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Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Oversight and Status of Implementing a Risk-Informed Approach to Fire Safety
Frank Rusco (au)
In 1975, a fire at a nuclear power plant damaged critical control cables and hampered operatorsäó» ability to monitor the status of the plantäó»s reactor. The Nuclear Regulatory Comm. (NRC) subsequently issued fire safety regulations for plants to follow, but differences in plant design, coupled with changes in NRC guidance, made it difficult for most plants to meet the regulations without seeking numerous exemptions. In 2004, NRC issued a regulation permitting plants to voluntarily transition to risk-informed fire protection requirements. This new approach mirrors NRCäó»s efforts to adopt a more risk-informed regulatory approach to nuclear safety in general. In 2008, GAO reported on three key fire safety issues and recommended NRC take action to address them. This report examines (1) NRCäó»s progress in resolving the long-standing fire safety issues raised in GAOäó»s 2008 report at plants remaining under the deterministic approach and at those plants transitioning to the risk-informed approach; (2) the potential benefits of transitioning to a risk-informed approach and the basis for NRCäó»s decision to make adoption of this approach voluntary; and (3) challenges, if any, in efforts to transition to a risk-informed approach in regulating fire safety. Figures. This is a print on demand report.
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