Taiwan’s oldest nuclear plant leaking radioactive water for 3 years: Watchdog
The 35-yo Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shimen, New Taipei City, has been leaking radioactive water since 2010, according to the government’s nuclear watchdog.
Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), which operates the island’s 3 nuclear plants, has denied the leak coming from the storage pools, alleging instead that the water comes from condensation, or external cleaning.
The watchdog, Control Yuan, doesn’t buy the operator’s explanation.
“Taiwan has also had problems on what to do with its nuclear waste, which for many years was dumped on a small island off its southeast coast, to the anger of its aboriginal inhabitants,” said a report.
Taiwan has three nuke plants which include a total of 6 reactors. Nuclear power accounts for about a fifth of the island’s electricity production.
- Typhoon SOULIK, which struck Taiwan on July 13, caused a generator and turbine trip, leaving a seawater inlet blocked and damaging three fine filters as well as a traveling filter rake, said a report.
The Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant in Shihmen District, New Taipei City, is pictured on March 15 during a media visit organized by Taiwan Power Co, which operates the nation’s nuclear power stations. Photo credit: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Summary of the report issued by Control Yuan: The plant’s reactors No. 1 and No. 2 reactors have leaked a total of 15,369.61 milliliters and 4,829.66ml of water respectively since 2010
Atomic Energy Council have repeatedly found radioactive substances, such as cesium-137, cobalt-60, manganese-54 and sodium chromate, in the leakage.
Taipower has given inconsistent explanations for the leaks and has claimed that the water was not from the spent fuel pools, which is inconsistent with the Atomic Energy Council’s findings.
The Control Yuan report also reprimanded Taipower for two other problems regarding spent fuel storage:
First: Taipower delaying for more than 10 years the construction of interim nuclear waste storage facilities, which could result in the spent fuel in the No. 1 reactor exceeding the pool’s maximum capacity in its next maintenance overhaul, which is set for November next year.
Second: was that since Taipower says it lost a report on spent nuclear fuel storage and management that it commissioned from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory of the US in 1987, the evaluation process the plant’s storage technology was subjected to at the time is unknown, the report said.
Nuclear power is harmful to the planet and all lifeforms. Any nuclear disaster striking anywhere on the planet has global implications.
The following probability figures calculated by FIRE-EARTH on April 8, 2011 still hold!
- Japan (880)³
- United States (865)
- France (855)
- Taiwan (850)
- Belgium, China, Finland, India, South Korea, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain, Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Canada (810)
- Germany, Sweden, Netherlands (800)
- Switzerland (750)
- The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted here is subject to numerous variable factors.
- Figures in the bracket represent the probability of an incident occurring out of 1,000; the forecast duration is valid for the next 50 months.
- Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
- A nuclear incident is defined as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences), or worse, on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). See below.
- Safety issues considered in compiling these lists include the age, number of units and capacity of nuclear reactors in each country/state, previous incidents, probability of damage from human-enhanced natural disasters, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, wildfires, flooding…]
- The Blog’s knowledge concerning the extent to which the factors described in (3) might worsen during the forecast period greatly influences the forecast. (Last UPDATED: June 26, 2011)
Half-life of some radioactive elements
[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]
- Cesium-134 ~ 2 years
- Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
- Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
- Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
- Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
- Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
- Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
- Uranium-234 ~ 246,000 years
- Uranium-235 ~ 703.8 million years
- Uranium-238 ~ 4.468 billion years
What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?
Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received 450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.
(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays. Source: MIT)
1 rem = 10 mSv (1 Sv = 100 rem)
Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)
- Average background radiation (US): 300
- Higher altitudes (eg. Denver): 400
“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)
Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year) and medical radiation:
- Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000 (the limit for a worker using radiation)
- Average Natural Background: 300
[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person's age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]
- Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
- Annual total dose: 5,000
- Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
- Annual total exposure: 500
- Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period: 50 millirems per month above background levels
- Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem
- Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems
Megaquake and Tsunami Death Toll
The latest figures released by the authorities put the number of dead at about 12,000 with 16,000 people still listed as missing.