NRC Response to Events at Fukushima Reactor Site, Japan – As of March 24, 2011

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From: ElImers, Glenn
Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:07 PM
To: Landau, Mindy
Subject: NRC Response – One page version
NRC Response to Events at Fukushima Reactor Site, Japan – As of March 24, 2011

* The NRC Ops Center was stood up on the day of the earthquake, and has been operating 24/7 since then-which has involved the efforts of over 250 staff on a rotating basis.

* We sent a team of 11 to Tokyo to support the U.S. ambassador interface with Japanese regulators, and help provide more direct information to NRC headquarters. A replacement team is now being rotated in relieve the original staff.

* NRC does not have the lead in responding to the Fukushima events. It is a Japanese event, being handled by the Japanese. Within the U.S. Government, the State Department’s USAID has the lead.

* Chairman Jaczko has briefed the White House on multiple occasions, and has testified before both the U.S. House and Senate. Additional testimony, briefings and other interactions with Congress, State and local governments, licensees, international partners, and other stakeholders are ongoing.

* The agency has responded to thousands of telephone calls from the media and the general public.

* NRC has sent out, to date, ten press releases outlining the agency’s response, as well as well as published 14 blog posts on a variety of topics related to events in Japan.

* The agency has created a separate page on its public website devoted to the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, which includes video clips, press releases, Frequently Asked Questions, diagrams, fact sheets, and numerous links to additional information.

* Notwithstanding the very high level of support being provided as a result of events in Japan, we continue to maintain our focus on our domestic responsibilities. There has been no reduction in the licensing or oversight function of the NRC as it relates to any of the U.S. licensees.

* The agency plans to conduct a thorough evaluation of the significant events in Japan and what we can learn from them. Specific guidance from the Commission is expected soon. [UPDATE IF SRM ARRIVES]

* We already have begun enhancing inspection activities through temporary instructions to our inspection staff, including the resident inspectors and the region-based inspectors in our four Regional offices, to look at the readiness to deal with both the design basis accidents and the beyond-design basis
accidents.

* NRC has also issued an information notice to the licensees to make them aware of the events in Japan, and what kinds of activities we believe they should be engaged in to verify their readiness. Specifically, we have directed them to verify that their capabilities to mitigate conditions that result from severe accidents, including the loss of significant operational and safety systems, are in effect and operational.

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