The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last Friday approved the issuance of orders and information request letters for the U.S. nuclear industry to implement enhanced safety measures based on lessons learned from the Fukushima accident. The orders require industry to establish a mitigation strategy for beyond-design-basis external events as well as enhancements for used fuel pool instrumentation and venting systems for Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors. The letters request information on flooding and seismic hazard re-evaluations, emergency response communications and staffing for accidents involving plants with multiple reactors. Read More »
In this second video, Gale, along with Dr. Richard Vetter and Dr. John Boice of Vanderbilt University, turn their attention to the radiological impacts on local residents. Again, their conclusions are encouraging:
To view another interview from the HPS event with Dr. Kathryn Higley, click here.
One of the HPS experts, Dr. Kathryn Higley, Head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University and the former Reactor Supervisor for the Reed College TRIGA reactor, was asked a few questions about the adequacy of Emergency Planning Zones (EPZ) and whether or not they are sufficient to protect public health and safety around nuclear power plants.
Guest Commentary by Marvin Fertel President and Chief Executive Officer Nuclear Energy Institute
One year ago, a powerful earthquake and tsunami devastated the northeast coast of Japan, leaving more than 19,000 people dead or missing and thousands more homeless. We continue to remember the Japanese people for all that they lost in this horrible act of nature and continue to support their recovery. The entire world marveled at the resilience of the Japanese people in the face of this calamity.
Those of us in the nuclear energy industry were particularly struck by the tireless efforts of the workers who, in the face of destruction of the storm and uncertainty for their families, labored to stabilize the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Read More »
Ongoing environmental monitoring helps Japanese officials to protect public health.
When a mega-quake followed by a massive tsunami struck Japan last March, the country’s defenses were overwhelmed by the scale of the natural disaster. While the earthquake and tsunami caused catastrophic destruction and significant loss of life, radiation released from the Fukushima Daiichi reactors has not caused a single death. In fact, the radiological consequences of the accident to date are negligible, due in large part to emergency response plans that were in place before the incident.
“The reporting of Fukushima was guided by the Cold War reflex that matched radiation with fear and mortal danger,” writes Wade Allison, emeritus professor of physics at Oxford University in the UK newspaper, The Telegraph. “Reactors have been destroyed, but the radiation at Fukushima has caused no loss of life and is unlikely to do so, even in the next 50 years.” Read More »
Taking Action To Boost Safety at U.S. Nuclear Energy Facilities
Through its relentless commitment to the pursuit of excellence in operations, the U.S. nuclear industry is taking significant action to ensure that each of the nation’s 104 nuclear plants operate safely and securely.