The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.
The nuclear energy industry continues to make progress on developing guidance for implementing the highest-priority recommendations from the NRC’s Fukushima task force.
The NRC meanwhile is preparing to send approved guidance back to the industry.
Draft interim staff guidance (ISG) from the agency is expected shortly on all three orders issued March 12 and on seismic and flooding walkdowns based on the NRC’s letter request for information, also issued in March. The March 12 orders called for plant operators to develop mitigating strategies for extreme events, install reliable hardened containment vents, and install supplemental instrumentation in spent fuel storage pools.
Specific recent developments include:
- The NRC is expected to issue draft interim staff guidance on the FLEX strategy this week. The industry’s FLEX task force will submit comments on the NRC’s draft interim guidance, including possible revisions to the industry guideline.
- The industry has sent to the NRC its draft guidance on reliable hardened vents for boiling water reactor Mark I and Mark II containments. An ISG on the topic from the NRC is expected shortly.
- Similarly, the industry has sent guidance to the NRC on spent fuel pool instrumentation and expects to receive a draft ISG from the agency soon.
- The NRC is reviewing draft industry guidance on seismic and flooding walkdowns. The walkdown guidance should be approved shortly via an ISG.
The agency has held public meetings on longer-term recommendations from the Fukushima task force. During the meetings, representatives from NEI and the industry urged the agency to focus on the higher-priority recommendations. The agency said it is making plans to move ahead with the lower-priority recommendations and plans to issue a staff paper to the commission on these items in July.
Also in July, NRC staff plans to present a paper including its recommendation on whether containment vents should be filtered and another paper on the economic consequences of land contamination from a reactor accident.