Nuclear power plants use fake and counterfeit parts

It has become known that at least some nuclear power plants located in the United States of America contain counterfeit parts, which in turn can pose a significant risk, as shown by the latest investigation by the inspector general of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These most counterfeit parts “raise nuclear safety and security concerns that could have serious consequences,” according to the final report, released February 9.

While concerns about the safety of nuclear waste have plagued nuclear power for the past few decades, brand new concerns come amid growing enthusiasm for nuclear power as a carbon-free source of energy that can in turn help countries meet their climate goals. The investigation came after unnamed individuals claimed that “the vast majority, if not all,” of nuclear power plants across America have counterfeit or defective parts.

The Office of the Inspector General was actually able to find counterfeit parts problems at several large factories at once as part of its investigation. The report also claims that in the past year alone, the Department of Energy separately flagged 100 “incidents” using counterfeit parts. This is a problem that the United States of America will definitely have to address if the country moves forward with its plans to include nuclear power in its clean energy transition. The latest report also warns that without enhanced oversight by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, there could be an increased risk of counterfeit parts undetected at the country’s literally life-saving nuclear power plants.

As part of its investigation, the Office of the Inspector General also looked for parts that were illegally altered to look like legitimate products, as well as parts that were “deliberately misrepresented to deceive” and that simply did not meet product specifications. The commission took samples at four power plants in the United States and, as a result, found signs of the use of counterfeit parts at one of these stations.

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