NRC Seeks Public Comments on Post-Fukushima Guidance

Three orders issued in March will be finalized in August after the comment period. They are not mandatory, but U.S. nuclear plants will need approval to follow a different compliance approach.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is seeking public comments during the next month on three Interim Staff Guidance (ISG) documents it issued in March, in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis.

Comments can be submitted via www.regulations.gov using Docket IDs 2012-0067, 2012-0068, and 2012-0069. While the documents are not mandatory, U.S. nuclear plants must obtain NRC approval if they choose to follow a different compliance approach in order to meet the Dec. 31, 2016, compliance deadline.

The first order requires all U.S. plants to better protect portable safety equipment put in place after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and to obtain sufficient equipment to support all reactors at a given site simultaneously. The second one applies only to U.S. boiling-water reactors that have "Mark I" or "Mark II" containment structures. Mark I reactors must improve installed venting systems to help prevent or mitigate core damage from a serious accident, and Mark II reactors must install the venting systems. The third order requires all plants to install enhanced equipment for monitoring water levels in each plant's spent fuel pool.

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