NRC Accepting Public Input On Updated Seismic Analysis For US Nuclear Plants

The NRC is calling for public comment on a proposed plan to require nuclear power plants to re-examine their seismic risk and report their findings. This is a rare opportunity for the public to have their concerns heard. In light of the news that the North Anna nuclear plant sits on an active fault line and has no seismic shut down equipment, this is an even more important issue. As we mentioned previously, US nuclear reactors are not required to have seismic trip equipment that automatically shuts down a reactor in the event of an earthquake. Please take a few moments to read the draft letter and share your thoughts or concerns with the NRC. 

The draft letter can be found by going to this site, the ADAMS database. Type in this number in the Simple Search, ML111710783 and the draft letter will pull up.
** Dean shared this IAEA report of their guidelines for seismic safety, worth reading for orientation or other standards to compare.

Feedback can be given a number of ways:

Comments online:
Online go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!home and put this number in the search box NRC-2011-0201. Choose “view by docket folder” in the search results and the draft letter will show up in the results there. Click on the “+” and a second line will appear that has a “submit a comment” option. You can provide your feedback there.

Comments by mail or fax:
Comments can also be submitted, referencing NRC-2011-
0201, by mail to Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB),
Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Comments via fax can be sent
to RADB at 301-492-3446

The NRC letter inviting public comment below:
NRC SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT ON DRAFT GENERIC LETTER REGARDING
UPDATED SEISMIC ANALYSES FOR U.S. NUCLEAR REACTORS
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is seeking public comments on a draft Generic
Letter that would require U.S. nuclear power plants to re-examine their sites’ seismic risk and
provide that information to the NRC.
Comments on the draft letter, published today in the Federal Register and available on
regulations.gov, will be accepted until Oct. 31. The draft letter will soon be available in the
agency’s electronic document database, ADAMS, by entering ML111710783 in the database’s
search engine. The staff expects to hold a public meeting on the draft letter in mid-October to
gather comments; meeting details will be announced separately in the next several weeks.
The letter represents the next step in the staff’s ongoing multi-year examination of
updated seismic hazard information for the eastern and central United States, through the NRC’s
Generic Issues program. This effort, labeled GI-199, began long before the events at the
Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in Japan and the recent Virginia earthquake. GI-199 was
prompted by the seismic analyses included in applications from 2003 related to new reactor
activity. The NRC issued an Information Notice in September 2010 regarding GI-199, including
the agency’s conclusion that existing plant designs safely account for possible earthquakes. The
notice is available in ADAMS by entering ML101970221 in the database’s search engine. More
information on GI-199 is available on the NRC website.
Interested parties can submit comments on the draft letter through regulations.gov, using
docket number NRC-2011-0201. Comments can also be submitted, referencing NRC-2011-
0201, by mail to Cindy Bladey, Chief, Rules, Announcements, and Directives Branch (RADB),
Division of Administrative Services, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: TWB-05-B01M, U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Comments via fax can be sent
to RADB at 301-492-3446.
The NRC staff will consider the comments before finalizing the Generic Letter, which the
staff expects to issue near the end of the year. The draft letter’s approach would have U.S.
nuclear power plants perform their analyses within either one or two years, depending on the
analysis method used, and deliver their results to the NRC. The agency will then determine
whether additional actions are necessary

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