A little more than a year after a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant in northern Japan, plant officials in central Pennsylvania are implementing the lessons learned from that tragedy.
"We've foreseen those kinds of situations where we do not have any electric power, like they had at Fukushima, and we have coping strategies and equipment that allow us to vent the reactor and do other things to ensure we have adequate cooling," said Tom Dougherty, site vice president for the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station.
The safety improvements include buying mobile, self-powering diesel pumps that would cool down the reactors if other methods in place fail.
Peach Bottom's two reactors are boiling water reactors, similar to the ones at Fukushima. But Dougherty says Peach Bottom's design better protects the reactors' emergency generators from destruction and water.
Delta resident Allen Hushon says he's lived near the plant his whole life and feels it's safe. But the improvements do give him added peace of mind.
"It brings home the reality, that what happened in Japan, it could happen here. not the exact same thing, but it something happened, that bad, and hopefully we'd be able to react a little better than they have over in Japan so far," he said.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is holding its annual public meeting on Peach Bottom's safety performance. It's scheduled for April 25th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Peach Bottom Inn in Peach Bottom Township.