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Progress by on-site workers

Located in: Regulation and Safety

17 March 2011

Fukushima Daiichi 3, March 2011The high levels of radiation braved by workers at the scene in Fukushima Daiichi appear to have reduced after the expansion of the workforce and announcements of infrastructure improvements to come.

ARMZ pulls back from acquisition

Located in: Industry Talk

17 March 2011

The $1.2 billion acquisition of emerging uranium mining company Mantra Resources by Russia's AtomRedMetzoloto (ARMZ) is in doubt following the serious events at the Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan. ARMZ has notified Australia-based Mantra that it believes the Japanese incidents are likely to have a detrimental effect on Mantra's business. As a result, it says, it considers that the condition relating to a "material adverse change" in the 15 December implementation agreement for the deal is not capable of satisfaction. ARMZ says it intends to continue discussions with Mantra to see if the transaction can still go ahead by an alternative approach. Mantra has a portfolio of projects in southern Africa, including the Mkuju River project in southern Tanzania which has estimated mineral resources (measured, indicated and inferred) of 101.4 million pounds U3O8 (39,000 tU).

Attempts to refill fuel ponds

Located in: Regulation and Safety

17 March 2011

Fukushima Daiichi 4A major struggle took place today to maintain cooling of used nuclear fuel at Fukushima Daiichi 3 and 4. Helicopters made water drops and large fire trucks showered the buildings. Initial indications are that the effort was successful.

Korea sends boric acid supplies

Located in: Industry Talk

16 March 2011

The South Korean government said on 16 March that it is sending boric acid supplies to Japan to use in efforts to stabilise stricken nuclear reactors. Boron is an efficient neutron absorber that can be injected in to the core of a nuclear reactor to inhibit nuclear reactions. It has already been injected into some of the Fukushima reactors, but as it absorbs neutrons the boron is converted into materials that are less efficient at absorbing neutrons. According to Korea's Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), Japan has asked for the supply of 52.6 tonnes of boric acid, an amount Korea will supply in its entirety from its current domestic reserves of about 309 tonnes.

Problems for units 3 and 4

Located in: Regulation and Safety

16 March 2011

Chief cabinet secretary Yukio Edano has described problems that occurred on the morning of 16 March with Fukushima Daiichi 3 and 4, as well as plans to pump water into unit 4. Controlling the situation of the used fuel storage ponds is the urgent priority now.

All Fukushima Daini units in cold shutdown

Located in: Industry Talk

15 March 2011

All four units at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant have now achieved cold shutdown - where coolant water is at less than 100ºC - with full operation of cooling systems, Tepco reported. All the reactors shut down automatically during last week’s earthquake and have remained safe. While unit 3’s shutdown went as expected, damage to the emergency core cooling systems of units 1, 2 and 4 led to the announcement of emergency status. These three reactors were prepared for potential pressure release, but this was never required. Unit 1 announced cold shutdown at 1.24 am on 14 March and unit 2 followed at 3.52 am. Tepco has now announced that unit 4 achieved cold shutdown at 7.15 pm on 15 March. Water levels are now stable in all four reactors and offsite power is available, the company said.

Radiation decreasing, fuel ponds warming

Located in: Regulation and Safety

15 March 2011

BWR cutawayLoud noises were heard at Fukushima Daiichi 2 this morning and a major component beneath the reactor may be damaged. Evacuation to 20 kilometres is being completed, while radiation levels decrease from a high in the morning. Concern is growing over the status of fuel cooling ponds at units 4, 5 and 6.

Loss of coolant at Fukushima Daiichi 2

Located in: Regulation and Safety

14 March 2011

Serious damage to the reactor core of Fukushima Daiichi 2 seems likely after coolant was apparently lost for a period. Seawater is again being injected, but coolant level is unknown.

Rolling blackouts as Japanese efforts continue

Located in: Regulation and Safety

14 March 2011

Japanese utilities are introducing rolling blackouts in the face of energy shortages following the natural disasters of the last few days. Meanwhile, the country is relying more than ever on the continued operation of its other nuclear reactors.

Cold shutdowns at Fukushima Daini

Located in: Regulation and Safety

14 March 2011

Two more reactors at Fukushima Daini have now achieved cold shutdown with full operation of cooling systems. Engineers are working for the same at the last unit.


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