Nuclear Energy Institute Report on Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, June 3, 2011

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–June 3, 2011 – Update as of 2:30 P.M. EDT.

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has reported that more than 100,000 tons of contaminated water has leaked from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors. Given concerns over the spreading of contamination during the rainy season, the company is focused on storage and filtering. TEPCO plans to start using equipment that can filter 1,200 tons of water a day in mid-June. In mid-August, the company plans to install an underground storage tank that can hold 100,000 tons of water. TEPCO is measuring the level of radiation in groundwater near the plant to check for possible wastewater leakage. TEPCO reportedly has plans to stop all leaks of highly contaminated water from the site this month.
  • A cooling system operating at the reactor 2 used fuel storage pool has reduced the pool temperature to 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) from the previous reading of 70 C (158 F). TEPCO plans to start operating similar cooling systems for the fuel pools at reactors 1 and 3 this month and at the reactor 4 pool in July.
  • TEPCO temporarily stopped injecting freshwater into reactors 2 and 3 on June 3 while it re-routed the water supply line. Freshwater injection has since resumed at both reactors. Water is being injected into reactors 2 and 3 through the reactor water supply system. At reactor 1, water is being injected by a motor-driven pump powered by the off-site transmission line.
  • Fukushima Prefecture has decided to check the internal radiation exposure (that is, through breathing and eating) of residents near the Fukushima Daiichi reactor and adjacent areas. The prefecture has only one whole-body-counter, capable of screening just 10 people per day. It is urging research institutes and others with similar devices to assist.
  • Nagasaki University Hospital reports that at least 40 percent of staff sent to provide assistance at the Fukushima prefecture, where the damaged reactor is located, received low levels of internal exposure to radioactive iodine. Some also were exposed to cesium. Hospital officials said the low-level contamination poses no health concerns.

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

Media Highlights

  • The Washington Post and the Financial Times penned editorials Thursday criticizing Germany’s decision to phase out its nuclear power plants by 2022. In an editorial headlined “Germany’s nuclear energy blunder,” The Post said, “Instead of providing a model for greening a post-industrial economy, Germany’s overreaching greens are showing the rest of the world just how difficult it is to contemplate big cuts in carbon emissions without keeping nuclear power on the table.” The Times, in a piece headlined “The nuclear option,” said, “Nuclear power has an important role to play in the world’s energy mix …. Countries with faster-growing populations or a weaker renewable sector will struggle to dispense with nuclear power without missing environmental targets or damaging their economies.”

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Source: nei.org