Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …