Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nuclear Leaks 25: Radioactive Digest

Fallout Brown © (2013) by Theamat. Reproduced with kind permission.

What's new in the nuclear industry? Here is a round up. Bear in mind that the reports mentioned below come from pro-environmental, anti-nuke critics who are generally dismissed as 'alarmist' by nuclear industry counter-critics and government monitors. In the latter's favour, some commenters on anti-nuke Web pages indulge in New World Order conspiracy theories. With that debate in mind, this is the latest on what the 'alarmists' are saying.

Among the alarmists is Professor Takeda Kunihiko of Chubu University, who declares (based on incredibly flimsy evidence) that Japan will be uninhabitable by March 2015. From Fukushima Diary: 
Prof. Takeda Kunihiko from Chubu university roughly estimated anyone can no longer live in Japan after 3/31/2015. According to his explanation, the yearly dose will reach 5mSv/y (External dose and the slight internal dose) in 3 years and 4 months from January of 2012.
Let us hope he is wrong. This catastrophe would be both unimaginably tragic and a source of local, possibly international, conflict. One of the commenters on a related ENE report wonders: "What's the clock set at for the North American west coast? How long will it take for their allowance of the 80% of the radioactive contamination to rain out or wash up on the coast? [R]adioactive releases are continuing and will not end soon with Tepco at the helm." Someone answers: "[T]he so-called "safe" limit was recently hiked way up by the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency]. So we are not set for public warnings. The West Coast cannot possibly be safe ongoing, but it will probably take ongoing work to dig out the readings. Someone who does A LOT of that is Michael Collins on enviroreporter.com."

From a 29 May 2013 report, see below a picture of an inverted traffic cone and duct tape used to divert leaking materials at Fukushima Reactor 4. An ENE commented on the report: "I don't know how many times I have to tell TEPCO that foil tape is much better." Another commenter answered: "Foil tape is far too expensive. This is an economy operation."

Fukushima Reactor #4 patch job. Image Source: ENE Energy News.

Meanwhile, in California, they have been using masking tape, plastic bags and broomsticks to divert non-radioactive water leaks at Unit #3 of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The report below is from December of 2012. From an ABC report, picked up by ENE:
An inside source gave Team 10 a picture snapped inside the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) showing plastic bags, masking tape and broom sticks used to stem a massive leaky pipe. ... Records obtained by Team 10 show SONGS staff were concerned about “hundreds of corrosion notifications” and “degraded equipment” throughout the plant. Staff sent a letter to management saying SONGS “clearly has a serious corrosion problem” in pipes throughout the plant. Inside Sources [state:]
  • “If that’s nuclear technology at work and that’s how we’re going to control leaks I think the public should know”
  • Sources also pointed to what appears to be corrosion on the pipe as a sign of the power plant’s age
  • They claim rust is rampant throughout SONGS — including what sources call a fire suppression pipe, which protects both units
  • “We are dealing with unknown territory here which has never been explored before”
  • Two inside sources called restarting SONGS “risky”
  • “This is nuclear, this should be tip top”
  • “Everything in that plant should be tip top, not bottom of the barrel”
You can see a report about San Onofre's serious problems from the LA Times here.

San Onofre patch job and degraded equipment report: ABC Local News 10 via ENE Energy News.
Read more »