- The general assembly of the World Association of Nuclear Operatorsapproved a set of wide-ranging commitments to nuclear safety at the organization’s first major meeting after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi. About 600 attended the Oct. 23-25 meeting in Shenzhen, China. Operators of nuclear energy facilities from around the world unanimously pledged support for recommendations developed by the WANO Post-Fukushima Commission. Conference delegates voted to:
- expand the scope of WANO activities
- develop a worldwide integrated event response strategy
- improve the organization’s credibility, including strengthening its peer review process
- improve WANO’s visibility
- improve the quality of all WANO products and services.
- Yukiya Amano, the executive director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, gave the keynote speech at the WANO meeting in China. “Nuclear safety remains the responsibility of individual countries, but the IAEA will play the leading role in shaping a safer nuclear future throughout the world,” Amano said. “It is important for all of us—governments, nuclear regulators, plant operators and the IAEA—to maintain our sense of urgency even after the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi has faded from the international headlines.”
- Japan’s government has empaneled a group of experts to summarize lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. In its first meeting, the panel emphasized that nuclear power plants in the country should have multiple power sources. A disruption of electric power needed to operate reactor cooling systems led to the March 11 accident. The panel plans to finish its work by March 2012.
- U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko offered “a qualified defense of Japan’s longer-term evacuation policy” at a Washington, D.C., forum this week and indicated that some of the people evacuated from areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility may never be able to return to their homes, the Wall Street Journal’s Japan Real Time blog reports.
- The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and its Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety will hold the second joint hearing on the NRC’s near-term post-Fukushima task force recommendations Nov. 3. All five NRC commissioners will be invited to testify. The first hearing was held Aug. 2.