The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

More than half of Americans support nuclear energy, the same as before the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, according to a new Gallup poll.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they favored nuclear energy, identical to the result of a Gallup survey completed just before the accident in Japan.

“Although attitudes may have shifted in the immediate aftermath of last year’s incident, attitudes now are almost identical to those measured in last year’s pre-disaster survey,” Gallup said in a press release.
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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/
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 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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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2012—One year after the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan, the U.S. nuclear energy industry has begun acquiring additional safety equipment as part of a “diverse and flexible” response strategy that is generally aligned with the near-term priorities identified by the independent federal agency that oversees the industry, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The industry’s “FLEX” response strategy, outlined for reporters at a Nuclear Energy Institute news conference today, addresses the major challenges encountered at the Fukushima Daiichi power station following the double-hit of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami: the loss of power to maintain effective reactor cooling in three of the facility’s six reactors.

Additional on-site portable equipment is being acquired to help ensure that every U.S. nuclear energy facility can respond safely to extreme events, no matter what the cause. The equipment ranges from diesel-driven pumps and electric generators to ventilation fans, hoses, fittings, cables and satellite communications gear. It also includes support materials for emergency responders, including food, water and other supplies.


The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

There is an emerging consensus among U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff, the agency’s advisory committee, industry and key committees in Congress that an “all-hazards” approach offers the most promise for enhancing safety of nuclear energy facilities in a post-Fukushima, post 9/11 world and for expanding safety margin quickly. While the various parties to these discussions differ on certain technical aspects, and many details remain to be fleshed out, the apparent alignment at a conceptual level is a promising development as the post-Fukushima work moves forward on the commission’s aggressive schedule.

At a public meeting today of the NRC and industry steering committees on post-Fukushima actions, NEI Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Anthony Pietrangelo sought to clarify how the intent of the industry’s diverse and flexible coping capability, or FLEX, differs from the goal of such frameworks as severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs). “The purpose of establishing diverse, flexible coping capabilities is to prevent fuel damage, whereas SAMGs come into play after core damage,” Pietrangelo said.

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