Nuclear commission staff has 45 days to complete task force recommendations

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) directed its staff to complete several action items within the next 45 days in response to recommendations from the agency’s Near-Term Task Force’s examination of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

NRC has asked the staff for a series of papers in the next two months covering various aspects of the task force’s work, including:

  • The staff has until Sept. 9 to produce a paper outlining which of the recommendations 2 through 12, either in part or in whole, the staff believes should be implemented without unnecessary delay. The effort will include a public dialogue on the staff’s proposal,
  • The staff has until October 3 to produce a paper which prioritizes recommendations 2 through 12 and lays out all agency actions to be taken in response to lessons learned from the nuclear accident. The paper will also lay out a schedule for interacting with the public, other stakeholders and the Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, and
  • The staff has 18 months to consider the task force’s first and broadest recommendation, a call for revising the NRC’s regulatory approach. The paper is expected to provide options, including a recommended course of action, for the first recommendation.

“I am pleased to see the Commission moving the agency forward on these important issues, and I look forward to receiving additional input from our technical experts, the industry and the public as we proceed,” said NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko. “The plan we’ve established will require a dedicated effort by our staff and stakeholders, and will require a continued commitment by the Commission to see that these recommendations are promptly addressed.”

NRC established the task force to examine the commission’s regulatory requirements, processes and implementation following the March 11 accident in Japan. The task force presented its report July 12, proposing 12 recommendations covering areas including loss of electrical power, earthquakes, flooding, spent fuel pools, venting and preparedness.

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