NRC approves new nuclear power rules

The first set of new rules for nuclear power plants in the U.S. since last year's catastrophe at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor in Japan has received initial approval, according to Bloomberg.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's staff submitted a draft proposal last month that would set three new rules for nuclear power plants, including a requirement for more extensive disaster planning, more advanced monitoring mechanisms in reactor pools and specialized vents for certain older models.

With majority of the five NRC commissions voting in favor of the new rules, the agency will now spend the next several months designing the detailed specifications of the regulations. The rules should go into full effect across the country by the end of 2016.

"The rapidly approaching one-year anniversary of the tragic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident in Japan is a poignant reminder of the importance of our work for nuclear safety in the United States," NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko said in his vote posted today on the agency’s website.

Bloomberg reports that the costs of the new rules are expected to be reasonably modest, but could prove more manageable for companies with multiple nuclear power plants to update. This could spur the sale of some units.

Further information on the Japanese nuclear power crisis can be found at PennEnergy's Research area

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