March 2012

Southern Nuclear's SAM Program Director David Gambrell

Southern Nuclear's SAM Program Director David Gambrell

David Gambrell serves as director of Southern Nuclear’s Severe Accident Management (SAM) team — a group formed in July 2011 to help influence regulations in response to the event at Fukushima and other natural external hazard events in the United States. The mission of this team is to prepare Southern Nuclear’s fleet for anticipated changes in facilities, procedures and processes.

Gambrell shares his take on the current state of the industry and the action Southern Nuclear has taken as a result.

What has happened in this country since Fukushima?

After March 11, 2011, the United States immediately began to examine our own procedures and designs to determine where improvements can be made to keep our plants safe during natural events.
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Operators of nuclear energy facilities in the United States have begun taking actions to enhance safety at the nation’s 104 nuclear reactors, applying lessons learned from the Fukushima facility in Japan. These actions, which include acquiring additional safety equipment to ensure that every U.S. nuclear energy facility can respond safely to extreme events, are part of the industry’s “diverse and flexible, “ or FLEX response strategy. The articles below highlight progress already underway.

Indian Point invests in training, backups to guard spent fuel pools
The Journal News/LoHud.com
March 10, 2012

“Indian Point has invested about $1 million in pumps, backup diesel generators, specialized training and other safety measures in the year since an earthquake and tsunami tore through a Japanese nuclear plant. … At Indian Point, which has applied to extend its operating license through 2035 rather than be shut down in the next few years, new high-powered portable pumps in truck-size containers are staged near containment buildings. The idea for these came out of post-9/11 reviews, so workers could respond more quickly to a plane hitting a reactor containment dome.”
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued orders to operators of nuclear energy facilities requiring enhanced protection of portable emergency equipment, hardened containment vents for some reactors and additional instrumentation for monitoring the water level in used fuel pools. In approving the orders, the commission agreed with the staff that the modifications outlined are sufficiently important to safety that the implementation cost need not be considered.
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Entergy CEO J. Wayne Leonard discusses his thoughts on Fukushima and safety at Indian Point, one year later.

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The global nuclear energy community yesterday marked the passing of one year since the natural disaster and accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. We have compiled a sampling of news coverage about the progress that has been made over the past 12 months, both in the recovery efforts at the facility in Japan as well as the actions nuclear plant operators are taking to enhance safety at reactors around the world. Check back this week for an updated collection of coverage.

News Articles

In Japan, Relief at Radiation’s Low Toll
Wall Street Journal
March 9, 2012

“A year after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the emerging consensus among scientists is that its effects on physical health and the environment have so far been minimal. There have been no reported radiation-related deaths or illnesses from the accident, even among workers who faced very high exposure.”
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First