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