NRC

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

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission needs a clear safety imperative for drafting options for a new regulatory framework, as recommended by the agency’s post-Fukushima task force, industry said this week. The schedule for this work also is a concern for the industry.

Absent a safety imperative for undertaking the project, and in light of the extensive resources already devoted to post-Fukushima actions, the commission’s requirement that the staff provide options by next February is “unnecessarily aggressive,” NEI said.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The U.S. nuclear energy industry has begun to implement safety enhancements based on recommendations from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Japan task force. Last week, NRC staff observed inspections conducted by Dominion at its Kewaunee nuclear station in Wisconsin to assess its ability to withstand earthquakes. Kewaunee is the lead plant to test the inspection procedure, which will be repeated at all U.S. nuclear facilities.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • An independent commission appointed by Japan’s parliament to study the causes of last year’s nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi harshly criticized the government, the plant operator and the country’s national culture. After conducting 900 hours of public hearings and interviews with more than 1,100 people and visiting several nuclear power plants, the commission’s report concluded the accident was a “manmade disaster,” the result of “collusion between the government, the regulators and Tokyo Electric Power Co.” It said the “root causes were the organizational and regulatory systems that supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions.” The panel criticized the regulator for insufficiently maintaining independence from the industry in developing and enforcing safety regulations, the government for inadequate emergency preparedness and management, and TEPCO for its poor governance and lack of safety culture. The report calls for fundamental changes across the industry, including the government and regulators, to increase openness, trustworthiness and focus on protecting public health and safety. Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, explains the differences in how U.S. and Japanese nuclear energy facilities are regulated and operated in a YouTube video.
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NEI is urging the NRC to remain focused on the high-priority recommendations from the agency’s Fukushima task force before proceeding with implementation of the lower-priority items.

“Preliminary industry assessments indicate that the Tier 1 items, when completed, will achieve as much as 90 percent of the safety benefit from all recommendations,” NEI said in a comment letter last week. “At this time, the safety benefits derived from proceeding with implementation of the Tier 2 or Tier 3 recommendations are unclear.”
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Japanese government is expected to authorize the resumption of operations of two reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture as early as Saturday. Last Sunday the prefecture’s nuclear safety committee approved a report guaranteeing the reactors would survive severe earthquakes and tsunamis. The governor of Fukui is expected to approve restarting the reactors after visiting the facility this week, after which Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and several cabinet ministers will officially give the final go-ahead. The Ohi facilities will be the first to resume operations since all 50 of Japan’s reactors went off line in May.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First