Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Details On Japan Nuclear Accident

Date:
December 6, 1999
Source:
American Institute Of Physics
Summary:
In September, a nuclear accident in Japan made international headlines, as workers at a fuel processing plant in the village of Tokai (also known as Tokaimura) inadvertently started a nuclear chain reaction when adding enriched uranium to a tank at the plant. While it will be some time before the official report on the incident is available, Physics Today magazine reveals some newly uncovered details on the Tokai accident in the December issue.

In September, a nuclear accident in Japan made international headlines, as workers at a fuel processing plant in the village of Tokai (also known as Tokaimura) inadvertently started a nuclear chain reaction when adding enriched uranium to a tank at the plant.

While it will be some time before the official report on the incident is available, Physics Today magazine reveals some newly uncovered details on the Tokai accident in the December issue.

The Physics Today account provides new information on why the workers added about 7 times as much uranium to a given container as was allowed. The article identifies three errors that were made, the first by the plant's operating company in modifying the government-approved procedure without authorization, the second and third by the workers themselves, possibly with concurrence of their immediate management.

Most accounts have provided the impression that the workers were adding fuel to a tank they were supposed to use but that they were doing so with buckets rather than through pipes or funnels. But as the Physics Today article reveals, they were actually using a container not intended for the purpose. Its shape was not right and it had a water jacket around it for cooling. Both the shape of the tank and the presence of the water jacket (which reflected neutrons back into the tank) contributed to the onset of a nuclear chain reaction.

The Physics Today report includes several estimates by nuclear experts on the magnitude of the accident, based on different methods. These estimates help put the Tokai accident into perspective vis a vis other nuclear accidents.

The Physics Today article is freely available online http://www.aip.org/pt/toka2.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute Of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute Of Physics. "New Details On Japan Nuclear Accident." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991206072234.htm>.
American Institute Of Physics. (1999, December 6). New Details On Japan Nuclear Accident. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991206072234.htm
American Institute Of Physics. "New Details On Japan Nuclear Accident." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/12/991206072234.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins