California, Cesium 137, Chernobyl, chloride induced corrosion, chloride induced stress corrosion cracking, corrosion, Diablo Canyon, dry cask storage, dry casks, embrittlement, fog, Fukushima, Fukushima dry cask storage, Fukushima spent fuel casks, Grand Gulf Nuclear, high burnup nuclear fuel, Holtec, Japan, Koeberg South Africa, Lake Michigan, Mississippi River, NRC, nuclear disaster, nuclear utilities, plutonium, San Onofre, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, SNF, SONGS, Spent Fuel Storage Casks, Spent Nuclear Fuel, stress corrosion cracking, US NRC, USA, Zion Nuclear Power Station
Areas one to two thousand miles away (UK and Scandinavia) remain highly contaminated by Chernobyl almost 30 years on, even though the half-life of Cesium 137 is 30 years. One curie is 37 billion becquerels (radioactive disintegrations-emissions per second).
From “Dry Storage of Spent Nuclear Fuel Problems and Solutions“, by Donna Gilmore SanOnofreSafety.org, May 17, 2015 https://sanonofresafety.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/dry-cask-storagedgilmore2015may17a.pdf (With the exception of the baby sea lions, all images above this point, including Chernobyl vs SONGS graph are from Donna Gilmore of SOS. Chernobyl commentary our own. There are a total of 45 important slides found at the above link, including a good pic of Gorleben, above ground, interim storage in Germany.)
Germany, Switzerland, Japan and probably everyone else except the USA have their interim dry casks INSIDE. As seen below, comparison of the US dry casks with parking lots is apt. This is Zion Nuclear Power Station on Lake Michigan.
US NRC photo of Dry Casks at Unknown location, possibly Zion.
This is Japan’s (proposed) Mutsu facility as imagined in 2010. Currently under construction.
“Operating Experience in Spent Fuel Storage Casks” – IAEA-CN-178/KN27, 3 June 2010, by T.Aida, et. al. TEPCO
Note that the above is a proper facility, unlike in the US.
We added the arrow, however, to show the side-ways casks. This is probably the best orientation. See how they are held in place with brackets. But, look at the upright ones. What happens to them in the event of an earthquake? Do the buildings have earthquake dampers?
“Cask Custody Area Dry casks (immediately after the earthquake)
“9 dry storage casks had been stored in the cask custody area in the premises before the earthquake. The cask custody area is placed beside the sea, and a vast amount of seawater, sand and debris flew into the building when the earthquake occurred. It had been judged from the external appearance, results of measuring the temperature and dosage that the safety performance of the dry cask was maintained. Because it is difficult to continue using the cask custody area, however, it was planned to inspect the casks in the common pool and replace necessary parts and then store them in the newly constructed temporary cask custody area.” From “Report of Investigation and Maintenance Results of the Dry Casks at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station” July, 2013 Tokyo Electric Power Company” These are the well-anchored ones laying on their sides, like the ones in the Mutsu model, indicated by the red arrow. However, were there upright ones too? If so, how did they fare? Where are they?
See what happened to this large oil tank?
“Fukushima Nuclear Accident Interim Report 2011”
Was the facility seismic resistant? Will the Mutsu facility be seismic resistant so that it is ok just to leave the casks upright? Are the facilities in Germany and Switzerland, where they are upright, and apparently unanchored, earthquake resistant?
“In particular, seismic isolated buildings are the facilities with a seismic-resistant structure that were installed for emergency response. They are designed to withstand earthquakes of intensity 7 on the Japanese scale. The buildings are equipped with communication equipment, video conference equipment, private electric generators, and ventilators with high-performance HEPA filters, and serve as the base for site accident response. If this building were not there, the Fukushima Daiichi NPS would not have been able to continue responding to the accident.” p.139 from “Fukushima Nuclear Accident Analysis Report (Interim Report)“, December 02, 2011, TEPCO.
In “Operating Experience in Spent Fuel Storage Casks” – IAEA-CN-178/KN27“, 3 June 2010, by T.Aida et. al. we find the following statement, which raises the question of if there were upright casks at Fukushima and how they fared:
From: “Operating Experience in Spent Fuel Storage Casks” – IAEA-CN-178/KN27, 3 June 2010, by T.Aida, T.Hara, Y.Kumano
Tokyo Electric Power Company [TEPCO] [Conference Session]
We added the bubble to the above Tokai Dry Cask image because it would be interesting to know if those are the bollards that Hitachi proposes for US dry casks, where earthquake risks have been found to be worse than previously though. And, are the Tokai Dry Casks in earthquake resistant buildings? And, are the rubber dampers resistant to radiation?
Regarding the proposed use of Bollards by Hitachi in the US see: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/05/14/hitachi-us-nrc-cut-nuclear-dry-cask-safety-comment-by-friday-15-may-1159-pm-eastern-time/