Nuclear Energy Institute Report on Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, February 13, 2012

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–February 14, 2012. 

Japan to Establish INPO-Style Organization

Industry/Regulatory/Political

  • The New Jersey governor’s nuclear review task force, formed shortly after the accident at Fukushima Daiichi, has published a report that concludes: “Based upon the information provided by the NRC and the licensees, the task force members have a high level of confidence that New Jersey’s nuclear power plants are operating safely and have effective mitigation plans to address the lessons learned from the Fukushima incidents.”
  • Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has approved the results of “stress test” simulations on Ohi reactors 3 and 4 in Fukui Prefecture. The NISA report to the Nuclear Safety Commission says the tests demonstrate the reactors can withstand earthquakes and tsunamis as strong as those that hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The final decision to restart the reactors rests with central and local governments. Last week, a team of International Atomic Energy Agency experts concluded that the tests met international standards.
  • Japan’s Federation of Electric Power Companies, the country’s industry group for electric utilities, will by year’s end establish an organization similar to the U.S.-based Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, with the aim of improving nuclear reactor training and operations in Japan. FEPC’s chairman said the group also will work closely with the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency officials say a malfunctioning thermometer may have caused the fluctuating temperature readings inside Fukushima Daiichi reactor 2 last week. The company increased the flow of cooling water into the reactor after one of several thermometers registered a temperature increase. Five other thermometers in the reactor vessel continue to show stable or falling temperatures. TEPCO said it would continue to monitor the situation.
  • An underwater video inspection of the used fuel storage pool at Fukushima Daiichi reactor 4 shows no evidence of damage to the uranium fuel assemblies, TEPCO says. The company said the remote-controlled camera showed debris resting on the used fuel racks, but no visible damage to the fuel. TEPCO intends next year to begin removing the used fuel from the reactor 4 pool as a first step in its 40-year decommissioning plan. Footage of last week’s inspection is available on the company’s website.

Media Highlights

  • The BBC reports that another $9 billion was approved by the Japanese government to assist TEPCO in making compensation payments to evacuated residents. However, industry minister Yukio Edano said that any direct infusions of public capital into the company would have to include government voting rights.

Source: nei.org