Skip to main content

Weekly Japan Update

The Fukushima updates are moving to a weekly schedule beginning today and continuing each Monday. Additional updates will be issued as needed to cover developing events.

Japan: Full Decontamination Efforts Will Begin in March

December 12, 2011

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • TEPCO said it will receive accident insurance from a Swiss company that will replace a consortium of insurers that will not renew its policies with the utility. TEPCO will pay about $258 million for a five-year policy, about 10 times the amount it paid to the consortium. The policy will cover claims related to Fukushima Daiichi.
  • Japan’s Environment Ministry said that a full-fledged effort to decontaminate areas with high radiation will not begin until at least March, as the ministry must receive permission from affected landowners and must acquire temporary sites at which to store contaminated soil.
  • Concentrations of cesium-137 in the ocean near Fukushima Daiichi peaked at 50 million times above normal, a study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Society found. However, the study said that the radiation diluted rapidly and poses little or no danger to human and marine life.

Media Highlights

  • A USA TODAY/Gallup poll found that 70 percent of Americans have become more concerned about the safety of nuclear energy because of the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. The poll found that 44 percent favor building new facilities, down from 57 percent from the last poll taken before the accident.
  • The Mainichi Daily News wrote in an editorial that carrying out decontamination work as an international project will be beneficial to Japan and the rest of the world. “There is bound to be technology and expertise abroad that we do not have in Japan,” the editorial said. “If we are able to take advantage of them, the work will proceed more efficiently. In return, Japan should be able to pass on the knowledge and lessons learned from the Fukushima crisis to the rest of the world.”

New Products

  • An article on NEI’s Safety First website outlines the response to the March 11 earthquake at the Fukushima Daini plant and details three key lessons the plant operator learned from the experience.

Upcoming Meetings

  • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold four public meetings this week to discuss with industry representatives proposals to implement individual recommendations from the NRC’s Japan near-term task force. Meeting agendas and further details on each meeting are available on a special NRC webpage.
  • The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee holds a hearing Dec. 15 titled “Review of the NRC’s Near-Term Task Force Recommendations for Enhancing Reactor Safety in the 21st Century."

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Seeing the Light on Nuclear Energy

If you think that there is plenty of electricity, that the air is clean enough and that nuclear power is a just one among many options for meeting human needs, then you are probably over-focused on the United States or Western Europe. Even then, you’d be wrong.

That’s the idea at the heart of a new book, “Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century,” by Scott L. Montgomery, a geoscientist and energy expert, and Thomas Graham Jr., a retired ambassador and arms control expert.


Billions of people live in energy poverty, they write, and even those who don’t, those who live in places where there is always an electric outlet or a light switch handy, we need to unmake the last 200 years of energy history, and move to non-carbon sources. Energy is integral to our lives but the authors cite a World Health Organization estimate that more than 6.5 million people die each year from air pollution.  In addition, they say, the global climate is heading for ruinous instability. E…