In-Focus: Japan – NRA to question TEPCO executives about safety concerns – Municipalities worried current nuclear safety measures still inadequate

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NRA to question TEPCO executives about safety policies at nuclear power plants

The Nuclear Regulation Authority, or NRA, held a meeting on Wednesday and discussed a recent series of problems at nuclear plants operated by TEPCO.

At the No. 5 reactor of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture, the utility found warping at 18 locations in tubes that send water through fuel assemblies in a spend fuel pool.

TEPCO reported that the workers may have warped the tubes by using excessive force to move fuel assemblies.

NRA Chariman Shunichi Tanaka said that TEPCO has a systematic problem and that he cannot dispel concerns over its safety awareness.

Source: NHK

Local governments agree to radioactive waste survey

Local municipalities will allow the central government to conduct surveys for building temporary facilities to store soil tainted with radioactive fallout.

The municipalities reportedly say the central government must know that allowing surveys does not mean that they will allow building of the facilities. They also reportedly say the ministry must now explain the details and progress of the surveys.

Source: JiJi Press

Source: NHK

Source: The Daily Yomiuri

Municipalities worried current nuclear safety measures still inadequate

15 of 34 municipalities surveyed by NHK said they had asked power utilities and storage site operators to take new steps to make facilities earthquake-proof and improve cooling systems.

10 municipalities said they want spent fuel storage facilities immediately removed from their jurisdictions.  Another 11 said storage for a certain period is unavoidable.

14,400 tons of the more than 17,000 tons of spent fuel currently stored remain in pools at nuclear plants nationwide, some 70% of their storage capacity.

In Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, Tokai Village chief Tatsuya Murakami says nuclear fuel recycling has not seen progress in 50 years despite predictions. He said it is wrong to cling to a policy that is not feasible.

Source: NHK

35 Rebuilding projects not linked to disaster halted

Source: The Japan Times

Japan’s Atomic Energy Commission to draft new policies on nuclear waste disposal

Source: NHK

Tohoku Electric and Shikoku Electric aim to hike rates next year

Source: JiJi Press

Anti-nuclear political party led by Shiga Governor aims to end nuclear dependence in Japan by 2022

Source: JiJi Press

Source: The Japan Times

Nuclear Regulatory Authority may investigate J-Power’s Oma nuclear plant for underground faults

Source: JiJi Press

Prime Minister Noda wants to paint pronuclear power LDP as giant step backward

Source: The Japan Times

Animals in evacuation zones holding on

Source: The Japan Times

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