Skip to main content

Monday Update

From NEI’s Japan Earthquake launch page

Update as of 4 P.M. EDT, Monday, June 6

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is testing a filtering system it will use to decontaminate highly radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi site. More than 105,000 metric tons (28 million gallons) of contaminated water has collected in the basements of the reactor and turbine buildings from reactor cooling operations and is accumulating at a rate of 500 tons per day, the company said. The filtering system, expected to begin operating June 15, will decontaminate this water, enabling storage in temporary tanks for reuse as cooling water. Two hundred and seventy tanks with a combined capacity of nearly 8 million gallons are to be installed at the facility.
  • A newly installed gauge at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 1 shows pressure inside the reactor close to atmospheric, confirming that the pressure vessel has been damaged. Additionally, two robots detected high radiation levels (300 to 400 rem/hour) from below the floor of the reactor 1 building. TEPCO plans to install new pressure gauges at reactors 2 and 3 to reconfirm readings inside those reactors.
  • The company continues work to reduce the humidity inside the reactor 2 building to allow workers focused on recovery to enter the building for more than very short periods. TEPCO reports that humidity levels inside the building continue to be very high even after it had reduced the pool temperature through a system it installed last week to recirculate water. The company originally believed the used fuel pool was the source of the humidity.

Regulatory/Political Issues

  • A gubernatorial candidate promoting more nuclear reactors beat a rival who wanted to freeze them in a quake-hit northern prefecture Sunday, as Japan's troubled nuclear energy industry faced its first major ballot-box test since the Fukushima Daiichi accident, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Shingo Mimura, the incumbent governor running for his third term, easily won the election against a former prefectural assembly member endorsed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan's ruling Democratic Party of Japan. The challenger, until recently a supporter of nuclear power himself, during the final weeks of the campaign had called for putting plans for new power plants on hold.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy is sponsoring a June 6-7 workshop on preliminary lessons learned from the Fukushima accident at Crystal City, Va. Participants include DOE Deputy Secretary Dan Poneman, Assistant Secretaries Inez Triay and Peter Lyons, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Robert Budnitz and NRC Commissioner William Ostendorff.
  • Japan's science ministry has begun sampling soil to develop a map showing radioactive contamination in the Fukushima prefecture. More than 2,200 samples will be taken throughout the prefecture by the end of June, and the report is to be released in August.
  • Dr. Patrick Moore, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition co-chair and Greenpeace co-founder, speaks at the Bloomberg Japan Conference today at the Japan Society in New York City. Dr. Moore's topic is "The Case for Nuclear Energy in Light of Fukushima."
  • A government panel on nuclear waste disposal established by Japan's environment ministry has decided to allow municipalities to burn highly radioactive debris if they have incinerators that can remove the radioactive substances.
  • Media Highlights

    • The Wall Street Journal reported today that the Japanese government has revised its estimate of radiation released from Fukushima Daiichi the first week after the earthquake. The article, "Japan Raises Estimate of Initial Radiation Release," points out that "the latest figure is still only about 10 percent of the radiation released from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster."
    • Upcoming Events

      • The International Atomic Energy Agency's Board of Governors meeting opens June 6 with a focus on the Fukushima nuclear accident.
    • The NRC will hold a public meeting June 8 to hear a petition to suspend the operating licenses of General Electric Mark 1 boiling water reactors in the United States.

    Comments

    Meredith Angwin said…
    The NRC must be busy moving pages around. Your link to the June 8 meeting does not work. A link they sent me earlier today for the June 22 review of Vermont Yankee also does not work. I can't manipulate the Adam system well enough to find new links. Or, maybe, there aren't new links?

    Popular posts from this blog

    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?

    A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

    For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

    So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

    Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

    In the converted mill, high temperat…

    Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

    If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

    That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


    Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…