Fukushima May Be At Risk Of Imminent "Hydrogen Explosion"
26 May, 2015
Containers holding contaminated water at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant are at risk of hydrogen explosions, The Telegraph reports, with 10% of them found to be leaking.
The discovery was reported to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which raised concerns surrounding the potential hazards of accumulated hydrogen building up in the containers warning that "a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explode." TEPCO officials reassuringly note that they "think the possibility of an occurrence of hydrogen explosion from these storage facilities is extremely low, since there is no fire origin, or anything that generates static electricity nearby," but this is the same company that a recent IAEA report blasted for "failing to implement adequate safeguards at Fukushima – despite being aware of the tsunami risk."
Leaking containers at Japan’s embattled Fukushima nuclear power plant are at risk of possible hydrogen explosions, experts have claimed. As The Telegraph reports,
Almost 10 per cent of recently inspected containers holding contaminated water at the nuclear plant in northeast Japan were found to be leaking radioactive water.
The leakages, discovered during inspections by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operators of the plant, were thought to be caused by a build-up of hydrogen and other gases due to radiation contamination.
The discovery was reported to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which raised concerns surrounding the potential hazards of accumulated hydrogen building up in the containers.
“If the concentration level is high, a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explode,” one NRA official told the Asahi Shimbun.
Tepco officials made the discovery while inspecting 278 of the plant’s 1,307 containers and found that 26 – close to ten per cent - had a leakage or overspill from their lids.
It is believed that gases had accumulated in the sediment at the base of the containers, prompting the volume of the liquid to expand and resulting in the overflow.
However, officials at Tepco stated that the risk of an explosion was believed to be minimal, with a series of measures being undertaken as a matter of urgency to resolve the faulty storage containers.
The operators also emphasised that there was no sign of radioactive water escaping beyond the confines of the concrete structures that encase the leaking containers.
“We think the possibility of an occurrence of hydrogen explosion from these storage facilities is extremely low, since there is no fire origin, or anything that generates static electricity nearby,” Mayumi Yoshida, a spokeswoman for Tepco, told the Telegraph.
Outlining measures to fix the problem, she added: “For temporary measures, we have been removing the leaked water, installing absorption materials, monitoring by patrol, keeping water level inside those facilities lower than set and keeping equipment which may generate fire away.
“In the long term, we’re going to lower the water level of current facilities so as to prevent further leakages.”
But this reassurance rings a little hollow given the recent report finding TEPCO at fault (as RT reports)...
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report that TEPCO failed to implement adequate safeguards at Fukushima – despite being aware of the tsunami risk. The document was obtained by Kyodo news agency on Monday.
According to the 240-page report, several analyses carried out between 2007 and 2009 predicted the possibility of an 8.3-magnitude earthquake on the coast of Fukushima, which could result in the plant being hit by a tsunami of around 15 meters.
However, TEPCO and Japanese authorities delayed responding to the predictions, feeling that "further studies and investigations were needed.”
"TEPCO did not take interim compensatory measures in response to these increased estimates of tsunami height, nor did NISA require TEPCO to act promptly on these results," reads the text.
The report, prepared by 180 experts from 42 countries, will be presented at the annual IAEA meeting in September, if approved by its board of directors in June.
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Will the truth ever get out?