2 novembre 2014 7 02 /11 /novembre /2014 19:22

November 2, 2014

METI chief Miyazawa pays first visit to Fukushima No. 1 plant



FUKUSHIMA – New trade and industry minister Yoichi Miyazawa paid a visit to the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant over the weekend, his first since replacing Yuko Obuchi, who resigned in October over a funding scandal.

Miyazawa visited the wrecked plant on Saturday before going to Kagoshima Prefecture to push for the restart of idled reactors there, apparently to fend off criticism that he places greater importance on promoting restarts than dealing with the societal fallout from the triple meltdown in Fukushima.

“There are difficult issues, but we see things proceeding steadily so far,” the economy, trade and industry minister said, referring to efforts to scrap the stricken reactors and deal with the massive amount of radioactive water accumulating at the plant.

Miyazawa said the reactors at the Fukushima plant, run by Tokyo Electric Power Co., and the Sendai plant run by Kyushu Electric Power Co. in Kagoshima are different because the safety of the latter has been confirmed by new safety tests introduced as a result of the Fukushima disaster.

“It is going to be a restart after preparing all we can think of right now to avoid such an accident,” he said.

All of the nation’s 48 commercial reactors remain offline, and must pass the new Nuclear Regulation Authority’s safety assessments before going online again.

The central government and Kyushu Electric are trying to win local consent to restart the two Sendai reactors because they were the first to clear the new safety regime.

He will visit Kagoshima Monday to promote the issue.

Since filling the hole left by Obuchi last month, the new METI chief has been hit by political fund scandals of his own. Last month, he admitted that his fundraising body had booked an ¥18,230 expense for a visit to a sadomasochism sex show bar in Hiroshima that he denied attending.

The Liberal Democratic Party chapter he heads has been accused of receiving an illegal donation from a foreign-owned firm, and the media jumped on his 600-share stake in Tepco as soon as he filled Obuchi’s place. He has since moved the shares to a trust bank, he said.

November 1, 2014

Miyazawa visits Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant


Nov. 1, 2014 - Updated 18:56 UTC+1

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Yoichi Miyazawa has visited the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima for the first time since taking office less than 2 weeks ago.

Miyazawa met workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, including those working to decommission the reactors. He said he would like to express his heart-felt respect to them for carrying out the tough and important work. He also said the government will steadily implement plans to decommission the reactors.

Miyazawa also emphasized his resolve to do all he can to address the issue of water contaminated with radioactive substances. He said there will be no revival for Japan without the restoration of Fukushima Prefecture.

Miyazawa inspected equipment to remove radioactive substances from contaminated water and a construction site where the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Company planned to freeze soil and create a wall of ice to prevent the inflow of underground water.

Miyazawa told reporters that he saw the site of an accident that should have never happened. He also said reactors at the nuclear plant in Satsuma Sendai, in Kagoshima Prefecture, will be restarted after full measures are in place to prevent an accident.

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1 novembre 2014 6 01 /11 /novembre /2014 17:35

November 1, 2014

TEPCO removes section of radiation cover above Fukushima reactor building



OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture--Tokyo Electric Power Co. has removed part of the canopy above a reactor building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to gauge the effects of anti-scattering agents pumped inside.

It was the first time in three years that debris inside the No. 1 reactor building was visible from the outside. The structure, which was destroyed in a hydrogen explosion a day after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, was covered with the canopy in October of that year.

The removal on Oct. 31 of one of six panels that make up the canopy is the initial stage in work to remove debris and nuclear fuel from inside the structure.

TEPCO drilled holes into the panel, which measures 42 meters by 7 meters and weighs 32 tons, on Oct. 22. It then sprayed anti-scattering resin inside to prevent radioactive substances from stirring up into the air.

The panel was removed to survey the effects of the resin.

The work was performed by a large crane that slowly hoisted the panel and lowered it to the ground, taking about one hour and 40 minutes.

The panel is scheduled to be returned by the end of November. TEPCO plans to start dismantling the entire canopy on a full-fledged basis in March 2015.

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31 octobre 2014 5 31 /10 /octobre /2014 16:52
Removing part of no.1 cover to test antidispersal agents

October 31, 2014

TEPCO removes part of reactor building cover at Fukushima plant

Part of the cover over No. 1 reactor of Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is removed, revealing massive debris inside the reactor on Oct. 31. (Mainichi)


TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The operator of the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Friday tentatively removed part of the cover shrouding the No.1 reactor building installed in the wake of the 2011 disaster to keep radioactive materials from dispersing.

Dismantling the cover is a first step toward removing spent fuel rods stored in a cooling pool sitting above the reactor, which suffered a meltdown in the disaster, and eventually extracting the melted fuel, Tokyo Electric Power Co said.

A crane removes part of the cover over No. 1 reactor of Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant on Oct. 31. (Mainichi)

On Friday morning, plant workers removed a huge panel using a crane to see whether antidispersal agents, inserted last week to prevent radioactive dust from being scattered, are taking effect. No changes in radiation levels have been observed around the plant so far, the company said.

TEPCO will continue observing for a month to make sure radioactive materials are not dispersing and put the panel back again. The utility plans to begin full-fledged work on dismantling the cover next March.

Once the whole cover is removed, TEPCO hopes to first clean debris covering the upper side of the building resulting from a hydrogen explosion in 2011. The company then plans to begin taking out spent fuel rods from the pool in the first half of 2019 at the earliest, which is to be followed by the challenging work of extracting melted fuel inside the reactor.

The No. 1 reactor building cover was installed in October 2011 as an emergency measure to keep radioactive dust from scattering. TEPCO initially planned to begin preparatory work for removing it by the end of last March, but the company was forced to delay the schedule after local residents voiced concern that the decommissioning work at the plant may have contaminated rice crops in nearby areas.

October 31, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

Part of cover removed from Fukushima reactor bldg.


Oct. 31, 2014 - Updated 03:46 UTC+1

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has removed part of the cover of a reactor building on a trial basis.

The work is aimed at clearing debris as part of preparations for removing nuclear fuel from a spent fuel storage pool. The debris was left by a hydrogen explosion after the 2011 nuclear accident.

Tokyo Electric Power Company began the procedure on Friday morning at the No. 1 reactor building. Using a remote-controlled crane, workers lifted one of the 6 panels of the ceiling, taking about 20 minutes. The procedure is aimed at checking whether any dust is stirred up.

TEPCO plans to remove another panel as early as next week, while monitoring the spread of radioactive materials for about a month.

The utility hopes to begin the full-scale dismantling of the cover in March and start removing the debris in the first half of fiscal 2016.

The dismantling of the cover was initially due to start in July. But the utility delayed the operation following the spread of nuclear materials during the removal of debris at the No. 3 reactor building last year.

TEPCO officials now plan to postpone starting the removal of the spent fuel units by 2 years, to fiscal 2019, and the start of removing melted fuel by 5 years, until 2025.

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30 octobre 2014 4 30 /10 /octobre /2014 20:43

October 30, 2014

TEPCO to postpone nuclear fuel removal at Fukushima No. 1 reactor



A series of delays will push back by years the start of operations to remove spent and melted nuclear fuel from the No. 1 reactor building at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, sources said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. and the central government were expected to announce the new schedule at an Oct. 30 meeting of the team in charge of handling the decommissioning process and the radioactive water accumulating at the plant.

Under the original plan, TEPCO was to start removing spent fuel from the No. 1 reactor building in fiscal 2017 and begin lifting out the melted fuel as early as fiscal 2020.

Under the new schedule, spent fuel removal will start in fiscal 2019, while the melted fuel operations will begin in fiscal 2025, according to the sources.

Shortly after the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima plant, nuclear fuel in the No. 1 reactor melted and an explosion rocked the building.

Currently, 392 fuel assemblies remain in the spent fuel pool in the damaged reactor building.

TEPCO earlier this month began dismantling the canopy that was installed over the No. 1 reactor building to prevent the escape of radioactive materials.

But work on the canopy was delayed. TEPCO is now unable to begin full-scale work on dismantling the canopy until March 2015 because other related operations must be completed first, the sources said.

That delay, in turn, will push back the scheduled completion of debris removal work around the No. 1 reactor building to at least fiscal 2016.

The debris stands in the way of installing additional devices, such as cranes, to remove the nuclear fuel.

TEPCO and the government also intend to review plans to remove the nuclear fuel at the No. 2 reactor building.

The utility is currently surveying the inside of the No. 2 reactor building, but high radiation levels have hindered progress of the investigation.

Debris removal work has been suspended at the other damaged reactor, No. 3, since August, when some equipment accidently fell into the fuel storage pool.

The No. 4 reactor was not operating during the earthquake and tsunami. The removal of spent nuclear fuel from the No. 4 reactor building is expected to be completed by the end of the year as scheduled.

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30 octobre 2014 4 30 /10 /octobre /2014 10:14


October 30, 2014

Fuel removal from Fukushima reactor to be delayed



Oct. 30, 2014 - Updated 00:19 UTC+1

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company are to revise the timetable for decommissioning the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The current timetable calls for the process of removing spent fuel assemblies from the storage pool to begin in fiscal 2017, and removing melted fuel to begin 3 years later.

Government and TEPCO officials are now planning to delay the start of removing spent fuel units until fiscal 2019, or by 2 years, and the start of removing melted fuel till 2025, or by 5 years.

Radioactive rubble which has accumulated inside the No.1 reactor building is hampering fuel removal efforts.

Workers began dismantling the cover of the building this month to remove the debris.

But full-fledged work to dismantle the cover will not take place until March of next year, already resulting in a delay of more than 6 months.

To remove the spent fuel and melted fuel, separate facilities, such as cranes, must be set up on top of the reactor building. This would take more time.

The current timetable says complete decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant with 4 damaged reactors will take 30 to 40 years.

Fukushima Reactor 1 dismantling to be delayed



Staff Report

In the first-ever delay in the plans to dismantle reactor 1 at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the government and the utility have agreed to postpone the removal of fuel rods from the spent-fuel pool by two years from the initial plans, NHK reported Thursday.

The date of extracting the meltedfuel rods from the reactor core, which suffered a meltdown in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster, will also be delayed by five years, the network said, without naming the source.

NHK attributed the delays to an unexpectedly time-consuming process of removal, which was to startin 2017 for fuel rods that are intact and in 2020 for melted ones.

In the ongoing plant dismantling process, removal of rubble, a necessary step to get at the spent-fuel pools, has taken longer than expected, with the plan to start full-fledged work to expose the reactor building by removing its covering delayed by half a year from the originally planned start in March.

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28 octobre 2014 2 28 /10 /octobre /2014 20:49

Fukushima cesium levels fluctuating


Oct. 28, 2014 - Updated 04:49 UTC+1

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says the levels of radioactive cesium in the compound's groundwater at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant fluctuated greatly last week.

TEPCO detected the highest concentration of cesium in samples of water taken from 2 monitoring wells near a reactor building on Wednesday.

One well had 428,000 becquerels of cesium per liter of water, while the other contained 458,000 becquerels.

But only 2 days later, the reading in the first well had dropped to 5,200 becquerels, or one-eightieth of the level detected on Wednesday. The concentration in the other well stood at 470 becquerels, or about one-one-thousandth of the previous quantity.

TEPCO says these wells are connected underground with other wells that are highly contaminated. So the operator believes cesium poured into them with this month's heavy rains and then flowed out with the underground water.

The utility says this problem cannot be fundamentally solved because the area around the wells thought to be the source of the contamination has extremely high radiation levels and cannot be decontaminated.

The 2 wells are among those from which tainted groundwater is pumped and discharged into the sea after being decontaminated.

But TEPCO has suspended the operation and is considering whether to resume the work.

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28 octobre 2014 2 28 /10 /octobre /2014 08:43

October 28, 2014

Wind gust damages cover at Fukushima reactor



Oct. 28, 2014 - Updated 06:08 UTC+1

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the cover of a building housing the No.1 rector has been damaged.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says a strong gust of wind moved a machine at around 8:30 AM Tuesday, creating a triangular shaped hole about 1 meter wide and 2 meters long.

TEPCO has been using machinery suspended from a crane to spray chemicals into holes. This is to prevent the dispersal of radioactive dust when dismantling the cover.

The operator says no significant changes in radiation levels were seen at the compound, but work has been suspended.

Officials say the wind speed at the time was about 7 kilometers per hour, which is well below the 36-kilometer-per-hour standard required to suspend work. They say a sudden gust may have moved the machinery.

TEPCO has notified the central and local governments and is considering what steps to take. Officials say they don't know when work can resume, or whether this problem will affect Thursday's plan to remove part of the cover on a trial basis.

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25 octobre 2014 6 25 /10 /octobre /2014 08:15

October 25, 2014

High levels of radiation found at Fukushima plant



Oct. 25, 2014 - Updated 05:12 UTC+2

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it has found high levels of radioactive cesium in groundwater in the compound.

Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Company say water taken on Wednesday from a monitoring well contained 460,000 becquerels of cesium per liter. Water from another well contained 424,000 becquerels.

The wells are several meters west of the No. 2 reactor building. There are about 40 around the reactor buildings.

Officials say the levels are 800 to 900 times the previous peak level of 500 becquerels per liter.

TEPCO officials say they don't know what caused the rise. They speculate a recent typhoon may be to blame.

They have stopped pumping water from the 2 wells to conduct an investigation.

TEPCO began pumping up groundwater from the wells on a trial basis in August. They started full-scale operations last week.

The utility plans to treat the tainted groundwater and discharge it into the ocean to deal with the buildup of contaminated water.

But local people strongly oppose the plan. TEPCO has yet to discharge water into the ocean.


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23 octobre 2014 4 23 /10 /octobre /2014 21:35

October 22, 2014



Tepco taking off cover

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22 octobre 2014 3 22 /10 /octobre /2014 18:06
Starting to remove cover at No.1

October 22, 2014

TEPCO starts removal work of cover over damaged Fukushima reactor building



The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant started dismantling a canopy on Oct. 22 installed over the damaged No. 1 reactor building to prevent radioactive substances from entering the atmosphere.

Workers at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant started the operation shortly after 7 a.m. They used a crane-mounted drill to make eight 30-square-centimeter holes in one of the canopy's six massive panels.

After drilling into the 40-meter-by-7-meter panel, the workers sprayed synthetic, anti-scattering resin inside the building to minimize the possibility of radioactive substances being stirred up into the air. Cameras will also be inserted into the building to survey the vast amount of debris inside.

The structure's walls and roof were severely damaged in a hydrogen explosion on March 12, 2011, after the plant was struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. The cover was erected in October 2011.

After dismantling the canopy, TEPCO plans to remove a large amount of the highly contaminated debris, rubble and dust that remain inside in fiscal 2016 and spent nuclear fuel rods stored in pools in fiscal 2017.

The canopy-removal operation will go into full swing after March 2015, as TEPCO is currently placing priority on the construction of frozen soil walls near the No. 1 reactor building to prevent groundwater from seeping in.

During work to clear debris from the plant's No. 3 reactor building in August 2013, radioactive substances spread and contaminated plant workers on site about 500 meters away.

To obtain consent from local governments for the project, the utility promised to closely monitor radiation levels during the canopy-removal work and provide them with such data.

Work begins toward dismantling building cover at Fukushima plant


TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant began preparatory work to dismantle the No. 1 reactor building's cover Wednesday as a first step toward removing melted fuel.

The cover shrouding the building, damaged by a hydrogen explosion in the 2011 nuclear crisis, was installed following the accident to keep radioactive materials from dispersing.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to finish removing the cover around March 2016. It will then aim to begin cleaning up the debris from the hydrogen explosion and removing spent fuel stored in a pool in the building by the end of March 2018.

TEPCO said the work of removing the melted fuel inside the crippled reactor would begin in 2020 at the earliest, but said it has yet to gain a detailed grasp of the situation inside the reactor and consider the specifics of how the fuel is to be extracted.

On Wednesday morning, TEPCO started making holes in the roof of the building cover in order to insert antidispersal agents to prevent radioactive dust from being scattered. The actual dismantling of the cover will start in March 2015, the utility said.

TEPCO had initially sought to begin preparations to dismantle the building cover by last March, but the plan was delayed due to equipment failure. The plan was delayed again after local residents voiced concern that the company's debris cleanup work at the Fukushima plant may have contaminated rice crops in nearby areas.

October 22, 2014(Mainichi Japan)

See also :

Tepco gets ready to dismantle building cover at crippled Fukushima No. 1 reactor



Tepco began preparatory work on Wednesday to dismantle the cover on the reactor 1 building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, as a step toward eventually removing the melted fuel inside. […]

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