New Performance-Based Fire Protection for Nuclear Reactor Plants

Friday - 7/9/2010, 11:48am EDT

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant's adoption of the National Fire Protection Association's new "Performance-Based Standard for Fire Protection for Light-Water Reactor Electric Generating Plants."

NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko calls it an important milestone in advancing fire protection at nuclear power plants.

Under the NFPA 805 standard, reactor owners and operators perform engineering analysis to demonstrate their fire protection systems.

Plant owners must also install additional equipment or take other measures if the analysis call for them. In the case of Shearon Harris, the analysis led the plant to make several modifications, including installation of an additional fire detection system and an additional diesel generator.

The new regulatory approach will be adopted by additional 47 reactors at 31 sites, representing 17 utilities.