NRC approves prioritization of Japan lessons-learned task force recommendations

Source: U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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

Tier 1 recommendations are those Task Force recommendations 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 further technical assessment and alignment, dependence on Tier 1 issues, or availability of critical skill sets. The staff’s prioritization was provided to the Commission in staff paper SECY 11-0137.

In a Staff Requirements Memorandum (SRM) issued today, the Commission 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.

“In approving the prioritization, the Commission has taken an important next step in responding to and implementing the safety recommendations of the Task Force,” said NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko.

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

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 staff study or are dependent on completion of an associated short-term action.

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