Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

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Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant Weekly Review

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A visit from the IAEA, looser rules on hometown visits for evacuees and another small earthquake were among the developments at Fukushima Daiichi this week.

Recent stories of note related to the Tokyo Electric Power Co. plant blacked out following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami include:

IAEA experts in the Fukushima unit 4 torus room. Source: TEPCOIAEA Team Inspects Site

At Japan's request, a team of 13 experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency visited the plant Wednesday as part of the organization's review of plans to decommission the damaged reactors and spent fuel pools. According to an IAEA release, the visit followed two days of meetings with Japanese regulators, and the trip should be complete Monday.

Evacuees Allowed More Frequent Home Visits

People who remain evacuated from areas near the plant will be allowed to visit their homes more frequently, the Japanese government announced Thursday. Kyodo reported that residents of Futaba, Okuma, Tomioka and Namie will be allowed to visit their homes monthly. The previous rules restricted visits to once every three or four months.

Plant Reports Include Injury, Earthquake

TEPCO's account of activity at the plant this week noted that a contractor in the unit 5 turbine building fell about six feet while conducting an inspection Monday. He was taken from the site in an ambulance with injuries to his foot and hip that TEPCO indicated would require three months of hospitalization.

Among the other developments reported by TEPCO, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake was recorded offshore from Fukushima Prefecture on Sunday night. Workers inspected the plant, and TEPCO said no problems were found.

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  • Though the water was not mentioned this week, I have a suggestion on how to handle all that radioactive water.  

    After they have stripped the solids (distillation, filtering, kelation) the remaining tritiated water should be heavily salinated and frozen, then dumped in small (weighted if needed) blocks along the deep water edge of the North Atlantic where the "Ocean Conveyor" starts.  As the ice melts it will join the roughly 300 year trip around the seas, losing its radioactivity by the end of the submerged portion of the trip.

    Just a thought.

  • Perhaps the Japanese Government should allow the evacuees to go home as much as they want, subject to wearing a suite of dosimeters to help resolve lingering "low dose / low dose rate" exposure issues.