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Nuclear Safety Workshop Summary

September 19-20, 2012

Nuclear Safety Workshop Summary

On September 19-20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) held a second Nuclear Safety Workshop covering the results of the Department’s actions to improve its posture for analyzing and responding to severe accidents in light of lessons learned from the March 2011 nuclear accident in Japan. Sponsored by DOE and championed by Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, the two-day workshop discussed the lessons learned in a national and international context. The workshop’s theme was Post Fukushima Initiatives and Results, and included technical breakout sessions focused on beyond design basis events (BDBEs) analysis and response, safety culture, and risk assessment and management.

Over 200 high-ranking officials and technical experts participated in the workshop at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Representatives attended from DOE, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB), Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Chemical Safety Board, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Members of the academic community also participated in the workshop, including breakout session moderators from the University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University. In addition, 60 nuclear safety experts—many from around the world—signed up to view the workshop over the Internet via WebEx. The international remote participants included a Scientific Attaché to the European Union; representatives from Bulgaria, China, Nigeria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic; and a member of the IAEA board reviewing post-Fukushima “stress tests” of European nuclear power plants.