Nuclear Energy

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.

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McGuire Nuclear Station’s communications manager Valerie Patterson explains the facility’s history to an EnergyExplorium visitor.

McGuire Nuclear Station’s communications manager Valerie Patterson (Click to enlarge.)

As the communications manager at McGuire Nuclear Station in Mecklenburg County, N.C., Valerie Patterson wears many hats: she talks about nuclear energy with audiences of all ages, plans community events, and plays a vital role in the plant’s emergency response organization. While she is a generalist by nature, nothing is more important to Patterson than the relationships she and her team have built with the Lake Norman community and the events that keep local residents coming back to McGuire to learn more.
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

Use of nuclear energy will continue “to play a full part in the future energy mix” despite the accident in Japan, a new report says.

The report, by the World Energy Council, notes that the growth of nuclear energy is mainly being driven by non-OECD countries, “the very countries that are seeing ever rising energy demand.” These countries account for 39 of the 63 nuclear plants being built worldwide.

Very little has changed, especially in non-OECD countries, in respect of the future utilization of nuclear in the energy mix,” the report says.
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NEI's President and Chief Executive Marvin Fertel

Guest Commentary by Marvin Fertel
President and Chief Executive Officer
Nuclear Energy Institute

One year ago, a powerful earthquake and tsunami devastated the northeast coast of Japan, leaving more than 19,000 people dead or missing and thousands more homeless. We continue to remember the Japanese people for all that they lost in this horrible act of nature and continue to support their recovery. The entire world marveled at the resilience of the Japanese people in the face of this calamity.

Those of us in the nuclear energy industry were particularly struck by the tireless efforts of the workers who, in the face of destruction of the storm and uncertainty for their families, labored to stabilize the damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
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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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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First