Skip to main content

Tuesday Update

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) continued efforts Tuesday to stop the flow of radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.
On Saturday, workers found a crack in a concrete enclosure used to carry electric cables near reactor 2. Since then, TEPCO has attempted to seal the crack with concrete and with an absorbent polymer, with no success.
A colored liquid tracer was injected into the system of enclosures Monday to determine the flow path of the water. The test showed that the radioactive water may be leaking from a cracked pipe, and then seeping through gravel into the concrete enclosure. Today, TEPCO is taking a new approach: sealing gravel under the enclosure with liquid glass. TEPCO has not yet announced the outcome.
To free up storage space for highly radioactive water in a waste disposal tank, TEPCO has begun to discharge 11,500 tons of low-level radioactive water into the ocean. The utility will use the tank to hold highly radioactive water that has accumulated in the basements of the reactor 1, 2 and 3 turbine buildings.
Small fish caught in waters south of Fukushima prefecture have been found to contain radioactive cesium. The Ibaraki Prefecture government said 14 picocuries of radioactive cesium was detected in one kilogram of sand lances. The acceptable limit is 13.5 picocuries per kilogram. This is the first time radioactive cesium has been found in fish at a level above the government limit.
Workers continue to inject cooling water into reactors 1, 2 and 3. In addition, spent fuel pools for reactors 1-4 are sprayed with fresh water as needed to keep them cool. (See NEI's video, "Spent Fuel Storage in Pools at Nuclear Energy Plants," for more information about how these pools work.)
NRC Chairman Jaczko: U.S. Nuclear Plants Are Safe
Events in Japan will inform future activities of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, its chairman said. “We already have begun enhancing inspection activities through temporary instructions to our inspection staff, including the resident inspectors and the inspectors in our four regional offices,” Gregory Jaczko told participants in a regular international review of nuclear safety, now convened in Vienna.
He said the NRC has asked licensees to verify that their abilities to mitigate conditions due to severe accidents—including the loss of major operational and safety systems—are in effect and operational, including a total loss of electric power, flooding, and damage from seismic events.
The NRC is “confident about the safety of U.S. nuclear power plants,” Jaczko said.
New Video on Emergency Preparedness
NEI has uploaded a new video to its YouTube channel: "Emergency Planning and Coordination at Nuclear Energy Plants." The video features NEI's Director of Emergency Preparedness Sue Perkins-Grew who explains emergency planning zones and how state and local authorities coordinate their responses during an emergency.


Anonymous said…
The link "Spent Fuel Storage in Pools at Nuclear Energy Plants," points to some Exchange thing.. I doubt that's correct. Copy/pasted from an email?
Horizon3 said…
Ehhh just a correction to make, it was probably a translation error.

The sealing material they are attempting to use is not "liquid glass" it's water glass, ie sodium metasilicate or sodium silicate.

I don't give it much chance of working though, as to be an effective sealant it has to get to the temperature of boiling water 210-220degF.
Is the water in the leaking pipe that hot?
Anonymous said…
Hi there. Why didn't the Japanese nuclear power company put the low level radioactive water into another storage unit instead of discharging into the ocean? With the overall negative PR about the radiation leak, wouldn't the public fear increase when the water is released instead of being contained further?

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

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.


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…