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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 11:10 PM
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Task Force Recommends Improvements for Nuclear Plants
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By MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: July 12, 2011

WASHINGTON The Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns show that it is time for redefining the level of protection that is regarded as adequate at American nuclear plants, a special task force of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has concluded.

The task force recommendations were to be released Wednesday, but a copy of the summary was obtained Tuesday evening by The New York Times.

It lays out numerous areas for improvement, based on the experience in Japan after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. American plants need to plan for simultaneous accidents at adjacent reactors, something they have never done, the task force said.

They also need to make sure that the hardened vents added to reactors over the years to prevent hydrogen explosions would actually work in an emergency, the report said, and determine where hydrogen, which is produced by overheated fuel, might flow. Japanese operators had trouble using the vents, resulting in the explosions in the secondary containments ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/13/science/earth/13nuke....


JULY 13, 2011
Crisis Plans Urged for Nuclear Plants

By STEPHEN POWER and REBECCA SMITH

U.S. nuclear plants should do more to prepare for emergencies previously seen as improbable, including long blackouts, according to proposals expected to be released Wednesday by a task force created after the nuclear disaster in Japan last March.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission task force, made up of veteran managers, will propose a range of actions to strengthen the ability of nuclear plants to withstand floods, earthquakes and other events, including a recommendation that all plants have enough backup battery capacity to survive a minimum of eight hours without power.

The commission will take up the task force's recommendations in an open session next Tuesday and could choose to implement some of them, or propose new rules and invite public and industry comments before it adopts any changes.

Currently, plants are required to have backup-battery capacity to withstand four to eight hours without power. The task force recommends that plants be able to restore power within eight hours using diesel generators if grid power is unavailable, or have backup plans to cope with power loss for up to 72 hours ...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304584404...


UPDATE 3-US report urges overhaul of nuclear rule

Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:46pm EDT

* Total of 34 recommendations made in 82-page report
* Looked at how to improve US safety after Fukushima
* Recommends tougher approach to emergency plans
* No imminent risk seen from current system-report
* "It's a laundry list"-analyst

(Adds comments and details throughout)

By Roberta Rampton and Eileen O'Grady

WASHINGTON/HOUSTON, July 12 (Reuters) - A key task force formed after the Fukushima disaster recommended the U.S. nuclear regulator take a new, tougher approach to safety, which could force plants to plan for catastrophes far beyond what they were originally designed to withstand.

In the most far-reaching review of U.S. nuclear safety since the Sept. 11 attacks a decade ago, the report suggests a philosophical shift is needed to unify a patchwork of formal rules and industry guidelines, ensuring all are overseen by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Among the 34 recommendations, the task force urged tougher standards for back-up power supplies, back-up water supplies for pools holding plant waste, and improvements in reactors that share the same design as Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The report is the U.S. government's most definitive response yet to the earthquakes and floods that caused a
partial meltdown at Fukushima. America's response could set a template for other nations that look to the world's biggest nuclear power generator to set the standard for safety ...

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/13/usa-nuclear-r...

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