Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–February 6, 2012.
New EPRI/NRC/DOE Seismic Model Will Aid Hazard Analyses
- A new seismic model will help operating U.S. nuclear facilities in the central and eastern United States http://safetyfirst.nei.org/safety-and-security/new-seismic-model-available-for-us-plant-hazard-analyses/” target=”_blank”>reassess their seismic risks as part of efforts to implement lessons learned from the events at Fukushima Daiichi. The four-year study, conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute, the Energy Department and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, replaces models in use since the late 1980s.
- International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2012/missioncompletes.html” target=”_blank”>affirmed the review process by Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency for the “stress tests” being conducted on the country’s shutdown nuclear reactors, saying NISA’s procedures are “generally consistent” with IAEA safety standards. The IAEA preliminary http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/focus/fukushima/pre_report310112.pdf” target=”_blank”>report also suggests areas for improvement, such as better communications with local authorities where nuclear reactors are located.
- The mayor of Kawauchi in Fukushima prefecture has announced a plan for the village’s 3,000 residents to return home by April. The village was one of nine completely evacuated from the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi reactor after the accident and will be the first to return once the government completes decontamination procedures and reopens local government offices, schools and a child-care center.
- Japan’s Chiba Institute of Technology has developed two new robots that will record video footage and measure radioactivity inside the reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi. Compared to the previous model that was used at the plant, the new robots have better traction, wireless communications and improved instrumentation. They will be deployed by mid-March.
- Fukushima Daiichi plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. has increased the volume of cooling water to reactor 2 after observing a rise in the reactor temperature over the last four days. TEPCO is attributing the temperature increase to a possible change in direction of cooling water inside the reactor after it conducted plumbing work on the external cooling system. Japan’s nuclear regulator, meanwhile, is to begin on-site inspections of cooling water and nitrogen-injection systems at the plant this week. The inspection process will be open to the media.
- TEPCO has released an http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/11120205-e.html” target=”_blank”>English translation of the interim investigation report on the Fukushima accident it published in December. It is available on TEPCO’s press release website.
- The chairman of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has said the health effects of the Fukushima accident appear to be http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=no-big-fukushima-health-impact-seen” target=”_blank”>relatively small, due partly to prompt evacuations, Reuters reports. A preliminary study of the radiation effects of Fukushima will be presented at UNSCEAR’s annual meeting in May.
- The Daily Yomiuri describes the Japanese government’s plans to http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120201005883.htm” target=”_blank”>revamp its nuclear safety framework. Two bills introduced in parliament last week call for additional safety measures for operating nuclear facilities and outline the structure of the new independent safety regulator that will replace NISA in April.
- An article in Mainichi Daily News describes the government’s decision to require country’s nuclear plant operators to pay http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120206p2g00m0dm003000c.html” target=”_blank”>150 billion yen ($2 billion) into a state-backed fund in fiscal 2012 to assist TEPCO in paying compensation claims to displaced citizens.
- The Nuclear Energy Institute will meet with Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff in a Feb. 7 http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm?fuseaction=Search.Detail&;MC=20120066&NS=0&CFID=2739909&CFTOKEN=58687545″ target=”_blank”>public meeting to discuss guidance on implementing NRC Fukushima near-term task force recommendations.