Report of the President's Commission on the Three Mile Island Accident: Joint Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Nuclear Regulation of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, United States Senate and the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, Ninety-sixth Congress, First Session, October 31, 1979


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Page 104 - To prevent nuclear accidents as serious as Three Mile Island, fundamental changes will be necessary in the organization, procedures, and practices -- and above all -- in the attitudes of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and, to the extent that the institutions we investigated are typical, of the nuclear industry.
Page 115 - Low population zone" means the area immediately surrounding the exclusion area which contains residents, the total number and density of which are such that there is a reasonable probability that appropriate protective measures could be taken in their behalf in the event of a serious accident.
Page 86 - We note a preoccupation with regulations. It is, of course, the responsibility of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue regulations to assure the safety of nuclear power plants. However, we are convinced that regulations alone cannot assure safety. Indeed, once regulations become as voluminous and complex as those regulations now in place, they can serve as a negative factor in nuclear safety.
Page 70 - Commission report, that what is of concern is an apparent failure of the system to incorporate an effective mechanism to assimilate lessons from plant experience and to incorporate the appropriate up-to-date technology, particularly as it applies to control room design and to develop sufficiently trained and competent people to manage this technology. This is a more manageable and appropriate focus for the overall conclusion of this Commission. I believe that such technology is being or will be used...
Page 147 - Equipment should be reviewed from the point of view of providing information to operators to help them prevent accidents and to cope with accidents when they occur. Included might be instruments that can provide proper warning and diagnostic information; for example, the measurement of the full range of temperatures within the reactor vessel under normal and abnormal conditions, and indication of the actual position of valves. Computer technology should be used for the clear display for operators...
Page 86 - After many years of operation of nuclear power plants, with no evidence that any member of the general public has been hurt, the belief that nuclear power plants are sufficiently safe grew into a conviction. One must recognize this to understand why many key steps that could have prevented the accident at Three Mile Island were not taken. The Commission is convinced that this attitude must be changed to one that says nuclear power is by its very nature potentially dangerous, and, therefore, one must...
Page 88 - In conclusion, while the major factor that turned this incident into a serious accident was inappropriate operator action, many factors contributed to the action of the operators, such as deficiencies in their training, lack of clarity in their operating procedures, failure of organizations to learn the proper lessons from previous incidents, and deficiencies in the design of the control room.
Page 145 - Exemption should be made only in cases where there is clea"r, documentary evidence that the candidate already has the equivalent training. c. The training institutions should be subject to periodic review and reaccreditation by the restructured NRC. d. Candidates for the training institute must meet entrance requirements geared to the curriculum. 2. Individual utilities should be responsible for training operators who are graduates of accredited institutions in the specifics of operating a particular...
Page 143 - There must be a systematic gathering, review, and analysis of operating experience at all nuclear power plants coupled with an industry-wide international communications network to facilitate the speedy flow of this information to affected parties.
Page 92 - TMI, we must not assume that an accident of this or greater seriousness cannot happen again, even if the changes we recommend are made. Therefore, in addition to doing everything to prevent such accidents, we must be fully prepared to minimize the potential impact of such an accident on public health and safety, should one occur in the future.

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