The Tonka Report

Real News In A Changing World

TEPCO Refuse Chernobyl Approach To Resolving Fukushima Crisis

with 2 comments

April 10, 2011: The Mainichi Daily News Editor’s / The Mainichi Daily News – April 8, 2011

There is clearly some other hidden agenda with regard to this decision by TEPCO for not entombing the site, and it’s not just the money. Something else is going on there– SJH

It may take 10 years to start removing damaged nuclear fuel from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, but the plant’s operator is adamant not to bury the damaged reactors while fuel remains in them, a company official has told the Mainichi.

“We will not bury the site while radioactive materials remain. We will definitely remove the fuel,” Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) adviser Toshiaki Enomoto told the Mainichi in an interview, stressing that the company would not bury the reactors in concrete in a “stone tomb” approach like the one adopted at Chernobyl.

TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata has announced plans to decommission the plant’s No. 1 through 4 reactors. Normally it takes 20 to 30 years to decommission a reactor, but the process at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is expected to take even longer as workers must start by developing specialized equipment to remove damaged fuel.

Enomoto said that for the time being the ongoing process of injecting water into the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors at the plant was essential. “There is no other option but to inject water. We want the fuel to stop melting,” he said.

The plant’s residual heat removal system could take a month to get up and running again, Enomoto said. An additional cooling system will also be constructed but it is expected to take several months before the reactors can be brought to a cold stop.

A facility to purify contaminated water responsible for radioactive leaks to a level where it can be released will be constructed from this month. At the same time measures will proceed to have radioactive material contained within the reactor buildings within a few months, Enomoto said. At this stage, evacuation orders applying to local bodies around the plant are expected to be reviewed.

Enomoto said nuclear fuel at the plant could not be removed using conventional methods for two reasons: The reactor buildings are damaged, and measures are needed to prevent the spread of radiation; and 25 to 70 percent damage has occurred to the fuel rods in the No. 1, 2 and 3 reactors. New methods to remove the fuel must be developed, and it will take 10 years before workers can start removing fuel, he said.

Commenting on TEPCO’s response to the disaster, Enomoto said, “Problems that we had not predicted happened one after another. Even inspecting the site has been difficult, and this accumulation of events has been responsible for the work not going as we have hoped.”

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that it took five years for workers to be able to open a pressurized container following the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station accident in March 1979, when about 45 percent of the nuclear reactor fuel melted. It was another six years before the removal of nuclear fuel was completed. Dismantling work has still not yet begun.

Enomoto graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Engineering and entered TEPCO in 1965. He worked at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant four times, including when the No. 1 reactor was started up on a trial basis in 1970. He resigned as executive vice president and head of the company’s nuclear power headquarters in 2002 over the cover-up of nuclear reactor trouble.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Cover-Up

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: Is not covering up the reactor’s all about saving money and the fuel, or extricating a covert “weapons program” at the expense of world health as radiation continues to be released? Either way, there is something very sinister happening in Japan by not covering these reactors… – SJH

Are Japanese Elite Hiding A ‘Weapons Program’ Inside Fukushima?

Link to original article below…

2 Responses

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  1. Entombing the plant, with the fuel still in it, requires sealing off the underside of the plant.
    It can’t be done since TEPCO stupidly built it on the coastline. Excavating under the plant is impossible because the Pacific Ocean would intrude into any excavation.

    Anomalous Howard

    April 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm

  2. Anomalous Howard,

    Burying the site would at least stop the enormous radiation being released into the atmosphere. Release into the ocean at this point is a different ballgame.

    That would in turn at least give them time, as with Chernobyl when the Russians tunneled underneath their reactor, to somehow seal the structure and entomb it from top to bottom.

    There really is no other exceptable and legitimate option at this point. This is Chernobyl on steroids times six reactors…

    – SJH

    Steven John Hibbs

    April 12, 2011 at 12:48 am

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