Radiation leak reported day after incident at Ibaraki laboratory, Global Post, 24 May 13Radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere Thursday outside the controlled area at one of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s nuclear physics laboratories in Ibaraki Prefecture, the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s secretariat said early Saturday morning.
Fifty-five researchers and others who were engaged in experiments and other work at the laboratory may have been exposed to radiation as a result of inhaling the substances, but none were taken to hospital, the government body said. Four have so far undergone checkups and the highest radiation dose detected was 1.7 millisievert.
No impact from the radiation is expected beyond the premises of the accelerator laboratory in Tokaimura….. http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130524/radiation-leak-reported-day-after-incident-at-ibaraki-
JAPAN NUCLEAR REACTOR ATOP ACTIVE FAULT: REGULATOR, Yahoo 7 News, May 23, 2013TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s nuclear watchdog said Wednesday that one reactor was sitting directly above an active tectonic fault, effectively ruling out a restart forever.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it had approved a report from experts which found a crack in the Earth’s crust lying underneath the reactor at a plant in Tsuruga, western Japan, was active. ”There is a need for us to take the report seriously,” NRA chairman
Shunichi Tanaka said.
It is the first time the newly-minted NRA has made such a ruling. It is still investigating possibly-active faults under five other
reactors. A second reactor at Tsuruga, which sits 300 metres (328 yards) away, is not one of this number.
The final decision on a restart rests with the government, who are expected to be asked by plant operator Japan Atomic Power to overrule
Observers say despite its pro-nuclear stance, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration is unlikely to risk public ire by backing the
operator, meaning the reactor would become the first to be permanently shuttered since the Fukushima disaster……
Tepco: M6 quake caused leak at Fukushima Daiichi — Water coming from pipe of Units 5, 6 http://enenews.com/m6-quake-caused-leak-at-fukushima-daiichi-water-coming-from-pipe-of-units-5-6
Title: Earthquake Occurred on May 18, 2013 (Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Stations) (Follow-up Information No.2)
Source: Tepco Press Release
Date: May 20, 2013
h/t Anonymous tip
This is a follow-up report on the statuses of Fukushima Daiichi and Daini Nuclear Power Stations after the earthquake occurred in the offshore of Fukushima Prefecture (M5.9) at around 2:48 PM on May 18.
At around 4:10 PM in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, a TEPCO employee found water dropping from an overflow pipe of Units 5-6 RO treated water tank (D7 tank) where the leakage was found yesterday on the site patrol after the earthquake. [...]
Regarding the treated water dropping from an overflow pipe of Units 5-6 RO treated water tank, the leakage area is estimated to be about 2 m x about 2 m and the leakage amount is estimated to be about 4 liters. [...]
The water dropping is assumed to be caused by the earthquake occurred at around 2:48 PM today since the treated water tank was at full capacity from yesterday. [...]
See also: Strong M6 quake hits near Fukushima nuclear plant — Intensity 5+ on JMA scale — Officials: “No reports of damage so far”
Safecast’s software and devices are all open source, and anyone can use the data. Franken says it’s being used by researchers around the world and even by the government in some Japanese cities.
you can tie specific medical symptoms to radiation levels.”
In Japan, Citizen Radiation-Tracking Project Goes Big Time, PRI’s The World, BY CATHERINE WINTER ⋅ MAY 21, 2013 ⋅ON A SUNNY SPRING MORNING JUST OUTSIDE TOKYO, JOE MOROSS HOOKS A RADIATION DETECTOR OUTSIDE THE BACK WINDOW OF A LITTLE RED CAR. HE LOOKS AT A MAP OF THE AREA ON HIS LAPTOP COMPUTER, TRYING TO FIND A ROUTE HE HASN’T DRIVEN BEFORE, SO HE CAN TAKE NEW RADIATION READINGS.
“We want to cover every street so people who look at our maps can drill down and zoom in and find out what the measurement is right in front of their house,” Moross says.
Moross is taking measurements for Safecast. Since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daichi two years ago, volunteers like him have been driving around Japan, testing radiation and adding their readings to online maps.
When The World last checked in on Safecast, in May of 2011, the group had just formed and had posted a handful of radiation measurements.
Now, Safecast volunteers have taken close to 10 million separate readings……. Read more »
it’s time everyone stopped making the stuff
Japanese officials visit Hanford to learn nuclear cleanup strategies KPIU 885 By Anna King, 21 May 13 The people overseeing the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster are learning some valuable lessons from the long-running cleanup at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. A Japanese government delegation recently toured some of the southeast Washington site this week….. Japanese may need to build a facility two to four times larger to handle all their contaminated trees, topsoil and debris…http://www.kplu.org/post/japanese-officials-visit-hanford-learn-nuclear-cleanup-strategies
Japan emerges as solar beacon, SMH, 22 May 13, “…..Nuclear doubts Meanwhile Japan’s new nuclear regulator looks set to shut down at least one plant and maybe more, after a report published 16 May found that an earthquake fault under the country’s oldest reactor at Japan Atomic’s Tsuruga plant was active. National law bans building reactors on active faults.
“Japan Atomic’s survival is now in doubt,” Takashi Aoki at Mizuho Asset Management told Bloomberg News. This also raises the risk for the five other power stations under investigation for active faults. Japan Atomic has repeatedly said that the fault is not active, according to a company statement.
The new Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) also said last week it would issue an order to keep a separate unit, the Monju experimental fast breeder reactor, closed until its operator overhauled safety measures.
The verdict might be a blow for Abe’s efforts to get the nuclear capacity back online but it could be reassuring news for the Japanese public that the new watchdog does not seem to shy away from making unwelcome decisions to prioritise safety. The NRA’s predecessor reportedly ignored warnings before March 2011 when the earthquake and tsunami caused the meltdown of three reactors in Fukushima……..
Members of Abe’s party gathered on 14 May to demand restart of the nuclear reactors for the sake of the economic recovery. However, their demands may not be in line with public sentiment: in March, thousands of protesters marched through Tokyo, calling on the government to reject nuclear power.
The NRA is not expected to compile new safety standards until after July 2013, meaning that any decision on resuming operations could likely only be made after the upper house elections this summer…….http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/japan-emerges-as-solar-beacon-20130522-2jzpt.html#ixzz2U3UWoJXE
Hundreds seek compensation in Japan nuclear crisis http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Hundreds-seek-compensation-in-Japan-nuclear-crisis/articleshow/20177997.cms
AP | May 21, 2013 TOKYO: Hundreds of people living just outside Japan’s Fukushima prefecture say they have been denied adequate compensation after the country’s 2011 nuclear disaster despite suffering elevated radiation levels.
Nearly 700 residents from Hippo district in Miyagi prefecture, just northeast of Fukushima, filed a claim Tuesday with a government arbitration office demanding that they be given the same compensation as residents of Fukushima. Read more »
Japan emerges as solar beacon, SMH May 22, 2013 - ”……The country’s generous solar feed-in tariff continues to bolster demand: Japan Asia Group’s plans are moving ahead to develop 500 megawatts of solar projects over the next three years, Tetsuo Yamashita, chairman of the company, said at a meeting with analysts on 16 May. It has 24 solar plants already developed in Europe, but may trim its business in that region, Yamashita said. Japan Asia received a 1.6 billion yen loan for five solar projects in its home country from Shinsei Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company, it said in a statement in March.
The preceding day, Eurus Energy Holdings announced plans to build a 115MW solar power station in northern Japan. The aim is to start construction of the 49 billion yen ($US480 billion) project this July and to begin running the station in November 2015. Eurus is a venture between Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).
And on 14 May, Nippon Paper Industries said that its joint venture with Mitsubishi will begin construction on a 21MW solar power station in western Japan this autumn. The plant is expected to start selling electricity to Shikoku Electric Power in H2 2014.
Demand for solar power is increasing for non-residential projects, according to data released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on 17 May. Approved applications for non-residential solar projects jumped to 11GW by the end of February from just under 6GW at the end of January.
The start of the feed-in tariff last year helped Sharp to reduce losses at its solar unit in the Asian country: global solar sales climbed 16 per cent to 260 billion yen ($US2.54 billion) last fiscal year, mainly driven by an increase in residential demand in Japan, the company said. Sharp’s operating losses fell to 4.4 billion yen ($US43 billion) for the 12 months ended 31 March compared with 21.9 billion yen ($US210 billion) the previous year….. Japan is forecast to install 6-9.4GW of solar capacity this year under its feed-in tariff, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. This could make it the second-largest – or even the top – solar market in theworld
Thanks To Abenomics, The Company At The centre Of The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis, Has Surged Nearly 400% This Year BUSINESS INSIDER MATTHEW BOESLER 22 May 13 ‘… a pretty shocking chart: it’s the share price of TEPCO, the beleaguered Japanese power company at the centre of the Fukushima nuclear disaster that followed from the Japanese earthquake in April 2011.
Year-to-date, the stock is up 396%. In recent days, it’s gone absolutely vertical in the past few days on speculation that the company will at last power up its nuclear reactors again, which have been shut down since the disaster.Bloomberg’s Tsuyoshi Inajima has the details:
Tepco shares yesterday rose 16 per cent to 726 yen after the Yomiuri newspaper reported the utility will apply to the Nuclear Regulation Authority for a restart of No. 1 and No. 7 units at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant in northern Japan in July.
Tepco denied the Yomiuri report and said the utility is still designing a filtered vent system, part of the new safety requirements to be set by the nuclear safety watchdog. The company can’t say when it can complete the installation.
Of course, the announcement and beginning of the implementation of the Japanese government’s “Abenomics” economic stimulus strategy has caused the broader Japanese stock market to surge this year, making it one of the best performing global stock markets so far in 2013. (The surge in stocks is also a byproduct of the weakening Japanese yen, which has been the primary conduit of Abenomics so far.)……. http://au.businessinsider.com/abenomics-sends-tepco-shares-surging-2013-5
Japan Times: Discharges of Fukushima nuclear material into Pacific “have effectively contaminated the sea” — Melted reactor cores will burn again if water not perpetually poured in — “Tepco proposing some of it be dumped into ocean” http://enenews.com/japan-times-discharges-of-nuclear-material-into-the-pacific-from-fukushima-have-effectively-contaminated-the-sea-melted-reactor-cores-will-burn-again-if-water-not-perpetually-poured-in-t
Title: Fukushima No. 1 can’t keep its head above tainted water
Source: The Japan Times
Author: Reiji Yoshida
Date: May 21, 2013
[...] Tepco must perpetually pour water over the melted cores of reactors 1, 2, and 3 via makeshift systems to prevent the fuel from melting and burning again. [...]
Tepco is proposing some of the water be dumped into the sea after processing it to remove most, but not all, radioactive isotopes. [...]
Previous discharges into the Pacific have effectively contaminated the sea. Failure to store it means it will probably flood the whole compound and end up in the ocean anyway. [...]
Will the processed water pose health or environmental risks?
According to Tepco, the processed water could theoretically be safe [...]
Tritium is the exception, however. Tepco says the tritium level in the contaminated water is between 1 million and 5 million becquerels per liter. The legal limit is 60,000. [...]
See also: Gundersen: “Liquid releases” of nuclear material into ocean will continue for years and years at Fukushima Daiichi — Already 10 times Chernobyl (VIDEO)
Goldman Sachs eyes Japan renewable energy investments http://www.eco-business.com/news/goldman-sachs-eyes-japan-renewable-energy-investments/ 20 May 13,
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) plans to invest as much as 50 billion yen ($487 million) in renewable energy projects in Japan in the next five years, tapping demand for electricity produced from solar and wind-power generators.
The Wall Street firm also plans to take as much as 250 billion yen of bank loans and project-financing over the same period to move ahead with projects that would cost a total of 300 billion yen, Hiroko Matsumoto, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for Goldman, said by telephone. The Nikkei newspaper reported the plan earlier today.
Japan began offering incentives in July through feed-in tariffs to encourage renewables after the Fukushima nuclear-plant crisis stemming from the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Japan has been forced to slash its reliance on atomic power generation since Fukushima.
“We believe that we can leverage our global expertise in investing in renewable energy in places such as the US and India, to help expand Japan’s renewable power capabilities,” Ankur Sahu, co-head of the merchant banking division in the Asia-Pacific, said by e-mail.
Goldman Sachs formed the Japan Renewable Energy Co. unit in August to plan, design and operate power plants run on sun, wind, fuel cells and biomass fuels, it said on its website.
Renewable energy has attracted interest from investors ranging from billionaire Masayoshi Son’s Softbank Corp. and financial-services company Orix Corp. to the country’s biggest banks led by Mizuho Financial Group Inc.
Japan will probably become the largest solar market in the world after China this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Commercial and utility-scale projects will boost solar installations to a range of 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts in 2013, exceeding an earlier forecast of 3.2 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said in April.
Companies that stand to benefit include Kyocera Corp., Sharp Corp. and Suntech Power Japan Corp., all of which make and sell solar panels for residential and industrial use.
Rice planted 10 miles from Fukushima Daiichi — Residents can’t stay in town overnight — “Intended for sale” http://enenews.com/jiji-rice-being-planted-about-10-miles-from-fukushima-daiichi-intended-for-sale
Title: Rice planted in former no-go zone
Date: May 20, 2013
Farmers in the city of Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, have begun planting rice in a district once designated a no-go zone because of radioactive fallout ejected by the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 power plant.
It is the first time since the March 2011 core meltdowns that rice intended for sale has been planted in any former hot zone within 20 km of the power plant.
Saturday’s rice planting was carried out in Tamura’s Miyakojimachi district, about 15 km [9.4 miles] from the plant [...]
Residents can enter without permission during the daytime but aren’t allowed to stay overnight [...]
See also: Japan Times: Radiation level in Fukushima town 400 times higher than in Tokyo — 10 kilometers from Daiichi
Fishermen net fish in Fukushima waters to measure radiation levels
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/recovery/AJ201305210005 May 21, 2013 By HIROSHI KAWAI/ Staff Writer
A fishing vessel from Fukushima Prefecture caught fish in waters south
of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on May 20 to test
them for levels of radiation contamination, as local fishing
cooperatives hope to soon resume fishing in the area.
The No. 12 Akira Maru belonging to the Iwaki fishermen’s cooperative
trawled plenty of flatfish and other species.
Due to ocean currents, the concentration of radioactive materials has
been found to be higher in waters to the south of the plant, than to
Of the Akira Maru’s catch, nine species of fish were kept as samples
to measure radiation levels in them. The fishermen tested about 10
kilograms of each type and threw the rest back into the sea.
“It feels hollow to have to throw fish back into the sea, considering
that they could fetch high prices,” Captain Akiyoshi Abe said.
Before the nuclear accident triggered by the Great East Japan
Earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, waters off the prefecture were
known as a good fishing area where more than 100 species could be
Many local fisheries cooperatives have had to suspend operations since
the nuclear accident.
Japan Times: Radiation level in Fukushima town 400 times higher than in Tokyo — 10 kilometers from Daiichi http://enenews.com/japan-times-radiation-level-fukushima-town-400-times-higher-tokyo
Title: Fukushima photos focus on what can’t be seen
Source: Japan Times
Author: Ken Kawashima
Date: May 19, 2013
[...] Returning to the base of [Mount Higakure] overlooking the manmade lake behind the [Sakashita] dam, we find a public radiation-monitoring post indicating a reading of 0.44μSv/hour — roughly 40 times the level in Tokyo on the same day.
Moving on from there, before heading back to Tokyo we decide to drop by the abandoned tsunami-ravaged town of Tomioka, which had been off-limits until just recently. There, a mere 10 km from the nuclear plant, we were chastened to find the radiation readings were almost 10 times those by the dam — some 400 times Tokyo levels at the same time on the same day. [...]
Full report here
Local governments ignore cesium detection in Tokyo river eels, Asahi Shimbun May 17, 2013 By YUSUKE FUKUI/ Staff Writer Tokyo and Chiba local governments took no action for nearly two months after being informed that radioactive cesium had been detected in eels caught in a boundary river between the two prefectures.
Officials of both governments said no independent study was conducted because the eels were not caught by professional fishermen intending to sell the catch.
The detection of the cesium was also not publicized. On March 9, a 47-year-old self-employed woman caught an eel from the Edogawa river in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward. Concerned about reports that cesium had accumulated downstream in the river, she sent the eel to Hideo Yamazaki, a professor of environmental analysis at Kinki University in Osaka Prefecture. Using a germanium semiconductor detector, Yamazaki found that the eel had 147.5 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram, higher than the central government standard of 100 becquerels.
Yamazaki reported his finding to the Fisheries Agency in late March because he felt there was a need for an official investigation to back up his finding as well as further studies to look into the effects on other fish.
Although the Fisheries Agency informed both the Tokyo metropolitan and Chiba prefectural governments about the finding, neither had conducted an official study as of May 16.
An official with the Tokyo metropolitan government’s fisheries division said, “Basically, only fish that enter the distribution network is subject to studies. The eel fishing season also does not start until summer.”….. Yamazaki conducted further studies on four eels caught by the same woman in April and May in the Edogawa river. The eels had cesium levels between 97.4 becquerels and 129.6 becquerels per kilogram, with three of the eels having cesium levels exceeding the central government standard….. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201305170079
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