Now in Nuclear Power
Keeping the Electricity Moving: NERC Guards the Bulk Power Grid
The North American Electric Reliability Corp. (NERC) guards against U.S. and Canadian electrical blackouts in the electrical grids that comprise the continent’s bulk power system. NERC sets and enforces reliability standards and identifies best practices in planning, power-generation operations, maintenance and training. NERC works with government regulators, utility companies, and managers of 445,000 miles of transmission lines.
When the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan was hit by an earthquake and then devastated by a tsunami on March 11, 2011, the world was left stunned. After 30 years of questioning the risks of nuclear power, nearly all parties to the debate now are asking, “Where do we go from here?
The world’s worst nuclear reactor accident—the Chernobyl meltdown—occurred 25 years ago. Cleanup is still underway. Thousands are on the job though no electricity has been generated there since 2000. Exhaustive health studies show little lasting effects among the hundreds of thousands exposed to low-level radiation, though more than 50 died and some are still sick. Also underway: endless arguments about low-level radiation exposure, resurgent wildlife in evacuated areas, and human factors.
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Applied Mechanics Division (AMD)
Engineering and Technology Management Group (ETMG)
Committee on Power Boilers