WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) has conducted an independent review of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants, at the request of Tokyo Electric Power Co., to examine and share lessons learned from the 2011 accident in which an earthquake and tsunami damaged the nuclear energy facilities.
The nine-person team—composed of INPO, World Association of Nuclear Operators and U.S. nuclear industry experts—provides lessons learned that nuclear energy facility operating organizations should consider implementing, in conjunction with action plans already established as a result of the Fukushima event. The report is an addendum to a 2011 INPO report describing what happened during the event. The lessons learned in the new addendum have broad applicability to all nuclear energy operations organizations.
Headquartered in Atlanta, INPO is a sister organization to the Nuclear Energy Institute. It was established by the U.S. nuclear energy industry in 1979 to promote excellence in safety and operating performance above and beyond federal regulatory requirements.
“For the U.S. nuclear industry, our first priority is and always will be safety. INPO’s findings are aligned with steps already being taken to enhance safety across our industry,” said Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer.
Principal lessons learned include:
Reactor cooling is the top safety priority during any unusual event. Resources and training should be allocated to emphasize this fundamental priority.
Emergency response capability must include the staff and resources necessary to respond effectively to a severe condition at each reactor at a facility.
Continually strengthen the industry’s safety culture using the lessons from Fukushima to drive continuous learning from operating experience, a questioning attitude among reactor operators, and awareness of the unique aspects of nuclear energy technology.
The events at Fukushima Daiichi and Daini reinforce the need for U.S. industry programs to be prepared for unexpected circumstances. NEI works with INPO, its member companies and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to ensure that lessons learned are applied in an effective manner to improve the safety and reliability of U.S plants, operating in 31 states, that generate 20 percent of U.S. electricity supplies.
Details on U.S. industry’s ongoing response to the Fukushima accident are available at NEI’s Safety First website.