To B5b or Not To B5b

May 10, 2011
David Wright
Former contributor

In early May, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) finally released a document that gives information about the so-called B5b regulations that it required following the 9-11 attacks to increase the safety of nuclear power plants in the event of explosions or fires.

Recent statements from the NRC suggested that these measures would also help prevent against the kind of nuclear crisis that occurred at the Fukushima plant in Japan. But without knowing more about the regulations and the measures they call for, the public and outside experts have not been able to assess whether they would be an appropriate response to this broader set of nuclear plant accidents.

Ed Lyman discusses these issues in an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in which he praises the NRC for releasing this document, but remains skeptical about how effective the B5b measures would be.