Expert Report

Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants (2014)

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A new congressionally mandated report from the National Academy of Sciences examines the causes of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant initiated by the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami and identifies lessons learned for improving nuclear plant safety and offsite emergency responses to nuclear plant accidents in the United States. The overarching lesson learned is is that nuclear plant licensees and their regulators must actively seek out and act on new information about hazards that have the potential to affect the safety of nuclear plants. Specifically, licensees and their regulators must continually seek out new scientific information about nuclear plant hazards and methodologies for estimating their magnitudes, frequencies, and potential impacts; nuclear plant risk assessments must incorporate these new information and methodologies as they become available; and plant operators and regulators must take timely actions to implement countermeasures when such new information results in substantial changes to risk profiles at nuclear plants. Learn more in this Report in Brief.