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JCFC steel in troubled French reactor also used in 13 Japanese nuclear power plants

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Thirteen Japanese nuclear reactors were constructed with steel made by the same domestic company that produced material used in a French power plant that has come under scrutiny after anomalies were found in the structure of its reactor vessel.

Six utilities used steel from Japan Casting & Forging Corp. (JCFC), they all said in separate statements Friday. The company was identified by Japanese authorities last month as having supplied steel to the Flamanville nuclear plant, developed by Electricite de France SA and Areva SA, where the French safety authority last year found weaker-than-expected steel.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority asked utilities last month to examine reactor parts made by the same companies that supplied the Flamanville facility. Utilities must now evaluate whether their reactor pressure vessels meet national standards and report the results to the regulator by Oct. 31.

It’s just to be sure,” said an NRA official.

JCFC said it has thrown away steel parts that lead to weaker products, adding that its steels have cleared the safety criteria.

The Japanese facilities affected include Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai No. 1 and 2 reactors in Kagoshima Prefecture, the company said Friday. The plant was restarted last year and is facing opposition from a new governor who has demanded they be temporarily shut for inspections.

Reactors now in operation don’t need to be shut down, Yoko Kobayashi, an official with the NRA’s planning division, said Friday. The affected utilities are now required to submit manufacturing reports and past evaluation results, she said.

The steel scrutiny is the latest hurdle for the nuclear power industry since the 2011 Fukushima disaster and could hamper the government’s goal of having it account for as much as 22 percent of its energy mix by 2030.

Local court challenges have threatened reactor operations, and even those restarted under new post-Fukushima safety rules have faced a rocky road. Only three of the nation’s 42 operable reactors are online.

Parts made by JCFC met rigorous standards requested by the utilities, and the company will provide support going forward, JCFC official Seigo Otsubo said Friday.

EDF and Areva are conducting additional tests to determine whether the anomalies present a safety issue. The two companies said in April that the submission of their report to French regulators about the Flamanville reactor has been delayed until year-end.

EDF has also determined that steam generator channel heads at 18 French reactors contain anomalies similar to those at Flamanville, Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, the safety regulator, said in June.

According to statements from the utilities, the domestic reactors made with steel from JCFC include: units 2 and 4 at the Fukushima No. 2 power plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.; unit 2 at the Takahama power plant and units 1 and 2 at the Oi power plant, both run by Kansai Electric Power Co.; reactors 2, 3 and 4 at the Genkai plant and reactors 1 and 2 at the Sendai plant run by Kyushu Electric Power Co.; reactor 2 at the Ikata plant run by Shikoku Electric Power Co.; reactor 1 at the Shika plant managed by Hokuriku Electric Power Co.; and reactor 2 at the aging Tsuruga plant run by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/09/04/national/jcfc-steel-troubled-french-reactor-also-used-13-japanese-nuclear-power-plants/#.V8x3Fa3KO-c

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September 5, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Steel in Troubled French Nuclear Reactor Used in 13 Japanese Reactors

Thirteen Japanese nuclear reactors were constructed with steel from the same company used in a French power plant that’s under scrutiny for anomalies found in the reactor vessel’s structure.

Six utilities used steel from Japan Casting & Forging Corp., they all said in separate statements on Friday. The steelmaker was identified by Japanese authorities last month as supplying steel to the Flamanville nuclear plant, developed by Electricite de France SA and Areva SA, where the French safety authority last year found weaker-than-expected steel.

Japan’s nuclear regulators asked utilities last month to examine reactor parts manufactured by the same companies as the Flamanville facility. Utilities must now evaluate whether their reactor pressure vessels meet Japan’s standards and report the results to the Nuclear Regulation Authority by Oct. 31.

The Japanese facilities affected include Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai No. 1 and 2 reactors, the company said Friday. The plant was restarted last year and is facing opposition from the region’s new governor, who has demanded they be temporarily shut for inspections.

Reactors that are currently operating don’t need to be shut down, Yoko Kobayashi, an official with the NRA’s planning division, said Friday. The affected utilities are now required to submit manufacturing reports and past evaluation results, she said.

Nuclear Challenge

The steel scrutiny is latest hurdle for nuclear power in Japan and the government’s goal of having it account for as much as 22 percent of its energy mix by 2030 in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Local court challenges have threatened reactor operations, and even those restarted under new post-Fukushima safety rules have faced a rocky road. Only three of the nation’s 42 operable reactors are online.

Parts manufactured by JCFC met rigorous standards requested by the utilities, and the company will provide support going forward, Seigo Otsubo, an official at the company, said Friday.

EDF and Areva are conducting additional tests to determine whether the anomalies are a safety issue. The two companies said in April that the submission of their report to French regulators about the Flamanville reactor has been delayed until year-end.

EDF has also determined that steam generator channel heads at 18 French reactors contain anomalies similar to those at Flamanville, Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, the safety regulator, said in June.

Japanese reactors that used steel from JCFC, according to statements from the companies:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-02/steel-in-troubled-french-nuclear-reactor-used-in-japanese-plants

September 3, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Utilization of 134Cs/137Cs in the environment to identify the reactor units that caused atmospheric releases during the Fukushima Daiichi accident

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Published on 22 August 2016

Abstract

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactor units that generated large amounts of airborne discharges during the period of March 12–21, 2011 were identified individually by analyzing the combination of measured 134Cs/137Cs depositions on ground surfaces and atmospheric transport and deposition simulations. Because the values of 134Cs/137Cs are different in reactor units owing to fuel burnup differences, the 134Cs/137Cs ratio measured in the environment was used to determine which reactor unit ultimately contaminated a specific area. Atmospheric dispersion model simulations were used for predicting specific areas contaminated by each dominant release. Finally, by comparing the results from both sources, the specific reactor units that yielded the most dominant atmospheric release quantities could be determined. The major source reactor units were Unit 1 in the afternoon of March 12, 2011, Unit 2 during the period from the late night of March 14 to the morning of March 15, 2011. These results corresponded to those assumed in our previous source term estimation studies. Furthermore, new findings suggested that the major source reactors from the evening of March 15, 2011 were Units 2 and 3 and that the dominant source reactor on March 20, 2011 temporally changed from Unit 3 to Unit 2.

Introduction

Since 2011, we have been estimating the source term—temporal changes in atmospheric release rates (Bq/h) of radionuclides—caused by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station (FDNPS) accident using a reverse estimation method that combines atmospheric dispersion simulation and environmental monitoring data1,2,3,4,5. Many international researchers have also tried the source term estimation and model simulation of atmospheric dispersion of radionuclides during the accident. The United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) summarized sixteen results on source term estimation (Table B2 of UNSCEAR 2013 Report6). It described that the source term estimated by Terada et al.3 (which is the one from our previous study) provided a sound basis for estimation of the levels of radioactive material in the terrestrial environment where prior measurements did not exist and actually the dispersion and deposition of released material modeled by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) based on the source term by Terada et al.3 could replicate the broad pattern of deposition density of 137Cs over the Japanese land mass. We also summarized a number of international papers lately that have carried out the source term estimation and numerical analysis of atmospheric dispersion process of radionuclides released during the accidents (Table 1 of Katata et al.5).

The accuracy of our previous study’s latest source term increased with gradual increases in the number of monitoring data after the accident and improvement of our team’s numerical simulation model that included a sophisticated atmospheric deposition scheme5. The calculated ground-shine due to the large deposition event of March 15–16, 2011 agreed with observed data within a factor of 2 at most of the monitoring points, and the model also reproduced the spatial distribution of the airborne survey’s air dose rate and 137Cs surface deposition within a factor of 5. Therefore, the simulation results of the spatiotemporal patterns of 137Cs surface deposition have enough accuracy to compare with the observed 134Cs/137Cs ratio, though some discrepancies between simulation and observation occurred because of model simulation uncertainties. Using the latest source term in Katata et al.5, several atmospheric dispersion simulations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA, Canadian Meteorological Centre (CMC), and Met Office, UK, were successfully able to reproduce the measured surface contamination distribution and time series in air concentrations of radionuclides regardless of model structure and meteorological input data5. UNSCEAR also reported for Katata et al.5 that in any further or updated assessment, the committee would recommend the use of the latest estimate as “preferential”7.

While the timing and quantities of major atmospheric releases during the FDNPS accident had been estimated, the relationships between these releases and their specifically correlated reactor units have still not been clarified. During the period of March 12–15, 2011, the temporal rises in air-dose rates measured by a monitoring car at the FDNPS boundary were partially connected to the events that occurred in the reactors8. However, after March 15, 2011, although only a few studies investigated the potential reasons why the atmospheric releases continued for such a long period afterward9,10, the precise rationale behind the event still has not been verified definitively.

Therefore, this paper focuses on the reactor units that generated large 137Cs atmospheric releases during the period of March 12–21, 2011.

To read more :

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep31376

August 30, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Reactor decommissioning plan revised

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A Japanese government body has revised its plan to decommission the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in response to local opposition.

The revision ruled out the option of adopting a Chernobyl-style “sarcophagus” method that seals off disabled reactors with nuclear fuel inside.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation released the revised plan on Wednesday.

The body presented a technical report a week ago that mentioned the possibility of adopting the sarcophagus method for the first time, while saying it remained committed to removing fuel debris from the reactors.

The report faced backlash from the people in Fukushima Prefecture. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Motoo Hayashi instructed the body to revise the plan.

The word “sarcophagus” has been deleted from the revised plan, which states that the method will not be adopted in the decommissioning process at the plant.

Shunsuke Kondo, the head of the body’s technical committee, says he regrets the body’s lack of consideration for the locals.

He said he will make sure the body communicates with the locals properly and places top priority on their thoughts.

Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said he wants the body to realize how shocked the Fukushima residents were with the word “sarcophagus.”

He said he wants the body to proceed with the removal of fuel debris from the reactors in a safe manner, in line with the locals’ desires.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160720_32/

July 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco chief likely banned use of ‘meltdown’ under government pressure: report

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The president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. during the Fukushima nuclear crisis told employees not to publicly use the term “meltdown,” apparently in response to government pressure, a third party report released Thursday said.

The report, compiled by three lawyers, said it is highly likely the government at the time pressured Masataka Shimizu, then Tepco’s president when the monstrous earthquake and tsunami disabled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, about the utility’s disclosures in the early stages of the crisis.

The report said someone in the government, then headed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan of the Democratic Party of Japan, was unhappy Tepco had revealed a photo of the blown-up building for reactor No. 1 on March 12 without telling the government in advance.

The Prime Minister’s Office then called Shimizu the same day. After Shimizu returned to Tepco’s Tokyo headquarters, he told his fellow executives that they needed to check with the Prime Minister’s Office whenever disclosing information to the public, according to the report.

The report also said Shimizu sent a note on March 14 to Vice President Sakae Muto, who was overseeing the plant and holding a news conference, to warn him not to say meltdown.

“Considering this fact, it is presumable that the Prime Minister’s Office requested Shimizu to be careful about admitting to a meltdown in public,” the report said.

The panel thought this was a critical point that required further investigation but was unable to track down a specific bureaucrat who made such a request. Yasuhisa Tanaka, who headed the panel, said it conducted hearings with 60 Tepco employees but did not talk to anyone from the government side.

Tepco did not acknowledge that a reactor meltdown had occurred until May 15, 2011 — two months after the fact.

Asked whether Tepco was intentionally covering up the meltdowns, Tanaka said that was probably not the utility’s intention at the time.

“Looking at the situation back then, we think it was difficult for Tepco to use the term meltdown because even the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency couldn’t use it” due to apparent government pressure, Tanaka said.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency was Japan’s nuclear watchdog at that time.

The panel spent about three months investigating why Tepco could not publicly reveal the meltdowns occurred earlier than it did.

In February, nearly five years after the crisis, Tepco announced it should have declared the meltdowns earlier, citing the existence of a company manual that listed what constitutes a meltdown. The manual says that meltdown is a state in which 5 percent or more of the fuel rods is damaged.

As of March 14, 2011, Tepco estimated that 55 percent of the fuel rod assemblies in reactor No. 1 and 25 percent of those in reactor No. 3 were damaged but did not declare that they had melted until May that year.

Niigata Prefecture has been pressuring Tepco to look into why it took about two months for the utility to admit to a meltdown.

Niigata hosts Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, which the firm desperately wants to restart, but Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida has stressed that he won’t give the green light until the Fukushima crisis has been thoroughly investigated.

Tepco had explained to Niigata that it did not use the term meltdown because there was no clear definition of it. But it found the manual in February, which contradicted the explanation and led to the third-party investigation.

The report said that workers at the Fukushima plant were apparently following the manual but seemed to avoid using the term meltdown, presumably because there was a common understanding within the company not to use it.

Tokyo Electric changed its name in April to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

http://jtim.es/kuKR301jNdr

 

June 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

ETHICS and NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY- theme for May 2016

The unethical nature of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and the entire nuclear fuel cycle is becoming more obvious, as its history unfolds. On grounds of nuclear weapons spread, unsolved wastes problem, health and environment, effects on indigenous and poor peoples, injustice to today’s and future generations – and even the sheer financial costs for now and the future – it is clear that “atoms for peace” is a false and unethical enterprise.

Given the mounting negative evidence about the nuclear industry, it is concerning that so many world political, scientific and economic leaders continue to promote the industry. Sir Mark Oliphant, (below) one of the founders of the atomic bomb, was one who had the courage to change his mind, and to speak out against nuclear power and nuclear weapons.

Why is it so rare for ‘important’ people to face up to the evil nature of the whole nuclear fuel cycle? It’s not just money. Is it that so much of their reputation, their work has already been invested in nuclear? just too much effort to change track

Like Shakespeare’s Macbeth, who said For mine own good,
All causes shall give way: I am in blood
Stepp’d in so far that, should I wade no more,
Returning were as tedious as go o’er”

Rather than pause to think about the whole picture, they concentrate on their own important actions. Again like Macbeth ” Strange things I have in head, that will to hand; Which must be acted ere they may be scann’d.”

(Image from MACBETH IS A BAD, BAD MAN design by Dave Shanker&Danilo Groppa, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Macbeth – Webquest)

April 18, 2016 Posted by | Christina's themes, Religion and ethics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

RADIATION lies – theme for OCTOBER 2015

As the world prepares for the Paris Climate Talks, th nuclear lobby aims to get its status approved there as clean, green and the solution to climate change.

In September we pointed out that new nuclear reactors do NOT solve the radioactive trash problem, despite the nuclear lobby’s pretense on this.

banana-spinIn October we point out that the nuclear lobby is intensifying its lies about ionising radiation, with the cruel lie that it is harmless, even beneficial. The nuclear liars claim that radioactive isotopes like Cesium 137 and Strontium 90 are the same as the harmless Potassium 40 in bananas. They espouse the quack science of “radiation homesis”  – i.e. a little more ionising radiation is good for you.

 

Ionising radiation is the most proven cause of cancer. The nuclear industry from uranium mining through nuclear power, nuclear weapons, nuclear waste, is the planet’s recent new source of ionising radiation.  Even medical radiation has its cancer risk. Radioactive minerals left in the ground are a minor source.

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September 28, 2015 Posted by | Christina's themes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The potential for Stuxnet computer worm to attack nuclear centrifuges

Forensic experts dissecting the worm found that it was calibrated in a way that could send nuclear centrifuges “wildly out of control.”…..one thing is clear: Stuxnet is a worrying escalation in cyber attacks.

A dangerous new level in malware, Pittsburg Post Gazette, TechMan:  2 Dec 10, Malicious software turned a dangerous corner recently with Stuxnet, a computer worm that attacks the control systems for things like nuclear power plants and electrical grids………….. Continue reading

December 2, 2010 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Germany to extend nuclear power plants, but opposition continues

The opposition Social Democrats said on Friday that they would appeal the decision at Germany’s highest court. They argue that the government’s reasoning that the upper house does not have to give its approval for the bill, is unlawful.

Germany passes law on extending the lifespans of nuclear power plants by Nicole Goebel Deutsche Welle | 26.11.2010 A bill that would see the lifespans of Germany’s 17 nuclear power plants extended by 12 years was approved by the upper house of parliament on Friday despite strong opposition. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Germany, politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

German govt to raise 3 billion euros from nuclear fuel tax

From Jan. 1 2011 through December 2016, a tax on nuclear fuel will bring an estimated EUR2.3 billion to the federal government.

German Upper House Passes Nuclear Fuel Tax – WSJ.com, By Beate Preuschoff, Dow Jones Newswires;NOVEMBER 26, 2010, BERLIN -Germany’s upper house of parliament Friday approved a new tax on nuclear fuel rods, part of a sweeping overhaul of the country’s atomic energy policy. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | Germany, politics | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission challenged over rubber-stamping nuclear license extensions

he was fired by FPL and other nuclear power companies after complaining about safety issues and is now campaigning against what he terms the “rubber-stamping” of 20-year nuclear power plant license extensions.

Florida activist challenges plan to repair Palo nuclear reactor, By DAVE DeWITTE • Cedar Rapids Gazette • November 26, 2010 Palo, Ia.A nuclear power activist has asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reject the repair method proposed by the operator of Duane Arnold Energy Center for a potentially serious fault in a nozzle on the plant’s reactor this month. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | safety, USA | , , , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear company EDF has financial and legal problems

The European Commission plans to take France to the European Court of Justice over a provision in the reform which maintains local taxes on electricity, La Tribune reported today……..….

EDF May Sell Nuclear Power Below 42 Euros, Deputy Says, Bloomberg, By Tara Patel – Nov 26, 2010 Electricite de France SA may be forced to sell nuclear power to rivals at less than it says it needs to recoup production costs under a law adopted yesterday by France’s National Assembly, according to a lawmaker. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, France | , , , , , | Leave a comment

AREVA nuclear company doesn’t like India’s Nuclear Liability Law

Areva will await clarifications on Indian nuclear liability law, The Hindu, 26 Nov 10, The French nuclear company Areva declined from clarifying its position on the issue of supplier’s liability in the Indian civil nuclear liability law at a press briefing here on Thursday. Continue reading

November 26, 2010 Posted by | France, politics international | , , , , | Leave a comment

Costly electricity in $40 billion Toronto nuclear power expansion

it will also send energy bills skyrocketing, with the average bill expected to double over the next 20 years. Ontarians can expect to see a 3.5 per cent annual increase on their bills over that period.The plan could cost up to $40 billion and will be the largest nuclear improvement project on the continent.

More Money For Nuclear Power, But At What Cost? – CityNews, Toronto, 23 Nov 10, The Ontario government is expanding its nuclear power capacity. It was announced Tuesday the province will refurbish as many as 10 reactors and add two to the Darlington plant over the next 10 years. Continue reading

November 24, 2010 Posted by | business and costs, Canada | , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia planning nuclear powered space engines and nuclear plants on Mars

The Russian space agency also expressed its willingness to design a space-based nuclear power station, which can be deployed on the Mars or the moon for 10-15 years.

Russia To Start Developing Nuclear Space Engines | AHN, 23 Nov 10, Moscow, Russian Federation (AHN) – Russia is considering developing nuclear-powered space engines. Continue reading

November 24, 2010 Posted by | Russia, technology | , , , , | Leave a comment