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Friday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

NRC Commissioners Adopt Near-Term Recommendations

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues
  • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has directed its staff to implement seven safety recommendations from the NRC’s Fukushima task force. The recommendations are among 12 presented by the task force in July. NRC staff reviewed the task force’s July 12 report and selected the recommendations it believed most appropriate for immediate action. The recommendations cover issues including the loss of all electrical power at a reactor, reviews of seismic and flooding hazards, emergency equipment and plant staff training to manage severe accidents.
  • A panel of the Japan Nuclear Safety Commission has issued a draft plan for determining emergency areas around the country’s nuclear energy facilities. The proposal calls for designating areas within three miles of a plant as zones that should be evacuated immediately in the event of an accident. People within 18 miles of a reactor would be asked to shelter indoors or evacuate at a slower pace, depending on the accident. The plan is due for further study before implementation.
  • The Fukushima Prefecture assembly wants Tokyo Electric Power Co. to permanently shut down all 10 nuclear reactors in the prefecture. Six of the reactors are at the Fukushima Daiichi site; the others are at the nearby Daini site. TEPCO has said it will close the four damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. None of the reactors has been restarted since the earthquake.
  • Tamura, a city near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility, is using a small, unmanned helicopter to check radiation levels of farms and forests. Parts of the city were among the areas outside the 12-mile no-entry zone for which the government has lifted its evacuation advisory.

Media Highlights

  • After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, hundreds of people took refuge at the Onagawa nuclear energy facility, and stayed for three months, news website reports.

Upcoming Events

  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and its subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold the second joint hearing Nov. 3 on the NRC’s recommendations for safety and preparedness measures at U.S. reactors. All five NRC commissioners will be invited to testify. The first hearing was held Aug. 2.


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