Nuclear Regulatory Commission Studying Impact of Dam Failure

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced its intention to formally evaluate potential generic safety implications for dam failures at facilities located upstream of domestic commercial nuclear power plants.

NRC says it began examining the issue after findings at two plants prompted the completion of an initial screening assessment.

While the screening did not identify any immediate safety concerns, NRC says inspections and reviews at individual plants have led to owners of those plants taking appropriate actions regarding flooding scenarios.

Likewise, NRC has urged that flooding from upstream dam failure be further evaluated as part of implementing recommendations from the agency’s Japan Near-Term Task Force.

The task force’s review of the incident at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear facility following that country’s flooding have also led to recommendations regarding the potential for flooding at operating reactors — information that will be merged with NRC’s actions.

The commission’s screening assessment of potential nuclear plant safety issues will be available on the Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS) under ML113500495 upon its completion.

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