NRC Dedicates Staff to Manage Lessons Learned from Japan

David Skeen

As the year comes to an end, the NRC continues to evaluate the lessons learned from the March 2011 nuclear accident in Japan to ensure that appropriate safety enhancements are implemented at nuclear power plants here in the U.S. We at the NRC take the tragic accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant very seriously, and are striving to gain insights from the accident to improve nuclear safety here at home.

Earlier this year, the Commission directed technical experts on the NRC staff to develop recommendations for enhancing reactor safety at U.S. plants. This direction resulted in a July 2011 report that identified 12 over-arching recommendations from what is known as the Near-Term Task Force.

We’ve established a group of 24, full-time employees to focus exclusively on the implementation of the recommendations. These employees are experts in nuclear power plant design and operations and emergency preparedness. The group is called the Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate. The directorate will support a steering committee consisting of senior agency managers to coordinate and implement the task force recommendations per with our Commission’s direction, including its goal of striving to implement the recommendations within five years.

An important aspect of our path forward is stakeholder engagement with members of the public. We will seek input through public meetings to help us determine whether changes may be required to improve safety at U.S. nuclear power plants.

David L. Skeen was recently named as head of the directorate. He’s been involved in the U.S. response since the tsunami hit Fukushima. He has more than 20 years experience as a reactor engineer and policy advisor, and excellent skills and experience to effectively lead the effort.

We will keep you up to date on our activities here, and on the dedicated Japan page on the NRC web site.

Amy Bonaccorso
Sr. Communications Technical Assistant
Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

14 thoughts on “NRC Dedicates Staff to Manage Lessons Learned from Japan”

  1. Ms. Bonaccorso:

    God bless you and your comrads. We desperately need some kind of alternative energy in the name of security.

  2. It seems they need to work more, its a really bad tragedy, I think one can learn from mistakes and move forward. wish for best..

  3. This is not an NRC problem or a nuclear industry problem. This is an imperative for nuclear safety. The American people are looking to everyone involved in nuclear safety – from the operators to the regulators – to do their part in continuing to protect the public. We must deliver.

  4. We need a world without nuclear weapons nuclear energy before we kill ourselves each other and the innocent

  5. Nuclear energy still is the cleanest. Is a tragedy of what happened in Japan, but accidents happen It’s our job to learn, correct them and move on

  6. Radiation exposure and radiation sickness are things to be concerned with. The United States west coast is concerned about the ongoing impacts from Japan’s earthquake and on March 11, 2011 and the subsequent tsunami and now the radiation. And what about Hawaii, which is hours closer to Japan.

    Comment moved by the moderator

  7. .. prompted following thoughts already emailed to NRC pertinent also to learned lessons item below .. Stick to your guns Greg and don’t the boggers beat you up! Said as 80s pioneering campaigner on errors in all approved LOCA codes at that time lacking a key term controlling depressurisation dryout bubble transit time from bulk to wall, roughly halving it indeed. Derivation done in CamUni DAMTP (google!), details delivered by one of their last cohort of 3Year Part3 brightest best mentored by me and disseminated during five years of headbanging against entrenched establishment who never explicitly conceded defeat only ever acknowledged awareness! Sounds familiar?! Gobsmacked years later discovering same failings still in LOCA codes adopted for HP-HC blowout emulation, my evaluation commissioned for UK HSE-OSD compliance with Cullen post PiperAlpha. Again took five years to zap them after vendor of worst offender injuncted HSE & me for defamation, resulting in withdrawal of report until courageous campaigning by retiring CS got guarantees from incoming UK government in ’97 that HSE must never again be intimidated because failings persist without published awareness! Pretty much matches your agenda! Crossed my mind that maybe Japanese authorities were likely also in denial about LOCA code shortfalls on depressurisation dryout when it came to persisting with licensed operation at Fukushima, if so then amazingly seeing as their academics were amongst the first to recognise the glaring omission back in 80s. Must mention also that TMI meltdown conundrum (crisis exacerbated by pumping) would never have been a puzzle had US authorities been aware of UK work on comboconvection following fatal accident with supercritical water loop, early 70s indeed so upwards four decades ahead of current considerations! Be pleased to receive requests for further insightful information.

  8. The tsunami in Japan has been somewhere a result of Human manipulations, not sure how many lifes are again bought under the nuclear outbreak. Hope the studies would benefit thickly populated countries like India where plans of setting up new nuclear plants are proposed.

  9. While I can appreciate the use of public meetings, I’m concerned over whether they will be enough. A forum to be heard is great, but will the people really be heard? What process are in place to act on that public input?

  10. Well, I think the NRC as a lot of work ahead. This is such a tragedy for Japan.. I guess Leasson Learned!

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