Pa. nuclear plants await NRC recommendations

    Pennsylvania’s five nuclear power plants, including Limerick in Montgomery County, will soon learn the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to Japan’s nuclear power plant disaster in March.

    Not long after the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown, the NRC mobilized its power plant inspectors to determine how prepared U.S. plants are to deal with the unfathomable–specifically, an earthquake, massive flooding, and the failure of several power sources.

    Their findings are in a report of recommendations to improve emergency plans and safety precautions at nuclear power plants in the short term.

    Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC, says it’s already clear that the final report will focus on one worst-case scenario called station blackout.

    “In other words, if a plant loses normal power which is coming from the grid and then loses its backup sources of power, that can lead to a very dire situation for nuclear power plants,” he said.

    Sheehan said the NRC still must address the long-term changes that should be made in light of the Fukushima plant accident.

    But the NRC could begin acting on short-term changes for U.S. reactors within the next several months.

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