Monday, June 4, 2012

BBC: Dounreay staff offer advice on Japan's #Fukushima

After citing unnamed "officials" warning about a "catastrophe" if the Reactor 4 building collapses, BBC news quotes a Dounreay manager who says their experience in cleaning up contaminated beaches and seabeds could help TEPCO in the clean-up of Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant and its immediate vicinities.

From BBC News (6/3/2012):

Dounreay staff offer advice on Japan's Fukushima

Efforts to clean up a seabed off Scotland's coast could provide Japan with solutions to dealing with its earthquake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant.

Radioactive particles were flushed from Dounreay in Caithness into the sea through the plant's liquid discharge pipe in the 1960s and 1970s.

The fragments contaminated local beaches and seabed. Work to recover the seabed particles started in 2008.

Staff from Dounreay have been to Japan to offer advice.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant was crippled after being hit by a tsunami in the aftermath of a huge earthquake in March 2011.

Radiation leaks were recorded following subsequent explosions and fires.

Late last month, power company Tepco said reactors at the plant were stable.

But there was concern about the spent fuel pool on the top floor of the badly damaged reactor number four building.

If it collapses, it could cause another catastrophe, officials have warned. But Tepco said it has reinforced the structure against another earthquake.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of residents remain evacuated from an exclusion zone around the plant.

Phil Cartwright, senior manager in charge of contaminated land clean up at Dounreay, said lessons learned in Scotland could help Japan deal with radioactive contamination.

He said: "At Dounreay, we had a release of radioactive material beyond the site, increasing public anxiety in the late 1990s about the potential health effects and controls put in place to protect public health."

A strategy was produced to deal with contamination, including efforts to detect and recover particles from the seabed near the site, he said.

Mr Cartwright added: "Japan is at the start of a much bigger clean-up project with significant challenges both on and off site but the issues they face are similar to those we had to work through, even though ours were on a much smaller and more localised scale.

"They were very interested in our experience."

Dounreay has already donated equipment to Japan for use in dealing with the damaged Fukushima Daiichi complex.

Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL) gathered a van-load of respirators, hand-held radiation survey kit, masks and suits.

The equipment was driven to Sellafield, in Cumbria, for distribution.


Anonymous said...

What's the population of Dounreay?

This was the site of dumping high level nuclear slags in a pit penetrated by seawater.

Sellafield too had the right to dump unrecorded wastes in open air lagoons.

You could say it was like they didn't give two hoots about safety,when in actuality they do not give two hoots about dumping their poisonous legacy on another people.

You see they do so with impunity.

They even do it on behalf of other people,even from other continents.

It stems from contriving investment and resenting competition.

Atomfritz said...

After the demise of the antiquated 1950s and 1960s Brit plutonium complex, Dounreay tries to change to tourism.
As the most grave problem now there is unemployment, they need jobs, even if it be in Japan.

Atomfritz said...

Urggs! It's at least as dirty as some parts of Mayak, with fishing banned.

But a good place if you want to collect used nuclear fuel particles up to the size of sand grains on the beach, if we can believe the Guardian:

Anonymous said...

The only thing the "experts" at Dounreay can teach anybody is how to do a half-assed job and obfuscate the facts. TEPCO & JGOV don't need any help on those two points. The contamination at Dounreay is so extensive they gave up trying a complete clean up now they'll just do "as best as they can" which is Nucspeak for twiddling their thumbs and whistling at the sky while the taxpayer foots the bill.

m a x l i said...

Well, after you have proved that you are unable to do the little tasks, it is about time to get your hands on bigger tasks.

TechDud said...

...that way you can learn through bigger mistakes! :)

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