FLEX

The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NRC staff told the agency’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards last week it believes that installing external containment vent filters on some reactors could be beneficial. The industry, however, said that filtering strategies inside containment that take advantage of the FLEX strategy are the key to mitigating radioactive releases during an accident.
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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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Equipment-sharing program at Memphis, Phoenix locations augments industry protocol to pool safety equipment in event of emergencies

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 25, 2012—The nuclear energy industry is adding another layer of safety and public protection by developing regional centers for critical equipment that could be needed to maintain safety in the event of an extreme event at America’s nuclear energy facilities. All companies that operate nuclear energy facilities approved a contract to develop two regional response centers managed by Pooled Equipment Inventory Co.

The regional response centers will be located near Memphis and Phoenix and capable of delivering supplemental emergency equipment to any of America’s nuclear energy facilities within 24 hours, enabling them to safely manage a loss of electrical power and/or cooling water supply. The equipment and materials provided by the regional response centers supplement the additional portable equipment purchased at all 64 nuclear energy facilities that also can be utilized and shared during a site emergency.

Pooled Equipment Inventory Co. has been providing a shared inventory service to meet emergent equipment needs to the nuclear industry for more than 30 years. The company has established an alliance with AREVA to implement the regional response centers by expanding its capability to provide services that include emergency response planning, procurement and outage services.

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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • AREVA has announced a contract to provide all 23 of Japan’s pressurized water reactors with passive autocatalytic recombiners, which will help prevent hydrogen from building up in emergency situations. The company said it will install more than 100 of the devices, which work constantly to oxidize traces of hydrogen into steam catalytically. The devices are not dependent on external power or operator intervention. AREVA says it has installed the recombiners in more than 140 plants worldwide. No Japanese facilities currently have the equipment. At the Fukushima Daiichi facility last year, hydrogen buildup from the oxidation of zirconium cladding in steam led to explosions that caused extensive damage.
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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NRC Commissioner William Ostendorff told attendees at NEI’s Licensing Forum this week that the nuclear energy industry needs to communicate how the FLEX strategy would work to bolster public safety.

FLEX, the industry’s response to the NRC’s March 12 post-Fukushima order requiring nuclear facility operators to mitigate the consequences of an extreme natural event, provides additional layers of backup power and reactor cooling capability by stationing supplemental emergency equipment—generators, battery packs, pumps, air compressors and battery chargers—on reactor sites and at several off-site storage locations that can be deployed to any distressed facility.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First