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Tepco estimates 44 years to decommission Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant

They say that the first stage, comprising radiological surveys, will take ten years. The second stage, which will involve clearing the equipment from around the nuclear reactors, will last 12 years. Removal of the reactors (stage 3) and demolition of the reactor buildings (stage 4), will each last 11 years.

But these estimates are useless. The U.S. has been cleaning up Hanford, WA, site of the reactors that made the plutonium in the Alamagordo bomb, and then the Nagasaki bomb, for decades, at an every mounting cost and an ever-receding completion date. Turns out that generating large amounts of high-level nuclear waste turns out to be a bit more challenging to deal with than the techno-optimists ever dreamed. If there’s anyone around with the consciousness to care several hundred years from now, the creation of nuclear waste is going to be a very nasty reminder of how stupid we were.

The Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant
January 23, 2020
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. has estimated that it will take 44 years to decommission its Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.
Tepco presented the outline of decommissioning plans to the municipal assembly of Tomioka, one of the two host towns of the nuclear plant, on Wednesday.
The Fukushima No. 2 plant is located south of the No. 1 plant, which suffered a triple meltdown accident in the wake of the March 2011 massive earthquake and tsunami.
According to the outline, the decommissioning process for the No. 2 plant will have four stages, taking 10 years for the first stage, 12 years for the second stage and 11 years each for the third and fourth stages.
Tepco will survey radioactive contamination at the nuclear plant in the first stage, clear equipment around nuclear reactors in the second, remove the reactors in the third and demolish the reactor buildings in the fourth.
Meanwhile, the plant operator will transfer a total of 9,532 spent nuclear fuel units at the plant to a fuel reprocessing company by the end of the decommissioning process, and 544 unused fuel units to a processing firm by the start of the third stage.
Tepco will submit its finalized decommissioning plans for the Fukushima No. 2 plant to the Nuclear Regulation Authority after gaining approval from the municipal governments of Tomioka and the other host town, Naraha, as well as the Fukushima Prefectural Government.

January 31, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , | 1 Comment

Vladivostok customs stopped a radioactive Toyota Prius that arrived from Japan

information_items_7771The contaminated Toyota Prius will be shipped back to Japan. Picture: Vladivostok customs

January 23, 2020
There were 875 contaminated items sent back by Russia since 2011 Fukusima-1 nuclear power plant disaster.
The radiation-emitting Toyota Prius was detected at the territory of Vladivostok Sea Port.
The dangerous cargo was contaminated with beta-active radionuclides, said the city customs press secretary Asya Berezhaya.
The test showed radiation flux density ranging from 40 to 120 particles per square centimeter per minute.
The car will now be shipped back to Japan.
This is the first case in three years time of a radioactive vehicle arriving from Japan detected by Russian customs.
Overall Vladivostok customs reported 875 contaminated goods, including cars, that arrived from Japan since Fukusima-1 nuclear power plant disaster in 2011.
The last case shows that the consequences of the 2011 accident have not been completely eliminated, said head of radioactive department of Vladivostok customs Maksim Shesternin.
Beta radiation is a stream of electrons emitted at a velocity approaching the speed of light, with enough energy to enter human skin but not to pass through it.
Beta radiation can be stopped by a thin layer of aluminium or Persplex, according to Science Direct.


January 31, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

In Cumbria, concern over nuclear waste canisters, and inadequacy of Radioactive Waste Management (RWM)

Current model for storing nuclear waste is incomplete, 30 Jan , New research carried out by Ohio State University has revealed significant problems with one of the key containment methods for high level nuclear waste to be used in the UK.  It had previously been assumed that forming high level waste into glass or ceramics within a stainless steel canister would ensure that the waste would be isolated from its surroundings while it underwent radioactive decay. It now appears that the iron within stainless steel canister is reacting with the silicon, a fundamental constituent of glass.  This leads to severe localised corrosion at a far higher rate than previously assumed.  The full article can be found here.

Followers of Cumbria Trust will be aware that this is not the only example of a canister intended for the UK’s geological disposal programme which has failed to perform as expected.  Another is the KBS-3 concept which used copper canisters, where some experiments have shown accelerated corrosion via a pitting process.

During the previous search for a site to bury the UK’s nuclear waste, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) attempted to deny the existence of these problems.  Recently, Radioactive Waste Management (RWM), a subsidiary of the NDA, has become more open in its admission of the difficulties they face.  Cumbria Trust welcomes this approach, and has had a constructive dialogue with some senior RWM figures over recent years.

Our recent experience with RWM hasn’t been entirely positive though – they have failed to exclude designated areas (such as national parks and AONBs) in the latest search process, despite overwhelming public opposition to their inclusion, and have refused to discuss this with Cumbria Trust when asked.  Cumbrians might ask themselves why RWM are taking this stance.

January 31, 2020 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment