Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan earthquake launch page:

Plant Status

• Tokyo Electric Power Co. continues to deal with water management issues at the Fukushima Daiichi site. The company is plugging concrete enclosures at the plant to retain contaminated water and is studying the feasibility of building a system to purify seawater. The Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has ordered TEPCO to complete a plan for storing and treating contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi site by June 1.

• TEPCO has begun to build a concrete structure to provide additional support to the used fuel storage pool for reactor 4 at the Fukushima Daiichi facility. Work is planned for completion by the end of July.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

• The Japanese government announced plans to appoint a panel to investigate the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. The head of the committee will be Yotaro Hatamura, a professor emeritus at the University of Tokyo.

• A delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency has arrived in Japan for a fact-finding mission on the nuclear accident. Its objective is to make a preliminary assessment of safety issues at the facility and identify areas that need further study. The team is composed of 20 international and IAEA experts from a dozen countries and is to complete its work June 2. Leading the team is the United Kingdom’s chief nuclear inspector, Mike Weightman, who will present a report on the mission at IAEA’s Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Safety June 22-24.

• NEI President and CEO Marvin Fertel will speak at a public meeting of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences on the aftermath of Fukushima, beginning at 12:45 p.m. EDT May 26 in Washington, D.C. Other speakers include the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Thomas Cochrane and the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Ed Lyman.

• NEI Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Tony Pietrangelo will participate in a briefing for NRC's Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards on events at Fukushima, beginning at 1 p.m. EDT May 26 at NRC headquarters in Rockville, Md.

• NEI Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Doug Walters will speak at Preparing for the Unthinkable: Joint Crisis Leadership in the Event of an Energy Systems Breakdown, at 5:30 p.m. EDT May 26, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Media Highlights

• NEI media relations is making outreach calls to reporters and editors about the recent testimony of John Boice before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Energy and Environment and Investigations and Oversight subcommittees. In a hearing on the aftermath of the Fukushima accident, Boice, a radiation epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, said that “the health consequences [of radiation] for Japanese workers and public appear to be minor” and “the health consequences for United States citizens are negligible to nonexistent.”

New Products

• NEI has updated its frequently asked questions about issues relating to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.

• A new NEI fact sheet is available on used fuel pools.

Upcoming Events

Challenges of Nuclear Spent Fuel Management: Lessons from Around the World, 3 p.m. EDT June 3 at American Association for the Advancement of Science Headquarters, 1200 New York Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.

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