Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: Timeline

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This page presents an animated graphical timeline, highlighting the Japan nuclear accident at Fukushima Dai-ichi and specific dates and activities associated with how the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) responded to that event. You can browse the animated timeline on this page, view Congressional Briefings and Public Meetings and Briefings or select a specific date for additional detail and related documents. For accessibility purposes, please see Key Dates and Activities, below.

  • Aerial photo of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: March 11, 2011


    A magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck near Honshu, Japan, generating an estimated 45-foot tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

  • View from entrance of NRC Operations Center looking through glass doors

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: NRC Operations Center

    The NRC staffs its Headquarters Operations Center, March 11, on a 24/7 basis, first monitoring tsunami effects on the U.S. West Coast, and then supporting both domestic and international responses to the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactor accidents until May 16.

    Press releases
    Blog posts

  • NRC officials sitting at a table sharing details of the Fukushima accident with officials from a U.S. nuclear power plant

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: March 18, 2011

    NRC shares details of the Fukushima accident with U.S. nuclear power plants, and reminds plants of post-9/11 requirements for additional emergency equipment.

    Press releases
    Blog posts

  • View from the seating area of auditorium duringCommission briefing for Congressional committees on status of recent events in Japan

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: Congressional Briefings

    The Commission briefs Congressional committees several times between March and August 2011 on the status of recent events in Japan, NRC’s response and action plans.

    Documentation of testimony to Congress by the Commission and other senior agency officials.

    Congressional Testimony 2011

  • NRC resident inspectors shown wearing hard hats with flashlights while re-examining post-9/11 emergency equpment

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: March 23, 2011

    NRC resident inspectors begin re-examining post-9/11 emergency equipment and related items at U.S. nuclear power plants, in light of details from the Fukushima accident.

    Temporary Instruction 2515/183
    Summary of Observations
    Results Overview

  • NRC officials shown sitting at a table with officials from U.S. nuclear fuel facilities sharing details of the Fukushima accident

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: March 31, 2011

    NRC shares details of the Fukushima accident with U.S. nuclear fuel facilities, and reminds those facilities of the need to properly analyze the effects of severe natural events.

    Documents:
    Information Notice 2011-08

  • NRC Task Force members sitting at a conference table discussing lessons learned from Fukushima accident

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: April 1, 2011

    NRC creates Near-Term Task Force to examine lessons learned from the Fukushima accident.

    NRC Appoints Task Force Members And Approves Charter   For Review Of Agency's Response To Japan Nuclear Event

  • NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: April 29, 2011

    NRC resident inspectors begin examining severe accident management procedures and training at U.S. nuclear power plants.

    Documents:
    Temporary Instruction 2515/184
    Summary of Observations
    Summary of Observations

  • Cover of a copy of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR)

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: May 11, 2011

    NRC requires nuclear power plants to provide information on post-9/11 emergency equipment, as well as how the plants ensure strategies to use the equipment remain effective over time.

    Documents:
    • NRC Bulletin 2011-01

  • The NRC Commissioners and staff, shown seated around a large, oval conference table during a meeting

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: May 20, 2011

    NRC reports all US nuclear power plants have appropriate post-9/11 emergency equipment and procedures in place.

    Summary of Observations
    Results Overview

  • Two NRC officials shown sitting while being intviewed regarding reports on areas for improvement regarding US nuclear power plants' Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMG)

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: June 6, 2011

    NRC reports on areas for improvement regarding U.S. nuclear power plants’ Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMG).

    Documents:
    Summary of Observations
    Results Overview

  • Cover of a copy of a report entitled Recommendations for Enhancing Reactor Safety in the 21st Century (NRC's Near-Term Task Force report on lessons learned from Fukushima)

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: July 12, 2011

    The NRC's Near-Term Task Force issues its report on lessons learned from Fukushima. The NTTF concluded U.S. plants are operating safely and provided 12 broad recommendations to the Commission for enhancing reactor safety.

    Documents:
    • Near-Term Task Force Review of Insights from the   Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident, SECY-11-093

  • View of a Commission meeting with officials seated around a large, oval table, with audience members looking on as NRC staff present six Near-Term Task Force recommendations for U.S. nuclear power plants

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: September 9, 2011

    NRC staff presents to the Commission six Near-Term Task Force recommendations for U.S. nuclear power plants that should be initiated without delay.

    Documents:
    • Near-Term Task Force Review of Insights from the   Fukushima Dai-ichi Accident, SECY-11-0124

  • An NRC resident inspector shown wearing a hard hat and holding a flashlight while inspecting equipment inside a nuclear power plant

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: September 30, 2011

    NRC resident inspectors begin examining U.S. nuclear fuel cycle facilities' plans and procedures for safely dealing with severe events.

    Documents:
    Temporary Instruction 2600/0015

  • View of a Commission meeting with officials seated around a large, oval table, with audience members looking on

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: October 3, 2011

    The NRC staff proposes to the Commission three tiers of prioritization for the Near-Term Task Force recommendations.

    Documents:
    SECY-11-0137

  • View of a Commission meeting with officials seated around a large, oval table, with audience members looking on

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: October 18, 2011

    The Commission approves the NRC staff’s proposal to implement recommendations described in SECY-11-0124 within five years, by 2016.

    Documents:
    SECY-11-0124

  • A closeup of the NRC Chairman and Commissioners during a meeting with officials seated around a large, oval table, listening as staff present proposed prioritization of Near-Term Task Force recommendations

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: December 15, 2011

    The Commission approves the staff’s proposed prioritization of the Near-Term Task Force recommendations described in SECY-11-0137.

    Documents:
    SECY-11-0137

  • View of a public meeting being held at NRC Headquarters with a speaker shown at a podium presenting to an audience.  Behind the presenter above on the wall a slideshow presentation is being projected on a screen

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: Public Meetings and Briefings

    The NRC considers public involvement in, and informing the public about, agency activities to be a cornerstone of strong, fair regulation of the nuclear industry. The NRC recognizes the public's interest in the proper regulation of nuclear activities and provides opportunities for citizens to be heard.

    For details, see the following resources:
    Public Meetings/Presentations
    Speeches
    Commission Briefings
    Congressional Testimony

  • A close up of a Commission staff member seated at a meeting table, facing foward and directing his attention to someone speaking

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: February 17, 2012

    NRC staff proposes to the Commission issuing three orders to enhance post-9/11 emergency equipment, install additional spent fuel pool instruments and, for certain plants, enhance or install containment vents, along with a request for information.

    Documents:
    SECY-12-0025 Proposed Orders and Requests for Information in Response to Lessons Learned from Japan's March 11, 2011, Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami

  • A view of the NRC Chairman and Commissioners during a meeting with officials seated around a large, oval table, listening as staff present proposed regulatory requirements for the nation's 104 operating reactors based on the lessons-learned at Fukushima Dai-ichi

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: March 12, 2012

    The Commission approves, and the staff issues, the first regulatory requirements for the nation's 104 operating reactors based on the lessons-learned at Fukushima Dai-ichi. The three orders require safety enhancements of operating reactors, construction permit holders, and combined license holders. More…

  • A view of a public meeting where a man is standing, addressing NRC staff seated around a large, oval table about possible revisions of NRC requirements for addressing station blackout conditions.  An audience is seated in the background

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: March 20, 2012

    NRC staff asks for public input on possible revisions of NRC requirements for addressing station blackout conditions, where a nuclear power plant loses all onsite and offsite alternating-current power.

    Documents:
    NRC Seeks Public Comment at Start of Process to Revise   "Station Blackout" Rule

  • View of a public meeting being held at NRC Headquarters with a speaker shown at a podium presenting to an audience.  Behind the presenter above on the wall a slideshow presentation is being projected on a screen

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: April 18, 2012

    NRC staff asks for public input on possible revisions of NRC requirements aimed to strengthen and integrate onsite emergency response capabilities at nuclear power plants.

    Documents:
    NRC Seeks Public Comment at Beginning of Process to   Revise Onsite Emergency Response Regulations

  • View of all three White Flint NRC buildings together, from several blocks away

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: May 31, 2012

    NRC staff issues guidance for U.S. nuclear power plants to:
    • Assess emergency preparedness communications and   staffing
    • Perform seismic and flooding walkdowns

    Documents:
    Endorsed EP assessment guidance
    Endorsed flooding walkdown guidance and seismic   walkdown guidance

    More…

  • A view from the audience of the NRC Chairman and Commissioners during a meeting with staff seated around a large, meeting table, listening as staff present a Paper Outlining its Plans

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: July 13, 2012

    On July 13, 2012, the NRC staff provided the Commission a paper outlining its plans for implementing the longer-term "Tier 2" and "Tier 3" recommendations.

    Documents:
    SECY-12-0095

  • A close-up view from the meeting table (with audience in background) of a man seated at the table, speaking during a public meeting

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: August 30, 2012

    On August 30, 2012, the NRC staff issued implementation guidance to enable U.S. nuclear power plants to achieve compliance with each of the Orders. The staff developed this guidance through engagement of stakeholders in a series of public meetings on each of the orders and requests for information.

    Orders:
    Order EA-12-049, Modifying Licenses with Regard to   Requirements for Mitigation Strategies for Beyond-Design-  Basis External Events…More…

  • A close-up of an NRC staff member gesturing with his hand while seated at a meeting table, speaking during a  meeting with U.S. nuclear power plants representatives

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: November 16, 2012

    The NRC informed U.S. nuclear power plants of one way to acceptably perform part of the seismic hazard re-analysis the NRC asked all plants to do in March 2012.

    Documents:
    Interim Staff Guidance on Performing a Seismic Margin   Assessment

  • A close-up view of The NRC Commissioners and staff, shown seated around a large, oval conference table during a meeting

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: November 26, 2012

    The NRC's technical staff gave the agency's five Commissioners a paper examining potential additional requirements, including filters for radioactive material, for the venting systems at some U.S. nuclear power plants.

    Documents:
    SECY-12-0157 (20.84 MB)

  • A close-up of an NRC staff member gesturing with his hand while seated at a meeting table, speaking during a  meeting with U.S. nuclear power plants representatives

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: November 30, 2012

    The NRC informed U.S. nuclear power plants of one way to acceptably perform part of the flood hazard re-analysis the NRC asked all plants to do in March 2012.

    Documents:
    Interim Staff Guidance on Performance of an Integrated   Assessment for Flooding

  • View of a Commission meeting with staff seated around a large, oval table, with audience members looking on as NRC staff meet with U.S. nuclear power plants representatives

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: January 4, 2013

    The NRC informed U.S. nuclear power plants of one way to acceptably account for events such as tsunami and storm surge as part of the flood hazard re-analysis the NRC asked all plants to do in March 2012.

    Documents:
    Draft Interim Staff Guidance for Performing a Tsunami,   Surge, or Seiche Hazard Assessment

  • View of all three White Flint NRC buildings together, from several blocks away

    NRC Actions in Response to the Japan Nuclear Accident: Next Steps

    Over the next few months, the NRC expects to take the following actions:

    • In February 2013, the NRC staff plans to receive every   plant's integrated plan for complying with all three Orders.
    • In March 2013, the NRC staff plans to receive the first set of   plant flooding hazard reevaluations.
    • From May to September 2013, the NRC staff plans to   review all the walkdown reports.
    More…

 
 

Key Dates and Activities

2013 2012 2011
January 4, 2013
Implementation Details
February 17, 2012
March 12, 2012
March 20, 2012
April 18, 2012
May 31, 2012
July 13, 2012
August 30, 2012
November 16, 2012
November 26, 2012
November 30, 2012
March 11, 2011
NRC Operations Center
March 18, 2011
March 23, 2011
March 31, 2011
April 1, 2011
April 29, 2011
May 11, 2011
May 20, 2011
June 6, 2011
July 12, 2011
September 9, 2011
September 30, 2011
October 3, 2011
October 18, 2011
December 15, 2011

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, March 24, 2021