emergency response

Earlier today, the Nuclear Energy Institute released a five-minute video explaining the comprehensive and tailored response strategy that it is implementing across the industry to enhance nuclear plant safety in the face of extreme natural events.

To produce the high-definition video, NEI acquired first-of-its kind footage of the deployment of new emergency response equipment at U.S. nuclear energy facilities. The video also features animation and interviews with industry leaders and technical staff discussing nuclear plant safety.

The diverse and flexible (“FLEX”) response strategy developed by industry addresses the major challenges encountered at the Fukushima Daiichi power station following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami: the loss of power to maintain effective reactor fuel cooling.

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. For additional information concerning how the American nuclear energy is applying lessons learned from Fukushima, please visit the Fukushima response section of NEI.org.

San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Michelle Shoresman

San Luis Obispo County Health Agency’s Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Michelle Shoresman

In their daily routines, a firefighter and a nurse are unlikely to sit side by side and develop an emergency response plan. Yet this collaboration is essential to emergency preparedness and is an example of the unlikely synergies that keep Michelle Shoresman motivated in her role as emergency preparedness program manager at the San Luis Obispo County Health Agency on California’s Central Coast. Shoresman works with a wide array of partners to synchronize emergency response plans and ensure that the health of those in her community is protected at all times. One of the primary partners in safety is the local nuclear energy facility, PG&E’s Diablo Canyon.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The operators of U.S. nuclear energy facilities last week approved a contract to develop two regional response centers that will store emergency equipment for rapid delivery in case of an extreme event at any nuclear plant. “The regional response centers will further increase the industry’s preparedness for severe challenges, regardless of their causes,” said Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s chief nuclear officer. “This is another example of the industry’s commitment to learn the lessons from the Fukushima accident in Japan and apply those lessons to enhance safety across the U.S. nuclear energy industry.” The centers will be located near Memphis and Phoenix and will be managed by Pooled Equipment Inventory Co.
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Employees gather at the Beaver Valley emergency operations facility during a recent training drill.  (Click to enlarge.)

Employees gather at the Beaver Valley emergency operations facility during a recent training drill.

Every nuclear energy facility in the country has a detailed plan for responding to an emergency, and emergency operations facilities (EOFs) are an integral part of these plans. Demonstrating their commitment to emergency preparedness, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co. (FENOC) built new EOFs for each of their three plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania, which are used to facilitate public health and safety activities during an emergency.

“A lot of thought and effort went into the design of these facilities to make sure they would meet the needs of both our employees as well as the local, state and federal agencies we would work with during an emergency,” Glenn McKee, FENOC’s fleet emergency preparedness manager said.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. last week released its final report of the company’s internal investigation of events at Fukushima Daiichi following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Japanese media say that in the report TEPCO says it failed to adequately prepare for the nuclear emergency, but also criticizes the government for communication failures and interfering with the company’s emergency response. TEPCO said one lesson it has taken from the accident is the need for an emergency response system that takes into account a reactor that has lost all its functions and measures to improve the chain of command and information flow. The report, which TEPCO says was based on interviews with about 600 employees, on-site inspections, and data analysis, is being translated into English.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First