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Thursday Update

From NEI’s Japan Micro-site:

Plant Status

• Tokyo Electric Power Co. has measured high levels of radioactivity inside reactor building 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The company believes the source of the radioactivity is steam from the reactor. TEPCO has been using robotic measuring devices to conduct radiation surveys inside three reactor buildings and in areas surrounding the buildings since early this month.

• New water cooling systems are planned for the spent fuel storage pools at reactors 1 and 4 at Fukushima Daiichi. The fuel storage pools at reactors 2 and 3 already have new cooling systems and water temperatures are in the normal range.

Structures supporting the used fuel storage pool of reactor 3 at Fukushima Daiichi are seismically sound, TEPCO reported. The analysis was ordered by Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

• Officials in Fukushima prefecture will inspect cattle after cesium was detected in cattle shipped from Minamisoma city. Livestock in the evacuation zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility will be inspected, along with at least one head of cattle from other farms.

• Fukushima prefecture plans to test its population of 2 million people for internal radiation. Screening for residents from the evacuation zone is in progress.

Media Highlights

• NEI President and CEO Marvin Fertel has a comment on the National Journal Expert Blog on Energy and Environment, responding to the question “Should America follow Europe’s lead on energy?” Fertel writes: “We should take a measured approach to global events based on what’s right for America.” He cites the nuclear energy industry’s experience, referencing its response to events in Japan.

New Products

• Three new backgrounders have been posted to NEI’s new post-Fukushima website. They discuss the NRC’s strict regulatory oversight of nuclear energy facilities, describe security for used nuclear fuel, and outline protection against flooding.

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