The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Michael Snyder’s 11 horrible inconvenient facts about Fukushima

11 Facts About The Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Holocaust That Are Almost Too Horrifying To Believe  by Michael Snyder of  Is Fukushima the greatest environmental disaster of all time?  Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean.  The radioactive material that is being released will outlive all of us by a very wide margin, and it is constantly building up in the food chain.


Nobody knows for sure how many people will eventually develop cancer and other health problems as a result of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but some experts are not afraid to use the word “billions”.  It has been well over two years since the original disaster, and now they are telling us that it could take up to 40 more years to clean it up.

It is a nightmare of unimaginable proportions, and there is nowhere in the northern hemisphere that you will be able to hide from it.  The following are 11 facts about the ongoing Fukushima nuclear holocaust that are almost too horrifying to believe. Continue reading

July 4, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

Sendai reactor fuel to be loaded from July 7

Officials at the Sendai nuclear power plant in southwestern Japan say they plan to start loading fuel into one of the reactors next Tuesday.

The Kyushu Electric Power Company reported the plan to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday. Earlier the same day, pre-loading inspections were completed at the Number 1 reactor.

The utility expects it will take 4 days to insert 157 nuclear fuel assemblies into the reactor. Workers will use a crane to transfer the fuel rods one by one from a storage pool in an adjacent building.

Kyushu Electric will then check emergency equipment to inject coolant into the reactor and a device to insert control rods.

Workers will also undergo a drill to rehearse their response to a severe accident.

If all goes as planned, the utility will remove the control rods to activate the reactor in mid-August.

The Sendai plant’s Number 1 and Number 2 reactors became the first to clear safety screenings last year.

The screenings were required under the country’s new, stricter regulations introduced after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.

The Number 1 reactor began undergoing equipment inspections in late March ahead of the Number 2 reactor.

All of Japan’s 43 reactors are currently offline.

Source: NHK

July 3, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | 1 Comment

Experts slam closed-door nuclear briefings

A panel of experts has criticized Japan’s industry ministry for discussing its new policy for disposing of high-level nuclear waste in closed-door sessions.

The ministry-appointed experts said at a meeting on Friday their call for information disclosure on the basic waste disposal policy has fallen on deaf ears.

They also said that holding sessions behind closed doors could have a negative impact on the issue.

The government decided in May to select prospective sites for burying high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants and to ask local authorities for their cooperation in building the facilities.

The new policy was implemented following 13 years of failed efforts to solicit candidate sites due to strong safety concerns.

The ministry said it decided to hold closed-door briefings so that local government officials would feel free to speak out.

The ministry had held briefings in 39 prefectures by the end of June. They were attended by nearly 70 percent of local authorities nationwide. But some refused to attend to protest the closed-door policy.

The head of the panel, Hiroya Masuda, said the ministry must convince local authorities that the briefings don’t necessarily indicate candidacy for waste disposal sites. 

Source: NHK

July 3, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima rejects briefing for nuclear waste site

Japan’s industry ministry is holding briefing sessions across the country. It’s struggling to secure disposal sites for high-level radioactive waste generated by nuclear plants.

But it will skip the session in Fukushima Prefecture, at least for now, due to strong opposition there.

The government plans to bury high-level radioactive waste at a depth of 300 meters or more in final disposal facilities. But the effort to solicit candidate sites has made no progress because of strong safety concerns among municipalities.

In May, the industry ministry decided to name appropriate candidate sites instead of waiting for municipalities to voluntarily apply.
Since then, it has been holding briefing sessions in 39 prefectures over how to process the highly radioactive waste and how it will select appropriate sites, to deepen understanding of the facilities.

But officials in Fukushima Prefecture rejected the ministry’s request to hold such a session. They cited the burden of the on-going scrapping of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

They also referred to building of intermediate storage facilities in the prefecture for contaminated soil and other materials from cleaning-up work in Fukushima. 

Source: NHK

July 3, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Tepco seeks foreign seal of approval to restart nuclear plant

Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s invitation to the world’s top nuclear agency to review the safety of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility signals the utility’s desire to win international backing to resume operations at the world’s largest atomic power plant.

Kashiwazaki is Tepco’s best bet of returning to nuclear power generation, after the plant was shuttered along with the rest of Japan’s nuclear capacity following the unprecedented meltdowns at the company’s Fukushima No. 1 plant in 2011.

Firing up its reactors would boost Tepco’s profit by as much as ¥32 billion a month, according to Tepco spokesman Tatsuhiro Yamagishi.

They want a foreign seal of approval,” said Robert Dujarric, a director at the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies of Temple University in Tokyo. “No one trusts what Tepco says. The only way they can convince Japanese residents that this is not risky is to get a foreign institution to certify them being acceptable.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency began its 11-day evaluation on Tuesday and will report its findings to Japan’s watchdog, the Nuclear Regulation Authority, which has the final say on a plant’s safety. A restart would still need local government approval, which presents difficulties as the region’s governor remains a vociferous critic of Tepco.

Tepco expects to spend at least ¥270 billion to bring Kashiwazaki back online, although it says the cost is a secondary consideration. What is needed and what the IAEA brings is the “knowledge, ingenuity, and engineering capabilities to get there,” Takafumi Anegawa, Tepco’s chief nuclear officer, told a news conference at the plant on Tuesday. “Randomly spending money doesn’t assure safety.”

The NRA has visited Kashiwazaki three times since agreeing to check its reactors in 2013, although it has not given a timeline for approval, according to Tepco’s Yamagishi. NRA spokesman Taro Komine declined to comment on Kashiwazaki and the IAEA’s safety study there.

The IAEA was created in 1957 and one of its goals is to promote the safe use of nuclear energy. Tepco, meanwhile, is struggling to convince the Japanese public of improvements in its attitudes to safety amid worker deaths and irradiated water leaks at the ruined Fukushima plant.

Of course Tepco would like them to come online,” Tom O’Sullivan, founder of Tokyo-based energy consultant Mathyos, said by email. However, “I have normally categorized it as a plant that is extremely unlikely to come online. There is huge local opposition.”

Hirohiko Izumida, three-term governor of Niigata Prefecture where the plant is located, has said restarting Kashiwazaki shouldn’t even be considered until Tepco’s safety record and handling of Fukushima are properly reviewed.

Niigata Prefecture spokesman Kenji Kiuchi declined to comment on the governor’s opinion of the IAEA review.

Restarting Kashiwazaki would boost Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan for nuclear energy to account for as much as 22 percent of the country’s total electricity supply by 2030.

Thus far, Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai reactors are the only ones to pass the NRA’s safety requirements and clear local courts. Kyushu is aiming to restart the two units this year. While the NRA judged two reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama station as safe, legal hurdles have since obstructed any restart.

Tepco is seeking to restore two of the seven reactors at Kashiwazaki, which is located about 220 km northwest of Tokyo on coast of the Sea of Japan. Its only other nuclear plants are Fukushima No. 1, which is being decommissioned, and the nearby Fukushima No. 2 facility, which may be too tainted by its association with the 2011 disaster to ever restart.

In order to ensure Kashizawaki’s safety, Tepco says it has bolstered staff levels, built a 15 meter flood-prevention wall, and built a reservoir to store 20,000 tons of water to cool reactors in case of pump failures.

The IAEA said its primary focus will be assessing the plant’s internal operations. Three months after its review, the agency will send its report to Tepco, the NRA and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The review will not replace Japan’s regulatory process, said Peter Tarren, the IAEA’s team leader at Kashiwazaki. “Decisions about restarts of the plant are not the authority of the IAEA,” he said.

Source: Japan Times

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

NRA warns it may halt inspections at Mihama reactor Kepco aims to restart

Although Kansai Electric Power Co. aims to extend the life of the Mihama plant’s No. 3 reactor by 20 years, the operator may be forced to scrap the 39-year-old facility instead.
On Wednesday, Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, warned that if Kepco has not decided on the basic ground motion standards used as a basis for plant safety standards in the event of an earthquake by the end of August, inspections now underway will be cut off. The surveys are part of Kepco’s efforts to restart the unit and extend its operating life.
“If the ground motion standards aren’t set by the end of August, a major decision will have to be made,” Tanaka
The 826-megawatt Mihama No. 3 reactor will turn 40 years old at the end of 2016. Ending safety inspections would likely force Kepco to reconsider whether revenues generated over a span of 20 years would cover the costs of restarting it. That’s of particular concern given the reforms taking place in the electricity sector over the next few years, which are expected to boost competition.
Twenty years is the maximum extension possible for a 40-year-old
Kepco has already announced plans to decommission the Mihama No. 1 and 2 reactors, which have roughly the same combined power output as the No. 3 reactor. To decommission these reactors would cost at least ¥67 billion. It would also take at least two decades, and would produce about 5000 tons of nuclear waste, whose final location for long-term disposal remains unclear.
Officials in Fukui Prefecture, especially in Mihama, are also concerned about the fiscal impact of the plant’s decommissioning. Since the mid-1970s, the town of Mihama, which has a population of only 10,000 people, has received ¥27.5 billion in nuclear-related government subsidies.
In 2013, about one third of the town’s budget was funded from such subsidies. Officials and businesses worry that decommissioning the No. 3 reactor will mean less official funding from Tokyo, and the potential loss of various “voluntary subsidies” Kepco has made over the years to the town.
Kepco officials said they will make every effort to restart the No. 3 plant as soon as possible. But the utility, which suffered a net loss of ¥148.3 billion in fiscal 2014, faces growing criticism from shareholders, including the cities of Osaka and Kobe, over its management of nuclear power plants and future energy plans.
Kepco announced at its June 25 shareholders meeting that it was necessary to build new nuclear plants. That’s despite advancements in renewable energy and a government proposal to reduce the nation’s reliance on nuclear power, which provided about one-third of Japan’s electricity in 2010, to about 20 to 22 percent by 2030. 

Source: Japan Times

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

TEPCO: Radioactive water removed from tunnels

Tepco says it has finished removing highly radioactive water from underground tunnels connected to one of the facility’s reactor buildings.
Tepco said on Tuesday that workers removed about 4,500 tons of the water from the tunnels linked to the No. 2 reactor building.
Underground space of the building is filled with highly contaminated water that had contact with melted nuclear fuel, raising concerns that the water could flow out to the nearby sea through the tunnels.
Since November, workers had been filling in the tunnels with cement to remove the water.
Officials say they hope to finish similar work at underground tunnels connected to the plant’s No. 3 reactor in July.
The company estimates that more than 10,000 tons of such water has flowed into underground tunnels of both reactors.
In April last year, Tepco tried to create ice walls just outside the reactor buildings to keep tainted water out of the tunnels. But the plan did not work, and the utility decided to fill them with cement.
Tepco and the government say “they attach the highest priority to removing contaminated water from the tunnels, to avoid polluting the sea.” 

Source: NHK

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

1.2 Sv/h measured on unidentified substance overflowing of Reactor 2 / Two parts concealed on Tepco’s source

unidentified-substance-overflowing-of-Reactor-2-vessel july 1, 2015The picture captured by “PackBot”. Black substance is overflowing from the lid connected to Reactor 2 vessel. The composition is not announced. The radiation level was overscale. 

On 6/29/2015, Tepco announced they detected 1197 mSv/h near unidentified substance overflowing from PCV 2 (Primary Containment Vessel of Reactor 2). Because the highest detectable level of the used dosimeter was 1000 mSv/h, the actual radiation level can be higher than 1197 mSv/h.

In order to collect image data of the inside of PCV 2, Tepco was investigating the access hole on the wall.

The substance was found overflown from the lid of the hole by a remote control robot called “PackBot”.

The second highest reading was 1150 mSv/h. The composition of the substance has not been announced.

Additionally, on Tepco’s source to indicate the location of the issued hole, there are two parts concealed. (Blue circled on the photo attached below)

It is not known what they tried to hide from the press release.

unidentified-substance-overflowing-of-Reactor-2-vessel july 1, 2015 2

unidentified-substance-overflowing-of-Reactor-2-vessel july 1, 2015 4

unidentified-substance-overflowing-of-Reactor-2-vessel july 1, 2015 3

Source: Fukushima Diary

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

Fukushima Evacuees Harder Access To Housing


Back in 2011 PM Kan told Fukushima evacuees they could go home very soon. This was probably not what he meant. 

The current Japanese government has been in the process of a push to force evacuees to return to the evacuation zone through a number of measures. Compensation payments would be cut and efforts to reopen some services in the disaster area were implemented. While this would leave many with no further aid, a new effort will make it even harder to not return to the evacuation zone.

In 2013 the Reconstruction Agency told local municipalities to not exempt evacuees from tough requirements to obtain public housing when their compensated housing expires. The Reconstruction Agency admitted that the plan is to force people to return home, they made this statement in that meeting “basically the policy is for a return to Fukushima”. 

So not only will they cut off people’s compensation funding and aid, they will do whatever possible to make it harder for them to leave on their own or stay evacuated.

For more information about how Japan’s public housing system works, the Yen for Living blog at Japan Times has some helpful information.

Central gov’t wanted voluntary Fukushima evacuees to enter draws for public housing

The central government told prefectural governments in October 2013 to not exempt Fukushima nuclear disaster voluntary evacuees from having to enter draws for access to public housing after the free rent period for their current residences ends, it has been learned.

Voluntary evacuees are living in regular residences recognized as temporary homes, for which they pay no rent until the end of March 2017. The central government’s instruction came in regards to a policy called “Smoothing of (evacuees’) entrance into public housing,” which is based on an evacuee support law passed in June 2012 under the Democratic Party of Japan administration. The policy is supposed to loosen tough requirements defined by the Act on Public Housing for entrance into local government-run homes, such as income caps, and was included in fundamental policies of the support law that were approved by the Cabinet on Oct. 11, 2013.

The day before the Cabinet decision, the Reconstruction Agency and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism summoned representatives from the governments of municipalities with many Fukushima evacuees, like those of Tokyo and Saitama and Niigata prefectures, for a meeting. The Mainichi Shimbun obtained minutes of the meeting recorded by multiple municipal governments.

According to the minutes, a representative from the Reconstruction Agency explained that “basically the policy is for a return to Fukushima” and then gave details about the support law and the policy, and responded to questions from municipal government representatives.

When representatives from prefectures including Saitama asked about how to handle voluntary evacuees who want to move into public housing after their free rent period for their current residences ends, a ministry representative said the ministry wanted them to not give those evacuees any exemption from having to enter draws for entrance into the housing.

If voluntary evacuees have to enter draws for access to public housing, they might not succeed, and will be stuck without cheap public housing when free rent at their evacuation home runs out.

When a representative asked about the demand among evacuees for the “Smoothing of (evacuees’) entrance into public housing” policy, a government representative said, “The amount of demand is unknown,” suggesting that the policy was made without being based on studies of evacuees’ desires.

Many municipalities are restricting application for public housing to evacuees who did not originally live in those areas. A question regarding whether these restrictions needed to be changed came up at the meeting, but a central government representative said, “We don’t want changes (to the restrictions),” and asked municipal governments to operate regulations regarding public housing application according to their interpretation.

In June 2014, the land ministry distributed to municipal governments a collection of questions and answers about the policy, indicating strict requirements for allowing voluntary evacuees entrance into public housing without having to enter draws. The questions and answers were not released to the public. The Mainichi Shimbun made an information disclosure request and found that publically released documents on the policy make no mention at all of entering public housing without entering draws.

The policy went into effect in October 2014. According to the Reconstruction Agency, 40 prefectural and major city governments are accepting applications for public housing, but due to factors including lack of publicity on the policy, they have only given out 50 applications.

A land ministry representative says, “We cannot treat voluntary evacuees the same as forced evacuees, who are allowed entrance into public housing without entering draws. In the end, the methods taken are the decision of municipal governments.”

On June 15, the Fukushima Prefectural Government announced it would consider its own support measures to accompany the end of free rent period for the around 25,000 estimated voluntary evacuees using apartments and the like as temporary evacuation residences.

Source: Mainichi

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Toshiba’s ‘scorpion’ robot will look into Fukushima reactor

jlùA robot developed by Toshiba Corp. is demonstrated at its laboratory in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. As Japan struggles in the early stages of decades-long cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Toshiba has developed the robot that raises its tail like a scorpion and collects data, and hopefully locate some of melted debris. The “scorpion” robot, which is 54 centimeters (21 inches) long when extended, has two cameras, LED lighting and a dosimeter, will be sent into the Unit 2 reactor in August to look.

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A new robot that raises its tail like a scorpion is scheduled to look at melted nuclear fuel inside one of the three wrecked Fukushima reactors in Japan.

Toshiba Corp., co-developer of the “scorpion” crawler that was demonstrated Tuesday, said the robot will venture into the Unit 2 reactor’s primary containment vessel in August after a month of training for its handlers.

Officials hope the robot can see the fuel in the pressure vessel in the middle of the reactor. The fuel hasn’t been located exactly and studied because of the high radiation levels.

The difficult work of decommissioning the Fukushima plant damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami will take decades.

The scorpion robot is the second to enter a primary containment vessel, after “snake” robots were sent in April inside the worst-hit Unit 1. One of the two robots used in that reactor became stuck and had to be left behind, and neither was able to spot the melted fuel debris.

This time, the scorpion crawler, which is 54 centimeters (21 inches) long when it is extended, will enter through a duct designed as a passageway for fuel rods. Toshiba has no back up machine.

During the demonstration at a Toshiba lab near Tokyo, the robot slid down a railing as it stretched out like a bar, with a head-mounted LED showing its way. After crawling over a slight gap and landing on a metal platform, the robot lifted its tail, as if looking up at the bottom of the control rod drive, a structure above the platform where some melted nuclear fuel might be left.

Toshiba officials said they hope the robot can capture images of deeper areas of the vessel, though the primary focus is the platform area, so they can design suitable robots that can go deeper into the vessel.

The scorpion also demonstrated it can roll back upright if it hits an obstacle and rolls over. The ability comes from a tail joint in the middle that bends.

One operator controls the robot with a joystick, and another monitors a video feed from the robot and other data. At the Fukushima plant, the robot will be operated remotely from a command center in a separate building.

The work is planned for a full day. The robot is designed with radiation tolerance allowing it to stay more than 10 hours inside the Unit 2 reactor. Protecting plant workers and engineers from radiation exposure is crucial in the decades-long cleanup.

The robot’s entry is just the beginning of the reactor investigation required before the most challenging task of removing the melted fuel.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | | Leave a comment

TEPCO told to pay 27 million yen to family of Fukushima evacuee who killed himself

FUKUSHIMA–Tokyo Electric Power Co. has been ordered to pay 27 million yen ($219,500) in compensation to the bereaved family of a male evacuee who committed suicide after being displaced due to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Presiding Judge Naoyuki Shiomi of the Fukushima District Court ruled on June 30 that the main reason Kiichi Isozaki, 67, from Namie, near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, killed himself was “stress related to the nuclear accident.”
It was the second time a court in Japan has deemed that the Fukushima accident was responsible for an evacuee’s suicide.
Shiomi ruled that Isozaki lost the “foundation of his life” when he had to evacuate from his hometown, where he had spent most of his life and enjoyed fishing and home gardening after retirement.
The judge concluded that the prolonged evacuation and economic insecurity about his future added to his anxiety and triggered depression.
Isozaki’s 66-year-old wife, Eiko, and two other family members sued the utility, demanding 87 million yen in compensation.
Isozaki and his family fled from their home on March 12, 2011, the day after the nuclear crisis unfolded at the plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, according to a court statement.
They took refuge in a shelter set up at a high school gym in Koriyama, also in Fukushima Prefecture, about 60 kilometers from their home, on March 13.
Isozaki complained about being unable to sleep there and also lost his appetite.
About a month later, the family moved to an apartment in Nihonmatsu in the same prefecture.
Isozaki’s health began deteriorating again around the middle of June, and he often expressed a desire to return home.
His body was discovered in a river in Iitate, a village in the prefecture, in July. Police believe that he jumped from a nearby bridge.
The central issue of the lawsuit was whether his suicide was related to the nuclear accident.
“Isozaki committed suicide after developing depression while evacuating from the area of the nuclear accident,” one of the family members testified in court.
But TEPCO claimed, “Isozaki was already suffering anxiety and stress since he had diabetes.”
In the first compensation judgment, the utility was ordered to pay about 49 million yen to the family of an evacuee from Kawamata who killed herself in July 2011. The ruling was made by the same court last August.
The evacuee, 58, had set herself ablaze while on a visit back to her home.
On that occasion the utility decided not to appeal the ruling, and senior TEPCO officials apologized to the family of the deceased.
Source : Asahi Shimbun

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo Electric Power : TEPCO to pay part of decontamination costs it refused to cover

Tepco now plans on paying part of the 76.1 billion yen ($619.4 million) spent so far on radiation decontamination work conducted by municipalities.
Tepco had effectively refused to cover the costs and only paid around 1.7 billion yen, or 2 percent of the total amount so far, saying it had yet to confirm whether it was legally liable for such payments.
However, Tepco has now conveyed to the Environment Ministry its intention of paying around 43 billion yen, or nearly 60% percent of the costs that the ministry had asked it to cover, in response to the ministry’s repeated calls. The utility is also considering whether to pay the remainder, the sources said.
A law enacted following the triple reactor meltdowns in March 2011 stipulates that Tepco bears the responsibility of paying for all decontamination work, such as removal of radioactive soil and other waste. Under the current program, the central government first shoulders the cost of cleanup work conducted by municipalities and Tepco later reimburses the expenses.
The utility’s planned reimbursement will concern cleanup work conducted by municipalities in Fukushima, Miyagi, Iwate and several other prefectures.
Tepco has paid more than 90 percent of the around 128.5 billion yen spent on decontamination work conducted directly by the central government in heavily contaminated areas close to the Fukushima
Daiichi power station. 

Source: 4 Traders–TEPCO-to-pay-part-of-decontamination-costs-it-refused-to-cover-20610713/

July 2, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear facility under control – no way!

Fukushima Not Even Close To Being Under Control Oil Price, By , 28 June 2015  “……….In late 2014, Helen Caldicott, M.D. gave a speech about Fukushima at Seattle Town Hall. Pirate Television recorded her speech

Dr. Helen Caldicott is co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and she is author/editor of Crisis Without End: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, The New Press, September 2014. For over four decades Dr. Caldicott has been the embodiment of the anti-nuclear banner, and as such, many people around the world classify her as a “national treasure”. She’s truthful and honest and knowledgeable.

Fukushima is literally a time bomb in quiescence. Another powerful quake and all hell could break loose. Also, it is not even close to being under control. Rather, it is totally out of control. According to Dr. Caldicott, “It’s still possible that Tokyo may have to be evacuated, depending upon how things go.” Imagine that!

 Fukushima- The Real Story

According to Japan Times as of March 11, 2015: “There have been quite a few accidents and problems at the Fukushima plant in the past year, and we need to face the reality that they are causing anxiety and anger among people in Fukushima, as explained by Shunichi Tanaka at the Nuclear Regulation Authority. Furthermore, Mr. Tanaka said, there are numerous risks that could cause various accidents and problems.”

Even more ominously, Seiichi Mizuno, a former member of Japan’s House of Councillors (Upper House of Parliament, 1995-2001) in March 2015 said: “The biggest problem is the melt-through of reactor cores… We have groundwater contamination… The idea that the contaminated water is somehow blocked in the harbor is especially absurd. It is leaking directly into the ocean. There’s evidence of more than 40 known hotspot areas where extremely contaminated water is flowing directly into the ocean… We face huge problems with no prospect of solution.”

At Fukushima, each reactor required one million gallons of water per minute for cooling, but when the tsunami hit, the backup diesel generators were drowned. Units 1, 2, and 3 had meltdowns within days. There were four hydrogen explosions. Thereafter, the melting cores burrowed into the container vessels, maybe into the earth……

July 1, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015 | Leave a comment

‘Scorpion’ robot to help develop new robots that could go deeper into Fukushima nuclear reactor unit 2

Toshiba’s ‘scorpion’ robot will look into Fukushima reactor Phys Org 30 June 15  by By Mari Yamaguchi A new robot that raises its tail like a scorpion is scheduled to look at melted nuclear fuel inside one of the three wrecked Fukushima reactors in Japan. Toshiba Corp., co-developer of the “scorpion” crawler that was demonstrated Tuesday, said the robot will venture into the Unit 2 reactor’s primary containment vessel in August after a month of training for its handlers.

Officials hope the robot can see the fuel in the pressure vessel in the middle of the reactor. The fuel hasn’t been located exactly and studied because of the high radiation levels.

The difficult work of decommissioning the Fukushima plant damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami will take decades. The scorpion robot is the second to enter a primary containment vessel, after “snake” robots were sent in April inside the worst-hit Unit 1. One of the two robots used in that reactor became stuck and had to be left behind, and neither was able to spot the melted fuel debris.

This time, the scorpion crawler, which is 54 centimeters (21 inches) long when it is extended, will enter through a duct designed as a passageway for fuel rods. Toshiba has no back up machine……….

Toshiba officials said they hope the robot can capture images of deeper areas of the vessel, though the primary focus is the platform area, so they can design suitable robots that can go deeper into the vessel……

The robot’s entry is just the beginning of the reactor investigation required before the most challenging task of removing the melted fuel.:

July 1, 2015 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, Japan, technology | Leave a comment

Poor health of Fukushima radiation refugees

Nonprofit Group: “Every single person” we hosted from Japan has had health problems… Blood stains found in almost all of their beds — Japanese Mom: Most mothers I’ve met from Tokyo and Fukushima are suffering thyroid problems, eye problems, nose bleeds… It’s been very surprising (VIDEO)

Interview with Vicki Nelson, founder of Fukushima Friends (nonprofit organization which facilitates trips to Hawaii for Fukushima radiation refugees), Nuclear Hotseat hosted by Libbe HaLevy, Jun 9, 2015 (at 16:30 in):

  • Vicki Nelson, founder of Fukushima Friends (emphasis added): We have a home that’s open for them to come and experience some time of respite and eat different food. What we’ve been experiencing also is that every single person that comes has reaction to the change as soon as they come here. There’s been people who have vomited, they’ve been having nosebleeds, they’ve been dizzy, they’ve been very ashen in color.
  • Libbe HaLevy, host: This is once they have left Japan? In other words, it is the lack of the radiation that allows them to then have these reactions?
  • Nelson: It’s like it is expelling from their body. There’s diarrhea, there’s nosebleeds— almost every single person has had nosebleeds on their pillow. I find blood, andthey don’t want to tell me that they have these reactions, they’re embarrassed. Tokiko’s son [from Koriyama, Fukushima] vomited the whole first week practically, and diarrhea. We actually took him to the hospital because we felt that he was dehydrated. They did run tests, and they said yes he was dehydrated. So he was kept overnight at the Hilo hospital on the big island and cared for.

Meeting hosted by Andrew Cash, member of Canadian parliament, Dec 2012 — Japanese mother (at 2:12:30 in): “My home town is Sapporo [northernmost island in Japan]… In my city, no one thinks about radiation. I found a group of escaped mothers from Tokyo and the Fukushima area, and I was very surprised… Most of them had thyroid problems, or eye problems, or nose bleeds… They are very worried about it. In Japan we knew about the meltdowns two months after the meltdowns happened, so we can have no information about radiation. Now the government is telling us to eat food from Fukushima. We can’t rely on government. The TV said Fukushima is safe, no problem… Fukushima is good to live. They want to invite a lot of tourists to Fukushima.

Full interview with Nelson here | Watch the meeting in Canada here

July 1, 2015 Posted by | health, Japan | Leave a comment


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