APL Colloquium

January 20, 2012

Colloquium Topic: Overview of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is the regulatory agency that licenses and inspects nuclear power plants in the US.  It is an independent agency with direct congressional oversight.  An agency responsibility is to ensure the ability of licensees to respond to emergencies, i.e. regulate nuclear plant emergency preparedness (EP).  The NRC maintains its own emergency response capability and regularly exercises it.  The NRC activated its response center during the Japanese accident in order to support American personnel and assets as well as assist the response.  The presentation will include a general description of the Boiling Water Reactor which is deployed on the Fukushima Daiichi site.  The accident phenomenology will be discussed as well as response actions of the Japanese utility.  The NRC set up a task force to identify lessons learned from the accident.  Several areas for enhancement to the design of and preparedness at US nuclear plants will be discussed.

Colloquium Speaker: Randolph L. Sullivan

Randolph L. Sullivan, CHP, is a board certified health physicist with more than 35 years of experience in radiological emergency preparedness.  He is the principal contributor to the NRC oversight process for emergency preparedness and recently developed the response elements of a major revision to the nuclear plant regulations.  Mr. Sullivan developed an enhanced public protective action regimen for nuclear accidents that is in the process of being implemented nationwide.  He developed an advanced model of emergency response to support the “State of the Art Reactor Consequence Analysis”, a major study of potential reactor accidents and public health consequences.  Mr. Sullivan has conducted extensive studies of public evacuations in the US and applied lessons learned to the NRC oversight regimen.  He is currently developing the technical basis for a risk informed and performance based regulatory process for nuclear plant emergency preparedness.

Mr. Sullivan has responded to nuclear plant emergencies including the NRC response to the Fukushima accident that will be discussed today.  He is the Deputy Director of the NRC Protective Measures Team and has developed, conducted and critiqued numerous response exercises over his career.