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UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS UPDATE ON JAPAN'S NUCLEAR POWER CRISIS TELEPRESS CONFERENCE
MARCH 16, 2011, 11:00 A.M., P R O C E E D I N G S

OPERATOR: Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to your Japan Nuclear Reactor Update Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session, and instructions will follow at that time. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded. If you need any assistance during the conference, please touch star, then zero, on your touchtone telephone. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Mr. Elliott Negin, from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Sir, you may begin. 

MR. NEGIN: Thank you. Good morning. I'm Elliott Negin. I'm the Media Director at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Thanks for joining our call this morning. The Union of Concerned Scientists is an independent, science-based advocacy group that has been a nuclear industry watchdog for 40 years. We are not for or against nuclear power. Our goal is to ensure that the industry operates in the safest manner possible. We plan to host these telepressors daily at 11:00 a.m. If you have a follow-up question, please email us at media@ucsusa.org, and we will respond as quickly as possible. Please do not contact our experts directly. We have been overwhelmed with requests for interviews, and unfortunately, we don't have the capacity to honor all of them. We will post a transcript and an audio file of this press briefing on our website later today. Before I introduce our speaker this morning, I want to let you know that tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., we will release a new report by Dave Lochbaum on the U.S. nuclear industry's safety record in 2010. We had made plans long ago to release this report this week, and the timing is more critical than ever. This morning, we will hear from Dr. Edwin Lyman, who is a physicist in the U.S. Global Security Program. Dr. Lyman is an expert on nuclear plant design and the environmental and health effects of radiation. Also on the line this morning is Ellen Vancko, our Nuclear Energy and Climate Change project manager. Ellen will answer any questions you might have about the impact this disaster will have on the nuclear power industry in the United States. Now I give you Dr. Edwin Lyman. 

DR. LYMAN: Good morning. This is going to be very brief. The last status I've heard of the situation is that Japanese authorities have reported extensive fuel damage is likely to have occurred at Units 1 and 2. Units 3 and 4 are experiencing fires in the spent fuel pools. Fires in the spent fuel pools, which are the likely contributor to the intermittently high radiation doses on site, which caused the withdrawal of all but a skeleton crew, and today, the entire worker population of the site for a temporary period of time. We do understand that some workers are being sent back, but clearly, the radiation environment at the plant is deteriorating, and it's completely unclear how long workers are going to be able to remain in that environment without risking great bodily injury. If all the workers have to be permanently evacuated from the site, it's unclear if the extent of the damage that's now occurred can be contained. I'd like to highlight a couple of issues. There are media reports that supplies of potassium iodide are being depleted because of people buying them in the United States. Now, in our judgment, the people most at risk at this point are the Japanese, and I think it is highly unlikely that exposures to radioactive iodine in the United States from direct inhalation of the plume, which is the mode of exposure that would be most usefully blocked by potassium iodide, it's highly unlikely that there would be exposures due to that route. If there were some contamination of radioactive iodine in the United States of agricultural products, it would be concentrated in milk, but authorities would be aware of the fact that there was contamination. There would be testing and possibly interdiction. That is a countermeasure that can be taking place after the fact, and potassium iodide would not be useful in that situation. So, I think from a risk perspective, potassium iodine should be prioritized for the people in Japan, and I simply don't know if there are adequate supplies in Japan in the event that there's a larger radiological release that could potentially impact the wider area. Another issue I wanted to briefly raise was the issue of nuclear power plants and whether new designs would mitigate the conditions that we've seen at Fukushima to the extent that we would not have to be concerned about construction of these new designs. I think it's completely unclear whether new reactor designs that are being considered for construction in the United States and elsewhere are actually -- would actually present significant benefits, especially against external events that are beyond a design basis. So, I -- we understand that China, it's been reported, has suspended their construction of new nuclear power plants pending a safety review, and we think that it's probably a prudent measure, given that these designs have never been built or operated anywhere, there are significant uncertainties associated with their operation. There are still unanswered questions about the design that could be relevant to their ability to withstand these types of events, and I think there should be a significant reexamination of the designs that are now being considered in light of what we know now at Fukushima. And I think that's all I have right now. Thank you. 

MR. NEGIN: Thank you, Ed. We can now open up the phones to questions. 

OPERATOR: If you have a question at this time, please press star, then one on your touchtone telephone. If your question has been answered and you wish to remove yourself from the queue, please press the pound key. Again, if you have a question at this time, please press star, then one, on your touchtone telephone. One moment, please.
Your line is now open. 

REPORTER: Thanks very much. I'm wondering if you could sort of rate where you see the biggest concerns with these four reactors. Is the -- right now, the way things look. Do you see the spent fuel rods are the biggest concern or do you see the reactors 1, 2, and 3 as the biggest concern, where there's possible leaks in 2 and 3, I believe? 

DR. LYMAN: Well, I think probably still for the time being the greatest concerns are the spent fuel pools, because they -- there's a clear pathway for release of radionuclides from the spent fuel pools into the environment, and there's a desperate attempt now to restore water level, and as far as I can tell, those attempts have been deterred largely due to the very high radiation levels that are being experienced because the water level has dropped below the top of the fuel. As we discussed in our call yesterday -- this is one of serious concerns -- that there could be manual reselling of the spent fuel pool given the radiation environment, and that seems to be borne out today. So, the good news, if there is any, about the spent fuel pools is that they are far from capacity, and there's about, you know, one core's worth of spent fuel in Unit 4 and perhaps the same or less in Unit 3. So, the inventory is not going to be as great as, let's say, if it were occurring in a U.S. plant, where there may be up to ten times as much fuel. But still an enormous amount of radioactivity still in those pools, a particularly long list of isotopes, like cesium 137. With regard to iodine 131, my understanding is in Unit 4, the fuel has been out of the reactor for more than 90 days. That would have allowed iodine 131 to decay significantly to the extent that the -- at least the risk of -- to the thyroid would be diminished with regard to emissions from the spent fuel pools, but certainly a significant radiation and the potential for long-term contamination from the pools is a distinct possibility. In the reactors themselves, they were shut down much more recently. So, iodine inventories are much greater, and so the iodine -- the risk from radioactive iodine would be significantly greater if the containment breach reported in Unit 2 and possibly Unit 3 were to allow further significant release of these fission products. 

REPORTER: Thank you. 

MR. NEGIN: Before we can take the next question, I would like you, questioners, to please identify themselves and their news organization and confine their questions to one question and perhaps one follow-up and that's it. Thank you. 

OPERATOR: Thank you. If you have a question at this time, please press star, then one, on your touchtone telephone. Your line is now open. 

REPORTER: The NEI's Tony Pietrangelo yesterday identified as a key complication in Japan the washing away of the backup diesel emergency fuel tanks that powered the generators in a blackout, and he said this would be avoided in the U.S. because these tanks are routinely placed underground. Do you know what percentage of U.S. plants place these tanks underground? Do they do so routinely in key coastal areas and would doing this protect them from the flood of innovation that we've seen and avoid the power outages that we're seeing in Japan now? 

DR. LYMAN: I don't have that information at hand, so I'll have to get back to you on the numbers. Clearly, there are ways to improve backup power capacity and its reliability. One issue would be to certainly make sure the fuel supplies were -- would be available and not contaminated, so they would be usable. However, U.S. plants are required to do what's called a station blackout coping analysis, and the requirements are still fairly minimal with regard to what they are required to demonstrate, only, I believe, four to eight hours of station blackout with the assumption that the cavalry will come in time to save the plant. We believe that all these requirements will have to be reexamined in light of what we've seen at Fukushima, and so I'd reserve judgment now on whether the U.S. plants are adequate in that type of a review. 

REPORTER: Okay, thank you. My follow-up question was Tony also said that U.S. reactors are designed to withstand earthquakes on a site-by-site basis, which we know, but he couldn't give any figures and they seem very hard to come by. Can you give any figures on the range of earthquakes that U.S. plants are designed to withstand? And are vulnerable ones in areas like California, for example, designed to withstand an 8.9 and above? 

DR. LYMAN: Yes. I am not a seismologist, so it's not my area, but I would -- the standards by which protection against external events are set are established based on level of risk. So, it's not really a -- there is consideration of local seismic conditions when each nuclear plant is licensed, but the same strategy is employed with regard to seismic risk by the NRC as with regard to any other risk, that there's a judgment what the acceptable risk is, and protection is provided accordingly. That means determining -- that means someone's best guess about the type of earthquake that would be experienced, that's likely to be experienced, and those that are so remote that we do not have to design against those standards. And in our view, across the board, whether it's protection against earthquakes or anything else, the NRC has not set standards at a high enough level to protect the public from -- from accidents which I think we now see are maybe more critical and plausible than previously considered. So, I see seismic risk as just another component of the whole spectrum of risk that will have to be reevaluated. 

REPORTER: All right, thanks. 

OPERATOR: Thank you. Your line is now open. 

REPORTER: Thank you so much and thanks for having this call. I'd like to go back to your first answer. You were talking about your greatest concern being the spent fuel pools, because there's a clear pathway to the environment, just to make sure I understand what that pathway is and what the real risk to human health is in that. 

DR. LYMAN: Well, in the reactors that are affected, the spent fuel pool is actually on an upper floor of the building, and the -- there was no leak-type containment surrounding it to begin with. So, similar reactors in the United States are also in that -- in that situation, that it's -- there's just a thin concrete wall and a layer of sheet metal. In the case of Reactor 4, there was an explosion which most believe was due to hydrogen detonation. That hydrogen could have arisen from the beginning of the damage to the spent fuel and the oxidation of zirconium, which would lead to release of hydrogen gas. So, there's no -- not even an ineffective barrier right now for at least spent fuel pools 3 and 4 in that they are essentially, my understanding is, open to the air. So, you have essentially spent fuel with the water level that's gone below the top of the fuel, and if there was hydrogen production, that means that the zirconium cladding has actually expanded and ruptured and would have released a -- at least a fraction of the inventory of the fission products, perhaps 3 or 5 percent of the cesium 137, from those rods that were damaged. Further released would depend on the -- how long the fire continued and if the temperatures have increased due to further oxidation of zirconium that would lead to an elevation of temperature enough to actually melt the fuel pellets and then release the 95 percent or so of cesium 137 and other similar fission products that have been in the fuel. If that happens, then we could see significantly greater cesium release than has already been detected. Cesium 137 is an isotope that has at the heart gamma ray. That means that it's energetic enough that it can penetrate human skin. So, when cesium 137 is deposited on the ground, it poses an external radiation hazard. In other words, you don't have to breathe it in to be affected, and the deposition of cesium 137 that's led to the prolonged, elevated radiation rates that have occurred at Chernobyl. So, I would expect that if there were a larger release of cesium 137 that was deposited, it could potentially create a zone which would be uninhabitable without extensive cleanup. The range of that zone would certainly depend on the quantity released and the meteorological patterns during the release. 

REPORTER: Excellent. I have one quick follow-up. I just want to be clear. The water level is now above the level of the spent fuel rods. Yes? 

DR. LYMAN: On Unit 4? Is that true? 

REPORTER: I'm just asking. 

DR. LYMAN: I don't have the most recent information. My understanding they were not successful at inserting additional water in the spent fuel pools from helicopters because of difficulties with alignment as well as the radiation level. There are other measures that I understand are being employed, that water cannons, police were coming in. I just don't know. 

MS. VANCKO: This is Ellen Vancko. You have to realize that from the time Ed leaves his home in the morning and gets to the office, things could happen that he doesn't even know about. 

DR. LYMAN: But, you know, I certainly don't know what the current situation on the ground is. We do know that there was at some point exposed fuel, and that was enough to cause enough damage to create the elevated radiation levels of something. 

REPORTER: Okay, that's very helpful. Thank you so much. 

OPERATOR: Your line is now open. 

REPORTER: Hi. I was wondering if there is an immediate danger going on right now with radiation levels, anything of significance, in Tokyo or Osaka. 

DR. LYMAN: I haven't seen the latest data. Yesterday, there were elevated readings in Tokyo. In fact, they were 10 or 20 times background. 

REPORTER: What was that? Sorry.

DR. LYMAN: Yesterday, there were reported sporadic increases in -- above background by a factor of 20. I don't know what those readings are today. I understand in Ibaraki Prefecture, which is between Tokyo and Fukushima, that there were background levels about 100 times background. So, presumably, there are elevated levels in Tokyo at this point. 

REPORTER: But it -- I'm sorry. 

DR. LYMAN: I'm sorry? 

REPORTER: Where was it a hundred times background? 

DR. LYMAN: Ibaraki Prefecture, which is where Mito and Taiko Jurere are. That's northeast of Tokyo along the coast, so in between Fukushima and Tokyo. 

REPORTER: And what is that in milli-Sieverts? I'm sorry. What is, like, a hundred times background? What is that? 

DR. LYMAN: Background would be probably 0.5 micro -- hold on a second. Background would be about 0.05 milli-REM, so that would be 0.0005 Sieverts, so it would be 50 micro-Sieverts. Fifty micro-Sieverts. 

REPORTER: Okay. 

DR. LYMAN: Yeah. Actually -- 

REPORTER: And what was it measuring in Tokyo in -- 

DR. LYMAN: I just heard 20 times background, so -- 

REPORTER: For Tokyo? 

DR. LYMAN: Yesterday, yes. 

REPORTER: And is it probably raised today? 

DR. LYMAN: Well, all I saw was the reports for Ibaraki Prefecture, so, you know, Tokyo's further, but if the background was 100 times in Ibaraki, I would assume it's elevated. But, you know, I can't speculate. These are sporadic reports. What has been demonstrated is that the radiation being released from Fukushima, at least intermittently, the meteorological conditions are such that they can lead to some detectable contamination in Tokyo. So far, it's low, but I think it's the principle, as I said yesterday, that if there were greater releases, that meteorological conditions have been observed that could -- that could cause radionuclides to travel in the direction of Tokyo, and this could be a greater concern if there's further degradation toward the cores of the three affected reactors and the spent fuel pools. I can get back to you with specific numbers a little later. I'll need to check. 

REPORTER: Yeah, that would be great, definitely what is possible for it to reach, is kind of what we're looking for. 

DR. LYMAN: I'm sorry. Could you repeat that, please? 

REPORTER: Just levels that they -- what they project is, like, the worst-case scenario or what to expect based upon ongoing events at the plant.

DR. LYMAN: Well, you know, we don't want to speculate, but, you know, again, it's -- it's really the -- I'd prefer not to speculate on that at this point. 

MR. NEGIN: Next question, please. OPERATOR: Thank you. Your line is now open. 

REPORTER: Yeah, good morning, and thank you very much for having this telecon. I want to -- I'd like to ask you about -- it's kind of come up several times in the conversation this morning, and I guess the best way for me to put it. You know, the reports coming out from this plant, very fragmentary, filtered through a number of different organizations, and with your considerable background expertise is very helpful, but I'm wondering, I guess, in terms of the developing situation on the ground, at the plant, how are you able to kind of stay on top of that? How do you know what you know, if I can put it that way? What's the underpinning of your judgment here? 

DR. LYMAN: We have access to the same press reports as everyone else. Also, we have connections to -- to people in Japan who are monitoring the press conferences that occur in Japan, but, you know, we're not pretending to have better information than anyone else. The calls are simply to provide our analysis of the situation as we hear it. 

REPORTER: I appreciate your saying that. I entirely understand that you're not trying to pretend you know more than anyone else, that you're trying to give us the benefit of your expertise. So, you have answered my question nicely. My follow-up is, I wonder if you could just expand a little bit on the conditions as best you understand them at the moment, and I understand it's a volatile situation, with the spent fuel rod pools at the various reactors. You started to do that, and I wonder if you could just walk us through. DR. LYMAN: With the spent fuel or the reactor cores or both? 

REPORTER: The spent fuel pools. DR. LYMAN: Well, if things -- you know, if cooling is interrupted to the spent fuel -- take Pool Number 4. That was a full core of fuel which was discharged, I believe, in early December. So, it's still fairly hot. Even though the fuel is immersed in a pool of water, it still requires some level of active cooling to remove that heat. The danger with spent fuel is that if the water level decreases and has an increase in temperature, then the spent fuel in the pool can experience a condition not unlike a reactor meltdown. This can occur because elevated temperature can lead to an increased reaction of the zirconium cladding with steam, and the water and the steam reacts with hot zirconium, produces hydrogen, and the zirconium becomes oxidized. When the zirconium reaches a certain temperature, which is -- can be achieved anywhere from 4 hours to 24, depending on how hot the fuel is and how much water there is, it can become a self-sustaining reactor. It's an exothermic reaction that can generate heat when it occurs. So, the ignition temperature above which there could be a self-containing fire, that leads to further heat increases. And that can -- as the fuel heats up, the zirconium will expand, because there is gas inside the fuel rods that will cause the zirconium to balloon and eventually to rupture. And if you have ever seen photographs of what fuel looks like under these conditions, it's not a pretty sight. What they -- actually, at an accident in Hungary in the spent fuel pool, I believe -- I don't know, about five years ago, where cooling was interrupted and there was partial damage to the pool, and there are photographs available of that on. The fuel -- the spent fuel, the characteristics are that as -- initially, it's a solid uranium pellet in the first mode that it reacts, and as irradiated gas bubbles form, fission products are produced, some of these are gaseous, and they produce -- a porosity of the fuel develops bubbles, and eventually it turns to cracks. And so the pellets eventually undergo significant cracking, and when that occurs, there's fusion through the cracks of these gas bubbles that encircles the pellets, and that becomes an inventory of fission products that's outside of the pellets but still in the cladding. So, when the zirconium cladding cracks, it doesn't mean -- and the fission products are released, it doesn't mean the pellets are starting to melt. It means that that fraction, called the gap fraction, can leak, and that's typically about 5 percent of isotopes, like cesium 137. If the temperature continues to increase, potentially you will reach the point where the contact between the zirconium and the uranium fuel will reach a temperature where it can melt, and then you'll start to have actual melting of the fuel pellets. In that case, there's still quite a lot of fission products that are trapped within the fuel matrix, but they will start to bubble out as the fuel becomes softer and hotter.

The -- what else you should know is that when the cladding balloons and the geometry of the fuel is observed, that can cause blockages to form around the fuel, and that means that -- it makes it even harder to actually cool the fuel. The reason why fuel assemblies in a reactor are contained in an array, the grid array is partially to allow the coolant to get between these rods and have very effective heat transfer.

 

But as that -- as they fuse together and then the cladding balloons and blocks  additional coolant, it makes it harder to cool that same amount of material, because the heat transfer is affected.  So, there's a lot of phenomena going on that lead to far more difficulty in cooling it down.

So, really, whether there will be greater releases from the fuel mass itself, depending on how long the fuel is exposed and -- which will determine how hot it gets, but you would have a cascading effect, because a lot of factors go into producing the transfer.

REPORTER:  So, you mentioned the spent fuel pool at Reactor Number 4.  Would you just quickly give us the thumbnail of what you know at this moment about the pools at the other units, the other reactors?

DR. LYMAN:  I believe that --

REPORTER:  Right, yeah.

DR. LYMAN:  -- 5 and 6, which were also offloaded, I actually haven't had a chance to check their inventories, but they -- the difference between 4, 5, and 6 and 1, 2, and 3 is that 4, 5, and 6 have been shut down during the accident and I know at least 4 has a full core in most of the pool, but that may also be the case in 5 and 6.  But there were reports that they were having heat removal problems also on 5 and 6, and I just don't have the current data on that.

But, you know, there is no reason to expect they wouldn't progress differently if the conditions were the same.   

REPORTER:  Thank you.  That's hugely helpful.  I really appreciate that.   

MR. NEGIN:  Next question, please.

OPERATOR:  Thank you.

Your line is now open.

REPORTER: The information on the new reactors they're talking about say they have quadruple backups, they're designed to deal with situations like this, have double containment,  you know, the odds of a breach are 1 in 10 million.

Can you shed some light on this, how we should evaluate those claims, and maybe tell us what you think is missing from these designs?

DR. LYMAN:  Well, actually, the design you're describing sounds to me like what's called the EPR, which is a design produced by the French company Rizzon.  Is that right?

REPORTER:  Yes, that's one.  Right.

DR. LYMAN:  Yeah.  Those the only one I know of that has four redundant trains of cooling, as you described, and a double containment.  The other reactor designs that are being evaluated in the United States are much -- are either similar -- more similar to current pressurized water reactors or they have -- they're based on a different approach to cooling, which is known as passive cooling.  The EPRs don't actively cool plants like current generation plants.

In our view, the EPR -- I don't want to  give an endorsement, because it has some issues of its own, because it was designed to meet standards that were higher than those of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not require four-train cooling and does not require double containment, and it doesn't require core catching, which is an early feature the EPR has.    

The core catcher is specifically designed to deal with a molten core, so it can be controlled, as opposed to the situation at Fukushima, where if the core melts and escapes the reactor vessel, it can't be controlled.    

So, the EPR has all these additional features, which were designed to try to deal with severe accidents, and unfortunately, that's made it less competitive, and in the United States, most utilities have chosen a design like the Westinghouse AP-1000, which has a different philosophy.  Instead of adding redundant systems, it has removed pumps and valves to try to strip it down and base its cooling philosophy on a different strategy, which would be in the event of an accident, it would rely on a gravity-driven effects to bring water to the core rather than pumps.   

Now, some people claim that that's an advantage, because if you lose power to your pumps, you will still have this backup, but it's not that simple, because there are still, in my view, significant uncertainties in the way that reactor would behave under severe accident conditions.

The most recent design certification documents by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission still indicate there are open issues associated with the performance of that reactor in severe accidents.  Just to give one example, it turns out that there's a -- they identified a contradiction between their approach for trying to cool a molten core and generate hydrogen at the same time, that you would need significant coolant flow, actually, to protect the vessel from being eaten through.

Actually, low coolant flow prevent erosion of the vessel, which might accelerate rupture of the vessel, but that would lead to the generation of excess hydrogen, which could risk a hydrogen exposure.  So, it's not clear whether you would want high or low coolant flow, and the NRC identified that as a potential contradiction, and that, as far as I can tell, has not been resolved even in the most recent licensing documents. 

So, people still don't understand how that design is going to work in a situation like Fukushima.

REPORTER:  But could any of these plants survive a situation where they're -- essentially it sounds like there are five days without power and the ability -- I mean, they have to go to special means to pump in coolant or water?  The new designs I'm talking about.

DR. LYMAN:  Yeah.  I mean, you know, some new designs might be a little -- have -- be more robust than others, but generally, I think  they share flaws in that if you are going into unchartered territory with the severe accidents case, which is where we are now at Fukushima, that all bets are off, and I'm not sure that once you reach that point whether there would be any clear, significant advantages to the new design.  

MR. NEGIN:  Excuse me.  This is Elliott Negin.  We have time for one more question, and then I have a brief announcement about an event that's happening this afternoon, and then we'll be done.

Next question, please.

OPERATOR:  Your line is now open.

REPORTER:  I actually have a question about spent fuel storage in the U.S.

From what I understand, there was significant NRC reviews and also the NAS had looked at spent fuel storage throughout the U.S. after 9/11, and I'm just wondering if anything has really changed since then in terms of safeguards or protections that we've employed at spent fuel pools and the reactors.  I mean, is there anything significant that's changed in terms of protecting these things against similar accidents or terrorist attacks?

DR. LYMAN:  The short answer is no.

There is nothing significant that's been changed, because a lot of attention -- I was actually co-author of a report with Bob Alvarez, Frank Von Hippel, and several other people, that identified the risks being posed by spent fuel pools at United States, which are currently in a state of intense packing, for the most part, as opposed to the ones in Japan.  They have been packed so tightly that if there were a (inaudible), there might be an even (inaudible) of transition to fuel damage.  At least in Japan, we've seen that it's taken several days to reach this point, and (inaudible) for a terrorist attack -- pool (inaudible).

And the Nuclear Regulatory Commission could mandate that utilities remove spent fuel into dry casks, out of the pool at a more rapid rate, but the NRC's current position is that (inaudible) pool from (inaudible) attack.  We think they're wrong about that.  They have asked the utilities to take prompt measures to try to reduce the potential for an accident, but have not (inaudible) those measures are, but (inaudible).

So, part of our recommendation coming out of the Fukushima situation is that -- reactors (inaudible) nearly 30 -- about 30, that the pools -- those should be high priority for the inventory (inaudible) extremely (inaudible).

MR. NEGIN:  Thank you.  I want to make a quick announcement.

Doctor Lyman will be speaking this afternoon at a briefing held by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Capitol Hill. Ed will be joined by the NRC Chairman, Greg Jaczko, and a representative from the Nuclear Energy Institute.  That will be at 3:30 this afternoon.  You can -- it will be broadcast on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee website.  It will be streamed.  So, you can watch it.

We want to remind you also that we will be back here tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. to release a new report by Dave Lochbaum, a nuclear engineer here at the UCS, on the U.S. nuclear industry safety record last year.

Thank you very much.  If you have any other questions, please email us at media@ucsusa.org please email us.  It's much better than calling.  We will do what we can to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Thank you so much, and we hope to talk to you again or at least see you online tomorrow.  Thank you very much.  Bye-bye.

OPERATOR:  Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for joining today's conference.  You may all disconnect and have a wonderful day. (Whereupon, the telepress conference was concluded.)

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