AP: Melted fuel may have “dropped even beyond” the bottom of Fukushima plant — ‘China Syndrome’ predicted by US gov’t analysis — IAEA Expert: Pools of corium beneath reactors are up to 2 stories high (VIDEO)http://enenews.com/ap-melted-fuel-could-dropped-beyond-bottom-fukushima-plant-iaea-expert-pools-corium-could-be-taller-2-story-house-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
AP, Mar 27, 2015 (emphasis added): [It] was billed as a way to decipher where, exactly, the morass of nuclear fuel might sit at the bottom of reactors… But what went wrong, even in a simple demonstration for reporters… was a sobering reminder of the enormous challenges that lie ahead… a programming glitch could not be fixed in time for Friday’s demonstration… No one knows where the molten fuel debris lies, and in what shape or state. [TEPCO] has said itlikely sank to the bottom of the plant. But the fuel could have dropped even beyond. Tadashi Yotsuyanagi, an official in charge of the muon project at Toshiba… acknowledged the technology will not be able to get the complete image toward the bottom of the reactor… David Ireland, a professor who heads the Nuclear Physics Group at the University of Glasgow, said muons may be the only way to probe inside atomic reactors. “There are not really any other noninvasive options that will allow inspection,” he said in an email.
The Japan Times published the AP report above, however one sentence was altered. “Tepco has said it likely sank to the bottom of the plant. But the fuel could have dropped even beyond” vs. “But the fuel could possibly have escaped even beyond the containment facility to the outside environment.”
IAEA technical meeting Managing the Unexpected, Harri Tuomisto, Sr. Nuclear Safety Officer at Finland’s Fortum Power, 2012:
- Part 4: “If the cooling is not successful, it means the corium melts through the vessel… When this massive amount of corium enters into the containment zone, there are very, very many different energetic consequences… Interaction of molten core and concrete starts… concrete is eroding, and this eroding of concrete, for a long time it was known as China Syndrome.”
- Part 5: “The corium will be in 3 parts, there is a solid crust formation in the bottom of the pool, then there’s a pool of oxidic materials… The metals and oxides are not soluble with each other and the metals will be separated… which is bad news in the sense that theheat transfer to the vessel is much higher, and it’s much more difficult to guarantee the integrity of the [containment] vessel in that case.”
- Part 6: “Molten corium on the containment floor, it’s eroding the concrete and going partially downward. Actually it will never go to China, because it also erodes sideways… The final size of the pooling maximum case is 10 to 15 meters in diameter, and 6-7 meters [20-23 ft or 2 stories] deep — or even deeper.”
- Part 9: “There are quite many challenges… There are different energetic phenomenon… which can lead to different combustions… accelerating flames, or even detonations — which can cause a very high pressure in the containment and even break the containment… Then there’s this China Syndrome — attack of containment liner by corium — which can also bypass containment.” (See US gov’t analysis: Fukushima containment breached due to “failure of the drywell liner by melt-attack“)
- Slides 3-4: If corium melts through the vessel, there are various energetic consequences caused by ejected high-temperature molten corium… Molten corium on the containment basemat initiates core-concrete interaction that releases aerosols and non-condensible gases to containment atmosphere and erodes the concrete (‘China syndrome‘)
Japan’s PM pretended that Fukushima disaster was ‘under control’ – in order to get 2020 Olympic Games
JP PM Abe “My saying Under-control was only to reassure the world to let Japan host 2020 Olympics” http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/03/jp-pm-abe-my-saying-under-control-was-only-to-reassure-the-world-to-let-japan-host-2020-olympics/ Following up these article..
Tepco inquired JP Gov about PM Abe’s statement to IOC “Contaminated water is entirely blocked” [URL 1]
[Column] How JP Prime Minister Abe lied to IOC about sea contamination [URL 2]
The Prime Minister of Japan, Abe stated he only wanted to “improve the atmosphere” by commenting “contaminated water situation is under control”.
In the summer of 2013, Abe stated to IOC that contaminated water problem is under control and it is entirely blocked within the 0.3 km2 area of Fukushima nuclear plant.
However in the House of Councilors of 3/3/2014, Abe was stating that there internationally was a political atmosphere that if Japan is not capable of settling contaminated water problems, it should not be allowed to host 2020 Olympics.
Abe added, it was his responsibility to remove such an atmosphere by saying the situation is under control, which does not mean more than he is in charge of reviewing the contaminated water situation.
The project is to build what is called a New Safe Confinement – in effect, a giant cover, a kind of dome, to fit over the building that houses the reactor that exploded on 26 April, 1986.
The radiation immediately above the reactor is still far too intense for the new enclosure to be built exactly where it is needed – anyone working there can only stay very briefly. So adjacent land has been cleared and then decontaminated – a massive task in itself – to allow the new structure to be assembled before being manoeuvred into position.
Sealed future Large enough to accommodate a couple of Boeing 747s or the Stade de France in Paris, and almost tall enough to hold St Paul’s Cathedral in London, the giant cover stands on a system of massive rails.
When complete, it will weigh an extraordinary 31,000 tonnes. Over several days, it will be rolled along its special track so as to just slide over the reactor building – a very tight fit – in order to seal it in.
There is still a 30km exclusion zone around the Chernobyl site
The task is “of a complexity and uniqueness we have never faced before”, according to Vince Novak, who runs the nuclear safety department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. He has led the international drive to make Chernobyl less dangerous.
“Until this project is in place, we will not be safe,” he said during a media visit to the site.
“The ultimate objective is to protect the environment, contain the threat and deal with the radioactive material inside.”
This material is a nightmare mix of more than 100 tonnes of uranium, one tonne of plutonium, and other highly radioactive elements, formed into a previously-unseen lava-like mass.
Added to that are several thousand tonnes of sand and boron dropped on to the site by emergency workers at the time.
Vast quantities of radioactive liquids and dust are also present inside a reactor building that has itself long been in danger of collapse. In the months following the accident – when the reactor exploded and burned for 10 days – the authorities attempted to smother the building in an emergency “sarcophagus” of concrete and steel.
But this was only ever intended to be a temporary fix and has needed urgent repairs to try to keep it stable and intact………http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31939778
Amy Kalafa MBA in Sustainability Candidate Bard College
Stephanie Milbergs Assistant director Bard MBA in Sustainability Rochelle J. March
Rochelle J. March Friday, March 13, 2015 Mark Z. Jacobson is director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy Program, as well as a professor of civil and environmental engineering. He is also a senior fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment and of the Precourt Institute for Energy.
The main goal of Jacobson’s research is to better understand physical, chemical and dynamic processes in the atmosphere in order to solve atmospheric problems, such as global warming and urban air pollution, with improved scientific insight and more accurate predictive tools.
Jacobson also evaluates the atmospheric and health effects of proposed energy and transportation solutions to global warming and air pollution, maps renewable energy resources and studies optimal methods of integrating renewable electricity into the grid.
This Q&A is an edited excerpt from a Sustainable Business Fridays conversation Jan. 30 by the Bard MBA in Sustainability program, based in New York City. This twice-monthly dial-in conversation features sustainability leaders from across the globe…….
You just came out with a study, however, that states nuclear power results in 25 times more carbon emissions than wind. Can you explain these findings for us?
Jacobson: Sure, it’s rather straightforward. A life-cycle analysis of a wind turbine shows most of carbon outputs during its construction, practically zero when it’s in operation, and then, if you use today’s methods, during decommission a turbine outputs some carbon.
When you do the calculation, however, you find that wind power emissions are between 5 to 10 grams of carbon per kWh of electricity generated over the lifetime of the turbine. Using that as a baseline, you see over the lifetime of nuclear power, the carbon output is 70 grams per carbon per kWh.
This is from one, building of the nuclear power plant and then two, refining uranium, which is very energy-intensive. There is also timing involved: It takes on average in the U.S. 10 to 19 years for a nuclear power plant to get up and running, while a wind farm can be built on average in two to five years.
If we compare nuclear and wind from now, in two to five years you’ll have a wind farm up and start creating energy that’s clean, while with nuclear you have to wait 10 to 19 years to get that energy. If you add in these extra emissions, called opportunity cost emissions, you end up getting nine to 25 times more carbon in air pollution per kWh from nuclear than wind.
That is still better than coal or natural gas (60 to 120 times more), but other problems with nuclear power is of course 1.5 percent of plants have melted down, and the problems related to weapons proliferation with nuclear, radioactive waste, mining damage, etc. Not even mentioning the cost, which is very high and currently subsidized in the U.S. It’s not a viable option; it’s really the nuclear industry trying to push it to get more business.
The latest punch in the gut for nuclear proponents in the province comes from a May 14 Federal Court decision to nullify the approval of up to four new reactors at Darlington Station, about 60km east of Toronto.
Among other issues, the presiding Justice James Russell cited inadequate planning for both nuclear waste storage and a catastrophic accident as reasons to revoke the project’s license, which was originally secured following a multi-year environmental assessment (EA). Justice Russell found that the EA failed to adhere to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.
The Federal Court review of the EA was initiated by environmental groups Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA), Greenpeace Canada, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (LOW) and Northwatch with lawyers from Ecojustice and CELA representing the application in court.
In a press release following the decision, the environmental groups called the Federal Court’s ruling “common sense.”
Justin Duncan, Staff Lawyer for Ecojustice and co-counsel for groups, said “the court’s ruling means that federal authorities can no longer take shortcuts when assessing nuclear projects.”………http://rabble.ca/news/2014/05/anti-nuclear-advocates-federal-court-trouble-ontario-liberal-and-pc-energy-plans
Japan’s Lonely Brave Bureaucrat Speaks Out on TV Asahi Nuclear Free by 2045? 31 Mar 15 A former high level bureaucrat in the Japanese Ministry of Trade was one of the few public officials to bravely speak up for radical change in the wake of the earthquake-tsunami-meltdown catastrophe. The Economistwas one of the first in the English language media to report on Shigeaki Koga’s radical proposals for reform of national energy policy. In September 2011, The Economist reported his views:
MARCH 30, 2015: The Japan Times reported on the controversial broadcast a few days afterwards: Ex-bureaucrat blasts Abe on news program.
MARCH 29, 2015: Asahi Shimbun reported on the controversial broadcast the day after I wrote the above: Abe critic claims on air he was axed from TV program at behest of management.
Tomohiro Sasaki, “Ex-bureaucrat blasts Abe on news program,” The Japan Times, March 30, 2015. http://nf2045.blogspot.jp/2015/03/japans-lonely-brave-bureaucrat-speaks.html
Japan faces 200-year wait for Fukushima clean-up The chief of the Fukushima nuclear power station has admitted that the technology needed to decommission three melted-down reactors does not exist, and he has no idea how it will be developed.
“………Numerous claims of advantages for thorium as a nuclear fuel and for LFTR (Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor) design have been made over conventional solid fuel reactors.
Nuclear Weapons Proliferation
Claim: thorium reactors do not produce plutonium, and so create little or no proliferation hazard.
Response: a LFTR could be adapted to produce plutonium of a high purity well above normal weapons-grade, presenting a major proliferation hazard. Beyond that, the main proliferation hazards arise from:
- the need for fissile material (plutonium or uranium) to initiate the thorium fuel cycle, which could be diverted, and
- the production of fissile uranium 233U.Claim: the fissile uranium (233U) produced by thorium reactors is not “weaponisable” owing to the presence of highly radiotoxic 232U as a contaminant. Response: 233U was successfully used in a 1955 bomb test in the Nevada Desert under the USA’s Operation Teapot and so is clearly weaponisable notwithstanding any 232U present.
Claim: LFTRs are intrinsically safe, because the reactor operates at low pressure and is and incapable of melting down.
Response: the design of molten salt reactors does indeed mitigate against reactor meltdown and explosion. However, in an LFTR the main danger has been shifted from the reactor to the on-site continuous fuel reprocessing operation — a high temperature process involving highly hazardous, explosive and intensely radioactive materials. A further serious hazard lies in the potential failure of the materials used for reactor and fuel containment in a highly corrosive chemical environment, under intense neutron and other radiation.
State of Technology
Claim: the technology is already proven.
Response: important elements of the LFTR technology were proven during the 1970s Molten Salt Breeder Reactor (MSBR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. However, this was a small research reactor rated at just 7MW and there are huge technical and engineering challenges in scaling up this experimental design to make a ‘production’ reactor. Specific challenges include:
- developing materials that can both resist corrosion by liquid fluoride salts including diverse fission products, and withstand decades of intense neutron radiation;
- scaling up fuel reprocessing techniques to deal safely and reliably with large volumes of highly radioactive material at very high temperature;
- keeping radioactive releases from the reprocessing operation to an acceptably low level;
- achieving a full understanding of the thorium fuel cycle.
Claim: LFTRs produce far less nuclear waste than conventional solid fuel reactors.
Response: LFTRs are theoretically capable of a high fuel burn-up rate, but while this may indeed reduce the volume of waste, the waste is more radioactive due to the higher volume of radioactive fission products. The continuous fuel reprocessing that is characteristic of LFTRs will also produce hazardous chemical and radioactive waste streams, and releases to the environment will be unavoidable.
Claim: Liquid fluoride thorium reactors generate no high-level waste material.
Response: This claim, although made in the report from the House of Lords, has no basis in fact. High-level waste is an unavoidable product of nuclear fission. Spent fuel from any LFTR will be intensely radioactive and constitute high level waste. The reactor itself, at the end of its lifetime, will constitute high level waste.
Claim: the waste from LFTRs contains very few long-lived isotopes, in particular transuranic actinides such as plutonium.
Response: the thorium fuel cycle does indeed produce very low volumes of plutonium and other long-lived actinides so long as only thorium and 233U are used as fuel. However, the waste contains many radioactive fission products and will remain dangerous for many hundreds of years. A particular hazard is the production of 232U, with its highly radio-toxic decay chain.
Claim: LFTRs can ‘burn up’ high level waste from conventional nuclear reactors, and stockpiles of plutonium.
Response: if LFTRs are used to ‘burn up’ waste from conventional reactors, their fuel now comprises 238U, 235U, 239Pu, 240Pu and other actinides. Operated in this way, what is now a mixed-fuel molten salt reactor will breed plutonium (from 238U) and other long lived actinides, perpetuating the plutonium cycle.
What Can You Do?
Spread the word about Sardinia. More information is available athttps://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-F67wRS5N7sR3hYMl9id0xkNWs where the original 7500-word research document is stored.
Contact your congressional representatives and demand the closure of the Sardinia NATO bases.
Do we really want another polluting energy source with high-level waste which is non-renewable and highly carcinogenic? Before jumping on the thorium bandwagon, please share this information, do your own research and think twice before spreading the hundreds of myths (not facts) about this very dangerous alternative to uranium.
Kelley Bergman is a media consultant, critic and geopolitical investigator. She has worked as a journalist and writer, specializing in geostrategic issues around the globe.http://preventdisease.com/news/13/111013_Dont-Jump-on-The-Thorium-Bandwagon-Not-Green-Not-Viable-Not-The-Answer.shtml
Switzerland revises nuclear liability law World Nuclear News, 30 Mar 15 Switzerland’s government has adopted a total revision of the federal ordinance on civil nuclear liability. The ordinance governs the enforcement of the country’s new civil nuclear liability law, which was passed by parliament in 2008 but has yet to come into force.
The Federal Council adopted a revision of the ordinance on 25 March, the Swiss Federal Energy Office (SFOE) announced. Under the revision, the minimum coverage to be provided at the national level increased from CHF 1 billion ($1 billion) to €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion), which corresponds to provisions of international civil liability……
SFOE said the revision also simplifies the compensation procedure, improving the protection of Swiss victims in the event of a nuclear incident occurring abroad. It said that in such cases, the conditions for compensation and procedural provisions that would apply to Switzerland would be the same as for all other signatory states to the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability and the Brussels Supplementary Convention……
the revised ordinance “burdens the owners of nuclear facilities by the end of the term with unnecessary additional premium costs.”
The organization claims the revision means that operators of nuclear facilities will not only have to pay for insurance cover for their plants, but also separate coverage for each transportation of even low-level material. This, it says, “reduces the international competitiveness of the Swiss electricity industry once more.” http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Switzerland-revises-nuclear-liability-law-3003154.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
Europe has promised a 40% emissions cut by 2030, compared to 1990 levels – and the report says this will bring real benefits, including 70,000 full-time jobs, the prevention of around 6,000 pollution-related deaths, and a €33bn cut in fossil fuel imports.
31 March is the deadline for developed countries to submit their climate pledges for the conference (so called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, INDCs), but few have yet done so and nations such as Canada and Japan are expected to miss the bell.
“This report adds to the growing body of evidence that greater climate ambition means better health,” said Anne Stauffer, the deputy director of the Health and Environment Alliance.
“The massive health benefits expected from mitigation action not only include premature deaths avoided but also reduced healthcare costs and increased productivity. This should be welcome news for European decision-makers.”
In other parts of the world, the effects of increased climate ambition would be even more dramatic, according to the New Climate Institute’s (NCI) analysis which uses data from the International Energy Agency.
Comparable figures in the US for a 2C pathway would see 650,000 new jobs created and 27,000 deaths avoided………http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/31/limiting-climate-change-economic-benefits-study-finds
Poll: Americans Pick Green Energy Over Nuclear Power, vocatv, 30 Mar 15 According to a new Gallup poll, American support for nuclear energy number has sunk to 51 percent, with 43 percent of the U.S. in full opposition to its use. Acceptance of the power source a high point in 2010, when 62 percent of Americans were in favor of it.
The poll also reveals that majority of Americans believe that the U.S. should shift its focus to green energy and invest in natural gas, solar and wind power. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed said the country should put greater emphasis on producing solar domestic energy, making it the most favored source in the poll. Wind power was the runner up with 70 percent…….. http://www.vocativ.com/culture/society/green-energy-nuclear-power/
Israel installs solar panels at parliament to save energy http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/mar/29/israel-installs-solar-panels-at-parliament-to/ By Associated Press8:51 A.M.MARCH 29, 2015 JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has installed solar panels on the roof of its parliament building, creating what it calls the largest solar field of any national assembly in the world.
The office of the parliament speaker says energy generated from some 1,500 solar panels will provide 10 percent of the electricity used at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament.
The Knesset is also advancing other energy-saving projects, like installing energy-saving lights, automatically shutting down lawmakers’ computers at the end of each workday, and using air conditioning systems to help irrigate the gardens surrounding the building.
The statement says the measures will reduce the Knesset’s energy use by a third.
Scientists will also conduct ecological research on the parliament roof.
The Knesset unveiled the solar field in a dedication ceremony Sunday.
The corruption and collusion of Japan’s nuclear village led to numerous accidents before the Fukushima disaster.
And the corruption and collusion of Japan’s nuclear village was a root cause of the Fukushima disaster itself. On that point the Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission could not have been blunter: “The accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and TEPCO, and the lack of governance by said parties.”
A big part of the post-Fukushima spin is that lessons were learned from the nuclear disaster and improvements made. But the real lesson from this saga is that the nuclear industry – in Japan at least – has learned nothing from its catastrophic mistakes.
As Yotaro Hatamura says, an accident will surely happen again.
After Fukushima: Japan’s ‘nuclear village’ is back in charge, Ecologist Jim Green28th March 2015 Public opposition to nuclear power in Japan remains strong, writes Jim Green, but piece by piece, Shinzo Abe’s right-wing government has been putting the country’s infamous ‘nuclear village’ back in control – boosted by draconian press censorship laws, massive interest-free loans, and a determination to forget all the ‘lessons’ of Fukushima. Is another big accident inevitable?
Public opposition to reactor restarts (and the nuclear industry more generally) continues to exert some influence in Japan.
Five to seven of the oldest of Japan’s 48 ‘operable’ reactors are likely to be sacrificed to dampen opposition to the restart of other reactors, and local opposition may result in the permanent shut down of some other reactors.
Currently, all 48 of Japan’s ‘operable’ reactors are shut down – and the six reactors at Fukushima Daiichi have been written off.
However, slowly but surely, the corrupt and collusive practices that led to the Fukushima disaster are re-emerging. The ‘nuclear village’ is back in control……..
The Basic Energy Plan approved by Cabinet in April 2014 contains nothing more than a meaningless nod to widespread public anti-nuclear sentiment, stating that dependence on nuclear energy will be reduced ‘to the extent possible’.
There will be a lot written about Harry’s advocacy on behalf of Nevada, and for those efforts he deserves a standing ovation. His actions will resonate for generations. Our grandchildren’s grandchildren will have been kept protected from the threats of nuclear waste. They won’t know who to thank, so on their behalf: Thank you, Harry.
They have considerably to celebrate, and we — and our youngsters and grandchildren — have considerably to be thankful for, including a legacy that will attain far into future generations of Nevadans.
The senator’s list of accomplishments, from preserving the environment to assisting bring overall health care to millions
with his championing of the Reasonably priced Care Act, will absolutely frame his legacy. But his everlasting accomplishment story will surely be his good results in staring down the nuclear power business and maintaining Nevada totally free of the highly radioactive nuclear waste that outsiders wanted to ship from distant states and bury inside Yucca Mountain. Continue reading
Fukushima: Uranium and Plutonium Contamination of Large Areas of Oceans, Ground-water, Soils.By Edmondo Burr Global Research, March 29, 2015 Your News Wire Scientists have raised concern over the rate of radioactive contamination of the Pacific, due to the Fukushima nuclear accident.
- Expert : Plutonium-241 from Fukushima nearly 70,000 times more than atomic bomb fallout in Japan.
- Officials : Molten fuel now ‘particle-like’, contains ‘special’ nuclear materials.
- Gov’t Labs : Large areas of oceans contaminated by plutonium from events such as Fukushima; Build-up in biosphere expected; Considerable hazard to humans.
Energy News statement :
Detection of long-lived plutonium isotopes in environmental samples by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) — Plutonium isotopes 239Pu, 240Pu and 242Pu are anthropogenic radionuclides emitted into the environment by nuclear activities. Pu is accumulated in the human body and hence, poses a considerable hazard to human health. Due to the long half-lives, these isotopes are present in the biosphere on large time scales and a build-up can be expected. Therefore it is important to study the contamination pathway of Pu into the drinking water… a method to detect long-lived Pu isotopes by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) is being developed. AMS requires only few milligrams of sample material… Consequently, more samples from different locations can be taken which is essential when searching for locally increased Pu concentrations as in the Pacific Ocean after the Fukushima accident… Samples from different locations in the Pacific Ocean and from the snow-hydrosphere are planned…
Statement by: Taeko Shinonaga, head of Radioanalytical Laboratory at Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen (research institution founded jointly by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education & Research and Bavaria’s Finance Ministry), scientists from Technische Universitat Munchen (Germany), Verhandlungen der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft 2013 meeting (emphasis added)
Presentation by: Taeko Shinonaga, head of Helmholtz radioanalytical lab (pdf), Nov 2014: Comparison of activity between [nuclear bomb testing] fallout Pu particle and Fukushima origin Pu particle:…..http://www.globalresearch.ca/fukushima-uranium-and-plutonium-contamination-of-large-areas-of-oceans-ground-water-soils/5439271
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