Spent fuel fire on U.S. soil could dwarf impact of Fukushima

A rider with scales sits upon a black horse. This depiction is represenative of a scarcity of food and famine.

peachbottom nuclear plant

Richard Stone – May. 24, 2016

A fire from spent fuel stored at a U.S. nuclear power plant could have catastrophic consequences, according to new simulations of such an event.

A major fire “could dwarf the horrific consequences of the Fukushima accident,” says Edwin Lyman, a physicist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. “We’re talking about trillion-dollar consequences,” says Frank von Hippel, a nuclear security expert at Princeton University, who teamed with Princeton’s Michael Schoeppner on the modeling exercise.