Fukushima: The long road to decommissioning

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Date(s) - 26/06/2018

Sidney Smith Hall, room 2102

Seminar Speaker: Dr. Robert Malkin, University of BristolSidney Smith Hall, room 2102

Fukushima has become synonymous with nuclear power gone disastrously wrong. The great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 delivered a double blow to one of Japan’s biggest nuclear power plants. Within the space of a few hours three of Fukushima-Daichi’s reactors were unavoidably headed towards catastrophic meltdown. The Japanese government, along with many international partners including the University of Bristol, are currently undertaking the world’s largest engineering project: the locating, characterizing, removing and storing of highly radioactive fuel debris and contaminated water. Suggested timelines for the safe decommissioning of the site often exceed 100 years.

This talk will cover the events leading up to the accident, the current status of the site and the future roadmap to recovery. Recent findings from robotic investigations of the site will be presented and future missions into highly radioactive areas discussed.

Dr Rob Malkin is a research fellow at the University of Bristol, UK working in the mechanical engineering department. His specialty is acoustic field modelling, array imaging and acoustic characterization. Since early 2015 he has led a research project working with Hitachi Nuclear in Japan, the Tokyo Institute of Technology and other nuclear research organizations to assess the use of acoustic imaging for investigations into the damaged Fukushima Daiichi reactors.

Further information: Professor Tony Sinclair, tony.sinclair@utoronto.ca