• TEPCO prepares to carefully lift 20-ton debris from spent fuel pool

From Wall St. Journal/Japan Real Time
By Jun Hongo
July 27, 2015

The latest challenge at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is to remove a 20-ton piece of debris from a pool holding over 500 spent fuel rods.

More than four years after the plant was hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami, Fukushima Daiichi’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it would start work on the critical task this week using a specially designed crane.

“The debris will be pulled out using two cranes, but we had to create a specially designed hook with a unique shape for it to securely hold on to the object,” a Tepco spokesman told Japan Real Time on Monday.

The object is what remains of a fuel handling machine originally located above the surface of the water. The debris is preventing Tepco from removing the spent fuel rods to a safer location. It is the largest object requiring removal inside the power plant’s reactor No. 3, according to the company.

The removal will be conducted at the slowest possible speed to ensure safety. The pool’s water level, as well as any signs of a jump in radiation levels, will be monitored closely with multiple cameras during the procedure. The debris must be lifted so that it won’t swing or cause damage to the spent fuel pool’s gates.

While it is unlikely that any water from the pool will leak even if the object comes into contact with the gate, Tepco said it will be ready to add water in case of a drawdown. Reduced water levels or exposure to air could cause the radioactive fuel rods to heat up.

All other procedures at Fukushima Daiichi will be halted while the debris is being removed, according to the company.

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2015/07/27/fukushima-operator-prepares-to-lift-20-ton-debris-from-fuel-pool/?mod=yahoo_hs
Fukushima Operator Prepares to Lift 20-Ton Debris From Fuel Pool

• ALERT: NRC may rule radiation exposure is healthful; new deadline Nov. 19

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission may decide that exposure to ionizing radiation is beneficial – the radiation from nuclear bombs, nuclear power plants, depleted uranium, x-rays, and Fukushima. It has opened a proceeding to consider adopting this “radiation is good for you” model.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has received three petitions for rulemaking (PRM) requesting that the NRC amend its “Standards for Protection Against Radiation” regulations and change the basis of those regulations from the Linear No-Threshold (LNT) model of radiation protection to the radiation hormesis model. The radiation hormesis model provides that exposure of the human body to low levels of ionizing radiation is beneficial and protects the human body against deleterious effects of high levels of radiation. Whereas, the LNT model provides that radiation is always considered harmful, there is no safety threshold, and biological damage caused by ionizing radiation (essentially the cancer risk) is directly proportional to the amount of radiation exposure to the human body (response linearity).

Is this a joke? No.This would be the most significant and alarming change to U.S. federal policy on nuclear radiation.

Here is the Federal Register notice —
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/23/2015-15441/linear-no-threshold-model-and-standards-for-protection-against-radiation

Comments are due by September 8, 2015  have been extended to November 19, 2015.

If adopted, this would permit all current radioactive releases, leaks, and ongoing emissions from nuclear power plants, and decrease evacuation zones, as well as allow Fukushima, Chernobyl, WIPP (New Mexico nuclear waste disposal site), Hanford, Oak Ridge, Nevada and Alaska test sites, Santa Susanna, Farallons nuclear waste dump, depleted uranium, nuclear weapons, and other international emissions, as long as the government deems them to be “low level”, to impact Americans under the fantasy of a hormesis effect.

No protective measures or public safety warnings would be considered necessary. Clean-up measures could be sharply reduced. Protection for medical and screening personnel working around radiation-emitting equipment could be reduced.

In a sense, this would legalize what the government is already doing – failing to protect the public and promoting nuclear radiation.

From commenters on ENE News:

If a pro-hormesis model is allowed to take hold, it will change things forever…

It could give the nuclear industry an excuse to release more radiation from nuclear power plants; an excuse for gov’t agencies to allow even more radiation in food and water; allow doctors to give you more radiation…

It allows you to be exposed to low-level radiation because “it’s good for you.”

As we all know, zero radiation is good for you.

And who will define what low-level radiation is? The same agencies that keep raising the amounts of allowable radiation?

This is a nightmare for human DNA and human health, imo.

Don’t be shy about commenting, everyone. Just do it.…

Tell the NRC. THIS MATTERS.

The NRC standard needs revised to be more protective. Just like non-ionizing wireless radiation exposure, impact is not necessarily linear. Chronic low dose can be much worse than a one-time high dose.

Public opposition is urgently needed now as well as exposing radiation hazards, including the devastating impact to DNA. Another example:
http://sgtreport.com/2015/06/breast-cancer-rates-skyrocket-near-nuclear-power-plants/

Here is the Federal Register notice —
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/06/23/2015-15441/linear-no-threshold-model-and-standards-for-protection-against-radiation

Comments are due by September 8, 2015 have been extended  until November 19, 2015 .

There is a 5000 character limit in the open comment box. You can put a summary comment in the open comment box, and attach a comment letter.

This proceeding was opened at the request of just three individuals, in stark contrast to the thousands of requests for hearings and action by healthcare professionals, scientists, and regular Americans to the FCC, EPA, FDA, NRC, and Congress which have not resulted in proceedings being opened on public health issues.

 

• Par heure, on a toujours 960 000 Bq de Cs 134/137 et 2,336 millions Bq de gaz rares émis dans l’atmosphère

Fukushima Diary

Le 25 mai 2015, Tepco a rapporté que pour avril dernier ils estiment que 960 000 Bq/heure de césium 134 et 137 s’échappent toujours des réacteurs 1 à 4 dans l’atmosphère.
C’est 2,7 fois plus que leur estimation préliminaire publiée fin avril.

Tepco affirme que la différence s’explique par leur changement de méthode de calcul. Ça laisse fortement penser que la totalité du volume de Cs 134-137 dispersé depuis le début est sous-estimée depuis le 11-3. Ils n’ont pas publié le re-calcul de ce volume pour avant avril 2014.
Comparé à mai 2014, le volume de Cs 134/137 dispersé a augmenté de 180 % en avril dernier. Tepco affirme cependant que ça reste 10 % en dessous du niveau de “contrôle de dispersion” et ils ne donne aucune explication à cette augmentation.
Pour le réacteur 3 en particulier, le volume dispersé est 78 fois celui de mai 2014. En outre, 95 000 Bq / heure de Cs 134/137 se répand depuis le bâtiment du réacteur 4 bien qu’il ne contienne aucun combustible nucléaire.

Concernant les gaz rares (comme le Kr 85), le système de contrôle des gaz de la PCV (Primary Containment Vessel = enceinte de confinement primaire) a relevé 2 336 000 000 Bq de gaz dispersés à l’heure depuis avril à partir des réacteurs 1 à 3. Tepco affirment que les gaz rares s’échappent en nuages radioactifs qui ne provoquent que des expositions externes, donc que la dose d’exposition due à ces gaz rares libérés devrait être vraiment faible.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2015/images/additional_amount_150525-j.pdf
http://www.tepco.co.jp/life/custom/faq/images/d150430_08-j.pdf

http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/06/still-960000bq-of-cs-134137-and-2336000000bq-of-noble-gas-discharged-from-reactors-to-the-air-every-single-hour/

• 960,000 Bq Cs-134/137 and 2,336,000,000 Bq noble gas discharged from reactors to the air every single hour

From Fukushima Diary

Still 960,000Bq Cs-134/137 and 2,336,000,000Bq noble gas discharged from reactors to the air every single hour

On 5/25/2015, Tepco reported still 960,000 Bq / hour of Cesium-134 and 137 is assumed to be discharged from Reactor 1 -4 to the air this April.

This is 2.7 times much as their provisional figure published in the end of April.

Tepco states the difference is caused by the change of calculation method. It strongly suggests the entire historical discharged volume of Cs-134/137 has been underestimated since 311 however they did not disclose the recalculated discharged volume before April of 2014.

Comparing to May of 2014, the discharged volume of Cs-134/137 increased to 180% this April. Tepco however states this is lower than 10% of the set point of “discharge control”, and they haven’t made any explanation on this increase.

Especially in Reactor 3, the discharged volume increased 78 times much as May. 2014. Also, 95,000 Bq / hour of Cs-134/137 is discharged from Reactor 4 building though it does not contain nuclear fuel.

Regarding noble gas (such as Kr-85), PCV (Primary Containment Vessel)  gas control system detected 2,336,000,000 Bq of gas discharged from Reactor 1-3 every hour this April. Tepco states noble gas passes by as radioactive cloud to cause only external exposure so the exposure dose caused by the discharged noble gas should be significantly small.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/2015/images/additional_amount_150525-j.pdf

http://www.tepco.co.jp/life/custom/faq/images/d150430_08-j.pdf

http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/06/still-960000bq-of-cs-134137-and-2336000000bq-of-noble-gas-discharged-from-reactors-to-the-air-every-single-hour/

• Diablo Canyon Power Plant renewal — Reopening of scoping process, public comments and hearings — comment deadline August 31

Excerpts from the Federal Register, July 1, 2015

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/07/01/2015-15921/diablo-canyon-power-plant-units-1-and-2

Summary

On January 27, 2010, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) notified the public of its opportunity to participate in the scoping process associated with the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) related to the review of the license renewal application submitted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for the renewal of Facility Operating Licenses DPR-80 and DPR-82 for an additional 20 years of operation at Diablo Canyon Power Plant (DCPP), Units 1 and 2. The current operating licenses for DCPP, Units 1 and 2 expire on November 2, 2024, and August 26, 2025, respectively. The scoping period closed on April 12, 2010. The NRC has decided to reopen the scoping process and allow members of the public an additional opportunity to participate.

DATES:

The comment period for the environmental scoping process published on January 27, 2010 (75 FR 4427) has been reopened. Comments should be filed no later than August 31, 2015.

II. Discussion

On December 22, 2014 (ADAMS Package No. ML14364A259), and February 25, 2015 (ADAMS Package No. ML15057A102), PG&E amended its ER to provide additional information identified by NRC staff as necessary to complete the review of the DCPP license renewal application. By letter dated April 28, 2015 (ADAMS Accession No. ML15104A509), the NRC staff issued a schedule for the remainder of the DCPP license renewal review. The purpose of this notice is to (1) inform the public that the NRC has decided to reopen the scoping process, as defined in 10 CFR 51.29, “Scoping-environmental impact statement and supplement to environmental impact statement,” and (2) allow members of the public an additional opportunity to participate. The comments already received by the NRC will be considered; reopening of the scoping process provides additional opportunity for the public to comment on issues that may have emerged since completion of the last scoping period.

The NRC will first conduct a scoping process for the supplement to the GEIS and, as soon as practicable thereafter, will prepare a draft supplement to the GEIS for public comment. Participation in the scoping process by members of the public and local, State, Tribal, and Federal government agencies is encouraged. The scoping process for the supplement to the GEIS will be used to accomplish the following:

a. Define the proposed action, which is to be the subject of the supplement to the GEIS;

b. Determine the scope of the supplement to the GEIS and identify the significant issues to be analyzed in depth;

c. Identify and eliminate from detailed study those issues that are peripheral or that are not significant;

d. Identify any environmental assessments and other ElSs that are being or will be prepared that are related to, but are not part of, the scope of the supplement to the GEIS being considered;

e. Identify other environmental review and consultation requirements related to the proposed action;

f. Indicate the relationship between the timing of the preparation of the environmental analyses and the Commission’s tentative planning and decision-making schedule;

g. Identify any cooperating agencies and, as appropriate, allocate assignments for preparation and schedules for completing the supplement to the GEIS to the NRC and any cooperating agencies; andShow citation box

h. Describe how the supplement to the GEIS will be prepared and include any contractor assistance to be used.

III. Public Scoping Meeting

The NRC has decided to hold public meetings for the DCPP license renewal supplement to the GEIS. The scoping meetings will be held on August 5, 2015, and there will be two sessions to accommodate interested persons. The first session will convene at 1:30 p.m. and will continue until 4:30 p.m., as necessary. The second session will convene at 7:00 p.m. with a repeat of the overview portions of the meeting and will continue until 10:00 p.m., as necessary. Both sessions will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott San Luis Obispo, 1605 Calle Joaquin Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405. Both meetings will be transcribed and will include: (1) An overview by the NRC staff of the NEPA environmental review process, the proposed scope of the supplement to the GEIS, and the proposed review schedule; and (2) the opportunity for interested government agencies, organizations, and individuals to submit comments or suggestions on the environmental issues or the proposed scope of the supplement to the GEIS. Additionally, the NRC staff will host informal discussions one hour prior to the start of each session at the same location. Written comments on the proposed scope of the supplement to the GEIS will be accepted during the informal discussions. To be considered, comments must be provided either at the transcribed public meetings or in writing, as discussed above.

Persons may register to attend or present oral comments at the meetings on the scope of the NEPA review by contacting the NRC Project Manager, Michael Wentzel, by telephone at 1-800-368-5642, extension 6459, or by email at Michael.Wentzel@nrc.gov, no later than July 31, 2015. Members of the public may also register to speak at the meeting within 15 minutes of the start of each session. Individual oral comments may be limited by the time available, depending on the number of persons who register. Members of the public who have not registered may also have an opportunity to speak if time permits. Public comments will be considered in the scoping process for the supplement to the GEIS. Michael Wentzel will need to be contacted no later than July 22, 2015, if special equipment or accommodations are needed to attend or present information at the public meeting so that the NRC staff can determine whether the request can be accommodated.

More information and links to documents at
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/07/01/2015-15921/diablo-canyon-power-plant-units-1-and-2