Skip to main content

Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:
Japan PM Expects Shutdown Reactors to Restart by Next Summer
September 21, 2011
Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues
  • Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who will speak at this week’s United Nations general assembly, said he expects Japan’s shutdown nuclear energy facilities to be running by next summer. Since the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, communities throughout Japan have refused to let plants restart after they shut down for routine maintenance. In Japan, local governments have the ability to block nuclear facility restarts. Only about 25 percent of Japan’s nuclear reactors are operating.
  • There will be “continuous and significant growth in the use of nuclear power” over the next 20 years, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at the organization’s general conference, which is taking place this week. He added that he expects the growth to proceed “at a slower rate than in our previous projections.” The range of growth, he said, is 90 to 350 new reactors by 2030.
  • Radioactive cesium at levels well below the Japanese government’s safety limit has been detected in 4 percent of rice samples from Japan’s Tohoku and Kanto regions. So far, tests on rice in seven prefectures are complete, but not in Fukushima or Miyagi. Cesium has been detected in rice in 64 locations in Fukushima Prefecture, but the highest level was only about 25 percent of the limit.
  • Japan’s government may lift its evacuation advisories for areas 12.5 to 18.5 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility by the end of September. Residents of five municipalities that lie mostly within that zone will be required to prepare for quick evacuation in case of an emergency.
Plant Status
  • In its monthly status report on its roadmap for recovery at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it will increase monitoring of radioactive materials released from the site. January remains its goal to reach what TEPCO calls a “cold shutdown condition” for the three damaged reactors, the company reports.
  • The Japanese government and TEPCO said the utility will soon begin to install filters to reduce the amount of radioactive substances in the air at reactors 1-3 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The new equipment will remove contaminated gases from the reactors. TEPCO also said it expects to complete construction of a giant shield around reactor building 1 by mid-October. The vinyl shield is designed to keep radioactive material from entering the environment.
  • A large amount of groundwater may be entering the nuclear facilities at Fukushima Daiichi. TEPCO reported that 200 to 500 tons of what it believes to be rainwater that had seeped into the soil may be entering reactor buildings through cracks in basement walls, mixing with contaminated water that already is there. For the last several weeks, TEPCO has been decontaminating water that has accumulated at the site and is recycling it to cool the reactors.

Media Highlights

  • Typhoon Roke grazed the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility and damaged only a security camera, CBS News reported.
Upcoming Events
  • NEI and industry representatives are meeting with NRC staff today to discuss actions related to the NRC’s Japan task force recommendations. The meeting will be webcast.
  • Lessons learned from the Fukushima accident will be discussed in a Sept. 22 meeting on nuclear safety and security that will convene as part of the United Nations’ general assembly.
  • The NRC commissioners will be briefed in a public meeting Oct. 11 on prioritization of long-term recommendations from its Japan task force. The briefing will be webcast.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…