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. These orders require nuclear power plants to implement safety enhancements related to (1) mitigation strategies to respond to extreme natural events resulting in the loss of power at plants, (2) ensuring reliable hardened containment vents, and (3) enhancing spent fuel pool instrumentation. The plants are required to promptly begin implementation of the safety enhancements and complete implementation within two refueling outages or by December 31, 2016, whichever comes first. The NRC staff provided the Commission with its technical and regulatory basis for issuing the orders and requests for information in a paper dated February 17, 2012 (see SECY-12-0025). The Commission approved issuance of the orders on March 9, 2012. (see SRM SECY-12-0025).
In addition, the NRC issues a request for information, requesting each reactor reevaluate the seismic and flooding hazards at their site using present-day methods and information, conduct walkdowns of their facilities to ensure protection against the hazards in their current design basis, and reevaluate their emergency communications systems and staffing levels.