Japan to Assess Reactor Aging Impact on Fukushima Accident

  • Japan to Assess Reactor Aging Impact on Fukushima Accident

    Tokyo, Nov. 29 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency started talks Tuesday to determine whether reactor aging had anything to do with the nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.Of the three heavily damaged reactors at the plant, the No. 1 reactor marked its 40th year in operation soon after the crisis began on March 11. The No. 2 and No. 3 reactors are over 30 years old.

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    Radiation Effects on materials and devices

    Radiation may affect materials and devices in deleterious ways:

    - By causing the materials to become radioactive (mainly by neutron activation, or in presence of high-energy gamma radiation by photodisintegration), and thus having the potential to cause radiation poisoning.

    - By nuclear transmutation of the elements within the material and so changing its physical properties, although this is of far less importance than chemical changes.

    - By radiolysis (breaking chemical bonds) within the material, which can weaken it, cause it to swell, polymerize, promote corrosion, cause belittlements, promote cracking or otherwise change its desirable mechanical, optical, or electronic properties.

    - By formation of reactive compounds, affecting other materials (e.g. ozone cracking by ozone formed by ionization of air).

    - By ionization, causing electrical breakdown, particularly in semiconductors employed in electronic equipment, with subsequent currents introducing operation errors or even permanently damaging the devices. Devices intended for high radiation environments such as the nuclear industry and extra atmospheric (space) applications may be made radiation hard to resist such effects through design, material selection, and fabrication methods. (wikipedia)

    Source: jen.jiji.com