“Safety first” is not just our mantra—it’s our job, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Communities have the right to know the safety record of America’s nuclear energy plants. We are proud to share it. We are conducting a thorough assessment of the safety of each nuclear plant to ensure they are prepared for any event that could occur.
One in five American homes and businesses is powered by electricity generated at the nation’s 104 nuclear energy facilities, which produce no greenhouse gases and which are the most reliable electricity generators. Nuclear energy technology is developed here at home, making it an important part of the nation’s comprehensive energy portfolio.
“Here at home, nuclear power is an important part of our own energy future... Our nuclear power plants have undergone exhaustive study, and have been declared safe...But when we see a crisis like the one in Japan, we have a responsibility to learn from this event...” – President Barack Obama
America’s nuclear energy facilities are built to a high safety standard, yet energy companies are actively reviewing their plants and procedures to ensure even more accountability. The U.S. nuclear industry embraces a simple principle: plan for the unexpected by integrating multi-layered safety features and operating procedures every step of the way.
The U.S. nuclear energy industry has created a joint leadership model to coordinate the industry's response to the events at the Fukushima Daiichi. The model will ensure that lessons learned are identified and well understood, and that response actions are effectively implemented industrywide.
Following the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the U.S. nuclear energy industry began examining ways to ensure safety is maintained in the face of extreme natural events. The industry has begun implementing a number of measures to maintain and upgrade the already-high level of safety at nuclear energy facilities.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. has published measurements showing that the used fuel storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4 is level and can withstand a large earthquake. The company last week released details of building tilt and strength measurements and reported that neither the reactor building nor the pool is tilted and that the pool remains safe to store used fuel. Since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, TEPCO has reinforced the support structure under reactor 4’s pool, which contains a full load of used fuel from a reactor maintenance outage at the time of the earthquake.
The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.
The tsunami that brought about the nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility was not adequately accounted for in the facility’s design basis, said a co-author of a report for the American Nuclear Society.
Michael Corradini, co-chair of the ANS’ special committee on Fukushima, told the National Academy of Sciences this week that the March 11, 2011, tsunami that disabled the nuclear power plant was not entirely unforeseen, because larger tsunamis have occurred in that region of Japan in recorded history. Read More »
The Japanese government and four regional power companies will announce electricity rationing contingency plans by mid-June. With all of Japan’s nuclear reactors offline, the government is predicting power shortages in the western and northern areas of the country. Blackouts are expected to be limited to a few hours per day in each area, and essential services such as railways, hospitals and fire departments will be exempt. Japan posted a record $6.5 billion trade deficit in April. It was the second straight month that the country’s imports exceeded its exports, mostly due to the need for liquefied natural gas and crude oil for thermal power plants.
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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.