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news oct 28

news oct 28

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Published by: DeeanaF on Nov 15, 2011
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Study: Japan nuke radiation higher than estimated
In this March 15, 2011 photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co., smoke rises from the badlydamaged Unit 3 reactor, left, next to the Unit 4 reactor covered by an outer wall at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex in Okuma, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.) NEW YORK (AP) -- The Fukushima nuclear disaster released twice as much of a radioactivesubstance into the atmosphere as Japanese authorities estimated, reaching 40 percent of the totalfrom Chernobyl, a preliminary report says.The estimate of much higher levels of radioactive cesium-137 comes from a worldwide network of sensors. Study author Andreas Stohl of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research says the Japanesegovernment estimate came only from data in Japan, and that would have missed emissions blownout to sea.The study did not consider health implications of the radiation. Cesium-137 is dangerous because itcan last for decades in the environment, releasing cancer-causing radiation.The long-term effects of the nuclear accident are unclear because of the difficulty of measuringradiation amounts people received.In a telephone interview, Stohl said emission estimates are so imprecise that finding twice theamount of cesium isn't considered a major difference. He said some previous estimates had beenhigher than his.
In this March 12, 2011 image made from video from NTV Japan via APTN, smoke rises from Unit1 of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. (AP Photo/NTVJapan via APTN)The journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics posted the report online for comment, but thestudy has not yet completed a formal review by experts in the field or been accepted for publication.Last summer, the Japanese government estimated that the March 11 Fukushima accident released15,000 terabecquerels of cesium. Terabecquerels are a radiation measurement. The new report fromStohl and co-authors estimates about 36,000 terabecquerels through April 20. That's about 42 percent of the estimated release from Chernobyl, the report says.An official at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the Japanese government branch overseeingsuch findings, said the agency could not offer any comment on the study because it had not
reviewed its contents.It also says about a fifth of the cesium fell on land in Japan, while most of the rest fell into thePacific Ocean. Only about 2 percent of the fallout came down on land outside Japan, the reportconcluded.Experts have no firm projections about how many cancers could result because they're still trying tofind out what doses people received. Some radiation from the accident has also been detected inTokyo and in the United States, but experts say they expect no significant health consequencesthere.Still, concern about radiation is strong in Japan. Many parents of small children in Tokyo worryabout the discovery of radiation hotspots even though government officials say they don't pose ahealth risk. And former prime minister Naoto Kan has said the most contaminated areas inside theevacuation zone could be uninhabitable for decades.Stohl also noted that his study found cesium-137 emissions dropped suddenly at the time workersstarted spraying water on the spent fuel pool from one of the reactors. That challenges previousthinking that the pool wasn't emitting cesium, he said.
This satellite file image taken on March 14, 2011, and provided by DigitalGlobe shows thedamaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.(AP Photo/DigitalGlobe) ___ Online: New study: http://bit.ly/tFURSr (Mainichi Japan) October 28, 2011
Gov't expects more than 30 years to decommission Fukushimanuclear reactors
In this image released Saturday, April 16, 2011, by Tokyo Electric Power Co., top of the container 
of the nuclear reactor, painted in yellow, of Unit 4 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant isobserved from its side with a T-Hawk drone Friday, April 15, 2011 in Okuma, FukushimaPrefecture, northeastern Japan. (AP Photo/Tokyo Electric Power Co.)Japan is expected to take more than 30 years to fully decommission crippled nuclear reactors at theFukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, according to a draft report compiled by the Nuclear SafetyCommission of Japan obtained by the Mainichi on Oct. 26.It is the first time for the government's body to officially state that it is expected to take "more than30 years" to decommission the troubled No. 1 to 4 nuclear reactors. According to the draft report,the work to remove spent nuclear fuel from nuclear fuel pools would begin sometime after 2015,while the work to remove melted nuclear fuel from the reactors would start sometime after 2022.The draft report is expected to be endorsed at a study meeting on Oct. 28 of experts on medium- andlong-term measures.At the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, there are a total of 1,496 spent nuclear fuel rods inthe No. 1 to 3 reactors, while there are 3,108 fuel rods in the spent nuclear fuel pools of the No. 1 to4 reactors. In order to actually decommission the reactors, those fuel rods must be recovered, cooleddown and stored under stable conditions for a long time.According to the draft report, the work to decommission the reactors is expected to start as early asnext year after a "cold shutdown" is achieved by the end of this year. In order to recover meltednuclear fuel from the reactors, robots and other means would be used to decontaminate the interior of the reactor buildings before repairing damaged parts of the containment vessels. Furthermore, inorder to block radiation, the entire containment vessels would be filled with water so that the work to recover melted nuclear fuel could be started sometime after 2022.Meanwhile, damage to the fuel in the spent nuclear fuel pools is relatively minor, but the existingcranes cannot be used because the reactor buildings, except for the one for the No. 2 reactor, were badly destroyed by hydrogen explosions. Therefore, new cranes have to be brought in to start torecover the fuels sometime after 2015 after fitting out the temporary storage facility installed near the No. 4 reactor.
In this March 24, 2011 file aerial photo, taken by a small unmanned drone and released by Air Photo Service, the damaged Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant is seenin Okumamachi, Fukushima prefecture, northern Japan. (AP Photo/ Air Photo Service)In light of the fact that it took about 20 years to recover all fuels at the Three Mile Island nuclear complex, the draft report said it was estimated to take "at least more than 30 years to complete themeasures to decommission" the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. In order todecommission the reactors as early as possible, it is necessary to 1) positively accept opinions fromexperts abroad, 2) respond flexibly if the plans do not work properly, 3) put priority on research anddevelopment essential for the actual work to be done on the spot, and 4) cultivate engineers at

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