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Japan: Fukushima Recovery Efforts

In the months that followed the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Japanese government and employees at Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility, worked diligently to stabilize the site and protect nearby communities. By December 2011, TEPCO reached an important milestone in its recovery efforts when the reactors were brought to a state of safe shutdown.

The global nuclear industry has supported these recovery efforts by:

  • offering technical expertise and guidance;
  • providing equipment and resources; and
  • conducting a systematic, methodical assessment of the safety and security of nuclear plants in individual countries.

By working together, companies operating nuclear plants worldwide will be able to benefit from the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and make safe nuclear energy facilities even safer.

In the United States, the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission continues to provide oversight and remains confident in the continued safety and security of U.S. nuclear energy plants.  The U.S. industry has proposed a flexible and diverse (“FLEX”) strategy, which aims to provide a range of portable equipment for nuclear plants to maintain cooling capability and power during severe natural events. This strategy allows the industry to meet the NRC’s high priority post-Fukushima recommendations, providing  a quicker and more efficient safety benefit for all of America’s 104 nuclear reactors. Learn more about this strategy and other industry efforts to enhance safety at U.S. nuclear energy facilities in the “Industry Actions” section of the website.

“The Fukushima event is a stark reminder that nuclear energy is one industry bound together by a technology that is both remarkable and demanding. Our commitment to safety must be equally demanding, as should our commitment to international cooperation and assistance. Fukushima is a reminder that we must always continue to learn and improve, and that we must never become complacent.”

— Marvin Fertel
President and CEO
Nuclear Energy Institute

Remediation Efforts Underway

Immediately following the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the Japanese government and nuclear industry instituted a series of protective measures to minimize the potential for public health impacts. In addition, the Japanese government implemented a comprehensive plan for detailed monitoring and decontamination of the land and structures to support repatriation of as much of the displaced population as possible in 2012. TEPCO continues to provide regular updates on its progress to decontaminate the site and surrounding countryside on its website.

In October 2011, a 12-member International Atomic Energy Agency team assessed Japan’s programs and praised the country for steps it is taking to protect public health:

“The meetings held and visits made by the team over the last eight days gave us a first-hand appreciation of the extraordinary efforts and dedication on the part of Japanese people in their effort to remediate the areas affected by elevated levels of radiation in the Fukushima Prefecture,” said Juan Carlos Lentijo, team leader and general director for radiation protection at Spain’s nuclear regulatory authority.”As Japan continues its current remediation efforts, it is our belief that this work will bring relief to the populations who are affected by the consequences of the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.”

 

 

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