Skip to main content

Monday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

Japan Prime Minister Seeks Stability at Fukushima

Sept. 12, 2011

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • Japan marked six months since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami with a call from the country’s new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to stabilize the situation in and around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. Noda asked his cabinet to be responsive to requests for decontamination from residents and heads of municipalities.
  • Prime Minister Noda named former chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano as the new minister for economy, trade and industry (METI). The previous METI minister, Yoshio Hachiro, resigned Saturday after his controversial remarks about radiation in Fukushima prefecture were published. Edano had been the previous government’s spokesman during its efforts to cope with the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, including the accident at Fukushima Daiichi.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) holds its board meeting this week in Vienna, Austria. The board is to discuss a draft action plan to secure the safety of nuclear energy facilities worldwide. The draft plan includes provisions to allow the IAEA to inspect member countries’ nuclear plants on a voluntary basis, and to confirm national safety measures and plant designs in countries considering new plants.

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. says it has completed the steel framework for the fabric cover being built over Fukushima Daiichi reactor 1. The entire structure is expected to be finished next month.
  • TEPCO said that the temperature within the pressure vessel of reactor 3 remains stable as the company gradually switches core cooling from the feedwater supply system to the core spray system. The company plans to cool all three affected reactors to below the boiling point by next January.

New Products

  • Maria Korsnick, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group’s chief nuclear officer, writes on the lessons learned by the nuclear industry in the past six months since the Fukushima accident. Her article can be found on NEI’s Safety First website.

Media Highlights

  • An article by Bloomberg Businessweek reports on the background of former chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano, who was chosen by incoming Prime Minister to be the new minister for economy, trade and industry.
  • The New York Times and others report on the situation in Japan six months after the March 11 earthquake and nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi.

Upcoming Events

  • The NRC commissioners will be briefed on short-term actions recommended in its Fukushima task force report in a public meeting Sept. 14. The meeting will be webcast.
The NRC commissioners will hold a briefing Oct. 11 on prioritizing longer-term actions based on the Japan task force recommendations. The briefing will be webcast

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…