December 17, 2012
5:27 pm EDT
- U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has recommended requiring engineered filters to the containment vents for Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors as a post-Fukushima response. A staff paper released this week for the commission’s consideration said an alternative performance-based approach to filtering preferred by industry and by the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards would work but take too long to implement.
- Japan’s pro-nuclear energy Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory Dec. 16, taking 294 of the 480 seats in the lower chamber of parliament, despite voters’ relatively negative view of nuclear energy. A poll by the Japanese national newspaper Asahi Shimbun found that 16 percent of voters want to scrap nuclear energy immediately, 28 think it should be phased out and 15 percent support continuing to use nuclear energy. The newspaper concluded that voters did not consider nuclear energy a key issue in the race.
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October 25, 2012
10:56 am EDT
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.
April 16, 2012
1:30 pm EDT
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 16, 2012—Bolstering the ability of U.S. nuclear energy facilities to respond safely to extreme events, the industry has met its March 31 deadline for ordering additional on-site portable equipment to be used in emergencies. The equipment would be used if other systems that comprise a facility’s multi-layered safety strategy are compromised. The additional equipment—some of which already has been positioned at plant sites—is a key element of the industry’s FLEX strategy developed in response to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi accident in March 2011.
This equipment is part of a commitment by all U.S. companies operating nuclear energy facilities to begin implementing the “flexible and diverse” (FLEX) response strategy by ordering or entering into contract for a plant-specific list of emergency equipment. Each nuclear power plant has multiple safety systems designed specifically for that facility. This initiative provides an additional layer of safety as part of a nuclear power plant’s response capability to extreme natural events.
Every company met the deadline, said Tony Pietrangelo, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. Equipment that has been acquired or ordered includes: diesel-driven pumps, air-driven pumps for flood equipment, sump pumps, hoses, electric generators, battery chargers, electrical switchgear, fittings, cables, fire trucks and satellite communications gear. It also includes support materials for emergency responders.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2012—One year after the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan, the U.S. nuclear energy industry has begun acquiring additional safety equipment as part of a “diverse and flexible” response strategy that is generally aligned with the near-term priorities identified by the independent federal agency that oversees the industry, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The industry’s “FLEX” response strategy, outlined for reporters at a Nuclear Energy Institute news conference today, addresses the major challenges encountered at the Fukushima Daiichi power station following the double-hit of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami: the loss of power to maintain effective reactor cooling in three of the facility’s six reactors.
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, including food, water and other supplies.
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November 11, 2011
11:33 am EDT
Four-Day Chronology Provides Common Baseline of Facts To Inform Response Activities by U.S. Industry, Government
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 11, 2011—The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations has compiled a detailed timeline of events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The detailed report, prepared as part of the integrated response to the Japan events, was delivered today to U.S. industry executives, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and members of Congress.
“The U.S. nuclear energy industry is committed to learning from Japan’s experience and applying relevant lessons to make U.S. nuclear energy facilities even safer. We are sharing this report with the widest possible audience because it is important that we all work from the same set of facts in determining the appropriate response,” said NEI’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, Tony Pietrangelo. “It is of paramount importance that we learn from it and take our facilities to even higher levels of safety and preparedness.”
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Read the Fukushima timeline >>
Watch NEI’s Tony Pietrangelo comment on the Fukushima timeline >>