Fukushima 117... 5/3/2018-5/17/2018

May 17, 2018

  • Tepco posts its latest quarterly safety reform plan overview. TEPCO continues to implement nuclear safety reforms and initiatives designed to “keep the Fukushima Nuclear Accident firmly in mind.” On April 1 at Fukushima Daiichi, D&D Engineering welcomed Akira Ono as a new president. On March 30, the Niigata Headquarters created the “Mamoru (protect), Sonaeru (prepare), Kotaeru (respond) Action Plan” (aka “Action Plan”) to show the company’s desire to become more involved with the people of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa region and Niigata Prefecture. For more on the latest quarterly report, click on the following link. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu18_e/images/180516e0101.pdf
  • Japan says it will need all possible nukes by 2030. The Advisory Committee for Natural Resources proposed the country maintain a previously set target of generation at 20-22 percent. The target could be met by restarting all the nukes now in the planning stage and finishing those now under construction. Thought not mentioning more construction, the possibility is clearly implied. According to other reports, without new construction or expansion of existing plants it would be difficult to fulfill the target quotas. https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2018/05/16/More-nuclear-power-needed-by-2030-Japan-says/6941526488687/
  • Ohi unit #4 was shuttered last Thursday afternoon due to a low steam generator water level alarm. The shutdown occurred while ramping up its power level following its restart. It turns out that a water level monitor had malfunctioned, causing the automatic shutdown. After the monitor was fixed, the startup resumed at 1:35am on Friday. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180511/p2a/00m/0na/024000c
  • Tokyo approves an anti-terrorist plan for Sendai station. Japan's nuclear regulator Okayed the plan to build terrorism-response facilities for Sendai unit #1. The plan insures there are no problems in a system to remotely cool the reactor if a large aircraft were to be crashed into the containment building. In addition, the designs are appropriate for the plumbing and valves used to direct cooling water to the reactor from a tank yet to be built. Details of the plan cannot be disclosed for security reasons. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180516_12/

May 10, 2018

  • Ohi unit #4 becomes the eighth Japanese nuke to restart. Control rods were slowly, sequentially pulled early Wednesday morning. Criticality occurred early today. Power generation and transmission are expected Friday. Commercial operation is scheduled for early June. With Ohi unit #3, two units are now running at Ohi station. Continued operation for both units is nebulous since the 2014 injunction was passed against them in Fukui District Court. The ruling was not finalized and is under appeal at the Kanazawa branch of Nagoya High Court, making this restart possible. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180509_30/ -- https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180509/p2g/00m/0dm/086000c
  • Former NRA Chair Kunihiko Shimazaki testified that the Fukushima accident was preventable. Shimazaki served on a committee at the Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion from 1995 to 2012 and played a pivotal role in the compilation of a long-term assessment on the probability of major earthquakes. He is an eminent Japanese Seismologist. In 2002, he compiled an earthquake forecast that a 15.7 meter tsunami for F. Daiichi was possible. The forecast was submitted to Tepco and unheeded because the Cabinet Office in Tokyo took issue with "the range in credibility of the data” of the quake forecast, which Shimazaki labeled as a "non-scientific” conclusion. The testimony was offered at the ongoing trial of three Tepco executives alleged to be responsible for the deaths of 44 2011 evacuees by not following Shimazaki’s 2002 forecast. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180510/p2a/00m/0na/017000c -- http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201805100060.html
  • The second session of JAIF Annual Conference was held on April 10 where representatives from each of the nuclear vendors present were asked to discuss why their companies had entered the international nuclear field, their strategy and activities, and the prospects seen for the global nuclear market. The said that despite the socio-political aftermath of the Fukushima accident, the presenters were cautiously optimistic. The third session of the conference was held the following day, with presentations by representatives from four Japanese and foreign manufacturers on the innovations required for nuclear energy to continue to play an important role into the future. The moderator stated that it is necessary to innovate for the future through cooperation across different fields. He concluded by evoking the words of young physics enthusiast Taylor Wilson who said, “Innovation will come when other young people are shown that nuclear power is an exciting field.” http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/51st-jaif-annual-conference-session-3-innovations-in-nuclear-power/ --  http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/51st-jaif-annual-conference-session-2-promotion-of-international-activities-by-nuclear-vendors/
  • Young employees with game pad experience are a valuable commodity with damaged fuel removal. Those who have used the pads to play video games can operate them to take full command of detailed operations. The game pads are suited for remote operation of robots in areas humans cannot reach. Hiroaki Anekawa, senior project manager at Mitsubishi’s Advanced Nuclear Plant & Fuel Cycle Engineering Department, said, “They’re relatively cheap and available for several thousand yen, plus they easily cope with small movements. Young workers in their 20s and 30s are good at handling them.” A game pad was used to control the robots for recent inspections of the unit #2 and unit #3 pedestal areas.  http://the-japan-news.com/news/article/0004412433
  • JAIF Chairman Takashi Imai says Japan needs both nuclear and renewables to meet its energy needs. He said this as he addressed the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum Annual Conference on April 9&10. Imai stressed that renewable energy and nuclear power are essential for Japan to have from a stable, inexpensive supply of electricity, while addressing global warming issues. He added that he was concerned about use of fossil-fueled power plants and their CO2 emissions, but also because they harm the national economic burden. It is his belief that nukes are needed, more than anything else! http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/jaif-chairman-says-renewable-and-nuclear-energy-both-needed-in-the-future/

May 3, 2018

  • Tepco greatly reduces the areas where protective attire is required at F. Daiichi. Nearly all locations external to the plant buildings will no longer require anti-contamination clothing for workers. Eight of the contamination measuring points have less than detectible levels of radioactive substances, and the ninth is so low that it is well below a level where Anti-Cs will be needed. This means that ~96% of the station’s external environs require only regular working clothes. https://www4.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2018/images/handouts_180426_01-e.pdf
  • Six foreign technical trainees are found to have been working at F. Daiichi. This violates TEPCO's decision made last February to not to let such trainees work at the nuclear station, because of pressure from government agencies. The six were hired by a subcontractor, that had them burning wood and other debris working until late last month at a facility outside the radiation controlled area. Radiation levels are so low that the trainees did not have to wear personal dosimetry, and were not given training on how to protect them from exposure. Regardless, this goes against the purpose of Japan's technical intern training program. A Tepco official says, "We deviated from our independent rules on employment. We will make our subcontractors thoroughly check the terms of their contracts." https://jen.jiji.com/jc/eng?g=eco&k=2018050100772 -- https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2018/05/bedd09794f9a-foreign-trainees-worked-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant-despite-ban.html

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