NRC, Industry Agree on Near-Term Actions at U.S. Reactors
October 7, 2011
- U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Gregory Jaczko this week said the agency’s near-term priorities to supplement safety and emergency response at America’s nuclear energy facilities include revising existing rules to cover emergency preparedness at multi-reactor facilities and used nuclear fuel pool monitoring. A video of Jaczko’s remarks is available on the National Journal’s website. The nuclear energy industry agrees with the majority of issues identified for near-term action.
- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said radiation is not suspected in the death an employee who became ill at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility and later died. TEPCO said it could not reveal the cause of death until authorities issued a death certificate. Two other Fukushima workers have died since stabilization efforts began at the Japanese reactor, neither from radiation exposure.
- A Japanese government panel reviewing TEPCO’s finances said the utility is expected to pay $13.2 billion through March 2012 in compensation for damages and then $11.6 billion annually. The panel did not say how long the payments might continue. Additionally, the panel said TEPCO will have to cut 7,400 jobs and reduce costs by $32.5 billion over the next 10 years. The Japanese government will use the panel’s findings to help craft a plan for the company’s financial stability.
- TEPCO started sprinkling decontaminated water on the premises of the Fukushima nuclear power plant, wetting down trees that been cut down in order to reduce the risk of fire. TEPCO says it now has stored 17,000 tons of such water, collected from two reactor turbine buildings and cleaned of salt and radioactive substances. TEPCO will continue to use about 100 tons of the water each day within the facility grounds.
- The Hokuriku Electric Power Co. has started building a reinforced concrete seawall at its plant in west-central Japan. The project is in response to a government directive to enhance preparedness against tsunami damage at nuclear energy facilities. Workers at the facility also will install an extra pump to cool reactors and a power source to operate a valve for venting steam from containment.
- Finland is the first country to announce plans for a new nuclear energy facility since the accident in Japan. Finnish nuclear power consortium Fennovoima said it would build a reactor in Pyhajoki in Northern Finland. Authorities said the new facility will help the country reduce its use of Russian natural gas and further support the forestry and metals industries.
- The NRC staff will brief the agency’s commissioners Oct. 11 on the prioritization of recommendations of the near-term post-Fukushima task force. The briefing will be webcast.
- NRC Chairman Jaczko will speak on lessons learned from Fukushima Oct. 24 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. Details are on the AAAS website.