Forget the international panic caused by Japan’s damaged and still-dangerous Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Officials of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned electric utility corporation, have signaled their intent to build six “mini” nuclear reactors on a vacant riverside lot in eastern Tennessee.

One sane voice has not forgotten recent history. Ed Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists made it clear that in terms of function and design, the TVA’s reactors will not be less prone to disaster than the kind that Japanese authorities are still battling to repair and contain. Of course, TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore begged to differ. –ARK

AP via The Huffington Post:

Ed Lyman, a senior scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists, testified last week before a U.S. Senate committee that the smaller reactors will not be safer or less expensive than traditional reactors.

Lyman said Friday that “TVA is somewhat insulated from the financial concerns that other utilities face because of its privileged position” as a quasi-federal agency. “I think the one thing that is puzzling is many other utilities around the world are at least taking a pause in the wake of the Fukushima accident to at least think about building nuclear plants.”

… TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore has said TVA is monitoring the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant from a March 11 earthquake and tsunami. He has said there is no reason for TVA to delay moving ahead for the benefit of ratepayers and for the environment, saying nuclear power is safe and “cleaner than any other realistic alternative.”

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