Asan Plenum

This presentation discusses ways that nuclear regulation in the U.S. changed as a result of the accidents at Fukushima (2011) and at Three Mile Island (1979). It compares the governmental reaction to Three Mile Island to the reaction to Fukushima and concludes that the lesser accident received by far the more comprehensive governmental attention.

The presentation also reviews the impacts of the two accidents on the nuclear power’s prospects in the prevailing U.S. power markets. It concludes that each accident came at a time when the prospects for new nuclear reactor orders were already in sharp decline. Thus the accidents at Three Mile Island and Fukushima worsened the prospects for new reactors, but those prospects were weak in any case. It would be a mistake to conclude that either accident caused a major downturn in interest in new reactors in the United States.