June 2012

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. last week released its final report of the company’s internal investigation of events at Fukushima Daiichi following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Japanese media say that in the report TEPCO says it failed to adequately prepare for the nuclear emergency, but also criticizes the government for communication failures and interfering with the company’s emergency response. TEPCO said one lesson it has taken from the accident is the need for an emergency response system that takes into account a reactor that has lost all its functions and measures to improve the chain of command and information flow. The report, which TEPCO says was based on interviews with about 600 employees, on-site inspections, and data analysis, is being translated into English.
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NEI has sent the NRC information on the industry’s Severe Accident Management Guidelines (SAMGs) for managing extreme events at nuclear power plants, in response to the agency’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking for emergency response capabilities.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s government has approved restarting two reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in the Fukui prefecture in central Japan. The government decision came after the governor of Fukui told Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that he approved the restart. All 50 of Japan’s reactors have been idled for inspections, the last going off line in May, and the central government has warned of power shortages during the summer. Kansai Electric Power Co., Ohi’s operator, has begun work to restart reactor 3, which the company said should be at full power by July 8. Reactor 4 will be in full operation by July 24. The government is urging people and companies to continue conserving power in the Kansai area, especially if the rainy season ends early. Meanwhile, some major steel and paper companies are planning to build their own power generation facilities and to sell the surplus electricity to utility companies.
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Reactor engineer Kristine Madden stands in front of dry cask storage that store used nuclear fuel at Entergy's Palisades nuclear plant, where she performed periodic surveillance of the casks to check for structural issues.

Reactor Engineer Kristine Madden (Click to enlarge)

As a dedicated young leader in the nuclear energy industry, Kristine Madden, a reactor engineer at Entergy’s Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan, is actively involved in collaborating with colleagues to keep the plant safe. Besides pursuing a joint master’s degree in business administration and engineering management, Madden has embraced leadership roles in organizations such as North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN), American Nuclear Society (ANS) and Women in Nuclear (WiN). From her constant drive to learn from others and apply best practices, Madden exemplifies all of the qualities the industry looks for in its next-generation workforce.
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NEI is urging the NRC to remain focused on the high-priority recommendations from the agency’s Fukushima task force before proceeding with implementation of the lower-priority items.

“Preliminary industry assessments indicate that the Tier 1 items, when completed, will achieve as much as 90 percent of the safety benefit from all recommendations,” NEI said in a comment letter last week. “At this time, the safety benefits derived from proceeding with implementation of the Tier 2 or Tier 3 recommendations are unclear.”
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First