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. Read More »
Water temperatures inside the Fukushima Daiichi reactor pressure vessels remain below boiling as operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. reports on progress toward stabilizing the damaged reactors. The company expects to reach what it calls a “cold shutdown condition” in the three reactors by the end of the year, with temperatures below 212 F and radiation contained. The exact status of the fuel in the reactors is not known. But if damaged fuel has leaked from the reactors into the primary containments, however, TEPCO said “it is sufficiently cooled to suppress steam from being generated and [the] accompanying release of radioactive materials.” Radiation measured at the site boundary is 10 millirem per year, one-tenth of the government safety limit. The circulating reactor cooling systems continue to function, as pumps maintain the total volume of accumulated water on the site at a level that can withstand heavy rain or an extended outage of processing facilities.
Four-Day Chronology Provides Common Baseline of Facts To Inform Response Activities by U.S. Industry, Government
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 11, 2011—The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations has compiled a detailed timeline of events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The detailed report, prepared as part of the integrated response to the Japan events, was delivered today to U.S. industry executives, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and members of Congress.
“The U.S. nuclear energy industry is committed to learning from Japan’s experience and applying relevant lessons to make U.S. nuclear energy facilities even safer. We are sharing this report with the widest possible audience because it is important that we all work from the same set of facts in determining the appropriate response,” said NEI’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, Tony Pietrangelo. “It is of paramount importance that we learn from it and take our facilities to even higher levels of safety and preparedness.”
NEI’s Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer Tony Pietrangelo comments on the publication of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations’ (INPO) official timeline of Fukushima events after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Taking Action To Boost Safety at U.S. Nuclear Energy Facilities
Through its relentless commitment to the pursuit of excellence in operations, the U.S. nuclear industry is taking significant action to ensure that each of the nation’s 104 nuclear plants operate safely and securely.