Special Committee on the Japanese Fukushima Accident
The Tohoku earthquake, which occurred at 2:46pm on Friday, March 11th on the east coast of northern Japan, was measured at 9.0 on the Richter scale and is believed to be the 4th largest earthquake in recorded history. Following the earthquake on Friday afternoon, the nuclear plants at Fukushima-Daiichi, Fukushima-Daini and Onagawa plant sites shut down and emergency power systems were activated. The Tohoku earthquake caused a tsunami, which hit the east coast of Japan within the first hour after the quake. That tsunami caused a station blackout at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant site, leaving the site without any emergency power. The subsequent damage to the fuel in the reactor cores and in the spent fuel pools caused release of radionuclides to the region surrounding the plants. Although not directly affected by this accident, the U.S. nuclear power industry will take lessons from this tragic natural disaster and accident. The American Nuclear Society has formed a special committee to examine lessons learned from the Fukushima-Daiichi accident.
The special committee will provide a clear and concise explanation of the events surrounding the accident to the general public and U.S. leaders. These communications will include events such as station blackout, the effect on the reactors and on the spent fuel stored at the plant site and the likely health effects of the radioactive substances released to the environment. In addition, the committee will evaluate recommended actions that ANS could or should consider to better communicate with the public and elected officials during a nuclear event.
The committee will be co-chaired by Drs. Dale Klein and Michael Corradini. The committee will be constituted with five to seven additional members having expertise, which includes but is not limited to:
- Boiling Water Reactor systems
- Accident sequence analysis
- Health physics and radiation biology
- Regulatory safety issues
- Risk communication
The special committee will meet in-person or by teleconference as needed to complete the committee assignment and deliver its report to the ANS. The committee will present its draft report by the end of calendar year 2011 and the final report by the spring of 2012. The ANS special committee will continue to update its report, as appropriate, as new insights and developments are gained through 2012.
Last updated May 30, 2012, 2:45pm CDT.