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  • Safe/Secure

    Safe/Secure

    “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.

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  • Reliable

    Reliable

    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.

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  • Responsible

    Responsible

    “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

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  • Vigilant

    Vigilant

    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.

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  • Japan: Latest Information
  • Safety and Security

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.

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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.

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Latest Information

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility, said about 40 gallons of water containing radioactive strontium drained into the ocean following a leak in desalination equipment. TEPCO said it is likely to have little effect on the environment.
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Dominion Employee Inspecting Safety Systems Following Earthquake Near North Anna Power Station

Dominion Employee Inspecting Safety Systems Following Earthquake Near North Anna Power Station

Every nuclear energy facility in the United States is built with layer upon layer of safety systems. So, when a rare 5.8-magnitude earthquake shook the East Coast on August 23, this built-in margin of safety ensured that all 14 nuclear energy facilities from North Carolina to Michigan that were impacted by the quake safely withstood nature’s challenge.

Dominion’s North Anna Power Station in central Virginia, located just 11 miles from the epicenter of the quake, felt the most impact. Shortly after the earthquake began, North Anna’s two 1,800-megawatt reactors shut down safely and automatically as designed. Four locomotive-sized diesel generators activated to keep the facility’s safety systems running when power was lost.

“A 5.8-magnitude earthquake is highly unusual for the region,” said Eugene S. Grecheck, vice president of nuclear development at Dominion, “but the energy that was imparted to the plant by the quake was relatively minor. In fact, a detailed evaluation of the duration and energy of the August 23 event shows that it was actually less than one-third as strong as for which the facility was built.”
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Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun injecting nitrogen into the pressure vessels of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1 through 3. The action will reduce any buildup of hydrogen in the reactors as TEPCO prepares to announce, as early as next week, its achievement of what the company calls a “cold shutdown condition.” A new “Ask the Expert” post explains how and why TEPCO’s definition of the term differs from common industry usage.
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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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Several news articles late this week have reported that Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may be in “cold shutdown” by mid-December. Although the reports are mostly accurate, there is a difference between the traditional “cold shutdown” of a nuclear plant and what is happening at Fukushima.

First, what is cold shutdown? The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines it as:

The term used to define a reactor coolant system at atmospheric pressure and at a temperature below 200 degrees Fahrenheit following a reactor cooldown.

In non-nuclear speak, it basically means the conditions within the nuclear reactor are such that it would be impossible for a chain reaction to occur. This term usually comes into play whenever a reactor is shut down periodically for refueling or for the final time prior to the long-term before it is decommissioned. When a reactor is in cold shutdown, the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) can be safely opened with great care and additional water is added to the cavity above the vessel for shielding to permit safe handling of the fuel for refueling (replacing depleted fuel elements) or defueling (removing the entire core).
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First