Najmedin Meshkati, professor of civil and environmental engineering and industrial and systems engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has been selected as a member of a new National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council committee to study the lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.
Meshkati and other committee members will visit Fukushima in November to conduct site visits of the stricken plant and meet with Japanese nuclear regulators, operators and other officials.
The committee’s study, which was requested by the U.S. Congress, will take two years. Its work is sponsored by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and is intended to improve safety and security of nuclear plants in the United States.
“The interesting issue is that both ‘safety’ and ‘security’ are explicitly stated in the charges of this committee, and it is a shared understanding that its findings and recommendations will have major impact on the public policy and future of nuclear power in the U.S.,” Meshkati said. He added that committee members will be visiting nuclear power plants and meeting with officials in this country, as well as in Europe and Russia.
Meshkati previously worked on a National Academy of Engineering/National Research Council committee that probed the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The committee’s 2011 report, which was welcomed by U.S. policymakers, was critical of the investigation by British Petroleum.