If you’ve been following the typhoon posts, I may have some updates tomorrow, news articles, etc. For now, though, it’s back to the main purpose of this blog: news on the situation of rebuilding Tohoku and the current situation at Fukushima’s Daicihi Plant.
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Fukushima nuclear plant on typhoon alert
Workers struggling to bring the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant under control are stepping up precautions in advance of the approaching typhoon.
Typhoon Roke is expected to approach Fukushima Prefecture late on Wednesday.
Efforts to install steel plates at the plant’s water intake area and to decontaminate seawater have been halted for fear of storm surges. Strong winds have forced the suspension of work to cover the No.1 reactor building.
Outdoor piping and pumps for injecting water into the reactors have been secured with ropes to keep them from being knocked over by strong winds.
Rainfall of up to 250 millimeters is expected in the area, but the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says there is no risk of radioactive wastewater overflowing from the reactor turbine buildings.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011 15:48 +0900 (JST)
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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2011
TEPCO Admits to 200 to 500 Tonnes of Groundwater Flooding into Bldg Basements Every Day at #Fukushima I Nuke Plant
Here are some numbers from Yomiuri Shinbun article (9/20/2011):
200 to 500 tonnes of groundwater per dayto the basements of reactor buildings and turbine buildings of Reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4.
105,000 tonnes of highly contaminated water in the basements at the end of May
90,000 tonnes of this water have been processed by TEPCO up to September 13
102,000 tonnes of highly contaminated water in the basements as of September 13
87,000 tonnes of water added
Of that 87,000 tonnes, estimated 47,000 tonnes were recirculated back into the reactors, leaving 40,000 tonnes of water to have been coming from somewhere.
TEPCO now admits that the rainwater contribution to this amount is only a small portion, and most is from groundwater.
40,000 tonnes divided by 180 days equals is 222 tonnes. Hmmm. Where did that 500 tonnes per day number come from?
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TEPCO burdened with task of treating contaminated water at damaged nuclear plant
The government is pouring effort into bringing the temperature at Unit 2 of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant under 100 degrees Celsius to prevent the release of radioactive materials through steam, but workers are also faced with the task of dealing with huge amounts of contaminated water.
The process of bringing the temperature in the reactor core under 100 degrees Celsius is known as a “cold shutdown.” However, this normally applies to a properly functioning reactor, and experts are split over whether it is applicable at the Fukushima No. 1 complex, where meltdowns have occurred.
The government has stated that managing and controlling the release of radioactive materials is a condition for completing Step 2 of the roadmap for bringing the nuclear crisis under control. However, even though the temperatures of the plant’s Unit 1 and 3 reactors have been brought under 100 degrees Celsius, radioactive materials continue to be released.
According to data from the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the level of radioactive materials released from the plant between Sept. 1 and 15 reached 200 million becquerels per hour. Meanwhile, dosages of up to 0.4 millisieverts per year were estimated at the boundary of the nuclear power plant — about the same level as that announced by TEPCO in August. TECPO has included the installation of a system to remove radioactive materials from gas in the reactor containment vessels in its schedule for bringing the crisis under control.
In the plant’s circulatory cooling system, which is necessary in order to achieve a cold shutdown, TEPCO in mid-August managed to activate a cesium decontamination system dubbed “Sally,” which was added to an existing low-performing system to purify decontaminated water. The amount of contaminated water it was able to process increased from 30 cubic meters per hour to 55 cubic meters per hour, and as of Sept. 7, the system was operating at 83 percent of capacity.
However, it has emerged that an estimated 200 to 500 cubic meters of underground water has seeped into the reactor and turbine buildings each day. TEPCO maintains that this will not affect its schedule and its achievement of a cold shutdown, but it remains a fact that this is one major cause for the slow progress in treating contaminated water. To clean up the underground water, TEPCO plans to restore a broken pump as part of Step 2 of its roadmap.
(Mainichi Japan) September 21, 2011
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Realtime radiation map of Japan at http://atmc.jp/realtime/?l=all
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Japan’s Nuclear Disaster: Radiation Still Leaking, Recovery Still Years Away?
by Richard Wilcox / September 19th, 2011
If nuclear power is so ‘safe,’ why is it that nuclear power stations are not placed where the power is most needed – in or very near large cities? Because they are dangerous. OK, if they’re dangerous, why is it the operators are not terribly interested in safety measures?
– Tony Boys, Can Do Better Blog1
Over six months have passed since the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan. What progress if any has been made to deal with what is surely one the worst industrial accidents in history?
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