Thursday, March 24, 2011

As the World Turns

earth The world just goes about its business:

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said on Thursday it was seeking public comment on the proposed certification of General Electric-Hitachi Nuclear Energy's Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor (ESBWR) design for use in the United States.

And that’s fine.

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And the world may want to stop and see what’s happened and why:

The report, submitted to member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) shortly before Japan's nuclear crisis erupted this month, said the global nuclear sector maintained a high level of safety performance in 2010.

But, it warned, "in some cases, plans for nuclear power program development moved faster than the establishment of the necessary regulatory and safety infrastructure and capacity."

The report, in this case, was generated by the IAEA, presumably to see if member countries agreed with its premise. There’ll be more to say about this, but for now, it’s just a reporter looking for an angle. The article does include, further down:

The report, obtained by Reuters Thursday, did not name any countries [ie, Japan]. It invited comment from the IAEA's 151 member states by mid-April, before a final version would be issued.

And probably wouldn’t have included Japan if it did name countries, as the country has a substantial regulatory infrastructure.

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But the events in Japan continue. The world should not move on quite yet:

Tokyo Electric Power said on Thursday the overall situation was stabilizing at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Engineers are trying to stabilize the six-reactor plant 250 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo nearly two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami battered the plant and devastated northeast Japan, leaving nearly 26,000 people dead or missing.

See Evening Report, above this post, for more.

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