Wednesday, August 6, 7:00am - 8:00am
100 Nedderman Hall, UT Arlington campus

Fukushima Update

Michael Hay
Branch Chief, Region IV
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission


On March 11 of 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the eastern coast of Japan caused a gigantic tsunami that swept ashore, killing thousands and destroying or damaging more than one million structures. One of these was the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, one of the largest in the world in terms of power output. Shortly following the tsunami, three of the plant's six reactors experienced significant core damage as power to cooling pumps was lost, resulting in reactor building explosions and the release of radioactive material to the environment. Citizens within a 10-mile radius were permanently evacuated. Decontamination activities still continue today.


Mr. Hay was one of the initial U.S.N.R.C. specialists sent to Japan to provide assistance. In this presentation, Mr. Hay examines the disastrous effects of the tsunami to the power plant and the subsequent explosions leading to the uncontrolled release of radioactive material.  He will also discuss the current state of the reactors and ongoing challenges involving the storage of contaminated water.


Michael Hay earned a B.S. in physics from Idaho State University and an M.S. in health physics from Texas A&M. He served aboard the nuclear-powered USS Albuquerque, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine, and was a nuclear instructor at the Idaho National Laboratory Naval Facility before joining the U.S.N.R.C. in 1995. Since that time, he has held positions of increasing responsibility, including reactor health physics inspector, resident inspector, senior resident inspector and senior project engineer. Hay became a regional branch manager in 2007.


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