Skip to main content

BRC Releases Final Report; Japan Invites in IAEA

oi-nuclear-power-plantI’d give you a link to the final report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future at its site at brc.gov, but that has been flooded and is not responsive. But NEI has you covered. Go here to get a copy of the report.

The BRC says the report hews pretty closely to the draft report released last summer – our coverage of that is here with some useful links. We’ll have lots more to say about the final report, I’m sure, but for now, reading glasses on.

---

The Japanese government has asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to stop by and double check the stress tests it has been conduction on its fleet. Specifically, the Japanese want the IAEA to visit Oi, its third largest nuclear facility. Why have the IAEA do this?

Seeking to assuage public misgivings about nuclear-plant safety, government and nuclear industry officials have sought to use "stress tests" that gauge resilience to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The invitation to the IAEA is part of Japan's campaign to validate those tests.

And there’s this, too:

Oi's four reactors have become a focal point in Japan's debate over nuclear energy as the hot and humid summer, with its seasonal peak in electricity demand, draws nearer. Kansai Electric, which supplies power to Kyoto and Osaka in western Japan, relies on its three nuclear plants for more than 40% of the electricity it generates. Oi alone provides about 20%.

Those are actually two different things – getting the plants running to stave off blackouts and regaining public trust. How the government will know that it done the latter is not mentioned in the story, but I guess polling and the opinions of the elected leaders in the towns around Oi and other facilities will act as the gauges.

“The stress tests as currently designed don't seem to factor in the type of worst-case scenario we saw in Fukushima," Mr. [Ryozo] Tatami, the mayor of Maizuru said. "We need evidence Oi's reactors will be safe even if a [Fukushima-scale] tsunami strikes because vague assurances just raise too many doubts in our minds."

Maizuru is about 18 miles from Oi.

One can have an opinion about this approach – it sounds like one the Japanese put stock into, which is good – and about whether Japan should or shouldn’t reopen its facilities – simply, yes – but whether it does or not, whatever the consequences, is up to its people. There’s nothing for us to do but wait and see – and respect the outcome.

The Washington Post has an interesting article about the Japanese decision making approach and its impact on reopening its nuclear facilities here. Long story short: the Japanese really like a broad consensus. Worth a read for insight into how another culture deals with big issues.

The Oi nuclear facility. If you say it enough times, you sound like an annoyed Brit.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Hurricane Harvey Couldn't Stop the South Texas Project

As Hurricane Harvey battered southeast Texas over the past week, the devastation and loss of life in its wake have kept our attention and been a cause of grief.

Through the tragedy, many stories of heroics and sacrifice have emerged. Among those who have sacrificed are nearly 250 workers who have been hunkered down at the South Texas Project (STP) nuclear plant in Matagorda County, Texas.

STP’s priorities were always the safety of their employees and the communities they serve. We are proud that STP continued to operate at full power throughout the storm. It is a true testament to the reliability and resiliency of not only the operators but of our industry.

The world is starting to notice what a feat it is to have maintained operations through the catastrophic event. Forbes’ Rod Adams did an excellent job describing the contribution of these men and women:

“STP storm crew members deserve to be proud of the work that they are doing. Their families should take comfort in the fact that…

New Home for Our Blog: Join Us on NEI.org

On February 27, NEI launched the new NEI.org. We overhauled the public site, framing all of our content around the National Nuclear Energy Strategy.

So, what's changed?

Our top priority was to put you, the user, first. Now you can quickly get the information you need. You'll enjoy visiting the site with its intuitive navigation, social media integration and compelling and shareable visuals. We've added a feature called Nuclear Now, which showcases the latest industry news and resources like fact sheets and reports. It's one of the first sections you'll see on our home page and it can be accessed anywhere throughout the site by clicking on the atom symbol in the top right corner of the page.
Most importantly for you, our loyal NEI Nuclear Notes readers, is that we've migrated the blog to the new site. Moving forward, all blog posts will be published in the News section, along with our press releases, Nuclear Energy Overview stories and more. Just look for the &qu…