Dr Ziggy Switkowski : “significant build-up of radiation is unlikely.”

Review of the PR 1 Or “The Technical Fix that never came”.

Sydney Morning Herald.
14.3.2011

<a href="Sydney Morning Herald. 14.3.2011 http://www.smh.com.au/environment/race-to-stop-nuclear-meltdown-20110313-1bt30.html Dr Ziggy Switkowski, who was chairman of the the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation [ANSTO] until a few months ago, says a significant build-up of radiation is unlikely. “The contribution, if any, to this [disaster] from the nuclear fleet, I expect even under worst case scenarios is going to be small,” he told Fairfax Radio Network this morning. “That’s not to deny that people are always concerned and justly concerned about the integrity of the nuclear reactor network,” Dr Switkowski said.

The Japanese reactors are probably as good as you can find around the world, but this magnitude 9 earthquake may well have tested the limits of their design.” Japan has a total of 55 reactors spread across 17 complexes nationwide.””>http://www.smh.com.au/environment/race-to-stop-nuclear-meltdown-20110313-1bt30.html

Dr Ziggy Switkowski, who was chairman of the the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation [ANSTO] until a few months ago, says a significant build-up of radiation is unlikely.

“The contribution, if any, to this [disaster] from the nuclear fleet, I expect even under worst case scenarios is going to be small,” he told Fairfax Radio Network this morning.

“That’s not to deny that people are always concerned and justly concerned about the integrity of the nuclear reactor network,” Dr Switkowski said.

“The Japanese reactors are probably as good as you can find around the world, but this magnitude 9 earthquake may well have tested the limits of their design.”

Japan has a total of 55 reactors spread across 17 complexes nationwide.”

http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.eg.10.110185.002243?journalCode=energy.1

Annual Review of Energy
Vol. 10: 431-462 (Volume publication date November 1985)
DOI: 10.1146/annurev.eg.10.110185.002243

“He (the Chair of the AEC at the time) called on nuclear engineers to come up with a technical fix….”
(Spiewak and Weinberg, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, 1985)

The “technical fix” at Fukushima Diiachi today:

“By 1970, there were doubts about the ability of the emergency cooling systems of a nuclear reactor to prevent a loss of coolant accident and the consequent meltdown of the fuel core; the subject proved popular in the technical and the popular presses.[16] In 1971, in the article Thoughts on Nuclear Plumbing, former Manhattan Project (1942–1946) nuclear physicist Ralph Lapp used the term “China syndrome” to describe a possible burn-through, after a loss of coolant accident, of the nuclear fuel rods and core components melting the containment structures, and the subsequent escape of radioactive material(s) into the atmosphere and environment; the hypothesis derived from a 1967 report by a group of nuclear physicists, headed by W. K. Ergen.[17]

[17] Lapp, Ralph E. “Thoughts on nuclear plumbing.” The New York Times, 12 December 1971, pg. E11.

NEW YORK TIMES 12 DECEMBER 1971

THOUGHTS ON NUCLEAR PLUMBING




http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70610FB3C5E127A93C0A81789D95F458785F9&scp=113&sq=ralph%20lapp&st=cse

Ziggy talks as if he did not know of the inherent flaw identified by the AEC in the late 1960s. As he did not know that the Chair of the AEC called for an urgent “technical fix”, nor of the risks of “significant radiation build up” as described by AEC and AEC’s Lapp in 1971. He spoke as a nuclear expert, a former head of ANSTO. Lapp in 1971, citing Ergen, as commissioned by the AEC, drew attention to the very significant risks of nuclear reactors of the type Ziggy describes as “probably” among the best in the world.

Surely the former head of ANSTO must have known of the Ergen Report, of the ECCS controversy, of the risks of containment failure, of the risks of meltdown, of the “problems of nuclear plumbing”. What was known and when. Critical information in any analysis of a chain of failures. So far, it seems to me, the nuclear industry has sought for years to protect it’s filthy lucre, instead of the public, by various means of pleading ignorance when the inevitable, and predicted, occurs. In order to delay public insight, various means of excluding the dissemination of insight are deployed. Even to the extent of social engineering instead nuclear re engineering. It’s cheaper to call opponents with insight communists or nut cases than it is overcome the inherent flaws present in all phases of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Fukushima radioactive groundwater readings rocket
Published July 09, 2013
AFP

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/07/09/fukushima-radioactive-groundwater-readings-rocket/

EPCO workers coping with the results of decades of denial on the part of government and industry.

TOKYO (AFP) – Toxic radioactive substances in groundwater at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have rocketed over the past three days, its operator said, admitting it did not know where the leak was coming from.

Samples taken on Monday showed levels of possibly cancer-causing caesium-134 were more than 90 times higher than they were on Friday, at 9,000 becquerels per litre, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) revealed.

Levels of caesium-137 stood at 18,000 becquerels per litre, 86 times higher than at the end of last week, the utility said.

“We still don’t know why the level of radiation surged, but we are continuing efforts to avert further expansion of contamination,” a TEPCO spokesman stated.

Government guidelines permit caesium-134 and -137 at 60 becquerels per litre and 90 becquerels per litre respectively.

Once ingested, the substances accumulate in muscle and bone and are believed to cause cancers.

The new readings came two days after TEPCO said tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used in glow-in-the-dark watches, was present at levels 10 times the permitted rate.

TEPCO said in late June that it had detected the highly toxic strontium-90, a by-product of nuclear fission that can cause bone cancer if ingested, at levels 30 times the permitted rate.

The substances, which were released by the meltdowns of reactors at the plant in the aftermath of the huge tsunami of March 2011, were not absorbed by soil and have made their way into underground water.

Subsoil water usually flows out to sea, meaning these two substances could normally make their way into the ocean, possibly affecting marine life and ultimately impacting humans who eat sea creatures.

TEPCO said last month that the company believed the groundwater was largely contained by concrete foundations and steel sheets.

But it revealed Tuesday the level of tritium in seawater near the tsunami-battered complex has been on the rise since May.

The spokesman said last Wednesday’s sample showed 2,300 becquerels per litre, a record high reading since TEPCO started observation of seawater in June 2011.

Tens of thousands of people were forced from their homes by the threat of radiation after the tsunami and Fukushima disaster in March 2011, with some still unable to return.

Although the radiation leaks from the nuclear accident are not officially recorded as having directly killed anyone, the natural disaster that caused them claimed more than 18,000 lives and was one of Japan’s worst ever peacetime tragedies.


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