++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Magpie Country Nukes Headliner
nuclear issues news brief from Japan
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Criticality accident at Tokai uranium processing plant

18th REPORT

JAPANESE MOX PROJECT TO BE HALTED;
WORKERS EXPOSURE INEVITABLE, SAID NSC;
SUMITOMO TO WIND UP ITS NUKE FUEL BUSINESS

9 October 1999

***CORRECTION

Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 21:00:11 +0900
From: hosokawk@cc.saga-u.ac.jp (Hosokawk)
Subject: MagpieNews #991007b (accident-17th report)

CNIC also released a revised and updated assessment of the amount of radiation released: Around 0.1g of U-235 underwent fission; the amount of "0.1g of U-235" should read "up to several tens of milligram of U-235", i.e. on the order of 10E-2 to 10E-3 grams.

Japanese Government's Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC), according to Asahi newspaper report this morning, claims that the amount is on the order of 0.001 mg (10E-6 grams).

MagpieNews considers the NSC claim is a bad underestimation.

---------------

Mayor of Kashiwazaki City in Niigata Prefecture, where 7 BWRs operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are sited, stated that the MOX utilization at Kashiwazaki plants should be delayed by one year.

NSC in its official report to the Government confirmed that the inadvertent criticality in the Tokai accident continued for 17.5 hours, judging comprehensively from the neutron dose rate monitored by different institutions.

It was also confirmed that the number of the exposed was 63.

It was also reported (yesterday's Yomiuri Newspaper) that there was a sharp difference of opinion whether they should order the site workers to dare to go to the controversial vulve work (see 10th Report), which resulted in the extraordinary high neutron exposure (see 16th Report). NSC finally decided to take that measure "beyond the law". Six workers were dosed with neutron+gamma at a level beyond the 100mSv emergency limit prescribed by IAEA. One member of the NSC reportedly said that they should operate under an extra limit of 200mSv.

Sumitomo Metal Mining company, of which the JCO is 100% subsidiary, now intends to totally withdraw from the nuclear fuel business. This means that quite a few of Japanese nuclear reactors would have to find overseas suppliers of assembled nuclear fuel (conventional uranium fuel). For instance, Kyushu Electric Power Company denpends 70% of its uranium fuel on JCO, and is severely affected by the suspension (and permanent close down, which is now likely) of JCO operations.

_________________________________________

MagpieNews = Magpie Country Nukes Headliner
editor: Dr K. Hosokawa
fax: +81-952-288709
email:
snail mail: Faculty of Agriculture,
University of Saga, 840-8502 Japan
website: http://itak.ag.saga-u.ac.jp/=magpie/33.html

_________________________________________

*** Sorry, the web page is now temporarily disconnected.