Japan Nuclear

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 said Monday that its survey of a second fault zone directly beneath one of two reactors at the Tsuruga nuclear energy facility in Fukui prefecture found it likely to be seismically active. NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said that, given the results, “there is no way we can carry out safety assessments for a restart.” The NRA team said reactor 2 may have to be decommissioned by the plant operator, although the agency only has the authority to bar the plant from restarting.

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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

  • The operators of U.S. nuclear energy facilities last week approved a contract to develop two regional response centers that will store emergency equipment for rapid delivery in case of an extreme event at any nuclear plant. “The regional response centers will further increase the industry’s preparedness for severe challenges, regardless of their causes,” said Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s chief nuclear officer. “This is another example of the industry’s commitment to learn the lessons from the Fukushima accident in Japan and apply those lessons to enhance safety across the U.S. nuclear energy industry.” The centers will be located near Memphis and Phoenix and will be managed by Pooled Equipment Inventory Co.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First