Analysis In Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Engineering Essay

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This assignment purpose is to examine and do analysis in Fukushima nuclear disaster. The objective of this assignment is to make sure students more know about the Fukushima disaster. Lecturer had been deliver a message of what students need in order to complete this report. In this report we can study that how the nuclear power plant caused an extensive release of radioactive material into the atmosphere resulting in widespread. Suggestion has been made through this report based on what students learnt in class. This case study is to measure how effective the topics covered in class affected to the students thinking. In addition, the case study encourage student to analyze problems occurred in proper ways. Discussion about the insurability of nuclear risks, potential market and government failure, touches on government social responsibility and looks at developments in other countries before concluding with some lessons learnt.


11 March 2011, earthquake with magnitude 9.0 was happened in Japan. The earthquake attracted the main part of Japan, Miyaki state (130 km away from the city of Sendai), eastern coast of Honshu Island. The quake was uncommon and complex - 3 minutes double quake. Magnitude showing a moved of the country of few metres to the east and the local coastline subsided half metre. Tsunami caused an approximate of 560 square kilometres submerged. This disaster have also killed 19,000 people and caused damaged to coastal ports, towns and over 1 million buildings was destroyed.

In a result of the earthquake, the area is precipitous. In a tectonic terms, the Pacific Plate moving fast in a rate of 9cm (3.5 inches) a year. An unbounded amount of energy has been created rapidly. Overhead plate and Pacific Plate has also moved down. Join were eventually broke and causing a spring upwards of several metres of the seafloor. According to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii, 7 metres high in the north-east of Japan was the strongest waves measured by instruments in the water. Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Hawaii also highlighting on the height of others wave at 10 metres high. Waves around the coast of Japan reached 4 metres. The wave height dropped to approximate of 40cm in Guam and nearby Marinas as Tsunami spread across the Pacific. Among all, south-west appeared the most powerful waves. As mentioned by PTWC forecast, neighbour countries of Japan experienced a wave higher than 2 metres. Power supply was disabled; three Fukushima Daiichi reactors was cooling and causing nuclear accident when major earthquake happened. Within the first 3 days of the earthquake, three cores are seriously melted. High radioactive was released and this was rated at the scale of number 7 in INES scale. Follow by that, 4 reactors are in 2719 MWe net.

Four reactors are 2719 MWe net. The three Fukushima Daiichi reactors are becomes stable with adding water and no heat sink to removal of heat from fuel, after two weeks. In July 2011 Fukushima Daiichi reactors are used recycled water to cool down from the new treatment plant. End of October, all the Reactor temperatures had dropped to below 80°C, and in mid of December; they announced that reactors are official shutdown. From cooling, the basic task is taken to prevent release of radioactive materials the three units all mostly contaminated of water leaked. In nuclear incident luckily there have no deaths or cases of radioactive leakage, estimated over 100,000 of people have to be leave from their homes.

3. Headed sections

3.1 Fukushima nuclear disaster was caused naturally or man made

Most all of the article stated the disaster of the Fukushima nuclear power happened on Japan east coast believes it caused by natural disaster. In March 2011 a very large earthquake produced a tsunami that sweep over and also through the complex, created a heaviest damage the three of the reactors in the process, released radiation that contaminated earth and sea. Many of report from Japan stated that the damage of plant mostly by human, totally earthquake and tsunami exposed to that. Man made failures are led to devastation at Fukushima because the result of breakdowns between the plant operator and regulator, TEPCO allowed the company to prevent execute safety measures. Means the parliamentary report stated that the Japanese government lack a commitment to preserve the public. In the accident, were spark a balsa of nuclear reactors safety investigations that cannot be said as a natural disaster. Said that the disaster should and could foreknow and prevented. The effect could have extenuated by more effective response. Massive 9 magnitude earthquake did not damage the number one nuclear reactor and accompanying safety equipment. At least the earlier report are concluded that the reactors did indeed withstand earthquake but only disabled by tsunami it created smashing into plant.

3.2 Process and operation of Fukushima nuclear plant

3.2.1 Structure

The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant known as Fukushima Daiichi, Daiichi means number one. Fukushima plants site Daiichi (first) were located about 11km apart to east coast, and Daini (second) were located about 11km apart to south. Commissioned in 1971, the nuclear plant include of six boiling water reactors and included light water reactors drive electrical generators with a added power of 4.7 GWe. Fukushima Daiichi is one of the 15 largest nuclear stations in the world. Fukushima was the first nuclear plant to be design, constructed and run in relevancy with General Electric and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).


The plants at Fukushima can consider as Boiling Water Reactors. Boiling Water Reactors generates electricity by boiling water, and keep spinning the turbine with steam. Used nuclear fuel to heat up water, heat the water until boiling time and created steam, the steam is use to drives turbines that generates electricity, after the steam is cooled and condensed become water, and the water returns use to be heated by the nuclear fuel. Inside the reactor is about 285 °C. Materials of nuclear fuel are uranium oxide. Uranium oxide characteristic consists of ceramic; the melting point is very high about 2800 °C. Nuclear fuel are manufactured in pellets, this pellet in cylinders shape that about 1cm tall. A long tube made of Zircaloy are used to put in those pellets with distress temperature of 1200 °C and sealed tightly. The tube called fuel rod. These fuel rods are put together to assembly, and use few hundred to create the reactor core. A solid fuel pellet is the first barrier that maintains many of radioactive fission products to be delivery by fission process. Zircaloy case are second barrier to liberate the radioactive fuel from others reactor. The core placed in pressure vessel. The pressure vessel made of thick steel that can manipulate at pressure about 7 MPa around 1000 psi. And designed to withstand high pressure may occur when accident. Pressure vessel is third barrier that use to release radioactive material. In the nuclear reactor of containment structure, all the pipes, pumps and pressure vessel are containing coolant. The containment structure are made of thick steel and concrete, and hermetically sealed. Containment structure designed that can produce a complete core meltdown. Around the containment structure are poured with thick concrete, as the secondary containment also same. Main and secondary containment structure are housed in reactor building.

3.2.2 Fundamentals of nuclear reactions

Neutron-induced nuclear fission used to be generating heat by uranium fuel. Uranium atoms will split into light atoms. Process of generating heat will create more neutrons. Uranium atom hit by neutrons then the atom split and generating more neutrons. This process called nuclear chain reaction. During fully power operation, neutron population in core are stable that means reactors are in critical state. In this point, the nuclear fuel in reactors will never cause nuclear explosion. In Chernobyl, explosion are caused by excessive pressure, the hydrogen explosion will split all structure, and release molten core materials into environment. The reactors use to control road and to control the nuclear chain reaction. Boron materials used to made control rods that able to absorb neutrons. Control rods used to retain chain reaction when at critical state during operation in BWR. Control rods also used to shut down the reactor from 100% power to 7% power called decay heat. Radioactive decompose of fission products is caused by residual heat. Radioactive decompose is process by the fission stabilize itself by transmit energy in form of small particles like beta, neutron, gamma, beta and etc. There is a majority of fission products that generate in reactor, that include cesium and iodine. When the reactor shut down the residual heat will decrease. The heat must removed by cooling systems to avoid the fuel rod overheat and failing as protect of radioactive release. Maintaining of cooling is for remove the decompose heat in reactor are challenging in Japan right now.

3.3 Impact of Fukushima nuclear disaster

3.3.1 Human Health Impacts

According Japanese official announced, there are no radiation deaths but 21 plant workers are affected by minor radiation sickness. Within 30 kilometres are approximately 85000 residents remain in sheltered. June 30, due to radiation levels, several districts that far as 37 miles from facility are evacuated. Japan raised exposure limit to citizen since happened disaster. Government suggested use 30 year time to monitor Japan residents that exposed to radiation. Damaged nuclear plant affects radioactive caesium and iodine of 15 residents in 2 locations approximately 40 kilometres away. End of May 15 people samples are taken, the samples showed that their cumulative is near the maximum annual allowable dose of 20 millisieverts. Based on the investigation team research, known that the area are not suitable for human living. 45 percent of children in Fukushima are surveyed and the results show that their experienced thyroid exposure to radioactive. Mostly the agricultural product and seafood that direct vicinity of Fukushima are higher than regulatory limits that set by Japan government according to the world health organization, and Japan government keep on measures in a place to prevent their distribution. Fukushima nuclear disaster cause the falling of birth rate, a complete family becomes fragmenting family and shrinkage of local communities. Before happened Fukushima nuclear disaster, the birth rates are steadily dropped in Japan. Believe that after Fukushima disaster the birth rate of Japan will more heavily falling. They daily concern is about the radiation levels, how to eat safe, in this situation younger couples will not take the risk to raising children in this dangerous environment. During the excavated time, Japan surely will lack of economic development in local communities. All workers mind set how to get a safe living until they not fully concern in work. In this situation will bring hazard to workers.

3.3.2 Social effects

Outside Japan, all around the world were felt the effects of the disaster. Many countries re-evaluated of their ability for their nuclear plants to withstand natural disaster. In German, their shut down few nuclear plants and planned to entirely abandon nuclear energy. Fukushima nuclear disaster raised serious question in how safe of nuclear. In Japan, their revealed consideration of corruption in nuclear power sector, included efforts to deceive the public, cronyism between power plant sector companies and the government that regulate them. Nuclear power is largely banned by public support. Over 90% reactors approximately 54 reactors are offline. If it's none reactors are restarting, may could all the reactors offline by May 2012. Japan government will not approve for restarting all the reactors. Antithetical to the cry of the nuclear sector, there have no major problem with the electricity supply, and shown that Japan can live with nuclear power.

3.3.3 Ecology

The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant happened caused a massive released of radioactive to the environment. Biological impacts to animals have been created. One of the cases is about the damaged to the pale grass blue Zizeeria maha, a common butterfly that can found in Japan. In May 2011, date been collected based on first volunteer adults around Fukushima area which show that relatively mild abnormalities. For the first volunteer females showed the F1 offspring are more severe abnormalities, and inherited by F2 generation. In September 2011, based on the data showed adult butterflies are more severe abnormalities than may 2011. Can be concluded that Fukushima nuclear power plant are created a huge damages to all the species in Japan.

3.3.4 Sociology

A report stated Japanese Government is thinking use $13 billion maybe up to $27 billion backup money for the Tokyo Electric Company, to help them repair the Fukushima. Probably effective nation to the energy giant, but the reports that are funding is mostly to be seeking from banks and private industry. All private investments seem to rebuild TEPCO infrastructure. Japan government start concentrate on sustainability from standpoint of disaster prevention and safety. Much disaster like huge floods, typhoons and so forth will happened because of the global warming. Japan government suggested doing eco friendly communities that use a energy sources like solar power, wind turbine, biomass related to farming and fishery field, are not depending onto nuclear energy that may will massive released a lot of radioactive. Sociologists are assist in evaluate refugee programs and important to contribution on sustainable planning. Social policy about rebuild Japan energy future would deeply improve by sociological input.

3.4 Action taken by TEPCO and government

3.4.1 Implications for new reactor designs

Multinational Design Evaluation Programme (MDEP), is a independent group of regulator authorities is reviewing the collision of the Fukushima Daiichi accident on two specific reactor designs: the Areva EPR and the Westinghouse AP1000. The design of the nuclear reactors going through the work of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) is being element into the design implication from the Fukushima accident.

3.4.2 Evacuation

The Japanese government suggested the evacuation of the 78,000 people living within 20 km far of the plant instantly after the Fukushima Daiichi accident and the massive release of radioactive substances from the power nuclear plant. Sheltering of around 62,000 people living between 20km and 30km from the nuclear plant, and the evacuation of a another 10,000 people living at the most contaminated area (north-east) of the plant was suggested by Japan Government. The rapid government measure, health-significant exposure to radiation was avoided.

3.4.3 Liability for damages

Exclusively liable for all the consequence of the accident including the indemnity of victims was undertaken by operators of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). Apart from this, there will be no proved fault or carelessness on the operator's part of the accident victims as it was strictly liable by TEPCO. Compensation will not be fixed to a limited amount as TEPCO also faces unlimited liability. This liability is limited in time to 20 years from the accident date. In this case TEPCO, a three years period was give to the victims for submit their claims.

3.4.4 Financial security and insurance

In the case of TEPCO stands at Japanese yen (JPY) 120 billion, under a nuclear liability regime, financial security (insurance) is needed by the operator of a nuclear power plant. But, this amount was reached because that earthquakes and tsunamis are non insurable risks in Japan in a Governmental reparation Agreement between TEPCO and the Japanese government.

3.4.5 Liability cost estimates

An estimation of compensation had been revised to JPY 1.7 trillion (EUR 16.5 billion) in a TEPCO press release of 27 December 2011. For those who lost livelihoods and homes as a result of the accident had been compensated with JPY 4.5 trillion (EUR 43.9 billion) the possible total compensation payments; estimates in the press from January.

3.5 Preventive action to improve safety

3.5.1 Creating disaster resistant nuclear power station

Ever since the happened of the Fukushima disaster, TEPCO has been take various measures to strengthen the nuclear power station against disaster. They inspect and evaluate all the facilities, carry out the necessary restoration process, and improved the seismic safety. They also applied the same initiative to the Fukushima 1st and 2nd nuclear power stations also incorporate the necessary consideration in appliances for construction of nuclear reactors power station.

3.5.2 Improvement in measures for seismic safety

At the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station, they are recalculating the earthquake motion; the purpose use to increase earthquake resistance, and then applying seismic reinforcement work to all the units, just to improve seismic safety at power station. At the Fukushima 1st and 2nd Nuclear Power Stations, they are confirming all the seismic safety of all important equipment and facilities of high safety implication in all ten units. Based on the understanding they gained through the Earthquake, they are also making onwards efforts to improvement the seismic capacitance of all the power station.

3.5.3 Strengthening disaster prevention organizations and frameworks

Their also provide different training programs on a ordinary basis, included training based on nuclear disaster simulate and fire fighting training for power plant.

3.5.4 Development of personnel at nuclear power station

TEPCO nuclear power stations were doing a committed to ensure not only facilities safety, but also safe in operations by personnel. By going through simulation training and simulated experience of last disaster errors, efforts are made to minimize human mistake and to prevent or in time detect abnormal incidents, for the stable and safe operations of nuclear power plant station.

3.5.5 Skills Training Centre

In nuclear power plant station, excellent operators and maintenance staff have to be secured and their skills must constantly improve, to maintain facilities steady and continue safe operations. The Skills Training Centre is prepare with the different types of equipment and devices that are really used in their power station, and allows TEPCO employees of cooperating companies to receive knowledge of nuclear power and to improvement of technology and skills for nuclear power plant operations and maintenance.

3.5.6 Classes for Learning from mistakes

They provide one of the training programs called classes for Learning from mistakes, to avoid workers from making the same mistakes what have they have made before. The program aims to increase consciousness of safety among all workers endearing in nuclear power plant station operations, by provided simulation experiences of past mistakes using special simulation devices.


From my research, found out that in order to prevent future disasters, reforms must be take part. These reforms must be covering the structure of related government and structure of the electric power industry and regulatory agency as well as the action. They must cover both emergency and normal situations. And also know that the disaster is manmade, because the regulatory systems and organizational that support faulty justifiability for decisions and actions, preferably issues relating to competency in any specific individual. Some article say the regulatory bodies (NISA and NSC), operator of TEPCO, and government promote the nuclear power industry are failed to develop the basic safety requirement, such as preparing for containing subordinate damage and probability damage from disaster and excavation plans for citizen in case of serious radioactive release. From this nuclear disaster, many of animals like butterfly have changed their gene, and bring economic lost for Japan.