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TEPCO to Seal Seabed Near Fukushima Daiichi

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to cover about 17 acres of the seabed near the cooling water intakes of Fukushima Daiichi’s six reactors with a two-foot-thick mix of cement and clay. TEPCO said the project will prevent radioactive cesium and other materials from washing out to sea. The company said the work should be completed within four months.
  • TEPCO said it is considering the use of an underwater robot to probe inside the containment vessels of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1 through 3. This would be a first step in repairing the vessels so that the melted fuel can eventually be removed. Various technical solutions are being devised to allow the removal of the damaged fuel to begin within 10 years, in accordance with TEPCO’s roadmap for decommissioning the reactors.

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s chief cabinet secretary said last week that the government will compile and release minutes of high-level meetings held in the days after the Fukushima Daiichi accident last March. The documents are expected to be made public by the end of the month. The announcement was made the day after the U.S.  Nuclear Regulatory Commission released 3,000 pages of transcribed conversations from its emergency operations center in the days after the accident.
  • Japan’s ministry of health has begun real-time monitoring of radiation levels at schools, parks and other sites frequented by children in Fukushima Prefecture. Readings from 2,700 sites will be available online. Individual monitoring locations can be selected for real-time, average and trending graphs.
  • The Japanese environment ministry and Fukushima Prefecture have opened a center to provide the public with information on how to decontaminate their properties. The center will provide booklets on decontamination methods and will display equipment, such as radiation monitors and high-pressure sprays.

Media Highlights

  • Former NRC Chairman Richard Meserve told an independent Japanese panel investigating the Fukushima Daiichi accident that the country’s nuclear companies should establish a strong safety culture as a fundamental priority, according to the Japan Times.

New Products

  • NEI’s Safety First website has been updated with new materials on the U.S. industry response to lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Among these, a frequently asked questions document describes the industry’s flexible and diverse safety approach to quickly and effectively implement safety enhancements based on the NRC’s recommendations.
  • NEI’s YouTube channel has three new videos featuring Dr. Robert Emery of the University of Texas Health Science Center speaking about on radiation protection and Fukushima.

Upcoming Meetings

  • NEI Chief Nuclear Officer Tony Pietrangelo and Exelon Chief Operating Officer Chip Pardee will hold a press conference on the U.S. nuclear industry’s response to lessons learned from Fukushima Daiichi at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., March 6.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency will convene an international experts’ meeting in Vienna, Austria, March 19-22, on reactor and used fuel safety in light of the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

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