Proposal for a Skilled Veterans Corps to install an alternative cooling system at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant
- In general, industrial plants are equipped with “FAIL-SAFE SYSTEMS” to stop operations safely if and when unexpected malfunctions occur by shutting off the energy or fuel supply to the system or otherwise disengaging power mechanisms.
- In the case of nuclear power plants, however, it is impossible to turn-off the fuel supply as the system is like “an operating burner inside a fuel tank”. The only means to averting a “meltdown” is to suppress the nuclear chain reaction by inserting control rods into the reactor core and to gradually cool the fuel rods with constantly circulating water.
- This means that a nuclear power plant cooling system SHOULD NEVER BE STOPPED, which is why the cooling system is robustly designed to provide double, triple or more redundant backup. Unfortunately, the recent tsunami was much more forceful than anticipated by the plant operators, and all of the back-up systems were destroyed or incapacitated.
- After the nuclear chain reaction is controlled, it is critical that the damaged cooling system be repaired or replaced with a new system, which should be designed to operate reliably on the scale of ten years or more. Cooling the system by hosing it with water is a temporary and unsustainable short-term measure.
- Repair or installation of the cooling system will unavoidably be conducted in an environment highly contaminated with radioactive elements with serious risk of future health complications. As such, young people with a long future should not have to be placed in a position of having to undertake such a task. Radiation exposure of a generation which may reproduce the next generation should be avoided, regardless of the amount.
- Our generation who has, consciously or unconsciously, approved the construction of the Fukushima nuclear power plants and enjoyed the benefits of the vast supply of electricity generated, in particular those of us who hailed the slogan that “Nuclear Power is Safe” should be the first to join the Skilled Veteran Corps to install or repair the cooling system. This is the duty of our generation to the next generation and the one thereafter.
- Currently, many of the workers engaged at the nuclear power plants are being employed without consideration of age, knowledge, skill or experience. The Skilled Veterans Corps shall consist of volunteers of veteran technicians and engineers who are much more qualified to carry out the work with much better on-site judgment.
Naka-kasai 5-chome 11-25-707, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo 134-0083, Japan
Tel & Fax: +81-(0)3-5659-3063 Mobile phone: +81-(0)90-5659-3063
Y. Yamda’s Biodata
Born in 1939
B. Sc. From Faculty of Engineering, Tokyo University
Employed by Sumitomo Metal Industries, Co. Ltd. 1962 – 1989. Worked in the field of metallurgical engineering, plant engineering, environment engineering, etc.
Since retirement worked independently as business consultant till 2005
Presently working as volunteer with NGO, etc. in several field