Nuclear Energy

Policy Vice President Christopher Guith

Guest statement by Christopher Guith
Vice President for Policy
U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy

The starting point for any review of U.S. commercial nuclear safety after the disaster in Japan must start with the NRC task force’s fundamental conclusion that our nuclear plants are safe. The task force made clear that the continued operation of existing reactors and licensing of new reactors does not pose an imminent threat to the public.

Due to the complex nature of the report, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should proceed deliberately in reviewing and implementing the recommendations. Now that the report is complete, the Commission should consult with stakeholders, the public, and its staff before proceeding. Ultimately I am confident that this review process will benefit both the nuclear industry and the nation as a whole, but the worst thing the Commission can do is act hastily, especially when it has very little data or analysis from Japan yet. Nuclear power will continue to play an integral role in providing clean, reliable, and safe electricity for decades to come.

  • Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, conducted a teleconference with the media today on the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff report recommending steps the agency should take in light of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. Earlier in the day, Pietrangelo appeared in an interview on Reuters television. NEI also issued a statement on the report. The NRC task force that wrote the report will brief the commissioners on its recommendations in a webcast meeting July 19. A commission press release on the report is here.

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has measured high levels of radioactivity inside reactor building 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The company believes the source of the radioactivity is steam from the reactor. TEPCO has been using robotic measuring devices to conduct radiation surveys inside three reactor buildings and in areas surrounding the buildings since early this month.
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Plant Status

  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff said it now appears the agency was mistaken in its early conclusion that the used fuel pool at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4 may have lost all cooling water. “According to the latest information, it is unlikely it ever went completely dry,” said William Borchardt, NRC executive director for operations, in a progress briefing Wednesday for the NRC commissioners. Concern about the potential for overheating in the pool was a factor in the NRC’s conservative call for U.S. citizens to evacuate as far as 50 miles from the plant, NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko told a congressional committee yesterday. “We are continuing to review and re-evaluate the 50-mile recommendation,” he said. Read More »
Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First