The recent events in Japan remind us that while the likelihood of a nuclear power plant accident is low, its potential consequences are grave. And an accident like Fukushima could happen here. An equipment malfunction, fire, human error, natural disaster or terrorist attack could—separately or in combination—lead to a nuclear crisis.
The U.S. will continue to obtain a significant portion of its electricity from nuclear power for many years to come, regardless of how rapidly energy efficiency measures and other sources of electricity are deployed.
Given this reality, the United States must take concrete steps now to address serious shortcomings in nuclear plant safety and security that have been evident for years. No technology can be made perfectly safe, but the United States can and must do more to guard against accidents as well as the threat of terrorist attacks on reactors and spent fuel pools.
The report outlines and explains 23 specific recommendations.