Proliferation News
» July 21, 2011

Plugging Reactors No Longer Stated Goal for Tepco

Kazuaki Nagata | Japan Times

Fukushima Daichi

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. are boasting success in achieving the first stage in the road map to stabilize the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, but experts said big challenges remain as the utility moves to the second phase, the goal of which is to achieve a cold shutdown in three to six months.

In the newly updated plan, released Tuesday, the two sides defined cold shutdown as bringing the temperature at the bottom of the pressure vessels in the stricken reactors to below 100 degrees.

They also plan to reduce the amount of radioactive materials being released from the containment vessels and keep the radiation level around the plant to less than 1 millisievert per year by mid-January, which may enable some evacuees to return home.

When the second phase is over, "it will depend on radiation levels in the various areas, but I think we can achieve some specific results even for the evacuation area (within 20 km of the plant)," said Goshi Hosono, state minister in charge of the crisis, stressing that the government will make every effort to decontaminate areas around the plant. Full Article   

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More from Proliferation News

Matthew L. Wald | New York Times
A majority of the five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission is signaling that it wants to move slowly on at least some new recommendations from its staff on how to reduce the chance of a Fukushima-type accident at an American reactor despite calls by its chairman for swift action. Three commissioners are resisting a proposal by the chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, that the commission act promptly on all the recommendations, which were issued last week by a team of six senior staff members.     Full Article

China Should Remain Prudent in Nuclear Fuel Path (Carnegie Nuclear Energy Brief)
James T. Areddy | Wall Street Journal
China says its nuclear industry has made a fresh technological breakthrough, which, even if it doesn't immediately solve the country's energy needs, underscores Beijing's determination to be a leading font of knowledge about the controversial power source. The China Institute of Atomic Energy said Thursday that a small, experimental "fast breeder" reactor outside Beijing had been hooked to the grid to produce electricity.     Full Article

Monsters and Critics
Russia is developing a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which will become the world's most effective nuclear weapons delivery system. The new liquid-fueled heavy missile will carry a maximum of 15 nuclear warheads and be able to reach almost any target in the Northern Hemisphere. The new liquid-fueled heavy missile will carry a maximum of 15 nuclear warheads and be able to reach almost any target in the Northern Hemisphere.     Full Article

Rachel Oswald | Global Security Newswire
Indian and Pakistani strategies for ramping up their armed might could increase the likelihood of a disastrous outcome in the event of another war between the longtime antagonists, experts said this week. The neighboring rivals have fought three wars since 1947. The introduction in the last two decades of nuclear weapons into the Pakistani-India military balance is seen to have provided a check on further armed hostilities, restricting them from escalating into full-scale war.     Full Article

Nasser Karimi | Associated Press
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has cautiously welcomed a Russian proposal for bringing Iran back to talks over its nuclear program, the official news agency reported Thursday. The proposal calls for the international community to make limited concessions to Iran for each step it takes in meeting demands to clarify the nature of its nuclear program. "They have proposed step-by-step cooperation with Iran in the nuclear field," the IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.     Full Article

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