FERC and Nuke Regulators Agree to Cooperate

By Published On: September 4, 2009

Two federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding September 3 detailing an agreement to coordinate regulation, like emergency response and cybersecurity for nuclear power plants. In an apparent spirit of regulatory coordination affecting Washington, D.C., this week (see story above), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said they would share non-public information affecting the grid. In California, operating nuclear plants are surrounded by a concentrated transmission system--unlike many other generating stations throughout the state. The transmission system has the ultimate oversight of FERC. The safety and operation of nuclear power plants is headed up by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. After the 2001 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center, activists heightened their concerns over similar attacks on nuclear plants. The NRC, for instance, was advised by the Ninth Circuit Court that the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant need not consider airborne threats to the reactor, but should (in another lawsuit) consider terrorist threats on above-ground radioactive waste storage.

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