NEI Updates: March 2012

Plant Update

  • Preliminary results of an endoscopic examination of the interior of Fukushima Daiichi reactor 2 indicates that the water covering the damaged fuel at the bottom of the containment vessel is two feet deep. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said they were expecting the water level to be at least six feet, though the company said it is satisfied that the damaged fuel is being adequately cooled. TEPCO says it also will measure radiation levels inside the vessel to develop equipment needed to eventually decommission the reactor. Further details of the endoscopic campaign are available on TEPCO’s website here.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission said last week that Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Ohi reactors 3 and 4 are safe to restart. The commissioners and a team of outside experts agreed with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency that KEPCO’s stress test results for the reactors are satisfactory. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and three cabinet ministers will use the NSC recommendation to decide on restarting the facilities. Under agreements made by utilities, local governments also have approval rights to restart the reactors. NISA is evaluating the results of stress tests for 16 other reactors.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission last Friday approved the issuance of orders and information request letters for the U.S. nuclear industry to implement enhanced safety measures based on lessons learned from the Fukushima accident. The orders require industry to establish a mitigation strategy for beyond-design-basis external events as well as enhancements for used fuel pool instrumentation and venting systems for Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors. The letters request information on flooding and seismic hazard re-evaluations, emergency response communications and staffing for accidents involving plants with multiple reactors.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The Nuclear Energy Institute transmitted a letter last week to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reiterating its strategy for implementing upcoming regulatory changes in response to lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. By last Friday all five NRC commissioners had made public their unanimous votes to order nuclear energy utilities to establish a mitigation strategy for beyond-design-basis external events as well as to enhance Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactor venting systems and used fuel pool instrumentation. The orders are expected to be issued by the end of the week.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First