Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

TEPCO to Build Iron Wall to Contain Radioactive Water

Plant Status

• Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to build an “iron wall” between the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility and the ocean to keep radioactive water out of the sea. Thousands of 24-yard-long iron pipes will be sunk into the earth, extending to below the sea bed, to create a wall around the water intakes for reactors 1-4. Construction of the 875-yard wall is expected to begin by the end of the year and be complete in about two years.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

• The Japan Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has been conducting experiments since May on reducing radiation levels in rice fields near Fukushima Daiichi. In one test, workers have scraped contaminated topsoil from dry paddies. In another, soil has been stirred in water-filled paddies and then removed. Both methods have reduced radiation levels to below government safety levels.

New Products

• New talking points summarize key topics from NEI’s comment letter to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on proposed near-term actions at U.S. reactors following the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Another set of talking points discusses localized spikes of radiation in areas near the nuclear facility. More talking points address the NRC's approach toward plant seismic studies, which respond to misconstrued media reports on these studies.

Media Highlights

• Tokyo Electric Power Co. will put $30 billion into a new entity established to help the utility compensate individuals and businesses claiming damages caused by the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the Japan Economic Newswire reported. The fund also will receive $91 million from the government and $91 million from 11 other utility companies.

• Japanese citizens are debating the country’s energy future following the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. It is a dilemma for a country that lacks natural resources and has relied heavily on nuclear energy, NPR reports.

Upcoming Events

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

• The NRC commissioners will be briefed on short-term actions recommended in its Japan task force report in a public meeting Sept. 14. The meeting will be webcast.

• The NRC commissioners will be briefed on prioritization of recommendations from its Japan task force in a public meeting Oct. 11. The briefing will be webcast.

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