Tag Archive: Tokyo Electric Power Company


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Japan Today

TEPCO rejected requests for anti-tsunami steps before nuclear crisis
A crane works on the building covering No. 1 reactor (L) at the TEPCO’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in this file photo. Reuters

 

TOKYO —

Tokyo Electric Power Co turned down requests in 2009 by the nuclear safety agency to consider concrete steps against tsunami waves at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered a tsunami-triggered disaster two years later, government documents showed Friday.

“Do you think you can stop the reactors?” a TEPCO official was quoted as telling Shigeki Nagura of the now-defunct Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, who was then assigned to review the plant’s safety, in response to one of his requests.

The detailed exchanges between the plant operator and regulator came to light through the latest disclosure of government records on its investigation into the nuclear crisis, adding to evidence that TEPCO failed to take proper safety steps ahead of the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

According to records of Nagura’s accounts, Nagura heard TEPCO’s explanations of its tsunami estimates at the agency office in Tokyo in August and September 2009 as it was becoming clear that the coastal areas of Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures were hit by massive tsunami in an 869 earthquake.

TEPCO said the height of waves was estimated to be around 8 meters above sea level and will not reach the plant site located at a height of 10 meters, they show.

But Nagura said he remembered thinking pumps with key cooling functions, which are located on the ground at a height of 4 meters, “will not make it” and told TEPCO, “If this is the outcome, you better consider concrete responses.”

 

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RT

Fukushima leaks radioactive water after Typhoon Etau busts drainage system

© Toru Hanai

 

Flooding from Typhoon Etau has caused new leaks of contaminated water to flow from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean. The incident came after a rush of water overwhelmed the site’s drainage pumps.

Typhoon Etau brought lashing rains, floods and storm winds to Japan. Tens of thousands of Japanese people have been ordered to leave their homes across the country.

 

 

File:Shinzo Abe cropped.JPG

Shinzo Abe

 Author  :  U.S. federal government

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The Japan Times

Fukushima No. 1 boss admits plant doesn’t have complete control over water problems

by Yuka Obayashi

Reuters

The manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has admitted to embarrassment that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water, eight months after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the world the matter had been resolved.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, has been fighting a daily battle against contaminated water since Fukushima No. 1 was wrecked by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Abe’s government pledged half a billion dollars last year to tackle the issue, but progress has been limited.

“It’s embarrassing to admit, but there are certain parts of the site where we don’t have full control,” Akira Ono told reporters touring the plant last week.

He was referring to the latest blunder at the plant: channeling contaminated water into the wrong building.

Ono also acknowledged that many difficulties may have been rooted in Tepco’s focus on speed since the 2011 disaster.

“It may sound odd, but this is the bill we have to pay for what we have done in the past three years,” he said.

“But we were pressed to build tanks in a rush and may have not paid enough attention to quality. We need to improve quality from here.”

The Fukushima No. 1 plant, some 220 km northeast of Tokyo, suffered three reactor core meltdowns in the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

The issue of contaminated water is at the core of the clean-up. Japan’s nuclear regulator and the International Atomic Energy Agency say a new controlled release into the sea of contaminated water may be needed to ease stretched capacity as the plant runs out of storage space.

But this is predicated on the state-of-the-art ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) project, which removes the most dangerous nuclides, becoming fully operational. The system has functioned only during periodic tests.

As Ono spoke, workers in white protective suits and masks were building new giant tanks to contain the contaminated water — on land that was once covered in trees and grass.

A cluster of cherry trees is in bloom amid the bustle of trucks and tractors at work as the 1,000 tanks already in place approach capacity. Insulation-clad pipes lie on a hill pending installation for funneling water to the sea.

“We need to improve the quality of the tanks and other facilities so that they can survive for the next 30 to 40 years of our decommission period,” Ono said, a stark acknowledgement that the problem is long-term.

Last September, Abe told Olympic dignitaries in Buenos Aires in an address that helped Tokyo win the 2020 Games: “Let me assure you the situation is under control.”

Tepco had pledged to have treated all contaminated water by March 2015, but said this week that was a “tough goal.”

 

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The Japan Times

ALPS unit hit by toxic water overflow

Around 1.1 tons of highly radioactive water overflowed from a waste container at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex while the experimental ALPS radiation-filtering system was being cleaned, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has reported.

The overflow at the trouble-plagued water treatment system was noticed at about 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, and no one was contaminated, Tepco said. The water was retained by a barrier and inside the building where the Advanced Liquid Processing System is housed, it said.

The water was giving off around 3.8 million becquerels of beta-particle-emitting substances per liter, Tepco said.

 

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TEPCO accidentally floods wrong building with 200 tons of radioactive water at Fukushima plant


TEPCO accidentally floods wrong building with 200 tons of radioactive water at Fukushima plant

Approximately 200 tons of highly radioactive water were redirected to the wrong building at the disaster stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant on April 14 when pumps that were not supposed to be used were incorrectly turned on, this according to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO). The plant’s officials assured that there were no other channels the contaminated water could leak out of from the building, but the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) ordered the utility to monitor for leakage just the same.

TEPCO said that the highly contaminated water – used for cooling the molten down reactors – has been wrongly directed to a group of buildings that house the central waste processing facilities. The embattled operator said that the basements of these buildings were supposed to function as emergency storage for contaminated water anyway, but the water was not supposed to be directed to the buildings at this point. Fukushima workers noticed something was wrong on April 10, as the water levels in buildings that should have been pumping out water were noticed to be going up instead of down.

 

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Published on Mar 27, 2014

Error suspected in spent fuel removal trouble
TEPCO officials say a worker mistakenly tried to operate the crane with an auxiliary brake on. Noticing the error, he released the brake and retried, but the crane failed to operate once the warning lamp had gone on.

Govt.’s new plan for Fukushima waste storage sites
Japan’s government has shown Fukushima officials a new plan to build interim storage facilities for contaminated soil and other radioactive waste.
The plan calls for reducing the number of towns to host the facilities in Fukushima Prefecture from 3 to 2, following demands by local governments.

Water treatment system halted again
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has halted one of the 3 lines of the key water treatment system at the complex.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the line of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, was suspended on Thursday morning after workers found possible signs of abnormality in the water to be fed into the facility.

TV: More workers rushed to hospital at U.S. nuclear site — 17 sickened in past week — Former Employee: “It’s pretty scary… to have this many in 8 days is really abnormal” — Company: We’re trying to understand what’s happening (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/tv-more-workers-ru…

Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”
http://enenews.com/mexicans-concerned…

Reports: “Experts agree many species of wildlife and fisheries are endangered globally due to large release of radioactivity into ocean” at Fukushima — “Has Fukushima radiation entered New Zealand ecosystem?”
http://enenews.com/reports-has-fukush…

[100m3 overflow] No information obtained about a potential suspect / Tepco practically give up investigation
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/10…

Tanks are decontaminated by human workers getting inside
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/ta…

Tepco “There may be multiple sources of groundwater contamination”
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/te…

Japan Defends Retaining Large Stockpile of Plutonium
http://www.nationaljournal.com/global…

The Fukushima Fallout
Hunting for Hope Amid the Ocean’s Biggest Nuclear Disaster Ever
http://www.independent.com/news/2014/…

[ALPS] Entire system shut down → Reboot → New leakage → Shut down again
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/al…

[100m3 overflow] Tritium density in groundwater spiking up 60m east from the overflowed tank
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/10…

M5.4 hit South part of Japan on 3/26/2014 / Possible aftershock not recorded by Meteorological Agency for some reason
http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/03/m5…

Texas nuclear disposal site steps in to store WIPP-bound waste
http://www.currentargus.com/carlsbad-…

TV: US Senators want federal agents near WIPP to check if safe; “A lot more people could have been hurt a lot worse” — Public “skeptical whole truth about environmental risks shared” — Report: “It will shut WIPP down for a year or more, and now everyone is talking about maybe WIPP is no good” (VIDEO)
http://enenews.com/tv-us-senators-wan…

Fissile Materials
http://fissilematerials.org/library/g…

 

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Oregon Public Broadcasting

Hanford Fumes Lead Some Workers To Seek Medical Attention

Northwest News Network | March 25, 2014 6:31 p.m.

 

Anna King, Northwest News Network

 

Some workers from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s tank farms were transported to a Richland hospital Tuesday morning.

 

Many employees have been complaining of feeling ill after smelling chemical vapors this week.

Hanford is home to large underground tanks grouped into herds called “farms.” They contain a toxic brew of 56 million gallons of radioactive sludge and industrial chemicals — the leftovers from plutonium production during WWII and the Cold War.

This past week, several batches of workers have complained of smelling vapors during their normal operations. Some of them were examined at Hanford’s own medical center. But two sickened workers were sent to Richland’s hospital and released later.

Washington River Protection Solutions, the company that employs these tank farm workers, acknowledges that Hanford tanks do generate vapors that are vented into the air. The company says it has safety procedures in place and is monitoring the vapors in the farms.

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Full Washington River Protection Solutions statement:

 

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Published on Mar 26, 2014

Trouble stops fuel removal at nuclear plant
Work has been suspended to remove spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool at a reactor building in the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Tokyo Electric Power Company said an accident occurred at around 9:30 AM on Wednesday when workers started removing fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building.
The utility explained a large crane used to hoist a cask containing 22 spent fuel units from the storage pool suddenly halted before lifting the cask. Workers were attaching a hook to the crane’s wire at that time.
The company says no rise in radiation levels have been observed around the pool.
Workers are now trying to find out what caused the problem.
TEPCO began removing fuel units from the storage pool of the No.4 reactor in November of last year. The pool held 1,533 units of fuel, of which 1,331 are highly radioactive spent fuel.
As of Tuesday, 550 fuel units had been removed and transferred to another storage pool.

Japan faces challenges on nuclear material
Japan faces a number of challenges in reducing its stockpiles of nuclear material to prevent its exploitation by terrorists.
Japan agreed in a joint statement with the United States on Monday at the Nuclear Security Summit to return stocks of plutonium provided by other countries for research purposes in the 1960s.
The supply includes 331 kilograms of plutonium from the US used for fast critical assembly experiments.
The United States is collecting nuclear material to prevent terrorists from acquiring it.
Japan also maintains a stockpile of about 44 tons of plutonium recycled from spent nuclear fuel.
The amount would be enough to make about 5,500 bombs according to calculations by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The plutonium is meant to be used as fuel for nuclear power generation, but the accident in March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has put all reactors in Japan offline.
Japan also lacks a law requiring background checks for workers at nuclear facilities.

Leaders aim to minimize nuclear material stocks
World leaders have agreed to try to minimize stocks of weapons-grade uranium and other sensitive materials as a way to counter nuclear terrorism.
Leaders from more than 50 countries adopted a communique at the end of the 2-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Tuesday.
The Hague communique also calls on nations to keep their stockpile of plutonium to the minimum level. It urges political and financial support for the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Japan announced at the summit that it will remove all highly enriched uranium and plutonium from a research facility and hand them over to the United States for disposal.
Japan has used the materials for research on a fast reactor with cooperation from the US.

Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return
http://enenews.com/inside-source-govt…

Nearly a dozen Hanford employees sick from unknown fumes
http://www.king5.com/news/investigato…

N.Korea fires ballistic missiles
South Korea’s defense ministry says North Korea fired 2 ballistic missiles towards the Sea of Japan early on Wednesday morning.
Ministry officials say the North launched the missiles from an area north of Pyongyang.

Blockage cleared for Fukushima water bypass
http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-…

NRC Events
http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-col…

How safe is the DOE’s WIPP nuclear dump when sinkholes open in New Mexico?
http://www.examiner.com/article/how-s…

Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”
http://enenews.com/mexicans-concerned…

Federal oversight chair questions safety at Carlsbad’s WIPP nuke dump
http://www.examiner.com/article/how-s…

Nuclear reactor threatened by cuts
http://www.timesunion.com/local/artic…

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry
http://nuclear-news.net/

 

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Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the US

Published time: March 24, 2014 17:37
Edited time: March 26, 2014 12:07

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Reuters/Gleb Garanich

Japan agreed to transfer a share of its highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium stockpiles to the US as part of the global effort to secure nuclear materials. Other nations are also urged to deposit excess nuclear materials in the US.

On the eve of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, US and Japanese leaders arranged a deal on “final disposition” in the US of well over 300 kilograms of weapons grade plutonium and an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that will be “sent to a secure facility and fully converted into less sensitive forms.”

This quantity of plutonium is enough to produce 40-50 warheads. The total quantity of HEU currently stocked in Japan is estimated at approximately 1.2 tons. According to The New York Times, some 200 kilograms of HEU is currently designated for the US.

After Barack Obama announced in Prague in 2009 an ambitious agenda to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the American president has been pressing his foreign counterparts, both in Asia and Europe, demanding they either get rid of their excess nuclear materials via the US, or tighten security of stockpiles at home.

Two more countries, Belgium and Italy, have also agreed to hand over excess nuclear materials to the US and issued separate joint statements with the White House, Reuters reported.

“This effort involves the elimination of hundreds of kilograms of nuclear material, furthering our mutual goal of minimizing stocks of HEU and separated plutonium worldwide, which will help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials,” US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement released by the White House on Monday.

There is no information whether the deal between Japan and the US has a financial side; nuclear materials, of course, have a solid market value.

 

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Mexicans concerned, anxious about WIPP radiation release — City of 2.5 million nearly 200 miles away “within transnational evacuation zone in event of a nuclear disaster” — Local officials meeting with U.S. gov’t — Whistleblower: If plutonium released “surrounding population should take precautions”

Published: March 26th, 2014 at 1:27 pm ET
By

U.S. Radiation Leak Concerns Mexicans, by Kent Paterson,  Editor of Frontera NorteSur and Curriculum Developer with the project of the Center for Latin American and Border Studies at New Mexico State University (NMSU), Mar. 24, 2014: Serious problems at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico have caught the eyes of the press and government officials in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico [Population: 2.5 million]. […] Since February 14, additional radiation releases [from WIPP] connected to the original one have been reported, even as more workers are still awaiting test results for possible radiation exposure during the first event. Although Ciudad Juarez is located nearly 200 miles from WIPP, city officials expect to meet with U.S. government representatives on March 26 or 27 to discuss ongoing issues from the February 14 incident. A story in El Diario newspaper said that Ciudad Juarez (and neighboring El Paso and Las Cruces) were well within a transnational evacuation zone in the event of a nuclear disaster. While WIPP spokespersons say that the radiation releases have been minimal and pose no danger to public health, Mexican officials are anxious to hear the message in person. […] Despite U.S. and Mexican government reports of little or no radioactive contamination from the WIPP leak, public doubts about the gravity of the February 14 incident persist due to incomplete contaminant data reporting, the slowness in getting all the potentially exposed workers tested and informed, spotty or contradictory statements by regulatory officials, and uncertainties over the origin of the radiation leak and how far an area it has impacted. […] Back in the 1990s, Ciudad Juarez and U.S. environmentalists from the Rio Bravo Ecological Alliance took a stand against WIPP based partly on concerns that the underground storage facility would eventually contaminate the Pecos River Basin and the Rio Grande.

 

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Published on Mar 25, 2014

Fishermen approve groundwater diversion plan
A federation of fishermen in Fukushima prefecture has approved a plan to divert groundwater away from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and into the sea.
The government and the plant’s operator –Tokyo Electric Power Company — developed the scheme as a measure to manage the increasing volume of radioactive water at the plant.
Every day, about 400 tons of groundwater flows into the reactor buildings and becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to cool the melted nuclear fuel.
Under the plan, groundwater will be brought above ground with pumps and released into the sea, bypassing the reactor buildings.
The government and TEPCO estimated the method would reduce the volume of contaminated water by about 100 tons per day. They asked local fishermen to consider the plan.
The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations gave its approval and conveyed the decision to the government and TEPCO officials at a meeting in Iwaki city on Tuesday.
Fisheries co-operatives in Iwaki and Soma cities had already approved of the plan.

Abe vows to take lead for better nuclear security
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pledged to play a key role in promoting nuclear security. He says Japan learned a lot from the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
He made the remarks at a plenary session of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the Netherlands, on Monday. 53 leaders are taking part.
Abe said Japan will continue its efforts domestically and internationally to strengthen measures for nuclear security. He said the country will advance nonproliferation and disarmament worldwide and work towards the abolishment of nuclear weapons.

Reactor maker execs to serve decommissioning body
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it will appoint senior industry officials to a new division tasked with decommissioning.
Tokyo Electric Power Company will launch the internal division, separate to its power generating business, on April 1st.
The new body will specialize in decommissioning the nuclear plant and dealing with a massive buildup of contaminated water.
TEPCO says senior officials from Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will work as executives to advise the body’s top official.
The 3 makers are helping to deal with problems at the troubled plant, such as developing robots to operate in high radioactivity and removing spent nuclear fuel.
TEPCO hopes that by inviting the personnel, the new body can make better use of their expertise.
TEPCO and the Japanese government plan to start removing fuel from the most damaged reactors in 6 years at the earliest.

TEPCO restarts water treatment system
Engineers at Tokyo Electric Power Company have restarted a key water treatment system at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Two of the 3 lines of the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, were suspended on Monday after workers found water leaking from one of the storage tanks.
The workers changed the packing on a side hatch of the tank. They resumed operation of the 2 lines on Tuesday afternoon after confirming that no water was leaking.

Inside Source: Gov’t officials are withholding Fukushima radiation data — Levels much higher than expected — Releasing numbers would “have a huge impact” — Over 2,000 millisieverts per year where residents are being encouraged to return
http://enenews.com/inside-source-govt…

Radioactive water from Fukushima nears Pacific
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/video/…

Radiation Alert! Northern Plains Radiation Higher Than Fukushima
http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/…

Radiation Expert: 5 types of plutonium were released from WIPP; Officials not informing public — Caldicott: “I predict that facility will never be able to be used again”; Inhaling a millionth of a gram of plutonium will induce lung cancer
http://enenews.com/radiation-expert-5…

Navy to test Treasure Island homes for radiation
http://www.sfgate.com/politics/articl…

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MissingSky101 MissingSky101·

(CC)Fukushima Fallout: Ailing U.S. Sailors Sue TEPCO After Exposure to Radiation P2-2

MissingSky101 MissingSky101

Published on Mar 20, 2014

Part 1 of 2 Fukushima Fallout: Ailing U.S. Sailors Sue TEPCO After Exposure to Radiation 30x Higher Than Normal

Three years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, scores of U.S. sailors and marines are suing the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, for allegedly misleading the Navy about the level of radioactive contamination. Many of the servicemembers who provided humanitarian relief during the disaster have experienced devastating health ailments since returning from Japan, ranging from leukemia to blindness to infertility to birth defects. We are joined by three guests: Lieutenant Steve Simmons, a U.S. Navy sailor who served on board the USS Ronald Reagan and joined in the class action lawsuit against TEPCO after suffering health problems; Charles Bonner, an attorney for the sailors; and Kyle Cleveland, sociology professor and associate director of the Institute for Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University’s Japan campus in Tokyo. Cleveland recently published transcripts of the Navy’s phone conversations about Fukushima that took place at the time of the disaster, which suggest commanders were also aware of the risk faced by sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan.

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/3/19…

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