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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

As Fukushima’s radioactive water mounts, Japan’s election result promotes nuclear restart

Abe,-Shinzo-nukeShinzo Abe reelection increases chance of Japan relying more on nuclear power and less on LNG Straght.com by CHARLIE SMITH on DEC 14, 2014 “……….The election results have strengthened Abe’s hand as he pushes to restart more nuclear reactors in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that crippled a power plant in Fukushima, spewing radiation across the Pacific Ocean.

The governor of Kagoshima prefecture has already approved firing up two reactors at the Sendai nuclear plant next year, rejecting calls from protesters to keep the facility closed…………….

In 2013, Abe told International Olympic Committee delegates that problems at the Fukushima plant were under control.

This was despite the calculations by Georgia Straight contributor Alex Roslin that about 800 people worldwide would develop cancer from Japanese fish eaten at the time of his article in October 2013.

Meanwhile, Japan News recently reported that a South Korean team will visit the Fukushima power plant and conduct tests on Japanese fish products.

South Korea has maintained a ban on importing fish from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.

The South Korean investigation will occur just as Japan’s nuclear watchdog is calling for the release of contaminated water from the Fukushima plant.

According to an article in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, Nuclear Regulation Authority chairman Shunichi Tanaka said officials will need to gain the consent of local residents.

“I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of tanks (holding water tainted with radioactive substances),” Tanaka told journalists.    “We have to dispose of the water.” http://www.straight.com/news/789111/shinzo-abe-reelection-increases-chance-japan-relying-more-nuclear-power-and-less-lng

December 17, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Massive release of Fukushima radioactive water into Pacific Ocean

Pacific-Ocean-drainNRA head signals massive release of tainted water to help decommission Fukushima site 
The head of Japan’s nuclear watchdog said contaminated water stored at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant should be released into the ocean to ensure safe decommissioning of the reactors.  Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, made the comment Dec. 12 after visiting the facility to observe progress in dismantling the six reactors. The site was severely damaged in the tsunami generated by the 2011 earthquake.
“I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of tanks (holding water tainted with radioactive substances),” Tanaka told reporters, indicating they pose a danger to decommissioning work. “We have to dispose of the water.”  
With regard to expected protests by local fishermen over the discharge, Tanaka said, “We also have to obtain the consent of local residents in carrying out the work, so we can somehow mitigate (the increase in tainted water).”
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201412130042

December 15, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014, oceans | Leave a comment

NRA head signals massive release of tainted water to help decommission Fukushima site

13 dec 2014 ready to dump NRA chairmanNRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka, foreground, inspects storage tanks holding water contaminated with radioactive substances at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

 December 13, 2014

The head of Japan’s nuclear watchdog said contaminated water stored at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant should be released into the ocean to ensure safe decommissioning of the reactors.

Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, made the comment Dec. 12 after visiting the facility to observe progress in dismantling the six reactors. The site was severely damaged in the tsunami generated by the 2011 earthquake.

“I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of tanks (holding water tainted with radioactive substances),” Tanaka told reporters, indicating they pose a danger to decommissioning work. “We have to dispose of the water.”

With regard to expected protests by local fishermen over the discharge, Tanaka said, “We also have to obtain the consent of local residents in carrying out the work, so we can somehow mitigate (the increase in tainted water).”

Tanaka has said previously that to proceed with decommissioning, tainted water stored on the site would need to be released into the sea so long as it had been decontaminated to accepted safety standards.

“While (the idea) may upset people, we must do our utmost to satisfy residents of Fukushima,” Tanaka said, adding that the NRA would provide information to local residents based on continuing studies of radioactive elements in local waters.

The inspection tour was Tanaka’s second since he became NRA chief in September 2012. He last visited in April 2013.

During his visit, Tanaka observed work at a trench on the ocean side of the No. 2 reactor building, where highly contaminated water is being pumped out. He also inspected barriers set up around the storage tanks to prevent leaks of tainted water.

Tanaka praised the completion in November of work to remove all spent nuclear fuel from the No. 4 reactor building, as well as changes to work procedures that he said allows for the completion of the work at the No. 2 reactor trench.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201412130042

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima an apocalyptic disaster that will haunt future generations – Nuclear Scientist

Nuclear Scientist: Fukushima an apocalyptic disaster that will haunt future generations; World now an experimental lab with humans as guinea pigs — Japan Gov’t Report: Fukushima is worse than 3/11 quake and tsunami http://enenews.com/nuclear-scientist-fukushima-apocalyptic-disaster-will-haunt-future-generations-world-experimental-lab-humans-guinea-pigs-japan-govt-report-fukushima-worse-311-quake-tsunami?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Excerpts from Op-Ed by Quamrul Haider, Ph.D.
, Chair of Dept. of Physics at Fordham University, Dec 4, 2014 (emphasis added):

  • The fraternity of nuclear scientists… create the impression… their extremely risky projects have been carefully thought out in every detail and are inspired by the spirit of greatest responsibility… A large section of the scientific community… believes [their accident simulations are] about as reliable as tomorrow’s weather forecast [and] that by building nuclear power plants in populated areas, the whole world becomes an experimental laboratory with human beings as guinea pigs.
  • There is always the possibility of a major disaster. The basic difference between nuclear and other industrial accidents lies in the long-range repercussions… one could forget about the havoc wrought, for example, by the explosion of a gas pipeline or the breaching of a dam… But an accident in a nuclear power plant, such as a reactor getting out of control, is capable of doing more than immediate harm. Examples of the deadly long-term effects of a reactor accident are Chernobyl and Fukushima [which] will linger on for ages to haunt the future generations. Among the survivors there will be many cases of permanent sterility, increase of genetic mutation in our progenies, and a shortened life span as a result of cancer and other radiogenic diseases.
  • [It’s] irresponsible and misleading to suppress the consequences of radiation[A]ttempts are made… to blind the people by equating nuclear accidents with more familiar hazards… an unlimited risk is falsely portrayed as a limited one and glossed over in a manner that is not only unconscionable, but also unpardonable. Thesedeceptions are further camouflaged by the way in which they are presented to the public… the far-reaching consequences of lethal radiation are overly simplified. In the post-Chernobyl and post-Fukushima era, these… do not hold water.
  • Wars, plagues, famines and natural disasters were known as the four horsemen of the apocalypse… After Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear accidents can be added [as another] horseman of the apocalypse.
  • Critics describe nuclear reactor as one of the most dangerous technological beasts that mankind has devised and nuclear accident as “A Nuclear War without a War.”
  • The consequences can assume dimensions that do not take second place to the consequences of earthquake… and in a way actually exceeds them.

R/V Marai — Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC, administered by gov’t of Japan): The great earthquake [and] tsunami with its height of more than 10 m attacked mainly the Pacific coastline of Tohoku district and approximately thirty thousand people were killed, missing or injuredWhat is worse is that Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant was seriously damaged… a gigantic radiation has been leaking to the atmosphere, land and ocean. After this record crisis, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) requested JAMSTEC… monitor [the] level of radiation.

See more about Dr. Haider’s nuclear experience here

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Fukushima 2014 | Leave a comment

Japan’s Fukushima Plant Cleanup Workers -their harsh and dangerous life

Fukushima-inspectionJapanese Nation Forgetting Fukushima Plant Cleanup Workers http://sputniknews.com/asia/20141210/1015704138.html As snap elections are nearing, the Fukushima Nuclear power plant workers are urging people to understand the harsh circumstances they work under, risking their life by exposing themselves to radiation every single day. MOSCOW, December 10 (Sputnik) – As elections are nearing in Japan, many of the people working toward the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant say they want voters to know about their harsh working conditions, insufficient pay and worries of radiation exposure, reports The Japan Times.

There are around 6,000 people a day working in the decommissioning process at the plant and it is expected to take 30 to 40 years to complete.

“I’m single, so I can somehow manage with the pay if I don’t go out to amuse myself, but I don’t think you can make a living if you have a family,” said a man in his fifties who has worked in the plant for three years. He has been eradicating debris and setting up tanks to store radioactive water, and is now in charge of removing contaminated water from the reactor building basements. He works for a third-tier subcontractor and makes a monthly salary of less than ¥200,000 ($1650 USD).

As The Japan Times reports, due to high radiation exposure, workers must wear heavy protective clothing and a mask that covers the whole face. It is difficult for them to work more than an hour and a half at a time. The workers start at around 5 a.m. because of the time it takes to get to the plant which is about 40 kilometers away, pass entrance checks and change clothing.

According to one worker his most recent monthly radiation dosage was 1.8 millisieverts. The law states that a nuclear worker’s radiation dosage should not exceed 100 millisieverts in five years and 50 millisieverts in a year. Since the reference mark in the plant is 20 millisieverts a year, the man’s dosage is nearing its limit.

“I feel that people are gradually forgetting about the nuclear accident,” he said. “From now, our work will become even harsher because we will have to go inside the reactor buildings, where the radiation level is even higher. I want people to recognize that there are such workplaces,” he told The Japan Times.

December 13, 2014 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

General Electric, EBASCO, Toshiba and Hitachi should be held responsible for costs of irradiated sailors

Why hasn’t the Japanese government, like the American sailors, filed its own lawsuits against these same companies to determine their legal liability? In other words, why are the Japanese people being forced to pay for the possibly negligent actions of some of the world’s largest corporations?

Question of negligence hangs over nuclear firms in U.S. case over Fukushima fallout http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2014/12/10/voices/question-negligence-hangs-nuclear-firms-u-s-case-fukushima-fallout/#.VIzEptLF8nk  BRIAN VICTORIA Yellow Springs, Ohio

 Dear Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa,

As you may be aware, a federal judge in the U.S. recently ruled that a class-action lawsuit filed by about 200 U.S. Navy sailors can proceed against Tokyo Electric Power Co. and other defendants they blame for a variety of ailments caused by radiation exposure following the nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima No. 1.

The sailors allege that Tepco knowingly and negligently gave false and misleading information concerning the true condition of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to the public, including the U.S. military. They further allege that Tepco knew the sailors on board the USS Ronald Reagan would be exposed to unsafe levels of radiation because Tepco was aware three nuclear reactors at the site had already melted down.

In this connection, the lawsuit notes that on Dec. 14, 2013, Naoto Kan, Japan’s prime minister at the time of the disaster, told a gathering of journalists regarding the first meltdown: “People think it was March 12 but the first meltdown occurred five hours after the earthquake.”The sailors in question were participating in Operation Tomodachi, providing humanitarian relief in response to the Japanese government’s calls for assistance. In accordance with the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, these sailors literally risked their lives to aid and protect the people of Japan.

The sailors accuse Tepco of negligence, failure to warn of the dangers, and design defects in the construction and installation of the reactors, among a total of nine claims for damages. To date, the sailors have experienced such illnesses as leukemia, ulcers, brain cancer, brain tumors, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults.

One of the major questions to be decided by the lawsuit is who will pay for the military members’ ongoing and possibly lifelong medical treatment. Continue reading

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Japan’s communities deeply divided over move to restart nuclear reactors

see-this.wayMove to switch Japan’s nuclear reactors back on divides communities Australian Broadcasting Corporation VIDEO  Broadcast: 12/12/2014 Reporter: Matthew Carney

Switching Japan’s nuclear reactors back on is top of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda if he wins another term but the idea is unpopular and deeply divides communities.

Transcript

SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: Four years on from one of the world’s nuclear disasters, the meltdown at Fukushima, Japan is on the verge of a historic move to switch its mothballed nuclear reactors back on. The move is deeply controversial, as 120,000 Japanese have still not been able to return to their homes and there are serious doubts the site can ever be contaminated. The issue will be front and centre when Japan goes to the polls this weekend, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems assured of winning a third term in power. North Asia correspondent Matthew Carney travelled to remote southern Japan where the first nuclear reactor will be flicked back on and he found communities deeply divided.

MATTHEW CARNEY, REPORTER: In one of the holiest sites in southern Japan, the monks are sending out a warning to the world. . Nearby, the Sendai nuclear reactors are about to be turned back on. The industry was shut down after the Fukushima disaster.

HIROAKI MURAI, BUDDHIST MONK, CHINKOKU TEMPLE (voiceover translation): If a second accident happens, it will be a catastrophe. Most areas of Japan will become unliveable. Restart of the reactors is unthinkable.

MATTHEW CARNEY: For more than 2,000 years, pilgrims have been coming to this holy mountain to seek clarity and purity. But now it faces another immediate threat, a waste facility has been built at the base of the mountain. The local government says no nuclear waste will be stored here. For the head monk, it’s a step way too far.

HIROAKI MURAI (voiceover translation): This is wrong. Religion and belief are indispensable. They’re about to turn this sacred mountain into a nuclear dump site. For what? Money? We’ve lost any sense of what’s valuable……….http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s4148034.htm

December 13, 2014 Posted by | Japan, social effects | Leave a comment

Highly radioactive mushrooms found in Tochigi Prefecture

flag-japan4158 bq/kg Mushrooms Found In Tochigi Prefecture , Simply Info, Dec 7 2014, Mushrooms from Tochigi prefecture tested and found to have 4158 bq/kg of cesium. The test was recently completed and shows that the problems of radioactive foods it not “over” and not isolated to Fukushima prefecture………..http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?p=14189

December 10, 2014 Posted by | environment, Japan | Leave a comment

Japan’s political gamble; they cannot be sure that nuclear restart will be safe

safety-symbol-Smflag-japanJapan’s nuclear dilemma 03 December 2014 by Robert J. Geller Some Japanese nuclear reactors, mothballed since the 2011 Tohoku quake, may soon restart. But nature can outpace new safety precautions, warns a geophysicist “………The Sendai plant faces some specific risks. The site is about 50 kilometres from a large active volcano, Sakurajima, and there are several other active volcanoes on Kyushu. A large eruption would pose obvious safety issues for the plant, but its operator has said that advance warnings of an impending eruption would allow them to take appropriate measures. Doubts about this sanguine view were reinforced by the eruption of Mount Ontake on Honshu, without warning, in September. It killed more than 50 climbers out for a weekend stroll.

A variety of natural hazards, including earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis, pose risks to reactors throughout Japan. I have written extensively about the lack of success of both short and long-term earthquake prediction (Nature, vol 472, p 407). It is well known that accurate predictions of fracture and failure phenomena such as earthquakes are, in general, impossible. Intellectually honest discussions of nuclear safety with regard to earthquakes must start by acknowledging this.

Before Tohoku, the Japanese government’s seismic hazard map assumed that earthquakes off that coast would not exceed magnitude 7.5 to 8.0. The most authoritative estimate for the size of the Tohoku quake is magnitude 9.1. Given that the energy released by an earthquake increases 30-fold for every 1.0 increase in magnitude, this is a huge discrepancy………

December 5, 2014 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Japan bringing in drastic new ‘special secrets’ law

Abe NUCLEAR FASCISMUnder new law, about 460,000 documents likely to be called ‘special secrets’ 
The government will likely designate around 460,000 documents as “special secrets” deemed highly sensitive in the areas of diplomacy, defense, counterterrorism and counterespionage after a state secrecy law takes effects on Dec. 10, a Kyodo News survey covering 19 government offices showed Sunday.
The documents are currently considered as highly confidential state secrets in the area of national security and diplomacy based on a 2007 government guideline, with the Cabinet Secretariat keeping the largest portion of around 353,000 items as of late last year.
Signaling the opaqueness of the new system aimed at toughening penalties on leakers of secrets, only three of the 19 government offices provided concrete answers regarding how much information they plan to label as “specially designated secrets” when the secrecy law takes effect.http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/30/national/politics-diplomacy/new-law-460000-documents-likely-called-special-secrets/

December 3, 2014 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Murky labor conditions at crippled Fukuhsima nuclear facility

Fukushima workers still in murky labor contracts: Tepco survey, Chicago Tribune, 27 Nov 14 The  number of workers at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant on false contracts has increased in the last year, the station operator said, highlighting murky labor conditions at the site despite a pledge to improve the work environment. The survey results released by Tokyo Electric Power Co <9501.T> (Tepco) late on Thursday showed that around 30 percent of plant workers polled said that they were paid by a different company from the contractor that normally directs them at the worksite, which is illegal under Japan’s labor laws.

A Reuters report in October found widespread confusion among plant workers at the Fukushima facility over their employment contracts and their promised hazard pay increase.

Many workers asked Tepco in the survey forms whether they were supposed to receive an equivalent of about $180 a day in hazard pay, the company said, adding that it did not mean each worker would necessarily see a pay increase of that amount.

Tepco said last November it would double the allocation for hazard pay to workers at Fukushima……..http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/technology/sns-rt-us-fukushima-workers-20141127-story.html

December 3, 2014 Posted by | employment, Japan | Leave a comment

Japanese nuclear power company aims to keep reactors going way beyond their present license limit

Kepco wants to extend lifespan of 40-year-old Takahama reactors to 60 years JAPAN TIMES BY ERIC JOHNSTON  NOV 26, 2014  Kansai Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it hopes to apply for a 20-year extension for two aging reactors that are close to the end of their 40-year approved life cycle, and plans to soon begin inspections which are a prerequisite for the move…… (registered readers onlyhttp://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/26/national/kepco-wants-extend-lifespan-40-year-old-takahama-reactors-60-years/#.VHleldLF8nl

November 28, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Abe government disregards public, and its (supposed) policy to reduce dependence on nuclear power

Editorial: Clarify vision for a society free of nuclear power. Mainichi, 26 Nov 14 “……Rather than phasing out atomic power, the 2-year-old government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been once again trying to rely on nuclear power stations.

The Basic Energy Plan that the Abe Cabinet approved in April this year recognizes atomic power as an important base-load power source, while declaring that Japan will reduce its dependence on such power as much as possible. Moreover, the government has postponed a decision on an ideal ratio between power sources.

If the government is truly enthusiastic about pursuing a society that does not rely on atomic power, it is the role of politicians to clearly show a road map toward eliminating nuclear plants, set specific targets including the ratio between power sources and implement specific measures to achieve this goal. The government should also judge whether individual nuclear plants should be restarted within the framework of the policy toward phasing out nuclear power.

The Abe administration’s failure to do so suggests that the government intends to put as many nuclear power plants as possible into operation by carrying out a fait accompli.

In fact, the government is attempting to allow Kyushu Electric Power Co. to reactivate its Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture based solely on the fact that its reactors meet the new regulatory standards set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority. The effectiveness of a plan to evacuate local residents in case of a serious disaster at the plant and efforts to convince residents of municipalities around the plant remain unaddressed. An opinion poll the Mainichi Shimbun conducted this past September shows that 60 percent of the public is opposed to restarting the power station. However, the government is showing no consideration of public opinion. Such an attitude could lead to a new safety myth, such as a massive amount of radiation would never be released in case of a meltdown since regulatory standards have been stiffened.

The government’s lack of enthusiasm about decreasing Japan’s dependence on nuclear power has led to power companies’ refusal to sign new contracts to purchase power generated with renewable energy. The promotion of renewable energy sources would help not only lessen the country’s dependence on atomic power but also create new industrial sectors and vitalize local economies. If Japan were to lose such chances because the government has failed to thoroughly implement measures to promote the introduction of renewable energy, it could be criticized as a serious policy misstep……Regardless, as long as a majority of the people of Japan, which experienced a serious nuclear disaster, are calling for a society without atomic power, it is the mission of politicians to make efforts to phase out nuclear power. http://mainichi.jp/english/english/perspectives/news/20141125p2a00m0na008000c.html

November 26, 2014 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

Tepco starts filling cable trench with cement as it pumps out radioactive water

Nov 26, 2014 

Tokyo Electric Power Co. started work Tuesday to fill an underground trench at the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant with cement while pumping up radioactive water inside at the same time.

The power company reported the beginning of the cement-pouring work for the cable trench for reactor 2 at a meeting in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, with government representatives on measures to deal with increasing radioactive water at the power station.

Tepco expects to finish the work by the end of next March. The company will begin next month pouring cement in reactor 3′s trench, hoping to complete the work also by the end of March.

The trenches for the two reactors are estimated to hold 11,000 tons of radioactive water in total. The water is believed to be causing the pollution of groundwater under the seaside section of the power plant.

On Tuesday, Tepco injected 80 cu. meters of cement in the reactor 2 trench in an operation that lasted two and a half hours from around 9:30 a.m. The trench holds radioactive water that has flowed from the reactor’s turbine building.

At first, Tepco planned to stop the flow by freezing water inside the joints between the turbine building and the trench so that it can entirely remove the radioactive water from there.

But Tepco could not fully freeze the water or block the flow. So, the firm switched to the current plan to inject cement in and remove the radioactive water from the trench simultaneously.

Source: Japan Times

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/26/national/tepco-starts-filling-cable-trench-cement-pumps-radioactive-water/#.VHVI88m-mKF

November 26, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima I NPP: Plan C Also Failed in Plugging Reactor 2 Trench… Now What?

November 24, 2014

Plan D of Course!

But first, recall that Plan A was to install freezing pipes at the head of the trench leading from Reactor 2 turbine building to create an ice plug so that the extremely contaminated water that had been sitting in the trench since the very beginning of the nuclear accident could be pumped out. TEPCO started the work in April this year.

That failed. The ice plug didn’t quite form.

Then recall that Plan B was to dump tons (literally) of ice and dry ice in the trench near the freezing pipes to lower the temperature of the water around the freezing pipes so that the ice plug would finally form. Workers dumped ice all day and all night, in the high ambient radiation right at the trench. That was in hot August. Try to freeze the trench with ice in hot August.

R2trenchice7-24-2014-3That also failed. Dry ice clogged the pipe, and the ice plug didn’t quite form, and TEPCO admitted there was water still coming into the trench from the turbine building. The water sitting in the turbine building comes from the reactor building after it cools the molten core somewhere in the building, and it is warm.

So TEPCO came up with Plan C.

What was Plan C? It was to fill the gap between the incomplete ice plug and the turbine building wall with fillers. TEPCO chose the combination of grout and concrete. A plug of ice, grout and concrete was formed. Sort of.

From TEPCO’s document uploaded at Nuclear Regulation Authority’s site on 11/21/2014, the plug – pink and light green in the diagram is grout (different types), dark green is concrete:

R2trenchPlanC

That failed, just as I predicted.

TEPCO finally admitted on November 17 that it was a failure after pumping out some 200 tonnes of this highly contaminated water on November 17 and seeing that the water level in the trench didn’t go down as much as they had calculated. The water was still coming in from the turbine building, and the groundwater was probably seeping in.

But not to worry. TEPCO has Plan D, and it has been already approved by Nuclear Regulation Authority.

So what is Plan D? To fill the trench with cement while pumping out the water that gets displaced (in theory) by the cement.

(Do you want to bet whether that is going to fail?)

From Mainichi English (11/18/2014), from the original Japanese article on 11/17/2014:

An effort to stop contaminated water from flowing into a trench at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant failed to completely halt the flow, announced Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant’s operator, on Nov. 17.

A TEPCO representative said, “We believe we have not completely stopped the water. Groundwater may also be entering the trench. We will closely analyze the changes in water level in the trench.”

TEPCO says that when around 200 tons of contaminated water was removed from the trench, the water level in the trench should have fallen by around 80 centimeters if the point of leakage between the plant’s No. 2 reactor turbine building and the trench had been fully sealed. However, the water level only fell by 21 centimeters, so TEPCO determined that the leak must be continuing.

While the water remains in the trench, TEPCO cannot create a planned underground wall of frozen soil around the No. 1 through 4 reactor buildings to stop water leakages.

And this image from Tokyo Shinbun (11/21/2014):

R2trench11212014

and reference to Plan D:

トンネルから汚染水を少しずつ抜きながら、水中で薄く広がる特殊なセメントを流し込んでトンネルをふさぐ方法への切り替えを提案する

(TEPCO) will propose (to Nuclear Regulation Authority) a new method of plugging the trench by pouring in the special cement that spread thin and wide in the water while removing the contaminated water in the trench gradually.

Special cement?

TEPCO says in the document (page 9) they submitted to NRA that it will be a mixture of cement, fly ash and underwater-inseparable admixtures (セメント、フライアッシュおよび水中不分離混和剤などの配合調整). They will use the tremie concrete placement method.

(Do you want to bet whether that is going to fail?)

The NRA meeting on November 21, 2014 was funny without participants intending to be funny, from what I read in the tweets by people watching the meeting.

At one point, Commissioner Fuketa exasperatedly asked TEPCO representatives, “So what was the point of trying to freeze the water? Was freezing even necessary at all?

The answer was no. TEPCO’s Shirai admitted (according to the tweet by @jaikoman on 11/21/2014) that there was a talk inside TEPCO that the ice plug was not necessary.

So why did they do it, and why did NRA approve it?

No one knows and no one is held accountable, while workers had to set up freezing pipes, then to pour ice, dry ice, grout, concrete, and to pump this highly contaminated water over the past 8 months in high radiation exposure. TEPCO hasn’t disclosed the radiation exposure for the workers.

Source: EXSKF

http://ex-skf.blogspot.nl/2014/11/fukushima-i-npp-plan-c-also-failed-in.html

November 26, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

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