Monday, September 17, 2012
The NRC commissioners told congressional leaders this week they are confident, despite acknowledging the schedule as “very aggressive,” that the highest-priority post-Fukushima safety enhancements will be completed by the agency’s 2016 deadline.
The commissioners’ comments also revealed a renewed atmosphere of collegiality established in the two months since Chairwoman Allison Macfarlane assumed her post.
“I am pleased to see that debates and the free flow of information seem healthy and respectful again,” said Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Combined, your actions are critical to ensure the safe operation of the nuclear power plants across this country.”
It was the committee’s seventh NRC oversight hearing since the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima nuclear energy facility in Japan.
This March, the NRC issued three orders and a detailed request for information to address what it considers the highest-priority, or Tier 1, recommendations of the agency’s task force. The first order requires strategies to maintain cooling and containment integrity in a severe natural event that exceeds design parameters. The second requires reliable, readily accessible hardened containment vents for boiling water reactors with Mark I and II containments. The third requires additional instrumentation to monitor the water level in used fuel storage pools. The NRC requested detailed information on seismic and flooding hazards and emergency preparedness for extreme events that could affect multiple reactors at a site.http://safetyfirst.nei.org/safety-and-security/nrc-assures-congress-of-progress-on-post-fukushima-safety-enhancements/
Posted by Michele Kearney at 9:18 PM