November 2012

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

NRC staff last week outlined several options it is considering for creating a more integrated regulatory framework, as recommended by the agency’s post-Fukushima task force.

The options, discussed at a Nov. 8 public meeting, include clarifying the role of voluntary industry initiatives, creating a decision process for determining appropriate safety margins, and adding a new category in the regulations to address beyond-design-basis matters.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s new two-year business plan, released last week, projects that costs for decontaminating the area around Fukushima Daiichi and paying damages to evacuated residents will double from the $62.5 billion estimate from April. The company also expects the $12.5 billion estimated cost for decommissioning the facility to increase significantly. TEPCO is asking the government to review the revised business plan and for continued financial support to meet its obligations. In May, the government assumed 51 percent control of the utility’s shares, in return for allocating funds and assistance for compensation and decontamination.
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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NRC staff told the agency’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards last week it believes that installing external containment vent filters on some reactors could be beneficial. The industry, however, said that filtering strategies inside containment that take advantage of the FLEX strategy are the key to mitigating radioactive releases during an accident.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is investigating whether Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi nuclear plant—the only operating facility in the country—is on an active fault line. The NRA heard last week from a group of experts who have surveyed the fissure. The agency has yet to decide whether the fissure in a 125,000-year-old rock stratum came from seismic activity or if it was caused by a landslide. The Japanese government bans nuclear plant operators from building facilities directly above active fault lines. The NRA said if the Ohi fissure is confirmed to be an active fault, it will halt the plant’s operations.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First