Used Fuel

The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.

NEI has asked the NRC to endorse the industry’s guidance for complying with the agency order requiring that nuclear energy facilities be equipped with instruments to reliably indicate used fuel storage pool water levels in an emergency.
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Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • At shareholder meetings last week of all nine Japanese nuclear utilities, proposals to reduce or eliminate the use of nuclear energy were voted down. Tokyo Electric Power Co. shareholders approved the government taking over 75 percent of the utility’s shares in exchange for a capital infusion of $12.5 billion. Eleven new TEPCO executives were also formally voted in.
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Reactor engineer Kristine Madden stands in front of dry cask storage that store used nuclear fuel at Entergy's Palisades nuclear plant, where she performed periodic surveillance of the casks to check for structural issues.

Reactor Engineer Kristine Madden (Click to enlarge)

As a dedicated young leader in the nuclear energy industry, Kristine Madden, a reactor engineer at Entergy’s Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan, is actively involved in collaborating with colleagues to keep the plant safe. Besides pursuing a joint master’s degree in business administration and engineering management, Madden has embraced leadership roles in organizations such as North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NA-YGN), American Nuclear Society (ANS) and Women in Nuclear (WiN). From her constant drive to learn from others and apply best practices, Madden exemplifies all of the qualities the industry looks for in its next-generation workforce.
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Plant Update

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has published measurements showing that the used fuel storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4 is level and can withstand a large earthquake. The company last week released details of building tilt and strength measurements and reported that neither the reactor building nor the pool is tilted and that the pool remains safe to store used fuel. Since the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami, TEPCO has reinforced the support structure under reactor 4’s pool, which contains a full load of used fuel from a reactor maintenance outage at the time of the earthquake.

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Plant Update

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. last week began preparing to build a covered structure alongside and above the reactor 4 building at Fukushima Daiichi. The structure will house a fuel-handling crane that will eventually remove more than 1,500 used fuel assemblies from the reactor’s used fuel storage pool for transfer to the site’s common pool. The steel-clad building, expected to be completed by the middle of next year, will have a tighter seal than the cover that was built for reactor 1 and will incorporate filters to prevent the spread of radioactive materials. TEPCO must remove accumulated debris from the reactor’s used fuel storage pool before the fuel itself can be moved. A schematic of the planned covered building is available on the TEPCO website here.
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Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First