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Nuclear Engineering Issues

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Fukushima: Robot Images Show Massive Deposits Thought to be Melted Nuclear Fuel

           

An underwater robot found solidified lava-like rocks at Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant. Photograph: Supplied/AFP/Getty Images

Robot spots suspected debris of melted fuel for first time since 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant

theguardian.com - Associated Press - July 22, 2017

Images captured by an underwater robot on Saturday showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant.

The robot found large amounts of solidified lava-like rocks and lumps in layers as thick as 1m on the bottom inside a main structure called the pedestal that sits underneath the core inside the primary containment vessel of Fukushima’s Unit 3 reactor, said the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

On Friday, the robot spotted suspected debris of melted fuel for the first time since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused multiple meltdowns and destroyed the plant. 

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TEPCO Chair: Nuclear Plant Must Release Contaminated Water

           

Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s new Chairman Takashi Kawamura speaks during an interview at the TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Kawamura said the utility needs to stop dragging its feet on plans to dump massive amounts of treated but contaminated water into the sea and make more money if it’s ever going to succeed in cleaning up the mess left by meltdowns more than six years ago at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

abcnews.go.com - by Mari Yamaguchi - July 13, 2017

. . . Takashi Kawamura, an engineer-turned-business leader who previously headed Hitachi's transformation into a global conglomerate, is in charge of reviving TEPCO and leading the cleanup at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. In an interview Thursday with selected media including The Associated Press, Kawamura said despite the massive costs of the cleanup and meeting tighter safety requirements, nuclear power is still vital for Japan's national security.

Below are highlights from the interview, where Kawamura spoke in Japanese:

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Dying Robots and Failing Hope: Fukushima Clean-Up Falters Six Years After Tsunami

           

Cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is expected to take 30 to 40 years. Photograph: AP

Exploration work inside the nuclear plant’s failed reactors has barely begun, with the scale of the task described as ‘almost beyond comprehension’

theguardian.com - by Justin McCurry - March 8, 2017

 . . . As the 60cm-long Toshiba robot, equipped with a pair of cameras and sensors to gauge radiation levels was left to its fate last month, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), attempted to play down the failure of yet another reconnaissance mission to determine the exact location and condition of the melted fuel . . .

 . . . The Scorpion mishap, two hours into an exploration that was supposed to last 10 hours, underlined the scale and difficulty of decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi – an unprecedented undertaking one expert has described as “almost beyond comprehension”.

Cleaning up the plant, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl after it was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on the afternoon of 11 March 2011, is expected to take 30 to 40 years, at a cost Japan’s trade and industry ministry recently estimated at 21.5tr yen ($189bn).

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Highest Radiation Reading Since 3/11 Detected at Fukushima No. 1 Reactor

           

Based on image analysis, a two-meter hole has been found in the metal grate under a pressure vessel in reactor No. 2's containment vessels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. | TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY HOLDINGS INC. / VIA KYODO

japantimes.co.jp - KYODO, STAFF REPORT

The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.

Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.

The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.

At 530 sieverts, a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tepco grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors crippled by the March 2011 disaster.

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Japan: Fukushima Clean-Up May Take Up To 40 years, Plant's Operator Says

          

A TEPCO employee walks in front of the No. 1 reactor building.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai

cnn.com - by Yoko Wakatsuki and Elaine Yu - February 11, 2016

Cleaning up Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered catastrophic meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, may take up to 40 years.

The crippled nuclear reactor is now stable but the decommissioning process is making slow progress, says the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, better known as TEPCO. . . .

. . . The biggest obstacle to closing down the plant permanently is removing all the melted nuclear fuel debris from three reactors, Ono told reporters after a press tour of the plant this week.

But TEPCO says it is in the dark about the current state of the debris.

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Nearly All Fuel in Fukushima Reactor Has Melted, Says TEPCO

tepco.co.jp - AFP - yahoo.com
March 19, 2015

CLICK HERE - Reactor imaging technology for fuel debris detection by cosmic ray muon
(13 page .PDF report)
Measurement status report in Unit-1
March 19, 2015
Tokyo Electric Power Company

CLICK HERE - TEPCO - Handouts at press conference

New tests show almost all of the fuel inside one of the Fukushima plant's reactors has melted, its operator said Thursday, the latest step in the clean up after Japan's worst ever nuclear crisis.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the technology, which uses elementary particles called "muon" to create x-ray style images, gave the most concrete evidence yet the fuel had dropped to the bottom of the first reactor.

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Fukushima Disaster Still A Global Nightmare

      

“The models that predicted the arrival of radioactive seawater stated that the seawater could come anytime from late March or early April to the end of year . . ."  Photo: KAI VETTER

ecowatch.com - by Harvey Wasserman - June 3, 2014

The corporate media silence on Fukushima has been deafening . . .

Ever more radioactive water continues to pour into the Pacific. . .

Hundreds more tons are backed up on site, with Tepco apologists advocating they be dumped directly into the ocean without decontamination.

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IAEA Delivers Final Report on Remediation in Fukushima to Japan

Remediation workers check bags of soil and other decontamination waste at a temporary storage site in Date city in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. (Photo: G. Tudor/IAEA)

iaea.org - January 24, 2014

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) handed Japan the final report from an expert mission that reviewed remediation efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi accident.

The IAEA report, which is available online, describes the findings of the Follow-up IAEA International Mission on Remediation of Large Contaminated Areas Off-Site the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, held on 14 to 21 October 2013. The report highlights important progress in all areas to date, and offers advice on several points where the team feels it is still possible to further improve current practices.

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Removing Fuel Rods Poses New Risks at Crippled Nuclear Plant in Japan

      

Members of the media inside the Fukushima Daiichi plant on Thursday. The plant’s operator plans to start moving radioactive fuel to safer storage.  Pool photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi

nytimes.com - by Hiroko Tabuchi - November 10, 2013

TOKYO — It was the part of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that spooked American officials the most, as the complex spiraled out of control two and a half years ago: the spent fuel pool at Reactor No. 4, with more than 1,500 radioactive fuel assemblies left exposed when a hydrogen explosion blew the roof off the building.

In the next 10 days, the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, is set to start the delicate and risky task of using a crane to remove the fuel assemblies from the pool, a critical step in a long decommissioning process that has already had serious setbacks.

Just 36 men will carry out the tense operation to move the fuel to safer storage; they will work in groups of six in two-hour shifts throughout the day for months.

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Fukushima Two Years On: a Dirty Job With No End in Sight

      

The effects of the tsunami on the building containing Fukushima Daiichi's reactor three. Photograph: Kyodo/Reuters

The tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has led to the toughest nuclear cleanup ever. Radioactive water is still poisoning the sea – and it could take 40 years to fix the mess. Is Japan up to the challenge?

theguardian.com - by Ian Sample - December 3, 2013

Carefully, gently, one-by-one. The removal of nuclear fuel rod assemblies from a badly damaged building at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant is finally under way. Months in the planning, the job is risky, complex, and crucial. Here begins the first major step in the toughest decommissioning project ever attempted.

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