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Drone to Measure Radiation inside Fukushima Daiichi Reactor and Turbine Buildings

n-drone-a-20170910-870x558.jpgThis drone will be used to measure radiation inside the reactor and turbine buildings at the meltdown-hit Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

 

Drone to measure radiation in tainted Fukushima No. 1 buildings

Tokyo Electric plans to measure radiation in heavily contaminated buildings at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant as it prepares to decommission its damaged reactors, officials at the utility said.

The data from the drone is expected to help Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. create 3-D maps and identify areas of high radiation that workers should avoid.

The drone, 93 cm wide and 83 cm long, has four propellers and can fly for around 15 minutes. Tepco, as the struggling utility is known, expects to use it in the reactor buildings and the turbine buildings.

In February, Tepco tested a drone in the turbine building for the No. 3 reactor, one of three that experienced meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

After improving its performance, it decided to use the drone to gauge radiation but it is still deciding where to start, the officials said.

The government and Tepco want to start debris extraction work in 2021 and are in the process of determining a specific approach for removing the molten fuel from each reactor and updating the decommissioning road map.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/09/national/drone-measure-radiation-tainted-fukushima-no-1-buildings/#.WbS8LxdLfrd

Drone to measure radiation inside tainted Fukushima plant buildings

TOKYO (Kyodo) — The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is planning to use a drone to measure radiation inside heavily contaminated structures as it prepares to decommission damaged reactors there, according to officials of the operator.

Data obtained from its use is expected to help the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., create 3-D maps and identify areas with high-level radiation inside buildings where workers cannot stay safely.

The drone envisioned for the task is 93 centimeters wide and 83 cm long, and, equipped with four propellers, can fly for around 15 minutes. The operator envisions its use inside buildings that house damaged reactors and inside those housing turbines.

In February Tepco, as it is known, tested a drone inside the turbine building for the No. 3 reactor, one of three reactors that experienced meltdowns in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

After improving its performance, the plant operator has decided to put the drone into use for radiation measurement. But it is still considering where it should begin using the machine, according to the officials.

The government and Tepco are aiming to start debris extraction work from 2021, and are currently in the process of determining a specific approach to removing melted fuel from each damaged reactor and of updating their decommissioning road map.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170910/p2g/00m/0dm/008000c

 

 

 

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

September 10 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Irma takes aim at America’s most vulnerable, unprepared city: Tampa” • Hurricane Irma appears to have Tampa in its cross-hairs, potentially hitting the city as a Category 3 storm Monday morning. Unfortunately, Tampa is unprepared. Climate science denial has thwarted efforts to plan for rising seas and worsening storms. [ThinkProgress]

Tampa in 2003 (Christopher Hollis, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ “People power: how households can help the energy crisis” • With rising electricity prices and dire predictions about summertime blackouts and brownouts, Australia is widely understood to be in grip of an energy crisis. But as politicians argue about what to do next, people are quietly making their own difference. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

¶ “President Trump’s War on Science” • From Day 1, the White House and its lackeys in certain federal agencies have been waging what amounts to a war on science. In…

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September 10, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FPL Shut Down Only One Of Two Nuclear Reactors At Turkey Point, Despite Hurricane Warnings

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Radar showing Hurricane Irma with its eye north of Cuba and south of the Florida Keys. Turkey Point Nuclear Power Station sits just north of Key Largo on Biscayne Bay.


Turkey Point Nuclear (and non-nuclear) Generating Station on Biscayne Bay.
According to the Miami Herald, “FPL shuts down one nuclear reactor at Turkey Point” BY NANCY DAHLBERG, SEPTEMBER 09, 2017 1:49 PM. It is reported that FPL started shutting one of the two Turkey Pt nuclear reactors down on early Saturday morning. They plan to leave St. Lucie nuclear power station operating at full power. When was this decision made? The area was under a hurricane warning Friday night and remains so. While the height of predicted possible storm surge flooding has decreased, there is still the possibility of very heavy rainfall, as well as of some storm surge flooding in the area of the site. Late Friday…

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September 10, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 9 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “How Hurricane Irma Became So Huge and Destructive” • As Hurricane Irma barrels dangerously toward Florida, scientists say that a perfect mix of meteorological conditions has conspired over the past week to make the storm unusually large and powerful. In a season expected to have powerful hurricanes, Irma stands out. [New York Times]

Hurricane Irma (NOAA photo)

¶ “Let’s Fund Disaster Relief – And Fight Climate Change – With A Tax On Carbon” • Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are in dire need of funds to haul debris, fix houses and schools, replace cars, and build better flood protection, after record-breaking storms. A carbon tax for disaster relief could accomplish multiple interlinked goals. [Forbes]

World:

¶ Norway is a place where the oil industry often seems to operate outside of the law and cultural norms. The most recent example of this is the plan by…

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September 10, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Construction of the Cover for Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 3 Continues

reactor 3 dome aug 9 2017.jpg

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

49% of Fukushima nuke disaster evacuees returning home to live are elderly: survey

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Nearly half of people currently living in nuclear disaster-hit areas in Fukushima Prefecture where evacuation orders have been lifted are aged 65 or over, a survey conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun has found.

The population aging rate — the ratio of people in this age group to the population — in these areas is nearly twice the figure before the outbreak of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011, as many younger evacuees have not come back to their hometowns for fear of being exposed to radiation or have settled down in areas where they took shelter.

The regional communities in these areas could be endangered because their current population is less than 10 percent of the pre-disaster figure and households in these areas consist of smaller member numbers.

The Mainichi Shimbun surveyed nine cities, towns and villages in Fukushima Prefecture about the situations of areas where evacuation orders had been lifted by this past spring

As of July and August, 5,951 people in 2,970 households have returned to or newly moved into these areas. Of these people, 2,929, or 49.2 percent, are aged at least 65.

According to a national census conducted in 2010 — before the March 2011 disaster — the rate was 27.4 percent in all areas of these nine municipalities.

The latest figure is above the anticipated population aging rate in Japan for 2065, which the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research put at 38.4 percent.

Of all the nine municipalities, the population aging rate in the village of Kawauchi is the highest at 71.3 percent. The town of Naraha has the lowest figure, but it still stands at 37 percent.

The figures in Kawauchi and two other municipalities among these nine are higher than the 60.5 percent in the village of Nanmoku, Gunma Prefecture, which had the highest population aging rate of all municipalities in Japan in the 2015 census.

The number of people who currently live in the areas where evacuation orders have been lifted is less than 10 percent the number of people registered as residents just before the disaster, which was slightly above 60,000.

Members of a growing number of households in these areas are living separately. The average number of members per household is two, almost equal to the figure in Tokyo at 2.02 in the 2015 census, which is the smallest number among all 47 prefectures. In the 2010 pre-disaster census, the average figure in the nine municipalities had been 3.04.

An official of the city of Minamisoma, one of the nine municipalities, expressed concerns about the aging of its population. “There’ll be a growing number of cases where people living by themselves die alone and where an elderly family member has to look after another elderly member,” the official said.

In Minamisoma, only a limited number of medical institutions and nursing care facilities have reopened. “There’s a serious workforce shortage,” the official lamented.

Only about five of 94 members of volunteer firefighters in the village of Katsurao have returned home since the evacuation order was lifted.

An official of the Katsurao Municipal Government voiced fears about the shortage of volunteer firefighters. “We are worried that it will be difficult to mobilize these volunteers if a fire breaks out in the village. As long as there are not enough young people, it’ll be difficult to maintain the fire brigade in the village,” the official said.

Ritsumeikan University associate professor Fuminori Tanba, who was involved in the compilation of restoration plans in municipalities where evacuation orders were issued, noted, “The situation of areas affected by the nuclear crisis heralds the future situation of Japan where the birthrate is declining and the population is aging. Local governments need to join hands across broad areas in addressing challenges that cannot be tackled by a single municipality, such as nursing care and disaster management,” he said.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170909/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

Radiation Detected in Fukushima Daiichi Worker’s Nasal Cavities

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The Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is shown on Feb. 22, 2016. A worker at the plant was found to have been exposed to a small amount of radiation during a routine safety check on Friday.

 

TEPCO: Worker exposed to small radiation dose at Fukushima

A worker dismantling tanks at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was found to have been exposed to a small amount of radiation during a routine safety check on Friday, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said.

Radiation was detected in nasal cavities of the worker, an unidentified man in his 30s, a TEPCO spokesman said on Friday. The company estimated the amount of radiation at up to 0.010 millisieverts–less than a typical chest X-ray of 0.05 millisieverts–and said it did not pose an immediate health risk.

Reported radiation exposure incidents have been rare during work to clean up the plant, devastated by the March 11, 2011, magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami that left nearly 16,000 people confirmed dead, with more than 2,000 officially unaccounted for.

The TEPCO spokesman said the last Fukushima No. 1 radiation exposure incident in official records was for a worker exposed to at least 2 millisieverts in January 2012.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709080046.html

 

Fukushima worker exposed to small amount of radiation, Tepco says

A worker dismantling tanks at the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant was found to have been exposed to a small amount of radiation during a routine safety check on Friday, plant operator Tokyo Electric said.

Radiation was detected in the nasal cavities of the worker, an unidentified man in his 30s, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said on Friday.

The company estimated the amount of radiation at up to 0.010 millisieverts — less than a typical 0.05-millisievert chest X-ray — and said it did not pose an immediate health risk.

Reported radiation exposure incidents have been rare during work to clean up the plant, which was devastated by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, that left nearly 16,000 people confirmed dead and more than 2,000 officially unaccounted for.

The Tepco spokesman said the last Fukushima No. 1 radiation exposure incident in official records was for a worker who was exposed to at least 2 millisieverts in January 2012.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/09/08/national/fukushima-worker-exposed-small-amount-radiation-tepco-says/#.WbRVGBdLfrc

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | 1 Comment

Thyroid Cancer Detection by Ultrasound Among Residents Ages 18 Years and Younger in Fukushima, Japan: 2011 to 2014

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Background: After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011, radioactive elements were released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Based on prior knowledge, concern emerged about whether an increased incidence of thyroid cancer among exposed residents would occur as a result.

Methods: After the release, Fukushima Prefecture performed ultrasound thyroid screening on all residents ages ≤18 years. The first round of screening included 298,577 examinees, and a second round began in April 2014. We analyzed the prefecture results from the first and second round up to December 31, 2014, in comparison with the Japanese annual incidence and the incidence within a reference area in Fukushima Prefecture.

Results: The highest incidence rate ratio, using a latency period of 4 years, was observed in the central middle district of the prefecture compared with the Japanese annual incidence (incidence rate ratio = 50; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 25, 90). The prevalence of thyroid cancer was 605 per million examinees (95% CI = 302, 1,082) and the prevalence odds ratio compared with the reference district in Fukushima Prefecture was 2.6 (95% CI = 0.99, 7.0). In the second screening round, even under the assumption that the rest of examinees were disease free, an incidence rate ratio of 12 has already been observed (95% CI = 5.1, 23).

Conclusions: An excess of thyroid cancer has been detected by ultrasound among children and adolescents in Fukushima Prefecture within 4 years of the release, and is unlikely to be explained by a screening surge.

http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Citation/2016/05000/Thyroid_Cancer_Detection_by_Ultrasound_Among.3.aspx

September 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment