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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

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