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Evacuation advisories lifted in Fukushima towns

Located in: Industry Talk

30 September 2011

The Japanese government has lifted an evacuation advisory for five municipalities located between 20 and 30 kilometres from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The advisory covers Hirono town, Naraha town, Kawauchi village, Tamura city and Minamisoma city, all within Fukushima prefecture. Although the government had earlier advised people in those areas to be prepared to stay indoors or leave their homes should the situation at the damaged nuclear reactors deteriorate, some 28,500 residents - about half the population - had chosen to leave anyway. The five municipalities have already submitted their respective plans for decontaminating the areas and restoring key infrastructure. The lifting of the advisory marks the first time that the government has revoked an evacuation-related designation since the accident began. With the damaged reactors becoming more stable and radiation levels having decreased, the government aims to allow more people from evacuated areas to return home permanently. At present nobody is allowed to live within 20 kilometres of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, while people living up to 30 kilometres away have been told to be prepared to evacuate. In addition, some other areas, such as Itate village, have been evacuated due to radiation dose rates over 20 millisieverts per year.

Canadian team wins first Nuclear Olympiad

Located in: New Nuclear

30 September 2011

Nuclear Olympiad 2011 (Konepa)A team from Canada has won the inaugural International Nuclear Energy Olympiad, which has been held in Seoul, South Korea.

Mixed messages from Swiss upper house

Located in: Nuclear Policies

30 September 2011

Politicians in Switzerland's upper house have called for a ban on new nuclear construction projects, at least for the time being, in the latest vote on a possible phaseout of nuclear power in the country.

Fukushima units near cold shutdown

Located in: Industry Talk

29 September 2011

The temperatures at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessels (RPVs) of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi units 1, 2 and 3 have all been recorded as being below 100°C for the first time since the accident triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, according to Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). At 5.00pm on 28 September, the temperature of the bottom of the RPV of unit 2 was 99.4°C. The temperature of unit 1 has been below 100°C - the boiling point of water - since late July, while that of unit 3 dropped below 100°C in early September. The temperatures of units 1 and 3 are currently around 78°C and 79°C, respectively. Cold shutdown at all three reactors - when the heat from radioactive decay has been removed effectively enough for coolant water to be below 100ºC - is the goal of the second phase of Tepco's roadmap for stabilisation. It aims to achieve this by the end of 2011. However, Tepco spokesman Junichi Matsumoto said "Although the temperature (of unit 2) has been showing a falling tendency overall, the temperature of the bottom of the pressure vessel has gone up and down, so it is still too early to (make a definitive conclusion).

JAPC to assess Vietnamese project

Located in: New Nuclear

28 September 2011

JAPCO-EVN contract signing (EVN)Japan Atomic Power Company (JAPC) has signed a contract with state-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to conduct a feasibility study into the construction of a nuclear power plant in the southern Ninh Thuan province.

Double header for Beznau

Located in: Corporate

22 September 2011

Click to enlargeThe two reactors of Switzerland's Beznau nuclear power plant are set for major maintenance work in 2014 involving new reactor vessel heads as well as other improvements.

New IAEA system to streamline communications

Located in: Regulation and Safety

22 September 2011

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Incident and Emergency Centre has launched a new secure web-based communications platform to unify and simplify information exchange during nuclear or radiological emergencies.

USA and Russia commit to expand nuclear power

Located in: Nuclear Policies

21 September 2011

Stephen Chu at IAEA Scientific Forum on Water, September 2011 (Dean Calma - IAEA)Energy leaders from Russia and America have made a "commitment to supporting the safe and secure expansion of civil nuclear energy" on the sidelines of the International Atomic Energy Agency's General Conference.

Fuel tax falls at first hurdle

Located in: Corporate

20 September 2011

A fuel pellet

The German government's plans to impose a tax on nuclear fuel have been rejected by the Hamburg Tax Court as doubtful in terms of the country's constitution. One utility is to be refunded and nuclear fuel tax collections are to be suspended.

Fukushima 1 taking cover

Located in: Regulation and Safety

20 September 2011

Fukushima unit 1 cover 15 September (Tepco)Work to complete the cover over Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 continues. It will form a seal around the damaged building, preventing any potential emissions of radioactive material.


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