- Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s new two-year business plan, released last week, projects that costs for decontaminating the area around Fukushima Daiichi and paying damages to evacuated residents will double from the $62.5 billion estimate from April. The company also expects the $12.5 billion estimated cost for decommissioning the facility to increase significantly. TEPCO is asking the government to review the revised business plan and for continued financial support to meet its obligations. In May, the government assumed 51 percent control of the utility’s shares, in return for allocating funds and assistance for compensation and decontamination.
- Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told the United Nations General Assembly that the global nuclear industry is safer as a result of lessons learned from the Fukushima accident. Amano said that countries are upgrading emergency preparedness and response capabilities and improving protection against extreme hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis. The IAEA’s expert peer review services also are being expanded, he said.
- The NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards said last week it does not support the agency staff’s position that would require the 31 U.S. boiling water reactors with Mark I and II containments to install external containment vent filters. The Nov. 8 ACRS letter said that while it agrees the Fukushima accident “called into question” the reliability of venting systems, it prefers more general “performance-based standards” that would give plant operators scope to decide on more innovative strategies to mitigate radiation releases in a severe accident. The NRC is to decide the agency’s course after receiving the staff’s paper later this month. NEI supports the ACRS position.
- The Japan Times says that the Nuclear Regulatory Authority has agreed to further scrutinize models that predict the release of radioactive materials from Japanese nuclear energy facilities following a hypothetical severe accident after several errors were discovered in simulations conducted by the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization.
- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will conduct public webinars Nov. 14 on alternative approaches to developing guidance for screening and prioritization for seismic re-evaluations recommended by the agency’s Fukushima near-term task force.
- The NRC will hold a public teleconference Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 to discuss flooding hazard re-evaluations based on Fukushima task force recommendations.
- The NRC will hold a public meeting Nov. 16 on implementing the Fukushima-related order on severe event mitigation strategies.
- The Nuclear Energy Institute’s Fukushima Regulatory Response Workshop, which was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy, has been rescheduled for Dec. 3-4. The Washington, D.C., workshop will focus on implementation of the industry’s FLEX strategy.