Gen Kaga, Toshio Kawada, Koji Nishimura and Tomoyoshi Otsu (2014, November 14) Nuclear operators push to open new plant, extend life of aging reactors. The Asahi Shimbun,
The government set the acceptable operational term of nuclear reactors at 40 years, in principle, after the Fukushima disaster, but it allows utilities to extend the period on a one-time basis by a maximum of 20 years….
The Oma plant will be the world’s first 100 percent MOX nuclear facility, where only mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, consisting of plutonium and uranium, is used at reactor cores for the purpose of consuming plutonium produced in processing spent nuclear fuel.
At conventional plutonium-thermal nuclear plants, MOX fuel is used at just one-fourth to one-third of their reactor cores at most, and conventional uranium fuel is used for the remaining part. Compared with uranium fuel, it is more difficult for control rods to suppress nuclear chain reactions of MOX fuel.
Although countermeasures, such as enhancing the capabilities of control rods and introducing larger tanks for boric acid water to better control atomic reactions, will be taken at the full MOX facility, those efforts are expected to be carefully examined during the safety screening by the NRA to check if they are sufficient…. “No full MOX facility has so far gone online around the world,” NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said at a Nov. 12 news conference. “We will examine extremely carefully (if countermeasures are sufficient).”
Unbelievable. That is all I can think to write.
Meanwhile, emissions at Daiichi look worse this morning than they have the last week or so. Radiation readings in the US have been higher than I’ve seen since winter 2011. The forces of entropy reign.