September 2011

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced this week that the three damaged reactors at Fukushima Daiichi now are below 100 Celsius at the bottom of the reactor vessels. Reactor 2 is the last reactor to drop below boiling point, after TEPCO in recent weeks began augmenting cooling by spraying water from above the fuel. Temperatures at reactors 1 and 3 have been below 100 Celsius since August. TEPCO said it would declare the reactors to be in a “cold shutdown” condition once the temperatures at the bottom of the vessels drop below 90 Celsius and other conditions are met to achieve stable cooling. The company expects to attain this goal by the end of the year.

Read More »

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • Fukushima City plans to remove radioactive materials from private houses, parks and meeting venues in the city. The plan includes decontamination of all 110,000 residences in the city over two years, with emphasis on households with children. Cleaners will scrub roofs, remove concrete and decontaminate ditches.
    Read More »
TVA's Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Safely Shuts Down During Extreme Tornadoes

When a series of strong tornadoes swept through the Tennessee Valley in late April, the Browns Ferry nuclear energy facility was ready for nature’s challenge. Dozens of tornadoes, including four EF5 storms—the strongest on the scale used by the National Weather Service—battered the Southeast and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s transmission system, severing power lines to Browns Ferry.

The tornadoes destroyed 353 of TVA’s transmission poles and towers and took out 108 power lines, including the seven transmission lines that serve as the Athens, Ala., site’s primary source of power.

When all but one power line to the plant went out of service, operators guided the safe shutdown of the facility’s three reactors.  Seven emergency diesel generators provided power to safety systems that kept the reactor fuel cores cooled.
Read More »

NEI has posted a new backgrounder to its website:

  • U.S. Companies Make Safety Enhancements at Nuclear Energy Facilities; EU and Asia Undertake ‘Stress Tests’
    • Nuclear energy regulators and nuclear plant operators around the world reacted quickly after the March 11 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility in Japan, providing assistance to the Japanese where possible and reviewing safety measures at their own facilities. Those initial reviews are being followed by more detailed assessments as more is learned about exactly what happened at Fukushima and why. Regulators and industry alike will scrutinize the Fukushima event to glean lessons that can be applied to nuclear energy facilities globally.
    • The U.S. nuclear industry has a robust program for critiquing safety measures and sharing lessons learned from Fukushima. The industry already has taken significant measures to enhance safety at America’s nuclear energy facilities. Separately, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission task force has completed inspections at each U.S. reactor and a 90-day review of the Fukushima accident that yielded several near-term recommendations for the U.S. industry. Read More >>

See the main fact sheet Web page for all of NEI’s backgrounders on the Fukushima nuclear energy situation and the U.S. nuclear industry’s response.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • Japan’s government will lift evacuation advisories for five municipalities between the 12-mile to 19-mile advisory zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility, said Tadahiro Matsushita, senior vice minister for economy, trade and industry. Residents in the advisory zone were asked either to evacuate or remain indoors. About half of the residents chose to evacuate, and they will be allowed to begin returning to their homes.
    Read More »
Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First