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Noda to take over in Japan

Located in: Nuclear Policies

30 August 2011

Yoshihiko Noda on election to lead the DPJ (DPJ)Yoshihiko Noda has been selected as the new leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan and therefore the prime minister of the country. He calls for the strong, independent regulation of nuclear power.

Chubu borrows to pay for gas

Located in: Industry Talk

25 August 2011

Chubu Electric Power Corp has signed a loan agreement totalling ¥100 billion ($1.3 billion) with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel its gas-fired power plants following the enforced shutdown of its Hamaoka nuclear power plant. In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, prime minister Naoto Kan asked Chubu in early May to shut down Hamaoka units 4 and 5, and not to restart unit 3 of the plant in Shizuoka prefecture until tsunami defences at the site have been strengthened. Hamaoka units 1 and 2 have already been permanently shut down. The company expects work to bolster the site's tsunami defences to be completed by December 2012. In June, Chubu secured an emergency loan of ¥100 billion from the Development Bank of Japan to support rising fuel costs following the shutdown of the plant.

Tepco to try core cooling system

Located in: Regulation and Safety

24 August 2011

The temperature of the reactor core of unit 3 of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant is expected to drop significantly with the commissioning of a more efficient cooling system, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

Brazil outlines post-Fukushima actions

Located in: Regulation and Safety

23 August 2011

Angra 1 (Eletronuclear)Eletronuclear has announced a five-year program of actions to evaluate and improve safety, security and reliability at Brazil's only operating nuclear power plant in response to the Fukushima accident.

Research institutes announce collaboration

Located in: Corporate

18 August 2011

The US-based Electric Power Research Institute and Japan's Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry have agreed to team up on research into nuclear materials and radiation issues.

UK new build regulatory plan

Located in: Industry Talk

18 August 2011

A four-year plan from the UK's Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has spelt out the resources it will put towards new nuclear build in coming years. The ONR expects to issue interim Design Acceptance Confirmation for the Areva EPR and Westinghouse AP1000 by the end of the year, if the outcomes of Mike Weightman's post-Fukushima report can be incorporated. Some items will be outstanding, but these should have a predictable timetable for resolution. It also counts among its deliverables the granting of approval for non-nuclear site work for Hinkley Point C, Wylfa B and Sizewell C, as long as applications are satisfactory. Subject to government approval, the ONR will start acceptance work on a new set of reactor designs in mid-to-late 2012. Supporting all this is a new-build workforce of about 88, growing to 107 in 2015. This year's budget for new build regulation was almost £20 million ($33 million) and future budgets will vary around the £15-16 million ($24-26 million) mark to 2015. The ONR has a total budget of about £62 million ($102 million), some 98% of which is recovered from industry.

Progress report on Fukushima Daiichi

Located in: Regulation and Safety

17 August 2011

Some stabilisation targets have been met at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, but levels of contaminated water in the basements remain Tepco's biggest challenge.

First Japanese reactor resumes normal operation

Located in: Regulation and Safety

17 August 2011

CLARIFIED: Unit 3 at the Tomari nuclear power plant on Japan's northern Hokkaido island has resumed operation after a periodic inspection. It is the first reactor to be restarted in the country since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

Regulatory shake-up in Japan

Located in: Regulation and Safety

16 August 2011

Japan is beginning work on a new regulatory structure for its nuclear energy industry with competence centralised in a body linked to the Ministry of the Environment.

Chinese safety checks

Located in: Regulation and Safety

11 August 2011

Chinese safety authorities have completed an intial survey of nuclear safety at the country's power plants. Details on the results and proposed improvements are to be made public in the middle of next year but there is not yet a timeline for when construction approvals may resume.

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