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Fusion Science and Technology
Cs-137 sealed source lost in Western Australia
A rendering of the sealed source capsule’s appearance. (Image: DFES)
Authorities are searching 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) of Australia’s Great Northern Highway, between Perth and the remote town of Newman, for a lost sealed-source capsule containing cesium-137. The source was part of a density gauge used by mining company Rio Tinto at its mining operations in Western Australia.
The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) of Western Australia reported that the density gauge containing a 6-mm-diameter (0.24-inch-diameter) by 8-mm-height (0.31-inch-height) source capsule was sent by flatbed truck to Perth for repair, leaving Rio Tinto’s Gudai-Darri mine site in Western Australia on January 12 and arriving in Perth on January 16. The package containing the gauge, however, was not inspected until January 25.
Upon opening the package, it was found that the gauge was broken apart with one of four mounting bolts missing. The source itself and all screws on the gauge were also missing. It is assumed that vibrations from the truck broke the gauge apart and allowed the screws and capsule to fall through the bolt hole and away from the truck. DFES said they were notified of the loss on the evening of January 25.
Shanqi Chen, Daochuan Ge, Zhen Wang, Jiangtao Jia, Zhibin Chen, Liqin Hu
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 74 | Number 3 | October 2018 | Pages 238-245
Technical Note | doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2018.1461966
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
No-public evacuation is an expectation for fusion power plants (FPPs) from the public and governments. In this technical note, a preliminary consequence assessment of an ITER wet bypass–like accident (the accident with the most severe consequence in ITER) of a helium-cooled deuterium-tritium tokamak FPP is performed and compared with that of ITER. Ideal gas–based methodology is proposed to evaluate the released materials in accidents, which is verified by typical accident cases in FPPs. The verification indicates that, compared with the best estimated codes, the proposed method is much simpler and easier with effectiveness. The accident assessment shows that this helium-cooled FPP design may still need public evacuation if the accident happens, which demonstrates the requirement of further investigations for FPP accidents. Some suggestions are proposed to improve the safety of FPPs based on the assessment.