Used Fuel


  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has recommended requiring engineered filters to the containment vents for Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors as a post-Fukushima response. A staff paper released this week for the commission’s consideration said an alternative performance-based approach to filtering preferred by industry and by the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards would work but take too long to implement.
  • Japan’s pro-nuclear energy Liberal Democratic Party won a landslide victory Dec. 16, taking 294 of the 480 seats in the lower chamber of parliament, despite voters’ relatively negative view of nuclear energy. A poll by the Japanese national newspaper Asahi Shimbun found that 16 percent of voters want to scrap nuclear energy immediately, 28 think it should be phased out and 15 percent support continuing to use nuclear energy. The newspaper concluded that voters did not consider nuclear energy a key issue in the race.
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  • The operators of U.S. nuclear energy facilities last week approved a contract to develop two regional response centers that will store emergency equipment for rapid delivery in case of an extreme event at any nuclear plant. “The regional response centers will further increase the industry’s preparedness for severe challenges, regardless of their causes,” said Tony Pietrangelo, NEI’s chief nuclear officer. “This is another example of the industry’s commitment to learn the lessons from the Fukushima accident in Japan and apply those lessons to enhance safety across the U.S. nuclear energy industry.” The centers will be located near Memphis and Phoenix and will be managed by Pooled Equipment Inventory Co.
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Plant Update

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it found no significant damage or deformation to two unused fuel assemblies it had removed last week from the used fuel storage pool of Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4. The utility said it also will examine fuel pellets from inside the assembly rods. The relatively large amount of fuel in the reactor 4 storage pool (1,331 used nuclear fuel and 202 unused nuclear fuel assemblies) has made their removal one of TEPCO’s top priorities for decommissioning the site. The company plans to begin removing the fuel assemblies starting December 2013.
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The following news article originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

The industry has submitted for NRC endorsement revised guidance for implementing the agency’s post-Fukushima order to install additional used fuel storage pool instrumentation.

The revision clarifies several points based on NRC staff comments on the initial version, which was submitted in July. In its submission, the industry reiterates its position, in line with the commission’s direction, that installing commercial-quality instruments—combined with a training and testing program to maintain their reliability—will fully comply with the order.
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The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NEI and NRC representatives told a National Academy of Sciences panel that the industry is making steady progress in implementing lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The NAS is conducting a technical study of the accident, sponsored by the NRC.

NEI President and CEO Marvin Fertel said that the industry’s primary lesson learned is to ensure the continued availability of electricity and cooling water at nuclear energy facility sites in the aftermath of a severe event.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First