Human error- nuclear’s biggest enemy

We look at the human element of the nuclear energy sector. Namely, how human error in the past, the present and future has an impact on the nuclear energy sector’s safety record and public reputation. Not to mention, a utility’s share price.

By Katherine Steiner-Dicks 

The number of column inches covering new MOUs across the globe paired with billions of government dollars in US loan guarantees makes 2010 one of the most promising yet for the nuclear energy sector.

But as anyone who follows this industry knows, it only took one safety incident at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island plant in 1979, which exposed those nearby to low levels of radiation but did not cause any proven health problems, to effectively shut down future construction projects.

The thing that makes nuclear energy different is that the public often does not differentiate between reactor technologies, plant ownership or incidents; it just lumps one incident as the entire industry’s incident. 

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