Nuclear Oversight, Planning & Safety Efforts: Select Assessments

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This book examines nuclear oversight, planning and safety efforts at U.S. nuclear power reactors across the United States. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), an independent federal agency headed by five commissioners, licenses commercial nuclear power reactors and regulates and oversees their safe operation and security. An NRC task force has reviewed the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan and determined that the continued operation of existing U.S. nuclear power reactors and the licensing of new reactors do not pose an imminent risk to public health and safety. The disaster in Japan, caused by a tsunami, was more severe than the plant was designed to withstand, and has raised questions about whether a similar event could happen here. These questions were further highlighted by natural hazards that affected the sites of several U.S. commercial nuclear power plants and their reactors in 2011, including flooding near two power plants in Nebraska, severe storms at a plant in Alabama, and an earthquake at a plant in Virginia.

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