NRC requests natural hazard plans from fuel-cycle facilities

Staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have asked that fuel-cycle facilities across the country detail their response plans to natural hazards including floods, earthquakes and other storms.

They state that this move is to determine if additional regulatory measures are necessary in this area because NRC staff was unable to validate facilities under review for compliance in regard to natural phenomena hazards.

Shortly after the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011, the NRC inspected U.S. facilities to determine if they were seismically sound and were adequate in terms of public safety.

“For issues where methodologies have changed or new information on external hazards has come to light … it is more appropriate to adopt an approach similar to what we have done for the power reactors,” NRC Commissioner William Ostendorff said. “That is, first collect relevant information and analyses from licensees and then evaluate whether ‘modifications or additions to systems, structures or components of a facility or to the procedures of an organization required to operate a facility’ are warranted by developing a ‘systematic and documented analysis.’”

According to the Nuclear Energy Institute, the original letter called for a broader course of action until it was decide to focus on current regulation practices.

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