US Vows Help to Japan for Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup

Posted by Michelle Howard
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy pledged U.S. support for the clean-up at Japan's tsunami-wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Wednesday after her first visit to the site.
 


Kennedy, dressed in a white radiation protective suit with her name taped on the back and a mask covering her face, went inside a damaged reactor building where she saw how Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) is removing fuel rod assemblies from a cooling pool.
 


Tepco has removed 814 out of 1,533 fuel rod assemblies from the No. 4 reactor since November.
 


"We stand ready to help in any way we can," Kennedy, 56, told reporters after her visit, when she made a stop at a Tepco facility near the nuclear power plant.
 


The power station was wrecked in March 2011, when a 9 magnitude earthquake triggered tsunami waves that hit the plant on the coast north of Tokyo causing of one of the world's worst nuclear disasters.
 


Shortly after the accident, the United States sent in water pumps, fire trucks, drones and protective suits and masks.
 


Kennedy, daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, said in a statement the United States "will offer our experience and capabilities, in particular, toward the near-term resolution of ongoing water contamination issues".
 


Radioactive water poses a long-term risk at the plant and it could take more than three decades to clear it up. The plant has been hit by a series of accidents this year including a 100-tonne leak of radioactive water from storage tanks.


Contracts

Contaminated water accumulates at a rate of 400 tonnes a day at the plant as groundwater flows into the destroyed basements of the reactor buildings and mixes with highly radioactive water used to cool melted fuel.
 


Row upon row of huge blue and grey tanks that store contaminated water are lined up while pink, white and purple azalea bushes are in full bloom nearby. Overgrown plants curl onto the streets while pipes snake across the site where numerous cranes still stand.
 


About 1,200 to 1,300 tanks storing about 450,000 tonnes of contaminated water are on site and over the next two years Tepco wants to set up enough tanks to store 800,000 tonnes of water, said Kenichiro Matsui, a spokesman for the utility.
 


Up to 5,000 workers are on site each day, according to the Tepco spokesman, Matsui, up from about 4,000 a year ago. In future, that number is likely to increase to about 6,000, he said.
 


Overseas companies including U.S. ones are eager to get in on the clear-up work and the decommissioning of the six reactors at the wrecked plant but most contracts have gone to Japanese companies.
 


Kennedy, accompanied by her 21-year-old son, John Schlossberg, drew crowds of workers when she arrived at the Tepco facility.
 


"It's good that she's here because the situation at the plant needs to be reported worldwide," said one man who now works as a driver for plant workers after hitting his annual radiation exposure limit in his former job at the site.

 

(By Yoko Kubota, Editing by Robert Birsel)

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

ICS Counsels Wisdom on Ballast Water Convention

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has reiterated its call for governments to address the serious implementation issues concerning the IMO Ballast Water

Maritime Academy Awarded DHS Grant for Arctic Training

Maine Maritime Academy receives $450,000 grant From U.S. Department of Homeland Security for ice navigation and maritime first responder courses for the Arctic Maine

Great Lakes Dry Cargo Residue Discharge Rule in Effect

The U.S. Coast Guard published a final rule to the Federal Register announcing that it has received approval from the Office of Management and Budget for an information

Energy

SBM Offshore Announces Thunder Hawk Tiebacks

SBM Offshore is pleased to announce it has signed a Production Handling Agreement (PHA) with Noble Energy to produce the Big Bend and Dantzler fields to the

Fifth Jackup Contract for Keppel from Gulf Drilling

Keppel FELS Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine, has secured a contract from Gulf Drilling International Ltd. of Qatar to build a

Fugro Takes Delivery of 2nd Coastal Survey Vessel from Damen

Fugro yesterday took delivery of its second of the three Fugro Offshore Coastal Survey Vessels (FOCSV) being built by Damen. The Fugro Pioneer is a compact,

News

Bangladeshi Albedo Survivors Helped by their Govt.

Yesterday, 16th September 2014, Chirag Bahri, MPHRP's Regional Director for South Asia, attended a ceremonial event organised by the Ministry of Shipping, Bangladesh

Simmons Assumes Command of USS James E. Williams

Capt. Anthony L. Simmons relieved Cmdr. Curtis B. Calloway as commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS James E. Williams (DDG 95) at sea on Sept.

CEVA Opens European Center of Logistics Excellence

CEVA Logistics, a leading global supply chain management company, today announced the opening of its first Center of Logistics Excellence in Europe. Situated in Ashby de la Zouch,

Government Update

Ship Safety: IMO Committee Agree Draft IGF Code

IMO informs that the draft International Code of Safety for Ships using Gases or other Low flashpoint Fuels (IGF Code), along with proposed amendments to make the Code mandatory under SOLAS,

China, Sri Lanka to Launch FTA Talks

Chinese President Xi Jinping began a visit to Sri Lanka on Tuesday agreeing to open bilateral negotiations for a free trade pact as Beijing tightened its embrace

Maritime Academy Awarded DHS Grant for Arctic Training

Maine Maritime Academy receives $450,000 grant From U.S. Department of Homeland Security for ice navigation and maritime first responder courses for the Arctic Maine

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Port Authority Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1601 sec (6 req/sec)