Fukushima Daiichi Now: Images and Perspectives

NRC officials tour one of the damaged units at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during their trip in February.
NRC officials tour one of the damaged units at the Fukushima Daiichi plant during their trip in February.
Roger Hannah
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Region II
 

In February, an NRC delegation, mostly comprised of senior managers responsible for reactor oversight, travelled to Japan to see, hear about and learn from the accident there in March 2011.

I was there to record the images and sounds of the trip – from the meetings to the tours of facilities, including the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, and the surrounding countryside. In interviews and conversations, I heard varied perspectives, but my focus was almost completely on people:

  • The people whose homes and businesses and schools now sit abandoned near the plant – some knowing they may never go home again.
  • The people who worked at the plant during and after the accident trying to keep the situation from being worse.
  • The people who now work at the site donning protective clothing each day as they slowly tackle the mammoth cleanup.
  • The people across Japan who continue to struggle with their view of nuclear power.

I wish we had been able to spend more time in the evacuated areas near the plant, but even the hours we were there carved indelible images in my memory. It’s interesting how seeing areas without people made me think about the missing people even more.

When it comes to nuclear safety, the most important people are those working inside or living closest to the plants. There is no stronger evidence than the images we captured during the trip.

It was difficult to distill all we saw and heard into the short video we posted on the NRC YouTube channel, but I hope we were able to show the essence of the trip…and for me, it was all about people.

 

Lights, Camera, Action — NRC Raised the YouTube Bar in 2013

Ivonne L. Couret
Public Affairs Officer
 

We had a very productive year on our YouTube Channel in 2013. We posted more than 30 videos, including 15 produced in-CoverPHoto Video copyhouse with original content. The latest is a recap of some of the highlights and accomplishments of 2014.

Other “original content” videos included four that spotlighted high-interest topics; six that included agency staff answering questions about NRC activities; two that reflected on historical events and two kid-friendly videos including our first cartoon.

youtube2That cartoon, A Day in the Life of an NRC Resident Inspector, made it to our No. 3 spot for all-time video views – quite a feat considering it was just posted in October. Another popular video was our historian’s recount of the Three Mile Island Accident.

Other videos include small segments of important Commission meetings, with links to the full video archive.

We saw a 38 percent increase in our YouTube subscribers and growing interest in the platform. Almost half of our total YouTube views occurred in 2013 even though we debuted the platform back in 2011. Our numbers keep growing and the public continues to watch us.

What’s next? Being mindful of the reduction of resources and budget, there will be a bit fewer videos produced in 2014. But we will be focusing our efforts on the higher interest topics.

Currently in pre-production are two videos we think you’ll find worth watching. One is a conversation about the decommissioning process since five nuclear power plants have announced they are shutting down. And we will be taking a historical look on how the NRC began.

Also, next year we will be featuring more motion graphic videos that will provide quick, lively presentations of NRC information, activities and programs.

What video topics would you like to see? Let us know through your blog comments or email us at opa.resource@nrc.gov .

Q&A With NRC Kids: Radiation and Other Questions

Eliot Brenner
Director, Office of Public Affairs
 
One of the participants in the new video takes a question.
One of the participants in the new video takes a question.

Art Linkletter, a 1950s and ‘60s radio and television host, used to interview children for his show “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” In that spirit, at last year’s “Take your Child to Work Day” at the NRC, we seized the opportunity to see what kids knew about NRC and related matters – and make it into a video.

We asked: Do you know what radiation is? We got a variety of answers – some vague and some spot on (they’ve obviously been listening to their parents).

Then we asked: Do you know what has radiation in it? No, not candy, despite what the kids might think. But yes, bananas and salt, and it also comes from the sun and from the stars, as explained by the NRC expert who answered the question.

Other questions we asked include what do nuclear power plants generate and what is a regulation. We have a variety of NRC experts answering all the questions – and correcting a few misunderstandings.

We hope you enjoy the video, and that teachers and parents can use it to help explain nuclear matters to school-aged children. And we want thank all the kids who participated in this project.

 

Note: A revised, shortened version of the video is now up!

NRC’s 25th Regulatory Information Conference Kicks Off Next Week; A Look Back at Its History Goes Live Today

Lorna P. Kipfer
RIC 2013 Conference Program Specialist
 

The NRC’s 25th annual Regulatory Information Conference is being held in Maryland next week, from March 12-14, with an exciting agenda. Attendees will be able to attend technical sessions on a variety of topics associated with operating reactors, new and advanced reactors, fuel cycle facilities, nuclear security, safety research, and safety culture policies.

What’s new this year? You’ll find a Force-on-Force Inspection Program display of tactical equipment used during NRC Force-on-Force inspections and for our tech-savvy attendees we’re offering a mobile optimized agenda page. Other events include tours of the NRC’s Operations Center. Visit here for information on these and other new items offered this year.

Representatives from government, industry, international agencies and other stakeholders are among this year’s registrants.

The first RIC registration in 1989.
The first RIC registration in 1989.

Usually just called the RIC, the conference began in 1989 as a small gathering on nuclear safety regulation. Today, it is the one annual public event where regulators, industry officials, and concerned citizens come together for a collective dialogue on nuclear reactor and materials safety.

In a video posted to YouTube today, NRC Historian Tom Wellock interviews NRC staff and former employees who have been important to the start and development of the RIC.

At this year’s RIC, NRC Chairman, Allison M. Macfarlane will deliver the keynote remarks to open the first session. Bill Borchardt, NRC’s Executive Director for Operations will follow with his presentation. Plenary sessions with Commissioners Kristine L. Svinicki, George Apostolakis, William D. Magwood, and William C. Ostendorff are included throughout the program.

The RIC is open to industry representatives, stakeholders and members of the public and admission is free. You can register onsite. More information is available on the RIC website.