Skip to main content

Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site

TEPCO to Install Second Water Decontamination System

July 27, 2011

Plant Status

• Tokyo Electric Power Co. continues its attempts to decontaminate radioactive water that has collected in the basements of buildings and in drains at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. With its current decontamination system operating at only 53 percent of capacity, TEPCO is planning to receive new water treatment equipment this week. TEPCO will use the new system alongside the existing one.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

• The government of Japan will buy beef containing radioactive cesium that has reached the country’s distribution chain. NHK news service reports that more than 2,800 cattle that may have been fed radioactive rice straw have been shipped to 46 of 47 prefectures. The government will inspect the beef and buy any that contains higher-than-permissible levels of cesium.

Media Highlights

• NEI briefed financial analysts in New York July 26 on the U.S. nuclear energy industry’s response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The presentation is available in the Financial Center on NEI’s website, along with NEI's news release on the event. NEI President and CEO Marv Fertel appeared on CNBC prior to the briefing. Media coverage included Dow Jones Market Watch and a New York Times blog.

Upcoming Events

• A July 28 public Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting will focus on the agency’s near-term task force recommendations for safety enhancements at U.S. nuclear energy facilities after the Fukushima accident. NEI talking points are available on the task force recommendations, as are talking points responding to remarks on lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident by NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko. Also available for download is NEI’s July 13 press briefing on the report. NEI President and CEO Marv Fertel also provided comments in a July 15 letter to Chairman Jaczko.

• The Foundation for Nuclear Studies will host a July 29 briefing and discussion on the status of Fukushima Daiichi for congressional staff in Washington, D.C. The briefing will be conducted by Lake Barrett, former NRC site director for Three Mile Island and former acting director of the DOE Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management.

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 …

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.

Huh?

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…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…