NRC seeks public comment on flooding hazards

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will accept public comment until Oct. 29 on proposed interim staff guidance on flooding hazards at nuclear plants.

This is part of NRC’s continuing effort to reap lessons from the March 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear station. The NRC is trying to re-analyze how flood hazards could affect plant performance.

In addition to Fukushima, Omaha Public Power District’s Fort Calhoun nuclear plant in Nebraska was idled by flooding along the Missouri River.

The proposed guidance would provide a means for meeting requirements in a request for information (ROI) that the NRC staff issued in March.

The guidance would not be mandatory, but should a plant decide to take a different approach, the NRC would review both the plant’s methodology and results when they submit their response.

Comments should be submitted regarding Docket ID NRC-2012-0222.

The NRC began examining flooding issues, in the form of upstream dam failures, prior to the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident. That work was incorporated into the agency’s post-Fukushima efforts, which include requiring all U.S. plants to re-analyze potential flooding hazards at their sites using the latest available information.

The plants will use present day guidance and analysis methods that have been used in new reactor applications to analyze hazards including stream and river flooding, hurricane storm surges, tsunami, and dam failures.

In May, the NRC announced a schedule for all U.S. nuclear power plants to complete the hazard re-analysis by March 2015.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.