New Study of Fukushima Crisis Under Way at U.S. Nuclear Agency

Commissioners of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission announced two studies into the Japan nuclear crisis at a meeting today. The first is a 90-day task force looking to obtain a "quick snapshot" of the situation, said Executive Director for Operations Bill Borchardt, with a preliminary report to be released in 60 days. Among the goals of the task force is to see whether backup plans for maintenance of spent nuclear fuel pools, put in place after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, " would work" if other problems threatened the water levels in the pools.

A longer term study, which will seek substantial input from the public, will try to define lessons learned, if any. No start date is set on that study.

For our complete coverage of the crisis in Japan, see our Japan Earthquake page.  For Science's answers to reader questions about the crisis, see our Quake Questions page.