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Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

NRC Votes Are All In on Task Force Report

Plant Status

• Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun erecting the steel support for an airtight cover for reactor building 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The 17-story polyester fiber fabric cover is designed to shield the environment from the release of radioactive particles. TEPCO is planning similar covers for reactors 3 and 4.

• TEPCO has established a means of sampling the liquids and gases in the primary containments at Fukushima Daiichi. Samples have been taken from the containments for reactors 1 and 2.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

• NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko this morning submitted his voting document on the recommendations of the agency’s post-Fukushima task force. All five commissioners have now cast their votes. The voting papers are on the NRC’s website.

• Residents and business owners evacuated from near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility may be permitted to check on their homes and businesses during brief visits next month. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry also said some people from evacuated areas soon may be able to return home permanently. Easing the restrictions would not affect the exclusion zone within 12 miles of the plant, where about 80,000 people were evacuated.

• Japan has agreed to share the lessons learned from Fukushima Daiichi in a summit-level United Nations meeting Sept. 22 in New York. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited Japan this week, including a stop in Fukushima Prefecture.

Media Highlights

• In the early days of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, Japanese government officials withheld information about radiation dispersal that could have assisted evacuees, The New York Times reports.

• Britons see a “major role” for nuclear facilities as part of the country’s energy portfolio, a survey by the Nuclear Industry Association has found. World Nuclear News reports that 68 percent of respondents support nuclear energy.

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