November 19, 2012
5:06 pm EDT
- Japan’s nuclear utilities and vendors have created a new group called the Japan Nuclear Safety Institute (JANSI), which the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said is modeled on the U.S. Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and the World Association of Nuclear Operators. Makoto Yagi, FEPC’s chairman and president of Kansai Electric Power Co., said last week JANSI was created to further improve nuclear power plant safety and to “ensure the completeness of severe accident management measures based on lessons learned from the Fukushima accident.” Yagi said that JANSI, like INPO, will give utility executives advice and recommendations on operations. The agency will seek guidance and peer review from both INPO and WANO. JANSI’s membership will comprise 123 companies, Yagi added.
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September 17, 2012
4:10 pm EDT
- The Japanese government’s Energy and Environment Council last week proposed a goal of phasing out nuclear energy “in the 2030s.” The new policy follows recent public surveys that indicate support for ending the country’s reliance on nuclear energy. The panel said the 48 currently idled reactors will be allowed to restart by the new regulatory body that is being put in place this week. Reactors will be kept to a 40-year operating period, with the possibility of a 20-year license extension. Completion of the three reactors under construction at the time of the Fukushima accident will be allowed. The official policy for reprocessing used nuclear fuel will continue as will the search for a host site for a used fuel repository. The policy will be submitted to other cabinet ministers for approval and a roadmap for the phase-out will be published later this year. Anticipating increases in fossil fuel usage, the policy also drastically slashes national carbon emission reduction goals.
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April 11, 2012
5:27 pm EDT
The following story originally appeared in NEI’s Nuclear Energy Overview.
U.S. nuclear energy facilities recorded the lowest number of unplanned shutdowns in more than a decade last year, despite an unusually high number of natural disasters near several plants.
According to performance indicators compiled by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), the 62 unplanned automatic and manual shutdowns in 2011—even after tornadoes in the Southeast, flooding in the Midwest, an earthquake in Virginia and Hurricane Irene—bested the previous record of 65 set in 2005.
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(Click to enlarge.) IAEA's fact-finding team investigates the Fukushima Daiichi site. Photo credits: G. Webb/ IAEA
Nearly a year has passed since the unimaginable happened in Japan: a massive earthquake and tsunami claims the lives of more than 15,000 people and leaves thousands of others homeless; massive devastation occurs in the region’s communities; and an accident unfolds at the local Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. As we reflect on the events that occurred last March 11, the world demands to know: has the global nuclear industry learned and applied the lessons from the Fukushima Daiichi event to make nuclear energy facilities safer than they were before?
Unequivocally, the answer is YES.
While the U.S. nuclear industry pursues a strategy to add another layer of safety to address the major problem encountered in Japan— the loss of power to maintain essential cooling capacity—nuclear safety regulators and plant operators in countries around the world are applying lessons learned from Japan. New safety initiatives are shaping the future of nuclear energy at more than 440 operating reactors worldwide, as well as more than 210 reactors in the licensing and planning stages.
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