United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment
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The NRC’s Regulatory Framework (Recommendation 1)

Regulatory FrameworkThe NRC requires U.S. nuclear power plants to be designed and built to safely withstand a set of unlikely but harmful events such as equipment failure, pipe breaks, and severe weather; these are called design-basis requirements. The nuclear power plants at Fukushima experienced flooding and seismic events that went beyond the design-basis levels set by the Japanese regulator.  The NRC's Near Term Task Force, in their examination of the Fukushima event, recognized that the NRC's design-basis requirements needed to be enhanced to deal with events that are very unlikely but beyond the current design-basis requirements. As a result, the task force recommended that the NRC establish a logical, systematic, and coherent regulatory framework that appropriately balances multiple layers of protection and risk considerations to deal with events beyond the current NRC design basis.

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, July 16, 2014