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The conclusion, to be published in April after six years of work, is based largely on a radical revision of projections of how much and how quickly cesium 137, a radioactive material that is created when uranium is split, could escape from a nuclear plant after a core meltdown.
In past studies, researchers estimated that 60 percent of a reactor core’s cesium inventory could escape; the new estimate is only 1 to 2 percent.
One person in every 4,348 living within 10 miles would be expected to develop a “latent cancer” as a result of radiation exposure, compared with one in 167 in previous estimates.
Originally posted by zworld
Workers at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear energy facility in Japan will begin sampling gases inside containment at reactors 1 and 2 to obtain more accurate data on the types and amount of radioactive substances being released. TEPCO hopes that analysis of the samples will help determine the extent to which nuclear fuel from the reactors is leaking into containment. The gases will be extracted through pipes and analyzed on the first floor of the reactor buildings. Radiation measurements thus far have been based on readings taken on the facility premises. Sampling is scheduled to begin today at reactor 1 and in early August at reactor 2. TEPCO has not yet made plans for sampling at reactor 3, where radiation levels remain high. This is because TEPCO only began injecting nitrogen into reactor 3 on July 15 to minimize the risk of a hydrogen explosion. Nitrogen injection into reactors 1 and 2 began in April and June.
TEPCO plans to issue an updated roadmap to recovery at the Fukushima Daiichi facility in mid-August.
TEPCO said in mid-July that the first stage of a plan to cool and stably reduce radiation leaks from the damaged reactors had succeeded. The company is also sticking to a previously declared January 2012 timetable for a cold shutdown, which would prevent the evaporation of fluid used to cool reactor materials and prevent the escape of radiation.
Once the plant is in a stable shutdown, the focus will shift to removing radioactive debris and getting spent fuel rods safely out of the damaged reactors. A full decommissioning of the reactors could take more than 10 years, officials have said.
The litre (or liter — see spelling differences) is a unit of volume equal to 1 cubic decimetre (dm3), to 1,000 cubic centimetres (cm3), and to 1/1,000 cubic metre. The unit has two official symbols: the Latin letter L in lower and upper case (l and L). If the lower case L is used, it is sometimes rendered as a cursive ℓ to help distinguish it from the capital "I", although this usage has no official approval by any international bureau.
The word litre is derived from an older French unit, the litron, whose name came from Greek via Latin. The original French metric system used the litre as a base unit, and it has been used in several subsequent versions of the metric system and is accepted for use with the SI, although not an official SI unit — the SI unit of volume is the cubic metre (m3). The spelling of the word used by the International Bureau of Weights and Measures is "litre" and this is also the usual one in most English-speaking countries, but in American English the spelling is "liter", being endorsed by the United States.
One litre of liquid water has a mass of almost exactly one kilogram, due to the gram being defined in 1795 as one cubic centimetre of water.
Ending plutonium recycling, though, won't be easy for Japan. For starters, it would make a hash of the $20 billion that Japan has already poured intoa large plutonium separation and fabrication center in the village of Rokkasho, north of Fukushima. It has been the dream of Japan's still-powerful nuclear bureaucracy to ultimately base the country's electricity generation on costly plutonium-fueled fast-breeder reactors: Although economically uncompetitive with conventional nuclear power systems, shifting to fast-breeder reactors would free Japan from having to import so much uranium.
The work on strengthening the wall and setting up a cooling system ended on Saturday. Tokyo Electric Power hopes to test run the cooling system as early as Sunday and start full operation if no problem occurs.
A similar cooling system is in place for spent fuel rod pools at the No.2 and No.3 reactors.