December 5, 2011
8:00 am EDT
In light of the events at Fukushima in March, working together as a global nuclear industry to improve safety at plants worldwide is more important now than ever. As many countries conduct internal evaluations to assess the safety and robustness of nuclear power plants, these lessons learned can help to identify areas for improvement that should be shared.
This collaboration is where organizations like the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) step in. As a nonprofit engaged in research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity, EPRI is in a unique position to help the global nuclear industry better understand lessons learned from Fukushima.
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November 29, 2011
2:50 pm EDT
Indian Point Employee Inspects the Site's Battery Power Prior to Hurricane Irene
Thanks to intense storm preparations and layer upon layer of safety systems, 24 nuclear reactors at 15 facilities from North Carolina to New England were fully prepared when Hurricane Irene struck the Eastern Seaboard late this summer.
Operators of the 24 East Coast nuclear energy facilities began preparations several days in advance of the storm, in compliance with U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) guidelines and the plants’ comprehensive emergency preparedness plans.
“We knew we needed to pre-staff our emergency facilities with a key team of responders,” said Mickey Chanda, emergency preparedness manager at Exelon’s Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station, located near the New Jersey shoreline. “Together with senior site and corporate leadership, we developed a plan to bring in this team long before travel conditions became hazardous. We met with those employees two days in advance of the storm, explained to them that their only role was to be at their emergency facility and ready to spring to action if needed.”
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November 22, 2011
11:10 am EDT
Fort Calhoun During Spring Floods
For much of the summer, the Fort Calhoun nuclear energy facility in Nebraska was an island in the middle of a vastly swollen Missouri River. An unexpectedly large spring runoff from the mountains to its north and higher-than-average rainfall during the spring caused extreme flooding in portions of Nebraska and Missouri.
Fort Calhoun remained dry. The highest water in the unprecedented flood was below the level that the Fort Calhoun reactor is designed to withstand.
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November 9, 2011
5:00 pm EDT
Onagawa Nuclear Power Station
For much of the last eight months, the world has been riveted by the valiant efforts of Tokyo Electric Power Co. employees to save the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But what most people don’t realize is that the nearby Onagawa nuclear energy facility, located 120 kilometers northwest of Fukushima Daiichi in Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture, successfully weathered the massive tsunami and earthquake that crippled the other plant.
The Onagawa plant, whose three reactors can generate more than 2,000 megawatts-electric, enough to power 800,000 homes, is an example of a nuclear energy facility that was prepared for nature’s worst.
As a Reuters article recently noted, not only did the plant withstand the impact of the tsunami’s 13 meter (40 foot) waves and achieve a cold shutdown within 11 hours, it also provided a vital lifeline to the surrounding community, offering shelter for hundreds of tsunami victims who sought refuge at the plant for three months.
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October 4, 2011
1:12 pm EDT
NEI's Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Tony Pietrangelo
Guest Commentary by Anthony Pietrangelo
Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer, Nuclear Energy Institute
Source: Real Clear Energy
When a 100-year earthquake and powerful hurricane delivered a one-two punch on the East Coast, some in the media focused on nuclear energy facilities in harm’s way. The coverage raised the inevitable question: Would the facilities be able to withstand Mother Nature’s wrath?
At least a dozen nuclear energy facilities, from North Carolina to Michigan, registered vibration from the August 23 earthquake. The temblor hit hardest at the North Anna Power Station in central Virginia, located about 10 miles from the quake’s epicenter. Four days later, many of those same plants and a few others – 15 plants, total – were in the path of Hurricane Irene.
So what happened? As planned, not much.
Layer upon layer of safety systems and exacting preparedness procedures worked in every case.
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