NRC opts for "two track" approach in post-Fukushima vent requirements

Commissioners at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission have directed the agency staff to follow a “two-track” approach for improvements at 31 reactors around the U.S. to systems for venting pressure during accidents.

According to a statement from the NRC:

“The Commission’s Staff Requirements Memorandum calls for enhancing a March 2012 Order requiring 'hardened' venting systems at 31 boiling water reactors with 'Mark I' and 'Mark II' containments. The memo also starts rulemaking activities to produce requirements for those reactors to cool core debris and retain radioactive material in conjunction with venting during severe accidents.”

The commissioners have given NRC staff 60 days to finalize the enhanced order.

The proposed rule regarding vent filters on 31 BWRs in the U.S. has been highly controversial and the nuclear industry has resisted across-the-board, one-size-fits-all vent filter requirements.

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