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Richard H. Perkins and Larry Criscione are precise and formal men with more than 20 years of combined government and military service. Perkins held posts at the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration before joining the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Division of Risk Analysis in 2008. Criscione landed at the agency a year later, after five years aboard the USS Georgia as a submarine warfare officer.
Now both men are also reluctant whistleblowers, stepping out publicly to accuse the NRC of being both disconcertingly sluggish and inappropriately secretive about severe -- and in one case, potentially catastrophic -- flood risks at nuclear plants that sit downstream from large dams.
The document also cited analyses by Duke Energy, owner of the Oconee Nuclear Station in South Carolina, that were performed as far back as the early 1990s, suggesting that the NRC had known for some time about the flood threats. Those analyses showed that the 5-foot flood wall protecting crucial safety equipment at Oconee would prove inadequate in the event of a catastrophic failure of the Jocassee Dam, located 11 miles upstream on Lake Keowee. If that dam failed completely, the report suggested, floodwaters as high as 16.8 feet would inundate the Oconee facility, and a meltdown would be a virtual certainty.
The real disaster that is waiting to happen imo is along the new madrid faultline and the ones in southern california. Needless to say any major earthquake in those areas could turn ugly really quick without a single nuke from russia or china.