Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…