above systems to assure safe operations, I canít, at this time, see how the NRC can do anything other than issue a blanket shutdown order to all domestic nuclear power plants. . . .

I hope Iím wrong. Do you know how much electrical power is produced in the US by nuclear? 20 to 25%, depending on the time of year. In the mid-Atlantic and northeast section of the U.S., that figure is closer to 40%.


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