Thursday, March 17, 2011

U.S. Nuclear Plants Act on Verifying Safety in Emergencies

The nuclear energy industry continues to be concerned about what is going on in Japan and has offered both technical and humanitarian support.

Even as the crisis unfolds in Japan, all nuclear power plants in the United States are taking action NOW to verify their ability to remain safe -- during and after the most severe events, such as the loss of significant operational and safety systems due to natural events, fires, airplane crashes and explosions.

The industry is verifying that its nuclear facilities can withstand a total loss of electric power and will function even after extreme events. The industry also is reexamining the plants’ capability to withstand flooding and the possible effects of floods on systems inside and outside the plant. Nuclear power plant owners will incorporate lessons learned from the events in Japan as they emerge.

American nuclear energy plants are designed to successfully meet a range of significant physical challenges and keep the surrounding communities safe. Moreover, since 9/11, the U.S. electric industry has done even more to increase its ability to maintain safety during the most severe scenarios. All of America’s nuclear power plants have undergone comprehensive reviews by site-specific teams that include the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

American reactors continue to operate safely and will continue to play a vital role in providing electricity.

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