NRC Task Force to Review U.S. Reactors

Tuesday, April 5, 2011 @ 03:04 PM gHale


In the aftermath of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima I nuclear plant, six senior managers and staff will head up a task force that will examine the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) regulatory programs and how to implement them.

Charles Miller, director of the NRC’s Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs will head up the task force. Other members are Daniel Dorman, deputy director of the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; Jack Grobe, deputy director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation; Gary Holahan, deputy director of the Office of New Reactors; Nathan Sanfilippo, executive technical assistant with the Office of the Executive Director for Operations and Amy Cubbage, team leader in the Office of New Reactors.

“The task force will talk to agency technical experts and gather information to conduct a comprehensive review of the information from the events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex and make recommendations for any improvements needed to our regulatory system,” Miller said in a statement.

“We plan to provide our observations, conclusions and recommendations in a written report that will be made public approximately 90 days after we start our review.”

The task force will conduct a near-term review and identify topics for assessment for a longer term review, according to the charter. The group initially will identify potential near-term actions that affect U.S. power reactors, including their spent fuel pools.

Areas the task force will review include station blackout, defined as the loss of all external power for a reactor, external events that could lead to a prolonged loss of cooling, plant capabilities for preventing or dealing with such circumstances, and emergency preparedness, the agency said.

The task force will draw from ongoing NRC inspections to verify availability of plant equipment, procedures, and other resources currently required for dealing with such events, NRC said, adding the group also will gather information from domestic and international sources. It will remain independent of any industry initiatives, NRC said.

The task force expects to develop recommendations for commission consideration on whether it should require immediate enhancements at U.S. reactors and any changes to NRC regulations, inspection procedures, and licensing processes.



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