Skip to main content

Wednesday Update

From NEI’s Japan micro-site:

World Nuclear Operators Approve Post-Fukushima Actions

October 26, 2011

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • The general assembly of the World Association of Nuclear Operators approved a set of wide-ranging commitments to nuclear safety at the organization’s first major meeting after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. About 600 attended the Oct. 23-25 meeting in Shenzhen, China. Operators of nuclear energy facilities from around the world unanimously pledged support for recommendations developed by the WANO Post-Fukushima Commission. Conference delegates voted to
    • expand the scope of WANO activities
    • develop a worldwide integrated event response strategy
    • improve the organization’s credibility, including strengthening its peer review process
    • improve WANO’s visibility
    • improve the quality of all WANO products and services.
  • Yukiya Amano, the executive director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, gave the keynote speech at the WANO meeting in China. "Nuclear safety remains the responsibility of individual countries, but the IAEA will play the leading role in shaping a safer nuclear future throughout the world,” Amano said. “It is important for all of us—governments, nuclear regulators, plant operators and the IAEA—to maintain our sense of urgency even after the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi has faded from the international headlines."
  • Japan’s government has empaneled a group of experts to summarize lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. In its first meeting, the panel emphasized that nuclear power plants in the country should have multiple power sources. A disruption of electric power needed to operate reactor cooling systems led to the March 11 accident. The panel plans to finish its work by March 2012.

Media Highlights

  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko offered “a qualified defense of Japan’s longer-term evacuation policy” at a Washington, D.C., forum this week and indicated that some of the people evacuated from areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility may never be able to return to their homes, the Wall Street Journal’s Japan Real Time blog 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 on the NRC’s near-term post-Fukushima task force recommendations Nov. 3. All five NRC commissioners will be invited to testify. The first hearing was held Aug. 2.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…