Japan

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Japanese government has announced a plan to rebuild some areas in the Fukushima Daiichi evacuation zone, enabling residents in those areas to return in two years once power, water and sewage services are restored. Returning residents will be offered work in decontaminating the area and decommissioning the damaged plant. The ten-year “grand plan,” unveiled last week by the reconstruction minister, also calls for restoring the area’s transportation infrastructure within five years and attracting young people by developing new industrial, research and educational infrastructure, including renewable energy.
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Plant Update

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it found no significant damage or deformation to two unused fuel assemblies it had removed last week from the used fuel storage pool of Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4. The utility said it also will examine fuel pellets from inside the assembly rods. The relatively large amount of fuel in the reactor 4 storage pool (1,331 used nuclear fuel and 202 unused nuclear fuel assemblies) has made their removal one of TEPCO’s top priorities for decommissioning the site. The company plans to begin removing the fuel assemblies starting December 2013.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Annual Report for 2011 notes that while the Fukushima Daiichi accident slowed the growth of nuclear energy, it did not reverse it. The IAEA projects at least 90 new reactors to be in operation globally by 2030, a 7 to 8 percent reduction from its pre-accident estimate. Of the 64 reactors under construction at the end of 2011, 26 are in China, 10 in Russia, six in India and five in South Korea, the report said. Asia is expected to continue as the center of new growth, with new reactor projects in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Vietnam and Bangladesh. The report is to be presented at the IAEA’s annual General Conference in Vienna next month.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency says its member nations have reported “significant progress” in nuclear safety in the past year, including assessments of safety vulnerabilities at nuclear energy facilities, emergency preparedness and response, and enhanced communications among member nations, international organizations and the public. The IAEA’s assessment comes in a progress report on the agency’s Action Plan on Nuclear Safety, which was unanimously endorsed last September as a follow-up to the Fukushima nuclear accident. The report will be presented at the organization’s annual General Conference in Vienna next month.
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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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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First