Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekly Update on Fukushima Daiichi

From NEI’s Japan Earthquake update page. Of course, we’ll bring you information during the week, too, if something significant takes place at Fukushima.

Plant Status:

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. released a roadmap to bring the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a stable condition.
  • Priorities at Fukushima this week continue to be cooling the reactors and spent fuel pools, draining water from the turbine buildings and concrete structures that house piping to reduce radiation levels and containing the spread of radioactive materials.
  • Overall, site radiation dose rates are stabilizing. The most recent radiation readings reported at the plant site gates ranged from 5.7 millirem per hour to 2.6 millirem per hour.
  • Japan’s government has expanded evacuation to selected areas outside the original 12.5-mile zone. Authorities also are barring entry into nine municipalities near the plant.
  • TEPCO released a presentation on April 18 summarizing the impact of the earthquake and the current status of the plants.

Regulatory Issues

  • The NRC continues its inspections of plant sites to review post-Fukushima-related issues.

New NEI Products

  • Video on the future of nuclear energy, featuring Idaho National Laboratory Director John Grossenbacher.
  • Video on the differences in health impacts between Fukushima and Chernobyl, featuring Barbara Hamrick, health physicist at the University of California’s Irvine Medical Center.
  • Video putting the potential of health risks from Fukushima into perspective, also featuring Barbara Hamrick.

Media Highlights

  • An April 21 Associated Press article covered nuclear insurance and an April 19 story detailed early management of the accident.
  • CNN on April 20 covered restricted access to the evacuation zone.
  • A report on the results of a Washington Post-ABC poll released April 20 said that 53 percent of Americans believe nuclear power is safe, but the public opposes construction of new reactors by a 2-to-1 margin.
  • An April 20 Associated Press article focused on projected Fukushima worker health problems.
  • An April 19 New York Times article covered water management at the nuclear power plant site.
  • A Wisconsin State Journal editorial warning that a retreat from nuclear energy is unwise.

The Week Ahead

  • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission public meeting April 28 to discuss the agency’s response to events at the Fukushima, including station blackout issues.

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