Having worked at R.E. Ginna for eight years as an electrical planner, I know how safety of the public and workers is top priority.
Redundancy is built into every aspect of the plant equipment and daily activities. The Nuclear Regulatory Committee has professionals on-site performing inspections of plant equipment, safety procedures and planned work.
The general public never takes the time to seek out information on nuclear energy. A good place to start is National Energy Institute’s Q&A at http://bit.ly/2hW16i4.
Here are a few examples listed under Safety.
“Are nuclear energy facilities safe? Yes. The industry’s first commitment is to operate nuclear energy facilities safely. After more than a half-century of commercial nuclear energy production in the U.S. — more than 3,500 reactor years of operation — there have been no radiation-related health effects linked to their operation. Studies by the National Cancer Institute, the U.N. Scientific Committee of the Effects of Atomic Radiation, the National Research Council’s BEIR VII study group and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements all show that U.S. nuclear power plants cause no harm to people in neighboring communities.
“Are facilities as safe for workers as for the public? Yes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a smaller chance that a worker at a nuclear plant would be injured than employees at a fast-food restaurant or a grocery store. As part of the industry’s commitment to a safe workplace, employees are continuously monitored for radiation exposure, for which strict limits are enforced by the independent NRC.
“Could an accident like the one at Chernobyl happen at a U.S. plant? No. It is physically impossible for a U.S. commercial nuclear energy facility to run out of control and explode like the Chernobyl RBMK reactor design did. During power operations, when the temperature within the reactor reaches a predetermined level, the fission process is naturally suppressed so the power level cannot spike under any circumstances. No RBMK-style reactor operates in the U.S.”