Water

NOTE: The Fukushima updates are moving to a weekly schedule beginning today and continuing each Monday.  Additional updates will be issued as needed to cover developing events.

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it will receive accident insurance from a Swiss company that will replace a consortium of insurers that will not renew its policies with the utility. TEPCO will pay about $258 million for a five-year policy, about 10 times the amount it paid to the consortium. The policy will cover claims related to Fukushima Daiichi.
    Read More »
Fukushima Daini Workers Laying Cables

TEPCO Workers Lay Cables to Restore Power to Fukushima Daini

Struggling against earthquake aftershocks, devastating floodwaters and debris, employees at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daini nuclear energy facility safely shut down all four of the facility’s reactors within days of the historic 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11. The facility is located only seven miles southwest of its sister plant, Fukushima Daiichi, and produces enough electricity to power roughly three million homes and businesses in Japan.

When the earthquake struck, the Fukushima Daini facility automatically shut down safely as designed. However, it went into a state of emergency following the tsunami when water damage disrupted heat removal systems in three of the four reactors.

TEPCO reactor operators were able to quickly bring reactor 3, which had retained its heat removal function, into stable condition in a matter of hours. Meanwhile, other employees worked feverishly around-the-clock to reestablish heat removal capability in the other three reactors and finished stabilizing them by March 15.
Read More »

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility, said about 40 gallons of water containing radioactive strontium drained into the ocean following a leak in desalination equipment. TEPCO said it is likely to have little effect on the environment.
    Read More »

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun injecting nitrogen into the pressure vessels of Fukushima Daiichi reactors 1 through 3. The action will reduce any buildup of hydrogen in the reactors as TEPCO prepares to announce, as early as next week, its achievement of what the company calls a “cold shutdown condition.” A new “Ask the Expert” post explains how and why TEPCO’s definition of the term differs from common industry usage.
    Read More »

Several news articles late this week have reported that Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant may be in “cold shutdown” by mid-December. Although the reports are mostly accurate, there is a difference between the traditional “cold shutdown” of a nuclear plant and what is happening at Fukushima.

First, what is cold shutdown? The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines it as:

The term used to define a reactor coolant system at atmospheric pressure and at a temperature below 200 degrees Fahrenheit following a reactor cooldown.

In non-nuclear speak, it basically means the conditions within the nuclear reactor are such that it would be impossible for a chain reaction to occur. This term usually comes into play whenever a reactor is shut down periodically for refueling or for the final time prior to the long-term before it is decommissioned. When a reactor is in cold shutdown, the reactor pressure vessel (RPV) can be safely opened with great care and additional water is added to the cavity above the vessel for shielding to permit safe handling of the fuel for refueling (replacing depleted fuel elements) or defueling (removing the entire core).
Read More »

Activity ID: 1002943 Activity Name: NEI Remarketing Safety Activity Group Name: Remarketing Safety First