March 17th, 2011 – Draft EDO Update – Concern about SFP at Fukushima Daiichi – 50 Mile Evacuation

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From: ElImers, Glenn
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:19 AM
To: Borchardt, Bill; Virgilio, Martin; Weber, Michael; Ash, Darren; Muessle, Mary
Cc: Landau, Mindy
Subject: draft EDO Update

The situation at the Fukushima reactor site in Japan continues to be very serious and dynamic. The NRC has responded quickly and effectively to an incredibly challenging situation.

We have staffed the Operations Center 24/7 since last Friday and we have a team of 11 individuals who are in Japan to
1) provide support to the US ambassador and the embassy,
2) interface with the Japanese regulator and licensee,
and 3) help to facilitate coordination of the US Government response.

The Chairman was on Capitol Hill yesterday to brief committees of the both the House and Senate on what is happening and how the NRC is responding. The quality of the work done by the NRC staff is clearly recognized and appreciated by all of our stakeholders.

Given the available information, we continue to be very concerned about the condition of 3 reactor cores and 2 spent fuel pools.

Based on calculations performed by NRC experts for the situation as a whole, we now believe that it is appropriate for U.S. residents within 50 miles of the Fukushima reactors to evacuate. Our recommendation is based on NRC guidelines for public safety that would be used in the United States under similar circumstances. At the same time, however, we do not expect any part of the U.S. or its territories to experience any harmful levels of radioactivity, given the great distances
involved. We continue to do analyses to verify our understanding of this issue. The NRC is working closely with our federal partners to monitor radiation releases from the Japanese nuclear power plants.

We will continue to place emphasis on communication activities. The agency is being flooded with phone calls from the media, stakeholders, and the general public. Once again, thank you to everyone who is pitching in to help deal with this volume of activity.

Given the dynamic situation, there will be an All-Hands meeting tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. in the One White Flint auditorium, with VTC to the regions, TTC, and headquarters satellite offices. I will give you an update on what we know, and answer any questions to the best of my ability. In addition, we are
expecting to have a Commission meeting early next week. We will provide a link to the briefing materials as soon as possible. In addition, you may find these documents prepared by the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation to be of interest:


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