- Fukushima Prefecture is stepping up its testing of rice crops, now that more radioactive cesium has been found in harvested samples. Government officials measured twice the allowable radiation limit in rice from farms in Date City, about 30 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The prefectural government is expanding radiation testing to more than 2,300 nearby farms.
- Researchers in Japan have created an academic society to provide recommendations for the removal of radioactive materials released by Fukushima Daiichi. Members of the society have backgrounds in nuclear energy, environmental restoration and other specialties.
- Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima Daiichi facility, forecasts that it will generate enough electricity over the winter to meet demand, with a small reserve margin. The utility warned that unplanned shutdowns of generating stations and rapid changes in temperature could affect continuity of supply.
- Nuclear energy facilities on the East Coast weathered Hurricane Irene by thoroughly planning for the August storm. Details are in a new article posted this week on NEI’s Safety First website.
- Dow Jones reports that a TEPCO analysis indicates the fuel in reactor 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility melted through the reactor pressure vessel and may have eroded part of the way through the concrete base of the containment. TEPCO officials said the erosion of the containment has stopped and the temperature is below the boiling point.
- Staff of the independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission will conduct its first meeting with stakeholders on strategies the agency is considering to address the recommendations of the near-term Fukushima task force. The meeting will be held Dec. 1 in the NRC’s Rockville, Md., offices. To view the meeting by webcast, visit http://video.nrc.gov.