Japan Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant blog
Tracking Fukushima news from day 1 : | Now one of the world's largest Public Available Repositories of the Chronology of the Daiichi Nuclear ongoing Disaster.
This entire site and content is 100% copyright (for commercial replication), please use the form to submit application for re-use. This site is 100% Educational and all licences in relation to reporting are attended to.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has failed to grasp the entire picture of melted fuel possibly accumulating inside the container vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. The radiation levels inside the vessel are extremely high, to the extent a human could be killed in less than a minute, and even a robot designed to conduct a probe inside went down quickly.
On the early morning of Dec. 24, 2016, a group of 26 workers assembled at a building housing the No. 2 reactor when it was still dark outside. The workers were from heavy machinery giant IHI Corp. and other companies engaged in disaster recovery work. On top of their protective Tyvek suits, they were wearing special protective ponchos. They also had four-layer gloves on, with plastic tape wrapped around their wrists. The outfit made them sweat though it was the middle of winter.
In order for TEPCO to move ahead with decommissioning work on the No. 1 through No. 3 reactors at the plant, the utility needs to find out how much melted nuclear fuel lies inside the facilities, and where, in the aftermath of the meltdown of 1,496 fuel rods. The 26 workers were tasked with drilling a hole measuring 11.5 centimeters in diameter in the No. 2 reactor's container vessel to open the way for the probe robot, using a remotely controlled machine.
Ryosuke Ishida, 28, an employee of a related company in Hokkaido, was in charge of removing the machinery that was used in the drilling work. In order to ward off the severely high radiation, he was wearing a lead jacket weighing 10 kilograms on top of his already tightly sealed protective gear. Each worker was allowed only five minutes for their task to keep their radiation exposure doses to no more than 3 millisieverts a day. The dosimeters they were carrying with them were set to beep when the radiation level reached 1.5 to 2 millisieverts, with an additional alarm set to go off when radiation doses hit every one-fifth of those levels.
[snip] EnviroNews World News, Feb 6, 2017 (emphasis added): The astronomical readings bring major concerns to a cleanup operation already spiraling out of control — flying blindly into territory previously uncharted in the history of nuclear power…. To top it off, 530 sieverts per hour might not be the worst cleanup workers have to worry about. TEPCO also stated that surface-level radiation readings from parts inside the plant’s pressure vessels can reach “several thousand sieverts per hour,” compounding what are already seemingly unsurmountable tasks in the decommissioning process. Esteemed nuclear expert, engineer, and former reactor operator Arnie Gundersen told EnviroNews World News in an email that the position of Fairewinds, his educational non-profit, is that radiation levels are presently way to high to remove the melted fuel, and that the reactors should be entombed, like was done with Chernobyl’s sarcophagus, for at least a century before attempting dismantlement. “[These readings do] make dismantling the facility almost impossible for 100 or more years, as the exposure to workers would be too significant,” Gundersen said. Dr. Helen Caldicott, Feb 13, 2017: … it will be almost impossible to “decommission” units 1, 2 and 3 as no human could ever be exposed to such extreme radiation; and that this fact means that Fukushima Daichi will remain a diabolical blot upon Japan and the world for the rest of time, sitting as it does on active earthquake zones… Bottom line, these reactors will never be cleaned up nor decommissioned because such a task is humanly impossible… [end snip] FULL ARTICLE: http://enenews.com/nuclear-experts-fukushima-plant-must-be-entombed-like-chernobyl-humanly-impossible-to-clean-up-reactors-due-to-shockingly-high-radiation-levels-at-thousands-of-sieverts-per-hour-they-wi