Oct 22

The Nuclear Priesthood – Arnie Gundersen on GRTV

YouTube Added: 21.10.2011

Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds.com joins us to discuss the fallout from Fukushima in the global nuclear industry. Arnie brings his 39 years of experience in the nuclear industry to bear to give his assessment of what the nuclear crisis means for an industry that has long controlled the “regulators” who are supposedly watching over it.

Fukushima Update with Arnie Gunderson – 2011/10/20

YouTube Added: 19.10.2011

Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds.com joins us for today’s Fukushima Update. We discuss Tokyo’s radiation hot spots, TEPCO’s “cold shutdown” announcement and what the next step is at the site.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jul 14

- #Contaminated Water System: Leak Was from the Same Joint (EX-SKF, July 12, 2011):

It turns out the July 12 leak in AREVA’s coagulation/coprecipitation unit was from the same location where the July 10 leak had happened.

If you recall, the July 10 leak was from the cracked PVC coupler that connected the PVC hose and a small metal tube welded to the bigger metal pipe. TEPCO replaced the PVC coupler with a metal coupler.

Well, that metal coupler, made of cast iron, was corroded away by ferric sulfates in the chemical fed through the hose in less than 2 days, and started to leak again. So, the July 12 version of the leak fix was to replace this corroded cast iron coupler with the stainless steel one and hope for the best.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Jul 01

- Revealed: British government’s plan to play down Fukushima (Guardian, June 30, 2011):

Internal emails seen by Guardian show PR campaign was launched to protect UK nuclear plans after tsunami in Japan.

Read the emails here

British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known.

Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK.

“This has the potential to set the nuclear industry back globally,” wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), whose name has been redacted. “We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear.”

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jun 18

- #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: TEPCO Stopped Water Treatment System (EX-SKF, June 17, 2011)

- #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Contaminated Water Treatment System May Not Re-Start for Another Week, as Trench Water Rises (EX-SKF, June 17, 2011):

More on the news that TEPCO halted the system due to higher than expected radiation level in the cesium absorption subsystem by Kurion:

The radiation limit of 4 millisieverts/hour was reached in 5 hours, instead of one month as anticipated.

New information from Jiji News Japanese (12:47PM JST 6/18/2011):

  • The radiation level on the cesium absorption towers (cylinders) reached the limit [4 millisievert/hour] in 5 hours.
  • The limit was supposed to be reached in a month.
  • There is a possibility that the contaminated water contained the sludge with extremely high level of radioactive materials.
  • TEPCO hopes to investigate the cause and re-start the operation within a week.

TEPCO had better hurry. The water levels in the trenches leading from the Reactors 2 and 3 are rising again, even as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has stopped disclosing the information on water levels.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jun 13

- #Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Kurion’s Cesium Removal System Is Clogged Somewhere (EX-SKF, June 12, 2011):

Part of the contaminated water treatment system being readied at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant is the cesium absorption tower using the technology of Kurion, a US start-up with very little information on their corporate website.

TEPCO discovered that not enough water was flowing through one of the 4 subsystems, and suspects it’s clogged up somewhere.

And a bit of new information that the Kurion’s system removes not just cesium but technetium and iodine, according to the press conference handout from TEPCO which is found below.

By the way, the number of pipe leaks in the Areva’s system was not “over 10″. Well, it was “over ten” for sure, but it was actually 48.

From Yomiuri Shinbun (11:45AM JST 6/12/2011; diagram of Kurion’s system added):

東京電力は12日、福島第一原子力発電所にたまった高濃度汚染水を処理する装置の試運転が、13日以降にずれ込む可能性があると発表した。

TEPCO announced on June 12 that the test run of the system to treat highly contaminated water at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant would be delayed after June 13.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Apr 27

- TEPCO unveils plan to process contaminated water (NHK):

Tokyo Electric Power Company has unveiled details of its plan to process radioactive wastewater at its damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The wastewater has been hampering efforts to restore the reactors’ cooling systems.

Tokyo Electric announced on Wednesday it would start building early next month, together with US and French firms, a storage and processing facility for nearly 70,000 tons of highly radioactive water. The utility firm aims to begin operating the system in June of this year.

The contaminated water is believed to be pooled inside turbine buildings and utility tunnels at the plant’s 1, 2 and 3 reactors.

Tokyo Electric had earlier said it aims to set up by July of this year a system to remove radioactive substances from the water and reuse it to cool the reactors.

Contaminated water will be put through an oil filter, and the density of radioactive material would be lowered using a mineral called zeolite.

Salt would then be removed from the water so that it could be used to cool the reactors again.

Radioactive waste from this process would be stored inside the nuclear complex, but the utility has yet to consider methods for its final disposal.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 19:02 +0900 (JST)


A diver sampling the cleaned water from the Areva nuclear processing plant outflow in the English Channel. Photo courtesy of Greenpeace / Gavin Newman

- French System For Cleaning Fukushima Water Blamed For Leukemia, Polluted Beaches In Europe (Forbes):

The process a French firm will use to clean Fukushima’s radioactive water has been blamed for a leukemia cluster in France and for polluted beaches and irradiated waters from the English Channel to the Arctic Sea.

Areva SA has promised to remove up to 99.99 percent of the radioactive contaminants in 67,500 tons of water flooding the crippled Fukushima-Dai-ichi nuclear plant. It will use a co-precipitation method employed at its La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Normandy.

That process has been documented in detail by a French nuclear expert and by the U.S. government, which has shunned France’s fuel reprocessing method because of “a nonproliferation concern and environmental concerns,” in the words of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko.

The water treatment process has been deplored by environmental groups including Greenpeace and Physicians for Social Responsibility in part because of the quality of cleaned water it produces:

France reprocesses reactor fuel at the vast La Hague facility on the Normandy coast. The so-called low-level liquid wastes from reprocessing are discharged into the English Channel and into the air. However, these “low-level” wastes still contain highly radioactive and often long-lived isotopes. Dumping these same wastes into the sea in containers would violate the 1970 London Dumping Convention.”

via Physicians for Social Responsibility (pdf)

Areva treats contaminated water from reactor cooling systems by injecting chemicals that bind to radioactive isotopes and settle out.

Areva has not revealed which chemicals it will use at Fukushima, but a 1995 report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (pdf) details the process it uses at La Hague. According to DOE, Areva uses:

  • nickel and potassium ferrocyanide to capture cesium
  • barium sulfate to capture strontium
  • cobalt sulfide for ruthenium
  • titanium sulfate for antimony and other emitters of alpha radiation

Areva also uses hydroxides of sodium, manganese, titanium, and iron, according to other sources. The chemicals and radionuclides are removed from the water in a highly radioactive chemical sludge.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,