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China trace radiation in Guangdong and Shanghai as Reactor 2 might have melted partially;TEPCO will take 30 years,$12 Billion to Decommission Fukushima

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The radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is not only keeping Japan on high alert but also its neighbours.China has said that it has detected trace radiation levels from the spreading radiation in its provincial regions bordering Japan.Note most of the Chinese economic centres are situation near the eastern coast near Japan.Its 2 main cities of Guangdong and Shanghai have also detected trace levels of radioactive elements like iodine and caesium.Note China has turned back vessels and people from Japan in the last week because of high radiation levels.

China finds traces of radioactive material in coastal atmosphere

China said on Monday that radioactive material was found in the atmosphere of more provinces and cities including Guangdong and Shanghai , as the government took measures to allay health concerns after the nuclear accident in Japan. China has begun testing food and water in 14 provinces and cities and inspecting incoming ships and air passengers from Japan to ease concerns of contamination.

Though there is no danger to human health from the radiation,there is a need to be on alert for all countries near Japan like Taiwan and Korea.Plutonium was discovered near the Fukushima reactors while seawater was measured to have extremely high radiation levels.A US expert has said that from the readings near reactor 2,it appears that the core might have partially melted through the containment vessel to the concrete floor.At least part of the molten core, which includes melted fuel rods and zirconium alloy cladding, seemed to have sunk through the steel “lower head” of the pressure vessel around reactor two.

Japan may have lost race to save nuclear reactor

The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.

The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant. Readings from reactor two at the site have been made public by the Japanese authorities and Tepco, the utility that operates it.

Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have “lost the race” to save the reactor, but said there was no danger of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe.

With the crisis not resolving,it seems that the operator of the plant TEPCO will take as long as 30 years to decommision the nuclera plant.It might also cost the company around $12 billion to fully shut down the radiation spewing reactors.4 of the reactors are now useless and will never generate electricity as seawater was used to cool the reactor cores.The other 2 might also not operate again in the face of public opposition.The long time and the huge money involved again brings back the question of the utility of nuclear plants.The time to shutdown a nuclear plant is inordinately long and the danger from the spend nuclear waste is massive.The massive plans of expansion of nuclear energy in China and India should be put on hold before a major review of the costs and benefits.Note it took almost a billion dollars and 12 years to bring the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant to fully shutdown.

Tepco’s Damaged Reactors May Take 30 Years, $12 Billion to Scrap

Damaged reactors at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant may take three decades to decommission and cost operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. more than 1 trillion yen ($12 billion), engineers and analysts said.

At Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island in 1979, one reactor partially melted in the worst U.S. accident, earning a 5 rating. Its $973 million repair and cleanup took almost 12 years to complete, according to a report on the World Nuclear Association’s website. More than 1,000 workers were involved in designing and conducting the cleanup operation, the report said.


Abhishek Shah

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