The NRC regulates all nuclear plants and materials in the U. except for of nuclear plants and materials controlled by the U. In 1981, workers inadvertently reversed pipe restraints at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant reactors, compromising seismic protection systems, which further undermined confidence in nuclear safety. In 2002, the USA had what former NRC Commissioner Victor Gilinsky termed "its closest brush with disaster" since Three Mile Island's 1979 meltdown; a workman at the Davis-Besse reactor found a large rust hole in the top of the reactor pressure vessel.
In February 1983 the NRC issued the study’s conclusion: nuclear power plants’ safety systems can do their jobs after an EMP event.
The agency revisited the issue in 2007 to account for the increasing use of digital computer systems in nuclear plants, which potentially could be more susceptible to EMP.
There is wide public acceptance that the risks associated with these industries are an acceptable trade-off for our dependence on their products and services.
With nuclear power, the high energy density makes the potential hazard obvious, and this has always been factored into the design of nuclear power plants.
The recommendations include "new standards aimed at strengthening operators’ ability to deal with a complete loss of power, ensuring plants can withstand floods and earthquakes and improving emergency response capabilities".
The new safety standards will take up to five years to fully implement.Following the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, according to Black & Veatch’s annual utility survey that took place after the disaster, of the 700 executives from the US electric utility industry that were surveyed, nuclear safety was the top concern. On-site storage, consolidated long-term storage, and geological disposal of spent fuel is "likely to be reevaluated in a new light because of the Fukushima storage pool experience".License extensions for existing reactors will face additional scrutiny, with outcomes depending on the degree to which plants can meet new requirements, and some of the extensions already granted for more than 60 of the 104 operating U. In October 2011, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission instructed agency staff to move forward with seven of the 12 safety recommendations put forward by the federal task force in July.The agency continued to conclude as recently as two years ago that nuclear power plants can safely shut down following an EMP event.The NRC has also examined “solar storms” and their potential to damage the electric grid.The lessons from nearly one hundred years’ experience mean that reputable airlines are extremely safe.