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Tag Archive: Spent nuclear fuel


Fukushima News 11/23/13: “Hot Rod” Extraction Next Week: Die-offs of mammals, birds in West U.S.;

MissingSky101 MissingSky101·

 

Published on Nov 23, 2013

Die-offs of mammals, birds, reptiles in Western U.S. — “So many diseases afflicting such a wide variety of animals” — Names out of sci-fi thriller: hemorrhagic disease, sylvatic plague — Studies now underway to find out why (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/die-offs-of-mammal…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UMsw9… (Preview)

Source: First try to remove spent fuel from Unit 4 could be next week — Nuclear Engineer: Everyone’s nervous about pulling out used rods that are corroding; Will zircoloy tubes break and spill fuel pellets, leading to a criticality? (AUDIO)
http://enenews.com/source-first-attem…
http://podcast.gcnlive.com/podcast/nu…

Sailors in Hawaii being asked to monitor Fukushima plumes — TV: New type of debris washing up on islands, “Really looks different… it’s more current driven” — Study: Japan nuclear contamination moving same speed as current (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/tv-new-type-of-deb…

Nuclear Engineer: New cover on Unit 4 can trap hydrogen gas during criticality in fuel pool — Blast would be close to a nuclear explosion, from a practical standpoint (AUDIO)
https://soundcloud.com/wbez-worldview…

http://enenews.com/tepco-adviser-925-…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_0d3w… (Preview)

Fukushima land grab eyed
State wants to purchase 15-sq.-km track around No. 1 plant for waste storage sites
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013…

TEPCO, Mitsubishi plan coal-fired power plants at Fukushima
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disa…

Fukushima Nuclear Fallout Has Damaged the Thyroids of California Babies

http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushim…

Radiation dunce Dr. Shunichi Yamashita finally admits giving bad info about Fukushima fallout
http://www.naturalnews.com/043004_rad…

Knock on wood, 22 nuclear fuel rod assemblies down, some 1498 more to go.
http://intellihub.com/2013/11/21/nucl…

Nuclear critic urges removal of radioactive waste at West Lake Landfill
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/me…

The Feds’ Nuclear Shakedown
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles…

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry
http://nuclear-news.net/

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MissingSky101 MissingSky101

Published on Nov 16, 2013

Fuel rod removal set to start at Fukushima plant
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant plans to take the first step in decommissioning the facility next week, more than 2 and a half years after its triple meltdown.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said on Friday that workers will start removing nuclear fuel rod units from a storage pool at the plant’s Number 4 reactor on Monday.
The pool holds more than 1,500 units, including some that are extremely radioactive and spent and others that are unused. The reactor holds the most units of any at the plant.
In March 2011, a hydrogen explosion severely damaged the building of the reactor. But unlike 3 other reactors at the plant, it did not suffer a meltdown as its pressure vessel was empty.
TEPCO officials say nuclear regulators and outside experts have found no problems with the firm’s preparation to cover the damaged building and install a crane to remove the fuel.
Workers plan to transfer the units into a cask in the pool, use the crane to lift out the cask, and transfer the fuel to an outside storage pool about 100 meters away.
TEPCO has 2 casks that can each hold up to 22 units. Workers are to fill the first cask with less radioactive unused fuel. Removal of all the rods is expected to take until late next year.
Safety is a major concern in the project — the first milestone in an unprecedented decommissioning process that could span 4 decades.
The reactor pool is still littered with small debris that could hamper smooth removal of the units.
The job will require extreme caution, as any damage to the fuel or casks could unleash high-level radiation.
If trouble occurs, workers’ exposure could reach the safety limit, seriously setting back the removal process.

Lawmakers to explore nuclear waste disposal plan
Japanese lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition parties are set to launch a parliamentarians’ group to discuss disposal of highly radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.
The move follows a call for a nuclear power-free society by former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi. Koizumi called on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to decide promptly on a zero nuclear policy instead of restarting idled reactors.
Koizumi cited as a reason, difficulties associated with the construction of disposal sites for highly radioactive waste.

LDP official hints at building new nuclear plants
The secretary general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has hinted at the possibility of studying building new nuclear power plants in Japan as long as their safety can be guaranteed.
Shigeru Ishiba spoke to reporters on Saturday about the country’s future energy policy.
Ishiba said the government will first have to restart existing idled nuclear plants after ensuring their safety.

Tepco aiming to cut 1,000 jobs via voluntary redundancy
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013…

http://enenews.com/nuclear-engineer-n…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=…

http://enenews.com/columnist-fukushim…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnrrh9…

[78,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of all β] More tank leakage found
http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/11/78…

Tepco “The maximum output of spent fuel in reactor4 pool is only enough to work a hair dryer”
http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/11/te…

Report: Quake safety lacking at nuke plant
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/n…

Trucks with radioactive cargo fail inspections
More than one truck in seven carrying radioactive cargo has been pulled off the road by Ontario transportation inspectors since 2010
http://www.thestar.com/business/2013/…

Experts: Fukushima plume headed to West Coast isn’t just going to pass by like smoke, plant continues to spew into ocean; Pacific to be full of contamination, it’s a gigantic experiment — Host: Amazing how many people are in denial (VIDEO)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnrrh9…

Fox News: ‘Video points to serious damage’ to Fukushima Reactor No. 1 — Nuclear Expert: Size of leak indicates ‘large damage’ — Caused by explosion? (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/fox-news-video-poi…

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry
http://nuclear-news.net/
http://www.youtube.com/user/MsMilkyth…

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AGreen Road Project AGreen Road Project

Published on Nov 15, 2013

via http://www.agreenroadproject.org TEPCO is planning to remove the spent fuel rods from the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 at Fukushima Daiichi. Today’s video shows Arnie debunking TEPCO’s animated film point by point, and highlights the issues TEPCO will have removing the fuel rods. TEPCO needs to be removed as the organization overseeing the cleanup of the site prior to the removal of the fuel rods. They have basically been failing at everything they do since 3/11.

They have not found the 3 melted out coriums, and do not seem to even care to know.

They have been dumping 400 tons of highly radioactive water every day into the Pacific, with no plan on how to stop it.

They are caught in one lie after another, from day one until now..

Why would anyone want an organization that caused the biggest mega nuclear disaster and failure in history to also be the sole successful no bid, cost plus contractor that ‘cleans’ the mess up? In other words, they are being paid to FAIL and lie, over and over again, correct?

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Fukushima News 11/12/13:

 

Published on Nov 12, 2013

NRA finishes checks before fuel removal
Japan’s nuclear watchdog has finished facility checks before the removal of nuclear fuel from a badly damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Removing the fuel units is the first milestone in a decommissioning project that’s estimated to take about 40 years. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, plans to decommission 4 damaged reactors.
The firm is preparing to remove 1,533 fuel units from a storage pool in the plant’s No.4 reactor, which stores the most fuel units among the 4.
On Tuesday, officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority told the utility that they found no problems with a crane, the building’s cover, and various facilities. The regulators had been checking since September.

Experts call for change in radiation measuring
A panel of experts is urging the Japanese government to change the way it measures radiation exposure for evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear accident when they return home.
The panel at the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Monday endorsed draft proposals covering state support for people who want to return to their homes near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The proposals call on authorities to allow evacuees to return only after yearly radiation levels in their communities have fallen to below 20 millisieverts.
The proposals also say it should be a long-term aim to bring annual exposure levels for people to one millisievert or less.
To date, officials have estimated exposure based on radiation levels in the environment. But the panel says they should measures exposure by equipping individuals with radiation monitors called dosimeters.

Offshore wind farm test starts off Fukushima
Japan’s largest offshore wind power generation facility has begun a test run off Fukushima Prefecture. The prefecture is trying to recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent nuclear accident.
The industry ministry started the experimental power generation 20 kilometers off Naraha Town.

Govt., TEPCO target Fukushima water leaks
Officials from the Japanese government and the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have agreed on measures to protect the plant from heavy rainfall. They are hoping to limit leaks of radioactive water.
Senior Vice Industry Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said an unusually large number of typhoons and storms over the past month caused radioactive water to leak outside of the facility.
Representatives of the government and TEPCO discussed the issue at a meeting in Fukushima Prefecture on Monday.
They decided to fasten drainage pipes to the top of storage tanks by the end of March, 2014. The pipes are expected to stop about 60 percent of rain water from flowing into barriers surrounding the tanks.

Top nuclear official blocks interviews with people over Fukushima exposures; Only allowed to talk to “friendly” gov’t leaders — Reuters: “No matter how hard they try, radiation isn’t going down” -Resident (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/top-nuclear-offici…

“No fuel” vs “Is fuel” in reactor4 pool
http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/11/co…

All β nuclide density increasing for 4 days in groundwater beside the tank
http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/11/al…

JP Gov hasn’t given Tepco the approval to remove fuel from reactor4 pool
http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/11/jp…

Fukushima worker “Police and secret police may start investigating every worker’s background, thought, family etc..”
http://fukushima-diary.com/2013/11/fu…

What You Should Be Doing Now to Protect Yourself from Nuclear Radiation
http://www.globalresearch.ca/what-you…

For many Fukushima evacuees, the truth is they won’t be going home
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/1…

Anti-nuclear citizens groups targeted in massive cyber-attack
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_n…

Japan nuke-plant water tanks flawed, workers say
http://www.cbs8.com/story/23912811/ja…

Lower radiation readings proposed to speed return of Fukushima evacuees
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disa…

Radiating the People: Fukushima’s Cancer Legacy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ly6R1k…

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Fuel Discharge from Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool in Fukushima Daiichi NPS

MissingSky101 MissingSky101

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Published on Nov 1, 2013

An explanatory video regarding the fuel discharge from Unit 4 spent fuel pool in Fukushima Daiichi NPS was posted.

HP News Network Podcast #4: Jaczko states Unit 4 SFP is dry, the Tepco Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFLNTj…

NRC Operation Center Fukushima Day 1 Transcripts Audio Clips
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciRRsC…

Japan Radiation Map
http://jciv.iidj.net/map/

US Radiation Network
http://www.radiationnetwork.com/

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry
http://nuclear-news.net/

FukushimaDiary
http://fukushima-diary.com/category/d…

http://fukushimafacts.com/

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The Japan Times

Kyodo

Tepco to conduct fuel removal test at reactor 4

The utility had intended to start removing the fuel rods from the unit’s packed cooling pool as early as Friday.

The test was requested by the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization. The government-affiliated agency called for an initial test that would include transporting a protective fuel cask from the No. 4 storage pool to another pool in a different building about 100 meters away, to provide more stable conditions for cooling spent fuel, the sources said.

The agency has already inspected the equipment to be used in the operation on behalf of the Nuclear Regulation Authority. It has also urged Tepco to have its work evaluated by a group of Japanese and overseas experts formed by the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, a Tokyo-based organization founded by Japanese government agencies, nuclear facility manufacturers and electric power companies.

Read More Here

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AGreen Road Project AGreen Road Project

 

Published on Oct 31, 2013

This two- minute animation was created using Kirk Sorensen’s Spent Fuel Explorer, which in turn uses an industry-validated source for generating the data.
http://www.agreenroadproject.org

I apologize for saying “megaton” when I meant “metric ton.” And for the “20 year” text not being quite synced up to that time period. This is a first draft!

The flickering is due to an over-the-air capture of two runs of Sorensen’s program. I didn’t have time to figure out a pure-digital method in order to finish this by the day it was first needed (for the nuclear waste symposium in San Clemente October 19th, 2013). The image on the right had to be time-matched to the one on the left because the computer ran that portion of the simulation much faster than the more colorful left side. The two sides show the same thing different ways, and are in reasonably close synchronization now.

Video by Ace Hoffman
http://www.acehoffman.org

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Fuel Removal From Fukushima’s Reactor 4 Threatens ‘Apocalyptic’ Scenario

– Andrea Germanos, staff writer

An operation with potentially “apocalyptic” consequences is expected to begin in a little over two weeks from now – “as early as November 8” – at Fukushima’s damaged and sinking Reactor 4, when plant operator TEPCO will attempt to remove over 1300 spent fuel rods holding the radiation equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs from a spent fuel storage tank perched on the reactor’s upper floor.

Fukushima Reactor 4 While the Reactor 4 building itself did not suffer a meltdown, it did suffer a hydrogen explosion, is now tipping and sinking and has zero ability to withstand another seismic event.

The Japan Times explained:

To remove the rods, TEPCO has erected a 273-ton mobile crane above the building that will be operated remotely from a separate room.

[…] spent fuel rods will be pulled from the racks they are stored in and inserted one by one into a heavy steel chamber while the assemblies are still under water. Once the chamber is removed from the pool and lowered to the ground, it will be transported to another pool in an undamaged building on the site for storage.

Under normal circumstances, such an operation would take little more than three months, but TEPCO is hoping to complete the complicated task within fiscal 2014.

A chorus of voices has been sounding alarm over the never-been-done-at-this-scale plan to manually remove the 400 tons of spent fuel by TEPCO, who so far has been responsible for mishap after mishap in the ongoing crisis at the crippled nuclear plant.

Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, warned this summer that “They are going to have difficulty in removing a significant number of the rods,” and said that “To jump to the conclusion that it is going to work just fine is quite a leap of logic.”  Paul Gunter, MD, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project with Takoma Park, Md.-based Beyond Nuclear, also sounded alarm on Thursday, telling Common Dreams in a statement that “Given the uncertainties of the condition and array of the hundreds of tons of nuclear  fuel assemblies, it will be a risky round of highly radioactive pickup sticks.”  Gundersen offered this analogy of the challenging process of removing the spent fuel rods:

If you think of a nuclear fuel rack as a pack of cigarettes, if you pull a cigarette straight up it will come out — but these racks have been distorted. Now when they go to pull the cigarette straight out, it’s going to likely break and release radioactive cesium and other gases, xenon and krypton, into the air. I suspect come November, December, January we’re going to hear that the building’s been evacuated, they’ve broke a fuel rod, the fuel rod is off-gassing. […]

I suspect we’ll have more airborne releases as they try to pull the fuel out. If they pull too hard, they’ll snap the fuel. I think the racks have been distorted, the fuel has overheated — the pool boiled – and the net effect is that it’s likely some of the fuel will be stuck in there for a long, long time.

The Japan Times adds:

Removing the fuel rods is a task usually assisted by computers that know their exact location down to the nearest millimeter. Working virtually blind in a highly radioactive environment, there is a risk the crane could drop or damage one of the rods — an accident that would heap even more misery onto the Tohoku region.

As long-time anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman explained, the

Spent fuel rods must be kept cool at all times. If exposed to air, their zirconium alloy cladding will ignite, the rods will burn and huge quantities of radiation will be emitted. Should the rods touch each other, or should they crumble into a big enough pile, an explosion is possible.

“In the worst-case scenario,” RT adds,

the pool could come crashing to the ground, dumping the rods together into a pile that could fission and cause an explosion many times worse than in March 2011.

Wasserman says that the plan is so risky it requires a global take-over, an urging Gunter also shared, stating that the “dangerous task should not be left to TEPCO but quickly involve the oversight and management of independent international experts.”

Wasserman told Common Dreams that

The bring-down of the fuel rods from Fukushima Unit 4 may be the most dangerous engineering task ever undertaken.  Every indication is that TEPCO is completely incapable of doing it safely, or of reliably informing the global community as to what’s actually happening.  There is no reason to believe the Japanese government could do much better.  This is a job that should only be undertaken by a dedicated team of the world’s very best scientists and engineers, with access to all the funding that could be needed.

The potential radiation releases in this situation can only be described as apocalyptic.  The cesium alone would match the fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs.  If the job is botched, radiation releases could force the evacuation of all humans from the site, and could cause electronic equipment to fail.  Humankind would be forced to stand helplessly by as billions of curies of deadly radiation pour into the air and the ocean.

As dire as Wasserman’s warning sounds, it is echoed by fallout researcher Christina Consolo, who told RT that the worst case scenario could be “a true apocalypse.” Gunter’s warning was dire as well.

“Time is of the essence as we remain concerned that another earthquake could still topple the damaged reactor building and the nuclear waste storage pond up in its attic,” he continued. “This could literally re-ignite the nuclear accident in the open atmosphere and inflame it into hemispheric proportions,” said Gunter.

Wasserman says that given the gravity of the situation, the eyes of the world should be upon Fukushima:

This is a question that transcends being anti-nuclear.  The fate of the earth is at stake here and the whole world must be watching every move at that site from now on.  With 11,000 fuel rods scattered around the place, as a ceaseless flow of contaminated water poisoning our oceans, our very survival is on the line.

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Fukushima apocalypse: Years of ‘duct tape fixes’ could result in ‘millions of deaths’

Published time: August 17, 2013 13:15
Edited time: August 18, 2013 13:41

Damaged Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) number 1 daiichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

Damaged Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) number 1 daiichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

Fukushima operator TEPCO wants to extract 400 tons worth of spent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s damaged Reactor No. 4. The removal would have to be done manually from the top store of the damaged building in the radiation-contaminated environment.

In the worst-case scenario, a mishandled rod may go critical, resulting in an above-ground meltdown releasing radioactive fallout with no way to stop it, said Consolo, who is the founder and host of Nuked Radio. But leaving the things as they are is not an option, because statistical risk of a similarly bad outcome increases every day, she said.

RT: How serious is the fuel rod situation compared to the danger of contaminated water build-up which we already know about?

Christina Consolo: Although fuel rod removal happens on a daily basis at the 430+ nuclear sites around the world, it is a very delicate procedure even under the best of circumstances. What makes fuel removal at Fukushima so dangerous and complex is that it will be attempted on a fuel pool whose integrity has been severely compromised. However, it must be attempted as Reactor 4 has the most significant problems structurally, and this pool is on the top floor of the building.

There are numerous other reasons that this will be a dangerous undertaking.

– The racks inside the pool that contain this fuel were damaged by the explosion in the early days of the accident. 

– Zirconium cladding which encased the rods burned when water levels dropped, but to what extent the rods have been damaged is not known, and probably won’t be until removal is attempted. 

– Saltwater cooling has caused corrosion of the pool walls, and probably the fuel rods and racks. 

– The building is sinking. 

– The cranes that normally lift the fuel were destroyed. 

– Computer-guided removal will not be possible; everything will have to be done manually. 

– TEPCO cannot attempt this process without humans, which will manage this enormous task while being bombarded with radiation during the extraction and casking. 

– The process of removing each rod will have to be repeated over 1,300 times without incident. 

– Moving damaged nuclear fuel under such complex conditions could result in a criticality if the rods come into close proximity to one another, which would then set off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped.

What could potentially happen is the contents of the pool could burn and/or explode, and the entire structure sustain further damage or collapse. This chain reaction process could be self-sustaining and go on for a long time. This is the apocalyptic scenario in a nutshell.

The water build-up is an extraordinarily difficult problem in and of itself, and as anyone with a leaky basement knows, water always ‘finds a way.’

‘Trivial in light of other problems at Fukushima, water situation could culminate in the chain reaction scenario’

At Fukushima, they are dealing with massive amounts of groundwater that flow through the property, and the endless pouring that must be kept up 24/7/365 to keep things from getting worse. Recently there appears to be subsidence issues and liquefaction under the plant.

TEPCO has decided to pump the water out of these buildings. However, pumping water out of the buildings is only going to increase the flow rate and create more of these ground issues around the reactors. An enormous undertaking – but one that needs to be considered for long-term preservation of the integrity of the site – is channelling the water away, like a drain tile installed around the perimeter of a house with a leaky basement, but on an epic scale.

Without this effort, the soils will further deteriorate, structural shift will occur, and subsequently the contents of the pools will shift too.

The damage to TEPCO's No.1 Fukushima nuclear power plant's third reactor building in the town of Okuma, Fubata district in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

The damage to TEPCO’s No.1 Fukushima nuclear power plant’s third reactor building in the town of Okuma, Fubata district in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

Any water that flows into those buildings also becomes highly radioactive, as it is likely coming into contact with melted fuel.

Without knowing the extent of the current liquefaction and its location, the location of the melted fuel, how long TEPCO has been pumping out water, or when the next earthquake will hit, it is impossible to predict how soon this could occur from the water problem/subsidence issue alone. But undoubtedly, pumping water out of the buildings is just encouraging the flow, and this water problem needs to be remedied and redirected as soon as possible.

RT: Given all the complications that could arise with extracting the fuel rods, which are the most serious, in your opinion?

CC: The most serious complication would be anything that leads to a nuclear chain reaction. And as outlined above, there are many different ways this could occur. In a fuel pool containing damaged rods and racks, it could potentially start up on its own at anytime. TEPCO has been incredibly lucky that this hasn’t happened so far.

‘One of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do’

My second biggest concern would be the physical and mental fitness of the workers that will be in such close proximity to exposed fuel during this extraction process. They will be the ones guiding this operation, and will need to be in the highest state of alertness to have any chance at all of executing this plan manually and successfully. Many of their senses, most importantly eyesight, will be hindered by the apparatus that will need to be worn during their exposure, to prevent immediate death from lifting compromised fuel rods out of the pool and placing them in casks, or in the common spent fuel pool located a short distance away.

Think for a moment what that might be like through the eyes of one of these workers; it will be hot, uncomfortable, your senses shielded, and you would be filled with anxiety. You are standing on a building that is close to collapse. Even with the strongest protection possible, workers will have to be removed and replaced often. So you don’t have the benefit of doing such a critical task and knowing and trusting your comrades, as they will frequently have to be replaced when their radiation dose limits are reached. If they exhibit physical or mental signs of radiation exposure, they will have be replaced more often.

The stricken Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima daiichi No.1 nuclear power plant reactor number three (L) and four (R), with smoke rising from number three at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

The stricken Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima daiichi No.1 nuclear power plant reactor number three (L) and four (R), with smoke rising from number three at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

It will be one of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do. And even if executed flawlessly, there are still many things that could go wrong.

RT: How do the potential consequences of failure to ensure safe extraction compare to other disasters of the sort – like Chernobyl, or the 2011 Fukushima meltdown?

CC: There really is no comparison. This will be an incredibly risky operation, in the presence of an enormous amount of nuclear material in close proximity. And as we have seen in the past, one seemingly innocuous failure at the site often translates into a series of cascading failures.

‘The site has been propped up with duct tape and a kick-stand for over two years’

Many of their ‘fixes’ are only temporary, as there are so many issues to address, and cost always seems to be an enormous factor in what gets implemented and what doesn’t.

As a comparison: Chernobyl was one reactor, in a rural area, a quarter of the size of one of the reactors at Fukushima. There was no ‘spent fuel pool’ to worry about. Chernobyl was treated in-situ…meaning everything was pretty much left where it was while the effort to contain it was made (and very expeditiously I might add) not only above ground, but below ground.

At Fukushima, we have six top-floor pools all loaded with fuel that eventually will have to be removed, the most important being Reactor 4, although Reactor 3 is in pretty bad shape too. Spent fuel pools were never intended for long-term storage, they were only to assist short-term movement of fuel. Using them as a long-term storage pool is a huge mistake that has become an ‘acceptable’ practice and repeated at every reactor site worldwide.

A destroyed building of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) atomic power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

A destroyed building of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) atomic power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

We have three 100-ton melted fuel blobs underground, but where exactly they are located, no one knows. Whatever ‘barriers’ TEPCO has put in place so far have failed. Efforts to decontaminate radioactive water have failed. Robots have failed. Camera equipment and temperature gauges…failed. Decontamination of surrounding cities has failed.

‘If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people’

We have endless releases into the Pacific Ocean that will be ongoing for not only our lifetimes, but our children’s’ lifetimes. We have 40 million people living in the Tokyo area nearby. We have continued releases from the underground corium that reminds us it is there occasionally with steam events and huge increases in radiation levels. Across the Pacific, we have at least two peer-reviewed scientific studies so far that have already provided evidence of increased mortality in North America, and thyroid problems in infants on the west coast states from our initial exposures.

We have increasing contamination of the food chain, through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. And a newly stated concern is the proximity of melted fuel in relation to the Tokyo aquifer that extends under the plant. If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people from the greater metropolitan area. As impossible as this sounds, you cannot live in an area which does not have access to safe water.

Read More Here

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Reporters inspect an observation well which is dug to take underground water samples near Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant Unit 1 of Tokyo Electric Power Co., in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan.

Kyodo News/AP/File

More Bad News for the Pacific – Taiwanese NPP Leaking Radioactive Water

By John Daly | Tue, 13 August 2013 00:01

Water is an essential ingredient for the operation of most nuclear power plants, from providing the liquid that is flashed to steam to drive turbines to providing coolant for storage of spent fuel. In most NPPs, water is drawn from nearby rivers or from the ocean.

Unfortunately, that reliance can also prove to be a liability.

In reviewing the 11 March 2011 catastrophe that overwhelmed Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s six reactor Fukushima Daiichi NPP, few people remember that it was not the Richter 9.0 earthquake, the fifth largest in modern history, that devastated the facility, but the massive tsunami subsequently generated by the undersea tremor.

Which incidentally killed 25,000 people.

Fukushima Daiichi NPP’s seawall was not high enough to stop the tsunami, which destroyed the facility’s backup diesel generators and fuel tanks upon which keeping the nuclear fuel cool now depended, as the earthquake had severed the facility’s connections to the national electric grid. Nine tsunami generated waves battered the shore.

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Two years on, the crippled NPP has yet to be stabilized and its radioactive contents are being spread by – water. On 22 July TEPCO spokesman Masayuki Ono told a regular news conference that plant officials believed that radioactive water that leaked from the wrecked reactors probably seeped into the underground water system and accordingly was likely leaking contaminated water into the sea, acknowledging for the first time a problem long suspected by experts.

How much?

The Japanese government’s Agency for Natural Resources and Energy estimates that 400 tons of groundwater contaminated with radioactive materials are now leaking into the ocean daily from the crippled plant. The Japanese government is now sufficiently alarmed that on 7 August Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of the Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters, “The problem of contaminated water is the most pressing. Rather than leave it up to TEPCO, the central government will come up with the measures to deal with it. The industry minister will instruct TEPCO in order to implement swift and multilayered measures.”

Moving southwards, Taiwan’s First Nuclear Power Plant on the island’s northern coast, operating since 1979, has spent fuel rod storage pools that have leaked since December 2009.

How much?

According to the Taiwanese government’s watchdog, Control Yuan, the pools of the two reactors leaked 15,370 milliliters and 4,830 milliliters respectively, with the water containing radioactive materials including Caesium-137, Cobalt-60, Manganese-54, and Chromium-51. The most ominous aspect of the report notes that the NPP operator Taiwan Power Co had failed to find the causes and the leaks continue.

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