NEI Updates: January 2012

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Nuclear Energy Institute is urging the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to take into account the considerable resources required to comply with proposed information requests and orders to implement recommendations of the agency’s post‐Fukushima task force. In a comment letter to the agency, NEI has asked for a phased approach. “The NRC should ensure that the information requested is properly scoped and justified by safety significance to ensure responses to requests for information are timely and do not impose an unnecessary burden or distraction,” said Adrian Heymer, executive director of NEI’s Fukushima regulatory response team. “Requests should also be staggered to facilitate adequate review by knowledgeable or experienced personnel and allow for a phased response based on plant safety significance.”
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • International Atomic Energy Agency experts are in Japan this week to verify the Japanese government’s recent approval of the safety of Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Ohi 3 and 4, based on the results of European Union-style “stress tests.” James Lyons, director of IAEA’s nuclear installation safety division, said the final decision on restarting reactors shut down for safety inspections will rest with Japanese authorities. Passing the stress tests is a prerequisite for shutdown reactors to resume operation.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff told NEI Chief Nuclear Officer Tony Pietrangelo that the agency has reached “a turning point” in understanding how the industry’s holistic, “all-hazards” approach would enhance safety in the light of lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Industry and NRC steering committees met last Friday to discuss the industry’s proposed flexible and diverse (“FLEX”) strategy, which aims to provide a range of portable equipment for nuclear plants to maintain cooling capability and power during severe natural events.  Articles in The New York Times and on the Dow Jones newswire previewed the discussions and describe the industry strategy. Read More »

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • New safety regulations proposed for Japan’s nuclear reactors would limit the operation of the plants to 40 years, Japan’s nuclear minister, Goshi Hosono, said. The government also is revising seismic and tsunami safety standards for facilities and emergency preparedness directives for local communities. The government will submit the proposed legislation to Parliament later this month.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • A Japanese panel of independent experts this month will begin an in-depth investigation of the causes of the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The body held its first meeting in December and will establish four working teams. The panel is to begin its work by studying the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s interim investigation, which was released Dec. 26. The panel’s report, to be issued by the summer, is expected to propose changes to Japan’s administrative and nuclear policy.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First