Proliferation News
» June 16, 2011

U.S. Nuclear Regulations Inadequate to Cope with Incident Like Fukushima

Peter Behr and ClimateWire | Scientific American

Power plant

The head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Fukushima inquiry task force said yesterday his panel is concerned that the severe threats that Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami posed to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex reveal gaps in the voluntary guidelines that protect U.S. plants against incidents deemed unlikely.

Task force leader Charles Miller, who briefed NRC commissioners yesterday, said the panel is also considering whether older nuclear plants should be held to more demanding standards that have been applied to newer reactors, based on evolving safety insights.

Miller did not disclose how the task force will come down on these issues. It is scheduled to make its final report to the commission on July 12, with a public release of its recommendations on July 19. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko and Commissioner George Apostolakis also pointed to potential weaknesses in the commission's voluntary policy toward low-probability but extreme threats to nuclear plants. Full Article   

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