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TEPCO official knew standard for meltdown at Fukushima

Yuichi Okamura, the senior director of nuclear power generation knew. In a recent press conference he said that it was his personal knowledge as to what was the meltdown standard. Mr. Okamura has worked in the industry for 20 years. He did not elaborate about TEPCO’s manuals or the knowledge of others. At the time of the disaster he was tasked with dealing with the spent fuel pool at unit 4.

A Tokyo Electric Power Co. senior official has admitted to knowing the criteria to assess reactor meltdowns during the onset of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

However, it took the company two months to make the declaration and another five years to “discover” its operational manual, which would have allowed it to declare a meltdown.

Until February this year, TEPCO had justified the delay in that it did not have the “basis to determine” such an occurrence. It announced Feb. 24 that it discovered a guideline in its operational manual.

TEPCO admitted that meltdowns had occurred in May 2011, two months after the disaster.

Yuichi Okamura, a senior director on nuclear power generation, said in a news conference on April 11 that he knew of the standard, although emphasizing it was only his “personal knowledge.” He did not elaborate on whether he knew the existence of the operational manual, or whether he shared his “personal knowledge” with other staff members.

“I, in fact, knew it (the criteria),” said Okamura. “I learned it while working in the field of nuclear technology with the company for over 20 years.”

According to Okamura, at the time of the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, he was directing the pumping of water into the cooling pool of spent nuclear fuel rods of the No. 4 reactor. He said he was not in a position to make a declaration whether a meltdown had occurred.

He made the admission in response to a question asking his personal understanding of the situation at the onset of the crisis.

Okamura declined to comment on whether he is being questioned by a third-party panel investigating the accident.

In February, TEPCO revealed that it did not realize for the past five years that there was a clear guideline in the operational manual to assess that a meltdown in a reactor had occurred. The standard requires the company to declare a meltdown when damage to a reactor core exceeds 5 percent.

TEPCO took two months to declare the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima plant, triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. It had initially maintained that the reactors suffered “core damage” rather than meltdowns.

April 14, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

April 14 Energy News



¶ According to RenewEconomy, the Greens want to have “… South Australia source 100% of its electricity needs from clean energy by 2030.” Such a clean energy achievement will generate 1,000 jobs and include a SolarReserve 100-MW solar tower and storage plant near Port Augusta. [CleanTechnica]

South Australian windpower. Image via Shutterstock South Australian windpower. Image via Shutterstock

¶ Quebec has a plan to increase the overall output of renewable energy 25%, pushing the total amount to 60.9% by 2030 from its current 46.6%. The plan is meant to significantly alter Quebec’s energy profile. Hydro-Quebec is looking at opportunities to provide power to New York and New England. [Platts]

¶ A wine production plant in the South Africa’s Western Cape has commissioned a rooftop solar plant that will provide up to half the energy needed to make 3-million liters of wine a month. The 2‚600 solar panels cover four roofs at…

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April 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swedish Government Nuclear Shakedown of Germany & Dumping Swedish Nuclear Waste on the USA

Mining Awareness +

Swedish Government Nuclear Shakedown of Germany

Sweden taking Germany to international court in what appears a frivolous lawsuit over the closure of aged Swedish government owned nuclear reactors in Germany and dumping its nuclear waste on the USA looks like an undeclared act of war by Sweden. Sweden remains a major arms exporter, by the way: They don’t only specialize in pork.

Sweden just announced this month that it will phase out nuclear power: So, why is Sweden still attacking Germany in international court over Germany’s phase-out? It’s abusive of the international tribunal system and very incongruous and hypocritical!
Swedish air force JAS 39 Gripen fighters
Swedish air force JAS 39 Gripen fighters…” [1]

Vattenfall is a Swedish power company, wholly owned by the Swedish government. Beyond Sweden, the company generates power in Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, and the United Kingdom. It means waterfall and…

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April 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 13 Energy News



Powerhive is delivering prepaid solar microgrids to rural
• The next clean energy step for the developing world might be solar-powered microgrids, such as those Powerhive is developing. These systems can deliver clean energy to remote villages of as few as 200 people. [Treehugger]

Microgrid construction © Powerhive Microgrid construction © Powerhive

Obama says wind power cheaper in Texas than power from ‘dirty fossil fuels’ • Rallying Texas Democrats, President Obama said that wind is a better bargain in Texas than traditional oil and gas. Come again? Wind power sure has sizzle, but is this true? The answer is “mostly yes.” [Houston Chronicle]


¶ In a recent piece published on its website, consultancy firm Bridge to India posited that the question of whether the India solar market is “running on fumes.” The firm believes that “many developers seem to be bidding for project first and…

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April 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Is the 100 in Holtec’s Spent Nuclear Fuel HI-STORM 100 Cask a Reference to “Exemptions” to its Certificate of “Compliance” (CoC)? Comment Deadline 13 April 2016, 11.59 PM ET (one minute to the 14th)

Mining Awareness +

Comment on this: “ID: NRC-2015-0270-0002 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: Holtec International HI-STORM 100 Cask System; Certificate of Compliance No. 1014, Amendment No. 10” Here:!documentDetail;D=NRC-2015-0270-0002

Holtec is up to its 10th Amendment for its Certificate of “Compliance” for its Spent Nuclear Fuel System, for Lethal High Level Nuclear Waste. If the last few Amendments are indicative, each Amendment has been characterized by at least one Revision, and each Amendment and Revision has multiple exemption requests. Thus, Holtec may be as high as 100 exemptions or higher already. If not, they are well on their way. In short, these are Certificates of noncompliance.

Why do they need “exemptions”? It means that either they are whittling away at safety, or that the spent fuel casks weren’t safe in the first place, or both. Occasionally it may really be a clarification, though that classification has been used as…

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April 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Heatwave Mass Casualties Strike India in April Amidst Severe Drought, Water Shortages


Loss of water from snow melt in the Himalayas, increasing temperatures and instances of drought over the food-producing plains, and a potential endemic weakening of the annual monsoonal rains. These are all climate change related impacts that appear to be settling in over India as global temperatures consistently begin to hit levels higher than 1 C above 1880s values. Impacts that are setting up conditions for sustained and increasingly severe droughts and heatwaves.


Yesterday, temperatures rocketed to 114.44 degrees Fahrenheit (or 45.8 degrees Celsius) in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Odisha, on the Indian east coast. It was the hottest April reading ever recorded for a region that typically sees daily highs in the upper 90s this time of year. A level of heat that’s excessive even for this typically warm region.

India Heatwave

(Most of India baked under a severe heatwave yesterday [April 11] as the number of lives lost…

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April 14, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment