Think 'worst case,' nuke study says

Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:49 PM
Last updated 1:01 PM
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WASHINGTON — A U.S. science advisory report says a key lesson from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident is that the nation’s nuclear industry needs to focus more on the highly unlikely but super-serious worst case scenarios.

A National Academy of Sciences report says that means thinking about earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, solar storm, multiple failures and situations that seem freakishly unusual. Those kind of things triggered the world’s three major nuclear accidents.

Thursday’s report said the 2011 Japanese accident, caused by an earthquake and tsunami, should not have been a surprise. The report says another Japanese nuclear power plant also hit by the tsunami was closer to the quake’s fault. But it wasn’t damaged because, unlike Fukushima, quakes and flooding were considered when it was built.

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