Tag: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The NRC Plans to Implement Report’s Suggestions before Substantial Deliberation

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Fukushima Daiichi task force recently submitted a report to the congressional oversight committees on the first 90 days of its nuclear power plant review which examines the safety of nuclear energy facilities in the United States. The report also provides recommendations to improve the U.S. facilities’ safety procedures.

Since the report’s release last week, Chairman Jaczko has announced that the Commission should review the suggestions within 90 days; and, for the industry to implement those suggestions within five years. While the Chairman claims that the 90 day review is ample and just, many in the nuclear energy industry would argue otherwise. In fact, any speedy regulation for the sake of regulation will be a roadblock for further developing the U.S. nuclear energy industry.  Additionally, the negative economic impact of burdensome proposed regulations will not just kill existing jobs, but also preventing the creation of new ones.

Since the events at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, U.S. nuclear facilities have been in the forefront of providing support. Additionally, they have been examining their own plants to expand on the safety measures that are already in place. The industry as a whole has always been committed to safety and will continue to be in order to ensure consumers have access to safe, clean, dependable and affordable source of energy, particularly manufacturers that use nearly 30% of the nation’s energy.  As a result, the Commission should take its time in reviewing any suggestions by the report.  Furthermore, the Commission should allow for deliberations that include stakeholders’ input in order to make certain that any regulations moving forward are balanced and provide for increased safety without a negative economic impact to the industry that would result in job loss and increase the cost of energy.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission Releases Report on Reactor Safety

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted a study of the events of the Fukushima disaster and generated a report  on the fallout and what could be done to prevent it. Additionally, they reviewed the safety features of nuclear energy facilities in the United States as a reliable source of power.

This report will be part of discussions moving forward on how to maintain the strong safety record of the nuclear industry in the U.S. As the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) continues to review the report, it is important to keep in mind that adding costly, unnecessary and reactionary regulations, simply for the sake of regulations is not the solution. This will only prevent job creation and growth within the industry.

The NAM has long been an advocate of nuclear power as one of the many sources of energy needed to meet the growing demands of our nation. We agree with President Obama that Nuclear energy is a “necessary investment” in the future of our nation. The NAM believes in an “all of the above” approach when it comes to our nation’s energy portfolio, and nuclear power has shown to be a safe, effective, clean and reliable source that generates roughly 20 percent of the energy our nation uses.

Coverage of the Report:

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NRC: Japan Plant Explosions Will Not Affect U.S. Operations

The earthquake-caused explosions at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant caused terrible damage and posed real dangers, but it is worth noting that no one died from the events (11 workers were injured). Even as Japan continues to take control of the plant and the nation’s power grid, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) used a White House briefing today to announce that events in Japan will not affect its day-to-day operations, including permitting of nuclear power plants in the United States.

 The NRC briefing also reaffirmed a statement the commission released Sunday via Eliot Brenner, its spokesman, who said: “NRC’s rigorous safety regulations ensure that U.S. nuclear facilities are designed to withstand tsunamis, earthquakes and other hazards. In addition to those plants in recognized earthquake zones, the NRC has been working with several agencies to assess recent seismic research for the central and eastern part of the country. That work continues to indicate U.S. plants will remain safe.”

Nevertheless, some lawmakers in Washington are calling for a halt in nuclear energy developments.  Such a reaction would have an overwhelming negative impact on the many people who have dedicated their lives, time and energy in working on these nuclear energy reactors.  The nuclear energy industry remains a clean and safe source of energy.  We ask that those lawmakers whose first instinct is to call for the halt of all aspects of nuclear energy to hold off on their speculations and demands.  Policymaking requires facts and deliberation, not immediate impulses.

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From the New Head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog reports on the remarks Tuesday of Gregory Jackzo, the new chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Jaczko’s talk was encouraging for its discussion of the need to enhance agency decisiveness and regulatory preparedness for dealing with new challenges, such as waste management and other fuel-cycle related activities. Both will be key factors in any future nuclear renaissance. Jaczko explained:

“Decisiveness means the ability to come to resolution in a predictable manner after open and informed debate. To be decisive, we must understand the public interest and as much of a complicated issue as possible so we can make a policy decision that ensures public health and safety…The public demands that from a regulator. The licensees should expect that from a regulator.”

Heritage has posted an .mp3 file of the event.

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Terrorist Attack: The Perfect Precautionary Threat

Following up on yesterday’s Washington Post article, “Little Outcry on Nuclear Reactor Proposal, ” there is indeed some opposition. Just predictable, small and tedious opposition…

AP story in The Examiner:

SOLOMONS, Md. — An advocacy group says a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant is unnecessary and dangerous.Members of the Chesapeake Safe Energy Coalition planned to testify at a hearing Monday by the Maryland Public Service Commission on plans for a third reactor at the plant in Lusby in southern Maryland. The commission has scheduled a series of hearings this month on the proposal by Constellation Energy Group.

Allison Fisher with Washington, DC-based Public Citizen says state approval would open the door to construction before the reactor design is fully scrutinized and licensed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Opponents also plan to argue that a new plant would not be safe from a catastrophic accident or an attack by terrorists.

Unnecessary? From The Washington Post, “Threat of Power Shortages Generating New Urgency,” February 3, 2008:

Electric power has already become painfully expensive in Washington and its suburbs. Now, local utilities say, it could become something even worse: scarce.

With its humming data centers and air-conditioned mansions, the region is using 18 percent more electricity than in 2001. And as demand has gone up, so have prices. Some homeowners have seen their rates jump by half or more.

Utility and government officials say the region has to face the idea that its demand for electricity could overtake the supply. In a little more than three years, they say, lights could flicker off in rolling blackouts.

Don’t suppose a rolling blackout might pose any sort of public health/public safety risk…

And, look, nothing is SAFE from a terrorist attack. That’s sort of one of the points of terrorism. You can only minimize the risk and the consequences.

P.S. The original WaPo story about the Calvert Cliffs project referred to the deadly accident at Three Mile Island. The Post corrected the mistake today: “An Aug. 4 Metro article incorrectly described the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. Although it was the most serious accident in the operating history of U.S. commercial nuclear plants, it led to no deaths or injuries to plant workers or the nearby community, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.”

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