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Tour brings foreigners to areas devastated by nuclear accident

The strategy of the organizers of these “Tours” participate fully to the Japanese government aim, without realizing it, to make believe that the “radioactivity” there is not dangerous.  Oh, there, what a world.
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February 17, 2019
“There is growing interest among foreign tourists for a tour in English to former evacuation zones in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima where a devastating earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 triggered a nuclear disaster.
“More people are becoming interested in going on the tour that can deepen their knowledge,” explains an official at the Japan National Tourism Organization.
The tourism company Knot World Co. based in Tokyo designed this particular tour from a desire to encourage more people to “hear the local voices and see the area’s damage and recovery” after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Since the tour’s launch in February last year, some 200 people from 23 countries have participated, according to the company.
Fukushima Prefecture says 96,000 foreign tourists stayed at hotels and inns in the prefecture in 2017, which is four times the number in 2011. In February this year, an organization that promotes the prefecture’s products and tourism launched a three-day tour with English translation in areas including Naraha, another town in the vicinity of the crippled nuclear plant, to aid recovery.
However, there are numerous issues that need to be resolved regarding tours catering to foreigners such as training tour guides and providing information in various languages.
Various thoughts are voiced in Fukushima Prefecture such as, “We would really like the tourists to come not out of casual interest but to truly learn the issue,” and, “Please also turn your attention to the fact that our lives before the accident has not returned,” local officials said.”
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February 18, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

TEPCO sat by idly on reports of fires, glitches at nuclear plants

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Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant

February 14, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Co. ignored reports on fires and other problems from its nuclear power plants and didn’t even bother to share the information in-house or consider precautionary measures, the nuclear watchdog revealed.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority decided Feb. 13 it will investigate the failure by TEPCO’s headquarters to tackle the problems reported by its three facilities: the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture and the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear plants, both in Fukushima Prefecture.
A TEPCO official said that the company put off tackling the problems because the deadline for dealing with such matters “was not clearly stated.”
NRA safety inspectors visited the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant from November through December last year.
They found that the division at company headquarters in charge of dealing with safety issues and sharing that information neglected reports of four problems that had occurred at the plant.
They cited 17 cases at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant; five cases at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant and seven problems at the headquarters itself.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Japanese, Navajo share views when it comes to their livestock

I did travel to the U.S. to attend the International Uranium Film Festival in Window Rock, Arizona, capital of the Navajo nation. The Navajo land located between four states, has been highly contaminated by the uranium mining industry for the past 70 years, their cattle, sheeps, and their life deeply affected. Death omnipresent in every family, unaccounted number of deaths, the Navjo lives not a high priority to a discriminating U.S. Federal Government.


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By Marley Shebala, Dec 3, 2018
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. РJapanese cattle farmers may live more than 5,680 miles from the Navajo Nation, but they are connected to the Din̩ people by their fierce love for their livestock.
In the film, “Nuclear Cat tle,” a middle-age Japanese couple recall with a flood of tears the day that they were forced to drive past their cattle and flee for their lives from their cattle farm and home that they built because of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The husband, who was speaking Japanese, said, “When we were leaving, I couldn’t stop crying. I told them (the cows) I was sorry.”
On March 11, 2011, a major earthquake and tsunami caused Japan’s worst nuclear accident, which involved the disabling of the power supply and cooling of three-Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors that melted three nuclear cores in the first three days, forced the evacuation of about 160,000 people, and the death of about 19,000 residents living along the northeast coast of Japan.
‘Nuclear Cattle’
“Nuclear Cattle,” focused on how the deadly aftermath of the disaster impacted cattle, including those owned by the Japanese couple and other Japanese farmers.
There are massive numbers of carcasses of cows that were left tied to stalls in barns. The few cows that are still alive are emaciated and lying on the ground slowly dying. But then the film shows herds of cattle wandering around evacuated residential areas and towns.
The Japanese couple, who have returned to their cattle farm, which is still contaminated by radiation, look at their surviving cattle and remember the day the Japanese government ordered all the cattle farmers to kill their cows that survived. The husband says, “I feel alive when I come home.”
The wife of another Japanese couple that has also returned to their contaminated farm and home to save their cattle, says her husband told her he would not mind if he dies at home with his cattle.
Surviving cattle
A worker on another cattle farm, which became a haven for surviving cows and is called Farm of Hope, says he returned to his work station without the owners because he could not allow the cows that survived the disaster to die from starvation and dehydration.
He also says that even through the Japanese government tells the farmers that their cows are financially worthless, he Dana Eldridge attends the International Uranium Film Festival at the Navajo Nation Muse um in Window Rock, Arizona, Thursday. Alma E. Hernandez/Independent
Government revenues
Courtois said the nuclear plants generate revenues for the government, which has also pushed the government to hire a public relations firm to spin lies after lies to their people about the safety of nuclear energy.
He said the government reported to their people that the cattle farmers and other residential areas were being successfully decontaminated by scraping off the surface of the land, bagging the earth and depositing at one of extremely dangerous contaminated cattle farms, which is surrounded by lush green forests and within view of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company.
But, Courtois said, the government and T.E.P.Co. withhold information about how the radiation has seeped lower into the earth and how they cannot scrape the top soil from the forest areas, which means that when it rains, the runoff re-contaminates the surface.
“Nuclear Cattle” was one of several films shown for free at the Navajo Nation Museum as part of the 2018 International Uranium Film Festival, which started Thursday and ends Saturday night. But if you missed the film festival at the museum, you have a chance to attend the one-day festival at the Native American Cultural Center at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona, Sunday.
The festival will also travel to Grants, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Tucson, Arizona.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Unit 2 of Genkai NPP will be decommissioned.

Unit 3 and 4 of Genkai are still operating.
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Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it will scrap No. 2 reactor at its Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture, seen in the forefront left of this photo taken in January
Feb 13, 2019
FUKUOKA – Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has decided to scrap its aging No. 2 reactor at its Genkai nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture.
The utility abandoned a plan to restart the unit, which has an output of 559 megawatts, in the face of the huge costs involved in enhancing the safety of the reactor that is already near the end of its 40-year operating life.
The reactor, which started operating in March 1981, has been idled since a routine checkup shortly before the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster that triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis.
The Genkai plant consists of four units. The utility already decided in 2015 to scrap its aging No. 1 unit, which had the same output capacity as the No. 2 reactor. Decommissioning work at the No. 1 reactor started in July 2017 and is expected to continue through fiscal 2043.
There have been a number of operational problems at the Genkai power plant. In May last year, pumps installed to control the circulation of cooling water at the No. 4 unit suffered malfunctions, following a steam leak from a pipe at the No. 3 reactor just a week after it was reactivated in March.
Some local residents have sought to stop operation of the Nos. 3 and 4 units with a temporary injunction, with doubts about the safety measures taken and citing the risk of volcanic eruptions in the region. Their case is pending at the Fukuoka High Court.

February 18, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi: probe touched suspected fuel debris in reactor#2

Images have been released of the reddish-brown amorphous mass. But its level of radioactivity is still unknown, which means that TEPCO has not even reached the earliest stage of its reactor decommissioning process.
I am acutely reminded again of the magnitude of this irreversible mess.
The technology we are left with is an out-of-control monster. And so long as nuclear power plants remain in operation, there is no guarantee that the same nightmare will not recur–even as we speak.

TEPCO: Probe touched suspected fuel debris
February 13, 2019
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says a probe made direct contact with substances believed to be fuel debris at one of the plant’s reactors.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, conducted its first contact survey of suspected fuel debris at the Number 2 reactor on Wednesday.
TEPCO has already confirmed the existence of deposits believed to be a mixture of molten nuclear fuel and structural parts at the bottom of the reactor’s containment vessel.
In Wednesday’s survey, a pole that can extend to 15 meters was sent under the reactor, and the probe was lowered from the end of the pole.
TEPCO plans to take out a small amount of the deposits with a different device in the latter half of the next fiscal year to use them as samples for study.
Officials say the probe was able to touch the deposits without any major trouble.
This is a key survey for devising a way to remove radioactive deposits.
They say they looked into the deposits’ hardness and whether they can be moved.
 
1st contact made with melted nuclear fuel at Fukushima plant
February 14, 2019
“The probe lifted pebble-like nuclear fuel debris and structural parts up to 8 cm in diameter at five spots in the 2,500-square-cm area that was investigated. It failed to pick up debris at one spot.
TEPCO said the probe could not lift clay-like debris likely because it had adhered to the bottom of the containment vessel.
The probe also touched nuclear fuel debris lying at several spots on the lattice-shaped scaffold for workers directly below the reactor’s pressure vessel.
The previous investigation of the No. 2 reactor in 2017 located melted fuel debris on the scaffold. But a robot deployed for a further investigation broke down on its way to the debris.
In a survey last year, the utility used the rod-like probe to take images of the inside of the reactor.
TEPCO is expected to remove a small amount of nuclear fuel debris in the second half of fiscal 2019 as part of preparations for full-scale retrieval.”

February 18, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO firmly at fault for balking at payouts to disaster victims

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Tomoaki Kobayakawa, left, president of Tokyo Electric Power Co., meets with Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori in June 2018.
February 9, 2019
The proposals rejected by TEPCO call for larger payments than the amounts suggested in the guidelines set by the Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation, a committee within the education and science ministry.
The dispute resolution center, established to facilitate compensation payments to people who have suffered damage from the Fukushima accident, has successfully mediated more than 18,000 settlement agreements, but the institution is now facing a brick wall.
The utility has refused to accept many ADR deals proposed by the Nuclear Damage Compensation Dispute Resolution Center in response to collective requests from groups of residents in areas around the Fukushima No.
It has promised to pay compensation to all victims “down to the last one,” ensure “swift and considerate” payments and “respect” settlement proposals made by the dispute resolution center.
The center was established by the government in 2011 to help settle compensation disputes between TEPCO and victims of the nuclear accident.
Nearly eight years have passed since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, yet many victims seeking compensation for damages from Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of the crippled nuclear plant, face uncertainty as the talks are getting nowhere.
Read more:

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

IAEA Urges Patience For Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup

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February 8th, 2019
 
“Despite these achievements, many challenges remain to be tackled in the decommissioning process, and ensuring safety in this complex situation requires sustained daily attention.” The new report follows up on original analysis presented to Japanese authorities in November and finds that the “risk reduction strategy is being implemented at a pace commensurate with the challenges of the site-specific situation.” That being said, however, “the IAEA Review Team continues to identify water management as critical to the sustainability of decommissioning activities” and has urged for a decision for the disposition of contaminated water to “be taken urgently engaging all stakeholders.” Specifically, the IAEA Review Team determined that it is necessary to determine an end-game for the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS) sooner rather than later, considering that “the volume of ALPS treated water [is] expected to reach the planned tank capacity of 1.37 million [metres-cubed] within the coming three to four years, and considering current site facility plan for space allocations, and that further treatment and control of the stored water before disposition would be needed for implementation of any of the five solutions considered by the Japanese Government.” (For more on TEPCO’s contaminated water treatment, see here.) Further, but regarding the retrieval and end-game of radioactive fuel debris, the report’s authors state that “there should be a clear implementation plan defined to safely manage the retrieved material” and that “TEPCO should ensure that appropriate containers and storage capacity are available before starting the fuel debris retrieval.” There is therefore need for immediate decisionmaking but long-term patience and goals in place to thoroughly address the large amount of radioactive and contaminated waste.
 
https://cleantechnica.com/2019/02/08/iaea-urges-patience-for-fukushima-nuclear-cleanup/

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to survey suspected fuel debris in reactor

 

February 7, 2019
 
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will conduct the first contact survey on suspected fuel debris inside one of the reactors. The device has a maximum length of 15 meters, making it possible to reach the area directly below the reactor core where the suspected fuel debris is located.
 
TEPCO says it can plan a sampling survey if the debris may be moved. TEPCO says the tip of the device will touch and pinch the debris. The company says it hopes to assess how hard the debris is and whether it can be moved.
 
TEPCO says it will begin a comprehensive debris retrieval operation in 2021. The firm adds that the information obtained will be used to assemble removal equipment even if the debris cannot be moved.
 
Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Thursday that it will insert the measurement device into the containment vessel of the No.2 reactor next Wednesday.
 
The firm plans to decide by March of next year which reactor it will first work on.
 

 

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

‘We were driven out’: Fukushima’s radioactive legacy

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In March 2017, the government lifted its evacuation order for the center of Namie.
“This is the worst time, the most painful period.” For the people of Namie and other towns near the Fukushima plant, the pain is sharpened by the way the Japanese government is trying to move beyond the tragedy, to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a symbol of hope and recovery, a sign that life can return to normal after a disaster of this magnitude.
If we give up, we would lose our town, and as mayor, I will work with all my heart to prevent that.” But many residents say the central government is being heavy-handed in its attempts to persuade people to return, failing to support residents’ efforts to build new communities in places like Nihonmatsu, and then ending compensation payments within a year of evacuation orders being lifted.
In other towns around the nuclear plant, people have complained that arbitrarily decided compensation payouts — more for people deemed to have been in radiation-affected zones, far less for tsunami victims, nothing for people just a mile outside the zone most affected — have divided communities and caused resentment and friction.
“This is a place desperate to attract people to return, but this reduces our attractiveness for young people,” said Riken Komatsu in the fishing port of Onahama, who is working to rebuild a sense of community and raise awareness about problems with the reconstruction effort.
The biggest tragedy now is the high rate of suicides.” Kazuhiro Yoshida, the embattled mayor of Namie, said fears about radiation are not the only reason people aren’t returning; many complain the deserted town lacks amenities.
“The scale of the problem is clearly not something the government wants to communicate to the Japanese people, and that’s driving the whole issue of the return of evacuees,” said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace.
It says radiation levels in parts of Namie where evacuation orders have been lifted will remain well above international maximum safety recommendations for many decades, raising the risks of leukemia and other cancers to “unjustifiable levels,” especially for children.
In the rural areas around the town, radiation levels are much higher and could remain unsafe for people beyond the end of this century, Greenpeace concluded in a 2018 report. Greenpeace has been taking thousands of radiation readings for years in the towns around the Fukushima nuclear plant.
“The idea that an industrial accident closes off an area of Japan, with its limited habitable land, for generations and longer — that would just remind the public why they are right to be opposed to nuclear power.”
Four-fifths of Namie’s geographical area is mountain and forest, impossible to decontaminate, still deemed unsafe to return.
When it rains, the radioactive cesium in the mountains flows into rivers and underground water sources close to the town.
Komatsu says reconstruction has been imposed from above, a problem he says reflects, in a broader sense, what Japan is like.
Today, Namie’s former residents are scattered across all but one of Japan’s 47 prefectures.
“For the past eight years, we have seen the destruction of the area, the destruction of the community, and it will be difficult to bring people back,” he said.
With young people moving away, the elderly, who already feel the loss of Namie most acutely, find themselves even more alone.
Now, the damage is more severe because young people are not returning. The elderly who come back feel pessimism and depression.
Six Olympic softball games and a baseball game will be staged in Fukushima, the prefecture’s bustling and radiation-free capital city, and the Olympic torch relay will start from here.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

The State of Nuclear Emergency Declared after the Fukushima Meltdown is Still On Today!!!

medical situation
1. Radioactive contaminated water still keeps accumulating:
2. High-level radiation from Fukushima plant is still being emitted daily.
3. Unfairness of forcing Fukushima residents to live with radiation up to 20 mSv/year.
4.Termination of housing allowance for “voluntary” evacuees from Fukushima, a serious violation of human rights.
5. The number of children with thyroid cancer is increasing although the government refuses to recognize the accident as its cause.
6.Recommendations from the UN Human Rights Council to the Japanese government (UNHRC, Oct. 2018)
The government is obliged:
6.1. to prevent and minimize, as much as possible, children from being exposed to radiation;
6.2. to change back from “20 mSv” to “1 mSv” per year standard before retracting evacuation orders, especially for children and women of childbearing age;
6.3. to not pressurize families to return to Fukushima by terminating housing allowance. (United Nations Human Rights Council, October 2018)
Source: The Fukushima Collective Evacuation Trial

February 11, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | 1 Comment

Having to conform to newly approved European copyright Law

Due to the newly approved stricter European copyright law, I have no other choice but to change the way to share articles here on the Nuclear News blog. This means that from now on I can only share partially one article with its link.

 

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February 11, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radioactive cesium above legal limit detected in fish caught off Fukushima

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Feb 2, 2019
FUKUSHIMA – Radioactive cesium exceeding the state limit has been detected in fish caught off Fukushima Prefecture for the first time in about four years, the prefecture’s fisheries cooperatives association has said.
The cesium level of 161 becquerels per kilogram, exceeding the limit of 100, was detected in a skate, a type of ray, caught at a depth of 62 meters during test fishing Thursday.
The association stopped the shipments of skates caught in the waters. The fish will be taken off the market until safety is confirmed.
The prefecture will collect more samples for research and the central government will judge the safety of the fish.
In radiation checks of fish by the Fukushima Prefectural Government, a cesium level exceeding the limit was last detected in a stone flounder in March 2015, at 140 becquerels per kilogram.
The prefecture is home to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

IAEA urges Japan to take ample time in Fukushima cleanup

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By Mari Yamaguchi
January 31
TOKYO — The International Atomic Energy Agency urged Japan on Thursday to spend ample time in developing a decommissioning plan for the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant and to be honest with the public about remaining uncertainties.
In a report based on a visit by an IAEA team to the plant in November, the agency urged the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., to secure adequate space and finish plans for managing highly radioactive melted fuel before starting to remove it from the three damaged reactors.
The cores of the three reactors melted after a massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Utility and government officials plan to start removing the melted fuel in 2021, but still know little about its condition and have not finalized waste management plans.
“The IAEA review team advises that before the commencement of the fuel debris retrieval activities, there should be a clear implementation plan defined to safely manage the retrieved material,” the report said. “TEPCO should ensure that appropriate containers and storage capacity are available before starting the fuel debris retrieval.”
The report also urged the government and TEPCO to carefully consider ways to express “the inherent uncertainties involved” in the project and develop “a credible plan” for the long term. It advised TEPCO to consider adopting contingency plans to “accommodate any schedule delays.”
Dale Klein, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman who heads a TEPCO reform committee, said in a recent interview that the decommissioning should not be rushed, even if the government and TEPCO have set a schedule and people want to see it move faster.
“It’s much better to do it right than do it fast,” he said, adding that it’s also good not to rush from a health and safety perspective. “Clearly, the longer you wait, the less the radiation is.”
He said he would be “astounded” if the current schedule ends up unchanged.
In order to make room in the plant compound to safely store the melted fuel and for other needed facilities, about 1 million tons of radioactive waste water currently stored in hundreds of tanks will have to be removed. The IAEA team, headed by Xerri Christoph, an expert on radioactive waste, urged the government and TEPCO to urgently decide how to dispose of it.
Nuclear experts, including officials at the IAEA and Japanese Nuclear Regulation Authority, have said a controlled release of the water into the Pacific Ocean is the only realistic option. A release, however, is unlikely until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in order to avoid concerns among visitors from overseas.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Possible uranium sold on internet auction site, seized by police

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Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) headquarters
January 31, 2019
TOKYO — Radioactive materials that appear to be uranium were sold and bought on an internet auction website, people close to a police investigation into the case told the Mainichi Shimbun on Jan. 30.
The materials have been confiscated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) consumer and environment protection division and passed on for identification to the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) officials. The JAEA judged that the materials are extremely likely to be depleted uranium and yellowcake uranium concentrate powder.
Police have identified the sellers and buyers of the materials, and will launch a full-fledged investigation into the case shortly as a possible violation of the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Material, Nuclear Fuel Material and Reactors. The law regulates unauthorized transfer of nuclear fuel material in the country. Violators face an imprisonment of up to 1 year or 1 million yen in fine.
According to individuals close to the investigation, the secretariat of the Nuclear Regulation Authority first spotted materials dubbed as “uranium” were placed on an auction website, and reported the issue to the MPD. Investigators identified the seller and several buyers and confiscated the materials in question. The items were either powdered or solid and radioactive. They were placed in glass casings and weighed several grams in total. The seller agreed to voluntary questioning by police, saying that he had bought the goods on an overseas website.
The MPD requested that the JAEA identify the items in mid-December last year. The materials are likely to include depleted uranium that was produced during uranium enrichment and yellowcake, according to the people close to the investigation. The final results of the agency examination are expected to be released soon. Depleted uranium contains the fissile uranium 235 isotope at a concentration less than the natural concentration of 0.7 percent.
Experts worry that such radioactive materials could be abused in “dirty bombs” designed to disperse such materials as a form of terrorism. Professor Mitsuru Fukuda of the Nihon University College of Risk Management says the use of such explosives could result in sealing off the detonation area so that residents can evacuate and the area can be decontaminated.
“People’s concerns would rise and economic activities could stop. Even a tiny amount of material with low radioactivity could have a major impact on society,” he said.
(Japanese original by Ikuko Ando, City News Department, and Toshiyuki Suzuki and Riki Iwama, Science & Environment News Department)

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Storage of nuclear waste a ‘global crisis’ as stockpile reaches 250,000 tons, Greenpeace warns

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Bags of radioactive waste sit outside an incineration facility in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, in July 2016.
Storage of nuclear waste is a ‘global crisis’
Report by Greenpeace says waste storage facilities in seven countries revealed several were near saturation
The partial meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 made clear the hazard of spent fuel pools.
 
Jan 31, 2019
PARIS – Nuclear waste is piling up around the world even as countries struggle to dispose of spent fuel that will remain highly toxic for many thousands of years, Greenpeace detailed in a report Wednesday.
An analysis of waste storage facilities in seven countries with nuclear power revealed that several were near saturation, the anti-nuclear nongovernmental organization said.
All these nations also confronted other problems that have yet to be fully contained: fire risk, venting of radioactive gases, environmental contamination, failure of containers, terrorist attacks and escalating costs.
“More than 65 years after the start of the civil use of nuclear power, not a single country can claim that it has the solution to manage the most dangerous radioactive wastes,” Shaun Burnie, a nuclear expert at Greenpeace Germany and coordinator of the report, said in a statement.
In particular, storing waste material from nuclear power reactors deep in the ground — the most researched long-term storage technology — “has shown major flaws which exclude it for now as a credible option,” he said.
Currently, there is a global stockpile of around 250,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel distributed across 14 countries.
Most of this fuel remains in so-called cooling pools at reactor sites that lack secondary containment and remain vulnerable to a loss of cooling. Some lack a source of back-up power.
The partial meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in 2011 made clear that the high-heat hazard of spent fuel pools is not hypothetical.
The 100-page report, compiled by a panel of experts, dissected shortcomings in the management of voluminous waste in France, which has the second-largest nuclear reactor fleet (58), after the United States (about 100).
“There is no credible solution for long-term safe disposal of nuclear waste in France,” the report said.
French oversight bodies have already raised concerns about capacity of massive cooling pools in Normandy at the La Hague site. In response, energy giant Orana, which manages the site, said in a statement that “there is not risk of saturation of the pools in La Hague until 2030.”
In the United States, billions of dollars and decades of planning have failed to secure a geological disposal site, the report notes.
The Yucca Mountain underground facility — decades in construction — was finally canceled in 2010 by the Obama administration.
Some 70 percent of spent fuel in the United States remains in vulnerable cooling pools, often in densities several times greater than originally intended.
Nuclear waste from uranium mining is also a major environmental concern.
The world’s inventory of uranium mill tailings — sandy waste material that can seep into the local environment — was estimated at more than 2 billion tons as of 2011.
The other countries covered in the report are Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Finland and Britain.

February 3, 2019 Posted by | wastes | | Leave a comment