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U.S. Nuclear Plants on Track for Continued Safety


The IBEW released the following statement to the press today.

April 6, 2011

Nuclear plant control room
The IBEW represents 15,000 members in the nuclear industry in North America.

The natural disasters in Japan that led to the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant have raised questions in the national media and among the public about the safety of nuclear power in the United States.


The IBEW believes that our nation’s nuclear energy industry is well-prepared to deal with any events as potentially harmful as earthquakes and tsunamis. We represent more than 15,000 workers at 42 plants across North America in one of the most well-regulated, tightly-run industries in the world. Nuclear operators and workers are professional and highly-trained, and their facilities have a record of standing up to challenges:

  • Reactors are designed to withstand maximum projected earthquakes and tsunamis.
  • Louisiana’s Waterford station maintained safe operation following Hurricane Katrina.
  • Illinois’ IBEW-run Quad Cities station withstood tornados twice in the 1990s.
  • Following 9/11, plant designs and practices were upgraded to resist aircraft impact.
  • All U.S. nuclear plants undergo multiple safety drills overseen by federal agencies.

Plant safety procedures are regularly addressed, independent of natural events – and the IBEW members in the industry will continue to work in coordination and cooperation with utility management and regulatory bodies to maximize safety and efficiency.

We admire the plant workers in Japan who are demonstrating courage under enormously difficult conditions to repair their facilities. At the same time, we feel it is necessary to draw a distinction between Japan’s industry and our own, while reminding the public that one unique incident – however dire – does not provide adequate context from which to base sound decisions regarding the future of our clean power generation.

We continue to believe that nuclear power will be an increasingly vital part of our national energy portfolio as we address environmental and supply issues in the future.

Click here for a fact sheet about nuclear power safety in the U.S.