In 'Fukushima Building,' TVA tests a new age of nuclear construction
SPRING CITY, Tenn. -- A new $185 million building here can withstand an earthquake, floods and tornadoes.
The floor is tied to bedrock.
The door and wall can withstand "missiles," which could mean actual weapons but more likely would be objects pummeled through the air during a tornado, hurricane or other severe weather event.
This is the new "FLEX Storage Equipment Building" at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar nuclear power plant. TVA officials simply call it the "Fukushima Building."
With 1 reactor nearly complete, TVA has more nuclear plans on the back burner
More than 3,000 workers are at Tennessee Valley Authority's Watts Bar nuclear site making sure Unit 2 will be ready to produce electricity by the end of next year.
Meanwhile, a 1,600-acre site in Jackson County, Ala., waits in the wings for when TVA needs additional emission-free baseload generation.
TVA's Bellefonte site in Hollywood, Ala., could be where the utility eventually builds a new reactor. Those plans may seem ambitious right now, but TVA has considered the site for as many as four reactors.
'Empty and lonely' Fukushima towns struggle in catastrophe's wake
IWAKI CITY, Japan -- Three years have passed since a mega-earthquake and tsunami slammed into Atsushi Fuda's hometown of Hirono, forcing him to leave with only the clothes on his back.
Today, Fuda, 72, is among more than 150,000 evacuees unable to return home. And he's worried that people have stopped paying attention.
"The media doesn't come here," said Fuda at the temporary shelter where he lives, about 10 miles away from Hirono. "I feel forgotten."
Fuda's struggle highlights the Japanese government's challenge in decontaminating large swaths of land and drawing residents back home following the March 11, 2011, catastrophe that killed 19,000 people.
2 Japanese reactors clear post-Fukushima regulatory hurdles
TOKYO -- Japanese regulators signaled today that two reactors in the country's southern region would be the first to meet strict safety standards imposed after a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear disaster three years ago in the Fukushima Prefecture.
The Nuclear Regulatory Authority released preliminary findings that two 1970s-vintage reactors at Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai power plant comply with safety standards introduced last summer. The authority's findings are now subject to a 30-day public comment period through Aug. 15.