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 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Environmental

The Hour of Power

Hybrid Marine Technology and Green Ports In 2015 two significant developments are going to make many operators, owners and builders of professional vessels consider hybrid marine power.

Hurricane Fred Strengthens in Eastern Atlantic

Hurricane Fred strengthened early Monday in the eastern Atlantic as it approached the Cape Verde Islands, while the remnants of Tropical Storm Erika brought flooding to parts of South Carolina,

TOTE’s 2nd LNG Containership Launched

Shipping company TOTE and shipbuilder NASSCO on Saturday launched Perla del Caribe, the second of two Marlin Class ships – the first containerships in the world to be powered by natural gas.

Energy

Harkand: Expanding the Fleet, Growing a Global Business

International inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) company Harkand aims to be a $1 billion company. MR’s Tom Mulligan recently met with John Reed, the company’s CEO,

ME Production Receives Two Scrubber Orders

ME Production subsidiary Marine Exhaust Technology has been awarded a new contract for the DFDS vessel Finlandia sailing on the route Rosyth-Zeebrugge. The scrubber contract includes design,

HHI Orders Regasification Systems from Wärtsilä

South Korean shipyard Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has ordered two seawater/propane based regasification modules from Wärtsilä. The systems are to be installed

News

China Merchants Profit up 29pct

While China’s ports continue to face growth pressure, the country’s largest port operator is reaping the rewards of years of investments in overseas projects.   China

Swire Upgrades Asia-Pac Coverage

Singapore-based liner trade division of The China Navigation Company (CNC) Swire Shipping has upgraded its multipurpose liner service coverage in the Asia Pacific region.

Baltimore Port Shipments Hit New Record

Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore's public terminals shipped a record 9.74 million tons of general cargo in the 2015 fiscal year ending June 30, it said Monday.

Government Update

Seychelles to Join India-led Maritime Security Alliance

Seychelles  said that Indian ocean region "belongs" to countries sharing maritime boundaries and said it was "actively" considering participating in a security

Greek Coastguard Rescues 2,500 over Three Days

Greece's coastguard has rescued about 2,500 migrants and refugees off the country's eastern islands over the past three days, authorities said on Monday, as the

Ships' lifting Apparatus at Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi Ports have informed that they reserves the right to refuse the use of ships' lifting apparatus without valid certification and / or if the apparatus

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.3695 sec (3 req/sec)