- The post-Fukushima response steering committees of the nuclear energy industry and Nuclear Regulatory Commission reviewed accomplishments and work in progress during a joint meeting last week. Nuclear energy industry representatives highlighted completion of inspections for potential flooding and seismic activity, validation of procedures and equipment readiness for loss of off-site electrical power, purchase of additional portable safety equipment, and selection of a vendor for a regional response center. Work in progress includes establishing guidance and conducting further inspections for flooding and seismic assessments and integrating emergency operating procedures and severe accident management guidelines.
- NEI told the NRC in a letter last week that licensees with Mark I and Mark II containments “should have the capability to use various filtration strategies to mitigate radiological releases” during severe events. In response to a request from the agency for more information, NEI said the nuclear energy industry believes filtration “should be founded on scientific and factual analysis and should be performance-based to achieve the desired outcome.”
- Tokyo Electric Power Co. workers have inserted a new thermometer into Fukushima Daiichi’s reactor 2. Only one thermometer has been functioning since the 2011 accident, a report in Asahi Shimbun says. The new sensor will give operators a more complete picture of conditions in the reactor.
- NEI’s Safety First microsite has posted an interview with Monica Ray, the director of emergency preparedness and security at Arizona Public Service’s Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.
- Most nuclear energy facilities in the European Union need safety upgrades, a European Commission report says. The New York Times reports that the fixes could cost as much as $32 billion. The assessment is based on stress tests conducted after the accident at Fukushima.
- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has asked the Environment Ministry to speed up decontamination of areas in Fukushima Prefecture near the site of the nuclear power plant, according to a report from Jiji Press.
- Japan’s economics minister says the country’s new Nuclear Regulation Authority has the power to restart idled reactors, a statement at odds with earlier NRA comments that it is only concerned with safety and isn’t authorized to approve restarts, according to a report in The Japan Daily Press. The last of Japan’s 50 nuclear energy facilities went off line for maintenance in May and only two reactors have restarted since, on orders from the prime minister.
- The NRC will conduct a workshop Oct. 16 on the implementation of post-Fukushima orders issued in March on accident mitigating strategies, hardened vents and spent fuel pool instrumentation.