TEPCO completes cover around Fukushima plant’s No. 1 reactor; 3 and 4 next
A cover enclosing the ruined No. 1 reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has been completed, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced on Oct. 14.
Construction of the cover — composed of 62 polyester fibre sections — began in August to reduce the amount of radioactive materials escaping into the outside environment. With the cover now finished, TEPCO will install air scrubbers inside the reactor building to clear out airborne radioactive substances.
Once the scrubbers are in place, they are expected to process all the air in the enclosure — a volume of about 40,000 cubic meters — every hour, reducing airborne radioactive materials by 90 percent.
The new cover will last for two years. TEPCO is also considering replacing the cover with a stronger one should the firm decide to remove the fuel from the reactor. TEPCO plans to build similar covers over the No. 3 and 4 reactor buildings, which were also destroyed by hydrogen explosions in March.
TEPCO also released video taken by a robot on the No. 1 reactor building’s first floor. The video showed there was no longer steam rising from below ground in the building, but the robot detected extremely high radiation emissions of 4,700 millisieverts per hour.
(Mainichi Japan) October 15, 2011
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March disaster debris may reach Hawaii next year
US researchers say some of the huge amount of debris that has been drifting in the Pacific Ocean as a result of Japan’s disaster in March may reach Hawaii next year.
Nikolai Maximenko, senior researcher at the University of Hawaii’s International Pacific Research Center, says a huge amount of debris was spotted by a Russian training ship heading for Vladivostok from Hawaii in late September.
The debris was found in a wide area in the northern Pacific Ocean about 3,200 kilometers east of Japan and about 900 kilometers west of the Midway Islands.
Japanese fishing boats, fishing nets, housing materials, plastic products, and appliances such as television sets and refrigerators form part of the debris.
A piece of a demolished fishing boat clearly shows the word “Fukushima” written in Japanese.
Maximenko says measures should be taken as a large amount of debris can be a threat to vessels and can have an adverse impact on marine ecosystems.
Saturday, October 15, 2011 13:05 +0900 (JST)
File another one under “Duh.”
Radioactive cesium found in plankton off N-plant
High concentrations of radioactive cesium have been found in plankton from the sea near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Researchers from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology collected plankton in waters up to 60 kilometers from the coast of Iwaki City in July. They found 669 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium in animal plankton from waters 3 kilometers offshore.
They say a wide range of fish feed on animal plankton and that the contamination could accumulate in the food chain and have a more serious impact when it gets into relatively large fish.
The research group’s leader, Professor Takashi Ishimaru, says the plankton were so heavily contaminated because sea currents continuously carried contaminated water southward from the nuclear plant. He says detailed studies are needed to determine how long the effect on fish will continue.
Saturday, October 15, 2011 06:34 +0900 (JST)
Comments from EX-SKF at:
Well, according to Japan’s Fisheries Agency, bio-concentration and accumulation were not supposed to happen, as they made it abundantly clear when the Japanese government sanctioned the release of “low” contamination water from the nuke plant. Well they did.
Not only they did happen, but clearly at an accelerated pace. Bigger fish have already been found with surprisingly high levels of radioactive cesium. The ocean contamination is probably of much bigger scale and the degree of contamination much more serious than the Japanese government has dared to admit so far.
[See his website which has the original TEPCO report in Japanese]
The Report which Tepco made for press conference on 6/6/2011 was leaked on the internet.
According to the report,Tepco already announced that Plutonium 238,239,240,241was released to the air in the first 100 hours after the earthquake.
It reads the amount is 120 billion Bq.
When it comes to Np-239,it is 7600 billion Bq.
It is possible to assume a certain amount of them have flown to around Tokyo.
Knowing the fact, media kept concealing the risk for 7 months and kept people exposed.
NISA: TEPCO lax on anti-quake measures at Fukushima plant
Tokyo Electric Power Co. failed to take anti-quake measures on about 600 important pieces of equipment at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, even though revised safety guidelines in 2006 required such action.
TEPCO’s lax practices were described Oct. 13 at a Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) meeting, in which nuclear experts were questioned. NISA officials said the utility did not conduct strength tests and implement reinforcement work on key equipment, including control rods in the No. 1 to 6 reactors that adjust the nuclear fission process within the reactors.
“TEPCO also did not conduct tests on a large majority of the piping” at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, Masaru Kobayashi, director of the Seismic Safety Office at NISA, said.
After the anti-quake guidelines were revised, TEPCO submitted an interim report to the central government in March 2008 in which it concluded that reinforcement work was not needed. It cited the results of tests on the pressure vessel and other important equipment.
TEPCO officials planned to include what would be done on the 600 or so other important pieces of equipment, such as those related to the control rods and other piping, in a final report.
At that time, TEPCO told NISA officials the final report would be submitted after autumn 2010.
According to Kobayashi, a document compiled by NISA in the summer of 2008 had wording that said reinforcement work was being implemented at the Fukushima No. 1 plant.
But on Oct. 7, TEPCO officials told NISA officials that the reinforcement work was never conducted.
It is unclear what led to the change on TEPCO’s part because no records remain of communications exchanged in 2008.
“We assumed that an evaluation was being conducted, but we did not undertake a sufficient response. It is very regrettable,” Yoshinori Moriyama, NISA’s deputy director-general for nuclear accident measures, said at a news conference.
The Hamaoka nuclear plant of Chubu Electric Power Co. and TEPCO’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant are the only commercial nuclear plants for which final reports on the anti-quake measures have been submitted to the central government.
Operations were suspended at the Hamaoka nuclear plant after the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake crippled the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.