Thursday, September 15, 2011

US Reactolrs have security but Europe's have only Safety

U.S.reactors have Safety & Security: Planning the Unthinkable [ see links also]

Nuclear energy facilities are among the safest and most secure industrial facilities in the United States, but we are continually improving design standards, operational safety, personnel training, and emergency preparedness procedures to plan for extreme events to ensure the safety and security of our workers, our communities and our world.
“The U.S. nuclear energy industry recognizes that we are accountable to independent oversight authorities and to the American people. We must demonstrate that our facilities are fully prepared to maintain safety even in cases where we have made protective enhancements that go beyond the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regulatory requirements.”
— Tony Pietrangelo
Chief Nuclear Officer
Nuclear Energy Institute
The nuclear industry has an established record of continual learning and improvement. America’s nuclear energy facilities are built to a high safety standard, yet we are constantly reviewing our plants, procedures and preparedness plans to ensure even more accountability in safe operations to the communities we serve.
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the nuclear energy industry significantly enhanced physical security at commercial reactors. Approximately 8,000 security officers help secure 65 nuclear plant sites each day. Additionally, U.S. companies extended and fortified security parameters and installed high-tech surveillance equipment to protect against the threat of an attack, making them some of the most secure facilities in the country.
The industry protects the public and its workers with state-of-the-art technology that layers precaution on top of precaution. American nuclear power plants have four-feet-thick, steel-reinforced concrete containment buildings that surround the reactor and multiple backup systems that function even in the event of an emergency. Nuclear power plants also are designed and built to withstand the most severe natural events that may occur where they are located, including earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods, tornados, and large fires. These enhancements ensure that America’s nuclear energy facilities are well protected and prepared.
It is not enough that nuclear plant workers aim to exceed safety standards. There are a minimum of two independent inspectors from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on site every day at each nuclear energy facility to monitor plant operations and report any situation that could pose a problem. If the NRC does not believe the plant is operating safely, it can shut the plant down at any time.
U.S. nuclear power facilities have top-of-the-line approaches to safety and operation that serve as a model for countries that are interested in developing commercial nuclear technology.
Planning for extreme events, the U.S. nuclear industry works each day to ensure the safety and security of our plants, workers and communities.  The industry is committed to triple check every safety system in light of events in Japan to ensure that we are even safer.
  • Every U.S. nuclear power plant is designed, built and managed to safely contain radiation, even in the event of natural disasters, operational accidents or security threats.
  • Nuclear power plants, teaming with local and state government officials and emergency response organizations, maintain, exercise, and test comprehensive emergency response plans as required by law to protect the public even in the event of an accident at a nuclear power plant.
  • Every U.S. nuclear power plant’s emergency response plan is reviewed and approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and each state in which a plant is located. The plan must include protective measures such as sheltering in place and evacuation of communities within a 10-mile radius of the facility. Targeted evacuations can be extended beyond the 10-mile zone if needed.
  • Every U.S. nuclear plant’s operations are overseen daily by two onsite federal regulators, who have the authority to shut down the plant if it is not abiding by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s stringent safety regulations.

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