Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major Energy and Environmental News and Commentary affecting the Nuclear Industry.

Friday, May 26, 2017

U.S. Nuclear Regulators Greatly Underestimate Potential for Nuclear Disaster

U.S. Nuclear Regulators Greatly Underestimate Potential for Nuclear Disaster


Please see below a statement from Rod McCullum, NEI Senior Director, Fuel and Decommissioning:

"The U.S. nuclear industry has safely and effectively stored used fuel in steel-lined, water-filled concrete vaults at plant sites for decades. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission regularly inspects equipment and processes for managing used fuel at nuclear plant sites to ensure this occurs.
This most recent perspective on the oft studied topic offers nothing new and does not change abundant evidence that used fuel at U.S. plant sites is properly managed – a claim consistently verified by industry experts, independent scientists, and the NRC.  After completing the latest in a series of over a dozen independent studies, the NRC recommended (NUREG 2161) that “no further generic assessments be pursued related to possible regulatory actions to require the expedited transfer of spent fuel to dry cask storage.”
 Thanks to sharing of best practices our already safe methods for storing used fuel have gotten progressively safer in recent years because of additional measures, such as improved neutron absorber materials and operational practices that assure increased spacing between the hottest assemblies. In addition, U.S. nuclear plants now have FLEX equipment on site and stationed at regional locations to respond to an unlikely event involving these used fuel vaults.
 America’s nuclear energy facilities have a strong record of properly managing these materials, yet we also look forward to renewed progress toward licensing of the Yucca Mountain repository."

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