- Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it found no significant damage or deformation to two unused fuel assemblies
it had removed last week from the used fuel storage pool of Fukushima
Daiichi reactor 4. The utility said it also will examine fuel pellets
from inside the assembly rods. The relatively large amount of fuel in
the reactor 4 storage pool (1,331 used nuclear fuel and 202 unused
nuclear fuel assemblies) has made their removal one of TEPCO’s top
priorities for decommissioning the site. The company plans to begin
removing the fuel assemblies starting December 2013.
- The Japanese government has proposed a national forest in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, as a site to dispose of more than 40,000 tons of ash and mud from nine prefectures that have low levels of radioactive contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The facility would encase drums of the radioactive material in a 30-foot deep concrete-lined vault with a clay backfill. Japan’s Environment Ministry said it expects radiation levels outside the facility to be below one millirem per year, one-hundredth the annual permissible level for the general public.
- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has issued three interim staff guidance (ISG) documents outlining acceptable approaches to implementing orders for safety enhancements at U.S. nuclear energy facilities in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident. The guidance endorses the industry’s FLEX approach to responding to the loss of AC power at nuclear energy facilities, partially endorses the industry approach to enhancing used nuclear fuel storage pool water level instrumentation and provides details on reliable hardened vents for Mark I and Mark II boiling water reactors. The ISGs are available on NRC’s ADAMS document system under accession numbers ML12229A174, ML12221A339 and ML12229A475.
- The Convention on Nuclear Safety’s extraordinary post-Fukushima meeting ended in Vienna last week with 64 contracting parties approving several measures to strengthen nuclear safety worldwide. Special attention was paid to reassessing how to maintain reactor containment integrity in severe events. The attendees also agreed to establish a working group to recommend by the 2014 meeting how to improve the effectiveness of the convention. U.S. NRC Commissioner William Mahttp://safetyfirst.nei.org/japan/tepco-unused-fuel-from-fukushima-daiichi-storage-pool-undamaged/