Antony Froggart, senior research fellow at Chatham House, says as a consequence of the problems in the Fukushima plant Japan will "undoubtely" reassess its nuclear power strategy: "There will be impacts on different levels. On the political and public level people will once again consider whether or not they think it's suitable to be located so closely to a nuclear power plant. But I think probably the more important aspect is the economic. What we are likely to see, once things are under control, is a systematic review of safety requirements in Japanese reactors in relation to seismic activities. And this is likely to lead to requirements which will have an economic impact both in terms of the reactors currently under construction and those that are in operation. So this might well tip the balance away from nuclear energy in favour of alternatives purely for economic reasons," he told the BBC World Service's Newshour programme.


New blast at Japanese nuclear plant

An explosion rocked Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Monday, hours after the US navy began moving ships away from the area as the emergency escalated at the earthquake-damaged power station north of Tokyo.
The blast, captured by television cameras, occurred at the plant’s No. 3 reactor building, according to Tokyo Electric Power, the operator. Tepco engineers have been struggling since Friday’s quake to cool the overheated cores of three reactors at the site.
Combustible hydrogen had been collecting inside the No. 3 reactor building since Sunday, as engineers vented gas from inside the reactor’s protective containment vessel in an effort to relieve pressure building up inside.
Tepco said the reactor’s protective containment shell remained intact after the blast. A similar explosion destroyed part of the plant’s No. 1 reactor building on Saturday.






1710: The crisis has renewed concern in other countries about the safety of atomic power. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel said it represented a turning point for the world. She said that safety standards at her own country's nuclear power stations would now be reviewed. In the United States, Senator Joe Lieberman said Washington needed to put the brakes on the development of nuclear power plants until lessons were learned from what had happened in Japan.

1706: The news about Tokai comes as the authorities battle to prevent a meltdown at the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi complex. Sea water is being pumped into three overheating reactors there. The plant was rocked by an explosion on Saturday, which blew off the roof of one reactor building. Meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared at a second nuclear site. The International Atomic Energy Agency said increased levels of radiation had been detected at Onagawa, close to the area worst hit by the tsunami.

1702: The Japan Atomic Power Company has said the cooling system of a reactor at its Tokai nuclear power plant is working, although two of the three diesel power generators used for cooling are out of order, the Reuters news agency reports. The plant, about 120km (75 miles) north of Tokyo in Ibaraki prefecture, was automatically shut down after Friday's earthquake.



1609: The 1,100MW Tokai plant, about 120km (75 miles) north of Tokyo, was automatically shut down after Friday's earthquake.

1606: A pump within the cooling system of one of the reactors at the Tokai nuclear power plant has stopped working, according to the Kyodo news agency. The plant is located in the Naka district of the central prefecture of Ibaraki, and is operated by the Japan Atomic Power Company.

1600: At the same time, Malcolm Crick, the secretary of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, has told the Reuters news agency: "This is not a serious public health issue at the moment. It won't be anything like Chernobyl. There the reactor was operating at full power when it exploded and it had no containment."

1558: He described the worst-case scenario: "It is difficult to say, but that would be a core meltdown. If the rods fall and mix with water, the result would be an explosion of solid material like a volcano spreading radioactive material. Steam or a hydrogen explosion caused by the mix would spread radioactive waste more than 50km. Also, this would be multiplied. There are many reactors in the area so there would be many Chernobyls."

1553: He accused the government of deliberately withholding vital information that would allow outside experts help solve the problems. "For example, there has not been enough information about the hydrogen being vented. We don't know how much was vented and how radioactive it was." He also described the use of sea water to cool the cores of the reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi as highly unusual and dangerous.

1548: Mr Goto said the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant were suffering pressure build-ups way beyond that for which they were designed. There was a severe risk of an explosion, with radioactive material being strewn over a very wide area - beyond the 20km evacuation zone set up by the authorities - he added. Mr Goto calculated that because Reactor No 3 at Fukushima-Daiichi - where pressure is rising and there is a risk of an explosion - used a type of fuel known as Mox, a mixture of plutonium oxide and uranium oxide, the radioactive fallout from any meltdown might be twice as bad.

1541: A former nuclear power plant designer has said Japan is facing an extremely grave crisis and called on the government to release more information, which he said was being suppressed. Masashi Goto told a news conference in Tokyo that one of the reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi plant was "highly unstable", and that if there was a meltdown the "consequences would be tremendous". He said such an event might be very likely indeed. So far, the government has said a meltdown would not lead to a sizeable leak of radioactive materials.




The US state department is now urging all non-essential government personnel to defer travel to Japan. It also says Americans should avoid tourism and other unnecessary visits to Japan for now.



■Meanwhile, Japan's meteorological agency has said the wind that is blowing over the Fukushima-Daiichi plant will blow from the west during Sunday night, pushing any radioactivity towards the Pacific Ocean, the Reuters news agency reports. Earlier, the wind was blowing from the south, raising concerns radioactivity could affect residential areas.

■Radiation levels at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi prefecture are about 700 times higher than normal but are still low, the Tohoku Electric Power Company has said, according to the Maichi Shinbum website. Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency dismissed the possibility that the Onagawa plant was to blame, saying it was likely caused by the radioactive substances that scattered when a hydrogen explosion hit the troubled Fukushima plant on Saturday.





1 件のコメント:

  1. 情報感謝です。