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Friday, April 8, 2011
Clinton To Assess Nuke Crisis, Offer Quake Relief During Visit
TOKYO (Nikkei)--U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected offer continued support for quake-relief efforts and assess the situation at a stricken nuclear power plant during her visit to Japan in mid-April.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano on Thursday welcomed the visit, which was proposed by the U.S. about a week ago. "We would like to tap whatever capabilities that the U.S. has that can help us," Edano told a press conference.
Clinton's Japan visit will follow one this past Sunday by Jeffrey Immelt, chief executive officer of General Electric Co., which manufactured the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima plant.
During his stay in Japan, Immelt met with Economy and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda and told him of plans to work with Hitachi Ltd. (6501) and U.S. firm Exelon Corp. to help bring the situation under control at the crippled facility.
Clinton is expected to visit Japan later this month.
Prior to this, French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Japan late last month and offered his country's nuclear expertise.
It is presumed that radioactive material inside the reactor vessel may leaked outside at Unit 1, 2 and Unit 3, based on radioactive material found outside. NISA announced that the reactor pressure vessel of Unit 2 and 3 may have lost air tightness because of low pressure inside the pressure vessel. NISA told that it is unlikely that these are cracks or holes in the reactor pressure vessels at the same occasion. TEPCO started to inject nitrogen gas into the Unit 1containment vessel to reduce the possibility of hydrogen explosion on Apr. 6th. The same measure will be taken for Unit 2 and 3.
Unit-1, 2, 3 & 4, which were in full operation when the earthquake occurred, all shutdown automatically. External power supply was available after the quake. While injecting water into the reactor pressure vessel using make-up water system, TEPCO recovered the core cooling function and made the unit into cold shutdown state one by one. No parameter has shown abnormality after the earthquake occurred off an shore of Miyagi prefecture at 23:32, Apr. 7th.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) plans to implement
the injection of nitrogen to the Primary Containment Vessel
(hereinafter “PCV”) as an emergency measure pursuant to the Clause 1,
Article 64 of the Act on the Regulation of Nuclear Source Materials,
Nuclear Fuel Materials and Reactors (Act No. 166 of 1957) (hereinafter
“Nuclear Regulation Act”) for the reasons spelt out below:
As steam accompanying the removal of decay heat in the reactor
core in the Reactor Pressure Vessel (hereinafter “RPV”) of Unit 1 of
Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station (NPS) currently is being
supplied, which is likely to have created a steam atmosphere in PCV,
the possibility of combustion of the hydrogen generated in RPV is
considered to be small in PCV.
However, on condition that the integrity of RPV boundary is lost,
there is a concern that continued cooling of the reactor core will
cause condensation of the steam in PCV, and possibly reach the
inflammability limit caused by ensuing rise in the concentration of
hydrogen in PCV, which leaks from RPV.
Furthermore, in case the steam in PCV condenses as a result of the
cooling of the reactor core, there is the possibility that the pressure
in PCV will turn negative, inducing supply of oxygen from outside,
and the subsequent rise in partial pressure will lead to the
inflammability limit of hydrogen.
Therefore, nitrogen will be injected to PCV in order to reduce the
possibility of hydrogen combustion in PCV.
Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency www.nisa.meti.go.jp...
We have also informed NISA on the results of seawater sampling survey
which has been implemented since April 2nd at three different points
within 15km area of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The data of three nuclides (Iodine-131, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137) will be
reported as fixed data. Other nuclides figures are to be reinvestigated by
improved measures under NISA instruction on April 1st www.tepco.co.jp...
April 8, 2011, 5:00 am
The anomalies, incidents, and accidents of our nuclear world
From simple leaks to sudden deaths, Fukushima to Pennsylvania, our world's brief history of nuclear power is rife with mishaps and tragedy.
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
Three Mile Island
FORTUNE -- The nuclear crisis in Japan, the aftermath of an 9.0 magnitude earthquake, including a 7.1 magnitude aftershock yesterday, and a tsunami on March 11, adds to a long list of major nuclear accidents, all of which stem from some combination of human error, insufficient safety procedure, or outdated equipment.
Even now -- 28 days after the tsunami -- Japan's government has disclosed very little information about what has happened at the scene of the accident, the Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Workers there, however, are known to be still trying to cool the damaged reactors. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), TEPCO will have to release over 10,000 tons of low-level radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
On 7 April, low levels of deposition of both iodine-131 and cesium-137 were detected in 5 and 4 prefectures respectively. The values reported for iodine-131 ranged from 3.8 to 20 becquerel per square metre, for cesium-137 from 9.7 to 25 becquerel per square metre.
Gamma dose rates continue to decrease. For Fukushima, on 7 April a dose rate of 2.3 µSv/h, for the Ibaraki prefecture a gamma dose rate of 0.16 µSv/h was reported. Dose rates reported for the Eastern part of the Fukushima prefecture, for distances of more than 30 km to Fukushima-Daiichi, range from 0.2 to 28 µSv/h.
As part of a new measurement program carried out by MEXT in cooperation with universities, gamma dose rates have also been measured in 26 cities in 13 prefectures for the period 5 to 7 April. In 19 cities, all measurements are below 0.1µSv/h. In a further five cities, some measurements are up to 0.21µSv/h. In the city of Tsukuba in the prefecture of Ibaraki, dose rates are in the range 0.17 to 0.2 0 µSv/h. In Fukushima City, the range is 0.42 to 0.5 µSv/h. typical normal background levels are in the range 0.05 to 0.1 µSv/h.
On Thursday, NaturalNews reported that the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) had announced the cooling pools in Unit 4 had run dry, and that the temperatures were spiking out of control (www.naturalnews.com...). As NRC made this announcement, though, Japanese officials and spokesmen from Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), owner of the Fukushima plant, insisted that the pools were not dry and that the situation was stable.
Besides this conflicting and confusing information, there is the other disturbing fact that on-the-ground temperature readings of Unit 4 immediately stopped being taken the day of the NRC announcement. And since that day, there has been no official update on the temperature of the rods at Unit 4, or an actual verified account of the water status in the cooling pools.
I have noticed it here too in Penna. I thought maybe I was just being a bit overreactive. Rain just about all the time for over the last week.
Originally posted by Nucleardoom
I've noticed it here in Wisconsin as well. Thought I was the only one who noticed that little byproduct. Guess I'm not as crazy as I thought. Anyone else noticing this even though it is our rainy season here?