Skip to main content

Friday Update

From NEI’s Japan Earthquake launch page:

Update as of 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 24
Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. is continuing efforts to reduce the accumulation of radioactive water from cooling operations at Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1, 2 and 3. With reactor temperatures stabilizing, the company is reducing the water injection flow rate into the reactors. The total inflow rate is now about 386 tons per day. Heavy rains are challenging TEPCO's effort to contain water accumulating onsite.
  • TEPCO's system to decontaminate and recycle the radioactive water in the basements of reactor buildings is now operating. As of Friday, a total of 3,000 tons of water has been decontaminated. The system is now filtering water at a rate of 400 tons per day. The design capacity of the system is 1,200 tons per day. The desalination component of the system has also begun operating. TEPCO plans to recycle the decontaminated water to cool the reactors, possibly as soon as next week.
  • About 99 tons of water was injected late last week into the reactor 4 used fuel pool using the new temporary "giraffe" injection line. The equipment storage pool-referred to in the United States as the "dryer separator pit"-has also been refilled with water to shield workers from activated metals being stored there.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues
  • Banri Kaieda, Japanese minister for economy, trade and industry, said at the IAEA ministerial conference in Vienna this week that it is vital for the country's economy that the nation's nuclear energy facilities restart. According to the Japan Atomic Industry Forum, as of mid-May only 17 of Japan's 54 nuclear reactors were in operation, representing less than a third of the total nuclear generating capacity. Local governments and populations must approve the restart of nuclear reactors. In a call to encourage restart approvals, Kaieda said, "Electricity restraint is the largest issue for the growth of Japan's economy." The Japanese government will hold a meeting in western Japan to explain the issue of restarting nuclear plants to local residents.
  • The Japan Meteorological Agency reported that a magnitude-6.7 earthquake shook northeast Japan on Thursday morning, but no damage or injuries resulted. The epicenter was off the coast of Iwate prefecture about 300 miles northeast of Tokyo.
  • Radiation exposure to schoolchildren in Fukushima prefecture continues to be a concern to local residents. The government has been removing topsoil from highly contaminated areas to reduce radiation levels below its limit of 0.4 mrem per hour. However, parents and teachers say this level is too high compared to long-term limits set by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. Fukushima prefecture officials have decided to distribute personal dosimeters to 280,000 children ranging from infants to junior high school students.

Media Highlights
New Products
  • A new fact sheet, "Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Energy Facilities," has been posted on the NEI website.
  • Tony Pietrangelo, NEI's chief nuclear officer and senior vice president, responds in a video to the factual inaccuracies in a recent series of articles by The Associated Press on nuclear plant safety and regulatory oversight. The video can be found on NEI's YouTube channel here.

Upcoming Events

Comments

FEED BURNER said…
Not quite on-thread, but it needs to be said: NEI had better address Jeffrey Donn's Associated Press smear campaign, now actively being pressed in a series of widely syndicated articles.

Forget Japan, people have heard enough. Mr. Donn is intent on creating a new press reality, in which tenuous antinuke claims of the last decade are presented as a "New Reality".

Get busy.

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 …

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…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …