Federal regulators: Nuclear accident plans are lacking

The inspection of the guidelines is part of a broad two-part review of U.S. nuclear reactor safety put into motion after a massive earthquake and tsunami resulted in a partial meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

While President Obama has stood behind his support for expanded nuclear power in the United States, he instructed the NRC to conduct a safety review of the country’s nuclear fleet to ensure that a similar disaster would not happen here.

The NRC inspection of the guidelines, which are aimed at preventing a major disaster if a reactor core is damaged, found that every plant in the U.S. has implemented the guidelines. But just 42 percent of plants regularly review the guidelines.

In addition, the NRC inspection found that while 92 percent of staff at nuclear plants received initial training on the guidelines, just 61 percent of the plants incorporate the guidelines into emergency training drilling.

The results of the NRC inspection will be included in a 90-day review of the country’s nuclear power facilities. The review will help determine if immediate changes are necessary to ensure the safety of U.S. reactors. NRC will also conduct a long-term review aimed at identifying possible changes to nuclear licensing.