Australian news, and some related international items

Fukushima and the danger of typhoons, tornadoes

Fukushima plant faces typhoon summer with added tornado threat, Fuel Fix June 22, 2012 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501)’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant faces its second typhoon season since the March 11 disaster last year, raising the risk of further radiation leaks if storms thrash exposed pools of uranium fuel rods or tanks holding contaminated water.

Typhoon Guchol hit Japan this week and moved up the main island of
Honshu, prompting warnings of floods and landslides from the Japan
Meteorological Agency. The Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant wasn’t damaged by
the storm, which passed north of the crippled nuclear station, Tokyo
Electric spokesman Taichi Okazaki said by telephone on June 21.

Typhoons rake through Japan’s islands most summers. The difference
this year is Guchol arrived just a month after one of the most
powerful tornadoes ever recorded in the nation hit Tsukuba, about 170
kilometers (106 miles) southwest of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi facility.
The tornado, one of four to make landfall on May 6, ripped through an
area 17 kilometers long and 500 meters wide, the weather agency said
in a May 16 report……
Naked’ Pools

“Uranium spent fuel pools of No. 3 and No. 4 reactors are currently
naked,” Kazuhiko Kudo, a research professor of nuclear engineering at
Kyushu University, said on June 5. “A tornado with winds of 100 meters
per second like the one that hit Tsukuba could suck up the pool
water,” exposing the fuel rods. He raised the concern during a meeting
assessing safety measures at the crippled plant in May, he said.

As dismantling and decommissioning the reactors will take decades,
Tepco should review the plant’s safety measures against not only
aftershocks and tsunamis but also tornadoes and huge typhoons, even if
the possibility of extreme phenomena are very low, said Kudo, one of
12 members of the advisory panel to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety
Agency, or NISA……

June 24, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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