NRDC: U.S. Nuclear Regulators Still Not Doing Enough to Prevent Fukushima-like Hydrogen Explosions

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WASHINGTON (March 11, 2014)—On the third anniversary of the devastating nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, the Government Accountability Office today issued a report on how nuclear regulators in the U.S. and 15 other countries are responding to the lessons learned in that disaster.  The GAO found that while all the countries have taken steps to improve nuclear safety systems, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not yet decided how or whether to require upgrades to nuclear plants’ automated systems for transmitting critical data to the NRC.  “By delaying its decision on upgrades to enable the system to function under emergency conditions, the system may not function when needed most—during a severe accident,” the GAO said.

Matthew McKinzie, director of the nuclear program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, made this statement regarding the GAO report:

“This new GAO report resonates with what NRDC found in its own study of post-Fukushima response by the U.S.—we are still not doing enough to cope with potentially severe accidents. In particular, NRDC’s report found that the NRC has not taken sufficient steps to prevent the massive hydrogen explosions that caused such devastation in Japan.”


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at

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