Nuke regulator moves to shore up safety, security

The Commission on Tuesday unveiled a new final rule establishing training standards for employees of licensed nuclear plants who have security clearances. The regulations require annual “refresher” trainings for all cleared workers and supplementary sessions for certain employees every two years. 

The rule stems from a 2009 executive order requiring the NRC to ensure classified information is protected at nuclear plants “in a manner equivalent to that provided within the executive branch.”

The new rule is set to take effect 75 days after Wednesday, when it is to be published in the Federal Register.

The commission also issued guidance to operators of licensed nuclear power reactors for how to calculate the threat of flooding from dam failures. The guidance is part of a series of “lessons learned” initiatives pursued by the commission in response to the 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

Also Tuesday, the NRC is holding a meeting to discuss the nuclear industry's progress toward updating computer models that simulate the effects of earthquakes on U.S. plants.