July 2012

The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

Last week’s meeting of industry and NRC post-Fukushima steering groups indicates that work is proceeding smoothly on the top priority, or Tier 1, recommendations from the agency task force that studied the accident. However, industry executives identified issues related to the flooding and seismic hazard re-evaluations that could affect schedules depending on how they are resolved.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency is leading a “seismic study mission” to collect data about the effects of the 2011 earthquake on Japan’s Onagawa Nuclear Power Station. IAEA said the mission will include regulators from different countries and other experts. The goal of the trip is to collect information that member nations can use as they develop their own earthquake preparedness and response plans.
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Last November, we told you about how the employees at the Onagawa nuclear energy facility in Japan played a critical role in sheltering local residents in the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that struck the island nation.

While the Onagawa facility remains safely shut down, its employees are still at work preparing for the day when the plant may come back online. In this video report from NHK World, Onagawa’s employees are participating in a tsunami drill using new equipment acquired in the aftermath of the accident at Fukushima. In other news, a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency will be visiting Onagawa next week to begin a seismic inspection.

The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

Inspections related to flood protection have begun at nuclear energy facilities based on industry guidance endorsed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late May. These inspections, or “walkdowns,” address part of the NRC’s March request for detailed information on several post-Fukushima issues the agency identified as the top priorities—Tier 1—among the 12 recommendations of the NRC’s task force. Seismic walkdowns got under way earlier this month. The industry is awaiting NRC comments on guidance for responding to three orders that address the other Tier 1 issues.
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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

A new Japanese government investigation of the Fukushima accident says that national and local organizations were ill-prepared for a large-scale and complex natural disaster such as last year’s earthquake and tsunami, leading to more severe accident consequences than would otherwise have been the case.

The study was commissioned in May 2011 by the cabinet and is the latest of several investigations into the accident that have been conducted in Japan by, among others, Fukushima operator Tokyo Electric Power Co., the country’s parliament and its nuclear regulator.
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