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On a whole the nation’s nuclear power plants are safe, but in light of the disaster in Japan, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) wants to bring safety up a notch.

That is why the NRC approved the agency staff’s prioritization of the Near-Term Task Force recommendations on lessons learned from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear incident and supports action on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 recommendations.

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Tier 1 recommendations are those Task Force recommendations the staff determined plants could implement without unnecessary delay and for which sufficient resources are available. Tier 2 includes recommendations plants cannot initiate in the near term due to factors that include the need for further technical assessment and alignment, dependence on Tier 1 issues, or availability of critical skill sets.

“In approving the prioritization, the Commission has taken an important next step in responding to and implementing the safety recommendations of the Task Force,” said NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko.

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The Commission also directed the staff to determine whether any regulatory action is required on additional issues identified by the staff as relevant to the Fukushima Dai-ichi crisis. On one of those issues – filtration of containment vents in reactors – the Commission directed the staff to merge it with the Tier 1 action on hardened vents for Mark I and Mark II reactor containments.

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