U.S. NRC Blog

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Keeping you Updated on U.S. Seismic Standards

In the aftermath of what’s happened in Japan, we understand you’re asking about how U.S. nuclear plants are prepared for these sorts of events. Our technical experts in seismic events have taken time from their response efforts to answer almost two dozen of your most frequent questions.

We’ve posted that information on the NRC website here: http://www.nrc.gov/japan/faqs-related-to-japan.pdf .   We’re working to keep that list as current as possible.

The bottom line remains the same – U.S. reactors are designed to safely ride out the strongest earthquakes at their sites, based on scientific review of at least 10,000 years of the geologic record at every site. Reactors on coastal sites are designed to withstand tsunami, hurricane storm surges and other flooding.

4 responses to “Keeping you Updated on U.S. Seismic Standards

  1. Greg Yuhas March 22, 2011 at 12:12 am

    On March 21, 2011, The California Senate Select Committee on Earthquake and Disaster Preparedness held hearings on the impact and lessons learned from the disaster in Japan. Southern California Edison (SONGS) and Pacific Gas and Electric (Diablo Canyon) made presentations and responded to questioning by Chair Corbett and members of the Committee. Numerous safety related issues were raised and the Commission’s licensing process was impugned.
    Why wasn’t NRC represented at this important meeting?
    .

  2. Adam Gripper March 20, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I feel that the NRC should revise their current mission statement to include a commitment to keeping the American public informed of current events relevant to the nuclear community, both domestic and abroad. I believe the future of nuclear power and medicine lies heavily on the perception of the American public. The American public cannot be expected to make rational decisions based solely on an inflammatory and uninformed media. The NRC currently does a good job providing this kind of information in situations such as the reactor accident at Fukushima, but the commission currently has no commitment to this provision. By adding this commitment to the mission statement, the NRC can track, report on, and improve the effectiveness of meeting this inherent responsibility.

  3. Keith March 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Hello, could you please speak to these two questions?
    1. Have the plants at Fukushima undergone the containment design modifications that were required of US plants in the 1970s and 1980s? Specifically, did these plants incorporate the hardened containment vents implemented in the US? Weren’t the hardened vents designed specifically to prevent reactor building hydrogen explosions like the ones that occurred at Fukushima?
    2. Where can we find the basis for the dose projections that NRC calculated and posted at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2011/11-050_Attchmt.pdf ? These dose projections are of little or no use without understanding what the input assumptions were (what percentage of the fission product inventory is assumed to be lost, etc.?).

  4. Greg Yuhas March 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks for the link describing the implications of the earthquake in Japan on US nuclear power plants. It might also be helpful if you described the emergency preparedness and response requirements imposed on operators of US nuclear power plants and how local, state and federal organizations fit into the response.

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