September 2011

Maria Korsnick

Constellation Energy Nuclear Group's Chief Nuclear Officer Maria Korsnick

Guest Commentary by Maria Korsnick
Chief Nuclear Officer, Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG)
Member of the Fukushima Response Steering Committee

It is hard to believe that six months have passed since a massive earthquake and a tsunami with a 45-foot wall of water struck Japan on March 11, causing death, injuries, and millions and millions of dollars in destruction.

This tragedy is still on our minds and our thoughts are with the Japanese people.

The natural disaster also severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, prompting important and valid questions about the nuclear energy industry’s safety, security and ability to respond to a myriad of “what if” scenarios.

One fact is clear: Nuclear plant operators go to great lengths to produce electricity safely, reliably and economically. Multiple layers of physical security, back-up systems to the back-up systems and high levels of operational performance protect the employees, public and the environment.
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Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to build an “iron wall” between the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility and the ocean to keep radioactive water out of the sea. Thousands of 24-yard-long iron pipes will be sunk into the earth, extending to below the sea bed, to create a wall around the water intakes for reactors 1-4. Construction of the 875-yard wall is expected to begin by the end of the year and be complete in about two years.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • The Japanese government has released the results of detailed radiation measurements taken from 2,696 locations within the 12.5-mile exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility and in adjacent evacuation zones. The highest reading, with an annual dose rate of more than 70 rem, is at a location in Okuma Town about a half-mile from the plant. Areas with readings of more than 10 rem per year extend out as far as 20 miles from the plant, while coastal locations north of the facility are showing an annual dose rate of less than 0.5 rem. The measurements, which are available on a government website, will be used to create a decontamination plan.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First