NRC

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

Severe accidents at nuclear energy facilities would unfold more slowly and potential releases of radioactive material would be much smaller than earlier studies indicated, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission concludes in a new report.

The report also says that existing safety measures—including those put in place after 9/11—would be highly effective in protecting the public. Moreover, the NRC says, even if mitigating measures fail or are not used, “the analyzed accidents would cause essentially zero immediate deaths and only a very, very small increase in the long-term cancer deaths.”
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

A new study will help operating U.S. nuclear facilities in the central and eastern United States reassess their seismic risks as part of efforts to implement lessons learned from the events at Fukushima Daiichi. A revised seismic model resulting from the study will also be used by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to license new nuclear facilities.

The seismic source model emerged from a four-year study conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the Energy Department and the NRC. It replaces models in use since the late 1980s and will help operators of nuclear energy facilities determine how they can better prepare for extreme events that might occur about once in 10,000 years.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Nuclear Energy Institute is urging the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to take into account the considerable resources required to comply with proposed information requests and orders to implement recommendations of the agency’s post‐Fukushima task force. In a comment letter to the agency, NEI has asked for a phased approach. “The NRC should ensure that the information requested is properly scoped and justified by safety significance to ensure responses to requests for information are timely and do not impose an unnecessary burden or distraction,” said Adrian Heymer, executive director of NEI’s Fukushima regulatory response team. “Requests should also be staggered to facilitate adequate review by knowledgeable or experienced personnel and allow for a phased response based on plant safety significance.”
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff told NEI Chief Nuclear Officer Tony Pietrangelo that the agency has reached “a turning point” in understanding how the industry’s holistic, “all-hazards” approach would enhance safety in the light of lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Industry and NRC steering committees met last Friday to discuss the industry’s proposed flexible and diverse (“FLEX”) strategy, which aims to provide a range of portable equipment for nuclear plants to maintain cooling capability and power during severe natural events.  Articles in The New York Times and on the Dow Jones newswire previewed the discussions and describe the industry strategy. Read More »

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

There is an emerging consensus among U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff, the agency’s advisory committee, industry and key committees in Congress that an “all-hazards” approach offers the most promise for enhancing safety of nuclear energy facilities in a post-Fukushima, post 9/11 world and for expanding safety margin quickly. While the various parties to these discussions differ on certain technical aspects, and many details remain to be fleshed out, the apparent alignment at a conceptual level is a promising development as the post-Fukushima work moves forward on the commission’s aggressive schedule.

At a public meeting today of the NRC and industry steering committees on post-Fukushima actions, NEI Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Anthony Pietrangelo sought to clarify how the intent of the industry’s diverse and flexible coping capability, or FLEX, differs from the goal of such frameworks as severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs). “The purpose of establishing diverse, flexible coping capabilities is to prevent fuel damage, whereas SAMGs come into play after core damage,” Pietrangelo said.

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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First