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Friday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

First of Japanese Reactor Stress Test Results Sent to Regulator

October 28, 2011

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • Kansai Electric is to submit to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) the results of a “stress test” on reactor 3 of its Ohi plant in Fukui prefecture. The test consists of computer simulations to gauge whether a plant can withstand a major earthquake and tsunami. It is the first to be reported to NISA for consideration on restarting a shutdown reactor. Eighty percent of Japan’s nuclear energy facilities (44 out of 55) have been shut down for safety inspections since the March 11 earthquake.
  • Japan’s health ministry said that as levels of radioactive contamination continue to fall, it will be ready to lower its radiation safety limits for food back to international standards as early as next April. After the March accident at Fukushima Daiichi, the government had provisionally set the acceptable limit at 500 millirem per year, five times the international standard. This week Japan’s food safety commission recommended a lifetime cumulative internal dose limit from food consumption of 10,000 millirem.
  • Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission said fuel removal from the pools at Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1 through 4 could begin within three years. Removal of the melted fuel from inside the reactors could begin within 10 years, pending repair of the damaged containment vessels. The commission’s report estimates decommissioning the site will take more than 30 years.

Media Highlights

  • Global carbon dioxide emissions may rise as much as 7 percent by 2035 if the Fukushima nuclear accident slows the pace of expansion in nuclear energy, says a Bloomberg report on a study by the Japan Institute of Energy Economy.
  • NHK World reports that Tokyo Electric Power Co. will request public financial aid of up to $12 billion to help it pay compensation claims to those affected by the Fukushima accident. TEPCO will submit a special business plan to the government Friday, outlining cost-cutting measures and restructuring steps the utility was ordered to elucidate to be considered for government assistance.


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