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Japan Nuclear Firm Aims to End Crisis Within Nine Months; Update: ‘Major Delay’ to Containing the Situation

05/30/2011 Leave a comment

Update May 30, 2011:  TEPCO now admits that obstacles are causing major delays in getting the situation under control …

TEPCO believes stabilizing Fukushima reactors by year-end impossible – “Tokyo Electric Power Co. is coming to the view that it will be impossible to stabilize the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by the end of this year, senior company officials said Sunday, possibly affecting the timing for the government to consider the return of evacuees to their homes near the plant.

The revelation that meltdowns had occurred at the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors at the plant, most likely with breaches to pressure vessels encasing nuclear fuel, has led the officials to believe that ‘there will be a major delay to work’ to contain the situation, one of them said.

The plant operator, known as TEPCO, announced on April 17 its road map for bringing the troubled reactors at the plant into a stably cooled condition called ‘cold shutdown’ in six to nine months.” Read more.

April 17, 2011: In other words, they really have no idea when this will all end.  They just HOPE to have a ‘cold shutdown’ achievable by early 2012 while radiation continues to spew for at least another three months (best case scenario) or more.  It’s like the nuclear version of the BP oil spill disaster.  And this is itself based upon the hope, however, that there will not be another major earthquake in the area, or any other unforeseen obstacles, that would complicate their efforts even further …

By Justin McCurry – “The company at the centre of Japan’s nuclear crisis says it hopes to bring the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant under control in six to nine months, but cannot say when tens of thousands of people forced to evacuate the area will be able to return home.

In the first indication of how long it will take to stabilise the plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company [Tepco] revealed on Sunday a two-stage process it hopes will end with the safe ‘cold shutdown’ of the stricken reactors.

Tepco’s announcement came as the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, arrived in Tokyo to pledge Washington’s support for Japan as it recovers from the worst disaster in its postwar history.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters Tags: ,

Radiation Near Japan Reactors Too High for Workers

04/18/2011 Leave a comment

MARI YAMAGUCHI – “TOKYO (AP) — A pair of thin robots on treads sent to explore buildings inside Japan’s crippled nuclear reactor came back Monday with disheartening news: Radiation levels are far too high for repair crews to go inside.

Nevertheless, officials remained hopeful they can stick to their freshly minted ‘roadmap’ for cleaning up the radiation leak and stabilizing the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant by year’s end so they can begin returning tens of thousands of evacuees to their homes.

‘Even I had expected high radioactivity in those areas. I’m sure (plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.) and other experts have factored in those figures when they compiled the roadmap,’ Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

Officials said Monday that radiation had spiked in a water tank in Unit 2 and contaminated water was discovered in other areas of the plant. They also described in detail for the first time the damage to fuel in three troubled reactors, saying pellets had melted.”  Read more.

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