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Tokyo Electric's Damaged Reactors May Take 30 Years, $12 Billion to Scrap - Bloomberg

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.

Four of the plant's six reactors became useless when sea water was used to cool them after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out generators running its cooling systems. The reactors need to be decommissioned, Tepco Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said today. He couldn't give a timeframe.

All the reactors, including Units 5 and 6, will be shut down, and the government hasn't ruled out sealing the plant in concrete, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told reporters today in Tokyo.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 11:08:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
12 billion dollars in cleanup costs? Good thing the Japanese government had recently doubled the operators' maximum liability to 1.2 billion. Oh, wait!

dvx:

Plant operator liability is exclusive and absolute, and power plant operators must provide a 'financial security amount' of ¥60 billion ($600 million). From 2010, this doubles to ¥120 billion ($1.2 billion). Beyond that, the government provides coverage, and liability is unlimited. The revision to the law also increases penalties, including fines, for nuclear companies operating plants without financial security, from the current maximum of ¥500,000 ($5040) up to ¥1 million ($10,090).
Oh, and, on the 30-year time span: Windscale fire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The reactor was unsalvageable; where possible, the fuel rods were removed, and the reactor bioshield was sealed and left intact. Approximately 6,700 fire-damaged fuel elements and 1,700 fire-damaged isotope canisters remain in the pile. The damaged reactor core was still slightly warm as a result of continuing nuclear reactions.[11] Windscale Pile 2, though undamaged by the fire, was considered too unsafe for continued use. It was shut down shortly afterward. No air-cooled reactors have been built since. The final removal of fuel from the damaged reactor was scheduled to begin in 2008 and continue for a further four years.
That's over 50 years after the accident.

So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 11:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, Units 1-4 at Fukushima, That is seven nuclear disasters -- and counting. How many more?

The financing of new reactors should be required to take into account the cost of cleanup by paying into a fund to provide that cleanup with the cost being based on the historical failure rate with some, but not more than 50% downward modification for presumed design improvements. Those responsible for the solvency of that fund should have a voice in the setting or safety regulations.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:40:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're missing
one [INES level 6] incident to date:
  • Kyshtym disaster at Mayak, Soviet Union, 29 September 1957. A failed cooling system at a military nuclear waste reprocessing facility caused a steam explosion that released 70-80 tons of highly radioactive material into the environment. Impact on local population is not fully known. This is the only accident to go over 5 on scale besides Chernobyl.
and a number of INES level 5 incidents


So, in what may be my last act of "advising", I'll advise you to cut the jargon. -- My old PhD advisor, to me, 26/2/11
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I did have three of these listed. Quibble, quibble.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 12:53:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And two more were military accidents, two more (Chalk River, Lucens) were research reactors, one more a radioactive material in wrong hands incident. Only the ones you name were commercial reactors in need of such insurance you wrote about.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 01:05:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Windscale had a graphite core, which always complicates cleanup. A better comparison is TMI, where decontamination started after 5 years and was completed 7 years after that.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 01:13:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The cleanup cost was $1 billion.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Wed Mar 30th, 2011 at 01:14:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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