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Tepco finishes installing Fukushima ice shield equipment via The Japan Times

[…]

Frozen soil would act as a barrier to prevent fresh groundwater from running beneath the buildings and picking up radioactive particles.

A total of 1,568 pipes have been dug into the ground. They will carry a refrigerant liquid chilled to minus 30 degrees Celsius. The government and Tepco hope to switch on the barriers by the end of March.

Currently, 450 tons of water are becoming tainted every day — a volume that must be pumped out, stored and filtered.

Tepco believes that the ice shield will reduce the flow significantly, bringing the daily total down to 150 tons. It began installation work in June 2014.

The success of the project is not assured. The Nuclear Regulation Authority is monitoring it closely as the shields may lower the level of groundwater around the reactor buildings, potentially triggering a release of contaminated water that is currently sitting in the buildings’ basements.

Read more at Tepco finishes installing Fukushima ice shield equipment

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丸川環境相「何の根拠もなく」 原発事故、松本で講演 via 信毎web

 丸川珠代環境相は7日、松本市内で講演し、東京電力福島第1原発事故を受けて国が原発周辺などで行っている除染で、基準となる年間被ばく量を1ミリシー ベルトとしている点について、「『反放射能派』と言うと変ですが、どれだけ下げても心配だと言う人は世の中にいる。そういう人たちが騒いだ中で、何の科学 的根拠もなく時の環境大臣が決めた」などと述べた。

国際放射線防護委員会(ICRP)は、一般人の通常時の被ばく量を年間1ミリシーベルトと勧告している。

(略)

丸川氏は、国が行う除染の基準は厳し過ぎるとし「(除染が終わらないため)帰れるはずの所にいまだに帰れない人がいる」とも主張した。

全文は丸川環境相「何の根拠もなく」 原発事故、松本で講演

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小泉氏「廃炉は国民の常識」 福島・いわき市の講演で訴え via 東京新聞

 東京電力福島第1原発事故で多くの避難者が生活する福島県いわき市で10日、小泉純一郎元首相が約1300人を前に講演し「福島の原発を全て廃炉にするのは国民の常識。福島をお手本に、やりがいがあり夢がある原発ゼロを目指して頑張ろう」と訴えた。

第1原発の6基は廃炉が決まっているが、福島第2原発の4基は、県が再三にわたって廃炉を求めているにもかかわらず、東電は方針を示していない。

小泉氏は、事故後、原発に頼らず生活できていることに触れ「原発ゼロは空想でも幻想でもない。事実が証明している」と強調。

続きは小泉氏「廃炉は国民の常識」 福島・いわき市の講演で訴え

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Pierce County residents petition against federal project via WRAL.com

— Pierce County residents who fear a proposed federal project might be a step toward nuclear waste disposal in the area are circulating a petition aimed at showing their concern.

[…]

The Pierce County Commission last week placed a moratorium on deep bore hole drilling in the county and scheduled a Feb. 16 public meeting to further discuss the project. Project opponents in the meantime are collecting petition signatures, KXMC-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1SFL0or ).

“I keep (the petition) in my back pocket and as I travel around Pierce County and the Rugby area and the surrounding communities, we’re going to be out talking to the people and getting their support on the petition to stop the project,” farmer Dallas Hager said.

Chuck Volk, who farms less than 2 miles from the proposed drilling site, said he asked 117 people at a recent farm show to sign the petition, and 114 of them did.

Read more at Pierce County residents petition against federal project

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Half-Built Nuclear Fuel Plant in South Carolina Faces Test on Its Future via The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Time may finally be running out on the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, a multibillion-dollar, over-budget federal project that has been hard to kill.

The Energy Department has already spent about $4.5 billion on the half-built plant near Aiken, S.C., designed to make commercial reactor fuel out of plutonium from nuclear bombs. New estimates place the ultimate cost of the facility at between $9.4 billion and $21 billion, and the outlay for the overall program, including related costs, could go as high as $30 billion.

Officials warn that the delays in the so-called MOX program are so bad that the plant may not be ready to turn the first warhead into fuel until 2040.

[…]

“The administration must complete construction of MOX — the only viable method at this time of disposing of the plutonium,” Mr. Wilson said in a statement.

Two companies involved with the plant’s construction are among Mr. Wilson’s biggest contributors, according to campaign records. Chicago Bridge and Iron, one of the two companies that own the main contractor for the facility, gave $10,000 to Mr. Wilson’s 2014 re-election campaign, and the other owner, Areva Group, donated $8,000, according to campaign records.

[…]

The Energy Department would like to move that nuclear waste to a facility near Carlsbad, N.M., where it would be stored deep underground in salt formations. The administration says it can get rid of the weapons material under the alternative approach for about $300 million to $400 million a year, compared with $800 million to $1 billion a year under MOX.

“There have been several independent analyses that have concluded that the MOX fuel approach for plutonium disposition will be significantly more expensive and take longer than anticipated,” said John J. MacWilliams, a top Energy Department official. “The analyses also all confirmed that there is an alternative option that would be less than half the cost of the MOX fuel approach.”

Still, the administration faces big obstacles before it can make the switch. It will have to persuade the Russian government to agree to modify the agreement to allow the United States to change its method for disposing of the plutonium.

Another hurdle is the New Mexico underground storage facility, which has been closed for two years because of a 2014 leak of radioactive material. Once it reopens, the Energy Department will have to obtain legal and regulatory approvals to store the plutonium waste there, and that will mean winning over New Mexico’s political leaders, who are not yet convinced.

Read more at Half-Built Nuclear Fuel Plant in South Carolina Faces Test on Its Future

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福島第1原発、遠い廃炉 震災5年も現場に深い爪痕 via 日本経済新聞

 日本経済新聞は9日、東日本大震災に伴う事故から間もなく5年を迎える東京電力福島第1原子力発電所を取材した。敷地内の放射線量は下がり、廃炉作業の環境は改善しているが、津波や水素爆発など惨事の爪痕はいまも残る。今世紀半ばを見込む廃炉の完了に向けた道は険しい。

続きは会員限定サイト福島第1原発、遠い廃炉 震災5年も現場に深い爪痕

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Explore Chernobyl in Virtual Reality via Reality Streaming

April 26, 1986

Pripyat, Ukraine

Chernobyl remains one of only two level 7 events on the International Nuclear Event Scale. With the new Chornobyl360 virtual reality documentary about the event. This will be a living documentary, over time the team behind it is hoping to add additional material and with VR technology getting better every day, I’m betting there may also be some enhancement of existing scenes in the future. Some of the new content will be restricted to platforms like Oculus, Playstation VR, HTC Vive. Keep an eye out for their Kickstarter being launched on February 8th.

[…]

Crew Behind Chornobyl360

The team behind this documentary is more than 15 people including Producer Kirill Pokutnyy, Editor Alona Stulii, Sound Designer Evgeniy Vaschenko, to professionals from fields in cinematography and coding. Here is some of the behind the scenes in creating the documentary.

[…]

Historic Footage

If you haven”t had your fill of Chernobyl from that trailer, here is another video to keep you going until the new VR app is released.

Read more and watch the video clips at Explore Chernobyl in Virtual Reality

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Indian Point reactors contaminate New York groundwater via The Ecologist

Highly radioactive tritium has leaked into groundwater at the Indian Point nuclear site 40 miles north of Manhattan, New York, write Sam Thielman & Alan Yuhas. Governor Cuomo has ordered a review of safety at the site, where two reactors are operating with no NRC license.

Radioactive material has leaked into the groundwater below a nuclear power plant north of New York City, prompting a state investigation on Saturday and condemnation from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

[…]

In one location radioactivity levels rose nearly 65,000%, from 12,300 picocuries per liter to over 8,000,000 picocuries per liter.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum contaminant level for tritium in drinking water is 20,000 picocuries per liter, though Entergy, the company that owns the plant, emphasized that only groundwater, and not drinking water, were contaminated.

[…]

Both reactors operating without licences

An astonishing aspect of the matter is that Indian Point units 1 and 2 are both operating without licences from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Unit 2’s licence expired in September 2013, and Unit 3’s licence expired on 12th December 2015. However in both cases the NRC his given permission for the plants to keep on running while Entergy’s renewal applications for 20-year extensions were under way.

Since their licence expiries both reactors have been involved in unauthorized radiation releases, of tritium in particular, and numerous unscheduled closures.

Tritium is a relatively short-lived radioactive hydrogen isotope that cannot penetrate the skin, however it can be consumed in food and water and be taken up in tissues. It is considered a health risk for illnesses, including cancer.

There have been many tritium leaks at the plant in recent years, though Saturday’s leak appears to be the most serious so far. Public Service Commission chair Audrey Zibelman faces a deadline for the results of the pre-existing investigation by President’s Day, 15th February.

Read more at Indian Point reactors contaminate New York groundwater

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チェルノブイリ土地利用解禁へ…30キロ圏一部 via 読売新聞

ウクライナ・チェルノブイリ原子力発電所の周辺地域を管理する政府「立ち入り禁止区域管理庁」のビタリー・ペトルク長官らが首都キエフで本紙の取材に応じ、原発周辺の通称「30キロ・メートル圏」に適用している規制を、大幅に見直す計画を明らかにした。

 史上最悪の事故から今年4月で30年となるのを機に、放射線量が下がった地域の経済利用を図る方針で、今後、必要な法整備に取り組むという。

 同庁などによると、この計画は昨年12月、政府からポロシェン コ大統領へ提出された。現在は、同原発から約30キロの範囲を中心に、無許可での立ち入りや経済活動が禁止されているが、新たな計画では一部地域で経済活 動を認める。原発の南側の10~30キロ圏などが対象となる見通し。

続きはチェルノブイリ土地利用解禁へ…30キロ圏一部

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福島の高校生が被ばく調査 「客観事実で判断を」via 東京新聞

 東京電力福島第1原発事故の経験を踏まえ、国内外の高校生の被ばく線量を調査した福島県立福島高校の生徒らが8日、日本外国特派員協会(東京都千 代田区)で記者会見した。調査結果によると、福島とそれ以外の地域で被ばく線量に大きな違いはなく、同高3年の小野寺悠さん(18)は「客観的な事実を基 に(安全かどうかを)判断する姿勢が重要だ」と訴えた。

(略)

福島高校のほか、神奈川、岐阜、奈良など国内12校の生徒に加え、フランス、ポーランド、ベラルーシから計200人以上の高校生と教員が協力した。

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