New YouTube Video Shows NRC’s Inspection of the Davis-Besse New Reactor Head and Shield Building

It was exactly a year ago when additional NRC inspectors were at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant to closely monitor and follow the installation of the new reactor vessel head.

The plant had been shut down since October 1. The NRC reviews and inspections had already begun in July 2011 to verify the new head was made to NRC standards and requirements.

On October 10, workers were cutting a hole in the side of the outermost building to replace the reactor head when they found a crack in the reinforced concrete. The NRC took immediate action by having the inspectors who were already at the plant follow the discovery, by sending a concrete material expert to the plant the same day to better understand the technical issue and by forming a special technical review team in response to the discovery. The review team was tasked with ensuring a thorough and rigorous review of the issue to determine if the plant could still be operated safely.

The NRC conducted more than 1,200 hours of inspections in response to this discovery and held public meetings in the area to discuss the issue and answer questions from the public. The plant now has a new reactor head on and is currently operating safely.

Some of the actions the NRC took and how the agency responded can be seen in a new YouTube video. In the video, we take you inside Davis-Besse with some of the NRC inspectors who were involved in the inspections of the new head installation and the shield building. We hope you take a few minutes to check it out.

Prema Chandrathil
Public Affairs Officer, Region III

Nuclear Regulators Security Conference Registration Now Open

While the NRC is responsible for licensing the nuclear material only in the U.S., we are also very active internationally – especially with helping other countries develop nuclear and radiological regulatory programs covering both safety and security.

In 2010, the NRC participated in the first international Nuclear Security Summit, convened by President Obama, which focused on how to better safeguard weapons-grade plutonium and uranium to prevent nuclear terrorism. The participating countries at the summit agreed to work cooperatively as an international community to advance nuclear security and advocate for strong nuclear security practices around the globe — with the NRC leading the effort for the U.S.

That summit was followed this year, in March, with a similar conference held in Korea. There, the U.S. committed to hosting the first-ever Nuclear Regulators Security Conference. That conference is scheduled for Dec. 4 through 6 in Rockville, Md. Its goal is to enhance awareness of the importance of comprehensive national regulatory security programs, and to build relationships between world-wide regulatory entities with responsibility for nuclear and radioactive materials security.

Topics at the conference will include:

• establishing and maintaining a strong, independent, legal and regulatory framework to protect and secure nuclear and radioactive materials;

• creating methodologies for design basis threats and threat assessments;

• best practices for information protection and cyber security;

• establishing programs to ensure personnel trustworthiness and reliability; and

• a special session on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) International Physical Protection Advisory Service missions.

Confirmed speakers include: John O. Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Yukiya Amano, Director General, IAEA; and NRC Chairman Allison M. Macfarlane.

This conference is open to the public and free, but space is limited – and pre-registration is required.

Nancy Fragoyannis
Senior Level Advisor for Nonproliferation and International Nuclear Security
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