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Posts Tagged ‘PWR’

Another Nuclear Reactor in Japan Leaking Radioactive Water

Posted by feww on February 21, 2016

Takahama nuclear power plant west of Tokyo leaks radioactive water

A pressurized water reactor (PWR) at Japan’s Takahama nuclear power plant, located in Fukui Prefecture, about 120km northwest of Osaka metropolitan area (pop: ~ 19 million) and 380km west of Tokyo, is leaking radioactive water.

The reactor would have been the fourth resume operation after the the nationwide shutdown of nuclear power stations that followed the triple  meltdown at Fukushima in March 2011.

At least 34 liters of radioactive water (about 64,000 becquerels of radioactivity) have escaped Takahama’s reactor No. 4, said the plant operator, Kansai Electric Power.

Unit 3 was restarted January 29, 2016, despite strong objections by various rights groups. “Restart of the Takahama plant is a human rights injustice toward children and those with handicaps,” said Aileen Mioko Smith, executive director of the antinuclear group Green Action.

“There is no evacuation plan in place for the tens of thousands of people with special needs — inpatients and outpatients at hospitals and various facilities, those in day care, and those with handicaps living at home. When others can flee, there are no vehicles to transport these people nor medical care prepared at the evacuation site.”

[More than 180,000 people live in 12 towns and cities within 30km radius of the leaky reactor, in Fukui, Kyoto and Shiga prefectures.]

The government introduced additional “safety measures” soon after the Fukushima disasters; however, reactors that didn’t meet the new safety standards were somehow made exempt from the regulation, and allowed to restart.

In April 2015, the Fukui District Court overturned an earlier decision approving the restart the of Takahama reactors 3 and 4 and ordered them to remain offline due to “safety concerns.” The court ruled that guidelines issued by Japan’s governmental Nuclear Regulation Authority.

“The new regulations are not reasonable, therefore there is no need to study whether the Takahama plant satisfies them. There is little rational basis for saying that an earthquake with a magnitude that exceeds the safety standard will not occur. It is an optimistic view,” ruled the local judge.

The court also rejected an appeal by Kansai Electric Company in May, 2015.

Map of Japan’s Nuclear Power Plants. Click image to enlarge.

Unsurprisingly, influential members of Japan’s “fifth Column”, which support the Abe government and the nuclear mafia, namely a former Tokyo high court judge and current Chou Law School Professor Jun Masuda, as well as Japan’s newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, heavily criticized the presiding Judge Hideaki Higuchi.

Masuda said: “It seems the judge has already had the idea of demanding absolute safety from the beginning. Judges are not experts on nuclear power plants, so it is imperative that they humbly pay attention to scientific knowledge. I doubt the presiding judge took that into consideration.”

The reactionary newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun pinioned: “We have no choice but to call it an irrational decision,” and, “Such a stance seeking zero risk is unrealistic.”

Abe’s government overrode the judge’s ruling and ordered the reactors’ restart.


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Indian Point 3 Shuts Down after ‘Electrical Disturbance’

Posted by feww on June 16, 2015

20 Million people live or work within a 50-mile radius of 41-yo Indian Point NPP

Indian Point’s Unit 3 nuclear power plant shut down Monday evening around 7:20 p.m. following an electrical disturbance external to the plant, said the operator, Energy Nuclear.

The unit’s main electrical generator shut down as a protective measure following the disturbance, the cause of which is not immediately understood, said the operator.

“There was no release of radioactivity and no threat to the safety of workers or the public.”

Indian Point Energy Center

Indian Point Energy Center, in Buchanan, N.Y., houses two active nuclear power plants, unit 2 and unit 3, which together generate about 2,080 megawatts of electricity for New York City and Westchester County.

Unit 3 caught fire on May 9 [reportedly spilling about 25,000 of the transformer’s dielectric fluid] and returned to service May 24 following replacement of a main electrical transformer which had failed, according to the operator.

At least 9 incidents involving the two reactors have been reported since 1972, just five months after Indian Point 2 began operating.

Unit 2 is more than 41 years old and Unit 3 was commissioned about 40 years ago.

The average age of U.S. commercial reactors is about 34 years. The oldest operating reactors are Oyster Creek in New Jersey, and Nine Mile Point 1 in New York. Both entered commercial service on December 1, 1969, according to EIA.

Currently 104 commercial nuclear power plants operate on 64 sites in the 48 contiguous United States. Sixty-nine of the 104 are pressurized water reactors (PWR) and the remaining 35 are boiling water reactors (BWR).

Operating Nuclear Power Plants vs. Major Metropolitan Areas

NPP v Pop
Source: Prepared by CRS and the Library of Congress Geography and Maps Division based on U.S. Census Bureau data 2011.

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