Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Nuclear Industry Faces Regulatory Setback

Nuclear Industry Faces Regulatory Setback

Flawed Westinghouse Nuclear Reactors Pose Threat

Flawed Westinghouse Nuclear Reactors Pose Threat

 May 21, 2011
By Matthew L. Wald
New York Times
http://www.midasletter.com/index.php/flawed-westinghouse-nuclear-reactors-pose-threat/

Watchdog: Nuclear Regulators' Action on Safety Issues Is Too Slow, Not Well-Tracked

Watchdog: Nuclear Regulators' Action on Safety Issues Is Too Slow, Not Well-Tracked

Lawmakers press NRC for more stringent license renewals of US nuclear plants

Lawmakers press NRC for more stringent license renewals of US nuclear plants

Scientific American Demands Perfection From Nuclear But Lets Coal, Gas, and Oil Off The Hook

Scientific American Demands Perfection From Nuclear But Lets Coal, Gas, and Oil Off The Hook

Middle East In Focus: Amid Turmoil, GCC Extends Invitation to Jordan and Morocco

Middle East In Focus: Amid Turmoil, GCC Extends Invitation to Jordan and Morocco

Spent Nuclear Fuel Inspectors, Inspections Inconsistent: NRC Auditor

Spent Nuclear Fuel Inspectors, Inspections Inconsistent: NRC Auditor

Regulators Find Design Flaws in New Reactors

Regulators Find Design Flaws in New Reactors

DOE Small Modular Reactor Program Presentation

SPECIAL SUMMIT ON NEW NUCLEAR ENERGY SLATED FOR JUNE 21-22

SPECIAL SUMMIT ON NEW NUCLEAR ENERGY SLATED FOR JUNE 21-22

ADVISORY:
May 18, 2011 
 
SPECIAL SUMMIT ON NEW NUCLEAR ENERGY
June 21-22, 2011
Washington, DC
 
National Guard Association
Hall of States
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW 
 
Washington, DC – A Special Summit on New Nuclear Energy will be held on June 21 and June 22 in Washington, DC at the National Guard Association’s Hall of States on Capitol Hill.
 
The Special Summit will be moderated by Llewellyn King, the Executive Producer and Host of White House Chronicle on PBS. The Summit is organized under the auspices of the United States Nuclear Infrastructure Council, the leading national think tank advocate for new nuclear energy.
 
The Special Summit will feature perspectives from government, industry and the non-governmental community as well as roundtable discussions on the state of the global “Nuclear Renaissance” — including lessons from the recent earthquake and tsunami-related events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan; insight from the financial community on new nuclear investment; status reports on new nuclear “first movers”; and assessments of the U.S. licensing paradigm.  The Special Summit will also focus on new nuclear infrastructure readiness including nuclear technology advancement; supply chain and workforce readiness; and development of a sustainable fuel cycle.
 
The Special Summit’s Advance Agenda is as follows:
 
Tuesday, June 21
 
·       U.S. Congress Perspective
·       State of the Renaissance
·       Lessons from Fukushima
·       View from Wall Street
·       First Mover Status
·       The Licensing Paradigm
 
Wednesday, June 22
 
·       Perspective from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
·       Advancing Nuclear Technology
·       Perspective from the U.S. Department of Energy
·       Supply Chain and Workforce Readiness
·       Sustainable Fuel Cycle 
 
Summit updates and registration information are available at www.nuclearinfrastructure.org.

Forget Fukushima: The ‘Other’ Nuclear Debate

Forget Fukushima: The ‘Other’ Nuclear Debate

A cadre of federal bureaucrats, government administrators and military planners are quietly negotiating a proposal to expand the size and scope of the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered fleet of war-fighting vessels. Ironically, the outcome of these largely-unnoticed negotiations will likely shape the future of nuclear energy in the United States far beyond the shelf-life of the Fukushima debacle.

 

Exelon, Constellation Energy File with FERC for Approval of Merger

Exelon, Constellation Energy File with FERC for Approval of Merger

China's installed nuclear power capacity to reach 70 GW in 2020

China's installed nuclear power capacity to reach 70 GW in 2020

Lawmakers Unveil Plans for Small Nuclear Reactors

Lawmakers Unveil Plans for Small Nuclear Reactors

Congressmen Jason Altmire and Tim Murphy say small reactors could lessen dependence on outside energy sources.

Westinghouse Responds to NRC Chairman Statement on AP1000 Review Issues

Westinghouse Responds to NRC Chairman Statement on AP1000 Review Issues

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko's Statement on AP1000 Review Issues

NRC Chairman Gregory B. Jaczko's Statement on AP1000 Review Issues

NRC Issues Summary of Recent U.S. Nuclear Plant Inspections

NRC Issues Summary of Recent U.S. Nuclear Plant Inspections

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/news/2011/11-088.pdf

IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident (12 - 18 May 2011, 17:00 UTC)

IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident (12 - 18 May 2011, 17:00 UTC)


Presentations:
Summary of Reactor Status: Unit 1, 18 May 2011
Summary of Reactor Status: Unit 2, 18 May 2011
Summary of Reactor Status: Unit 3, 18 May 2011
Summary of Reactor Status: Unit 4, 18 May 2011
On Friday, 20 May 2011, the IAEA provided the following information on the status of nuclear safety in Japan:
1. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Status
Tables 1 - 4 track progress made for each of Units 1 - 4 towards fulfilling the three basic safety functions of the IAEA safety standards: prevention of criticality, removal of decay heat and mitigation of radioactive releases. The tables replace the three-colour table that was used previously. The charts are cross-referenced to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) "Roadmap" plan to bring the nuclear reactors and the spent fuel pools at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a stable cooling condition and to mitigate radioactive releases.
On 17 May 2011, TEPCO provided a status report against the TEPCO "Roadmap". Progress has been made during the last month since the issuing of the Roadmap on 17 April 2011. While the basic policy and targets defined in the Roadmap remain, several changes were made to account for new information obtained and progress made to date.
On 13 May TEPCO commenced the preparatory work for the installation of a cover for the reactor building of Unit 1. The reactor building cover will be installed as an emergency measure to prevent the dispersion of radioactive substances until mid- to long term measures, including radiation shielding, are implemented.
TEPCO has reported that information obtained after calibration of the reactor water level gauges of Unit 1 shows that the actual water level in the Unit 1 reactor pressure vessel was lower than was indicated, showing that the fuel was completely uncovered. The results of provisional analysis show that fuel pellets melted and fell to the bottom of reactor pressure vessel at a relatively early stage in the accident.
TEPCO reported that "most part of the fuel is considered to be submerged in the bottom of reactor pressure vessel and some part exposed." TEPCO also reported that leakage of cooling water from the reactor pressure vessel is likely to have occurred. However, TEPCO considers that the actual damage to the reactor pressure vessel is limited, on the basis of the temperatures now being measured around the reactor pressure vessel.
With regard to the status of the reactor core of Unit 1, TEPCO believes that because the fuel has been being cooled continuously by means of water injection, it is unlikely that the situation could result in a future release of large amounts of radioactive material.
The results of the analysis are provisional; TEPCO will continue to conduct investigations. Similar analyses will be conducted for Units 2 and 3.
Nitrogen gas is still being injected into the containment vessel in Unit 1 to reduce the possibility of hydrogen combustion inside the containment vessel.
In Units 1, 2 and 3 fresh water is being continuously injected into the reactor pressure vessel; temperatures and pressures remain stable.
To protect against potential damage as a result of future earthquakes, TEPCO started work on 9 May to install a supporting structure for the floor of the spent fuel pool of Unit 4.
Fresh water is being injected as necessary into the spent fuel pools of Units 1 - 4.
Stagnant water with high levels of radioactivity in the basement of the turbine buildings of Units 1, 2 and 3 is being transferred to the condensers, the radioactive waste treatment facility, the high-temperature incinerator building and temporary storage tanks. Stagnant water in the basement of the turbine building of Unit 6 is being transferred to a temporary tank. Countermeasures against the outflow of water to the sea and to prevent and minimize the dispersion of radionuclides in water have been put in place.
Full-scale spraying of anti-scattering agent is continuing at the site with the use of both conventional and remote controlled equipment.
2. Radiation Monitoring
Deposition in 47 Prefectures
The daily monitoring of the deposition of caesium and iodine radionuclides for 47 prefectures is continuing. Since 12 May negligible deposition has occurred. I-131 was reported in only one prefecture and Cs-137 was reported in three prefectures, with a value of 4.8 Bq/m2 for I-131 and a range of from 4.7 to 10 Bq/m2 for Cs-137.
Gamma Dose Rates in 47 Prefectures
Gamma dose rates are measured daily in all 47 prefectures. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan reports values on the basis of data collected from each prefecture. On 18 May the value of gamma dose rate reported for Fukushima prefecture was 1.6 µSv/h. In all other prefectures, reported gamma dose rates were below 0.1 µSv/h, with a general decreasing trend.
Gamma Dose Rates in Areas More Than 30 km from Fukushima Daiichi Plant
Gamma dose rates reported specifically for the monitoring points in the eastern part of Fukushima prefecture, for distances of more than 30 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, showed a general decreasing trend, ranging from 0.1 µSv/h to 17 &nicro;Sv/h, as reported for 17 May.
Maps of gamma dose rates, deposition of Cs-134 and deposition of Cs-137 within the 80 km zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant were produced by means of aerial gamma ray monitoring by the Nuclear Safety Technology Centre of MEXT and the United States Department of Energy.
The map of the deposition of radiocaesium is presented in Fig. 1. The values represent the sum of Cs-134 and Cs-137. The areas in green show a deposition of these two radionuclides of between 0.6 and 1 MBq/m2. The areas in yellow indicate a deposition of between 1 and 3 MBq/m2. The areas in red indicate a deposition of between 3 and 30 MBq/m2. All are normalized to 29 April 2011.
The map shows that the results obtained are consistent with all previous reported measurements of deposition in soil and of gamma dose rates.
Air Concentrations of Radionuclides On-site at Fukushima Daiichi Plant
On-site measurements at the west gate of the Fukushima Daiichi plant indicate the presence of I-131 and Cs-137 in the air in the close vicinity of the plant (within approximately 1 km). The values observed in the previous days show daily fluctuations with an overall decreasing tendency.
Concentrations of Radionuclides in Drinking Water
As of 10 May, the restriction on the consumption of drinking water relating to I-131 - which had been applied since 1 April as a precautionary measure for one remaining location (the village of Iitate in Fukushima prefecture), and only for infants - was lifted.
Food Monitoring and Food Restrictions (12 - 18 May 2011)
Food Monitoring
From 12 to 18 May, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare reported results of continued monitoring for radioactivity in food. Over this period, results for 503 food samples from fifteen different prefectures were reported. Most of this monitoring continues to be concentrated within Fukushima prefecture (39% of samples reported for 12 - 18 May). The majority of results were below regulation values, but 28 out of these 503 samples (fewer than 6%) were found to have radioactivity levels above the Japanese regulation values for radiocaesium. These samples were collected in three prefectures (Fukushima, Ibaraki and Kanagawa). None of the 503 samples was found to have radioiodine in excess of the regulation values.
In Fukushima prefecture, 175 of the 194 samples (more than 90%) had radiocaesium levels below the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities. However, 19 of the 194 samples (fewer than 10%) exceeded the regulation values for Cs-134/Cs-137. Samples above the regulation values were bamboo shoots (ten samples), shiitake mushrooms (five samples), and four samples of fish (two samples of whitebait, one sample of ayu and one sample of Japanese smelt).
In Kanagawa prefecture, 6 out of 33 samples (18%) were found to exceed the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for Cs-134/Cs-137, these were six samples of unprocessed tea leaves (an additional ten samples of unprocessed tea leaves were found to have levels below this regulation value).
In Ibaraki prefecture, 3 of the 66 samples (4%) reported were above the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for Cs-134/Cs-137. These were unprocessed tea leaves (two samples) and parsley (one sample).
Food Restrictions
As of 18 May, the only food restrictions remaining are in Fukushima prefecture and for the cities of Kitaibaraki and Takahagi in Ibaraki prefecture.
In Fukushima prefecture there are restrictions on the distribution and consumption of sand lance fish. In specified areas of Fukushima prefecture there are also restrictions on the distribution of raw unprocessed milk, turnips, bamboo shoots, ostrich ferns and shiitake mushrooms, and restrictions on the distribution and consumption of specific non-head type and head-type vegetables (e.g. spinach and cabbage), flowerhead brassicas (e.g. cauliflower) and shiitake mushrooms.
In Ibaraki prefecture there is a continuing restriction on the distribution of spinach produced in the cities of Kitaibaraki and Takahagi.
3. Marine Monitoring
The marine monitoring programme is carried out both near the discharge areas of the Fukushima Daiichi plant by TEPCO and at off-shore stations by MEXT. The increase in the radioactivity in the marine environment had occurred by aerial deposition and by continuing discharges and outflow of water with high levels of radioactivity from the Daiichi plant.
Seawater Monitoring
The activity concentrations of I-131, Cs-134 and Cs-137 in seawater close to the Fukushima Daiichi plant at the screen of Unit 2 have been measured every day since 2 April. Concentrations of Cs-134 and Cs-137 decreased from initial values of more than 100 MBq/L to less than 5 kBq/L on 7 May, but increased to levels of around 20 kBq/L on 16 May, and to about 10 kBq/L on 17 May. There was a significant increase in levels of I-131 from about 8 to 80 kBq/L from 10 to 11 May, in parallel with the increase for both radiocaesium isotopes. This indicates that there is still some production of fission products. The I-131 levels decreased to about 20 kBq/L on 17 May.
Monitoring of the marine environment is performed by TEPCO in the near field area and by MEXT at off-shore sampling positions. The monitoring of MEXT also includes: measurement of ambient dose rates in air above the sea; analysis of ambient dust above the sea; analysis of surface samples of sea water; and analysis of samples of sea water collected at 10 m above the sea bottom and in a mid-layer, as well as at several locations for sediments. At most of the offshore stations, I-131, Cs-134 and Cs-137 reached levels below the detection limit of 10 Bq/L.
Fig. 1.: Map of deposition of radiocaesium (sum of Cs-134 and Cs-137) for the land area within 80 km of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, as reported by the Japanese authorities (MEXT):
Aerial Measuring Results

IAEA's latest update on Japan's nuclear crisis

IAEA's latest update on Japan's nuclear crisis

Leak from Japan reactor 100 times more than permitted

Leak from Japan reactor 100 times more than permitted 

May 21 (Reuters) - A water leak from Japan's tsunami-crippled nuclear power station earlier this month resulted in about 100 times the permitted level of radioactive material flowing into the sea, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Saturday.
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Nuclear power safety: Latest on Japan crisis fuels new concern in US

Nuclear power safety: Latest on Japan crisis fuels new concern in US

Nuclear Regulatory Commission still insists that US nuclear plants with same design as Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi facility are safe. But watchdog groups cite failed venting system, which led to hydrogen explosions.

TEPCO Press Releases 5/20

1. New!(May 20,2011)Personnel Revision
2. New!(May 20,2011)Personnel Revision
3. New!(May 20,2011)Announcement of Changes of Executive Officers
4. New!(May 20,2011)Announcement of Changes to the Commission of Work and Management Area of Directors
5. New!(May 20,2011)Report to Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on emergency countermeasures for safety at Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station
6. New!(May 20,2011)Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 15:00 am, May 20)
7. New!(May 20,2011)The results of nuclide analyses of radioactive materials in seawater taken in areas near intake canal of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (for the data taken on May 19)
8. New!(May 20,2011)Detection of radioactive materials in the soil in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (10th release)
9. New!(May 20,2011)Detection of Radioactive Materials from Seawater near Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (58th release)
10. New!(May 20,2011)The results of nuclide analyses of radioactive materials in the air at the site of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (56th release)
11. New!(May 20,2011)Status of TEPCO's Facilities and its services after the Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake (as of 4:00 PM, May 20)
12. New!(May 20,2011)Announcement of Changes of Directors
13. New!(May 20,2011)Plant Status of Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station (as of 3:00 pm, May 20th)
14. New!(May 20,2011)Notice Concerning Revision of the Use of Proceeds Raised through Public Offering and Capital Increase by Way of Third-Party Allotment
15. New!(May 20,2011)Notice Concerning Distribution of Year-end Dividend (no dividend to be paid) and Revision of Basic Dividend Policy
16. New!(May 20,2011)Organizational Change of the Company
17. New!(May 20,2011)Present Policy for Business Efficiency Improvements and Streamlining
18. New!(May 20,2011)Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1 to 4 and Abolishment of Construction Plans for Units 7 and 8
19. New!(May 20,2011)Financial Results for Fiscal Year 2010
20. New!(May 20,2011)Plant Status of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (as of 10:00 am, May 20)
21. New!(May 20,2011)Status of TEPCO's Facilities and its services after the Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake (as of 9:00 AM, May 20)
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Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes ed impact on the global nuclear industry

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes 

ed impact on the global nuclear industry

Latest NEI Updates

UPDATE AS OF 1:30 P.M. EDT, FRIDAY, MAY 20: Below is a round-up of noteworthy news that happened this week with regard to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the U.S. nuclear industry's response.

CO2 avoidance cost with wind energy in Australia and carbon price implications

CO2 avoidance cost with wind energy in Australia and carbon price implications

U.S. Nuclear Agency Releases New Strategic Plan for Next Decade

GSN logo

U.S. Nuclear Agency Releases New Strategic Plan for Next Decade

Life span of U.S. nuclear weapons will increase under plan

Life span of U.S. nuclear weapons will increase under plan

Leaders of Japan, China, S. Korea meet in Fukushima

Leaders of Japan, China, S. Korea meet in Fukushima


Tokyo (AFP) May 21, 2011 Leaders of Japan, China and South Korea were to gather in Fukushima City Saturday in a gesture of solidarity over the ongoing nuclear crisis -- but with Tokyo's neighbours reportedly concerned by its actions.

It’s Full Speed Ahead for China’s Nuclear Program from zero hedge by madhedgefundtrader

It’s Full Speed Ahead for China’s Nuclear Program

from zero hedge

Suspicious Man In Inflatable Boat With Unknown Device Chained To Neck Close To Surrey, VA Nuclear Power Plant Scrambles Bomb Squad, Sniper Team

Suspicious Man In Inflatable Boat With Unknown Device Chained To Neck Close To Surrey, VA Nuclear Power Plant Scrambles Bomb Squad, Sniper Team

from zero hedge

Future Ship Propulsion

Future Ship Propulsion 

Ship propulsion poses one of the more troubling post-carbon problems. It should be noted that ships were once powered by wind energy, sometimes supplemented by oars rowed by slaves. This form of propulsion was very unsatisfactory and renewable energy was replaced by fossil fuel derived energy during the 19th century. There were a variety of motives for phasing out renewable energy.

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics reviews the details of their work on the new switches for their fusion energy project

Friday, May 20, 2011

Fukushima Daiichi update; Friday evening 5/20

Fukushima Daiichi update; Friday evening 5/20

TEPCO has released photos taken at Fukushima Daiichi as the tsunami hit. I've assembled them into a slide show movie and the sequence is now available on the Atomic Power Review YouTube Channel. Link to new video below.

NRC Press Release on Westinghourse AP 1000 Reactor

NRC Press Release
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s efforts to confirm its review of Westinghouse’s amended AP1000 reactor design have resulted in the uncovering of additional technical issues. The NRC will always place its commitment to public safety and a transparent process before any other considerations; Westinghouse must resolve the issues before we can consider finalizing NRC certification of the design. The agency will determine what impact this effort may have on the schedule for the AP1000 design amendment and related license application reviews after the staff examines the company’s response on these matters.
When the Commission approved issuance of the proposed certification rule earlier this year, the rule language noted the need for what, at the time, were additional calculations to confirm the staff’s technical analysis. That work has led to more questions regarding the AP1000’s shield building, as well as the peak accident pressures expected within containment. The agency has made it clear to Westinghouse that it must prove to our satisfaction that the company has appropriately and completely documented the adequacy of the design. NRC staff will examine Westinghouse’s quality assurance and corrective actions programs as part of an inspection next week, and we expect the company will submit additional information early next month.

vhLawmakers Unveil Plans for Small Nuclear Reactors Congressmen Jason Altmire and Tim Murphy say small reactors could lessen dependence on outside energy sources.

Lawmakers Unveil Plans for Small Nuclear Reactors

Congressmen Jason Altmire and Tim Murphy say small reactors could lessen dependence on outside energy sources.

NRC Lacks Formal Training Plan to Check Casks, Report Finds

NRC Lacks Formal Training Plan to Check Casks, Report Finds

A Response From a Former Nuclear Regulator

A Response From a Former Nuclear Regulator

To the Editor:

Regulators Find Design Flaws in New Reactors

Regulators Find Design Flaws in New Reactors

SAN ONOFRE: NRC says plant at low risk of meltdown in quake

SAN ONOFRE: NRC says plant at low risk of meltdown in quake

Experts: Low Gas Prices, Not Fukushima Meltdown, Are Slowing U.S. Nuclear Renaissance, an Industrial Info News Alert

Experts: Low Gas Prices, Not Fukushima Meltdown, Are Slowing U.S. Nuclear Renaissance, an Industrial Info News Alert

http://www.sys-con.com/node/1842555

Subject: Markey Commends NRC Decision to Fully Review "Additional Technical Issues" Uncovered About AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design

Subject: Markey Commends NRC Decision to Fully Review "Additional Technical Issues" Uncovered About AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design

For Immediate Release                            Contact: Giselle Barry 202-225-2836
May 20, 2011                                                       
 
Markey Commends NRC Decision to Fully Review “Additional Technical Issues” Uncovered About AP1000 Nuclear Reactor Design
Congressman Raised Concerns About Seismic Resiliency of Westinghouse AP1000 Design Days Before Japan Earthquake
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today praised the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and Chairman Greg Jaczko on their decision to more carefully review the Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactor design after Rep. Markey raised concerns about its resiliency in the event of a major earthquake, other natural disaster or aircraft strike. Mere days before the tragic earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan, Rep. Markeywrote to Chairman Jaczko urging the Commission not to approve the AP1000 design until serious safety concerns were addressed. One of NRC’s longest-serving staff, Dr. John Ma, warned in NRC documents that the reactor’s containment could shatter “like a glass cup” due to flaws in the design of the shield building if impacted by an earthquake or commercial aircraft. The shield building has the critical safety function of preventing damage to the reactor that could cause fuel meltdowns and radiation releases.
“I commend Chairman Jaczko for exercising caution in light of the safety concerns that have been raised about the Westinghouse AP1000 design, and for announcing plans to fully examine outstanding issues regarding structural integrity and resiliency before approving the design,” said Rep. Markey. “In the wake of the Fukushima meltdown, the NRC also should suspend all of its licensing decisions on new designs, new reactors or re-licence applications until it incorporates the lessons of the Japanese catastrophe into its plans and regulations. We must ensure that any nuclear power plant in this country can withstand a catastrophic impact and abides by the absolute highest standards for safety and security.”
In his March 7 letter to the NRC, Rep. Markey highlighted the concerns raised by Dr. Ma about the NRC’s original safety evaluation of the AP1000. According to Dr. Ma’s written dissent with the NRC decision, there are several major problems with the AP1000 shield building:
  • The AP 1000 shield building failed physical tests which showed it to be brittle, leading Dr. Ma to conclude that it could shatter “like a glass cup” upon impact.
  • Inadequate computer simulations were used to “prove” the reactor shield is “strong enough” despite it being mostly made out of a brittle material. Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory, asked by NRC to review Westinghouse’s computer simulation results, said it contained “numerous confusing, misleading, or erroneous statements.”
  • Earthquake forces may have been underestimated by Westinghouse, and the NRC has accepted this argument by the company, even though it appears not to be supported by science as published in peer-reviewed journals.
In 2010, Rep. Markey requested a Government Accountability Office investigation into the resiliency of nuclear power plants to earthquakes, other natural disasters, and climate change impacts.
Rep. Markey’s letter to the NRC can be found HERE.

UPDATE 2-Westinghouse AP1000 design could see delay

UPDATE 2-Westinghouse AP1000 design could see delay

FACTBOX-U.S. proposed new nuclear power reactors

FACTBOX-U.S. proposed new nuclear power reactors

NRC raises issues about Westinghouse nuclear design

NRC raises issues about Westinghouse nuclear design

A Nuclear Rapture? Fukushima's Apocalyptic Threat By HARVEY WASSERMAN

A Nuclear Rapture?

Fukushima's Apocalyptic Threat

By HARVEY WASSERMAN

Why You Should Care About Japan

Why You Should Care About Japan

Alka Singh: No Substitute for Nuclear Power

Alka Singh: No Substitute for Nuclear Power

Fukushima Could Have Avoided Nuclear Meltdown, Lost Chance By Inaction

Fukushima Could Have Avoided Nuclear Meltdown, Lost Chance By Inaction

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes Did Fukushima kill the nuclear renaissance in the U.S.

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes

Did Fukushima kill the nuclear renaissance in the U.S.

Value of a Negawatt: Startups and the Energy Efficiency Boom

Value of a Negawatt: Startups and the Energy Efficiency Boom

Japan quake safety claims face scrutiny

Japan quake safety claims face scrutiny http://link.ft.com/r/P75VYY/26BN5P/0GB0NQ/ZBPCG6/LQKZJ4/7V/h?a1=2011&a2=5&a3=20

Three Mile Island 2 (TMI-2) Recovery and Decontamination Collection

Three Mile Island 2 (TMI-2) Recovery and Decontamination Collection

 

 The Pennsylvania State University Libraries have acquired several thousand of the videotapes, reports, and photographs that were generated during the 1979-1990 cleanup and recovery of the Three Mile Island 2 (TMI-2) nuclear reactor. All of the materials are available for public use, and the contents of the videotape and report collections are searchable through two separate databases that are available on this web site.
Go to Reports

Energy headlines: Tepco reports record losses

Energy headlines: Tepco reports record losses

Tepco reports record Y1,247bn loss – FT
- Japan: Tepco shareholders must cooperate – WSJ
Japan quake safety claims face scrutiny – FT
- China admits problems with Three Gorges Dam – NY Times
IEA urges Opec to increase oil production – FT
- Shell approves groundbreaking floating LNG project – WSJ
- Shell’s shale may be refined into diesel, jet fuel – Bloomberg
Oil groups go to the ends of the earth – FT
- Hayward said to plan $1.6bn oil fund IPO – Bloomberg
Ofgem safe in review of energy watchdog – The Telegraph
US business helps push up National Grid profits – FT
- Siemens must pay Areva for nuclear venture – WSJ
Huaneng Renewables revives listing plan – FT
- Spain suspends subsidies for more solar plants – Reuters
- Homeowners ‘would reject green deal’ – The Guardian
Toronto school fuel green drive – FT

Tepco Credit-Default Swaps Surge Above Levels BP Hit After Gulf Oil Spill

Tepco Credit-Default Swaps Surge Above Levels BP Hit After Gulf Oil Spill

Fukushima nuclear plant disaster to impact global nuclear power industry: Report

Fukushima nuclear plant disaster to impact global nuclear power industry: Report

Tepco May Report 1.5 Trillion Yen Loss After Fukushima Disaster

Bloomberg

Tepco May Report 1.5 Trillion Yen Loss After Fukushima Disaster

UN Secretary-General launches system-wide study of effects of nuclear accident ...

UN Secretary-General launches system-wide study of effects of nuclear accident ...

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gqYL-H2wLatW8UOwCpR0ta8ugq-w?docId=6910392

How China Gains from Fukushima

How China Gains from Fukushima

Japan Government Rushing to Enact Tepco Rescue Plan

Japan Government Rushing to Enact Tepco Rescue Plan

Czech Republic, France to expand nuclear energy cooperation London (Platts)

Czech Republic, France to expand nuclear energy cooperation
London (Platts)--19May2011/813 am EDT/1213 GMT

EU to Decide on Nuclear Stress Tests by June, Oettinger Says

EU to Decide on Nuclear Stress Tests by June, Oettinger Says

Gov't nuclear commission failed to expand antidisaster zone in 2006

Gov't nuclear commission failed to expand antidisaster zone in 2006

Workers succeed in entering buildings of 3 troubled reactors: TEPCO

Workers succeed in entering buildings of 3 troubled reactors: TEPCO

Head of Japanese Utility Steps Down After Nuclear Crisis By HIROKO TABUCHI

Head of Japanese Utility Steps Down After Nuclear Crisis

Ameren no longer backs nuclear permit compromise

Ameren no longer backs nuclear permit compromise

South Texas Project meets safety performance for year

South Texas Project meets safety performance for year

TEPCO News Photos

Progress Status of TEPCO’s Roadmap towards Restoration from the Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

Blog Post: Progress Status of TEPCO’s Roadmap towards Restoration from the Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

TEPCO has released the following roadmap progress update on their effort to bring the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station under control.
Progress status is given in the following areas:
  • Reactor(s) Cooling
  • Spent Fuel Pool(s) Cooling
  • Mitigation (Accumulated Water)
  • Mitigation (Groundwater)
  • Mitigation (Atmosphere/soil)

(click each picture to show the corresponding file)
Fukushima Roadmap Update

Fukushima Roadmap Update

Fukushima Roadmap Update

BRC and NRC Battle! What is Most Needed? Policy vs Know How

BRC and NRC Battle! What is Most Needed? Policy vs Know How

Friday May 13 was the date of the last Blue Ribbon Commission hearing on Nuclear Waste. A recurring theme for the six hour marathon meeting was that technical issues are processed far too slowly by the NRC. The NRC has been delaying their announcements about conclusions drawn from the Fukushima events for two months.

TEPCO Releases Photos of Tsunami Waters Around its Plant

TEPCO Releases Photos of Tsunami Waters Around its Plant

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/148344/20110519/tokyo-electric-power-company-tepco-tsunami-japan-earthquake-march-11-nuclear-plant-crisis-economy.htm

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Will Natural Gas Save Us?

Will Natural Gas Save Us?

Fukushima Daiichi Open and Update Thread #6

 

Fukushima Daiichi Open and Update Thread #6

Core totally demolished at Fukushima Daiichi No. 1

Core totally demolished at Fukushima Daiichi No. 1

We now have a fairly thorough report from TEPCO which details the extent of core damage at Fukushima Daiichi No. 1, and gives some times for certain events on the first several days. This report contains, again, some serious information and I will detail it for you as best as possible for a very wide audience. Before going into details, let me first give some of the most important revelations and analytical impressions off the top.

Fukushima Daiichi Update... Thursday, 5/19

Fukushima Daiichi Update... Thursday, 5/19

Apparently, high seas are keeping the mega-float barge from getting farther than Onahama. There is no word as to when it will leave that port for Fukushima Daiichi.

TEPCO has made a press release covering photos and rad levels found inside the No. 2 reactor building. Here is TEPCO's survey of the first floor. Note the photo location numbers on the photos on the sides, and the locations of those photos (the circled numbers) on the diagram of the first floor.

"Fuel Rods Most Likely Melt[ed] COMPLETELY at Reactors 1, 2 AND 3 in the Early Hours of the Crisis, Raising the Danger of More Catastrophic Releases"

Texas House approves waste bill

Texas House approves waste bill
18 May 2011
The Texas House of Representatives has voted in favour of allowing Dallas-based Waste Control Specialists (WCS) to dispose of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) from 36 other US states at its facility in Andrews County, Texas.

Cold shutdown a must for Fukushima return

Cold shutdown a must for Fukushima return
19 May 2011
The Japanese government has spoken of the future of nuclear power as well as its demands before people evacuated from near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant can return.

Doubt over meltdown dispelled

Doubt over meltdown dispelled

Fukushima spurs scrutiny of plant design

Fukushima spurs scrutiny of plant design

Japan nuclear crisis still "very serious"-IAEA head

Japan nuclear crisis still "very serious"-IAEA head

Early analysis of Japanese accident makes 26 recommendations for UK

Chief Nuclear Inspector publishes interim 'lessons learnt' report

Early analysis of Japanese accident makes 26 recommendations for UK

18 May 2011

An interim assessment of the implications of the nuclear crisis in Japan concludes there is no need to curtail the operations of nuclear plants in the UK but lessons should be learnt.
The UK’s Chief Inspector of Nuclear Installations, Mike Weightman[2], today publishes a report, requested by the UK Government, in which he calls for action to be taken to learn from events at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power station.

Fukushima Daiichi update, Weds. morning 5/18

Fukushima Daiichi update, Weds. morning 5/18

Duke Energy at Nuclear Crossroads

Analyst Blog  

Duke Energy at Nuclear Crossroads

By: Zacks Equity Research
May 18, 2011 | Comments: 0

Sen. Murray Questions U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu On Hanford Budget For 2012

Sen. Murray Questions U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu On Hanford Budget For 2012

Public Comment: Feds Consider Hanford Site To Store Long-lived Radioactive Waste

Public Comment: Feds Consider Hanford Site To Store Long-lived Radioactive Waste

Hanford's got enough problems without more radioactive waste

Hanford's got enough problems without more radioactive waste

Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 7:24 PM
The Oregonian Editorial Board