Rabu, 20 November 2013

..JAPAN NATIONALISM SPIRIT... SO STRONG...>>> THE PEOPLE AND ALL THE LEADERS DEDICATE FOR JAPAN NATION...>> SALUTE..!!! >>> JAPAN KEEP STANDING NATIONAL UNITED FOR MAINTAINING THE NUKE PLANT >> ........Dangerous Operation Removing Fuel Rods At Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant...>> ...Tepco has been widely criticized for its mismanagement of the crisis at the nuclear power plant, which was hit by a giant tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011, which ravaged the facility and damaged its back-up generators and cooling system. A power-supply failure damaged the reactors at Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3, leading to their partial meltdown....>>> Unit 4 was not in operation at the time the tsunami hit the facility, and hence, all of its fuel rods were in the storage pool. However, hydrogen from Unit 3 escaped into Unit 4, causing an explosion that tore off its roof. ..>> The reactor in Fukushima overheated due to a blackout that caused the release of radioactive materials. The IFR plant would avoid a meltdown by having the reactor automatically shut down if the cooling system stops. “I strongly believe that this can provide the impetus of public acceptance of nuclear power, which Japan needs as energy security for the future,” Tanaka said...>>>

Fukushima Power Plant 2 years later, Japan's Future Depends On Nuclear Power

on November 09 2013 10:07 AM

Fukushima barriers
 
Waves wash above the barriers surrounding the Fukushima nuclear facility. Since the 2011 nuclear disaster, Fukushima has leaked a cumulative 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium into the Pacific Ocean. Courtesy / Reuters 
 
After the Fukushima disaster, Japan’s energy outlook changed as the government looked to nix its nuclear power program. But in an interview with the International Business Times on Friday, Nabuo Tanaka, former head of the International Energy Agency, claimed that Japan will need to rely heavily on nuclear power.
“I strongly believe without nuclear power we cannot really secure the national security of the country,” Nabuo Tanaka, the former director said.

Japan’s overreliance on imported hydrocarbons from the Middle East leaves the Pacific island vulnerable to shortages, as Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit route where approximately one-fifth of the world's oil is traded globaly.

It is possible that new supplies of liquefied natural gas, exported from the U.S. to Asia, will help Japan diversify its energy mix, but Tanaka said that the exports will only help Tokyo in the short-term.
In March 2011 a devastating earthquake rocked Japan and the tsunami that followed in its wake destroyed the Fukushima power plant. It was the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Two years later utility crews are still struggling to contain leaks of highly radioactive water flowing from under the plant into the Pacific Ocean. It has been estimated that some 300 tons of toxic water enter the ocean each day.

The news reports from Fukushima do not support Tanaka’s view that Japan needs to develop its nuclear program. He realizes the importance of safety measures and this is why he has been advocating for the development of a new kind of nuclear power plant.
Argonne National Laboratory, the first science and engineering research laboratory in the U.S., has developed a type of nuclear power generation called the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR), which is safer than today’s power plants.

The reactor in Fukushima overheated due to a blackout that caused the release of radioactive materials. The IFR plant would avoid a meltdown by having the reactor automatically shut down if the cooling system stops.

“I strongly believe that this can provide the impetus of public acceptance of nuclear power, which Japan needs as energy security for the future,” Tanaka said.

Tepco Begins Dangerous Transfer Of Nuclear Fuel Rods At Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

on November 18 2013 4:59 AM

Japan on Monday began an extremely dangerous, yet essential, task of removing nuclear fuel rods at the tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi facility, as part of the plant’s decades-long decommissioning process.
Tokyo Electric Power, or Tepco, the plant’s beleaguered operator, in a statement said that workers at the nuclear facility have begun the process of removing uranium and plutonium fuel rods from a storage pool in its Unit 4 reactor, and moving them to a common storage pool equipped with better precautionary measures.
"At 15:18 (0618 GMT), we started to pull up the first fuel assembly with a crane," a company spokesman said Monday, adding that the entire process of transferring the rods, which are rolled in to bundles called "fuel assemblies" would take more than a year.

The technically tricky operation, which is the first major step in a decades-long journey toward the safe decommissioning of the wrecked plant, comes after a series of setbacks and accidents, such as multiple radioactive water leaks from the facility, delayed the process.

Tepco has been widely criticized for its mismanagement of the crisis at the nuclear power plant, which was hit by a giant tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011, which ravaged the facility and damaged its back-up generators and cooling system. A power-supply failure damaged the reactors at Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3, leading to their partial meltdown.

Unit 4 was not in operation at the time the tsunami hit the facility, and hence, all of its fuel rods were in the storage pool. However, hydrogen from Unit 3 escaped into Unit 4, causing an explosion that tore off its roof. 

Now, Tepco's engineers have started removing more than 1,500 fuel assemblies -- in batches of 22 -- from the storage pool, using a newly-constructed crane fitted with a remote-controlled grabbing tool. 

Fukushima Fuel Transfer  
Fukushima Fuel Transfer  Tepco

Tepco has reportedly taken elaborate precautions for the operation, but experts warn that the present conditions of the rods are unknown and any slip-up could further delay the decommissioning process.
“Tepco will continue to pursue this work with the highest level of health and safety of our workers, the population and the environment,” Naomi Hirose, president of Tepco, said in a statement.
The current process of removing the assemblies, although an unprecedented step and extremely risky, is still much less dangerous than the arduous task that lies ahead of removing the nuclear cores at the three remaining units, which went into meltdown before being brought under control two years ago.
A live stream of the fuel assembly transfer operations at Unit 4 can be viewed here.

Japan Prepares For Dangerous Operation Removing Fuel Rods At Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant; Full Decommissioning Could Take Decades

on November 07 2013 3:05 AM

Fukushima_Fuel Rods
The spent fuel pool inside the No. 4 reactor building is seen at Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima prefecture, in this photo released by Kyodo on Nov. 6, 2013. Reuters/Kyodo

Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi facility is getting ready to remove nuclear fuel rods from the plant’s wrecked reactors, in one of the most dangerous and risky operations that are part of a long and arduous journey toward decommissioning the plant.
The nuclear power plant was hit by a giant tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011, which ravaged the facility and damaged its back-up generators and cooling system. A power supply failure damaged the reactors at Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3, leading to their partial meltdown. And now, engineers are preparing to remove fuel rods from a storage pool inside the plant’s Unit 4 reactor in batches, in a technically tricky operation, and transfer them to a common pool with better safety precautions.

"It's going to be very difficult but it has to happen," an official at the facility told BBC.

Unit 4 was not in operation at the time the tsunami hit the facility and hence all of its fuel rods were in the storage pool. However, hydrogen from Unit 3 escaped into Unit 4, causing an explosion that tore off its roof. 
The storage pool in Unit 4 currently has more than 1,000 uranium and plutonium fuel rods, most of which are spent, but their present condition is unknown and experts fear some of the rods may have been damaged in the explosion.  
The fuel rods are four-meter long tubes and are always kept submerged in water to avoid contact with the atmosphere to prevent their overheating and meltdown, which could lead to radioactive contamination of the surrounding areas.
"Inspections by camera show that the rods look OK but we're not sure if they're damaged - you never know," a senior official told BBC.
Elaborate precautions have been taken by the plant’s beleaguered operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, which has been accused of mismanaging the decommissioning process at the crippled plant.
"It is crucial. It is a first big step towards decommissioning the reactors," Tepco spokesperson Mayumi Yoshida said, according to an Agence France-Presse report. "Being fully aware of risks, we are determined to go ahead with operations cautiously and securely."
The Process
Most of the debris that fell into the pool after the blast has since been removed and a safety hood has been erected above the building to contain any possible radiation leaks, Tepco said.
Now, engineers are planning to shift the fuel rods in batches of 22, using a new crane installed at the facility. The rods will be encased in a watertight cask to prevent their contact with air, before being lifted away by the crane. 
A remotely-controlled machine will lift and place the fuel rods weighing about 300 kilograms each in to a cask kept submerged in the pool. The watertight cask -- weighing about 91 tons -- will then be pulled out of the water using the crane and transported to a new pool.
The process will be reversed there and the rods could remain in the new storage facility until the decommissioning process is completed.
Tepco has demonstrated the process in a video link here.

Risks
Experts are wary of the risks involved in the process and even minor errors could lead to contamination and jeopardize the entire decommissioning process. 
"Any trouble in this operation will considerably affect the timetable for the entire project," Hiroshi Miyano, a nuclear systems expert, told AFP. "This is an operation TEPCO cannot afford to bungle."
Tepco has claimed that it has taken every possible safety precaution and has made back-up arrangements to account for the possibility of a power failure and the accidental slipping of the cask during the operation.
Tepco has not specified an exact date for the transfer of the rods, but has said that shifting of each batch of rods could take more than a week.
The entire decommissioning process is expected to take decades as several setbacks and accidents, such as multiple leaks of radioactive water from the facility, have delayed the process.

Fukushima Power Plant Two Years Later: Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz Tours Ruin, Reaffirms US Support

on November 01 2013 3:18 PM
http://www.ibtimes.com/fukushima-power-plant-two-years-later-energy-secretary-ernest-moniz-tours-ruin-reaffirms-us-support
 
Fukushima barriers
 
Waves wash above the barriers surrounding the Fukushima nuclear facility. Since the 2011 nuclear disaster, Fukushima has leaked a cumulative 20 trillion to 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium into the Pacific Ocean. Courtesy / Reuters 
 
U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz toured Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station and reaffirmed U.S. support in the cleanup and decommissioning of the facility, which was destroyed in March 2011 by an earthquake and tsunami, the Department of Energy announced Friday.
"From the beginning, the United States has worked to support the government of Japan in the immediate response efforts and in recovery, decommissioning and cleanup activities,” Moniz said. “Within days of the accident, the Department of Energy sent a team of 34 experts and more than 17,000 pounds of equipment in support of efforts to manage the crisis.”
Utility crews have been struggling to contain leaks of highly radioactive water flowing from under the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean. It has been estimated that some 300 tons of toxic water enter the ocean each day.

Despite many setbacks, Japan has come a long way on this disaster in dealing with spent fuel removal activities with water challenges, Moniz said.
The U.S. and Japan created the Bilateral Commission in 2012 to strengthen the strategic and practical engagement on civil nuclear research and development. It also fosters collaboration on emergency responses, nuclear safety regulatory matters, and nuclear security and nonproliferation.
“As Japan continues to chart its sovereign path forward on the cleanup at the Fukushima site and works to determine the future of their energy economy, the United States stands ready to continue assisting our partners in this daunting yet indispensable task,” Moniz said.

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