Electric Power Research Institute

The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NRC staff told the agency’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards last week it believes that installing external containment vent filters on some reactors could be beneficial. The industry, however, said that filtering strategies inside containment that take advantage of the FLEX strategy are the key to mitigating radioactive releases during an accident.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • A new study by the Electric Power Research Institute that examines options for minimizing the release of radioactive materials in a severe nuclear accident says that a combination of strategies would be much more effective than depending on any single measure. In particular, EPRI says that combining containment sprays or immersion of damaged fuel with a specifically designed vent that can reliably open and close at appropriate times would provide a more than 1,000-fold reduction in the amount of fission products released. Adding low-efficiency filters to vents can further reduce the release of fission product particles, although the report recommends further research to evaluate the efficacy of filter designs. EPRI acknowledges that “the best way to avoid radiological release and potential land contamination is to prevent an accident from occurring by improving and augmenting the strategies for preventing core damage,” a strategy in line with the industry’s “FLEX” approach.
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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

A new study by the Electric Power Research Institute that examines options for minimizing the release of radioactive materials in a severe nuclear accident says that a combination of strategies would be more effective than any single measure.The EPRI report looked at boiling water reactors with Mark I and Mark II containment designs, similar to those involved in the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi accident. The study notes that, while the accident did not have a long-term effect on public health and safety, it did result in “widespread contamination” of surrounding areas.
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Plant Update

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has removed the primary containment vessel dome from Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4. TEPCO published photos and video clips showing the dome being lowered to the ground. The dome will be cut up and stored on site. The company also is preparing to remove the reactor pressure vessel head in October. Steve Kraft, NEI’s senior director for Fukushima response, said these actions are key steps to prepare for the installation of a structure over the building that will allow fuel to be removed from the reactor’s used fuel storage pool. Last week TEPCO also attempted to use a camera-equipped balloon probe to investigate the condition of reactor 1’s refueling floor. The initial attempt was unsuccessful, and the company said it will try again.
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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has endorsed industry guidance for developing updated seismic hazard evaluations for nuclear energy facility sites. The guidance gives licensees the tools to prepare responses to the NRC’s detailed request for information, which was issued in March.

“The NRC staff has reviewed the NEI guidance document and concludes that responses … prepared using this guidance will be responsive to that request,” said David Skeen, director of the NRC’s Japan Lessons-Learned Project Directorate.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First