October 2011

Flood Protection Dike

Responding to Fukushima: Part 1 of a 5-Part Series

U.S. nuclear energy facilities are highly unlikely to experience the devastating combination of a massive earthquake and tsunami that crippled the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan, but the events there underscored the need to guard against even very unlikely combinations of extreme natural forces.

The nuclear energy industry agrees with most issues the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has identified since Fukushima to complement existing seismic and flood protection programs.
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Though the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Fukushima task force confirmed that America’s nuclear energy facilities are safe, the industry is committed to ensuring that it incorporates all relevant lessons from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility to make nuclear energy facilities even safer.

As the nuclear industry, federal regulators and international experts work to learn and apply lessons from the events at Fukushima, the U.S. nuclear industry already is adding new layers of safety and preparedness.  This is a starting point for what will be a carefully considered effort to further strengthen safety at U.S. nuclear plants.
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Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. reports that pilot tests of the ventilation system associated with the cover it has installed over Fukushima Daiichi reactor 1 showed the system successfully filtered more than 90 percent of the radioactive cesium released from the reactor. TEPCO is considering installing similar covers for reactors 3 and 4, both of which were damaged by hydrogen explosions following the March 11 accident.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • Kansai Electric is to submit to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) the results of a “stress test” on reactor 3 of its Ohi plant in Fukui prefecture. The test consists of computer simulations to gauge whether a plant can withstand a major earthquake and tsunami. It is the first to be reported to NISA for consideration on restarting a shutdown reactor. Eighty percent of Japan’s nuclear energy facilities (44 out of 55) have been shut down for safety inspections since the March 11 earthquake. Read More »

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • The general assembly of the World Association of Nuclear Operatorsapproved a set of wide-ranging commitments to nuclear safety at the organization’s first major meeting after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. About 600 attended the Oct. 23-25 meeting in Shenzhen, China. Operators of nuclear energy facilities from around the world unanimously pledged support for recommendations developed by the WANO Post-Fukushima Commission. Conference delegates voted to:
    • expand the scope of WANO activities
    • develop a worldwide integrated event response strategy
    • improve the organization’s credibility, including strengthening its peer review process
    • improve WANO’s visibility
    • improve the quality of all WANO products and services.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First