Nuclear Safety: NRC's Oversight of Fire Protection at U. S. Commercial Nuclear Reactor Units Could be Strengthened
DIANE Publishing, 2009 - 40 pages
After a 1975 fire at the Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama threatened the unit¿s ability to shut down safely, the Nuclear Regulatory Comm. (NRC) issued prescriptive fire safety rules for commercial nuclear units. However, nuclear units with different designs and different ages have had difficulty meeting these rules and have sought exemptions to them. In 2004, NRC began to encourage the nation¿s 104 nuclear units to transition to a less prescriptive, risk-informed approach that will analyze the fire risks of individual nuclear units. This report examines: (1) the number and causes of fire incidents at nuclear units since 1995; (2) compliance with NRC fire safety regulations; and (3) the transition to the new approach. Includes recommendations. Illustrations.
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ability to safely According to NRC adopt the risk-informed approach to fire approved areas Arkansas Nuclear Browns Ferry fire cables and equipment central database commercial nuclear units compliance with NRC’s conducted documentation effectiveness of fire electrical cables expected Fermi Unit fire damage fire models fire protection engineering fire protection features fire protection program fire safety fire watches fire wrap material Hemyc implement industry officials informed approach interim compensatory measures license amendment requests licensing exemptions long-standing issues multiple spurious actuations nation’s necessary for safe nonprobability sample NRC guidance NRC officials told NRC-approved NRC’s fire regulations nuclear industry Nuclear Power Plant nuclear power units nuclear reactor units Nuclear Regulatory Commission nuclear unit officials nuclear unit operators nuclear unit’s ability operator manual actions pilot program probabilistic risk assessments resolve risk-informed approach safely shut safety significance Shearon Harris spurious actuations occurring unapproved or undocumented units licensed units we visited Washington