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DNFSB keeps tabs on safety at nuclear facilities


As some Pennsylvania workers know, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board was created by the U.S. Congress to inspect nuclear power facilities in order to identify the probability of a workplace accident occurring. The board's main objective is to bring any safety issues discovered to the attention of the highest government authority and to ensure that the public is also informed of any potential for work accidents.

The board also ensures that the health of defense nuclear facility workers is adequately protected and that the work environment is kept safe from threats of accidents. Also, the board diligently works to ensure the nation's defense nuclear facilities remain stable.

Some issues at these facilities need to be addressed before they escalate to major national and international issues, such as those that occurred during Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident. According to news reports, a recent publication from the National Academy of Sciences stated that accident provides a lesson that even unusual, uncontrollable events such as floods and earthquakes can trigger nuclear accidents. These worst-case scenarios give insight that should make nuclear power plant maintenance an active and ongoing process.

The DNFSB is comprised of nuclear safety experts who have demonstrated significant knowledge regarding inspection and investigation of problems at nuclear facilities. One of its strategic missions is to supplant old production procedures at various facilities with new ones and also to more safely process nuclear waste. The board regularly sends recommendation letters addressing safety issues to companies operating nuclear facilities so that workplace accidents can be averted.

Because working in these facilities can be extremely dangerous, employees should diligently assess their health. If they suffer an injury or illness while operating within their scope of employment they may be entitled to workers' compensation. An experienced Pennsylvania can sit with these individuals and discuss the specifics of their case and can work to ensure a worker's legal rights are protected.

Source: DNFSB.gov, "Strategic Initiatives Designed to Meet Strategic Goals," accessed on July 29, 2014

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