Search: Associated Press

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The five commissioners heading Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) unanimously agreed last week to formulate new severe accident regulations for nuclear energy facilities, in line with the country’s atomic energy law that parliament amended in June. Accident scenarios to be covered will include terrorist actions as well as earthquakes and tsunamis. The NRA said draft regulations will be available for public comment March 2013 and are to be finalized by July. Two sets of final regulations are to be drawn up, to include plant system design considerations and severe accident management procedures.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Japanese government’s Energy and Environment Council last week proposed a goal of phasing out nuclear energy “in the 2030s.” The new policy follows recent public surveys that indicate support for ending the country’s reliance on nuclear energy. The panel said the 48 currently idled reactors will be allowed to restart by the new regulatory body that is being put in place this week. Reactors will be kept to a 40-year operating period, with the possibility of a 20-year license extension. Completion of the three reactors under construction at the time of the Fukushima accident will be allowed. The official policy for reprocessing used nuclear fuel will continue as will the search for a host site for a used fuel repository. The policy will be submitted to other cabinet ministers for approval and a roadmap for the phase-out will be published later this year. Anticipating increases in fossil fuel usage, the policy also drastically slashes national carbon emission reduction goals.
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Plant Update

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has removed the primary containment vessel dome from Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4. TEPCO published photos and video clips showing the dome being lowered to the ground. The dome will be cut up and stored on site. The company also is preparing to remove the reactor pressure vessel head in October. Steve Kraft, NEI’s senior director for Fukushima response, said these actions are key steps to prepare for the installation of a structure over the building that will allow fuel to be removed from the reactor’s used fuel storage pool. Last week TEPCO also attempted to use a camera-equipped balloon probe to investigate the condition of reactor 1’s refueling floor. The initial attempt was unsuccessful, and the company said it will try again.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Kansai Electric Power Co. last week restarted a second reactor at its Ohi nuclear energy facility in Fukui prefecture. The company said Ohi reactor 4 should reach full power this week. Reactor 3, the first in the country to restart since the Fukushima accident, attained full power operations July 9. The government said it planned to partially lift power-saving restrictions in western Japan though it still would encourage voluntary measures especially if summer temperatures are above normal.
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From The Associated Press on Friday, June 8:

“Japan’s leader appealed to the nation Friday to accept that two nuclear reactors that remained shuttered after the Fukushima disaster must be restarted to protect the economy and people’s livelihoods.”

Full story available here.

Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First