February 2012

Making Safe Nuclear Energy SaferWith the anniversary of the incident at Fukushima Daiichi almost upon us, it’s only natural for the public and other stakeholders to ask questions about the safety of America’s nuclear energy facilities. To answer those questions, NEI has published a white paper entitled, “Making Safe Nuclear Energy Safer.”

The following passage is from the document’s Executive Summary:

The nuclear energy industry’s primary and constant goal is to make safe nuclear energy facilities even safer. A decades-long commitment to safety and continuous learning is reflected in the operational focus and safety culture at our facilities. Companies that operate 104 U.S. reactors review safety procedures continually and update their facilities and training programs with lessons learned from those reviews.
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Dr. Robert Emery, vice president for safety, health, environment and risk management at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston, talks about the role of the radiation protection community played in the wake of the incident at Fukushima Daiichi.

Visit NEI’s YouTube channel to see part II and part III to the video.

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to cover about 17 acres of the seabed near the cooling water intakes of Fukushima Daiichi’s six reactors with a two-foot-thick mix of cement and clay. TEPCO said the project will prevent radioactive cesium and other materials from washing out to sea. The company said the work should be completed within four months.
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing three proposed orders and three requests for additional information on post-Fukushima actions to enhance nuclear plant operators’ emergency response actions to protect against beyond-design-basis external events.

While reaffirming its conclusion that reactor operations and licensing pose no “imminent threat” to safety, the NRC staff said the accident in Japan highlighted the need for reliable containment vents for some nuclear energy facilities, better instrumentation for used fuel pool monitoring, and strategies for mitigating damage from external events that may affect multiple reactors simultaneously.
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What is FLEX?

FLEX is a strategy developed by the nuclear energy industry to implement the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)’s Fukushima task force recommendations quickly and effectively. FLEX addresses the main safety challenges at Fukushima—the loss of cooling capability and electrical power resulting from a severe natural event—to make U.S. facilities even safer.

The strategy is “flexible” in that it relies on portable equipment to protect against even the most unlikely events — events that go beyond the plant’s design basis.

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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First