nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Half of highly radioactive exhaust stack dismantled at Fukushima Nuclear Reactor 1

Asahi Shimbun 30th April 2020, Work to dismantle the upper half of an exhaust stack at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant finished on April 29, the first time a
structure highly contaminated by radiation was dismantled at the plant. The
chimney, which is 120 meters tall and about 3 meters in diameter, was used
for the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors of the plant, operated by Tokyo Electric
Power Co. On the morning of April 29, workers spent an hour to lower sliced
parts of the stack to the ground from a height of about 60 meters. With its
upper half removed, the chimney now stands 59 meters high.

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13339580

May 3, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Buildings around Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in poor condition, unsafe

Fukushima Daiichi buildings pose safety risks,  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200427_24/ Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to draw up safety measures for workers after finding that some of the buildings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are in bad condition due to the 2011 accident.TEPCO on Monday reported to the Nuclear Regulation Authority the results of its survey of about 580 buildings in the compound.

The company says the condition of around 10 buildings, including the one that houses the No.4 reactor, have deteriorated due to the tsunami that triggered the accident and subsequent hydrogen explosions.

The NRA argues that the walls or other structures of these buildings could collapse in the event of an earthquake and injure people engaged in decommissioning work.

TEPCO says it will announce by the end of May how and when it will address the problem.

The utility also says it has inspected 340,000 pieces of equipment at the plant, and found that 36,000 of them lack devices that prevent leaks of radioactive materials as well as leak detectors.

April 28, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, safety | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s deadly hazard – highly radioactive sandbags

Nuclear sandbags too hot to handle,  https://www.theaustralian.com.au/world/the-times/nuclear-sandbags-too-hot-to-handle/news-story/87b811443cb8e2881f55e17108872880 By RICHARD LLOYD PARRY, THE TIMES. APRIL 1, 2020  

    Japanese engineers trying to dismantle the melted reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant face a new hazard — radioactive sandbags so deadly that standing next to them for a few minutes could be fatal.

The sandbags were intended to make life easier for the teams dealing with the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in 2011 when three reactors melted after a tsunami destroyed their cooling systems. Twenty-six tonnes of the bags were placed in basements beneath two of the reactors to ­absorb radioactivity from waste water.

They were stuffed with zeolite, minerals that can absorb caesium. Nine years after the disaster, the submerged sandbags have sucked up so much radiation that they now represent a deadly danger themselves.

Samples of zeolite removed from the bags contain caesium, producing huge amounts of radiation, while the sandbags are giving off up to four sieverts of radiation an hour. Fifteen minutes of exposure to this could cause haemorrhaging. After an hour, half of those exposed would eventually die as a result. The maximum lifetime recommended dose of radiation for humans is less than half a sievert.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), which operates the plant, had intended to remove the contaminated water by the end of 2020. The complication caused by the sand means it will take three years longer, the latest delay to the decommissioning.

Tepco managers have admitted that the technology needed to finish the job does not exist and they do not have a full idea of how it will be achieved. Their stated goal of decommissioning by 2051 may be impossible, they said.

One of the biggest problems is the 170 tonnes of irradiated water coming out of the plant every day, much of it natural ground water that flows through the earth ­towards the sea, picking up radiation on the way. Tepco pumps it out and stores it in huge storage tanks, filtered of some, but not all, of its contaminants — 1.17 million tonnes so far. In two years, the storage space will run out.

The government wants to pour the water away, insisting that the diluting effect of the ­Pacific will render the radiation harmless, but it is opposed by North and South Korea and the local fishing industry, whose reputation has been ruined by the disaster.

April 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

TEPCO’s staggering costs to remove melted nuclear fuel from Fukushima’s crippled reactors

April 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Tepco has drafted a plan for disposing of Fukushima’s accumulation of waste water

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Release of Fukushima No 1 reactor’s radioactive water may take 30 years

Tepco may take 30 years to release Fukushima No. 1 radioactive water,  https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/25/national/tepco-fukushima-nuclear-plant-water/#.Xnvw-4gzbIU     Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said Tuesday it may spend up to 20 to 30 years releasing contaminated water into the surrounding environment from its disaster-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The possible time span was mentioned in draft plans Tepco drew up in line with a government panel’s report in February, calling the release of the water into the ocean or the air in the form of vapor a “realistic option.”

The company currently stores roughly 119 tons of water that still contains tritium and other radioactive substances after passing through a treatment process at the nuclear plant, which suffered a triple meltdown in March 2011 caused by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami. The amount of contaminated water stored at the facility is still increasing.

According to the draft plans, Tepco will first conduct secondary treatment work to reduce the amount of radioactive substances in the water other than tritium — which cannot be removed by existing systems — to levels below national standards.

Following the treatment, the water will be released into the ocean, after being diluted with seawater to lower the radiation level to 1,500 becquerels per liter, or emitted into the air from a tall exhaust stack after being vaporized.

Tepco also plans to use social media to counter rumors that exposure to radiation from the released water is harmful.

March 26, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

The clean-up of the Fukushima nuclear mess is not going to schedule – continual decommissioning delays

March 17, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Fukushima continuing, Reference | 1 Comment

Fukushima’s huge accumulation of radioactive water – a pressing problem as Olympics approach

Contaminated water at nuclear plant still an issue ahead of Tokyo Olympics,  https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-news/2020/03/10/contaminated-water-at-nuclear-plant-still-an-issue-ahead-of-tokyo-olympics/  Work to deal with contaminated water at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant continues as the Olympic Games approach.

Inside a giant decontamination facility at the destroyed plant, workers in hazmat suits monitor radioactive water pumped from three damaged reactors.

The decontamination process is a key element of a contentious debate over what should be done with the nearly 1.2 million tons of still-radioactive water being closely watched by governments and organisations around the world ahead of this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, says it needs to free up space as work to decommission the damaged reactors approaches a critical phase.  It is widely expected that Tepco will gradually release the water into the nearby ocean following a government decision allowing it to do so.

The company is still vague on the timing.

But local residents, especially fishermen, are opposed to the plan because they think the water release would hurt the reputation of already battered fisheries, where annual sales remain about half of the level before the nuclear accident, even though the catch has cleared strict radioactivity tests.

Tepco chief decommissioning officer Akira Ono says the water must be disposed as the plant’s decommissioning moves forward because the area used by the tanks is needed to build facilities for the retrieval of melted reactor debris.

Workers are planning to remove a first batch of melted debris by December 2021.

Remote control cranes are dismantling a highly contaminated exhaust tower near Unit 2, the first reactor to get its melted fuel removed.

At Unit 3, spent fuel units are being removed from a cooling pool ahead of the removal of melted fuel.

The dilemma over the ever-growing radioactive water is part of the complex aftermath of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that hit on March 11 2011, destroying key cooling functions at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

Three reactors melted, releasing massive amounts of radiation and forcing 160,000 residents to evacuate.

About 40,000 still have not returned.

Except for the highly radioactive buildings that house the melted reactors, most above-ground areas of the plant can now be visited while wearing just a surgical mask, cotton gloves, a helmet and a personal dosimeter.

The area right outside the plant is largely untouched and radiation levels are often higher.

The underground areas remain a hazardous mess.

Radioactive cooling water is leaking from the melted reactors and mixes with groundwater, which must be pumped up to keep it from flowing into the sea and elsewhere.

Separately, even more dangerously contaminated water sits in underground areas and leaks continuously into groundwater outside the plant, experts say.  The contaminated water pumped from underground first goes through caesium and strontium removal equipment, after which most is recycled as cooling water for the damaged reactors.

The contaminated water pumped from underground first goes through caesium and strontium removal equipment, after which most is recycled as cooling water for the damaged reactors.

Katsumi Shozugawa, a radiology expert at the University of Tokyo who has been analysing groundwater around the plant, said the long-term consequences of low-dose exposure in the food chain has not been fully investigated.

“At this point, it is difficult to predict a risk,” he said.

“Once the water is released into the environment, it will be very difficult to follow up and monitor its movement.

“So the accuracy of the data before any release is crucial and must be verified.”

After years of discussions about what to do with the contaminated water without destroying the local economy and its reputation, a government panel issued a report earlier this year that narrowed the water disposal options to two: diluting the treated water to levels below the allowable safety limits and then releasing it into the sea in a controlled way, or allowing the water to evaporate in a years-long process.

The report also urged the government to do more to fight the “reputational damage” to Fukushima fishing and farm produce, for instance by promoting food fairs, developing new sales routes and making use of third-party quality accreditation systems.

Tepco and government officials promise the plant will treat the water for a second time to meet legal requirements before any release.

At the end of a tour of the treatment facility, a plant official showed journalists a glass bottle containing clear water taken from the processing equipment.

Workers are required to routinely collect water samples for analysis at laboratories at the plant.

Radiology technicians were analysing the water at one lab.

Officials say the treated water will be diluted with fresh water before it is released into the environment.

Doubts about the plant’s water treatment escalated two years ago when Tepco acknowledged that most of the water stored in the tanks still contains cancer-causing caesium, strontium and other radioactive materials at levels exceeding safety limits.

March 12, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency, run by 5 nuclear weapons nations, backs Fukushima water emptying to the Pacific

Paul Richards 2 Mar 20 ,Of course, the United Nations Security Council P5 nuclear nations:

China , France , Russia , UK , and the USA, oversee the IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency, this was expected.

UN SC P5 nuclear nations is a fully integrated system inclusive of the Military-Industrial Complex.

An ecosystem that includes weapons of mass destruction, for peace, a leadership group in a state of cultural cognitive dissonance.

Who as a group know gene sheering radionuclides, have an effect on DNA X10 times half-life of any alpha particles out of nuclear reactors.

IAEA backs release of Fukushima water into sea, AsiaTimes, 27 Feb 20, 

Most of the radioactive isotopes have been filtered out, but one – tritium, which has long half-life – remains, The world’s nuclear watchdog gave its backing Thursday to Japanese plans to release contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.

Japan has around a million tonnes of contaminated water stored in tanks at the site of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, whose reactors went into meltdown after a huge tsunami in 2011.

A government panel last month recommended the water be released into the ocean or vaporized, but no final decision has been taken, with all solutions deeply unpopular with sections of the Japanese public.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director Rafael Grossi told journalists in Tokyo the panel’s recommendations both appeared suitable…….

“Releasing into the ocean is done elsewhere, it’s not something new, there is no scandal here,” Grossi added.

“But what is important is to do it in a way that is not harmful and you need somebody to monitor before, during and after release, to check that everything is okay.”

The radioactive water comes from several different sources – including water used for cooling at the plant, and groundwater and rain that seeps into the plant daily – and is put through an extensive filtration process.

Most of the radioactive isotopes have been removed by the filtration system, but one – tritium, which has a long half-life – remains……..  https://asiatimes.com/2020/02/iaea-backs-release-of-fukushima-water-into-sea/

March 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Japanese expert panel recommends releasing Fukushima radioactive water into the ocean

 

Fukushima radioactive water should be released into ocean, say Japan experts, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/01/fukushima-radioactive-water-should-be-released-into-ocean-say-japan-experts  

Build-up of contaminated water from wrecked nuclear plant has been sticking point in clean-up likely to take decades,  A panel of experts advising Japan’s government on a disposal method for radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant has recommended releasing it into the ocean, a move likely to alarm neighbouring countries.

The panel, under the industry ministry, came to the conclusion after narrowing the choice to either releasing the contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean or letting it evaporate – and opted for the former. Based on past practice, it is likely the government will accept the recommendation.

The build-up of contaminated water at Fukushima has been a sticking point in the clean-up, which is likely to last decades, especially as the Olympics are due to be held in Tokyo this year with some events less than 60km (35 miles) from the wrecked plant.

Neighbouring South Korea has retained a ban on imports of seafood from Japan’s Fukushima region imposed after the nuclear disaster and summoned a senior Japanese embassy official last year to explain how the Fukushima water would be dealt with. Its athletes are planning to bring their own radiation detectors and food to the Games.

In 2018, Tokyo Electric apologised after admitting its filtration systems had not removed all dangerous material from the water, and the site is running out of room for storage tanks.

But it plans to remove all radioactive particles from the water except tritium, an isotope of hydrogen that is hard to separate and is considered to be relatively harmless.

“Compared to evaporation, ocean release can be done more securely,” the committee said, pointing to common practice around the world where normally operating nuclear stations release water that contains tritium into the sea.

The recommendation needs to be confirmed by the head of the panel, Nagoya University professor emeritus Ichiro Yamamoto, and submitted to the government at a later date that has not been set.

Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, has collected nearly 1.2m tonnes of contaminated water from the cooling pipes used to keep fuel cores from melting since the plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. The water is stored in huge tanks that crowd the site.

The utility says it will run out of room to store the water by 2022.

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Backstory: Inside the destroyed Fukushima plant – radiation, risk and reporting

Backstory: Inside the destroyed Fukushima plant – radiation, risk and reporting, 29 Jan 2020,

February 3, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Japan to release over a million tonnes of radioactive water into sea from Fukushima power plant

February 1, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Fukushima Reactor Cleanup Delayed by Five Years as Japanese Public Demands End to Nuclear Energy

Fukushima Reactor Cleanup Delayed by Five Years as Japanese Public Demands End to Nuclear Energy   https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/12/30/fukushima-reactor-cleanup-delayed-five-years-japanese-public-demands-end-nuclear  The delay comes days after Japan’s government proposed releasing contaminated water from the plant into the ocean.

The Japanese government said Friday it would delay for a fourth time the removal of spent fuel from two of the reactors at the Fukushima Daichii nuclear power plant, causing concern that the cleanup of one of the worst nuclear disasters in history is happening at a dangerously slow pace.

The removal of the spent fuel was planned to begin in 2023, but the process was bumped back to 2024 at the earliest for the plant’s No. 1 reactor and 2027 or later for the No. 2 reactor.

According to the Japan Timesthe government claims this aspect of the clean-up is being delayed due to safety concerns and that it plans to construct barriers around the reactors to prevent the spread of radioactive dust.

Reporting on the delay comes days after the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry proposed releasing contaminated water from the plant into the ocean or allowing it to evaporate, and weeks after the ministry said the water contained higher levels of radioactive material than previously thought.

The most recent news about the cleanup process—which is under a 30-40 year plan following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami which forced more than 100,000 residents to evacuate the rural Fukushima region to avoid nuclear contamination from the plant—raised alarm among critics of nuclear power.

The Japanese public has reportedly grown increasingly anti-nuclear power since the Fukushima disaster, according to an Al Jazeera report earlier this month.

“Japanese people’s sentiment changed after Fukushima Daiichi and it is continuing until now,” Hajime Matsukubo, secretary-general of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, told Al Jazeera. “They say no.”

In a 2015 poll by the Japan Atomic Energy Relations Organization, only 10 percent of Japanese respondents said the country should maintain its use of nuclear energy.

January 2, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Further delay in removal of spent nuclear fuel at Fukushima No. 1

December 28, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Tepco (once again) saying they will put a giant cover over Fukushima No.1 reactor

December 21, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | 1 Comment