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Japan:Disaster debris still remain in Tohoku + Related Article

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Laaska news Dec. 29, 2011
Fukushima plant’s backup generator failed in 1991

The Japanese government is struggling to remove millions of tons of debris from the country’s northeast, more than 9 months after the March earthquake and tsunami.

The goal is to completely transfer 22 million tons of waste from disaster areas to temporary storage sites by the end of next March.

But environment ministry spokespeople say about 7 million tons, or one-third of the total debris, still needs to be hauled away.

They say the main reason for the delay is the time it takes to demolish damaged buildings. The government needs to get the approval of building owners and implement measures to prevent asbestos from scattering when it destroys the structures.

Spokespeople also say the ministry needs to build facilities with incinerators to burn up the debris that has been collected.

That work is progressing slowly because local governments are facing difficulties preparing the land where these facilities would be built.


Fukushima plant’s backup generator failed in 1991


The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant failed to take preventive measures after a backup generator was inundated by a leaking pipe 20 years ago.

Former employees of the Tokyo Electric Power Company told NHK that the problem occurred in October 1991.

They said water leaked from a pipe and entered the basement of the Number 1 reactor’s turbine building. This caused the failure of one of the two backup generators.

A former engineer at the Fukushima plant said he told his superiors that tsunami could damage the emergency generators in the basement, as the turbine buildings are close to the sea.

TEPCO installed doors to block water leaks in the rooms hosting the backup generators, but did not move them above ground to avoid tsunami damage.

The plant’s reactor cooling system failed when the emergency generators in the basement were inundated by the March 11th tsunami. All power sources were lost.

Japan’s Nuclear Safety Commission says it will revise the safety guidelines for designing nuclear plants and require the installation of additional power sources.



Laaska News.