U.S. NRC Blog

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Latest NRC Actions Related to Ongoing Events in Japan

The NRC Commissioners voted this week to direct the staff to launch a review of U.S. nuclear power plant safety – as a direct result of the Japanese nuclear power emergency. The review will include a task force that will do both a short-term and long-term analysis of lessons learned. The review will be public when it’s completed. The task force doing the reports includes current senior managers at the NRC and former NRC experts with relevant experience.

The Chairman and Commissioners set very short deadlines for the task force. They want formal updates on the short-term effort in 30, 60 and 90 days. (Already NRC senior technical staff briefed the Commission on Monday about efforts so far. A transcript of that briefing is online. And the Commission wants the taskforce to start long-term evaluation within 90 days and should have a report on recommendations within six months of beginning that evaluation.

We’ll post more information on the results of the taskforce both here on the blog and at www.nrc.gov .

In a decision also related to events in Japan, the Commission revised its schedule for meetings and briefings to remain focused on the agency’s response to events in Japan. A revised Commission meeting schedule will be posted shortly on the NRC website here: http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/schedule.html.

In other news, the IG report released today is focused on a subset of defects — manufacturing defects. Both utilities and NRC inspectors have processes for identifying and reporting manufacturing defects. The fundamental issue identified by the report is administrative and pertains to how these defects are reported. The NRC has a variety of other regulations that effectively encompass reporting all defects, and the NRC continues to conclude plants are operating safely. The NRC will look at the IG report to see if our reporting systems can be further strengthened.

Eliot Brenner
Public Affairs Director

5 responses to “Latest NRC Actions Related to Ongoing Events in Japan

  1. duxx April 23, 2011 at 2:58 am

    Topic: UN Secretary General ties nuclear accidents to global warming
    “We have seen in Japan the effects of natural disasters particularly in areas vulnerable to seismic activities,” Mr Ban said.“Climate change means more incidents of freak and increasingly severe weather, and with the number of nuclear energy facilities scheduled to increase substantially in the coming decades our vulnerability will only grow.”

    As a moderator,you must be diplomatic about the UNSG making an ignorant statement. But,you can comment on my assertation that zero nuclear accidents have resulted from weather anomilies. Make what comments you can but please address my statement.

  2. Elizabeth Oseid March 31, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Interesting information. After reading the transcript from the above link, I feel that the potential from the spent fuel pools is not given adequate attention. It is a bit deceiving to say that all you need to do is keep water in the pool. Given that earthquakes of sufficient magnitude can drain entire lakes, it is entirely possible from my standpoint that any spent fuel pool can become cracked and drain to the extent that all the pumping power in the world will not keep the pool full. One worries about the potential for core damage, certainly, but the spent fuel, especially given the rather large amounts that are stored – we don’t have an answer for permanent storage as far as I have heard – this is a rather unfortunate risk and one that I would like very much to see addressed. I do not believe that the general public is aware of just how much fuel is stored on site at each and every nuclear power plant, nor of the potential danger that it represents. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

  3. Hoodia, P March 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I think anything that helps us get a better understanding of what may face our Nuclear Power Generation capability in the future is a good thing. We do need to learn from our mistakes each time.

    Thanks

  4. Judy C March 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Has the NRC gotton any feedback from Hawaii as to radiation levels in water and air? I need to know.
    JC

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