Monday, April 11, 2011

Dismantling nuclear reactors take 10 years

A month after an earthquake of nine degrees and the force of a tsunami destroyed after Japan, the Japanese firm Toshiba has said the government of Tokyo that could dismantle the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear plant in 10 years, about 30% less of what it took to perform the same operation on the ground of Harrisburg (Three Mile Island, USA), following the accident in 1979.

The Japanese automaker believes it can use the experience acquired by its U.S. subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, in Harrisburg to speed up the process. Another company that also manufactures engines, Hitachi plans to present its proposal with the U.S. General Electric. The supply of reactors in Fukushima was partitioned between General Electric, Toshiba and Hitachi.

Yukio Edan, government spokesman, said there is still no timetable for the decommissioning of the plant, and that four weeks after it was severely damaged by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, is still not stabilized and continues emitting radioactivity. Edan said Friday that the situation in Fukushima remains "unstable" and said he could not "prejudge" how things will end and warned that the situation may get worse still.

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), the owner of the plant, began on Monday to pour into the ocean 11 000 500 tons of water with low radioactivity accumulated in the plant to free space in which to store other more radiation. The company expects to complete the discharge within hours. At the same time is injecting nitrogen into the reactor to prevent potential explosions caused by accumulating hydrogen and it comes into contact with oxygen.

Banri Kaieda, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and head of the network of 55 nuclear power plants in Japan, visited the plant, where, dressed in protective overalls, stayed about 45 minutes. It is the first senior government official who comes to the installation from the beginning of the nuclear crisis.

The replica of magnitude 7.1 on the Richter scale occurred on Thursday, also in northeastern Japan, causing, as in Fukushima, "the brief interruption of power supply from three other stations: Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture and Rokkasho and Higashidori, both in Aomori. No radiation leakage occurred, and continue in a stable condition.

TEPCO plans to fly a remote controlled helicopter with an infrared camera on Fukushima to inspect the plant, hoping to help assess the situation. About 300 thousand households were without electricity Saturday in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, by the earthquake on Thursday.

Radiation leaks reached in some areas of Japan to tap water, vegetables and fish, causing concern not only within its borders but also in neighboring countries. China decided to extend the ban on the importation of food from farm five to 12 Japanese prefectures. killed by the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan Northeast.

According to the Japanese authorities, only 13 000 deaths have been recognized and confirmed. Some 17,000 people protested in Tokyo against nuclear shouting "We do not need Fukushima," referring to the nuclear crisis unleashed by the earthquake and tsunami of March 11 in Japan. The protesters were deployed in various parts of the Japanese capital, including the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, which has serious problems in four of six reactors and emits radiation.

Eight anti-nuclear organizations called for the closing up of all the plants that use nuclear fuel in Japan. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, secured re-election for another term of four years in the first elections in Japan after the earthquake last month, in which the governors were chosen from 11 other provinces.

According to initial projections Kyodo news agency after the closing of the polls, the conservative Ishihara (78 years) who had the support of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito party, beat their rivals for his fourth chain mandate. In Hokkaido, Kyodo winner is considered certain Harumi Takahashi, also linked to the first opposition party, the LDP, who ruled for over half a century Japan to victory in the Democratic Party (PD) in the 2009 general.

Japanese Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, criticized for his handling of the crisis in the Fukushima nuclear plant could suffer a blow if voters punish their training, the Democratic Party. The elections are seen as the first examination of the central government's actions following the devastating earthquake and tsunami, which particularly affected the northeast coast of Japan.

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