Nuclear, Reactors

Nuclear regulators prioritize Near-Term Task Force recommendations

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has approved the agency staff’s prioritization of the Near-Term Task Force recommendations on lessons learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear incident and supports action on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 recommendations.

Tier 1 recommendations are those that the staff determined could be implemented without unnecessary delay and for which sufficient resources are available. Tier 2 includes recommendations that cannot be initiated in the near term due to factors that include the need for furthertechnical assessment and alignment, dependence on Tier 1 issues, or availability of critical skill sets.

In a Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM), the NRC directed the staff to prepare notation vote papers for its consideration when proposing orders to impose new safety requirements on the nation’s nuclear power plants. Under the SRM, the staff is to provide the commission within nine months its evaluation of the schedule and milestones, resources, and implementation challenges for the Tier 3 recommendations, those that require further staffstudy or are dependent on completion of an associated short-term action.

The NRC also directed the staff to determine whether any regulatory action is required on additional issues identified by the staff as relevant to the Fukushima Dai-ichi crisis. On one of those issues, filtration of containment vents in reactors, the NRC directed the staff to merge it with the Tier 1 action on hardened vents for Mark I and Mark II reactor containments.

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