Archives de octobre 2012

TEPCO moves spent nuclear fuel to storage pool at Fukushima No. 2 plant

FUKUSHIMA–Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Oct. 2 continued to transfer spent nuclear fuel from the core of the No. 4 reactor to a storage pool at the tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO plans to remove all 764 fuel assemblies in the No. 4 reactor by late October and keep them under control in storage in one location.

The utility will start inspecting damage in the reactor in late November.

The Fukushima No. 2 plant automatically shut down after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck in March 2011. The disaster crippled TEPCO’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant to the north.

The spent-fuel transfer started on Oct. 1 after the No. 4 reactor’s fuel cooling functions returned to pre-quake levels.

Specialized equipment pulls up the fuel assemblies, about 4.5 meters in length, and transfers them to the storage pool about 15 meters away in the reactor building.

TEPCO also plans to start moving spent nuclear fuel in the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors as soon as their cooling functions are restored.

Company officials said it will take until the end of 2014 to complete the transfer of all spent fuel to storage pools at the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear plant.



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New book examines Fukushima disaster and its aftermath





A new book by the University of Sydney’s Richard Broinowski tells the story of Japan’s worst nuclear disaster and attempts by authorities to suppress, downplay and obscure its consequences.

Fallout from Fukushima will be launched today by Broinowski, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Media and Communications, at gleebooks in Glebe.

Broinowski is a former diplomat who travelled to Fukushima in October 2011, six months after the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. He visited the irradiated zone to speak with those affected by radiation leaks and to find out why authorities delayed warning the public about the severity of the radiation.

« The book’s central aim is to make the most accurate assessment possible of the physical and psychological damage of the meltdowns, their effects on Japanese politics and economics, and on the Japanese and international nuclear industries, » he says.

The book traces the devastating aftermath of the March 2011 force-nine earthquake that jolted the Pacific Ocean seabed east of Japan and resulted in a 21-metre-high tsunami crashing onto the coast of Fukushima, Miyagi.

In the earthquake and tsunami, villages were destroyed, 16,000 people were swept away and explosions and meltdowns at a nuclear plant near the city of Fukushima ensued.

Combining interviews, research, and analysis, Broinowski reveals the extent of the disaster’s consequences: the ruinous compensation claims faced by electricity supplier TEPCO; the complete shutdown of Japan’s nuclear reactors; and the psychological impact on those who, unable to return to their farms and villages, may become permanent nuclear refugees.

In Fallout from Fukushima, Broinowski puts this nuclear tragedy in context, tracing a path back through Tokyo, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl.

Examining what the disaster will mean for the international nuclear industry, he explores why some countries are abandoning nuclear power, while others — including Australia, through its export of uranium — continue to put their faith in this technology.

In 'Fallout from Fukushima', Adjunct Professor Richard Broinowski puts this nuclear tragedy in context, tracing a path back through Tokyo, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl.
In ‘Fallout from Fukushima’, Adjunct Professor Richard Broinowski puts this nuclear tragedy in context, tracing a path back through Tokyo, Three Mile Island, and Chernobyl.


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Fukushima offers free medical care for children under 18


The Fukushima prefectural government this week started offering free medical care for children under 18. It is the first project of its kind in Japan and is aimed at 36,000 children living in the prefecture, health officials said.

According to a prefectural government spokesman, the project is designed to create a more supportive environment for families living in areas where the population outflow due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is significant, TBS reported. Local governments hope the free medical care will act as an incentive for families to remain.

Since last year’s nuclear disaster, almost 18,000 children under the age of 18 have been evacuated outside the prefecture, officials estimate.

Japan Today:

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 Technohill, the Japanese distributer of this equipment commented on their website that this equipement cannot measure internal exposure unlike the hospital explained on their press conference.

Fukushima hospital imported new WBC equipment, distributer “It can’t measure internal exposure”  by Mochizuki   September 29th, 2012 Kuwano kyoritsu hospital in Koriyama city held a press conference on 9/24/2012.

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Construction of Japanese reactor to resume

The Japan Electric Power Development Corp (J-Power) will resume construction of the Ohma nuclear power plant in Aomori prefecture. It will be the first Japanese nuclear construction project to restart since all such projects were suspended following the Fukushima accident.

Ohma - J-Power
How the completed Ohma plant could look (Image: J-Power)

Work to build the 1383 MWe (gross) Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) in Aomori prefecture was 40% complete in March 2011 when a tsunami caused the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (Tepco’s) Fukushima Daiichi plant. An extended hiatus followed, during which Japan developed a new energy strategy.

J-Power said today that « the treatment of nuclear power plants under construction became clear » thanks to the revised energy policy announced by the Japanese government. Accordingly the company decided to resume construction of the Ohma plant, « with the understanding of the local communities. »

The company said that it will strive to establish a safe power plant by, among other things, ensuring that reinforced safety measures are implemented that take into account the lessons learned from the Fukushima accident. J-Power will also ensure that all current and future technology standards set by the new Nuclear Regulatory Authority are met.

« As a power plant that adopts the most advanced technologies, the Ohma nuclear power plant will be a highly safe and reliable power plant that will play an instrumental role in the stable supply of electricity and the nuclear fuel cycle of Japan, » J-Power said. The company has taken various measures for reinforcing safety at the Ohma plant, including a range of anti-tsunami actions, ensuring emergency power sources and ultimate heat removal functions, and improving response to severe accidents.

J-Power plans to use all mixed oxide (MOX) uranium and plutonium nuclear fuel in the reactor core of Ohma, which necessitates some design variation from the ABWR standard. Amendments for the different reactive and thermal properties of MOX fuel include a higher-capacity liquid control injection system; additional safety valves to release steam; control rods with enhanced neutron absorption; and automatic fuel inspection devices to reduce radiation exposure to workers.

Ohma would be the first Japanese reactor built to run solely on MOX fuel incorporating recycled plutonium. It will be able to consume a quarter of all domestically-produced MOX fuel and hence make a major contribution to Japan’s « pluthermal » policy of recycling plutonium recovered from used fuel. This policy increases Japan’s self-sufficiency in energy fuels from 4% to 18% by making maximum use of imported uranium.

The start of construction of the Ohma plant was originally due in August 2007, with commercial operation planned for March 2012. However, the imposition of more stringent seismic regulations put back the start of construction May 2008 and commercial operation to November 2014. J-Power said that it has not yet scheduled a new date for the start of operation « but intends to review the matter in the future based on progress in construction. »

In addition to the Ohma plant, construction was also suspended of unit 3 of Chugoku Electric Power Co’s Shimane plant, while the start of construction of unit 1 of Tepco’s Higashidori plant has been deferred from the original April 2011 date.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News


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Fukushima reactors status 1 Oct 2012


Fukushima reactors status 1 oct 2012



The following is the known status as of Monday morning of each of the six reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and the four reactors at the Fukushima Daini plant, both in Fukushima Prefecture, which were crippled by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11.


Due to the Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyou-Oki Earthquake which occurred on March 11, 2011, TEPCO’s facilities including our nuclear power stations have been severely damaged. We deeply apologize for the anxiety and inconvenience caused.
With regard to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, on April 17, 2011, we have compiled the roadmap towards restoration from the accident and on July 19 we accomplished the Step1 target « Radiation dose is in steady decline ». Then on December 16 we confirmed the accomplishment of the Step 2 target « Release of radioactive materials is under control and radiation doses are being significantly held down ».
In addition, on December 21, 2011, we have compiled the « Mid-to-long-Term Roadmap toward the Decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Units 1-4, TEPCO ».
In addition to the maintenance of the plant’s stable condition, we will implement Mid-to-Long Term countermeasures towards the decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Units 1-4 to enable evacuees to return to their homes as soon as possible and reduce the anxiety of the people in Fukushima and the whole nation as soon as possible.

Below is the status of TEPCO’s nuclear power stations (Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini).

* The updates are underlined.

[Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station]
・ Unit 1 to 4: Abolishment (April 19, 2012)
・ Unit 5 to 6: Outage due to regular inspections before the earthquake

-At 3:34 PM on September 27, Unit 2 reactor injection water amounts were adjusted as follows since a fluctuation in the amounts had been found.
Feed water system: Decreased from approx. 2.4m3/h to approx. 2.0m3/h, reactor core spray system: Increased from approx. 4.9m3/h to approx. 5.0m3/h.

-At 11:15 PM on September 27, the reactor injection water amounts for Unit 1 and 3 were adjusted as follows since the amounts had decreased.
[Unit 1] Feed water system: Increased from approx. 2.6m3/h to approx. 3.0m3/h (Reactor core spray system: Maintained at approx. 2.0m3/h)
[Unit 3] Feed water system: Increased from approx. 2.2m3/h to approx. 2.5m3/h (Reactor core spray system: Maintained at approx. 4.5m3/h)

-At 9:10 AM on September 24, the regular nitrogen supply equipment (nitrogen gas separator A) was stopped for inspection and maintenance/repair since the cumulative operation hours exceeded 6,000 hours (adequate timing for inspection). At 10:14 AM on September 28, the equipment was started as the inspection had completed. At 11:15 AM on the same day, nitrogen gas injection using the equipment was restarted.

-At 10:20 AM on September 28, we started transferring the accumulated water in Unit 4 Turbine Building basement to the Central Radioactive Waste Treatment Facility (Process Main Building).

-At 10:50 AM on September 28, Unit 3 reactor injection water amounts were adjusted as follows since the amounts had decreased.
Feed water system: Increased from approx. 2.3m3/h to approx. 2.5m3/h, reactor core spray system: Increased from approx. 4.2m3/h to approx. 4.5m3/h.

[Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station]
・ Unit 1 to 4: Shutdown due to the earthquake.

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Japan Resumes Reactor Work Suspended since Fukushima Disaster


A Japanese power firm on Monday resumed construction of an atomic reactor stalled since the disaster at Fukushima, despite government plans to phase out nuclear power.

Electric Power Development, known as J-Power, said it had gone back to work on the plant in the country’s north after getting the green light when the government announced its new energy policy aims last month.

The construction work in Oma, a town 650 kilometers (400 miles) north of Tokyo, is the first since a massive earthquake and tsunami sparked the disaster at Fukushima in March 2011 — the worst such accident in a generation.

Economy, trade and industry minister Yukio Edano, who is charged with supervising the power industry, said the resumption had been a procedural matter and was a decision by the company.

But he added that the operator of the nuclear plant must still meet safety standards before power generation can begin there.

The firm made no announcement on when it expects work to be completed.

Last month, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s government adopted a new energy policy that included the phasing out of nuclear power by 2040, in what was widely seen as bowing to public pressure after the Fukushima disaster.

The new policy calls for reactors more than 40 years old to be shut down, plans to build more nuclear reactors to be shelved and existing reactors only to be restarted if they pass standards issued by a new regulatory agency.

However the policy has been criticized as unclear, with several exceptions that could see nuclear power in use well past 2040. Partially-constructed reactors can be completed, for example.

Nuclear energy has become a hot-button issue in Japan before a general election expected this year. Protests calling for atomic power to be ditched have attracted tens of thousands of people.

Japan turned off its 50 reactors in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, with all but two of them still mothballed in the face of public opposition to their use.


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