Nuclear Energy Institute Report on Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, September 2, 2011

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–September 2, 2011.  

TEPCO Begins Core Spray Cooling for Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3

Industry/Regulatory/Political Issues

  • The Japanese government has released the results of detailed radiation measurements taken from 2,696 locations within the 12.5-mile exclusion zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility and in adjacent evacuation zones. The highest reading, with an annual dose rate of more than 70 rem, is at a location in Okuma Town about a half-mile from the plant. Areas with readings of more than 10 rem per year extend out as far as 20 miles from the plant, while coastal locations north of the facility are showing an annual dose rate of less than 0.5 rem. The measurements, which are available on a government website, will be used to create a decontamination plan.
  • Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has instructed Tokyo Electric Power Co. to improve safety measures for workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. Yesterday three workers were accidentally sprayed with highly radioactive water while they were working on the water decontamination system. On Aug. 28, two workers were exposed to beta radiation. NISA said that TEPCO failed to make use of past experiences with radiation exposure and that the utility company was late in reporting the latest incident.
  • Kyushu Electric Power Co. began work on Wednesday to temporarily shut down reactor 2 at its Sendai nuclear energy facility for regular inspections. The reactor was to be shut down by Sept. 1, making it the 42nd of Japan’s 54 reactors to be out of service.

Plant Status

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co. has begun to put into operation a more efficient method of cooling the core of Fukushima Daiichi reactor 3. TEPCO announced yesterday that it had begun using the core spray system to cool the slumped fuel core from above. The company will gradually increase the flow rate in the core spray system as it reduces the flow rate of the feedwater system it had been using to cool the fuel. The move is part of TEPCO’s recovery plan to reduce the temperature of reactors 1, 2 and 3 to below boiling.

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Upcoming Events

  • The NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards will hold a public meeting Sept. 8 to review the agency’s near-term task force report on the events at Fukushima.