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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear power plant’

IEMA Offering Potassium Iodide to Residents Near Nuclear Power Plants

Posted by feww on July 16, 2017

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Potassium Iodide Pills Available at Many Local IL Pharmacies

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has announced plans to once again offer free Potassium Iodide (KI) pills to residents living within a 10-mile (16km) radius of the state’s six operating nuclear power plants. More than 60,000 homes within the Emergency Planning Zones (EPZs) of each plant are eligible for the pills, according to a statement posted at their website.

The nuclear power plants in Illinois are Braidwood, Byron, Clinton, Dresden, LaSalle and Quad-Cities.

IEMA has obtained 215,000 pills for the distribution at no cost from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

KI is a non-prescription drug used to protect the thyroid from radioactive iodine, which could be released during a nuclear power plant accident. The state of Illinois previously distributed KI pills to residents near nuclear power plants in 2002 and 2012.

“Pills that were previously provided to residents in these areas are nearing expiration,” said IEMA Director. “In addition, there likely are people who moved into the Emergency Planning Zones since the last distribution, and others may have added family members or lost their pills.”

The director noted KI only protects the thyroid gland from uptake of radioactive iodine, which could be released during a nuclear power plant incident. He said evacuation and sheltering in place are still the most effective ways to protect the whole body from radiation exposure…

To obtain the free pills, people living within the 10-mile EPZ of a nuclear power plant can download a voucher and a list of participating pharmacies at https://public.iema.state.il.us/KiProcessing/Ki​ or contact IEMA at 217-782-1326.

https://www.illinois.gov/ready/Press/Pages/070717.aspx

 

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Japan’s Kepco Restarts Takahama No. 4 Reactor Despite Protest

Posted by feww on May 17, 2017

Japan Restarts 4th Nuclear Reactor

Osaka-based Kansai Electric Power Co. (KEPCO) restarted its Takahama No. 4 reactor located in Fukui Prefecture on Wednesday about 14 months after it was forced to shut it down, bringing to four the number of reactors now operating in Japan.

“The No. 4 reactor was turned back on at 5 p.m. today. It’s an important step, but it’s not the end. We’ll proceed with operations carefully, with an attitude of always having safety as the top priority,” said KEPCO President.

Takahama nuclear power plant, located in the town of Takahama, Ōi District, Fukui Prefecture, is owned and operated by KEPCO. The plant has four pressurized water reactors with electricity generating capacity at 3,392 MW, and previously (2006-2010) averaged annual production of 22,638 GWh.

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Nuclear Reactor Shut Down after Radioactive Leak at Olkiluoto NPP, Finland

Posted by feww on April 8, 2016

Defective fuel rods force reactor shutdown at Finland’s Olkiluoto 1

“​Defective fuel rods have been found at OL1 nuclear power plant unit. Electricity production at the plant unit will be stopped for the duration of the work on Monday 11 April 2016,” according to a press release issued by Teollisuuden Voima nuclear power company.

​Radioactive substances have been released from the defective fuel rods into the reactor water, the company said.

The reactor core has a total of 500 fuel assemblies, with about one hundred fuel rods embedded in in each assembly.

The BWR reactor became operational in October 1979.

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Explosion Rocks Doel Nuclear Power Plant in Belgium

Posted by feww on November 1, 2015

Fire reported at Doel nuclear power plant

An explosion occurred Saturday night at Reactor 1 of Doel nuclear power plant (NPP) located in northern Belgium, local media reported.

The 40-year-old unit, the oldest in the country, is one of 4 reactors at the plant and has a name-plate capacity of 454Mw.

Belgium’s other NPP, Tihange, houses 3 reactor units that began operating commercially between 1975 and 1985.

Following an incident at Doel in August 2012, cracks were discovered at the reactor pressure vessel of the No 3 reactor,  sparking international inspections of similar vessels manufactured by the now-bankrupt Dutch firm Rotterdam Drydock Company, said a report.

The discovery of the cracks at Doel’s Unit 3 by the use of a new ultrasound measuring technique, sent a nervous ripple through the international nuclear industry.

“Rotterdam Drydock Company had sold 21 reactor vessels to nuclear power plants in the US, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK,” Associated Press belatedly reported.

At least 9 million people live within a 75 km radius of Doel, and 5.76 million others live within a similar distance from Tihange NPP.

There was no reliable details available concerning the latest incident at Doel, as of posting.

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First Cancer Case Linked to Fukushima Triple Meltdown

Posted by feww on October 20, 2015

Over 21,000 Fukushima NPP workers exposed to illegal radiation levels: Report

A worker involved in clean-up operations at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant may have developed cancer as a result, Japanese health authorities have revealed.

The plant, severely damaged by a mega earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 11 March 2011, underwent a triple meltdown, releasing massive quantities of radiation to the environment.

The victim, a man in his late 30s, reportedly worked at the crippled plant for more than a year and is now suffering from leukemia.

He was exposed to a total of 19.8 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation, including 15.7 millisieverts at the Fukushima plant, according to NHK.

“While the causal link between his exposure to radiation and his illness is unclear, we certified him from the standpoint of worker compensation,” a health ministry official was reported as saying.

Several other workers at the planet, who have also developed cancer are yet to be assessed by the health authorities.

Former plant manager Masao Yoshida died of esophageal cancer two years ago; however, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has denied liability.

Workers who develop cancer more than a year after they have been exposed to annual radiation of 5 milliseverts are entitled to compensation.

More than 45,000 people have worked on the clean up at the crippled Fukushima plant, and about half of them have been exposed to annual radiation levels of [at least] 5 millisieverts, NHK quoted officials as saying.

Only 13 nuclear workers have ever been granted compensation for work-related cancer in plants other than Fukushima.

The highest dose of radiation received so far by a worker responding to the Fukushima emergency was 670 mSv, while estimated maximum dose to evacuees who lived closest to the Fukushima plant was 70 mSv.

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
1mSv = 0.1 rem
1mSv = 100 millirems (mrem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US): 300 (3 mS/yr)
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400 (4 mS/yr)

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.) – millirems per year

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year, or 3 mSv/yr) 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.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period: 50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

Space Travel

  • 6 months stay on the International Space Station: 8,000 millirems
  • 260-day trip to Mars: 36,000 millirems
  • Maximum allowed radiation exposure for astronauts over their career: 100,000 millirems (1 Sv)

*Notes:

1. Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

2. The average annual radiation dose per person in the U.S. is currently 620 millirem (6.2 mSv), according to EPA. “Half of our average dose comes from natural background sources: cosmic radiation from space, naturally occurring radioactive minerals in the ground and in your body, and from the radioactive gases radon and thoron, which are created when other naturally occurring elements undergo radioactive decay. Another 48 percent of our dose comes from medical diagnostics and treatments.”

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

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For earlier links, where they have not been removed or hacked, search blog content.

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State of Emergency Declared in Ohio County due to Water Shortage

Posted by feww on January 9, 2014

Frazzle ice causes water shortage in Ohio, prompts State of Emergency declaration

A state of emergency has been declared in Lorain County, Ohio due to frozen water intakes in Lake Erie.

Avon Lake’s two water intakes have been blocked by ice and slush [“frazzle ice,”] idling the Avon Lake Water Filtration Plant, according to reports.

About 207,000 residential and commercial customers in Avon Lake, Medina, Avon, North Ridgeville, Sheffield and Sheffield Lake, and other users served by the Rural Lorain County Water Authority have been told to conserve water, said a report.

“The authority delivers water to LaGrange, Grafton, Grafton Township, Penfield Township, Henrietta Township, Carlisle Tonwship, Pittsfield Township and Camden Township.”

Avon’s Mayor was told that the city could lose all of its water by late Wednesday.

Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station

Lake Erie is the shallowest and smallest by volume of the Great Lakes, and hosts the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station on its shore near Monroe, Michigan.

Fermi 2
Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station, Unit 2 (Fermi 2), Dated 2007. Source: NRC

Fermi 1, a prototype fast breeder reactor, suffered a partial fuel meltdown, On October 5, 1966 and was eventually shut down by 1972.

Fermi 3, is a planned 1,520 MWe GE-designed passive Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor (ESBWR) unit.

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – September 9, 2013

Posted by feww on September 9, 2013

Wildfire near Mt. Diablo forces dozens of evacuations

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for about 75 homes in Morgan Territory Road in unincorporated Contra Costa County on Sunday, September 8, due to a fast moving wildfire.

The so-called Morgan Fire rapidly burned out of control, consuming at last 800 acres, and threatening homes and other structures in the area.

Morgan Fire
Photographer Mike Oria photographed the Morgan Fire response from Brentwood, Calif., on Sunday evening, Sept. 8, 2013. (Courtesy of Mike Oria Photography)/ via Mercury News. More images…

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UK govt to close air pollution monitoring stations to cut costs

Environmentalists have accused UK govt of covering up pollution figures as it plans to shut down some 600 stations across England to cut costs, said a report.

Government advisers have estimated that one type of pollutant – miniscule particles from diesel engines, fossil fuel power stations and other sources – is killing 29,000 people a year in the UK, and costing health services about £16bn.

But European air pollution limits meant to protect health are being breached in urban areas across the country, with the highest levels in London. According to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the limits for the toxic exhaust gas, nitrogen dioxide, were exceeded in 40 of the UK’s 43 air quality zones in 2010. Read more…

london air pollution
Air pollution in London is comparable to that of Beijing, says the Clean Air in London think tank. Source: Clean Air in London)

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Davis-Besse License Renewal Likely: NRC

Federal regulators say there are no safety issues that would preclude a license renewal for Ohio’s Davis-Besse pressurized water reactor.

The plant operator, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., is seeking a 20-year license extension for the 35-year-old, 889-megawatt nuclear plant located on the SW shore of Lake Erie east of Toledo.

A number of serious incidents have occurred at the plant including

  • On March 5, 2002, workers discovered a football-sized hole in the reactor vessel head, which was caused by corrosion.

Davis-Besse Hole in the Head-
Erosion ate a large hole in the 35-year-old Davis-Besse’s 150-mm thick steel reactor head.

  • On September 24, 1977, the reactor shut down because of a disruption in the feedwater system.
  • On June 9, 1985, the main feedwater pumps, used to supply water to the reactor steam generators, shut down.
  • On June 24, 1998 an F2 tornado struck the plant, damaging the switchyard, and disabling access to external power supplies.
  • In January 2003 the plant’s intranet was infected with the slammer worm, which resulted in a five hour loss of safety monitoring at the plant.
  • On January 20, 2006, the plant operator acknowledged a series of safety violations, and entered into a deferred prosecution plea with the U.S. Department of Justice concerning the March 2002 incident
  • On October 22, 2008 a tritium leak was accidentally discovered during an unrelated inspection.
  • In 2010 the plant experienced problems with the replacement head.
  • In October 2011 after the plant was shut down for maintenance workers discovered a 30 foot long hairline crack in the concrete shield building the surrounds the containment vessel.
  • In 2012 the reactor coolant pump seal developed a pinhole leak.

A final decision on the operating license renewal is expected next September.

About 1.8 million people live within an 80-km radius of the nuclear plant.

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Taiwan Nuke Plant Leaking Radioactive Water

Posted by feww on August 9, 2013

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.

Jinshan Nuclear Power Plant
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.

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

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)

Notes:

  1. The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted  here is subject to numerous variable factors.
  2. 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.
  3. Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
  4. 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.
  5. 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…]
  6. 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.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • 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.

Related Links

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Japan Underestimating Nuclear Fallout Risks: U.N.

Posted by feww on November 27, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,201 Days Left 

[November 27, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,201 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events

When was the last time Japan cared about its victims?

Japanese government has adopted overly optimistic views of radiation risks and has conducted only limited health checks after the core meltdowns at multiple reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, said Anand Grover, a UN special rapporteur on the right to health, who is charged with investigating Japan’s handling of the health risks from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

  • More than 2 million people lived in the Fukushima area surrounding the power plant, but only a quarter of them have been tested for radiation effects so far.
  • The U.N. official said the health tests should cover “all radiation-affected zones” because the impact of radiation affected large areas far beyond Fukushima’s borders.
  • “The scope of the survey is unfortunately narrow as they draw on the limited lessons from the Chernobyl accident and ignore epidemiological studies that point to cancer as well as other diseases in low-dosage radiation,” Grover said.
  • According to some studies there’s no clear evidence that radiation exposures of up to 100 millisieverts per year pose higher cancer risks, he said. “But that is controversial. And there are a lot of studies which indicate otherwise. The government need not say which is right. The government has to err on the side of caution and be inclusive,” he said.
  • “They draw on the limited lessons from the Chernobyl accident and ignore epidemiological studies that point to cancer as well as other diseases in low-dosage radiation,” Grover said.
  • The cumulative radiation exposure from Fukushima in towns around the disaster stricken power plant was between 43 and 122 millisieverts, according to a report by World Health Organization (WHO), which “leaked” to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper over the weekend.

Korea

South Korean nuclear regulators have reportedly discovered about a thousand more fake parts supplied for their nuclear plants with bogus quality certificates.

  • Earlier this month, eight companies were found to have submitted 60 fake  certificates that covered more than 7,000 parts mostly used in the two reactors that were shut, said a report.
  • S. Korean government is planning an additional 11 nuclear reactors, to add to its existing fleet of 23, reports said. 
  • About 12,500 tons of nuclear waste filled more than 70 percent of the country’s  storage capacity at reactors, as of June 2012.
  • S. Korea’s four nuclear power plant complexes, which provide onsite storage facility for spent fuel and other radioactive waste, will run out of waste storage space by as early as 2016, said a report.
  • South Korea is slightly larger than Indiana, and has a population of more than 50 million.
  • More than half of South Korea’s population, and about 1/3 of a million international residents, live in the Seoul metropolitan area.

See also

Related Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

GLOBAL WARNING

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