March 14th, 2011 – Any inconsistencies or statements that undermine will have lasting effects

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From: Doane, Maraaret
To: Borchardt. Bill; Brenner, Elio
Cc: Ramsey. Jack; Henderson. Karen; Mamish. Nader; Virailio. Martin; Weber. Michael
Subject: OIP Analysis no2.docx
Date: Monday, March 14, 2011 3:34:00 PM
Attachments: OIP Analysis no2.docx

Attached is an updated OIP Analysis/Guidance Document for Japan. Please let me know if you have concerns or revisions. I’d like to have it final ASAP for the NRC Assistance Team and to guide public and liaison activities.


OIP Analysis/Guidance No. 2

1) This remains a Japanese response and NRC’s role will be to support the Japanese Emergency Responders in a manner that is appropriate.
2) NRC needs to be the primary contact with NISA and JNES because of our long-standing relationship
3) Public statements we make going forward will have enormous credibility, extreme caution will be necessary

We have now been asked by Japan to provide assistance to their Regulatory authorities and other emergency responders. This was undoubtedly an extremely difficult decision for the Japanese who had up to this point had been handling the issues on their own. Culturally, they are a very proud nation. They are among the top nuclear leaders in technical expertise, especially in seismic and tsunami matters.

The Japanese are now in their fourth day of responding to these emergencies and will remain the best informed about the current technical, legal, cultural, and regulatory issues. NRC can be of enormous assistance taking into consideration that we can help augment their already burdened staff. We must be sensitive to their needs and not interfere with their decisionmaking.

Recognizing that if we interfere, rather than assist, the consequences could be enormous.

It will be essential to help the Japanese maintain trust in their leaders to promote ongoing civil order in response to the nuclear crisis. Any inconsistencies or statements that undermine Japanese authority or expertise will have lasting affects as it could hamper current emergency efforts and their future ability to respond to these issues, long after international assistance recedes. Any interactions with the Japanese, other nations or public communication should take this into consideration.

It remains crucial that we build upon our long-standing cooperative relationship with the Japanese regulators. The NRC has a vast amount of expertise working with the Japanese program and personal relationships that should be used as a basis for strengthening, rather than shaking the confidence of the Japanese responders.

There should be sensitivity to not question the past actions, as there will be ample time to learn from these experiences.

Direct confrontation will also not be helpful. Multiple agency questions and interactions are an unnecessary distraction.

The NRC should remain the primary representative to communicate with NISA and JNES. Ultimately, our actions should not interfere or distract them. It also remains the best way culturally to approach the issue.

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