New Web Pages Illustrate NRC’s Post-Fukushima Activities

Matthew Mitchell
Chief, Projects Management Branch
Japan Lessons-Learned Directorate

JLD_Orders_rack_cardWhen you talk about something over and over again, you sometimes end up with a verbal shorthand to keep conversations moving. The NRC has certainly done that in discussing “Tiers,” “Mitigating Strategies” and some of the other language describing our work to implement the lessons learned from the 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima. But we’re taking steps to keep our verbal shorthand understandable.

Each of the three Fukushima-related Orders we issued to U.S. reactors in March 2012 has a fairly long title, and over time we’ve condensed those titles into two- or three-word phrases. Now the NRC website includes a quick summary for each Order, complete with a visual icon. We expect to incorporate those icons onto other pages to help you follow the actions plants are taking to comply with the Orders. Since one of the Orders (and a lot of recent discussion and news coverage) focuses on the 31 U.S. reactors with designs similar to Fukushima, we’ve listed all those plants on one page.

A few months after Fukushima, the senior managers that made up NRC’s Near-Term Task Force provided several dozen individual recommendations for the agency to consider. The staff, with the Commission’s approval, created a three-level approach to prioritize the task force’s findings, and we’ve created a summary of the prioritization effort.

You’ll find printed versions of these two summaries at meetings the NRC holds near U.S. nuclear power plants.

As always, if you have any questions about our Fukushima lessons-learned effort, please e-mail

Author: Moderator

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

8 thoughts on “New Web Pages Illustrate NRC’s Post-Fukushima Activities”

  1. Call it “macaroni” if you like, none the less the vent systems will not have filters. This is another ploy by the nuclear industry, and supported by the NRC, to cut costs – not save lives. When the filters are installed in the venting system then I’ll say, “yes, the nuclear industry and the regulator are more concerned with human safety than the corporation’s bottom line.” Until it is announced that the vents will have filters it is just more of the same, “corporate bottom line before human safety.”

    Apparently some within the NRC have not learned the lessons of Fukushima. Why are we even having this discussion? It has been demonstrated the lack of venting in a crisis such as occured at Fukushima creates a problem with pressure and that the vents need filters. The reason why there are no vents and filters was an intentional action to save money, not protect human life. This engineering defect was identified many years ago. Folks may justify this inaction by any number of reasons, including requirements of bureaucratic rule making, the result is the same. A condition, in the case of a catastrophic failure, where there will be high levels of radiation released into the atmosphere compromising human health..

    A skewered system of accident probabilities have been employed by the nuclear industry and supported by the NRC for many years. The nuclear industry is now beginning to reap the inevitable results of playing the odds; most of the time you win, but with aging, defective nuclear reactor systems when you loose people’s lives are ruined for the rest of their lives. Such is the story of Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima.

    It is time for the deceit to stop as it compromises the reliability of the regulator. As we all should know, reliability is a “cornerstone requirement” for everything and everyone within the system.

    There is a moral to this story: Aging, defective nuclear reactors and its radioactive trash are not places for a crap shoot.

  2. Bottom Line: Industry Money Rules NRC Decisions NOT Safety

    Studies and Investigations only delay taking steps that might otherwise make US rectors MUCH safer!

    Question, how many items have been delayed for years before being finally done by Utilities just by asking for another delay period?

    The USA cannot afford a Fukushima-Type Trillion Dollar Eco-Disaster, yet our Utilities live in Nuclear Denial* because their regulators NEVER put their foot down, which is exactly what happened in Japan!


    The illogical belief that Nature cannot destroy any land based nuclear reactor, any place anytime 24/7/365!

  3. You should read the voting records. Only one commissioner fully dissented to filtered venting, and that was due to inadequate technical basis and use of qualitative factors in the analysis, which is not typical. The other commissioners either supported filters or felt that a stronger technical basis needed to be created through the rulemaking process.

  4. If you read the actual voting records and any actual reports on the issue you can see that the NRC didnt say “no” to filtered vents, they instead demanded a developed technical basis for multiple options including vents, and put it through the rulemaking process. This doesn’t mean “no” to vents, instead it means it will go through the formal process.

  5. This blog post pointing the public to the new web pages illustrating the NRC’s post-Fukushima activities may serve as a bitter reminder to many readers of the disappointing March 19, 2013 four-to-one vote by NRC commissioners to disregard a recommendation from its own Japan Lessons Learned Task Force and professional staff that nuclear reactor operators should be ordered to install high-capacity radiation filters at 23 Mark I and 8 Mark II nuclear power reactors in the United States. I for one am grateful to NRC Chair Allison Macfarlane for her dissenting vote.
    It’s my understanding that now, two years after the events that triggered the ongoing nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima the NRC may well be an additional two years away from addressing beyond design basis events like earthquakes of greater magnitude than plants are designed to withstand.
    As a resident of the San Onofre nuclear plant danger zone in southern California I am keenly aware of the fact that NRC senior staff will not take into consideration beyond design events like tsunamis and great quakes when they make their final decision about SoCal Edison’s plan to restart its badly damaged Unit 2 San Onofre reactor. And I fear that a potential ruling by senior NRC staff to reject Edison’s restart plan may be reversed by a nuclear industry captured Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

  6. Unfortunately the NRC did not see fit to place filters into the venting systems. Seems the financial bottom line of the nuclear industry has priority over human health and welfare. You are playing the odds that a disaster will not occur at aging and defective nuclear facilities. That is not the concept of “Defense in Depth,” it is the concept of save the nuclear industry dollars at the expense of human health.

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