Skip to main content

Friday Update

From NEI’s Japan Earthquake launch page:

Update as of 3:30 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 10

Plant Status

  • Starting Friday, June 10, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will begin a weeklong test run of the new water filtration system it intends to use to decontaminate and reuse the 105,000 tons of highly radioactive water that has flooded the facilities at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The system is expected to reduce concentrations of radioactive materials in the water by a factor of up to 1 million. Oil and salt will be also removed. Contaminated water is accumulating at a rate of 500 tons per day as cooling water is injected into the reactors. The system is expected to treat 1,200 tons of water a day and should aid TEPCO's efforts to control water management issues at the plant. There are growing fears that the contaminated water could otherwise start overflowing the plant basements by late June.
  • TEPCO reports that two of its workers have received radiation doses exceeding the company's limit of 25 rem. The results of analyses showed the workers' total doses were above 60 rem, accompanied by elevated thyroid iodine-131 levels. TEPCO anticipates no acute health effects for the workers, who have been transferred to the Fukushima Daini site. A third TEPCO worker is being evaluated after elevated thyroid radioiodine levels were reported.
  • The company is again using a concrete pumping truck to spray dust inhibitor on the roof and walls of the turbine buildings of reactors 1 and 2. The dust inhibitor is a synthetic resin that prevents the dispersion of radioactive materials.
  • TEPCO reports that as summer temperatures climb, the company is improving working conditions for recovery workers at the Fukushima Daiichi site. Eight air-conditioned rest areas are now in operation on-site where workers can temporarily remove their protective gear during rest periods. Four more rest areas are under construction.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • TEPCO is setting up two accident investigation committees, one internal to the company and the other composed of outside experts from Japanese universities, the Tohoku radiological science center and a consumer agency. Both committees are expected to be established by June 11.
  • About 8,000 schoolchildren in Date City in Fukushima prefecture will be given personal dosimeters to monitor their radiation exposure. Thirty-eight miles from Fukushima Daiichi, the city is currently outside the evacuation zone. However, earlier this month estimated radiation levels at three locations exceeded the government's evacuation level of 2 rem per year. The town's mayor decided to take the measure when local parents expressed concerns about their children's radiation exposure. The Japanese government promised to consider local people's wishes when deciding to order further evacuations.
  • The Japanese government's emergency task force published its preliminary report on lessons learned from the Fukushima accident. Among its recommendations is to establish the independence of Japan's nuclear regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The report will be presented at a high-level ministerial conference on nuclear safety at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna June 20.
  • A forum of G8 and OECD Nuclear Energy Agency members this week published their post-Fukushima recommendations for national nuclear regulators. Their report will also be presented at the June 20 IAEA ministerial conference.
Media Highlights
  • A dozen reporters, including journalists with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg business wire and National Geographic magazine attended the news conference that NEI organized Thursday to announce the formation of a leadership structure among electric sector organizations to coordinate and oversee the industry's response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. For more information on the press conference, see The Times' blog coverage of the press event.
  • NEI's chief nuclear officer, Tony Pietrangelo, participated this week in a taped, 30-minute panel discussion on Fukushima implications that will air on public television in July. The "Ideas in Action" program is hosted by one of Washington's more thoughtful commentators, Jim Glassman. An exact air date is not yet known.
New Products Upcoming Events


Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.


The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.

What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…