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Posts tagged ‘Japan’

Japan’s Nuclear Migraine: A Never-Ending Disaster at Fukushima

This week, the chief nuclear officers of around 100 American nuclear power plant reactors are taking a field trip. They are travelling to Japan and then taking a bus to Fukushima. There, dressed in protective suits, they will walk through the ruins left behind by the earthquake of the century, the tsunami of the century and the resulting triple nuclear reactor meltdown that occurred in March 2011.

“I can assure you when they get back from this trip, all of these chief nuclear officers will double their safety precautions,” says Dale Klein, who has made the same trip and describes it as “very sobering.” Klein, who was head of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission until 2009, now serves as chair of the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee, which advises Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the company that once ran the Fukushima power plant and is now responsible for cleaning up the site. In the eyes of industry experts and the Japanese public alike, the company has proved one thing unequivocally — that it is in far over its head in trying to handle the aftermath of the disaster.

Klein is generally a polite man, but he recently announced in public exactly what he thinks of the company that hired him. “You do not know what you’re doing,” Klein told company president Naomi Hirose in person. “You do not have a plan.”

In accordance with Japanese custom, the company head, thus chastised, inclined his head and replied, “I apologize for not being able to live up to your expectations.”

TEPCO has been stumbling “from crisis to crisis,” Klein says. And with no improvement in sight, it had recently become clear that Japan would find itself, out of necessity, doing something that is generally considered very un-Japanese: asking for foreign help. Klein said there were signs that the government was planning on inviting experts from Europe and the US in to help. And on Tuesday, TEPCO took what might be a first step in this direction, announcing in a statement that it had hired Lake Barrett, the former head of the US Department of Energy’s Office of Civilian Nuclear Waste Management to advise it on decommissioning the plant and dealing with contaminated water on the site. Barrett was also involved in clean-up efforts at the Three Mile Island plant, which suffered a partial meltdown in 1979.

Situation Still ‘Tenuous’ at Fukushima

Japan had thus far taken the view that it didn’t need any help — certainly not from abroad — and that TEPCO would take care of things. This is despite the fact that the company is an energy provider, with little more experience in complex disaster management than a commensurate energy company in Germany would have.

Accordingly, the situation at Fukushima two and a half years after the nuclear meltdown can at best be described as tenuous. Rather than implementing a clearly thought-out disaster management plan, TEPCO’s approach has been a haphazard patchwork.

Perhaps the most bizarre malfunction in recent months occurred when a rat got into a switchbox and caused a short circuit. This immediately caused the makeshift cooling system for all four spent fuel pools to fail. For almost 30 hours, temperatures rose in these pools, which hold over 8,800 spent fuel rods that TEPCO hopes eventually to be able to store safely. Charred remains were all that was left of the rat.

full article at source: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/inspector-says-japan-needs-international-help-for-nuclear-plant-a-921302.html

Bloody sneeze

As an actual Fukushima worker warned one month ago,they are finally recognizing pollen may be the biggest menace for internal exposure.

Pollen directly gets into your lungs,nostrils,and all around in your body. It causes severe internal exposure.

Japanese Forestry Agency has finally started evaluating the risk but it seems too late.

Annually,pollen starts flying from December.

Because this is the first thing that’s ever happened to human-beings,there is no solid study.

However,according to the research conducted in last June by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology,Japanese cedar leaves contained 177,600 Bq/Kg at that time.

Considering that there has been more fallout since last June,the radiation level may be even higher.

full article at source:http://fukushima-diary.com/

Level of radiation at the Fukushima nuclear facility highest since March earthquake

Just when you think it’s safe !

Level of radiation at the Fukushima nuclear facility highest since March earthquake

That’s right when the rest of the world thinks that the Japanese have
everything under control this news leaks out  .I’m all right jack as I’ve got me ginger counter!

Radiation at the Fukushima nuclear facility highest since March

Just when you think it’s safe !

Level of radiation at the Fukushima nuclear facility highest since March
earthquake.That’s right when the rest of the world thinks that the Japanese have
everything under control this news leaks out .I’m all right jack as I’ve got me ginger counter!

Fukushima still spewing out deadly radiation

Dr. Mark Sircus,

Here in the following video we are looking at nuclear hell on earth, a night film of the radioactive steam that continues to rise from Fukushima 24 hours a day. Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear power industry executive, is one of the experts who has been saying from day one that the nuclear crisis in Japan was much worse than they were telling us.

He was absolutely correct. Finally, three months later we are getting  some numbers on what the real dangers are. And finally we can begin to  understand the enormous cover-up of the nuclear doom that is reaching  lungs all over the west coast of America, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii and at  least half of Japan! For infants it’s a terrible valley of death we have  created for them. As we shall see for years all of them have been born  with already polluted bloodstreams and now the very young ones are dying  in greater numbers on the west coast of the United States since  Fukushima blew up.

source and full article :http://www.pakalertpress.com/2011/06/20/video-nuclear-holocaust-sweeping-across-the-northern-hemisphere/

Comment:

Fukushima still spewing out deadly radiation

We here in Ireland are facing a deadly nuclear treat in the
form of Seallafield in the UK just a mere 65 miles away if this nuclear plant
experiences any kind of sever accident we are all going to be toast.

To this end I do not trust the official government bodies to
inform me if there is an “event “at this plant so I and a band of loyal committed citizens have decided to conduct our own frequent Geiger counter tests along our east coast .we monitor local fish catches of sea snails and so far we are of the opinion that the average readings indicate a slightly higher reading than normal so we are now investing a more accurate radiation detector device that will give us more precise readings and also hopefully will enable us to post our reading results so that they can be compared with any official readings  if there is any of course!

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Japan Nuclear Disaster Update 2nd June 2011

This article was sent in to us today. 

reading it ,highlights the importance on keeping a close eye on our own concerns regarding seallafield in England. I again went down to Wicklow Harbour Wednesday 1st of June to inspect the sea snails catch which was brought ashore .Armed with my Geiger Counter I established that the radiation readings were normal and so we can rest with ease tonight !

June 2nd, 2011 › 

 Sara Barczak

Protesters demonstrate in front Tokyo Electric Power Co. headquarters (AP)Protesters demonstrate in front Tokyo Electric Power Co. headquarters (AP)

It has been nearly three months since Japan suffered the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered the ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. And yet the utility owner/operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), only recently confirmed that three of the nuclear reactors suffered complete meltdowns within hours of the earthquake, with reactor Units 2 and 3 suffering the most damage. The containment vessels of those two reactors also developed 7-10 centimeter holes within hours of the March 11 quake, which explains why workers were unable to maintain water levels. This shocking news comes after weeks of Tepco repeatedly denying the severity of the accident, followed by slow-coming admissions that this already devastating situation is, indeed, worse than most previous calculations.

However, if you’ve been following nuclear engineer and expert Arnie Gundersen’s updates on the Fairewinds Associates website, you’d know that most of this is not actually ‘new’ news. Aside from the timeline and the size and shape of the holes, much of this information was discussed by Gundersen early on in the crisis. It is unknown at what point Tepco became aware of this information, and it appears that the ‘discovery’ will likely compromise Tepco’s ability to meet its goal to stabilize the damaged nuclear complex by the end of the year.

A baby and her mother are scanned for radiation in Fukushima Prefecture,  Japan. (PressTV.ir)A baby and her mother are scanned for radiation in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. (PressTV.ir)

France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety recommends that an additional 70,000 people be evacuated from areas outside the already established 20 km zone, which includes 10,000 children. These figures are based on radiation data collected by U.S. and Japanese radiation monitors. Presently, Japan’s emergency plans for nuclear disasters rely on an old standard of an 8-10 km evacuation zone, despite considerations to expand this to up to 30 km in 2006.

see full article at  source :http://blog.cleanenergy.org/2011/06/02/june-2-japan-update/

So the Fox wants to mind the chickens ?

BRITAIN’S TEN nuclear plants, including Sellafield, are to undergo a series of EU stress tests.

The tests – which were announced yesterday as a response to the Fukushima crisis in Japan – are designed to see if they could survive forest fires, transport accidents, loss of electrical power supplies and withstand human error. However, the stations will not be tested for their ability to survive a terror attack.

Europe is divided on the question of whether or not the Fukushima crisis has undermined the viability of nuclear power as an energy source.

Germany and Italy have stepped back from plans to build new plants – with Germany going so far as to suspend its oldest seven plants. Earlier this week Switzerland announced it was withdrawing completely from nuclear.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment told TheJournal.ie yesterday that: “Ireland will be engaging constructively in the rigorous application” of the stress tests and pushing for any follow-ups required after the findings have been published.

“Our concern is to ensure that the highest levels of nuclear safety are in place,” he added.

However, Greenpeace has already slammed the safety checks on the grounds that they’re not independent.

Comment:

So the Fox wants to mind the chickens ?

Now let’s see, if it’s anything like there stress testing of the Banks we might as well call it like it is, a publicity stunt a few good headlines and forget all about it is a few days because nothing will change Seallafield is a time bomb and it is going to explode some day and then its curtains for us all over here on the east coast of Ireland.

I have no confidence in these Stress tests and I will continue to carry out my own regular tests with my own Geiger counter and if necessary I will tell the lads in the EU if I find anything disturbing on our coastline ,but by then it will probably be too late for most of us !

 

Two more reactors have suffered a meltdown at Fukushima

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said fuel rods in two more reactors were likely to have suffered a meltdown soon after they were crippled by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami in north-east Japan.

Confirmation by Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) that fuel in the cores of reactors 2 and 3 had melted came days after new data confirmed a similar meltdown in reactor 1 about 16 hours after the disaster.

The utility, which last week suffered the biggest annual loss by any Japanese firm outside the financial sector, said most of the melted fuel in all three reactors was covered in water and did not threaten to compound the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The temperature of the fuel rods, which are believed to have melted and settled at the bottom of flooded reactor pressure vessels, remained well below dangerous levels, the company said.

“It is unlikely that the meltdowns will worsen the crisis because the melted fuel is covered in water,” said a Tepco spokesman, Takeo Iwamoto.

It said the fuel rods in the reactors 2 and 3 had started melting two to three days after the earthquake and tsunami, which knocked out vital cooling systems.

Tepco officials repeated their insistence that the reactors had been crippled by the waves, but speculation has mounted in recent days that the quake itself had been responsible, casting doubt on Tepco’s claims that the plant was able to withstand even the most violent seismic shifts.

Tepco said it had been unable to confirm the meltdowns until it had finished analysing data, but Koichi Nakano, a political science professor at Sophia University, suggested the revelation was timed to minimise its impact on the public.

“In the early stages of the crisis Tepco may have wanted to avoid panic,” he told Reuters. “Now people are used to the situation … nothing is resolved, but normal business has resumed in places like Tokyo.”

Tepco’s handling of the crisis will come under closer scrutiny with the arrival in Tokyo of a delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The UN nuclear inspectors will visit the Fukushima plant and present their findings at a meeting of ministers from IAEA member-states on 20 June.

Tepco has suffered recent setbacks that may derail attempts to bring the plant under control in the next six to nine months, which is the deadline the firm announced just over a month ago.

On Monday, it said makeshift containers being used to store tens of thousands of tonnes of contaminated water were almost full.

The company has yet to complete a system to reprocess the water for reuse in the reactors, raising fears that contaminated liquid could leak into the sea.

A Tepco spokesman said dealing with contaminated water that has gathered in reactor buildings and trenches could take until the end of the year, adding that the volume of water being used to cool the damaged reactors could rise to about 200,000 tonnes.

Tepco is working with the French nuclear engineering firm Areva to reprocess the water.

Japan’s shift towards renewable energy, meanwhile, is expected to gather momentum later this week.

The prime minister, Naoto Kan, will unveil plans at the G8 summit in Deauville, France, to require all new buildings to be fitted with solar panels by 2030, the Nikkei business newspaper said.

Kan has already announced a comprehensive review of Japan’s nuclear energy policy and ordered the temporary closure of an atomic plant in central Japan that is considered particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage.

But he is also expected to tell G8 leaders that Japan will continue to use nuclear energy after making safety improvements.

Some have criticised Kan and Tepco for failing to quickly release information about the extent of the damage at Fukushima Daiichi. “I am very sorry that the public doesn’t trust the various disclosures the government has made about the accident,” Kan told parliament.

Separately, Italy‘s government voted by 313 votes to 291 to shelve plans for new nuclear power plants. Earthquake-prone Italy currently has no reactors, but pro-nuclear prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had planned to build new nuclear plants. He decided to scrap the plans following rising public concern after the disaster at Fukushima.

source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/24/japan-nuclear-plant-more-meltdowns

Fukushima Nuclear Accident up-date

IAEA Briefing on Fukushima Nuclear Accident (4 – 11 May 2011)

Presentations:
Summary of Reactor Status: Unit 1, 11 May 2011
Summary of Reactor Status: Unit 2, 11 May 2011
Summary of Reactor Status: Unit 3, 11 May 2011

On Friday, 13 May 2011, the IAEA provided the following information on the status of nuclear safety in Japan:

1. Emergency at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Overall, the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains very serious.

The IAEA receives information from various official sources in Japan through the Japanese national competent authority, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA). This Update Brief is based on information issued by the IAEA Incident and Emergency Centre up to 17:00 UTC on 11 May 2011.

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Status

The three attached charts, one for each of the Units 1 – 3, track progress made towards fulfilling the three basic safety functions of the IAEA safety standards: prevention of criticality, removal of decay heat and mitigation of radioactive releases. The chart replaces the three-colour status chart that was used previously. The charts are cross-referenced to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) “Roadmap” plan to bring the nuclear reactors and the spent fuel pools at the Fukushima Daiichi plant to a stable cooling condition and to mitigate radioactive releases.

Nitrogen gas is still being injected into the containment vessel in Unit 1 to reduce the possibility of hydrogen combustion inside the containment vessel.

TEPCO has elaborated a measure to fill the primary containment vessel of Unit 1 with water up to a level above the reactor fuel rods. This measure is intended to provide stable cooling of the reactor and reactor pressure vessel. The planned steps are:

  1. Reduce radiation levels in the reactor building by installing a filtered air circulation system (completed), remove rubble, decontaminate and install shielding;
  2. Recalibrate existing reactor pressure vessel water level and pressure instruments and install additional reactor pressure vessel water level gauges to improve monitoring of conditions inside the reactor pressure vessel;
  3. Install primary and secondary closed-loop cooling systems;
  4. Flood the containment to provide a water supply for the primary system.

In Units 1, 2 and 3 fresh water is being continuously injected into the reactor pressure vessel; temperatures and pressures remain stable.

To protect against potential damage as a result of future earthquakes, TEPCO started work on 9 May to install a supporting structure for the floor of the spent fuel pool of Unit 4.

Fresh water is being injected as necessary into the spent fuel pools of Units 1 – 4.

Stagnant water with high-level radioactivity in the basement of the turbine buildings of Unit 1, Unit 2 and Unit 3 is being transferred to the condensers, the radioactive waste treatment facility and temporary storage tanks. Stagnant water in the basement of the turbine building of Unit 6 is being transferred to a temporary tank. Countermeasures against the outflow of water to the sea and to prevent and minimize the dispersion of radionuclides in water have been put in place.

Full-scale spraying of anti-scattering agent is continuing at the site with the use of both conventional and remote controlled equipment.

2. Radiation Monitoring

Deposition in 47 Prefectures

The daily monitoring of the deposition of caesium and iodine radionuclides for 47 prefectures is continuing. For the period 5 – 10 May, deposition of I-131 was detected in three prefectures, with values ranging from 1.5 Bq/m2 to 4.5 Bq/m2. Deposition of Cs-137 was detected in eight prefectures in the same period, the values reported ranging from 3 Bq/m2 to 44 Bq/m2. The reported values show that variable but low level deposition of radionuclides was still occurring in some prefectures.

Gamma Dose Rates in 47 Prefectures

Gamma dose rates are measured daily in all 47 prefectures. On 10 May the value of gamma dose rate reported for Fukushima prefecture was 1.7 µSv/h. In all other prefectures, reported gamma dose rates were below 0.1 µSv/h with a general decreasing trend.

Gamma Dose Rates in Areas More Than 30 km from Fukushima Daiichi Plant

Gamma dose rates reported specifically for the monitoring points in the eastern part of Fukushima prefecture, for distances of more than 30 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, showed a general decreasing trend, ranging from 0.1 µSv/h to 20.3 µSv/h, as reported for 10 May.

Maps of gamma dose rates, deposition of Cs-134 and deposition of Cs-137 within the 80 km zone around the Fukushima Daiichi plant were produced by means of aerial gamma ray monitoring by the Nuclear Safety Technology Centre of MEXT and the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The maps show that the results obtained are consistent with all previous measurements of deposition in soil and of dose rates.

Air Concentrations of Radionuclides On-site at Fukushima Daiichi Plant

On-site measurements at the west gate of the Fukushima Daiichi plant indicate the presence of I-131 and Cs-137 in the air in the close vicinity of the plant (within approximately 1 km). The concentrations in air reported for 10 May were 4 Bq/m3 for total I-131 and 16 Bq/m3 for total Cs-137. The values observed in the previous days show daily fluctuations with an overall decreasing tendency.

Concentrations of Radionuclides in Drinking Water

As of 10 May, the restriction on the consumption of drinking water relating to I-131 – which had been applied since 1 April as a precautionary measure for one remaining location (the village of Iitate in Fukushima prefecture), and only for infants – was lifted.

Food Monitoring and Food Restrictions

Food Monitoring

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare reported on the radionuclide test results for 4 – 11 May for 436 food samples from 14 different prefectures. The prefectures of Chiba, Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Miyagi, Niigata and Tochigi accounted for more than 90% of the reported food analysis results, with most food monitoring concentrated in Fukushima prefecture (52% of samples analysed and reported until 11 May). In two prefectures (Fukushima and Kanagawa), 17 out of 436 (3.9%) samples were found to have radioactivity above the Japanese regulation values.

In Fukushima prefecture, levels in 212 (93%) of the 228 samples reported were below the regulation values for I-131 and radioactive caesium. However, 16 of the 228 samples (7%) exceeded the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for Cs-134/Cs-137, including bamboo shoots (eight samples), shiitake mushrooms (four samples), ostrich fern (two samples), turnip (one sample) and sand lance fish (one sample).

In Kanagawa prefecture, unprocessed tea leaves were the only food that exceeded the regulation values set by the Japanese authorities for Cs-134/Cs-137 (one of thirteen samples, i.e. 7.7%).

Food Restrictions

As of 11 May, the only food restrictions remaining are in Fukushima prefecture and for the cities of Kitaibaraki and Takahagi in Ibaraki prefecture.

In Fukushima prefecture there are restrictions on the distribution and consumption of sand lance fish. In specified areas of Fukushima prefecture there are also restrictions on the distribution of raw unprocessed milk, turnips, bamboo shoots, ostrich ferns and shiitake mushrooms, and restrictions on the distribution and consumption of specific non-head type and head-type vegetables (e.g. spinach and cabbage), flowerhead brassicas (e.g. cauliflower) and shiitake mushrooms.

In Ibaraki prefecture there is a continuing restriction on the distribution of spinach produced in the cities of Kitaibaraki and Takahagi.

3. Marine Monitoring

The marine monitoring programme is carried out both near the discharge areas of the Fukushima Daiichi plant by TEPCO and at off-shore stations by MEXT. The increase in the radioactivity in the marine environment had occurred by aerial deposition and by discharges and outflow of water with high level radioactivity.

Seawater Monitoring

The activity concentrations of I-131, Cs-134 and Cs-137 in seawater close to the Fukushima Daiichi plant at the screen of Unit 2 have been measured every day since 2 April. Concentrations of Cs-134 and Cs-137 decreased from initial values of more than 100 MBq/L to less than 10 kBq/L on 30 April and have remained constant at this level to the present.

Levels of I-131 on 7 May remained at around 200 Bq/L.

As of 7 May, no relevant changes in the radionuclides concentrations at the other TEPCO sampling positions have been reported.

Monitoring performed by MEXT at off-shore sampling positions consists of:

  1. Measurement of ambient dose rate in air above the sea;
  2. Analysis of ambient dust above the sea;
  3. Analysis of surface samples of seawater;
  4. Analysis of samples of seawater collected at 10 m above the sea bottom and in a mid-layer.

On 7 May the data reported only for the sampling points S1, S3 and 9 showed that Cs-137, Cs-134 and I-131 are not detectable.

Source:http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/tsunamiupdate01.html

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