• Tepco begins disassembly of F. Daiichi unit #1’s prefabricated outer enclosure. The enclosure was erected in 2011 to stanch the release of atmospheric radioactive isotopes. It has been a complete success. Now, it is time to disassemble the structure in order to remove debris from the March 12, 2011, hydrogen explosion. This must be done to eventually move the used bundles in the spent fuel pool to the ground-level storage facility. The roof was removed last year, with the final section taken off on October 5th. After nearly a year of following ultra-cautious procedures, the first side-wall panel was removed on September 13th. It weighed 20 tons and covered nearly 400 m2. A Fukushima prefectural official said, “Steady progress is necessary in reconstruction, but we hope they will carry on the procedure with safety as the No. 1 priority.” Tepco will use tarpaulins to prevent release of airborne radioactive materials after the enclosure is fully disassembled. Tepco and Tokyo have set a 2020 target date for used fuel removal. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2016/1323201_7763.htmlhttp://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2016/images/handouts_160913_01-e.pdfhttp://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609130070.html
  • Tepco posts the contamination level in the unit #1 & 2 common exhaust drain sump. The depressurizations of March 12 (unit 1) and March 13-14, 2011 (unit 2), resulted in large volumes of radioactive gasses flowing up and out of the common stack. The sump collected any condensation left behind by the exhaust gasses. The water in the pit is nearly two feet deep. Samples were taken by F. Daiichi staff and found to have the following radioactive isotopic concentrations: gross Beta activity is 6×107 Becquerels per liter, Cesium-134 is 8.3×106 Bq/l, and Cs-137 is 5.2×107 Bq/l. https://www4.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2016/images/handouts_160913_02-e.pdf
  • The plan for the licensing extension of Takahama units #1 & 2 is made public. The plan was reported to host Fukui Prefecture on September 8th. Each of the two PWR units has an output rating of 826 MWe. The major parts of the plan includes (1) installation of additional shielding inside the containment vessels, (2) replacement of refueling water tanks, (3) additional fire protection, (4) relocation of the seawater intake facility for Unit 2, and (5) installation of digital control panels. Work will begin in February and should end in November, 2019. Station owner Kansai Electric Co. said, Kansai EP reiterated, “From the perspective of the ‘3E+S approach’ (energy security, economic efficiency, and environmental protection plus safety), nuclear is a key power source. We will continue promoting it as the core of our business at power plants whose safety has been confirmed by the government, including those in operation for more than 40 years.” Takahama units #3 & 4 restarted earlier this year, but a court in a neighboring prefecture filed an injunction forcing both to be shut down because Japan’s new regulatory system cannot provide absolute assurance that no nuke accidents will ever happen again. http://www.jaif.or.jp/en/kansai-ep-releases-plan-to-improve-safety-of-takahama-units-12-eyeing-sixty-years-of-operation/