Lochbaum and Lyman Address NAS on US Response to Fukushima

July 20, 2012
David Wright
Former contributor

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is working on a study called “Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security at US Nuclear Plants.” It is currently in the phase of collecting information through public meetings.

Dave Lochbaum and Ed Lyman were part of a small group of people who addressed the NAS panel yesterday. The slides from their presentation are available here.The others addressing the panel were two representatives from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission—Mike Johnson, deputy executive director for Reactor and Preparedness Programs, and Rob Taylor, deputy director of the Japan Lessons Learned Project Directorate—and Marv Fertel, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear industry trade association.

The NAS website says the report will address the following issues:

1. Causes of the Fukushima nuclear accident, particularly with respect to the performance of safety systems and operator response following the earthquake and tsunami.

2. Re-evaluation of the conclusions from previous NAS studies on safety and security of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste storage, particularly with respect to the safety and security of current storage arrangements and alternative arrangements in which the amount of commercial spent fuel stored in pools is reduced.

3. Lessons that can be learned from the accident to improve commercial nuclear plant safety and security systems and operations.

4. Lessons that can be learned from the accident to improve commercial nuclear plant safety and security regulations, including processes for identifying and applying design basis events for accidents and terrorist attacks to existing nuclear plants.

The two-year study is due out in 2014.