The US nuclear energy industry has begun acquiring additional safety equipment to help ensure that every US nuclear energy facility can respond safely to extreme events, no matter what the cause, according to US industry organization the Nuclear Energy Institute.

NEI said that the acquisition is part of a ‘diverse and flexible’ response strategy that is generally aligned with the near-term priorities identified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The equipment includes emergency and portable equipment such as diesel driven pumps, electric generators, hoses, fittings, satellite communications gear, and other support materials for emergency responders, such as food and water.

US nuclear operating companies have unanimously agreed to purchase or order this additional safety equipment for their plants by 31 March.

Meanwhile, the largest nuclear operator in the US, Exelon Nuclear, says it has carried out thousands of equipment purchases, upgrades, and validations at ots 10 plants in the year following the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

As well as adding seven mobile, high-volume diesel-driven pumps at its nuclear energy facilities, Exelon said its technical experts have verified readiness of more than 1700 other pieces of equipment; inspected more than 1900 flood barriers and seals; and invested more than 43,000 worker hours checking and testing equipment and procedures that might be needed in an emergency.

“We have a responsibility to communicate what we are doing as a company to learn from the lessons following the tragedy in Japan and we take that responsibility seriously,” said Mike Pacilio, president and chief nuclear officer of Exelon Nuclear.

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