June 2011

John Keeley, NEI’s media relations manager, interviews Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s chief nuclear officer and senior vice president, on the selective reporting, inaccuracies and mischaracterizations in a recent series of articles by The Associated Press on nuclear plant safety and regulatory oversight. For more information, see NEI’s press release “Nuclear Energy Institute Criticizes Shoddy AP Reporting on U.S. Nuclear Power Plant Safety.”

NEI has updated its fact sheet, “Emergency Preparedness at Nuclear Energy Facilities.”

Key Facts

  • America’s nuclear energy facilities are designed and built to safely withstand a wide variety of natural and other severe events and staffed by highly trained, federally licensed operators with a five-decade history of safe operations in the United States. The operators who staff these facilities are capable of taking the actions necessary to mitigate and control adverse events. An emergency plan provides multiple layers of protection by specifying additional measures that may be taken in the event of a severe accident.

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Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers have installed 32 steel pillars to support the reactor 4 spent fuel pool at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility and improve its capability to withstand earthquakes. The company next will wrap the pillars in concrete. It plans to finish the project by the end of July. The walls supporting the pool sustained damage in a hydrogen explosion four days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. TEPCO reported earlier that analysis shows the reactor 4 building meets seismic requirements in its current condition, but shoring up the pool will provide an additional safety margin.
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Nuclear Energy Institute criticized the Associated Press today for selective, misleading reporting in a series of new articles on U.S. nuclear power plant safety. The coverage has factual errors, fails to cite relevant reports on safety that contradict the reporting, and raises questions about historic operating issues while ignoring more recent evidence of improved performance in areas that it examines.

It also gives short shrift to the considerable amount of time, money and manpower that the nuclear energy industry and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission devote independently to aging management and long-term plant reliability.

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is working to restart full-scale tests of the water filtration system it will use to decontaminate and recycle radioactive water that has flooded the basements of buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The system went into full operation on Friday but was shut down after five hours when radiation levels rose more quickly than anticipated in the part of the system that removes oil and sludge. TEPCO may add more equipment to remove oil or lower the water flow rate through the system. Cooling water injections into reactors 1, 2 and 3 are accumulating in the building basements at the rate of 500 tons per day, and could overflow in about a week if the decontamination system is not functional by then.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First