NEI Updates: December 2011

Plant Status

  • The Fukushima Daiichi reactors are in “a state of cold shutdown,” with temperatures at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessels and containment vessels stably below the boiling point and radiation levels at the plant boundary below 100 millirem per year. (By comparison, the average radiation level from all sources to U.S. citizens is about 400 millirem per year.) The announcement last Friday by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is a key milestone in the site’s recovery plan, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko said on his first visit to the site since March.
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NOTE: The Fukushima updates are moving to a weekly schedule beginning today and continuing each Monday.  Additional updates will be issued as needed to cover developing events.

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it will receive accident insurance from a Swiss company that will replace a consortium of insurers that will not renew its policies with the utility. TEPCO will pay about $258 million for a five-year policy, about 10 times the amount it paid to the consortium. The policy will cover claims related to Fukushima Daiichi.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Government health checks of some 1,700 residents who were evacuated from three municipalities after the Fukushima Daiichi accident show that two-thirds received an external radiation dose within the government limit of 100 millirem per year, according to an NHK World report. It added that 98 percent of those tested showed an estimated dose of less than 500 millirem. Authorities said about 10 members of the public were exposed to more than 1,000 millirem. (For comparison, the average annual dose to members of the U.S. public from natural and manmade radiation sources is about 400 millirem.) Read More »

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility, said about 40 gallons of water containing radioactive strontium drained into the ocean following a leak in desalination equipment. TEPCO said it is likely to have little effect on the environment.
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Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun injecting nitrogen into the pressure vessels of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1 through 3. The action will reduce any buildup of hydrogen in the reactors as TEPCO prepares to announce, as early as next week, its achievement of what the company calls a “cold shutdown condition.” A new “Ask the Expert” post explains how and why TEPCO’s definition of the term differs from common industry usage.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First