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Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuke plant reactor lid

A remotely controlled robot inserts a dosimeter into a hole created to measure radiation levels beneath the uppermost lid of the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel in a study on Sept. 9.

The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant could be forced to reconsider the plant’s decommissioning process after lethal radiation levels equivalent to those of melted nuclear fuel were detected near one of the lids covering a reactor.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sept. 14 that a radiation reading near the surface of the lid of the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel was 1.2 sieverts per hour, higher than the level previously assumed.

The discovery came on Sept. 9 during a study by the NRA and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant.

TEPCO plans to insert a robotic arm into the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel from its side in a trial planned for the second half of 2022 to retrieve pieces of melted nuclear fuel.

“We will consider what we can do during the trial on the basis of the detection of the concentration of contamination” in the upper area of the containment vessel, a TEPCO official said.

The round concrete lid, called the shield plug, is 12 meters in diameter and about 60 centimeters thick.

The shield plug consists of three lids placed on top of each other to block extremely high radiation emanating from the reactor core.

Each lid weighs 150 tons.

When operators work on the decommissioning, the shield plug will be removed to allow for the entry into the containment vessel.

The NRA said a huge amount of radioactive cesium that was released during the meltdown of the No. 2 reactor in March 2011 remained between the uppermost lid and middle lid.

In the Sept. 9 study, workers bored two holes measuring 7 cm deep each on the surface of the uppermost lid to measure radiation doses there by deploying remotely controlled robots.

One radiation reading was 1.2 sieverts per hour at a location 4 cm down from the surface in a hole near the center of the lid.

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14440765?fbclid=IwAR0SKOn-ldGGMqEO0fWHwtrby197XOJRM-zE6xdqqwgUqBratw5g23Kv6k0

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO not informing the Regulation Agency for 2 years about the 25 damaged filters at Fukushima Daiichi NPP

After finishing my stage (*Mako and her husband Ken are comedians) , we attended a Monitoring and Evaluation meeting of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and a press conference of TEPCO today.

Various terrible things came out at the Regulatory Agency meeting. As for the holes of ALPS high-performance filters, although no photos came out at the press conference with TEPCO no matter how much I requested, I found them in the document from the Regulatory Agency. https://www.nsr.go.jp/data/000364892.pdf

It was much worse than I had imagined. TEPCO said they didn’t notice that there were such holes for these two years.

They replaced the 25 filters with holes (*out of 25 filters, means all filters had holes) in 2019.(This incident wasn’t published, nor reported to the Regulatory Agency.)

In 2021, 24 out of 25 filters have holes.The photos are here.These filters are not for ALPS’s contaminated water treatment, but the ones for the treatment of gaseous waste generated in the process.

The terrible thing is, until being asked at the press conference on August 31st, TEPCO had not explained the total damage of the filters two years ago.

When I asked, I got the answer that 25 out of 25 filters were damaged two years ago. Why didn’t TEPCO explain it voluntarily? That’s quite important information, isn’t it?

I wanted to know how TEPCO would explain it at today’s Regulatory Agency meeting and what kind of discussion would develop.

TEPCO reported only this year’s filter damages and didn’t explain the damage of all filters two years ago to the Regulatory Agency!

TEPCO finally gave an oral explanation when they were asked by chance, “What was the situation at the time of the last inspection?” by Mr. Yasui, Inspector General of the Regulatory Agency.

The Regulatory Agency got to know for the first time today about the damage of all 25 high-performance filters two years ago (and this time the 24 of 25 filters were damaged again). It was natural that the members of the Regulatory Agency got angry about the fact and the discussion about a completely damaged high-performance filter did not proceed at all …! !!

During unofficial Q and A session at the end of the meeting, we shared various information with Mr. Takeuchi, the director of the Regulatory Agency.

https://www.nsr.go.jp/data/000364892.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0XHuptPWef-HRim6WRhSRNwKjLtf8XYwWXSLIZwyAZv9gmSBTt_sMhE-k

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | 1 Comment

Fukushima plant failed to probe cause of faulty filters

TOKYO (AP) — Officials at Japan’s wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant have acknowledged they neglected to investigate the cause of faulty exhaust filters that are key to preventing radioactive pollution, after being forced to replace them twice.

Representatives of the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, made the revelation Monday during a regular review of the Fukushima Daiichi plant at a meeting with Japanese regulatory authorities. Three reactors at the plant melted following a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

The filters are designed to prevent particles from escaping into the air from a contaminated water treatment system — called Advanced Liquid Processing System — that removes selected radioactive isotopes in the water to below legal limits.

“At the core of this problem is TEPCO’s attitude,” a Nuclear Regulation Authority commissioner, Nobuhiko Ban, said at the meeting.

TEPCO has been repeatedly criticized for coverups and delayed disclosures of problems at the plant. In February, it said two seismometers at one reactor had remained broken since last year and failed to collect data during a powerful earthquake.

Company officials said that 24 out of 25 filters attached to the water treatment equipment had been found damaged last month, after an alarm went off as workers were moving sludge from the unit to a container, temporarily suspending the water treatment. The operation partially resumed last week after the filters were replaced.

TEPCO said it had detected similar damage in all of the filters two years ago, but never investigated the cause of the problem and did not take any preventive steps after replacing the filters.

Another regulatory commissioner, Satoru Tanaka, said at the meeting that the utility company should have responded to the problem more quickly to minimize the risk of possible radiation leakage into the environment.

TEPCO officials said dust monitors indicated no radiation leaks to the outside or exposure to plant workers inside the water treatment facility.

Akira Ono, head of TEPCO’s decommissioning unit, said he regretted the utility’s failure to address the problem earlier. He promised to improve safety management.

Japanese officials are working with the International Atomic Energy Agency to prepare to discharge into the ocean the wrecked plant’s cooling water, treated so its radioactivity levels are below legal limits. Slated to start in spring 2023, the controversial plan is fiercely opposed by Fukushima’s fishing community, as well as local residents and nearby countries.

Fully decommissioning the nuclear plant is expected to take decades, experts say.

https://apnews.com/article/business-japan-tokyo-water-treatment-pollution-da69a43e2c83704a65336a314d23cbaf?fbclid=IwAR0YswCI0qEL5dgSohVUDcFjd1ygY4fNTPI5HK4kmW1z0zhsTjmnjoZv_Y0

September 15, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment