UPDATE AS OF 3 P.M. EDT, FRIDAY, MAY 27:
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) continues working toward a solution for managing radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility. The company has suspended transferring water from the reactor turbine buildings to a centralized radiation waste treatment facility because that complex has reached its capacity. The company also reported a leak in the water treatment facility that must be fixed before the transfer of water from the turbine buildings can continue. A new water treatment facility is expected to begin service June 15 at the plant.
TEPCO began spraying a synthetic resin dust inhibitor onto the walls and roof of the reactor 1 turbine building and other areas at the site as one way of reducing the release of radioactive material. Plans are to spray the resin onto the reactor and turbine buildings of reactors 1-4.
A minor electrical fire in the basement of a building at Fukushima Daini reactor 1 was quickly extinguished with no injuries. The reactors at the Daini plant have been safely shut down since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
NEI President and CEO Marvin Fertel, Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman, Institute of Nuclear Power Operations President and CEO Jim Ellis, and NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko will speak at a May 31 conference sponsored by the Center for Transatlantic Relations and The Atlantic Council, "After Fukushima: The Future of Nuclear Energy in the United States and Europe." Also speaking at the Washington, D.C., event are former Congressman Lee Hamilton and the ambassadors of France, Germany and the European Union.
At the G8 summit May 26, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan proposed that Japan host an international nuclear safety summit later this year. He said Japan would fully support International Atomic Energy Agency safety standards and would work to strengthen the Convention on Nuclear Safety. "Many among the G8 think that there is no alternative to nuclear power, even if we are convinced of the need to develop alternative energy, renewable energy," said French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "But we all want to give ourselves a very high level of regulation on nuclear safety that applies to all countries wishing to use civilian nuclear power to make the safety levels the highest ever known," he said.
Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has admonished TEPCO for failing to prevent the exposure of two clerical workers at the plant to levels of radiation three times above the annual limit.
The Japanese government announced plans to reduce radiation levels at school grounds in Fukushima prefecture to below 100 millirem per year, shifting from its previous limit of 20 times that amount after local parents protested. Possible measures include removing topsoil at the schools and individual monitoring of radiation for students.
Fukushima prefecture has conducted full-body radioactive screenings of more than 190,000 people since March 13-about one-tenth of the prefecture's population. In addition, Japan's science ministry will survey radiation levels at more than 2,200 locations within Fukushima prefecture and will draw up a map of soil contamination.
NEI sent 10 tweets to the news media from Thursday's meeting of the National Academies of Sciences' Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board. The featured remarks from NEI's president and chief executive officer Marvin Fertel and NRC Commissioner George Apostolakis can be found on NEI's @NEI_media Twitter account.
NEI participated in a live interview about the implications of the Fukushima accident on NTN24 TV broadcast in South America.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's 10-day fact-finding mission in Japan began May 25 and ends June 2. Team leader Mike Weightman, the United Kingdom's chief nuclear safety inspector, is to present a report at the IAEA's ministerial conference on nuclear safety June 20 in Vienna. The United States has one representative on the IAEA team.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science will host a session on the Challenges of Nuclear Spent Fuel Management: Lessons from Around the World at 3 p.m. EDT June 3 in Washington, D.C.