"Earlier this year, the NRC sent three orders to nuclear plants requiring high-priority safety improvements: the acquisition and protection of emergency equipment, better monitoring of spent fuel pools, and improved venting at boiling water reactors to help maintain containment in the case of an emergency. The NRC also directed nuclear plants to take other actions, including reanalyzing earthquake and flooding risks and reassessing their ability to safely operate following such events. In addition, the Commission issued two notices of proposed rulemaking: one concerning steps that plants should take if they lose electric power, and the other on ways to improve nuclear plants' emergency procedures.
"While on the one hand I am encouraged that the NRC has begun moving forward, I also have concerns that the Commission is allowing some nuclear plants to delay implementing safety improvements beyond the recommended five-year period. Public safety of nuclear facilities must be the NRC's top priority, and I call on this Commission to ensure that the recommended improvements are put in place within the next five years. I intend to continue this Committee's oversight to make certain that these safety upgrades are completed without delay. . ."
"The Commission has approved the staff's prioritization of the recommendations of the Near-Term Task Force ("Task Force") into three categories, or tiers. Tier 1 consists of actions to be taken without delay, and these actions are underway. Tier 2 is the next set of actions that can be initiated as soon as staff resources become available and pertinent information is gathered and analyzed. Tier 3 recommendations require that the staff conduct further study or undertake shorter-term actions first."
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