Since the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we have taken a highly proactive approach to revalidating the safety of our nuclear plants. In addition, we have devoted significant time and focused attention to help make our facilities even safer.
Using scenarios more extreme than the Fukushima event, we have:
Revalidated plant safety
Dedicated thousands of hours to revalidating safety systems: Since the Fukushima event, our nuclear plant team members have spent thousands of hours performing additional safety inspections to revalidate the readiness of all critical systems, procedures and emergency training programs.
Reconfirmed the health of emergency equipment: Immediately following the Japanese emergency, we re-examined our extensive emergency procedures and tested emergency response equipment put in place after 9-11 to verify we could respond to extreme events.
Ensured the availability of emergency power: We conducted detailed evaluations to ensure that emergency power for redundant safety systems is fully available in the case of a Fukushima-like emergency.
Confirmed the ability to withstand extreme natural events: Our team reconfirmed the plant's ability to withstand severe natural events including earthquakes, flooding and fires.
Added additional layers of safety
Enhanced core and spent fuel cooling capability: A specific strategy has been developed, procedures implemented and equipment purchased to ensure that core and spent fuel cooling could be maintained and the impact of extreme events like Fukushima could be effectively mitigated.
Invested nearly a million dollars in upgrades: We have invested nearly a million dollars to add additional layers of safety. For example, we have ordered additional:
- High-capacity pumps that run on diesel fuel (which is already safely stored on site) in order to provide additional backup cooling water for plant safety systems.
- Diesel-powered generators capable of providing additional emergency power to monitoring, emergency lighting and communications systems.
Enhanced communication capabilities: We are upgrading emergency communications equipment, including modernizing satellite phones, to ensure that communications can be maintained even if all power is lost for an extended period of time.
Updated operator training programs: We have included lessons-learned from the Fukushima event in all plant operator and emergency responder training programs.
The path forward
Full-time event response team: To effectively oversee our company's response and integrate lessons learned from the Fukushima event into plant activities going forward, we continue to maintain a full-time nuclear Fleet response team. This team is responsible for implementing all policy changes in a uniform way across all of our nuclear plants.