fukushima daiichi

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has recommended requiring engineered filters to the containment vents for Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors as a post-Fukushima response. A staff paper released this week for the commission’s consideration said an alternative performance-based approach to filtering preferred by industry and by the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards would work but take too long to implement.
  • Japan’s pro-nuclear energy Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory Dec. 16, taking 294 of the 480 seats in the lower chamber of parliament, despite voters’ relatively negative view of nuclear energy. A poll by the Japanese national newspaper Asahi Shimbun found that 16 percent of voters want to scrap nuclear energy immediately, 28 think it should be phased out and 15 percent support continuing to use nuclear energy. The newspaper concluded that voters did not consider nuclear energy a key issue in the race.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority is investigating whether Kansai Electric Power’s Ohi nuclear plant—the only operating facility in the country—is on an active fault line. The NRA heard last week from a group of experts who have surveyed the fissure. The agency has yet to decide whether the fissure in a 125,000-year-old rock stratum came from seismic activity or if it was caused by a landslide. The Japanese government bans nuclear plant operators from building facilities directly above active fault lines. The NRA said if the Ohi fissure is confirmed to be an active fault, it will halt the plant’s operations.
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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

An online poll across 24 countries shows nuclear energy has more than 50 percent support in the United States, China, India and Great Britain, but less than majority support in other countries, including Japan, Germany and Italy.

The survey, taken by British polling firm Ipsos MORI, also demonstrated a marked uptick in support in most countries compared to a previous Ipsos poll on the subject taken in April 2011, a month after the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency’s Annual Report for 2011 notes that while the Fukushima Daiichi accident slowed the growth of nuclear energy, it did not reverse it. The IAEA projects at least 90 new reactors to be in operation globally by 2030, a 7 to 8 percent reduction from its pre-accident estimate. Of the 64 reactors under construction at the end of 2011, 26 are in China, 10 in Russia, six in India and five in South Korea, the report said. Asia is expected to continue as the center of new growth, with new reactor projects in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Vietnam and Bangladesh. The report is to be presented at the IAEA’s annual General Conference in Vienna next month.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • At shareholder meetings last week of all nine Japanese nuclear utilities, proposals to reduce or eliminate the use of nuclear energy were voted down. Tokyo Electric Power Co. shareholders approved the government taking over 75 percent of the utility’s shares in exchange for a capital infusion of $12.5 billion. Eleven new TEPCO executives were also formally voted in.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First