Japan Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant blog
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a French firm will use to clean Fukushima’s radioactive water has been blamed
for a leukemia cluster in France and for polluted beaches and irradiated waters
from the English Channel to the Arctic Sea.
has promised to remove up to 99.99 percent of the radioactive contaminants in
67,500 tons of water flooding the crippled Fukushima-Dai-ichi nuclear plant. It
will use a co-precipitation method employed at its La Hague nuclear fuel
reprocessing facility in Normandy.
That process has been documented in detail by a French
nuclear expert and by the U.S. government, which has shunned France’s fuel
reprocessing method because of “a non-proliferation concern and environmental
concerns,” in the words of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory
France reprocesses reactor fuel at the vast La Hague
facility on the Normandy coast. The so-called low-level liquid wastes from
reprocessing are discharged into the English Channel and into the air. However,
these “low-level” wastes still contain highly radioactive and often long-lived
isotopes. Dumping these same wastes into the sea in containers would violate the
1970 London Dumping Convention.”
Areva has not revealed which chemicals it will use at
Fukushima, but a 1995 report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy (pdf)
details the process it uses at La Hague. According to DOE, Areva