Fast breeder

English subtitles here.
Following an announcement this week that the infamous Japanese Monju fast-breeder nuclear reactor would be re-opened with a new plutonium core, suppressed video footage was released of the disaster that lead to its closure in 1995. The video shows men in silver "space suits" exploring the reactor in which sodium compounds hang from the air ducts like icicles. Unlike conventional reactors, fast-breeder reactors, which "breed" plutonium, use sodium rather than water as a coolant. This type of coolant creates a potentially hazardous situation as sodium is highly corrosive and reacts violently with both water and air. Government officials at first played down the extent of damage at the reactor and denied the existence of a videotape showing the sodium spill. The deputy general manager, Shigeo Nishimura, 49, jumped to his death the day after a news conference where he and other officials revealed the extent of the cover-up. His family is currently suing the government at Japan's High Court.
Read more on fast breeders @ Science or fiction (2007).

Nuclear fuel to be moved

Thursday, July 24, 2008

300 tons of spent fuel in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's military forces this summer held a training exercise to thwart a fake terrorist assault on a Soviet-built nuclear facility near Almaty, the country's former capital located on its southeastern border.

In the exercise, a reactor was the simulated target of terrorists trying to steal some of the deadliest nuclear material ever made. It came, by no coincidence, as U.S. and Kazakh officials put the finishing touches on a plan to move 300 tons of used nuclear fuel from a decommissioned Soviet nuclear reactor near the port city of Aktau on the Caspian Sea not far from Iran.

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Country's nuclear plants are facing fuel shortage: Kakodkar

Monday, June 9, 2008

HYDERABAD: Demand and supply for uranium will continue to be affected for some more years though efforts are on to get additional supplies, Chairman Atomic Energy Commission and Secretary Department of Atomic Energy, Anil Kakodkar on saturday said.

Kakodkar, who was in the city to participate in the Nuclear Fuel Complex Day celebration here today, said that currently the nuclear power plants in the country were working at half their capacity nearly of 4,000 MW due to the fuel shortage.

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Robots scour sea for atomic waste

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Robot submarines are to be used to sweep particles of plutonium and other radioactive materials from the seabed near one of Britain's biggest nuclear plants in one of the most delicate clean-up operations ever in this country.

Each submersible will be fitted with a Geiger counter and will crisscross the sea floor to pinpoint every deadly speck close to Dounreay on Scotland's north coast before lifting each particle and returning it to land for safe storage.

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