The reluctance of U.S. federal regulators to require operators of nuclear reactors to spend $5 billion to enhance the security of spent fuel rods stored underground threatens the country with a potential catastrophe, scientists warned on Friday. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission greatly underestimated the risk and potential contamination of a nuclear waste fire triggered by a quake or a planned attack, experts writing in the journal “Science” said. In 2014, the NRC found the chance of a disaster caused by leaving radioactive waste in storage pools was too remote to warrant the cost of moving it to safer dry casks. An earthquake that could trigger a radiation leak was likely less than once every 10 million years, hardly justifying the cost of about $50 million per reactor to transfer spent fuel, the NRC said in that report.
Reuters 26th May 2017 read more »