A nuclear industry report has concluded that a hijacked commercial airliner could not penetrate a U.S. nuclear power reactor and release deadly radiation. The study's preliminary findings were released Monday and add more weight to an AOPA-commissioned study, which concluded that a general aviation aircraft couldn't cause a radiation release.
According to Reuters, the new study was commissioned by the Nuclear Energy Institute. It looked at what would happen if a Boeing 767 crashed into a nuclear power plant.
Computer models simulated the impact at different angles. The aircraft was not able to penetrate the reactor's concrete containment vessel. (The typical GA aircraft is less than one percent the mass of a Boeing 767.)
The preliminary findings were reported during a National Press Foundation seminar. The final study is expected to be released to the public later this summer.