Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

TEPCO Guidelines Outline Compensation for Accident

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

• Tokyo Electric Power Co. has set guidelines to pay travel, lodging and other expenses for people displaced after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The company is offering reimbursement for medical fees for injuries and illnesses caused by the government-ordered evacuation of the area surrounding the facility. TEPCO also will cover lost income—small businesses will be paid for lost business and farmers compensated for lost crops. The company will provide compensation for mental distress caused by the accident on a per-month basis.

• Early-harvest rice from Fukushima Prefecture has cleared radiation testing, and farmers are shipping to market. This variety of rice accounts for only a small portion of the crop; other varieties will be tested later.

Plant Status

• TEPCO has found evidence of five active fault lines near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The government had ordered nuclear operators to investigate the geologic conditions around their plants following a strong aftershock on April 11 at a fault thought to be inactive. TEPCO is continuing its investigation. The company said possible earthquakes from the faults would be within the design standards of the plant. Two other utilities reported a total of nine possibly active faults near their nuclear facilities.

New Products

• NEI has posted new talking points outlining areas of operations that may result in additional industry assessments and enhancements at U.S. reactors.

Media Highlights

• Only 11 of Japan’s 54 nuclear reactors will be operating in September, 20 percent of the country’s installed base, Platts reports.

• The BBC reports on yesterday’s parliamentary vote electing Yoshihiko Noda as Japan’s next prime minister. Noda wants the country’s shutdown reactors restarted as soon as they pass regulatory inspections and stress tests and has not backed the outgoing prime minister’s call for a nuclear-free Japan.

• The Fukushima accident will make the nuclear energy industry stronger, Paladin Energy, the Australian uranium mining company, said at a conference this week. Reuters reported that Paladin Managing Director and Chief Executive John Borshoff told the conference, “The uranium supply sector and nuclear industry generally is still suffering some bruising effect from this event. Yet while on the surface that appears as a negative, six months later the outlook for uranium production and sales is strong—and will remain so in the future.”

Upcoming Events

• U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff holds a public meeting today to hear comments on the recommendations of the agency’s near-term Japan task force. The staff will propose which of the task force recommendations the commission and industry should act on without “unnecessary delay.” An archived video of the meeting will be available on the NRC website.

• A public NRC meeting is scheduled for Sept. 7 to discuss a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council asking the agency to order licensees to take action on recommendations of the agency’s near-term task force on Fukushima.

• The NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards will hold a public meeting Sept. 8 to review the agency’s near-term task force report on the events at Fukushima.

No comments: