Saturday, March 11, 2023

Short Takes – 3-11-23

Railroad Safety Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting – 3-27-23. Federal Register FRA Meeting Notice. Agenda Summary: “This special meeting of the RSAC will focus on the events leading up to, during, and following the February 3, 2023 Norfolk Southern Railway Co. freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, as well as suggested safety improvements, and possible RSAC tasks and actions. A detailed agenda for the meeting will be posted on the RSAC internet website at least one week in advance of the meeting. Copies of the minutes of past meetings, along with general information about the committee, are also available on the RSAC internet website at​.”

Criteria for Programmable Digital Devices in Safety-Related Systems of Nuclear Power Plants. Federal Register NRC Draft Regulatory Guide. Summary: “The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment a draft regulatory guide (DG), DG-1374, “Criteria for Programmable Digital Devices in Safety-Related Systems of Nuclear Power Plants.” This DG is proposed Revision 4 of Regulatory Guide (RG) 1.152, “Criteria for Use of Computers in Safety Systems of Nuclear Power Plants.” DG-1374 describes an approach that is acceptable to the NRC staff to meet regulatory requirements for promoting high functional reliability, design quality, and a secure development and operational environment (SDOE) for the use of programmable digital devices (PDDs) in the safety-related systems of nuclear power generating stations.” Comment close date: April 10th, 2023.

Silicon Valley Bank Fails After Run on Deposits. article. Pull quote: “The move put nearly $175 billion in customer deposits under the regulator’s control. While the swift downfall of the nation’s 16th largest bank evoked memories of the global financial panic of a decade and a half ago, it did not immediately touch off fears of widespread destruction in the financial industry or the global economy.”

The government may stop issuing Social Security payments after the debt limit is hit — here’s why. article. Some fud, but some interesting points. Pull quote: “Let me hasten to add that Robinson is not advocating that the Social Security trust fund be used [to fund government payments to other programs] in this way. In an interview, he instead stressed that he wrote his issue brief because we need to be aware not only that this “escape clause” exists but that its use could have unintended consequences. Though hardly anyone outside Washington knows that it even exists, and relatively few on Capitol Hill, the Treasury Department and the Social Security Administration are very much aware of it.”

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