published Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

NRC task force calls for better planning to deal with natural disasters

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Japan Task Force today released a report on lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan.

The report recommends changes to “defense-in-depth” measures at nuclear plants that would require better planning for stacked events such as earthquakes, flooding, and tornadoes.

The report also states the current “patchwork of regulatory requirement” developed “piece-by-piece over the decades” should be replaced with a “logical, systematic and coherent regulatory framework” to bolster reactor safety across the nation.

The report is expected to be discussed at NRC’s July 19 commission meeting, and a public hearing about the recommendations is scheduled in August.

TVA nuclear spokesman Ray Golden said TVA will need a day or two to completely review the report, but will do whatever is required to comply with any eventually adopted new requirements.

He said the Tennessee Valley Authority already has made some changes based on its own study of the Fukushima accident following an earthquake and tsunami.

“TVA has already begun implementing lessons learned to make our safe nuclear plants, even safer,” he said.

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