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 January 12, 2016 - 7:01 PM EST
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U.S. Nuclear Plants on Pace to Complete Post-Fukushima Enhancements: NRC Chief

Chairman Stephen Burns Tells Platts Energy Podium: "Some Good Progress"

NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. nuclear power plants are effectively implementing modifications required in the aftermath of the devastating Fukushima I nuclear accident in Japan in 2011, the chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) told a Platts Energy Podium newsmaker event in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. "I think there's been some good progress," said NRC chief Stephen Burns.

U.S. reactors will mostly complete this year modifications ordered by NRC in 2012 requiring that they increase their ability to handle extreme external events such as earthquakes and flooding, Burns said. One of the agency's post-Fukushima orders required that a combination of permanent, portable and off-site equipment be available to provide water and power to help cool reactors.

Some reactors have additional time to make those modifications if they are also installing hardened vents that would reduce the pressure in the vessel housing the reactor during a severe accident, he noted, and analysis continues for additional modifications that could be required at certain plants.

Burns told reporters the agency has not seen any evidence that nuclear operators facing challenging market conditions or being permanently shut are cutting corners on safety, adding that his agency's system of inspections would pick up on such a thing. This "is something we pay attention to," said the chairman. "We aren't seeing … a real degradation in attention to safety" at economically challenged plants.

Burns also said he is not aware of any change to the status of the nomination of Jessie Roberson, a commissioner of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, to become the fifth NRC commissioner. Roberson was nominated in July to the vacant position, but the U.S.  Senate has not acted on the nomination. Burns said the lack of a full membership on the commission has not kept it from tackling any issues.

Access the full podcast of Platts Energy Podium  with NRC Chairman Stephen Burns at: http://www.platts.com/podcasts-detail/energypodium/2016/january/burns. (You may be asked for a cost-free, one-time log-in to the website for access; if so, enter a log-in and password of your choosing).

Sponsored by Platts, a division of McGraw Hill Financial (MHFI), Platts Energy Podium provides an ongoing forum for prominent newsmakers and the press to address important energy and environmental issues. Credentialed members of the media may receive complementary registration for Platts Energy Podium events by contacting the media contacts below.

For more information on Platts, visit www.platts.com.

Media Contacts:
Global, Americas, Asia: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607, kathleen.tanzy@platts.com

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets.  A division of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), Platts is based in London with more than 1000 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at http://www.platts.com. 

About McGraw Hill Financial: McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ and SNL, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL and J.D. Power. The Company has approximately 20,000 employees in 31 countries. Additional information is available at www.mhfi.com.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-nuclear-plants-on-pace-to-complete-post-fukushima-enhancements-nrc-chief-300203487.html

SOURCE Platts


Source: PR Newswire (January 12, 2016 - 7:01 PM EST)

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