Skip to main content

Monday Update

From NEI’s Safety First web site:

Japan Cabinet Approves Decontamination Protocols

Nov. 21, 2011

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Japanese cabinet has approved “basic policies” to clean up radioactive contamination resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Based on recommendations made in 2007 by the International Commission on Radiological Protection, areas contaminated to dose levels within two rem per year above background will be cleaned up to reduce adult doses by 50 percent within two years and 60 percent for children, and to a long-term level of 0.1 rem/year above background radiation levels. Two rem is about the same amount of radiation exposure a patient would receive from a full body CT scan. Areas where the annual dose levels are above two rem/year will be given priority in scheduling decontamination activities.
  • The Japan Nuclear Technology Institute has published a report reviewing the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The Japan Atomic Industrial Forum said the analysis of the accident is based on published facts, operational experience and knowledge of the plant design, and includes recommended safety protection measures “to prevent and mitigate severe accidents.”

Media Highlights

  • The Salt Lake Tribune quotes Adrian Heymer, NEI’s executive director of the Fukushima regulatory response, on how some of the safety lessons from the Japan accident already have been incorporated in the features of new nuclear reactor designs.
  • An Associated Press article explains the difficulty of measuring future health effects of the low doses of radiation resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
  • A Washington Post article describes the areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant that have remained evacuated since the March accident following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

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 Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…