Tagged with "Nuclear"
MIT designs a floating, tsunami-proof nuclear plant
Category: Technology
Tags: Nuclear Power Plant

MIT designs a floating, tsunami-proof nuclear plant

What's the safest place to put a nuclear reactor? Offshore, apparently. A new power plant design concept from MIT envisions a facility built on floating platforms, moored in deep water several miles off the coast. This, the concept's creators explain, lends it several crucial advantages -- making it virtually immune to earthquakes, tsunamis and meltdowns. Big promises, to be sure, but the professors' reasoning actually makes sense: in deep water, tsunami waves aren't large enough to cause significant damage, and earthquakes are usually only felt if you're standing on the earth. Floating the reactor on the ocean also gives the plant access to easy, passive cooling, what MIT's Jacopo Buongiorno calls an "infinite heat sink."

The concept may be designed to prevent natural disasters, but some of its ideas sound a little dangerous on their own. Buongiorno describes an emergency situation that sees the plant venting radioactive gasses into the ocean, rather than into the air. This protects nearby populations from airborne radiation, but seems like a questionable move in terms of protecting the local environment. For now, it's just an idea -- but if the idea can be developed further, it could provide us with safer, more manageable nuclear power in the future.

 

[Image credit: MIT-NSE, Jake Jurewicz]

 

 

Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the US
Category: WORLD-NEWS
Tags: Energy Japan Nuclear SciTech USA

Japan prepares to ship nuclear materials to the USReuters/Gleb Garanich

Japan agreed to transfer a share of its highly enriched uranium and weapons grade plutonium stockpiles to the US as part of the global effort to secure nuclear materials. Other nations are also urged to deposit excess nuclear materials in the US.

On the eve of the two-day Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, US and Japanese leaders arranged a deal on “final disposition” in the US of well over 300 kilograms of weapons grade plutonium and an unspecified quantity of highly enriched uranium (HEU) that will be “sent to a secure facility and fully converted into less sensitive forms."

This quantity of plutonium is enough to produce 40-50 warheads. The total quantity of HEU currently stocked in Japan is estimated at approximately 1.2 tons. According to The New York Times, some 200 kilograms of HEU is currently designated for the US.

After Barack Obama announced in Prague in 2009 an ambitious agenda to seek “the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,” the American president has been pressing his foreign counterparts, both in Asia and Europe, demanding they either get rid of their excess nuclear materials via the US, or tighten security of stockpiles at home.

Two more countries, Belgium and Italy, have also agreed to hand over excess nuclear materials to the US and issued separate joint statements with the White House, Reuters reported.

“This effort involves the elimination of hundreds of kilograms of nuclear material, furthering our mutual goal of minimizing stocks of HEU and separated plutonium worldwide, which will help prevent unauthorized actors, criminals, or terrorists from acquiring such materials,” US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a joint statement released by the White House on Monday.

There is no information whether the deal between Japan and the US has a financial side; nuclear materials, of course, have a solid market value.

After the Russian-American HEU-LEU agreement came to an end in 2013, the US nuclear power generation industry is likely to face a sharp fuel price surge and shortage.

For two decades, the US was buying nuclear fuel from Russia for a dumping price. This fuel was made from down blended Soviet military grade highly enriched uranium, which constituted up to 40 percent of nuclear fuel for America’s 104 nuclear reactors (America’s 65 nuclear power plants generate over 19 percent of electric power in the country).

In the meantime, the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC), the leading US nuclear fuel supplier remains in dire straits and plans to voluntarily file for bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2014 in order to restructure.

The US also has problems with producing plutonium, used not only in nuclear warheads, but for space exploration as well; only plutonium can produce enough power for long missions to distant planets in the Solar system.

Tokyo also reportedly possesses several dozen tons of plutonium-uranium hybrid fuel called MOX, which it intends to burn in 16 reactors the country plans to restart. All Japanese nuclear power generating facilities halted operation following the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in March 2011.

The nuclear materials designated for transfer to the US have been kept for decades at Japan’s research reactor site in Tokaimura, where it was used for research.

During the Cold War era, the US and UK reportedly handed over some 331 kilogram of plutonium to Japan to be used for developing breeder reactor technology.

After decades of research, practically all fast (breeder) reactor projects around the world, including Japanese ones, are now closed down. The only country that currently possesses operating breeder reactor power generation facility is Russia.

In 1999, the Tokaimura facility witnessed an accident involving a highly enriched uranium solution. Two workers mishandled radioactive fluid and died as a result, while over 300 were exposed to high doses of radiation.

The New York Times maintains that while the nuclear materials at the Tokaimura facility are of American and British origin, Japan also has vast stockpiles, up to nine tons of plutonium, created at the country’s nuclear power stations as a byproduct of burning uranium for electric power generation. Once Japan restarts some of its nuclear reactors, there will be even more plutonium generated.

http://rt.com/news/japan-nuclear-materials-us-841/

Fukushima cleanup suspended after worker’s death Tags: Accident Japan Nuclear

Fukushima cleanup suspended after worker’s death

This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on March 28, 2014 shows a pit under a storage house where a worker was burried in earth and rubble while digging a hole at the site at TEPCO's Fukushima dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (AFP Photo)

This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on March 28, 2014 shows a pit under a storage house where a worker was burried in earth and rubble while digging a hole at the site at TEPCO's Fukushima dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (AFP Photo)

The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, TEPCO, suspended the cleanup at the facility after one of the workers died while digging a ditch Friday.

A man in his fifties was buried under gravel as he was digging near the nuclear plant’s storage area, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. 
The worker was dug out and rushed to hospital, but failed to regain consciousness and was pronounced dead three hours after the incident. 
“In the three years since the disaster, we had not had any worker deaths caused by work [inside the plant]. The fact that such a serious accident has occurred is deeply regrettable,” said Masayuki Ono, a spokesperson for TEPCO in Tokyo, Reuters reported. 
All cleanup operations at the plant have been suspended for an immediate safety inspection, Kyodo News reports. 
Like most of the laborers at the disaster-hit nuclear plant, the worker was hired by TEPCO through a subcontractor.This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on March 28, 2014 shows a pit under a storage house where a worker was burried in earth and rubble while digging a hole at the site at TEPCO's Fukushima dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (AFP Photo)

This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on March 28, 2014 shows a pit under a storage house where a worker was burried in earth and rubble while digging a hole at the site at TEPCO's Fukushima dai-ichi nuclear plant in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture. (AFP Photo)

 

The Fukushima operator didn’t announce the man’s name or his direct employer, only saying that he reported up to Toso Fudosan Kanri Company, a first-tier contractor under TEPCO. 

Friday’s fatality was the fifth death among the workers involved in the cleanup operation at the Fukushima plant. According to TEPCO, three people have died from heart attacks and one died from leukemia. 

The company said that none of the deaths were related to radiation exposure as the workers are thoroughly monitored and removed from duty after reaching an annual radiation limit.


Earlier Friday, TEPCO said that work to remove fuel rods from one of the destroyed reactor buildings had been also halted. 

The delay was caused by a worker mishandling a giant crane on Wednesday as he damaged the mechanism by moving it without disengaging the handbrake. 

TEPCO has been widely criticized for its handling of the cleanup, which has been plagued by a series of leaks of contaminated radioactive water from hastily built tanks. 

About 436,000 cubic meters of contaminated radioactive water is stored at the site in about 1,200 tanks, with the operator struggling to decontaminate it due to frequent failures of equipment.

Men wearing protective suits and masks work in front of welding storage tanks for radioactive water, under construction in the J1 area at the Tokyo Electric Power Co's (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Okuma in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo / Toru Hanai)

Source

RSS
Search a Blog

May 2014 (1)
April 2014 (419)
March 2014 (692)
February 2014 (747)
January 2014 (962)
December 2013 (852)
November 2013 (858)
October 2013 (858)
September 2013 (781)
August 2013 (692)
July 2013 (692)
June 2013 (678)
May 2013 (687)
April 2013 (263)
Blog Categories

WHO IS ONLINE
Support B.O.L.E. in two ways

Your support to have the B.O.L.E. (incl.all articles) open and free for everyone is much appreciated.

Shop with us by AMAZON

or by clicking on

In Your Service

B.O.L.E.

 

 

A Time To Act - One Step

UNIVERSAL ONENESS


This website is powered by Spruz