Monthly Archives: May 2014

Blatant Lies within the Nuclear ECCS Regulations and Practice

“As with Unit 1, a scram occurred, and the MSIVs were closed after the earthquake. The RCIC system was manually started a couple of times and automatically tripped because of a high water level in the RPV. After the tsunami, some DC power was also lost, just as in Unit 1; therefore, the HPCI system was lost. However, the RCIC system operated for ~70 hours. In general, one should not expect the RCIC system to run much beyond 8 hours in a station blackout (SBO). http://fukushima.ans.org/report/accident-analysis American Society Nuclear Society report. Admits components of the ECCS sub systems (RCIC) are designed to last 8 hours only.”

True. design life 8 hours for RCIC of ECCS.

Regulatory requirement for whole of ECCS:

http://www.nrc.gov/…/doc…/cfr/part050/part050-0046.html

UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

50.46 Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors ……http://www.nrc.gov/…/doc…/cfr/part050/part050-0046.html “(5) Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.”

end quote. EIGHT HOURS DESIGNED LIFE IS A BREACH OF THE ACCEPTANCE CRITERIA.

These design requirements were issued as a result of the Ergen Report into Emergency Core Cooling Systems (AEC, 1967) and these requirements were known PRIOR TO THE START OF WORK OF FUKUSHIMA DIIACHI REACTOR NUMBER ONE IN THAT SAME YEAR. THIS UNIT WAS BUILT BY GE, A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO THE ERGEN REPORT.

THEY KNEW THE REGS, AND INSTEAD OF DESIGNING AN ECCS SYSTEM THAT WORKED FOR MONTHS OR FOR ‘AS LONG AS REQUIRED”, IT WAS DESIGNED TO LAST A MERE EIGHT HOURS. AND THAT IS STILL THE CASE.

ANY REACTOR WITH ECCS NOT DESIGNED FOR ‘AS LONG AS NEEDED” BREACHES THE REGS.

These facts show that the design and the regs are mere PR.

How dare the nuclear industry, in Japan or anywhere else, blame a dead man, a brave man, Mr Yoshida, for the disaster at Fukushima Diiachi!!

Why wasnt he trained in ECCS? If he was he would have surely seen what Ralph Lapp saw in 1971. That reactors are unsafe and should be located away from people.

And that, as history reveals, is why Fukushima Diiachi is located in the midst of Japan’s food bowl.

Even so, it nearly took out Tokyo.

NEW YORK TIMES 12 DECEMBER 1971

THOUGHTS ON NUCLEAR PLUMBING

LAPP

LAPP

LAPP

LAPP

Advertisements

Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors

complicated crap written in the full knowledge that ECCS dont work:

http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/cfr/part050/part050-0046.html

UNITED STATES NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION

50.46 Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors
(a)(1)(i) Each boiling or pressurized light-water nuclear power reactor fueled with uranium oxide pellets within cylindrical zircaloy or ZIRLO cladding must be provided with an emergency core cooling system (ECCS) that must be designed so that its calculated cooling performance following postulated loss-of-coolant accidents conforms to the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. ECCS cooling performance must be calculated in accordance with an acceptable evaluation model and must be calculated for a number of postulated loss-of-coolant accidents of different sizes, locations, and other properties sufficient to provide assurance that the most severe postulated loss-of-coolant accidents are calculated. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, the evaluation model must include sufficient supporting justification to show that the analytical technique realistically describes the behavior of the reactor system during a loss-of-coolant accident. Comparisons to applicable experimental data must be made and uncertainties in the analysis method and inputs must be identified and assessed so that the uncertainty in the calculated results can be estimated. This uncertainty must be accounted for, so that, when the calculated ECCS cooling performance is compared to the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, there is a high level of probability that the criteria would not be exceeded. Appendix K, Part II Required Documentation, sets forth the documentation requirements for each evaluation model. This section does not apply to a nuclear power reactor facility for which the certifications required under § 50.82(a)(1) have been submitted.
(ii) Alternatively, an ECCS evaluation model may be developed in conformance with the required and acceptable features of appendix K ECCS Evaluation Models.
(2) The Director of Nuclear Reactor Regulation may impose restrictions on reactor operation if it is found that the evaluations of ECCS cooling performance submitted are not consistent with paragraphs (a)(1) (i) and (ii) of this section.
(3)(i) Each applicant for or holder of an operating license or construction permit issued under this part, applicant for a standard design certification under part 52 of this chapter (including an applicant after the Commission has adopted a final design certification regulation), or an applicant for or holder of a standard design approval, a combined license or a manufacturing license issued under part 52 of this chapter, shall estimate the effect of any change to or error in an acceptable evaluation model or in the application of such a model to determine if the change or error is significant. For this purpose, a significant change or error is one which results in a calculated peak fuel cladding temperature different by more than 50 °F from the temperature calculated for the limiting transient using the last acceptable model, or is a cumulation of changes and errors such that the sum of the absolute magnitudes of the respective temperature changes is greater than 50 °F.
(ii) For each change to or error discovered in an acceptable evaluation model or in the application of such a model that affects the temperature calculation, the applicant or holder of a construction permit, operating license, combined license, or manufacturing license shall report the nature of the change or error and its estimated effect on the limiting ECCS analysis to the Commission at least annually as specified in § 50.4 or § 52.3 of this chapter, as applicable. If the change or error is significant, the applicant or licensee shall provide this report within 30 days and include with the report a proposed schedule for providing a reanalysis or taking other action as may be needed to show compliance with § 50.46 requirements. This schedule may be developed using an integrated scheduling system previously approved for the facility by the NRC. For those facilities not using an NRC approved integrated scheduling system, a schedule will be established by the NRC staff within 60 days of receipt of the proposed schedule. Any change or error correction that results in a calculated ECCS performance that does not conform to the criteria set forth in paragraph (b) of this section is a reportable event as described in §§ 50.55(e), 50.72, and 50.73. The affected applicant or licensee shall propose immediate steps to demonstrate compliance or bring plant design or operation into compliance with § 50.46 requirements.
(iii) For each change to or error discovered in an acceptable evaluation model or in the application of such a model that affects the temperature calculation, the applicant or holder of a standard design approval or the applicant for a standard design certification (including an applicant after the Commission has adopted a final design certification rule) shall report the nature of the change or error and its estimated effect on the limiting ECCS analysis to the Commission and to any applicant or licensee referencing the design approval or design certification at least annually as specified in § 52.3 of this chapter. If the change or error is significant, the applicant or holder of the design approval or the applicant for the design certification shall provide this report within 30 days and include with the report a proposed schedule for providing a reanalysis or taking other action as may be needed to show compliance with § 50.46 requirements. The affected applicant or holder shall propose immediate steps to demonstrate compliance or bring plant design into compliance with § 50.46 requirements.
(b)(1) Peak cladding temperature. The calculated maximum fuel element cladding temperature shall not exceed 2200° F.
(2) Maximum cladding oxidation. The calculated total oxidation of the cladding shall nowhere exceed 0.17 times the total cladding thickness before oxidation. As used in this subparagraph total oxidation means the total thickness of cladding metal that would be locally converted to oxide if all the oxygen absorbed by and reacted with the cladding locally were converted to stoichiometric zirconium dioxide. If cladding rupture is calculated to occur, the inside surfaces of the cladding shall be included in the oxidation, beginning at the calculated time of rupture. Cladding thickness before oxidation means the radial distance from inside to outside the cladding, after any calculated rupture or swelling has occurred but before significant oxidation. Where the calculated conditions of transient pressure and temperature lead to a prediction of cladding swelling, with or without cladding rupture, the unoxidized cladding thickness shall be defined as the cladding cross-sectional area, taken at a horizontal plane at the elevation of the rupture, if it occurs, or at the elevation of the highest cladding temperature if no rupture is calculated to occur, divided by the average circumference at that elevation. For ruptured cladding the circumference does not include the rupture opening.
(3) Maximum hydrogen generation. The calculated total amount of hydrogen generated from the chemical reaction of the cladding with water or steam shall not exceed 0.01 times the hypothetical amount that would be generated if all of the metal in the cladding cylinders surrounding the fuel, excluding the cladding surrounding the plenum volume, were to react.
(4) Coolable geometry. Calculated changes in core geometry shall be such that the core remains amenable to cooling.
(5) Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.
(c) As used in this section: (1) Loss-of-coolant accidents (LOCA’s) are hypothetical accidents that would result from the loss of reactor coolant, at a rate in excess of the capability of the reactor coolant makeup system, from breaks in pipes in the reactor coolant pressure boundary up to and including a break equivalent in size to the double-ended rupture of the largest pipe in the reactor coolant system.
(2) An evaluation model is the calculational framework for evaluating the behavior of the reactor system during a postulated loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA). It includes one or more computer programs and all other information necessary for application of the calculational framework to a specific LOCA, such as mathematical models used, assumptions included in the programs, procedure for treating the program input and output information, specification of those portions of analysis not included in computer programs, values of parameters, and all other information necessary to specify the calculational procedure.
(d) The requirements of this section are in addition to any other requirements applicable to ECCS set forth in this part. The criteria set forth in paragraph (b), with cooling performance calculated in accordance with an acceptable evaluation model, are in implementation of the general requirements with respect to ECCS cooling performance design set forth in this part, including in particular Criterion 35 of appendix A.
[39 FR 1002, Jan. 4, 1974, as amended at 53 FR 36004, Sept. 16, 1988; 57 FR 39358, Aug. 31, 1992; 61 FR 39299, July 29, 1996; 62 FR 59726, Nov. 3, 1997; 72 FR 49494, Aug. 28, 2007]
Page Last Reviewed/Updated Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Obvious breaches of the above which occurred at Fukushima Diiachi on a repeat basis across multiple reactors at the same site at approximately the same time:

1. “Water injection commenced, using the various systems provide for this and finally the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS). These systems progressively failed over three days.” The World Nuclear Association http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/fukushima_accident_inf129.html this breaches para 5 as follows : “(5) Long-term cooling. After any calculated successful initial operation of the ECCS, the calculated core temperature shall be maintained at an acceptably low value and decay heat shall be removed for the extended period of time required by the long-lived radioactivity remaining in the core.”

Media and industry attributed the formation of hydrogen gas to the reaction of zircalloy with oxygen in water. The resulting explosions in all three reactors involves breaches of : (b)(1) Peak cladding temperature. The calculated maximum fuel element cladding temperature shall not exceed 2200° F. AND
(3) Maximum hydrogen generation. The calculated total amount of hydrogen generated from the chemical reaction of the cladding with water or steam shall not exceed 0.01 times the hypothetical amount that would be generated if all of the metal in the cladding cylinders surrounding the fuel, excluding the cladding surrounding the plenum volume, were to react.

Further the reactor cores are reliably reported to be blobs at the bottom of the reactor. These blobs are not amenable to cooling. This breaches :

(4) Coolable geometry. Calculated changes in core geometry shall be such that the core remains amenable to cooling.

and

(2) Maximum cladding oxidation. The calculated total oxidation of the cladding shall nowhere exceed 0.17 times the total cladding thickness before oxidation. As used in this subparagraph total oxidation means the total thickness of cladding metal that would be locally converted to oxide if all the oxygen absorbed by and reacted with the cladding locally were converted to stoichiometric zirconium dioxide. If cladding rupture is calculated to occur, the inside surfaces of the cladding shall be included in the oxidation, beginning at the calculated time of rupture. Cladding thickness before oxidation means the radial distance from inside to outside the cladding, after any calculated rupture or swelling has occurred but before significant oxidation. Where the calculated conditions of transient pressure and temperature lead to a prediction of cladding swelling, with or without cladding rupture, the unoxidized cladding thickness shall be defined as the cladding cross-sectional area, taken at a horizontal plane at the elevation of the rupture, if it occurs, or at the elevation of the highest cladding temperature if no rupture is calculated to occur, divided by the average circumference at that elevation. For ruptured cladding the circumference does not include the rupture opening.

The industry, the regulators and the media have failed to explain to the public why the ECCS in the afflicted reactors failed so miserably in three short days. From the time possibility of destructive failure realised to be possible (1967) industry and regulators commenced spending years claiming that ECCS would prevent containment failure and melt down. This, despite counter claims from equally verse independent scientists. The regulations imposed upon ECCS performance however were implemented even though there had any demonstration that they were sufficient.

In March 2011 a full scale demonstration of the ECCS in three reactors took place in Japan and the ECCS failed to comply with the performance parameters guaranteed for them. Multiple core breaches occurred, multiple hydrogen explosions occurred, multiple cladding failures occurred, multiple meltdowns occurred despite the regulatory edict by industry and regulators that such would be highly probable. Yet these same consequences occurred at the same site to 3 reactors at the same time from the same triggers. The best ECCS in each reactor could do was to hobble along for less than 3 full days before expiring.

Improbable or not. It happened. So shut them all down. The above regulatory requirement defines how close a reactor can come to explosion, containment breach, and melt down. The mechanism which allegedly (but not actually) prevents this terminal sequence is the ECCS. The whole story has not been explained and noone in the cheap seats, including me, has any real idea of why the ECCS failed to meet the above criteria. All I can say is the very grave concerns which were raised between 1967 and 1975 and later by opponents to the cobbled assurances of the regulators described in a detailed predictive fashion what would happen to a stricken reactor if the ECCS didnt work. Well, it happened. And nothing, not a dot, has changed one iota. GE comes out in public and says “Fukushima was an error”. Well, they have 30 days to write up the freaking correction. According to the above.

Finally, it can said that no matter how inadequate the above regulations are, the ECCS failed to meet them. The reactors were allowed to approach too close to containment failure by regulations in the first instance. The ECCS is defined as an independent self powered set of systems which are integral and separate from vulnerable systems. If in fact the ECCS SHARED any vulnerable, the whole idea of an ECCS as a last line of defence against containment breach (AEC) is a false one. No authority has explained why the ECCS failed. If it is because of “loss of ultimate heatsink” that is completely inadequate as the ECCS is stand alone, last line and fully independent. Including its heat sink. It is a complete fudge to invoke a technical jargon term to cover up the loss and failure of 3 ECCS units in the course of a multiple reactor disaster where those ECCS units were guaranteed to prevent such disaster in the first place. What lessons have been learned and implemented as result of the ECCS failures? Have any reactors fitted with ECCS been taken off line because of this clear multiple failure of ECCS to work as promised since 1967 and each day since?

The objective of nuclear reactors is to boil water to turn a turbine. Why is it then deemed appropriate to define an internal temperature of over 2,000 degrees F? Water boils at 212. Double that. That’s all that’s needed.
See also:

http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/short-history.html#core-cooling

Confirmation of the Failure of Emergency Core Cooling System at Fukushimma

The actual issue is not the actions of a dead man, but the fact that the nuclear industry has known for decades that ECCS will not work when needed, for as long as needed. And that is, for the period of time required to remove decay heat generated by the longest lived fission products in the reactor core. At best ECCS is designed to operate for 8 hours. Decay heat is generated for months.

Further, pressure build up prevents the correct operation of pumps and valves (Nader and Abbott, 1977).

What was world nuclear industry doing from Ergen, 1967 to March 2011? Lying about ECCS and trying to impose amnesia among those who might remember the truth.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201405230034

Fukushima plant chief admitted mishandling of reactor cooling system
May 23, 2014

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, Japan.

A wrong instruction issued by the manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant after an emergency cooling system failed possibly led to an early meltdown at the No. 1 reactor, documents show.

Before his death from cancer last year, Masao Yoshida told a government committee that he felt “regret” for making a “wrong presumption” in handling the critical situation in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

According to a copy of Yoshida’s testimony, recently obtained by The Asahi Shimbun, a worker at the plant’s central control room noticed that the cooling system, an isolation condenser (IC) attached to the No. 1 reactor, was losing its functions on the evening of March 11, 2011.

Suspecting that the condenser was losing cooling water, the worker requested that Yoshida, who was in the emergency response center, take steps to refill the condenser with water using a light oil-powered pump.

The No. 1 reactor lost electric power at 3:37 p.m., about an hour after the magnitude-9.0 quake jolted the plant compound.

The isolation condenser serves as a last-ditch measure to cool the reactor when ordinary pumps cannot operate due to a lack of outside power supplies and emergency generators.

Placed above the reactor vessel, it cools steam from the pressure vessel, condenses it into water and returns water into the reactor.

Steam is cooled as it passes through piping in a water-filled tank, which needs to be refilled after water evaporates in the process.

But Yoshida was unaware of how the mechanism worked, because it was the first time that an isolation condenser was operated at the plant in 20 years.

Not realizing that the worker’s request meant the isolation condenser was losing functions, Yoshida only instructed workers to continue preparations to pour water into the reactor vessel–an order that should have been given when the emergency cooling system was functioning.

In its report, the Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations of Tokyo Electric Power Co. concluded that “at the time there was nobody present in the plant who had years of experience in IC operations, not even training or experience in IC inspections.”

In his testimony, Yoshida said he “knew almost nothing about how to control IC,” adding that the condenser is “a unique system.” The lack of knowledge about the condenser made it difficult for him to grasp meaning of the request from the central control room, he added.

The testimony also showed that while Yoshida was widely hailed by the media as the “man who saved Japan,” he had a number of regrets in his response to the nuclear crisis. As for his response to the isolation condenser on the No. 1 reactor, he admitted he had an “overwhelming sense of regret” for not realizing what was an “SOS” from frontline workers.

He also testified that there was no “suggestion” of any kind from the headquarters of TEPCO, the operator of the plant, as to how the plant workers should manage the isolation condenser.

If Yoshida had been aware of the condenser’s mechanism and realized it had become dysfunctional, he could have taken steps to prevent the early meltdown at the No. 1 reactor, such as venting to handle the rising pressure in the reactor vessel and restoring the functions of the isolation condenser.

Yoshida only realized that the isolation condenser was possibly not functioning after reports showed a rise in radiation levels inside the No. 1 reactor building at around 10 p.m. on March 11, 2011.

The government’s analysis estimates that the core of the No. 1 reactor became damaged at around 6 p.m., and the reactor went into meltdown two hours later.

(This article was compiled from reports by Hideaki Kimura and Kyoko Horiuchi.)

end quote

the fact is the myth of nuclear safety has always been a myth.

full text of the Ergen Report, AEC, 1967:
http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2013/11/22/the-ergen-report-1967-eccs-meltdown-studies/

Full Text, Ralph Lapp, Mahhattan Project & AEC, Unsafe core cooling systems 1971 :

http://nuclearhistory.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/ralp-lapp-unsafe-core-cooling-systems-in-reactors-1971/

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201405230034

“Fukushima Heroes Actually Fled in Fear” : Murdoch Press

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fukushima-heroes-actually-fled-in-fear/story-fnb64oi6-1226926883925#mm-premium The Australian , Friday May 23, 2014 print edition page not given (typical), first page of “World” Section. “Fukushima heroes fled during meltdown” . Interesting variation from the NYT piece on the same topic (below). At the end of the article in the Australian, the following is added: “It was noon before the workers started to return. In that time, just 69 people were on the site, venting radioactive steam from reactor No. 2, and tackling a fire at reactor No. 4.”

1. Nice to know that the world industry that has since 2011 labelled people seeking the truth and responding as best they can in Japan and around the world to the crisis as being “irrational, unqualified, radiophobes”, has been in fact the ones fasting truthphobia, public awareness phobia, and congential deceptive behaviour, whereas those with the most knowledge at the site, in the vast majority, fled in panic from the danger they KNEW to be present as a lethal danger despite the 50 years of propaganda spooned out to a gormless media and public.

2. “tackling the fire at reactor No.4” : Ever since the the disaster occurred in March 2011, nuclear industry officials and their political subordinates in government and political parties, the media and propagandists on the net have flatly denied that any significant radio-nuclide exhaust escaped from the reactors. If the reactor 4 was on fire, and if the the reactor containment was sealed, why did the fire a. take hold 2. emit radio-nuclide exhaust? In fact, despite the protestations of nuclear dictators around the world, it was not the reactor No 4 which was on fire, it was the spent fuel pool which was venting radio nuclide exhaust directly into the open air.
3. At the time the world industry and media and politicians were a. calling the people of Japan “unqualified radiophobes” the experts were fleeing for their lives in panic and all the while nuclear authorities were withholding the fallout cloud path data from the people of Japan and the world.

Who in their right mind would trust such bastards?

Credibility Questions on Fukushima : The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/22/opinion/credibility-questions-on-fukushima.html?_r=0

Credibility Questions on Fukushima

By THE EDITORIAL BOARDMAY 21, 2014

At the most dire moment of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant three years ago, nine-tenths of the employees, including executives, panicked and fled the plant following an explosion.

So reports one of Japan’s most prestigious newspapers, The Asahi Shimbun. This report, based on previously undisclosed testimony by the plant manager, Masao Yoshida, is in direct conflict with the official account of that fateful day provided by the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco. It calls into question the truthfulness of both the company and, indeed, the government, which even now is trying to persuade the public to go along with the reopening of 48 nuclear reactors shut down after the accident, which traumatized the country.

The official version of events is that workers left the plant in a disciplined manner and retreated to another facility a few miles away — leaving behind a small band of intrepid workers who risked their lives to prevent the crisis from getting worse. According to the newspaper, Mr. Yoshida told investigators that he and 68 other employees had remained behind but that the flight of the others had been anything but orderly, contrary to company propaganda. Tepco’s official report states that Mr. Yoshida had ordered an evacuation to the undamaged Fukushima Daini plant about 6 miles away, but the newly revealed testimony indicated that he gave no such order and that the workers fled on their own. Mr. Yoshida died of cancer last year.

Japan’s nuclear industry has always acted under a veil of secrecy. One obvious imperative after the Fukushima disaster was for the government and the nuclear industry to be more transparent. But, even now, transparency seems to be elusive. And without it, ordinary citizens can hardly be expected to support the government’s plans. This latest revelation should jolt the Japanese public out of its creeping complacency about nuclear safety and demand proof from the government that it is proceeding with the utmost caution.

A version of this editorial appears in print on May 22, 2014, in The International New York Times.

Nuclear Exhaust – Tepco pumps rad water to sea.

Really cutting edge science. Turn the coast of Japan and god knows what else into a nuclear sewer. 75 years after the atom was first split this is the best that nuclear science can do. Despite their 75 years of propaganda to the contrary.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/21/fukushima-groundwater-pacific-nuclear-power-plant

Fukushima Daiichi begins pumping groundwater into Pacific

Tepco hails ‘major milestone’ in cleanup operation three years after earthquake and tsunami damaged reactors at nuclear plant

in Tokyo

theguardian.com, Wednesday 21 May 2014 21.08 AEST
 

The operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has started pumping groundwater into the Pacific ocean in an attempt to manage the large volume of contaminated water at the site.

Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said it had released 560 tonnes of groundwater pumped from 12 wells located upstream from the damaged reactors. The water had been temporarily stored in a tank so it could undergo safety checks before being released, the firm added.

The buildup of toxic water is the most urgent problem facing workers at the plant, almost two years after the environment ministry said 300 tonnes of contaminated groundwater from Fukushima Daiichi was seeping into the ocean every day.

The groundwater, which flows in from hills behind the plant, mixes with contaminated water used to cool melted fuel before ending up in the sea. Officials concede that decommissioning the reactors will be impossible until the water issue has been resolved.

The bypass system intercepts clean groundwater as it flows downhill toward the sea and reroutes it around the plant. It is expected to reduce the amount of water flowing into the reactor basements by up to 100 tonnes a day – a quarter – and relieve pressure on the storage tanks, which will soon reach their capacity.

But the system does not include the coolant water that becomes dangerously contaminated after it is pumped into the basements of three reactors that suffered meltdown after the plant was struck by an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

That water will continue to be stored in more than 1,000 tanks at the site, while officials debate how to safely dispose of it. The problem has been compounded by frequent technical glitches afflicting the plant’s water purification system.

Tepco and the government are also preparing to build an underground frozen wall around four reactors to block groundwater, although some experts doubt the technology will work on such a large scale. The utility is also building more tanks to increase storage capacity.

Dale Klein, a senior adviser to Tepco, recently warned the firm that it may have no choice but to eventually dump contaminated water into the Pacific.

The first groundwater release went ahead after Tepco assured local fishermen that levels of radioactive isotopes were far lower than those permitted in drinking water by the World Health Organisation.

Tepco described the move as a “major milestone”, adding: “The water’s quality is monitored regularly by independent third parties using safety and environmental standards more stringent than those set by Japanese law.”

The release comes after a Japanese newspaper revealed that almost all of the workers who were at Fukushima Daiichi when a reactor building exploded in March 2011 panicked and fled, defying orders to remain at the site.

The small number of workers, along with firefighters, and soldiers – nicknamed the Fukushima 50 – who did stay behind, working in shifts around the clock to cool nuclear fuel, have been fêted for their heroics.

But the Asahi Shimbun, citing leaked transcripts of testimony from the plant’s then manager, Masao Yoshida, revealed this week that of the 720 workers present when a reactor building exploded on 15 March, 650 fled to another power plant about six miles (10km) away. Yoshida died of cancer last July.

While the Fukushima cleanup continues, government plans to restart some nuclear reactors were in doubt on Wednesday when a court ordered the operator of a plant in western Japan not to put the facility back online, citing safety concerns.

In a rare victory for anti-nuclear campaigners, the court in Fukui prefecture said Kansai Electric Power should not restart two reactors at Oi nuclear power plant.

All of Japan’s dozens of nuclear reactors are idle after being shut down for safety checks in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

“Plaintiffs have rarely won. This is right in the middle of the restart process … it could have very well have repercussions,” said Aileen Mioko Smith, executive director of Green Action.

Kansai Electric said it would appeal against the decision. 

Speaking up to save children from nuclear fallout is not a crime

A decision regarding whether to prosecute journalist and nuclear activist Mari Takenouchi is expected very soon!!!

Please sign the petition below expressing your support!

Office of the Prosecutor, Iwaki Branch, Fukushima Japan: Support Mari Takenouchi and Radiation Protection
https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Office_of_the_Prosecutor_Iwaki_Branch_Fukushima_Japan_Support_Mari_Takenouchi_and_Radiation_Protection/

FAX the Prosecutor:

Prosecutor, Mr. Eiji Masuhara
Fukushima Local Prosecutors’ Office Iwaki Branch,
FAX: 81-246-24-1071(international) 0246-24-1071 (domestic)

How a Single Tweet Could Land a Japanese Nuclear Activist in Jail
https://news.vice.com/article/how-a-single-tweet-may-land-a-japanese-nuclear-activist-in-jail

Save Kids Japan (Blog)
http://savekidsjapan.blogspot.com/

Save Kids Japan (SaveKidsJapan) on Twitter
https://twitter.com/SaveKidsJapan

Save Kids Japan on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Kids-Japan/219109294798976