March 18th, 2011 – All-Employees Meeting – Japan/Fukushima Events

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March 18, All-Employees Meeting — Japan/Fukushima Events

* I want to thank, first of all, the ADM/OIS staff and others who helped put this meeting together at the last minute. It was a lot of work in a very short time period. We all appreciate your efforts.

* A special thanks also to the Ops Center, OCA, OPS. The agency is monitoring the situation 24/7, while also being flooded with calls. NSIR, OCA, and OPA would have been completely overwhelmed without the extraordinary willingness of other staff to pitch in and help out. And of course, many of you are having to backfill for those people who are temporarily leaving their regular duties. It’s tremendously impressive to see the entire staff work together and do whatever it takes.


Focus on Mission:
* It’s easy to overwhelmed by what’s happening in Japan, but we must stay focused on our domestic mission.

* There is intense interest in the safety of the operating plants right now. This would be the worst possible time to become distracted, and allow anything to go wrong at an NRC licensed facility.

Going Forward:
* We remain confident that our regulations and oversight provide appropriate assurances of safety for NRC-licensed activities. We will continue to inspect the operating plants another facilities, process licensing actions, and conduct other regulatory functions.

* Insofar as possible, we should continue to carry out our day-to-day activities as normally as we can.


Presidential Directive:
* President Obama has directed the NRC to “to do a comprehensive review of the safety of our domestic nuclear plants in light of the natural disaster that unfolded in Japan.”

* Of course, we would be doing this in any case. But the fact that this order comes directly from the President of the United States underscores what a serious matter this is.

* Additional guidance on how this will occur will be made available.

Commission Meeting on Monday:
” There will be a Commission Meeting on Monday to address many of the issues that we are talking about right now. The Commission will begin to review the agency’s next steps.

* We will provide the briefing materials as soon as they become available.

* Please, if at all possible, watch the Commission meeting at a designated overflow room (i.e., the auditorium, etc), via VTC, and not on your computer. This will help us sustain operations of our network and avoid degradation or more serious issues.

Additional Information

o The situation remains very fluid. The IAEA is a good source of public information for additional developments. USAID is leading the American government
response to the disaster. Refer your friends and family to those sources.

o The NRR Sharepoint site has a helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions. [Go to NRR homepage, look toward the bottom of the Green menu bar on the left for the Sharepoint link.]

o We are also making the Ops Center situation reports available to the entire staff. These are internal use only documents. [CONFIRM – ARE WE DOING THIS?

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Overview of dust sampling at apertural area of Unit 1 Reactor Building in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (pictured on October 3, 2011)