Skip to main content

Thursday Update

From NEI’s Japan Earthquake launch page:

UPDATE AS OF 11 A.M. EDT, THURSDAY, APRIL 21:
As workers continue to pump cooling water into the reactors and used fuel pools at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, they also continue to deal with contaminated water at the site.

A particular problem has been the leakage of highly radioactive water on the turbine building side of reactor 2. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) workers this week completed injecting liquid glass and cement-based grout to seal a concrete enclosure outside the building. They also installed iron plates at the screen room of reactor 2 and silt fences in front of the screen rooms of reactors 1-4. TEPCO is placing sandbags in strategic locations around the site.

Workers also continued to pump water out of the reactor 2 turbine building into a tank at the on-site waste processing facility. This is a slow-moving process estimated to take 26 days. In all, TEPCO estimates that 67,500 tons of radioactive water has accumulated at the plant.

Robots detected high levels of radiation hazardous to humans over even a short amount of time in buildings for reactors 1 and 2. Reactor 3 also was surveyed, but radiation levels weren’t available. Cameras on the robots showed debris on the floors of the buildings that could hamper work after the radiation is controlled.

New Video Posted
NEI has uploaded a new video to its YouTube channel. The video, "INL Director Discusses the Future for Nuclear Energy in the United States," features the Idaho National Laboratory's Director John Grossenbacher, who explains that the United States should develop its energy policies based on an assessment of the current events at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactors and the costs and benefits of providing electricity through various energy sources.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…