Conditions and safety the focus at Fukushima site

28 August 2015

Radiation levels have reduced to the point that full-face masks are not needed for 90% of the Fukushima Daiichi site but worker safety remains a high priority following a fatal accident this month.

The reduction in ambient radiation after treatment of contaminated water, the progress of general clean-up and management of dust has meant that workers now only need full-face masks for 10% of the Fukushima Daiichi site. Using only half-face masks represents a significant improvement to the working lives of clean-up staff, which also helps them to work safely by improving their comfort and vision.

However, the complexity of the site, the thousands of workers and the remaining protective equipment combine to add risk to work at Fukushima Daiichi and there have been a number of  fatal accidents. This week, Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare dispatched new rules to Tepco to help it maintain worker safety.

Dominion institutes corrective actions at Millstone

28 August 2015

Dominion is implementing a "broad range of corrective actions" at unit 2 of its Millstone nuclear power plant in Waterford, Connecticut under a settlement agreement reached with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Production resumes at Metropolis

27 August 2015

Full production has resumed at Honeywell's Metropolis uranium conversion plant in Illinois after a uranium hexafluoride leak earlier this month. The leak was caused by over-pressurization of a system that was undergoing maintenance at the time.

Fuel loading begins at first Changjiang unit

27 August 2015

Changjiang 1 fuel loading 48The loading of fuel has started at unit 1 of the Changjiang nuclear power plant, under construction on China's southern island province of Hainan. The reactor is expected to begin operating later this year.

Paladin narrows its loss, continues to cut costs

28 August 2015

Paladin Energy has reported a net loss of $368.8 million for the 2015 fiscal year, ending 30 June, up from a loss of $336.5 million in fiscal 2014.

IAEA and Kazakhstan agree to create nuclear fuel bank

27 August 2015

IAEA LEU Bank agreement signing 48The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Kazakhstan today signed an agreement to set up a low-enriched uranium fuel 'bank' in Oskemen, Kazakhstan.

Commissioning of Ignalina solid waste facilities under way

26 August 2015

Ignalina solid waste facility - 48Cold testing - one of the first stages of the commissioning process - has started at the new Solid Waste Management and Storage Facilities at the shut down Ignalina nuclear power plant in Lithuania.

The human side of nuclear safety

The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has, as might be expected, led to improvements in equipment at plants around the world that have fortified safety systems and allowed for better protection against rare, extreme natural events.
 
Equally important to the process of improving nuclear safety is the emphasis placed on implementing quality improvements to the 'human' side of nuclear safety, a crucial element that is often not considered by those outside the nuclear sector, writes William Magwood.

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