Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lethal levels of radiation detected in leak seven years after plant meltdown in Japan. Lethal levels of radiation have been detected at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, seven years after it was destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which operated the complex and is now responsible for its clean up, made the discovery in a reactor containment vessel last month. The energy firm found eight sieverts per hour of radiation, while 42 units were also detected outside its foundations.
Independent 2nd Feb 2018 read more »
Uranium dioxides and debris fragments released to the environment with cesium-rich microparticles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Environmental Science &Technology 29th Jan 2018 read more »
Worst-Hit Reactor at Fukushima May be Easiest to Clean Up. High atop Fukushima’s most damaged nuclear reactor, the final pieces of a jelly-roll shaped cover are being put in place to seal in highly radioactive dust. Blown apart by a hydrogen explosion in 2011 after an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, reactor Unit 3 is undergoing painstaking construction ahead of a milestone that is the first step toward dismantling the plant. The operating floor — from where new fuel rods used to be lowered into the core — has been rebuilt and if all goes as planned, huge cranes will begin removing 566 sets of still-radioactive fuel rods from a storage pool just below it later this year. It has taken seven years just to get this far, but now the real work of cleaning up the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant can begin. “If you compare it with mountain climbing, we’ve only been preparing to climb. Now, we finally get to actually start climbing,” said Daisuke Hirose, an official at the plant’s decommissioning and decontamination unit. Cleaning up the plant’s three reactors that had at least partial meltdowns after the earthquake and tsunami is a monumental task expected to take three to four decades. Taking out the stored fuel rods is only a preliminary step and just removing the ones in Unit 3 is expected to take a year. Still ahead is the uncharted challenge of removing an estimated 800 tons of melted fuel and debris inside the cracked containment chambers — six times that of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident.
Power Engineering 31st Jan 2018 read more »