What can go wrong?

Nuclear power plants are complex systems operated by human beings who can and do make mistakes. As such, they are vulnerable to accidents and failures because of natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes and extreme weather, fires, equipment failures, improper maintenance, and human errors. UCS experts provide analysis on these infrequent but serious threats—and what U.S. regulators should be doing about them.

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What has gone wrong?

Photo: NSNBC International

The disaster at Fukushima in 2011 was just the most recent of several serious accidents at nuclear power plants. And every year, multiple nuclear plants in the United States experience incidents serious enough to trigger a special inspection by the NRC; many of these incidents should have been avoided, and they expose the public to heightened and unnecessary risk.

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The Nuclear Power Information Tracker

Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Curious about what's going on at your local nuclear power plant? We are too—so we've created this interactive web tool that lets you sift through a variety of nuclear safety data. Read each plant's safety history in detail, with links to blog posts detailing some of the stories behind the incidents. Or find out which plants have elevated spent fuel pools, fire protection problems, or other safety issues.

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to Make Change Happen

We can make nuclear power safer—but not without you. Your generous support helps develop science-based solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.