Nuclear power plant emergency rules approved

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) affirmed their votes to approve changes to emergency preparedness rules aimed at improving requirements for existing nuclear power plants, those that might be licensed and built in the future and for research and test reactors.

Some rule changes include limitations on the duties of a plant’s on-site emergency responders to ensure they are not overburdened during an emergency snd requirements to incorporate hostile-action-based scenarios in drills and exercise programs. Also included are back-up measures for alerting and notification systems.

The new rule also requires nuclear power plants to update their evacuation time estimates after every U.S. census or when population changes increase the estimate by 25 percent or 30 minutes, whichever is less.

The rule will be published in the Federal Register and becomes effective in 30 days.

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