Hurricane Sandy’s wrath shows that U.S. regulators should swiftly implement nuclear-safety rules developed after Japan’s Fukushima disaster, a top lawmaker said, as industry officials said the lack of major problems during the storm showed that they were ready.
Tougher U.S. nuclear-power regulations may be needed because government inspectors and companies underestimated the dangers of natural disasters, said Gregory Jaczko, chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Two nuclear power plants perched near earthquake faults in California could struggle to get relicensed after a cascade of natural and nuclear disasters across the Pacific Ocean in Japan galvanized opposition groups.
Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric won majority support for the design of its AP1000 reactor from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, even as the members were feuding publicly over the panel’s leadership.
Allison Macfarlane, the geologist and expert on atomic waste picked to lead the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is described by associates as someone who can advocate positions without offending her opponents.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission moved closer to imposing tougher safeguards at the nation’s reactors, a year after a disaster in Japan that triggered radiation leaks from a crippled power plant.
Inspections of the 104 U.S. commercial nuclear reactors found some emergency equipment that “would not start when tested,” was being used for other purposes or was stored in “potentially vulnerable areas.”
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko, disagreeing with a staff proposal, said reactor owners should speed a review of earthquake risks to complete the assessment by 2016, at least a year ahead of schedule.