Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requesting a report on the implementation of safety improvements for the nation's 104 nuclear reactors. The letter comes two years after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Following the Fukushima disaster, an independent NRC task force issued twelve safety recommendations to improve nuclear reactor safety in the U.S., which the NRC has been working to implement. The letter requests that the NRC provide a report on its progress of implementing these recommendations and asks for a timeline for the expected completion of these safety measures.
The full text of the letter is below:
March 8, 2013
The Honorable Allison M. Macfarlane
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
11555 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
Dear Chairman Macfarlane:
I request that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) provide me with an update on the NRC's progress in implementing the post-Fukushima safety recommendations. March 11, 2013 will mark two years since the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima, Japan. It is vital that U.S. nuclear power plants fully incorporate the lessons learned from this disaster.
In March 2011, the NRC committed to review the causes of the events in Fukushima and make the changes necessary to ensure the safety of the tens of millions of Americans living near reactors in this country. An independent senior-level NRC staff task force issued twelve broad safety recommendations in July 2011, and the NRC has been working to implement them ever since.
Following the events in Fukushima, the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) has held seven NRC oversight meetings focused on safety improvements, and next month EPW is scheduled to hold its eighth such meeting. In anticipation of this hearing, I request a report on the NRC's implementation of the post-Fukushima safety upgrades. Please ensure this report includes specific information concerning the current timeline for making final decisions on the remaining safety improvements, the anticipated implementation dates for these requirements, and the expected completion dates when these safety measures will be fully in place at U.S. nuclear plants.
Please provide me with this report by April 12, 2013. If you have questions, please have your staff contact Grant Cope at 202-224-8832. Thank you for your assistance.
Committee on Environment and Public Works