Fukushima News 11/12/13:
Published on Nov 12, 2013
NRA finishes checks before fuel removal
Japan’s nuclear watchdog has finished facility checks before the removal of nuclear fuel from a badly damaged reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Removing the fuel units is the first milestone in a decommissioning project that’s estimated to take about 40 years. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, plans to decommission 4 damaged reactors.
The firm is preparing to remove 1,533 fuel units from a storage pool in the plant’s No.4 reactor, which stores the most fuel units among the 4.
On Tuesday, officials from the Nuclear Regulation Authority told the utility that they found no problems with a crane, the building’s cover, and various facilities. The regulators had been checking since September.
Experts call for change in radiation measuring
A panel of experts is urging the Japanese government to change the way it measures radiation exposure for evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear accident when they return home.
The panel at the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Monday endorsed draft proposals covering state support for people who want to return to their homes near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The proposals call on authorities to allow evacuees to return only after yearly radiation levels in their communities have fallen to below 20 millisieverts.
The proposals also say it should be a long-term aim to bring annual exposure levels for people to one millisievert or less.
To date, officials have estimated exposure based on radiation levels in the environment. But the panel says they should measures exposure by equipping individuals with radiation monitors called dosimeters.
Offshore wind farm test starts off Fukushima
Japan’s largest offshore wind power generation facility has begun a test run off Fukushima Prefecture. The prefecture is trying to recover from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent nuclear accident.
The industry ministry started the experimental power generation 20 kilometers off Naraha Town.
Govt., TEPCO target Fukushima water leaks
Officials from the Japanese government and the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have agreed on measures to protect the plant from heavy rainfall. They are hoping to limit leaks of radioactive water.
Senior Vice Industry Minister Kazuyoshi Akaba said an unusually large number of typhoons and storms over the past month caused radioactive water to leak outside of the facility.
Representatives of the government and TEPCO discussed the issue at a meeting in Fukushima Prefecture on Monday.
They decided to fasten drainage pipes to the top of storage tanks by the end of March, 2014. The pipes are expected to stop about 60 percent of rain water from flowing into barriers surrounding the tanks.
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