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18 June, 2019

MHI Tests Anti-Explosion Robot for Plant Inspections, Capitalizing on Experience Gained in Nuclear Accidents

On June 10, Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), announced that it had carried out an operational test of its prototype EX ROVR robot for plant inspections at JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation’s Mizushima Refinery in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, located in western part of Japan.

The anti-explosion plant-inspection robot EX ROVR measures 70cm long,  45cm wide, and 105cm high when the sub-crawler is folded, and weighs 60kg (photo provided by MHI).The robot has “anti-explosion” features intended to minimize the chances that the robot itself, through sparks or heat, might ignite an explosion or fire when operated in an explosive atmosphere such as flammable gas. There is an increasing need for such robots to save manpower in patrolling oil refineries and the like. MHI’s experience with robotic technologies includes the successful development of radiation-resistance and remote-control capabilities in response to the JCO criticality accident in September 1999 and the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants in March 2011. Based on those experiences, the company has been developing robots for patrolling and inspecting oil and chemical plants, and as a means to respond to infrastructure disasters. The design o...more
13 June, 2019

Training and Simulations Mark Flawless Preparation for Start of Fuel Removal from FBR Monju Reactor Core in October

At a June 10 meeting of the safety monitoring team of the Nuclear Regulation Authority of Japan (NRA), representatives from the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) reported on the state of preparations for the removal of nuclear fuel assemblies from the reactor core of the prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR) “Monju,” where decommissioning is underway.

At the previous meeting of the team, held at the end of May, the JAEA had announced its postponement of the start of fuel removal from the core, from the initial plan of July to October. That decision was based on its desire to begin the removal only after a sufficient preparatory period was taken to ensure safety, in the light of various faults and phenomena observed until then in the course of work, training simulations, and so forth. It also reduced the number of assemblies to be removed in the first round from 110 to 100. At the most recent meeting, the JAEA representatives explained that the agency would institute “hold points” in the process of fuel removal from Monju, allowing precise states and conditions to be verified before proceeding to the next step.  Specifically, they are...more
13 June, 2019

Japan’s Cabinet Approves FY18 White Paper on Energy Policy, Seeking Low-carbon Society to Meet Paris Agreement Goals

On June 7, Japan’s Cabinet approved the White Paper on Energy Policy for FY18 (ended March 31, 2019), an annual overview of policies on energy supply and demand. Among other topics, it addressed such major issues as global warming countermeasures and energy problems in major countries in line with the Paris Agreement, as well as recent efforts in Japan to deal with natural disasters.

Those were in addition to mention of progress in the reconstruction of Fukushima, a subject that has been addressed annually since the 2011 accident. More specifically, the White Paper explained the current state of the decommissioning of the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants, along with contaminated water measures. Regarding the removal of spent nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pools at the NPPs, it outlined the course of events so far for the removal of fuel from Unit 3. Though a fuel–removal cover had been installed in February 2018, the fuel removal itself did not start in the middle of FY18 as originally scheduled, owing to problems in a fuel-handling facility, but rather began in April 2019 after safety inspections and other work had first been conduct...more
5 June, 2019

TEPCO Considering New Plan to Remove Spent Fuel from Fukushima Daiichi-2

On May 30, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) released a progress report on the decommissioning work taking place at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants.

At Unit 2, TEPCO still expects to begin removing fuel from the spent fuel pool sometime in FY23 (April 2023 to March 2024). Now, given the reduced radiation levels inside the operating floor of the reactor building found in investigations conducted over the winter, TEPCO is also considering a third approach to the removal, in addition to two approaches that both involve demolishing the upper part of the operating floor. In the new approach, only as little of the floor as possible would be removed, with an assembly base for removal work to be built on the south side of the operating floor, allowing access to the inside of the floor. At a press conference, President Akira Ono of the Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Company explained the new thinking. ...more

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“The current situation at Fukushima Daiichi NPS” -From 3.11 toward the future- (ver, July 2019)

8 July, 2019
“The current situation at Fukushima Daiichi NPS” -From 3.11 toward the future- (ver, July 2019)09:17

Recent News

18 June, 2019
MHI Tests Anti-Explosion Robot for Plant Inspections, Capitalizing on Experience Gained in Nuclear Accidents
13 June, 2019
Training and Simulations Mark Flawless Preparation for Start of Fuel Removal from FBR Monju Reactor Core in October
13 June, 2019
Japan’s Cabinet Approves FY18 White Paper on Energy Policy, Seeking Low-carbon Society to Meet Paris Agreement Goals
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TEPCO Considering New Plan to Remove Spent Fuel from Fukushima Daiichi-2
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