Sunday, August 2, 2015

(Video) Fuel Handling Machine Wreckage Removed from #Fukushima I NPP Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool

without incident, despite the extremely dense summer fog. Some in Japan had hoped for a failure and disaster (or so they said on Twitter) so that the restart of nuclear power plants would be halted.

From TEPCO's Facebook post (8/2/2015):

The removal of the FHM (Fuel Handling Machine) marks a large milestone in the cleanup effort at Unit 3. The FHM has been one of the biggest debris and obstacles to retrieve from Unit 3’s spent fuel pool and this accomplishment shows that significant progress is being made

Posted by Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (TEPCO) on Sunday, August 2, 2015


Stock said...

His 65B number is amazing because it matches my spreadsheet calculations I did a few weeks back at 64.8B cost to complete and operate for 30 years.

That results in a cost of 15 cents per kWH

Data is here, you can download the spreadsheet too if you wish.

netudiant said...

The FHM removal is a clear demonstration that Japan is gradually chipping away at the residue of the Fukushima disaster.
The water cleanup is in pretty decent shape apart from tritium, the leaking tunnels are getting effectively grouted and the reactor SFPs are getting cleared .
Still a very long ways to go, but the site is reasonably contained, with emissions maybe a millionth of the initial daily rate, so now a chronic issue rather than a catastrophe.
Looks to be a $100B plus cost though, even with the niggardly compensation granted the evacuated. Making a repeat impossible will have to be the top priority of any future reactor design.

Anonymous said...

The site will be contained when the coriums are located and contained!


Another worker dead at FD this week. Removing the fuel handling machine at SPF3 is just such a tiny insignificant step forward - no reason to expect that the catastrophe at FD will realistically 'improve' for decades to come.

Hanging a few of those primarily responsible might make some of us feel better.

Otherwise, it's just 'busy-work' - lots of activity but not much can be accomplished until the coriums are located and removed, and that's not gonna be happening anytime this century.

netudiant said...

Containing the corium is a very fuzzy criterion. I don't think it has been done at Chernobyl, yet that accident is considered contained.
Meanwhile, Fukushima has improved dramatically from the perspective of site emissions, with more improvement in the pipeline.
Of course I agree that it would be better if the corium was located and removed, but that is a long ways off. Meanwhile TEPCO is now doing a decent job of filtering and decontaminating most of the site emissions. That is real progress and should be recognized.

Anonymous said...

Chernobyl is a little different thus:
Russian govt quickly evacuated people from the area. There is no discussion of returning people to the exclusion zone.

Russian govt quickly started tunnelling under reactor to contain corium.

The corium is fully documented and located at Chernobyl.

You don't see Russian govt taking the roof off of the sarcophagus to do maintained r work at Chernobyl. The site is relatively undisturbed. However there is a fairly urgent need to replace the entire sarcophagus. It is beginning to show signs of failure and if it were to collapse, the radiological effects would not be dissimilar to the original accident.

Chernobyl is not bleeding radiation into the Pacific, or any other ocean. Fukushima is still haemorrhaging radiation into the sea.

All-in-all, it's a fool who declares that fukushima is under control and everything is progressing well. But that seems to be the Japanese way of obfuscation, denial and outright lie.

netudiant said...

To dismiss real progress as 'busy work' and to slur an entire people because a monstrous accident is not cleaned up as much after four years than is a much lesser accident after 30 years seams both mean spirited and unwarranted.
Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness is still good advice.

Anonymous said...

I'm not complaining that the accident is not cleaned up after 4 years. I don't believe it will be cleaned up in either your or my children's' lifetimes.

However, I do believe any right minded person would feel justifiably outraged given the catalogue of errors, and the litany of lies that still continue to emerge,

For example: the new muon scanners designed to be fitted into unit 2 to attempt don't fit! one has to ask how supposedly bright people could be so remiss. It lends credence to the supposition that possibly tepco still don't want to admit that the coriums have long since departed the containment vessel.

For example: how can a govt be allowed to cajole, blackmail,and generally attempt to force its' citizens to move back into the heavily contaminated surrounds of fukushima.

For example, how can the people of Japan let Abe's outrageous lie stand, when he tells the IOC that all radiation leaks are confined to the port of fukushima?

For example: How can the govt of Japan attempt to cajole medical professions to downplay radiation effects on the population ? Many, many doctors are outraged.

Mean-spirited? I think exposing the lies for just what they are is essential. If a few suffer from hurt feelings, it is nothing compared to the many who are suffering, and are yet to suffer the effects of radio toxicity.

The glass is unfortunately not half full and no amount of spin can belie the facts.

The people of Japan get the government they deserve. Those of us not in Japan have every right to feel justifiably outraged at the pathetic attempts of Japan to downplay a catastrophe that has long lasting implications for every living creature.

At times like these, watching Abe yesterday talk about the world abolishing nuclear weapons when he is trying to restart Japan's nuclear reactors as fast as he can is simply sickening.

Netudiant, perhaps you should consider the wisdom of defending the indefensible.

netudiant said...

The accident was horrendous and the clean up requires unprecedented innovation. That alone ensures that many mistakes will happen. Still, the emissions have been drastically reduced, so much so that the next 50 years will not equal what was spewed out in the first month. That is a real success, won at great cost, using a forcibly transient work force, because their exposure maxes out quickly. Toiling in an horrendous environment, encased in plastic during the heat of summer, it is unsurprising that people die. That is also an indication that the effort is not a fake for show, as suggested.
In terms of trying to allow people to move back to some locations, I'm skeptical of the more extreme claims of radiation danger. There are substantial areas, in India, Iran, China and Brazil among others, where ambient radioactivity is at least as high, with no discernible health effects.

I do think the Japanese government very much wants to avoid creating a ghetto area, unsurprising given the social damage experienced by the A bombing survivors. Whether they are going about it effectively is of course less clear.
Likewise, the conflation of nuclear disarmament with a renewed dependence on nuclear power does jar. Even though one can sympathize with a government up to its eyeballs in debt scratching for any forex savings they can find by ending the need for imported boiler fuel, Hiroshima day seems a poor time to consider the issue. .

Anonymous said...

Netudiant, why don't you set the example and move to fukushima if you feel it is so safe. Eat the local produce, breathe the air, drink the local water, and come back and tell us in a year how you feel.

You preface your ridiculous proposition by talking about ambient radioactivity in China, India etc as if all poisons were equally poisonous.

id rather eat a naturally radioactive banana than ingest one atom of Strontium 90, Polonium, Xenon xx, or any of the thousands of man-made, unnaturally occurring radio-isotopes, some with half lives of millions of years, and many proven to be incredibly toxic in minute quantities.

What next? You gonna promote the hormesis fantasy.?

Where's my can of 'shill-be-gone' spray when I need it lol

Anonymous said...

@ Netudiant,
You manage every time to compare completely different things and try to let them look the same in such a way that it makes Japan always looks better. How much are you getting paid to write these nonsense all the time?

Anonymous said...

Replying to anon:

>Russian govt quickly evacuated people from the area.

It took two to three weeks for the Soviet government to evacuate the towns within the 30km radius, and several years to inform people in regions further away--like Gomel--that they were living in contaminated zones.

The only town that was evacuated relatively quickly was Pripyat, but that was next door to the reactor and it still took them a whole day to start moving people out.

Anonymous said...

netudiant said...

For anonymous at Aug 9, 2015 at 11.31pm.
Radioactive particles do not differ between man made and 'natural' and it matters not whether a particle comes from thorium decay in Brazil or reactor material decay in Japan. Dose makes the poison and the evidence for very low dose damage is indeed weak, because people don't live long enough for that damage to become statistically visible. Note also the risk of toxicity from radioactive materials is usually trumped by their radioactivity, you will usually succumb to radiation poisoning rather than toxicity.

Meanwhile, I repeat that the Japanese have gradually largely mitigated this disaster's emissions and they are making substantial progress on cleaning out the spent fuel pools. That is a huge achievement that must be recognized.

The corium beneath Fukushima will take decades to locate and remove. That means a very long term site cleanup, which is only getting started. But that is no reason to stay paralyzed. Indeed, Japan has an example, the US cleanup counterparts, which are at our old nuclear sites in Hanford and in Idaho, where we already have multi decade cleanups in process.

In sum, there is lots to criticize, but that should not close our eyes to the work accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the old 'dose is dose' argument, which takes no account of ingested particles and their chemical and biological half life residency in an organism.

Netudiant, you really are a fuckwit. Give us all a break and stop spewing this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

And you are the most ignorant and inconsiderate commenter on these boards. Netudiant has done nothing but provide rational, sceintifically-supported commentary in the face of rabidly dogmatic and unkind posters, much like yourself. Dose is the entire argument, and most certainly does take into account ingestion of radiation - that is the whole point of the dose argument.

Anonymous said...

Dose is not dose when tepco constructively tries at every opportunity to obfuscate, withold and lie about dose.

Anonymous said...

Nobody has to rely on Tepco for information. Why does everyone assume Tepco is the sole source of informatoin?

Greenpeace Japan is also monitoring atmospheric radiation, ground radiation, and is measuring radiation in food. Other independent entities are as well.

Anonymous said...


Jan Vande Putte, radiation specialist with Greenpeace Belgium said: “The forests of Iitate are a vast stock of radioactivity that will remain both a direct hazard and source of potential recontamination for hundreds of years. It’s impossible to decontaminate.”

Dr Fairlie, Aug 20, 2015: Fukushima… Thousands More Will Die… [It's] difficult for lay people and journalists to understand what the real situation is… The 2013 UNSCEAR Report has estimated that the collective dose to the Japanese population from Fukushima is 48,000 person Sv: this is a very large dose… it can be reliably estimated… that about 5,000 fatal cancers will occur in Japan in future from Fukushima’s fallout… Plus similar (unquantified) numbers of radiogenic strokes, CVS diseases and hereditary diseases

Anonymous said...

So, according to Dr. Fairlie, the whole accident would if anything cause about 5,000 fatal cancers in total over the next decades. Meanwhile, tens of thousands die every year in Japan because of regular air pollution, so maybe we should pay more attention to that instead of continuing playing the radiation bogeyman.

Hell, probably stopping the nuclear reactors killed more people than the accident itself because of the increased use of oil and coal to generate electricity.

Anonymous said...

...'tens of thousands die every year in Japan because of regular air pollution'


Anonymous said...

The source is the World Health Organization report on Public Health and the Environment, which has individual profiles per country with estimates for the year 2004. I don't know if I can post links here, but if you google "WHO environmental burden of diseases country profiles" you should find the list of countries and a short report including estimated deaths per year caused by outdoor air pollution. For Japan the number is 24,700 deaths per year.

For comparison, Fairlie predicts 5000 fatal cancers during the following several decades? If that were true -- and we will never know because that number will get lost within the overall cancer trends and statistical fluctuations and is by definition unfalsiable -- the whole accident in Fukushima Daiichi is going to cause even less fatalities than regular air pollution during a single quarter.

So, once again, if our aim is to save lives in Japan, what should we be focusing on and to what initiatives should we redirect our resources?

Anonymous said...

"Fatal cancer" is not the only kind of cancer and the term does not take into account still births, spontaneous abortions, birth defects and many other types of harm to human health.
Other kinds of cancer (i.e., leukemia) may have to be fought for much of an individual's life. Quality of life matters - just ask the children of Chernobyl who live lives of disease.
Cancer is only one of the illnesses caused by irradiation. Doesn't dementia concern you? How about the suppression of the immune system so that individuals die of diseases they would have otherwise survived?
Some of the contaminants are going to be toxic for thousands of years. While I am skeptical of his initial prounouncement of 5000 deaths in several decades, I recall that plutonium and other of the more serious isotopes will be killing people for thousands of years.

NYUltraBuddha said...

Is your previous administration e-mail address still working? I don't see it listed here. I sent a message to there.

Anonymous said...

Anon at Aug 31, 7:00, but you are now comparing apples and oranges. If air pollution causes 24,700 deaths a year, how many non-fatal illnesses and quality-of-life damaging cancers, birth defects, etc... is it causing?
I'm also not impressed by your claim that plutonium will cause deaths for thousands of years. It will be in the environment for thousands of years, just as it is in the environment now as a result of nuclear testing. To claim that the plutonium released by Fukushima will cause deaths for thousands of years is to make a claim that isn't supported by anyone's analysis.

Anonymous said...

It's a pity we don't get so exercised about Tepco's insupportable claims. Now we understand that between 70% and 100% of the fuel in FD 2 melted down, and that there is no evidence of fuel remaining in the reactor pressure vessel.

Was the fuel already molten when FD2 exploded?

Was it vapourised and ejected in that explosion?

I suspect we'll soon be told that the remains of the corium ate its way through the concreted containment structure and is now only 'contained' by the ground water table that surrounds it.

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Why don't you write about this anymore? Are you scared of the Jap government?

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Unknown said...

The inverse square law is used to formulate external exposure of radiation using distance and time as factors. In the law itself it says that this law does not apply to extended sources of radiation. Meaning that if the source point is not in one place in space and time then the law can not be used as the source point has changed to wherever that radioactive material has ended up and therefore then turns into the source point that the law must start from. Your exactly right not only do they not know all of the transuranics that exist but know where they all ended up to then use the inverse square law.

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