Japan Nuclear

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. last week released its final report of the company’s internal investigation of events at Fukushima Daiichi following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. Japanese media say that in the report TEPCO says it failed to adequately prepare for the nuclear emergency, but also criticizes the government for communication failures and interfering with the company’s emergency response. TEPCO said one lesson it has taken from the accident is the need for an emergency response system that takes into account a reactor that has lost all its functions and measures to improve the chain of command and information flow. The report, which TEPCO says was based on interviews with about 600 employees, on-site inspections, and data analysis, is being translated into English.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s government has approved restarting two reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in the Fukui prefecture in central Japan. The government decision came after the governor of Fukui told Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that he approved the restart. All 50 of Japan’s reactors have been idled for inspections, the last going off line in May, and the central government has warned of power shortages during the summer. Kansai Electric Power Co., Ohi’s operator, has begun work to restart reactor 3, which the company said should be at full power by July 8. Reactor 4 will be in full operation by July 24. The government is urging people and companies to continue conserving power in the Kansai area, especially if the rainy season ends early. Meanwhile, some major steel and paper companies are planning to build their own power generation facilities and to sell the surplus electricity to utility companies.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Japanese government is expected to authorize the resumption of operations of two reactors at the Ohi nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture as early as Saturday. Last Sunday the prefecture’s nuclear safety committee approved a report guaranteeing the reactors would survive severe earthquakes and tsunamis. The governor of Fukui is expected to approve restarting the reactors after visiting the facility this week, after which Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and several cabinet ministers will officially give the final go-ahead. The Ohi facilities will be the first to resume operations since all 50 of Japan’s reactors went off line in May.
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From The Associated Press on Friday, June 8:

“Japan’s leader appealed to the nation Friday to accept that two nuclear reactors that remained shuttered after the Fukushima disaster must be restarted to protect the economy and people’s livelihoods.”

Full story available here.

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

The tsunami that brought about the nuclear accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi facility was not adequately accounted for in the facility’s design basis, said a co-author of a report for the American Nuclear Society.

Michael Corradini, co-chair of the ANS’ special committee on Fukushima, told the National Academy of Sciences this week that the March 11, 2011, tsunami that disabled the nuclear power plant was not entirely unforeseen, because larger tsunamis have occurred in that region of Japan in recorded history.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First