The Union of Concerned Scientists and other nuclear power "watchdog" organizations or opponents have called on the NRC to require that spent fuel be moved to storage in dry casks when sufficiently cooled. The National Research Council said that action "might be prudent" for some plants whose vulnerabilities were outlined in a classified part of the report.
Jaczko told the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee that measures to protect both U.S. reactor operations and the spent fuel pools have been taken on a case-by-case basis for each U.S. reactor since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The NRC considers the storage situation to be safe in this country, but will review it once the staff has a full understanding of the details of the Japanese nuclear crisis, he said.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu, also testifying to Congress yesterday, reiterated confidence in the safety of the 104 U.S. nuclear reactors.
"The American people should have full confidence that the United States has rigorous safety regulations in place to ensure that our nuclear power is generated safely and responsibly. Information is still coming in about the events unfolding in Japan, but the administration is committed to learning from Japan's experience as we work to continue to strengthen America's nuclear industry," Chu said.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500