The U.S. government – including the NRC – continues to support Japan as that country works to recover from the tragic effects of the March earthquake tsunami. The NRC continues to monitor events at Fukushima Daiichi and maintains a small team of experts in Japan and at NRC headquarters who track the latest developments. Whenever necessary, these teams are supplemented with additional NRC engineering and scientific specialists to support the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the government of Japan.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and the Japanese government are still in the active accident mitigation phase of this incident. TEPCO has established a “roadmap” for their recovery and declared success on the first step of their roadmap on July 19. TEPCO’s first step was to make sure the radiation dose around the Fukushima site steadily declined. They are now focusing on Step Two, involves managing the site for the long term and preparing for decommissioning the plants. Meanwhile, Japanese government officials are focusing on reuniting families separated as a result of evacuations around the plant.
Last month, Goshi Hosono visited the NRC and met with Chairman Jaczko. Mr. Hosono, previously special advisor to the Japanese prime minister and now the state minister in charge of the Fukushima crisis response, expressed his gratitude for the assistance of the NRC following the accident. Chairman Jaczko extended sympathy to the people of Japan in dealing with the difficult circumstances, and briefed Mr. Hosono on NRC’s ongoing review of U.S. nuclear plants. Mr. Hosono discussed the Japanese government’s continuing efforts to deal with the challenges posed by the damaged Fukushima reactors and the report Japan submitted in June to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Last week, we watched the path of a typhoon, which was eventually downgraded to a tropical storm. Thankfully, the storm weakened before it hit Fukushima Daiichi and the site only experienced some heavy rainfall.
We will continue to provide updates on the NRC’s activities in support of Japan periodically on this blog.Amy Bonaccorso Senior Communications Specialist