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Leaks Unlikely, “presumes” Tepco

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Naohiro Masuda, left, president of Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Co., speaks at the podium in a news conference at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s head office on Nov. 22.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said radioactive water likely did not leak from its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant following the morning earthquake that spawned a tsunami on Nov. 22. TEPCO declared that everything was ok at Fukushima Daiichi before even to be able to go inspect the facilities.

TEPCO officials said the company manually shut down equipment that was transferring contaminated water from reactor buildings after the magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture. The measure was taken because water being transferred could have spilled out if a pipe in the system was fractured in the quake, and because they would be unable to check the system for leaks.

Naohiro Masuda, president of Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Co., TEPCO’s in-house organization, explained during a news conference at the utility’s head office in Tokyo why the company halted operations of the water transfer facility: “The biggest risk is a tsunami causing contaminated water that has accumulated (in the reactor buildings) to leak and pollute the environment.”

After the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning at 6:02 a.m., the company ordered workers in lower areas of the plant to evacuate to higher ground. The workers stayed out of the lower areas as the tsunami warning lasted for hours. They have been unable to check for possible leaks around the reactor buildings and the turbine buildings near the sea.

It is a bit inappropriate that we’ve been unable to do so,” Masuda said. “That’s why we suspended the transfer facility. We think that no water will leak now.”

Groundwater mixing with contaminated water in damaged reactor buildings has been a serious problem at the plant since the nuclear disaster unfolded in 2011.

TEPCO also reported that pumps to cool water in the spent nuclear fuel pool at the No. 3 reactor building of the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant shut down after the quake. The company said this was an automatic mechanism that kicked in after the water level changed in the tank that adjusts water conditions in the pool. “It is a result of the fact that the automatic suspension device worked normally,” Masuda said. The pumps were later restarted.

In the evening of 11/22/2016, Tepco announced the radiation monitoring post in the sea has been suspended due to the quake. The post is situated at the end of the breakwater of Fukushima plant port. They cannot monitor the radioactive substance spreading to the Pacific with this monitoring post out of order.

TEPCO  declared “everything is safe” soon after the quake. They may have visually confirmed nothing large and significant happened such as a vent tower collapsing or larger building damage,  but they were unable to go in to inspect to actually confirm nothing was damaged, to check for damage in more detail and to check every system now in place at the plant could easily take an entire day.

TEPCO’s prompt claim of no damage after the earthquake at the disaster site, as always was not done after inspections would have confirmed no damage.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201611220063.html

http://www.tepco.co.jp/press/mail/2016/1339057_8708.html

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November 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

465 suspected of working illegally at Fukushima nuke plant in 2015

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A total of 465 workers at the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant may have been employed under “disguised contracts,” according to the results of a 2015 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) questionnaire.
Under a “disguised contract,” people are given work without official employment or are made to work under the instruction of parties other than those who place the original orders, obscuring the party responsible for their safety. The revelation comes after the Mainichi Shimbun reported that seven foreign nationals worked at the plant in 2014 under suspected illegal contracts. TEPCO had subsequently concluded that it had identified no problems over the issue based on its questionnaires.

The utility recognized that 118 of the 465 workers — whose employers TEPCO says it could identify and whom it checked with by way of the original contractors — were “all in appropriate employment statuses.”

In response to the TEPCO announcement, however, a former Japanese worker at the plant testified to the Mainichi that he “couldn’t write about the truth” in those surveys. Furthermore, at least one subcontractor related to work at the plant has admitted to the existence of disguised contract work.

The Employment Security Act and other regulations ban “disguised contract work” in which workers receive instructions from companies other than those they have employment or business contracts with as it obscures the party responsible for safety management. The seven foreign nationals — mostly Japanese-Brazilians — who worked at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in 2014 received work instructions from a subcontractor, but they were in fact sole proprietors with business contracts.

TEPCO started handing out surveys in fiscal 2011 to all non-regular workers engaged in the decommissioning of reactors at the plant in a bid to improve their work environment. The utility has released the results of the past surveys on its website.

A questionnaire conducted between August and October last year, whose results were recently released, received responses from 86.4 percent of all workers at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, or 6,527 individuals, most of whom are believed to be Japanese. Among them, 465 workers (14.2 percent) of 3,268 workers (excluding supervisors and managers) answered that “the company that gives me work instructions and the one that pays me are different.” Of them, TEPCO asked the original contractors to conduct a survey on 118 workers and concluded that their employment statuses were appropriate based on their reports.

A former male Japanese worker for a second-tier subcontractor that undertook work to build storage tanks for radiation contaminated water at the plant between 2014 and 2015 revealed to the Mainichi that when he responded to a TEPCO survey, he enclosed his answer sheet in an envelope and handed it over to a first-tier subcontractor without sealing it. The answer sheets submitted by workers were ultimately collected by the original contractor before being submitted to TEPCO.

“Although the surveys were anonymous, they could tell who wrote the answers by the handwriting. I couldn’t write about working under harsh conditions, in which many people collapsed due to heatstroke. The way the surveys are conducted now wouldn’t lead to uncovering the realities at the job sites,” he said.

The president of a construction company in Fukushima Prefecture that undertakes decommissioning work at the Fukushima No. 1 plant told the Mainichi in February that the company was making workers dispatched by another firm work at the plant by disguising them as its own regular employees. “I’m aware it constitutes disguised contract work, which is illegal. But it’s a common practice.”

Meanwhile, TEPCO’s public relations section, when asked whether its questionnaires can uncover the realities of work conditions for those engaged in decommissioning work at the plant, said, “We see no problems with them.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161122/p2a/00m/0na/012000c

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

NRA Says Weak Steel Components Not Used in Japan Nuclear Plants

If you believe the nuclear “regulator”, all the bad nuclear parts were the ones that were sent overseas to France, and the Japanese ones went thru better quality control.
If you don’t believe them, at least 11 reactors have defective reactor pressure vessel lids. That’s the part of the nuclear reactor that blows high in the air when the reactor overheats, explodes, and melts down.

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The Nuclear Regulation Authority says potentially weak steel components manufactured by a Japanese company have not been used in domestic nuclear facilities, after its French counterpart ordered reactors that used the company’s parts to be checked.

The NRA determined at a regular meeting Tuesday there is no comparable risk at the domestic nuclear facilities of 11 companies as portions of steel with excessive carbon concentrations had been removed from the components manufactured by Kitakyushu-based Japan Casting & Forging Corp.

The NRA concluded that the removal of portions with higher levels of carbon was insufficient in the components used in the French reactors.

The authority also determined there were no problems with critical parts at domestic facilities that were manufactured by other companies, including Tokyo-based Japan Steel Works Ltd.

The French Nuclear Safety Authority said in June it had found potential weaknesses at a number of nuclear facilities due to steel with higher levels of impurities supplied by Japan Casting & Forging, prompting the NRA to commence its own investigation.

Utilities in Japan checked their facilities and submitted reports to the NRA last month.

According to the reports, Japan Casting & Forging manufactured pressure vessel lids for 11 reactors at seven nuclear power stations, including the No. 2 reactor at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama power plant in Fukui Prefecture.

The company’s pressure vessel lids were also used at the No. 2 reactor at Kansai Electric’s Mihama plant in Fukui Prefecture and the No. 1 reactor at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture, both of which are set to be decommissioned.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/11/22/national/nra-says-weak-steel-components-not-used-japan-nuclear-plants/

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Radiation Measuring on Nov. 22, After the 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake

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Following the November 22, 2016 earthquake striking at 5:59am, the Tarachine Mothers’ Radiation Lab in Iwaki city Fukushima kept measuring ambiant radiation every hour for the sake of precaution.

According to TEPCO, cooling to the spent nuclear fuel pool for the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant resumed at 7:47 am. It had stopped after the earthquakes this morning.

Radiation measurement 6:30 am on November 22nd, Izumigaoka, Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.05µSv/h measured by PA-1000 Environmental Radiation Monitor Radi.

Radiation measurement 7:00 am on November 22nd, Izumigaoka, Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.05µSv/h measured by PA-1000 Environmental Radiation Monitor Radi.

Radiation measurement 7:30 am on November 22nd, Izumigaoka, Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.05µSv/h measured by PA-1000 Environmental Radiation Monitor Radi.

Radiation measurement 8:00 am on November 22nd, Izumigaoka, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.05 μSv/h, outdoor 0.08μSv/h measured by PA-1000 Environmental Radiation Monitor Radi.

Radiation measurement 8:30 am on November 22nd, Izumigaoka, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.05 μSv/h, outdoor 0.09μSv/h measured by PA-1000 Environmental Radiation Monitor Radi.

Radiation measurement 9:00 am on November 22nd, Izumigaoka, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.05 μSv/h, outdoor 0.09μSv/h measured by PA-1000 Environmental Radiation Monitor Radi.

Radiation measurement 10:00 am on November 22nd, Hanabatake-cho,Onahama, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.06 μSv/h, outdoor 0.08μSv/h measured by ALOKA γSURVEY METER TCS-172 

Radiation measurement 11:00am on November 22nd, Hanabatake-cho,Onahama, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.06 μSv/h, outdoor 0.08μSv/h measured by ALOKA γSURVEY METER TCS-172 

Radiation measurement 12:00am on November 22nd, Hanabatake-cho,Onahama, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.06 μSv/h, outdoor 0.08μSv/h measured by ALOKA γSURVEY METER TCS-172 

Radiation measurement 15:00am on November 22nd, Hanabatake-cho,Onahama, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.06 μSv/h, outdoor 0.07μSv/h measured by ALOKA γSURVEY METER TCS-172 

Radiation measurement 23:15pm on November 22nd, Izumigaoka, Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, indoor 0.05 μSv/h measured by PA-1000 Environmental Radiation Monitor Radi.

Source : Tarachine, Mothers’ Radiation Lab, Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fuel removal unlikely by March 2018

566 fuel assemblies, 514 spent fuel assemblies and 52 unused ones, Tepco has always said so. But since the fuel pool was cleaned up, Tepco only released partial photos of the fuel pool, never any photo of the whole fuel pool. So as of now it is just impossible  to verify Tepco’s claim by counting the assemblies. Since the fuel pool also exploded some fuel assemblies must be missing. How many are gone how many remain is still a non answered question, especially as Tepco is not well known for being straightforward.

Will Tepco dare to start decommissioning the reactor 3 fuel pool before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? I doubt so. In my opinion, Tepco will keep postponing it for after the Olympics, to avoid difficulties and critics

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Fuel removal unlikely by March 2018

A government official has suggested that fuel removal from a reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will not start by March 2018, as planned.

566 nuclear fuel units remain in the No. 3 reactor’s fuel pool. To reach their target period, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company must begin placing a cover over the damaged reactor building by this April.

It’s now expected the cover installation will not start until January next year or later. It was determined that stronger measures are needed to protect workers from radiation exposure.

An official with the industry ministry overseeing reactor decommissioning inspected the plant on Monday. He said starting fuel removal within the next fiscal year is difficult.

Tokyo Electric says the cover installation has been slow, but the company will continue decommissioning work with safety as their highest priority.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20161121_24/

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

November 22 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Everything I Learned About Renewable Energy Contracts By Talking To Developers” – Utilities put together their portfolio of renewable energy contracts so that they will be able to deliver the capacity needed for each time of day, combining wind and solar with baseload renewables: geothermal, hydro, and landfill gas. [CleanTechnica]

Renewable energy (Image Credit: Chauncey Davis) Renewable energy (Image Credit: Chauncey Davis)

¶ “With Trump, China Emerges As Global Leader on Climate” How has China, the country that had been seen as the bad boy of climate policy, transformed itself into a potential global climate leader? And why do China’s leaders see their efforts on climate change as the key to the next phase of China’s growth? [Yale Environment 360]

Science and Technology:

¶ In recent years researchers have shown a correlation between oil and gas fracking and seismic activity, but not a direct causal link. Now, a study published…

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November 22, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan Offshore Earthquake Upgraded to M 7.4, Strong Ground Acceleration at Fukushima Nuclear Site; Felt as a IX Fukushima Area; Loss of Cooling, Loss of Power at Fukushima Nuclear Site (Reported as Restored)

Mining Awareness +

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the recent earthquake in Japan (05:59 JST, 22 Nov. 2016, Fukushima-Ken Oki) has been upgraded to a Magnitude of 7.4, with a depth of about 30 km. The location was Latitude 37.4N Longitude 141.6E. The earlier report was 7.3 Magnitude at 37.3 N and 141.6 E, with a 10 km depth.
Japan Meteo Agency 7.4 M Earthquake Tsunami 22 Nov 2016
http://www.jma.go.jp/en/tsunami/info_03_20161122080929.html
The US government (USGS) initially reported a 7.3 Magnitude earthquake, located at 37.272 N and 141.644 E, 61 km ESE of Namie, Japan at 20.59.46 UTC (2016-11-21) or 05.59.46 JST (2016-11-22).
USGS 7.3 screen shot google search
Very quickly they changed both the location and the magnitude of their report to a 6.9 Magnitude earthquake, 37 km ESE of Namie at 20.59.49 UTC (5.59.49 JST), 37.392°N  141.403°E, with a depth of 11.3 km. With a location, time and depth change one can but wonder if this is a different interpretation of the same earthquake or is…

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November 22, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What Does A Trump Presidency Mean For Climate-Change Education? #auspol 

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By Tania Lombrozo


On Nov. 8, the World Meteorological Organization published a press release summarizing the findings from a report on global climate from 2011-2015.

The report identified the last five years as the hottest on record, with 2015 marking the first year with global temperatures more than 1 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial era. Arctic sea ice declined, sea levels rose and many extreme weather events occurred — events that were “made more likely as a result of human-induced (anthropogenic) climate change.”
The same day the press release was published, Donald Trump was elected as the next president of the United States.

This combination of events is deeply troubling. Trump has called climate change a hoax and has threatened to withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement to limit climate change. Already, Trump has named climate skeptic Myron Ebell to head his Environmental Protection Agency transition team.
More generally, there’s…

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November 22, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 21 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Solar And Wind Versus Nuclear: Is Baseload Power Obsolete?” Renewables coupled with efficient, cost effective energy storage make grids virtually obsolete. Utility companies are petrified they may become irrelevant and the trillions of dollars invested in building grids throughout the world will no longer produce income. [PlanetSave.com]

Solar installation (via Quora) Solar installation (via Quora)

World:

¶ S&P Global Platts reports that European power prices spiked
in early November as unscheduled nuclear outages in France continued to squeeze supply margins across Northwest Europe. Doubts continued to assail the market in mid-November, holding baseload prices for next January at up to €140/MWh ($149/kWh). [ScandOil]

¶ Between November 1 and November 15, Brazil’s wind power output rose by 53.6% on the year to an average of 4,817 MW, according to preliminary figures released by the Power Trading Chamber. Wind power’s share of Brazilian power generation grew to 7.8%. Biomass and…

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November 22, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gov Nikki Haley $55,000 from Holtec Nuclear’s Kris Singh; Sec of State Interprets Treaties; Possible Conflict of Interest in Application of Nuclear Liability Agreement

Mining Awareness +

Among the functions of the Secretary of State: “Negotiates, interprets, and terminates treaties and agreements“. http://www.state.gov/secretary/115194.htm

This appears to include the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage” which is a shared nuclear liability agreement, including the US and India. Apparently above a certain amount, US vendors and/or taxpayers will be responsible for 1/3rd of the cost of a nuclear disaster in India under this Convention. This CSC convention only benefits those who sell defective nuclear parts, do faulty construction-installation and/or utilities which cut corners. There is no incentive to make quality products or do maintenance, if you must pay for the cost-cutting and mistakes of competitors. Both CSC and the US Price Andersen should be canceled and the individual nuclear providers held liable for their products, along with the utilities.

If Governor Nikki Haley becomes Secretary of State, she could have a huge conflict of…

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November 22, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Magnitude 6.9 Earthquake Strikes Off Japanese Coast, Tsunami Warning

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An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.3 hit northern Japan on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, generating a tsunami that hit the nation’s northern Pacific coast.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially put Tuesday’s quake at a magnitude of 7.3 but down graded it to 6.9.

The earthquake, which was felt in Tokyo, was centered off the coast of Fukushima prefecture at a depth of about 10 km (6 miles) and struck at 5:59 a.m. (2059 GMT) the agency said.

USGS said that it was a shallow quake, at about 10 kilometers, which tended to cause more shaking damage and had greater potential to cause a tsunami.

“The good news here is that the direction the fault was moving is a slight lateral slip. When the faults move laterally they do not create the vertical movement associated with large tsunamis,” the U.S. agency said.

A 60 cm (2 foot) tsunami had been observed at Iwaki city’s Onahama Port and a 90 cm (3 foot) tsunami at Soma Port soon after, public broadcaster NHK said. The region is the same that was devastated by a tsunami following a massive earthquake in 2011. A tsunami warning of up to 3 meters (10 feet) has been issued.

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Japan’s chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said that a government taskforce had been established to deal with the quake and tsunami, and called on people in affected areas to evacuate, according to media outlet NHK.

NHK also reported that water could be seen moving bath and forth in Onahama Port and that tide levels were rising in some areas on Japan’s eastern coast. Television footage showed ships moving out to sea from Fukushima harbors as tsunami warning signals wailed.

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Tokyo Electric Power, known as Tepco, said on its website that no damage from the quake has been confirmed at any of its power plants, although there have been blackouts in some areas. Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant caused Japan’s worst nuclear disaster when it was knocked out by the 2011 tsunami.

Tohoku Electric Power said there was no damage to its Onagawa nuclear plant, while the Kyodo news agency reported there were no irregularities at the Tokai Daini nuclear plant in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas. Japan accounts for about 20 percent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

The March 11, 2011, quake was magnitude 9, the strongest quake in Japan on record. The massive tsunami it triggered caused world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier.

An Iwaki city fire dept official said there was smoke or fire at Kureha’s research center in a petrochemical complex in Iwaki city at 6:17 a.m., but it was extinguished at 6:40 a.m. Other details were not clear, he said, adding that no other major damage in the city has been reported at the moment.

One hotel in Ofunato, badly hit by the 2011 quake, told guests to stay in the facility, which is on high ground.

All nuclear plants on the coast threatened by the tsunami are shut down in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Only two reactors are operating in Japan, both in the southwest of the country. Even when in shutdown nuclear plants need cooling systems operating to keep spent fuel cool.

At Fukushima Daiichi, the plant workers are reporting they felt shaken even in the seismic isolation building. Most of the workers have not come to the plant for today yet. The situation is still under investigation. No further information yet.

At Fukushima Daini,  Tepco said that its water-cooling system for spent fuel at reactor 3 had stopped working at 6:10AM but that there was enough water in the pool to keep the fuel cool, posing no immediate danger. Tepco rebooted the coolant system of SFP 3 of Fukushima DAINI at 7:47AM (JST).

http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20161122061144495-220559.html

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/21/magnitude-73-earthquake-hits-japan-usgs-says.html

https://twitter.com/nhk_seikatsu/status/800825947507212288

https://www.pref.fukushima.lg.jp/sec/16025c/genan10.html

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20161122/k10010779181000.html

 

 

 

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment