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Boxer to hold nuclear safety hearing next week

By Josh Richman
Friday, March 9th, 2012 at 12:20 pm in Barbara Boxer, energy, U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer will convene a hearing next Thursday on Capitol Hill to discuss the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s efforts to shore up U.S. reactors’ safety following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear crisis.

This Sunday marks one year since a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Japan’s coast caused a massive tsunami that killed about 20,000 people and precipitated the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant – a multiple-meltdown and radiation release that was the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The NRC announced today it’s implementing several recommendations based on lessons learned from Japan. All U.S. commercial nuclear power plants, including those under construction, must better protect post-9/11 safety equipment and get enough such equipment to support all of a site’s reactors simultaneously; they also must install better equipment to monitor water levels in spent-fuel pools. Certain boiling-water reactors also must improve their venting systems. They have until the end of 2016 to comply.

All five commissioners are scheduled to appear at Thursday’s hearing.

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  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Senator Boxer, noted expert on nuclear engineering, is a superb choice to head this inquiry.

  • John W.

    Right! Good thing there are others on the committee who can provide some solid insights, like minority ranking member James Inhofe and David Vitter.