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Monday Update

TEPCO Injects Nitrogen Into Reactors, Prepares for “Cold Shutdown Condition”

December 5, 2011

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun injecting nitrogen into the pressure vessels of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1 through 3. The action will reduce any buildup of hydrogen in the reactors as TEPCO prepares to announce, as early as next week, its achievement of what the company calls a “cold shutdown condition.” A new “Ask the Expert” page on NEI’s Safety First website explains how and why TEPCO’s definition of the term differs from common industry usage.
  • TEPCO reported today that about 45 metric tons of water containing radioactive strontium leaked from desalination equipment at a water decontamination facility used to recycle cooling water at the Fukushima Daiichi site. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has ordered the company to investigate the causes and report on the impacts should any water reach the ocean and to take steps to prevent future leaks.

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • TEPCO said Saturday it paid farmers and livestock workers about $500 million in compensation for loss of livelihood after the Fukushima accident. The company has so far paid about $1.2 billion to farmers and will pay another $96 million by the end of the year.

New Products

  • An article on NEI’s Safety First website describes how the Electric Power Research Institute is collaborating with global utility, regulatory, research and engineering entities on projects to gain a deeper understanding of lessons learned from Fukushima.

Media Highlights

  • The Japan Times reports on a government pilot project to test the effectiveness of its decontamination procedures in Okuma town near the Fukushima nuclear energy facility.
  • The Wall Street Journal notes that some mayors in Japan have been pushing for the restart of nuclear reactors that have been shut down for inspection after the Fukushima accident, as taxes levied on operating nuclear energy facilities have provided a source of revenue to local municipalities.

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