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Arnold "Arnie" Gundersen is chief engineer of energy consulting company Fairewinds Associates and a former nuclear power industry executive, and who has questioned the safety of the Westinghouse AP1000, a proposed third-generation nuclear reactor. Gundersen has also expressed concerns about the operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. He served as an expert witness in the investigation of the Three Mile Island accident.
Gundersen is chief engineer of Fairewinds Associates, an energy consulting company. He previously worked for Nuclear Energy Services in Danbury, a consulting firm where he was a senior vice president. Gundersen holds a master's degree in nuclear engineering.
In April 2010, Gundersen released a report (commissioned by several anti-nuclear groups) which explored a hazard associated with the possible rusting through of the AP1000 containment structure steel liner. In the AP1000 design, the liner and the concrete are separated, and if the steel rusts through, "there is no backup containment behind it" says Gundersen. If the dome rusted through the design would expel radioactive contaminants and the plant "could deliver a dose of radiation to the public that is 10 times higher than the N.R.C. limit" according to Gundersen. Westinghouse has disputed Gundersen’s assessment. Gundersen has testified before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards saying that "if a hole appeared, the chimney effect would disperse radioactive material far and wide".
Gundersen has also expressed concerns about the operation of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, saying a leak of radioactive tritium there could be "followed by releases of other, more dangerous materials if the plant keeps operating".
Gundersen has said that the U.S. nuclear industry and regulators need to reexamine disaster planning and worst-case scenarios, especially in reactors such as Vermont Yankee, which have the same design as the crippled nuclear plant at the center of the 2011 Japanese Fukushima nuclear emergency. He says that Vermont Yankee and similar plants are vulnerable to a similar cascade of events as in Japan.
As part of Fairewinds Energy Education, Gundersen has hosted numerous videos about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. These videos extensively document and explain various issues ongoing at the plan site.