Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, March 10, 2012

atomic power review Carnival 95: Fukushima, one year later.

atomic power review

Carnival 95: Fukushima, one year later.

Atomic Power Review finds itself hosting the Carnival of Nuclear Bloggers at the time of the first anniversary of the Great East Japan (Tohoku) Earthquake, the resulting tsunami which killed 20,000 people and displaced many more, and finally the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Recovery from all of these events continues in Japan today, and will continue for decades.

A wide array of media coverage is, and has been available on this anniversary. For the part of Atomic Power Review, with its focus on nuclear energy, the best effort to mark this occasion can be found at our Fukushima Daiichi Accident Reports page, wherein links are available to all of the known reports by official government or industry agencies the world over. This link list includes the brand new report by the American Nuclear Society's Special Committee on Fukushima.

 

 
 

Nuclear power will not go away, but its role may never be more than marginal, says Oliver Morton



The dream that failed

Nuclear power will not go away, but its role may never be more than marginal, says Oliver Morton


 
http://www.economist.com/node/21549098/

Conversation with an anti society antinuclear activist


Conversation with an anti society antinuclear activist



http://atomicinsights.com/2012/03/conversation-with-an-anti-society-antinuclear-activist.html

Liquid Metal Battery Could Budget Sun's Energy - wholesale, Brooklyn

Liquid Metal Battery Could Budget Sun's Energy - wholesale, Brooklyn
wholesale - Liquid Metal Battery Could Budget Sun's Energy - David Greene talks to materials chemist Donald Sadoway from the TED (Technology, ...
www.merchantcircle.com/blogs/wholesale.../874176

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes Talking Fukushima one year on

Idaho Samizdat: Nuke Notes

 

Talking Fukushima one year on

Now that the American Nuclear Society Fukushima report is out, here are a few additional notes


http://djysrv.blogspot.com/2012/03/talking-fukushima-one-year-on.html

Fukushima's Refugees Are Victims Of Irrational Fear, Not Radiation


Fukushima's Refugees Are Victims Of Irrational Fear, Not Radiation


http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2012/03/10/fukushimas-refugees-are-victims-of-irrational-fear-not-radiation/

Nuclear power -- alive and well 1 year later

New post from Oil and Glory



Posted: 09 Mar 2012 07:22 AM PST
Nuclear power -- alive and well 1 year later: Technologist Bill Gates well explains why the nuclear power renaissance lives on despite the Fukushima earthquake-tsunami disaster: We simply know of no other mass, non-carbon source of baseload electric power. So it is that, a year after the Japanese nuclear accident (pictured above, precautions in the Fukushima area), there is hardly a blip in the total number of planned new nuclear reactors around the world. Just two of Japan's 54 nuclear plants are up and running, and Germany has closed eight of its 17 plants. Yet the rest of the world is different: China and India appear to have slowed their respective plans for a large-scale buildup of nuclear power in order to accommodate their booming economies, but neither seems likely to actually cancel any of the construction. And, according to the World Nuclear Association, 60 nuclear plants are currently being built (list) around the world, about the same number planned prior to the March 11, 2011, Fukushima accident. Gates argues that, given the unreliable nature of wind and solar power, the sole current substitute for the energy density of fossil fuels is nuclear power. He explains: "Nuclear power provides 1 million times the energy as hydrocarbons." A simple enough calculation.

CERA: Split Views On Future Of Nuclear Energy

CERA: Split Views On Future Of Nuclear Energy

Feds approve post-Fukushima nuclear power rules

Feds approve post-Fukushima nuclear power rules

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/215243-feds-move-forward-with-post-fukushima-nuclear-power-reforms

A Report by The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima

 

A Report by The American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima
On Friday, March 11, 2011, one of the largest earthquakes in the recorded history of the world occurred on the east coast of northern Japan. This earthquake also generated a major tsunami, causing nearly 20,000 deaths. Electricity, gas and water supplies, telecommunications, and railway service were all severely disrupted and in many cases completely shut down. These disruptions severely affected the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing a loss of all on-site and off-site power and a release of radioactive materials from the reactors.
The leadership of the American Nuclear Society commissioned the American Nuclear Society Special Committee on Fukushima to provide a clear and concise explanation of what happened during the Fukushima Daiichi accident, and offer recommendations based on lessons learned from their study of the event. The American Nuclear Society, a professional organization of 11,600 nuclear science and technology professionals, has a strong tradition of advancing nuclear safety, and the Special Committee on Fukushima was organized to further its members' interests in this important professional obligation.
The release of this report is the culmination of a nearly year-long effort by Special Committee members to analyze a range of factors related to what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi facility. The report will be officially released at a press conference to be held at 10:00 am EST on Thursday, March 8, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. ANS Executive Director Robert Fine will make opening remarks and introductions. Drs. Dale Klein and Mike Corradini, the Special Committee co-chairs, will lead the discussion of the report and the Q&A session. Special Committee members Paul Dickman -- who also served as study director -- and Jacopo Buongiorno, lead for regulatory issues, will also be on the discussion panel. The press conference will be available via webcast at the following link: Press Conference Webcast

The prospects

Over the rainbow

If there are better ways to split atoms, they will be a long time coming

http://www.economist.com/node/21549096

Nuclear renaissance? More like nuclear standstill


Nuclear renaissance? More like nuclear standstill
CNET
The modular reactor proposed by Babcock & Wilcox, one of a new generation of designs meant to address safety and cost. The slideshow below shows how it would be placed vertically and underground in a plant. Modern nuclear power designs are safer, ...

US orders safety changes after Japan crisis


US orders safety changes after Japan crisis
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered major safety changes for US nuclear power plants Friday, two days before the one-year anniversary of the nuclear crisis in Japan. By Susan Walsh, AP Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman ...

Japan Earthquake Anniversay: Nuclear Evacuation Deadly for Elderly


Japan Earthquake Anniversary: Nuclear Evacuation Deadly For Elderly
Huffington Post
Japan's government says only one person, an overworked employee at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, died as a result of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. But one year later, details from a new report and interviews with local ...

US nuclear agency orders power plant safety changes


US nuclear agency orders power plant safety changes
China Post
WASHINGTON -- The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ordered major safety changes for US nuclear power plants Friday, two days before the one-year anniversary of the nuclear crisis in Japan. The orders require US nuclear plants to install or improve ...

Post-Fukushima US Nuclear Reactor Rules Questioned Over Cost, Adequacy

6 new results for nuclear power
 
Post-Fukushima US Nuclear Reactor Rules Questioned Over Cost, Adequacy
BusinessWeek
While the NRC's orders “are necessary to address the major gaps in the nuclear power safety net,” they “do not go far enough,” Jim Riccio, a nuclear-energy analyst in Washington for anti-nuclear group Greenpeace USA, said in an e-mail.

Nuclear plant in northwest Illinois to hire 2,000 temporary workers for maintenance, upgrades by Lee Gliddon

Nuclear plant in northwest Illinois to hire 2,000 temporary workers for maintenance, upgrades

Panel says U.S. should rethink nuclear emergency plans by Lee Gliddon

Panel says U.S. should rethink nuclear emergency plans

Powering America (and the world) with nuclear energy by RodAdams

Powering America (and the world) with nuclear energy

The Heritage Foundation has produced an inspiring, visually appealing documentary titled Powering America. As the title suggests, it is focused on the United States and our energy choices, but the need for power is universal and the options are essentially the same all around the world. Here is the trailer: 

Impact of Radiation Exposure on Workers and Residents Near Fukushima by emcerlain

Impact of Radiation Exposure on Workers and Residents Near Fukushima

Remembering the Dedication of TEPCO’s Employees at Fukushima by vbarq

Remembering the Dedication of TEPCO’s Employees at Fukushima

Fukushima reports redux by Geoffrey Brumfiel

Fukushima reports redux

Emiko Numauchi & Radiation Fearmongering From Al Jazeera by James

Emiko Numauchi & Radiation Fearmongering From Al Jazeera

Moderate earthquake hits northeast Japan

Moderate earthquake hits northeast Japan
Sky News Australia
Moderate earthquake hits northeast Japan Updated: 11:50, Saturday March 10, 2012 A moderate quake with a magnitude of 5.4 has struck northeastern Japan near the zone devastated last year by the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered a nuclear ...

NRC requires quake, flood upgrades for Indian Point, other reactors


NRC requires quake, flood upgrades for Indian Point, other reactors
The Journal News | LoHud.com
Indian Point 3 nuclear power plant is photographed at the Indian Point Nuclear Generating Station in Buchanan on Feb. 29. / Xavier MascareƱas / The Journal News BUCHANAN — Indian Point and the rest of the nation's nuclear plants must install more ...

ShareThis Germany Says Solar Energy is Path to Bankruptcy, Yet Obama Doubles US Down On It

 

Germany Says Solar Energy is Path to Bankruptcy, Yet Obama Doubles US Down On It


http://amac.us/germany-says-solar-energy-is-path-to-bankruptcy-yet-obama-dou
bles-us-down-on-it

Japan Earthquake: One Year Later Atlantic

Japan Earthquake: One Year Later Atlantic

Fukushima: a strange kind of homecoming Financial Times

Fukushima: a strange kind of homecoming Financial Times

Japan’s nuclear crisis: Fukushima’s legacy of fear Nature

Japan’s nuclear crisis: Fukushima’s legacy of fear Nature

The Fall of Foolish Faith

The Fall of Foolish Faith
Huffington Post
Liquid thorium nuclear reactors could provide the world with all the energy it needs for a thousand years, safely, with minimal environmental impact, and no application to nuclear weapons. If they had thorium reactors, there would have been no ...

Post-Fukushima world must embrace thorium, not ditch nuclear

Post-Fukushima world must embrace thorium, not ditch nuclear
The Guardian (blog)
As a result, he also directed a research team that invented a radically differently designed reactor, based on using chemically stable liquid salts as the coolant, and thorium as the fuel. Sadly, though he advocated safer, cleaner nuclear designs for ...

The Pentagon Must Internalize Energy Security Requirements

The Pentagon Must Internalize Energy Security Requirements

By: Jeffrey M. Voth | Briefing
Energy security has become a strategic and operational imperative for U.S. national security, since access to reliable and sustainable supplies of energy is central to the military’s ability to meet operational requirements globally. The call to action is clear: Rapid employment of energy-efficient technologies and smarter systems will be required to transform the military’s energy-security posture.

Pressure Intensifies for Senate Hearing on White House Nuclear-Trade Policy

Pressure Intensifies for Senate Hearing on White House Nuclear-Trade Policy
National Journal
In addition, this week nearly 20 nuclear nonproliferation experts from across the political divide contacted Kerry to urge that he summon witnesses to testify about the matter. Senior officials from the State and Energy departments in January told key ...

Quake blamed for 451 later deaths

Quake blamed for 451 later deaths


http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T111118006038.htm

A nuclear power anniversary: Vermont Yankee is not Fukushima, by Meredith Joan Angwin


A nuclear power anniversary: Vermont Yankee is not Fukushima, by Meredith Joan Angwin


http://www.sentinelsource.com/opinion/columnists/guest/a-nuclear-power-anniversary-vermont-yankee-is-not-fukushima-by/article_b3f66899-4024-593b-b1b0-60ca1a0bd14d.html

Health uncertainties torment residents in Fukushima

Health uncertainties torment residents in Fukushima

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/health-uncertainties-torment-residents-in-fukushima

HPS Videos on Fukushima

The Health Physics Society has posted a series of videos from their March 1 event on Fukushima which we've embedded at our SafetyFirst microsite. You can find them at the following URLs:

http://safetyfirst.nei.org/third-party-experts/impact-of-radiation-exposure-on-workers-and-residents-near-fukushima/

http://safetyfirst.nei.org/third-party-experts/how-emergency-planning-zones-help-protect-public-health-and-safety/

Friday, March 9, 2012

Update Videos from Fairewinds

Fukushima-Daiichi: An Accident Waiting to Happen CCTV Host Margaret Harrington speaks with Maggie and Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds about Arnie's recent trip to Japan and their report for Greenpeace about the Fukushima Daiichi disaster. The issue of regulatory capture is an issue that Japan and every energy producing country in the world is facing. As the Gundersen’s book Fukushima Daiichi: Truth and Future Prospects, published in Japan, points out, the Japanese people are poised to become energy innovators and world leaders with new technologies, if they choose to break their nuclear power dependency.
Watch Video Now

Fukushima - The Truth Behind The Meltdown
This documentary, not yet translated to English, is a joint venture between French and German television (available in French or German) that explores the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi and its aftermath. With the help of international experts, including Fairewinds’ chief engineer Arnie Gundersen, who analyze the actual processes at Fukushima Daiichi on the day of the accident and in the weeks afterwards. The filmmakers draw a picture of the inadequate crisis management by the Japanese and international nuclear lobby, which is still promoting nuclear power even after the meltdown in Japan, so that the global multi-billion dollar business of creating nuclear energy may proceed unencumbered.
Watch Video Now

A Year Later: U.S. Nuclear Plants and their Business Partners Prepare for Post-Fukushima Changes

Blog Post: A Year Later: U.S. Nuclear Plants and their Business Partners Prepare for Post-Fukushima Changes

Lieberman, Graham, Casey: Iran Can't Be Allowed Nuclear "Capability"

Lieberman, Graham, Casey: Iran Can't Be Allowed Nuclear "Capability"

By Jonathan Miller
National Journal
WASHINGTON -- A trio of U.S. Senators – Republican, Democrat and Independent – wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Friday to argue that the “red line” for Iran should be set at “nuclear weapons capability” rather than “nuclear weapons” and that a strategy of containment is unacceptable (see GSN, March 8).

Transnuclear Introduces New Spent Fuel Cask Storage for Marine Environments

Blog Post: Transnuclear Introduces New Spent Fuel Cask Storage for Marine Environments

Areva subsidiary Transnuclear on Wendesday announced it has submitted a new storage system for spent nuclear fuel to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for review.

A Year Later: U.S. Nuclear Plants and their Business Partners Prepare for Post-Fukushima Changes

Blog Post: A Year Later: U.S. Nuclear Plants and their Business Partners Prepare for Post-Fukushima Changes

This Sunday marks a year since the Fukushima Daiichi crisis began in Japan. A tsunami the height of a three-story building inundated Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s coastal plants and made real a scenario that even the most creative emergency manager would find hard to believe – a beyond-design-basis event resulting in a total station blackout that lasted for days. Three reactors succumbed to severe core damage. Hydrogen explosions and fire ripped the roofs from four units. Spent fuel pools overheated. Radiation forced 200,000 people to evacuate.

The reaction of America’s nuclear power plant operators and their regulators was immediate. Now both have begun to implement lessons learned from the crisis, and a clearer picture is beginning to emerge for plant owners and the businesses that serve them of the equipment and work that lie ahead.

EDF sets new target for reactor safety upgrades

EDF sets new target for reactor safety upgrades
Safety upgrades for Electricite de France's 19 nuclear plants will be carried out in the next decade, said Dominique Miniere, EDF's chief of nuclear production. The company had earlier proposed to perform some of those upgrades from 2017 to 2030 as part of an extension program for its reactors. The upgrades will include new flood-proof diesel generators and bunkered remote backup control rooms. Reuters

Expert emphasizes need for nuclear energy in Japan

Expert emphasizes need for nuclear energy in Japan
Japan shouldn't opt for zero nuclear energy generation nearly a year after the Fukushima Daiichi incident, said Shojiro Matsuura, chairman of the country's Nuclear Safety Research Association. Japan cannot boost its dependence on fossil fuels, and renewable sources such as wind and solar are more expensive compared with nuclear power, Matsuura said. "Japanese people should choose some fraction of nuclear energy for the future," he added. Platts

Making Safe Nuclear Energy Safer After Fukushima

Making Safe Nuclear Energy Safer After Fukushima
To see the graphic depiction of the flexible and diverse "FLEX" strategy that the U.S. nuclear energy industry is implementing in response to the Fukushima Daiichi accident, along with safety-focused interviews with industry leaders and other "one year later" materials, see NEI's Safety First website.

Chu: Energy Dept. would revive Nev. repository if court orders it

Chu: Energy Dept. would revive Nev. repository if court orders it
The Department of Energy would revive the Yucca Mountain repository in Nevada if a court mandates it, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. Chu's remarks were in response to a query from Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., who is an advocate of the project. Platts

Companies design safer reactors in response to Fukushima

Companies design safer reactors in response to Fukushima
Companies were working on safety enhancements in reactor designs before the Fukushima Daiichi incident and further design improvements have been made since, experts say. For example, Westinghouse's AP1000, which is being used for the Plant Vogtle expansion project and has been proposed for others, features passive safety systems that, if needed, use gravity instead of pumps to transport water to cool the reactor core. The Wall Street Journal

Industry takes key safety lessons from Fukushima Daiichi

Industry takes key safety lessons from Fukushima Daiichi
The Nuclear Energy Institute has identified several key lessons for nuclear plant operators as the Fukushima Daiichi incident in Japan nears its first-year anniversary. Operators need to maintain safety-system operations during lengthened blackouts and should be able to respond to multiple major emergencies. "We know we need to learn every possible lesson from Japan and apply those lessons immediately and in the long term at American nuclear energy facilities," said Tony Pietrangelo, NEI's senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. The Day (New London, Conn.)

Deal gives NuScale possible reactor sites


Deal gives NuScale possible reactor sites
Corvallis Gazette Times
“Savannah River has identified at least six locations on the Savannah River Site that likely are suitable for a small modular reactor.” Similar agreements were signed with two rival companies, Hyperion Power Generation Inc. and SMR LLC, a subsidiary of ...

Industry Alters Designs in an Effort to Make Future Plants Safer

Industry Alters Designs in an Effort to Make Future Plants Safer
Wall Street Journal
Another advantage of the new reactors is that they can be built in modular fashion with big sections "constructed in factories and assembled at the site," said Vaughn Gilbert, a spokesman for Westinghouse, adding that the factory approach is intended ...

Fukushima, one year later: Safety fears and slow fixes


Fukushima, one year later: Safety fears and slow fixes
CNET
Final orders are expected soon, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said this week it doesn't expect to be able implement the reforms within the five year deadline it set. Even with the hardened security measures, seeing a technologically ...

ANS is Right to Say US Nuclear Emergency Planning ...


American Nuclear Society Is Right to Say US Nuclear Emergency Planning ...
eNews Park Forest
That's why, on February 15, 2012, NIRS—joined by 37 organizations from across the US—submitted a formal Petition for Rulemaking to the NRC. That petition calls for a new approach to emergency planning based on the real-world experience of the ...

Fukushima Anniversary: How Climate Change Endangers Nuclear Safety


Fukushima Anniversary: How Climate Change Endangers Nuclear Safety
Huffington Post
While the event last summer was labeled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the least serious of four emergency classifications, Cooper Nuclear Station has been subject to flooding before. Back in 1993 Nebraska was forced to temporarily shut down ...

Fukushima Anniversary: How Climate Change Endangers Nuclear Safety


Fukushima Anniversary: How Climate Change Endangers Nuclear Safety
Huffington Post
While the event last summer was labeled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the least serious of four emergency classifications, Cooper Nuclear Station has been subject to flooding before. Back in 1993 Nebraska was forced to temporarily shut down ...

Nuclear Industry Must Speed Seismic Reviews, NRC's Chairman Says


Nuclear Industry Must Speed Seismic Reviews, NRC's Chairman Says
Bloomberg
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko, disagreeing with a staff proposal, said reactor owners should speed a review of earthquake risks to complete the assessment by 2016, at least a year ahead of schedule. Seismic reviews at 104 US ...

Critics say Japan Ignored Warnings of Nuclear Disaster


Critics Say Japan Ignored Warnings of Nuclear Disaster
New York Times
TOKYO — A year after a huge earthquake and tsunami caused nearly catastrophic meltdowns at a nuclear plant, Japan is still grappling with a crucial question: was the accident simply the result of an unforeseeable natural disaster or something that ...

Experts on Fukushima: It Can't Happen Here


Experts on Fukushima: It Can't Happen Here
U.S. News & World Report
By Jason Koebler A new analysis of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami a year ago puts some of the blame on human error and regulatory oversight, but paints an optimistic picture of the ...

Japan 'foresaw' nuclear meltdown

Japan 'foresaw' nuclear meltdown
Irish Times
Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images Japan's government foresaw the possibility of a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant just hours after last year's tsunami although it took officials more than a month to acknowledge it, according to ...

Nuclear power back from the grave


Nuclear power back from the grave
Asia Times Online
By Victor Kotsev A year after one of the worst industrial disasters in history - the triple reactor meltdown and spent fuel fires at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant - we still don't have a very clear idea about the full ecological, ...

Reconstructed records show Japan leaders knew meltdown riskearly, feared , , ,


Reconstructed records show Japan leaders knew meltdown risk early, feared ...
Washington Post
TOKYO — Just four hours after the tsunami swept into the Fukushima nuclear power plant, Japan's leaders knew the damage was so severe the reactors could melt down, but they kept their knowledge secret for months. Five days into the crisis, ...

50 Countries developing nuclear energy plans: report


50 countries developing nuclear energy plans: report
National Post
The No.3 nuclear reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is seen burning after a blast following an earthquake and tsunami in this satellite image taken March 14, 2011. The nuclear-energy industry is recovering from the Fukushima nuclear power

IAEA says nulcear power safer 1 year after Fukushima

IAEA says nuclear power safer 1 year after Fukushima
Reuters
VIENNA (Reuters) - Nuclear power is safer than it was a year ago when an earthquake and a tsunami hit the area around the Fukushima nuclear plant, the UN atomic energy chief said on Friday, but Greenpeace said no lessons had been learnt.

After Japan, Experts Rethink Costs, Safety of Nuclear Power


After Japan, Experts Rethink Costs, Safety of Nuclear Power
Voice of America
March 09, 2012 After Japan, Experts Rethink Costs, Safety of Nuclear Power But China is still building a number of new reactors Rosanne Skirble In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in Japan a year ago, experts have been ...

U.S. NRC Blog: Japan: A view from one year later by Moderator

U.S. NRC Blog

Japan: A view from one year later

by Moderator
It is hard to believe that one year has passed since the tragedy in Japan on Friday, March 11, 2011.
The actual earthquake and ensuing tsunami occurred in the middle of the night in this time zone, and the first call I received was early Friday morning notifying me of the event. Two reactors on the West Coast had declared what we call an “Unusual Event,” based on a tsunami warning.
By the time I got to my office, many NRC staff were in the NRC Operations Center analyzing whatever data they could gather in order to offer a helping hand. The public affairs staff was communicating to the American people about our monitoring actions, which early on were focused on the tsunami’s possible impact on the US. Fortunately, the tidal surge noted on the West Coast later that day was less than 3 feet.
By late Friday, it became clear that we needed experienced NRC staff on the ground in Japan. We dispatched our first staff the next day. More than a dozen individuals would follow in the months ahead. They now tell interesting stories about their time in Japan, like being shaken in their bed every half hour by aftershocks, each stronger than the Virginia earthquake we experienced in August. As the official spokesperson for the agency, what followed for me were repeated calls and trips to the White House and Capitol Hill, as well as media briefings for the national and international press.
We also began working with other federal agencies to coordinate our response, and prepare to provide whatever assistance we could. Based on the information available later that day, it was clear that four of the reactors at Fukushima Dai-ichi would be a significant challenge, having lost all electrical power necessary to run their cooling systems. The magnitude of the reactor damage was visually evident a few days later when explosions rocked the station.
Two weeks after the event, the NRC established a Task Force to conduct a review and make recommendations to the Commission in light of lessons learned from the accident. Their findings were published in July, and we are moving forward to implement additional safety measures.
In the end, hundreds of NRC staff members volunteered to become hands-on responders to the event – including those who traveled to Japan to provide assistance – and hundreds more took on additional duties to keep our important domestic safety and security work on track. I am proud of the dedication and commitment displayed by all of them in the months after March 11.
We know that the people of Japan are strong, and that they will adapt and overcome. I am inspired by their resiliency, their progress in removing debris and rebuilding, and most of all, their ability to look forward.
Gregory Jaczko
Chairman, NRC

Update from I-Nuclear:NRC issues first orders for post-Fukushima safety fixes addressing highest priorities

New post on i-NUCLEAR

NRC issues first orders for post-Fukushima safety fixes addressing highest priorities

by I-Nuclear
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission on March 9 ordered all 104 operating nuclear power plants, plus those under construction, to implement safety improvements resulting from lessons learned from the Fukushima nuclear accident last year.
US  nuclear plant owners have until December 31, 2016 to better protect safety equipment installed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and to obtain sufficient equipment to support all reactors at a given site simultaneously.
The commission also ordered all plants to install enhanced equipment for monitoring water levels in each plant’s spent fuel pool.
In addition, U.S. boiling-water reactors that have “Mark I” or “Mark II” containment structures, which are similar to the Fukushima plant designs, must improve venting systems (or for the Mark II plants, install new systems) that help prevent or mitigate reactor core damage in the event of a serious accident.
The NRC will also issue a detailed information request to every operating U.S. commercial nuclear power plant, and certain parts will apply to reactors currently under construction or recently licensed. The request covers several topics, including:
•            Re-analyzing earthquake and flooding risks using the latest available information;
•            Conducting earthquake and flooding hazard “walkdowns,” where skilled engineers closely examine a plant’s ability to meet current requirements;
•            Assessing the ability of a plant’s current communications systems and equipment to perform under conditions of onsite and offsite damage and prolonged loss of all alternating current (ac) electrical power; and
•            Assessing plant staffing levels needed to fill emergency positions in response to events simultaneously affecting all reactors at a given site.
Each section of the request includes schedules for plants to provide the relevant information to the NRC.
The orders and the information request will be available on the NRC’s website. These actions address what the NRC determined to be the highest-priority recommendations from the agency’s Japan Near-Term Task Force. The Task Force issued its report in July 2011. The NRC staff continues to examine how to best address the remaining Task Force recommendations, as well as additional topics raised during the early implementation effort.

Fukushima Could Have Been Prevented

Fukushima Could Have Been Prevented

New York Times - 
On March 11, 2011, a massive tsunami inundated the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan causing the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Over 300000 people were evacuated and a vast swath of land will be unusable for decades.

A Year After Fukushima Disaster, China Resumes Nuclear Energy Projects

A Year After Fukushima Disaster, China Resumes Nuclear Energy Projects
Voice of America
March 09, 2012 A Year After Fukushima Disaster, China Resumes Nuclear Energy Projects VOA News This week China announced it will resume its nuclear energy program, nearly one year after several projects were suspended following Japan's Fukushima ...

Fukushima's fate inspires nuclear safety rethink

Fukushima's fate inspires nuclear safety rethink
New Scientist
Since the Japanese megaquake, much has been made of the fact that many reactors may face quakes that exceed those they were designed to withstand. In the US, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is giving plant operators in central and eastern parts of ...

Japan foresaw possible Fukushima meltdown from day one: documents

Japan foresaw possible Fukushima meltdown from day one: documents
Chicago Tribune
The earthquake and tsunami on March 11 knocked out cooling systems at Tokyo Electric Power Co's (Tepco) Fukushima Daiichi plant, triggering the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. Related Toyota provides shot in arm for ...

Tokyo Warned that "Big" Earthquake Coming

Tokyo Warned that "Big" Earthquake Coming

As the world prepares to commemorate next week the first anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Japanese scientists are warning that Tokyo is in increasing danger from a potential massive earthquake. Greater Tokyo, with its 35 million inhabitants, has experienced a three-fold increase in tectonic activity in the year since the 9.0 Richter scale sub sea earthquake produced the tsunami that devastated Fukushima. Metropolitan Tokyo now averages 1.5 quakes in and around the city each day. Tokyo has had many experiences with earthquakes.…Read more...

This Year it is Fossil Fuels Turn to Receive the Majority of DOE Funding

This Year it is Fossil Fuels Turn to Receive the Majority of DOE Funding

The renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors received most of the US federal government’s $24 billion in energy subsidies last year, but fossil fuels will win out this year as several key tax breaks for renewables have expired. Preferential tax treatment accounted for $20.5 billion, or about 85%, of federal support for developing and producing fuel and energy technologies in 2011, while Department of Energy (DOE) spending programmes comprised nearly $3.5 billion, or 15%, according to a report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget…Read more...

The Booms and Busts of the Electric Power Industry

The Booms and Busts of the Electric Power Industry

The electric power industry is driven by boom and bust cycles as market fundamentals and volatility sends signals to market participants to speed up or slow down their efforts. One of the lessons of that boom and bust experience is that seeds of the next boom are sown in the bust of the last business cycle. By that I mean the enthusiasm of the boom stage of the market always attracts new entrants and leads to excess which increases volatility before the fundamentals of supply and demand swing back toward equilibrium. This phenomenon is shown clearly…Read more...

Scrapping all Coal Plants Would have no Significant Effect for 100 Years

Scrapping all Coal Plants Would have no Significant Effect for 100 Years

Who could have dreamed solving climate change would be so easy? A new paper in Environmental Research Letters called “Greenhouse gases, climate change and the transition from coal to low-carbon electricity” concludes that replacement of all of the world’s currently operating coal-fired power plants — which produce about 40% of the world’s electricity — and replacing them with renewable energy would have an impact of 0.2 degrees Celsius 100 years from now. Cherry-Picking Conclusions According to One’s Viewpoint…Read more...

Fukushima's Dirty Inheritance

Fukushima's Dirty Inheritance

Editorial, New Scientist
A year on, the world is still feeling the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated eastern Japan. The dual catastrophe is estimated to have killed almost 20,000 people. Yet it is the consequences of the subsequent partial meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which has so far killed no one, that have reached furthest.

The CBO Report's Real Findings on Energy Subsidies

The CBO Report's Real Findings on Energy Subsidies

Mijin Cha, Demos
The thing about data is that if you pick and choose, it can say exactly what you want it to. The Heritage Foundation did just that when they took a recently released CBO report and claimed that the tax code no longer favors fossil fuels. . .

Assessing the Risks of a 2012 Oil Shock

Assessing the Risks of a 2012 Oil Shock

Editors, The Economist
With the euro crisis in abeyance, high oil prices have become the latest source of worry for the world economy."Oil is the new Greece" is a typical headline on a recent report by HSBC analysts. The fear is understandable. . .

FAS In Depth: One Year Later: Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Power

Federation of American Scientists
FAS In-Depth: March 9, 2012   

Note: This is a new weekly newsletter which will be sent to FAS members, analyzing a current security threat, and FAS work on this issue. If you have any ideas for upcoming content, please contact Katie Colten, Membership Coordinator, at kcolten@fas.org.

One Year Later: Fukushima and the Future of Nuclear Power
March 11th marks the one year anniversary of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck the northeast coast of Japan. These natural disasters resulted in the crisis at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant. One year later, there are massive amounts of nuclear waste and high levels of radiation, and those citizens who live near the plant have not been able to return to their homes.
As a result of this crisis, many questions still remain. What is the future of nuclear power usage not only for Japan, but other countries such as the United States, South Korea, Germany and China? How should Japan properly dispose of the radioactive waste as a result of this accident? Finally, what should Japan's new energy policy look like post-Fukushima?
Your support helps the Federation of American Scientists make a difference. As a valued FAS Member, you're able to listen to this new podcast before it is released to the general public.
In a new edition of the FAS podcast series, "A Conversation With an Expert", FAS President Dr. Charles D. Ferguson answers these questions, and examines the safety of U.S. nuclear power plants post-Fukusima.
You can listen to the podcast here.
The podcast transcript is available here (PDF).
For more information on Fukushima and future use of nuclear power, check out these FAS resources and much more on our website.

Nuclear Crisis at Fukushima:
Nuclear Crisis in Japan
After Fukushima: Rethinking the Case for Nuclear Power’s Expansion
After Fukushima: Lessons Learned from the Public’s Response
Fukushima Dai-ichi: The Nuclear Black Swan
Nuclear Aftershocks (PBS Frontline)
Potential Implications of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident for Nuclear Power (Presentation by FAS President Dr. Charles D. Ferguson at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on March 6, 2012).

Nuclear Power:
The Future of Nuclear Power in the United States (FAS Report)
Whither Nuclear Power?
Fight, Flight, or Freeze: Response Options to Nuclear or Radiological Emergencies


Congressional Research Service Reports:
Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
Japan’s 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami: Economic Effects and Implications for the United States
Nuclear Power Plant Design and Seismic Safety Concerns
Financing Recovery After a Catastrophic Earthquake or Nuclear Power Incident
Nuclear Energy Policy
Effects of Radiation from Fukushima Daiichi on the U.S. Marine Environment
The Japanese Nuclear Incident
Nuclear Power Plant Sites
Nuclear Power: Outlook for New U.S. Reactors


Other Reports:
Global Nuclear Energy Partnership Strategic Plan (U.S. Department of Energy)

Nuclear experts recommend Fukushima investigation include safety culture analysis

Nuclear experts recommend Fukushima investigation include safety culture analysis

Source: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120226a6.html
Nuclear experts from Europe and the US, including Richard Meserve, former NRC Chairman, proposed to a Japanese panel looking into the Fukushima crisis that an analysis of the safety culture should be included in the final investigation report due out in July.

The Fukushima Syndrome

The Fukushima Syndrome
New Straits Times
To be sure, the environmental impact on those living close to Fukushima may take many years to remediate. But the response in many quarters -- not least in ...

Public awareness key to nuclear debate


Public awareness key to nuclear debate
Business Spectator
Australia's leading researcher into thorium-fuelled reactors believes the public and politicians will eventually accept nuclear energy as a safe way of powering the nation and cutting greenhouse emissions. Dr Reza Hashemi-Nezhad, from the University of ...

Thorium sparks renewed nuclear interest

Thorium sparks renewed nuclear interest
Business Spectator
With older nuclear technology like Japan's Fukushima plant still in the spotlight following last year's emergency, some Labor and coalition MPs are taking a closer look at an alternative to uranium-based nuclear power - thorium. As the need for clean, ...

Scientific American 5-part Fukushima Anniversary Special

Scientific American just released a 5-part Fukushima AnniversarySpecial
 
3. Visual tour of earthquake and tsunami (slide show) -  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=massive-japan-earthquake-tsunami-slideshow

Japanese Uneasy With State Of Nuclear Regulation

Japanese Uneasy With State Of Nuclear Regulation
NPR
Japan has relied on nuclear power for nearly a third of its energy needs. Since the nuclear meltdown last year, only two of the country's 54 reactors are active. Steve Inskeep talks to Ken Cukier, of The Economist, about how businesses are faring since ...

Public Meltdown: The Story of Vermont Yankee

Public Meltdown: The Story of Vermont Yankee
All Things Nuclear
Dr. Richard Watts, an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Vermont, recently authored a book titled Public Meltdown: The Story of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. The book chronicles the plant's ups and downs since it was purchased ...
See all stories on this topic »

New paper examines issues raised by Fukushima reactor accident

New paper examines issues raised by Fukushima reactor accident
Science Codex
... at the University of Notre Dame and colleagues from the University of Michigan and the University of California, Davis, stresses that we need much more knowledge about how nuclear fuel interacts with the environment during and after an accident.

Fukushima lesson: Prepare for unanticipated nuclear accidents

Fukushima lesson: Prepare for unanticipated nuclear accidents
A year after the crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers remain largely in the dark when it comes to fundamental knowledge about how nuclear fuels behave under extreme conditions, according to a University of Michigan nuclear waste expert and his colleagues.

Top Oil & Gas News from PennEnergy

Top Oil & Gas News
Oil & gas industry creates 9% of U.S. jobs in 2011
A new report is giving the energy sector a renewed focus as a major player for aiding the global economy.
Full Article
Share: Facebook Linkedin Twitter Forward to Friend
U.S. oil rig count hits 25-year high
The U.S. oil rig count rose to a new record last week as energy companies boosted exploration to take advantage of crude prices topping $100 a barrel.
Full Article
Share: Facebook Linkedin Twitter Forward to Friend
This Week's Most Popular Oil & Gas News
Oil prices up despite news from China and Iraq
BP Deepwater Horizon settlement announced
Indian oil tanker cancels shipment from Iran on E.U. pressure
Gas well fire offshore Nigeria no longer burning
February petrochemical prices surge 10% on high oil prices & tight supply
U.S. legislators call for implementation of oil futures position limits
Offshore oil platform start up in Santos Basin
Oil & gas exploration efforts in Oklahoma
Skrugard gas discovery appraisal underway
Gas plant in Bolivia gets third unit from Petrobras
Consent granted for offshore oil exploration with West Alpha
Halliburton 2012 first quarter conference call