FLEX

Earlier today, the Nuclear Energy Institute released a five-minute video explaining the comprehensive and tailored response strategy that it is implementing across the industry to enhance nuclear plant safety in the face of extreme natural events.

To produce the high-definition video, NEI acquired first-of-its kind footage of the deployment of new emergency response equipment at U.S. nuclear energy facilities. The video also features animation and interviews with industry leaders and technical staff discussing nuclear plant safety.

The diverse and flexible (“FLEX”) response strategy developed by industry addresses the major challenges encountered at the Fukushima Daiichi power station following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami: the loss of power to maintain effective reactor fuel cooling.

Additional on-site portable equipment is being acquired to help ensure that every U.S. nuclear energy facility can respond safely to extreme events, no matter what the cause. The equipment ranges from diesel-driven pumps and electric generators to ventilation fans, hoses, fittings, cables and satellite communications gear. It also includes support materials for emergency responders. For additional information concerning how the American nuclear energy is applying lessons learned from Fukushima, please visit the Fukushima response section of NEI.org.

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority last week began examining a fissure beneath Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tsuruga nuclear energy facility in Fukui prefecture to determine whether it is associated with a nearby active fault. NRA officials investigated samples of rock strata extracted in a field survey. If the agency decides that the plant is located above an active fault, the facility’s two reactors are unlikely to be allowed to resume operation. The agency is expected to finalize its assessment after a Dec. 10 meeting. Several other reactors are slated for similar investigations. A separate team last month failed to reach a definitive conclusion about Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Ohi site, where Japan’s only two operating reactors are located.

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Plant Update

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has released English translations of its Management Policy Toward Restoration of the Fukushima Daiichi site and environs as well as a 71-item Intensive Reform Implementation Action Plan for executing the policy. The plan includes building an international reactor safety research center, a mock-up facility to investigate how to repair leaks in reactors’ primary containment vessels and an equipment maintenance center. The plan also calls for accelerating the removal of used fuel from reactor 4’s storage pool and setting up a “Fukushima revitalization headquarters” to move some functions of TEPCO’s Tokyo head office to Fukushima.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s nuclear utilities and vendors have created a new group called the Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI), which the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said is modeled on the U.S. Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Makoto Yagi, FEPC’s chairman and president of Kansai Electric Power Co., said last week JANSI was created to further improve nuclear power plant safety and to “ensure the completeness of severe accident management measures based on lessons learned from the Fukushima accident.” Yagi said that JANSI, like INPO, will give utility executives advice and recommendations on operations. The agency will seek guidance and peer review from both INPO and WANO. JANSI’s membership will comprise 123 companies, Yagi added.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

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