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Monday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

Japan’s Government to Pay for Cleanup of Lower Levels of Contamination

October 3, 2011

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • Goshi Hosono, Japan’s cabinet minister for nuclear crisis management, told the governor of Fukushima prefecture that the government would provide financial and technical assistance to clean up radioactive contamination in towns where radiation levels are between 100 and 500 millirem per year. Prior to Hosono’s statement, it was not clear whether towns with those levels of contamination would have to pay for their own decontamination.
  • A Japanese government advisory panel is to report to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda today on the financial condition of Tokyo Electric Power Co., with a view to the company’s ability to pay compensation claims to people affected by the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The report is expected to ask TEPCO to consider cutting its costs before it raises utility fees. The panel also notes that the company‘s financial viability will remain difficult unless its other nuclear energy facilities restart. The government is expected to provide financial assistance to the company, in which case it will be required to follow the government’s restructuring plan.

Media Highlights

  • The Japanese government has found extremely small quantities of plutonium as far as 28 miles from the Fukushima nuclear facility, UPI reports. The government recommends that decontamination efforts concentrate on radioactive cesium instead.
  • Reuters notes that with last month’s shutdown of two more Japanese nuclear reactors for inspection, there are now only 11 operating nuclear facilities in the country, bringing Japan down to 20 percent of its pre-Fukushima nuclear generating capacity.
  • The Fukushima prefectural government’s detailed radiation health survey of all 2 million-plus residents of the prefecture is discussed in an article by the National Institutes of Health. Researchers plan to combine activity logs for each resident with maps plotting daily radiation levels to estimate the external radiation dose each person may have received in the first four months after the March 11 accident.

Upcoming Events

  • Exelon Generation Co. Chief Operating Officer Charles Pardee will brief the U.S. Energy Association’s energy supply forum Oct. 4 on safety and preparedness issues at America’s nuclear energy facilities.
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko will speak at a National Journal event Oct. 5 on the global implications of the Japan nuclear accident.
  • 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

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