6. In Japan, the only radiation from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactors that is being measured is the radioactive cesium. However large amounts of strontium 90 and tritium are spreading all over Japan. Strontium and tritium’s radiation consists of beta rays, and are very difficult to measure. However both are extremely dangerous: strontium can cause leukemia, and tritium can cause chromosome disorder.
8. ……Tokyo Governor Naoki Inose said .“It is not under control now.”
Fukushima disaster followed by four-year litany of failures costing hundreds of millions http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/fukushima-disaster-followed-by-four-year-litany-of-failures-costing-hundreds-of-millions/story-fnh81fz8-1227280207492 VERY GOOD PHOTOS MARCH 26, 2015 THE tragedy of Fukushima is far from over, a whole four years after 18,000 people died when the Daiichi nuclear power plant was destroyed by a tsunami and earthquake.
Japanese government auditors have revealed that more than a third of the $2 billion of taxpayer money dedicated to the clean-up has been wasted.
Tourists are returning to the region as radiation fears fade, and there are plans to host events in the area for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, yet the region is in chaos, seemingly cursed by a litany of failures and screw-ups.
- RADIOACTIVE RAINWATER Continue reading
Japan Anti-nuclear activists want formal public hearings on risks of restarting reactors in Fukui Prefecture
Activists seek public hearings in Shiga on Takahama reactor restarts http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/26/national/activists-seek-public-hearings-in-shiga-on-takahama-reactor-restarts/#.VRS6i_yUcnk BY ERIC JOHNSTON STAFF WRITER MAR 26, 2015
Representatives of the Citizens’ Commission on Nuclear Energy, a group of scholars, engineers, lawyers, and activists, met with Gov. Taizo Mikazuki, who was elected on an anti-nuclear platform in July 2014, to discuss concerns over the restart of the No. 3 and 4 reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Takahama plant and what impact a disaster would have on the prefecture.
“It’s important to have a place where Shiga residents can discuss the technical, economic, and social problems related to the restart of the Takahama reactors and a disaster response system in case of an accident,” said Hitoshi Yoshioka, chairman of the citizens’ commission and a professor at Kyushu University.
Parts of the northern Shiga city of Takashima, which has a population of 52,400, lie within 30 km of the Takahama reactors. The prefecture has long been concerned about the central government’s disaster response plans and wants to be consulted by both Kepco and the central government about the restarts.
In addition, the group called on the governor to seek a wide variety of expert advice about the cost of restarts, and to consult economists who are skeptical of claims by the pro-nuclear camp about the economic and financial benefits of restarts.
Mikazuki, they said, expressed a desire to sponsor a public hearing, probably sometime after local elections in April. Both the governor and his predecessor have long worried about the impact of an accident on Lake Biwa, which provides water to about 14 million Kansai residents.
Officials from New Taipei City’s Department of Health, as well as the Food and Drug Administration and other law-enforcement authorities, seized the mislabeled products, although a substantial portion had already been sold to consumers.
Authorities inspected warehouses in New Taipei City belonging to food companies such as Sheng Yu (盛裕), Li Tuo (勵拓), Sun Friend (上煬) and Tai Crown (太冠).
Health Department officials said Sheng Yu imported soy sauce labeled “Tokyo-made” last month. In reality, they were manufactured in areas that have import restrictions, such as Chiba (千葉), Gumma (群馬), Fukushima (福島), Ibaraki (茨城) and Tochigi (櫪木) prefectures.
Nineteen products originated from areas exposed to radiation and five other products have expired, the department said.
The department also investigated Li Tuo, Sun Friend and Tai Crown’s warehouses in Taishan, Xinzhuang and Xindian districts. They discovered several products from areas with import restrictions: seven from Li Tuo, 25 from Sun Friend and 19 from Tai Crown.
Further investigation revealed downstream companies that stock the imported products include well-known Japanese department stores, food chains and boutiques, including Wellcome (頂好), JPMed (日藥本舖), Matsusei (松青), Shin Kong Mitsukoshi (新光三越), B&Q (特力屋) and HOLA.
Officials have discovered a total of 2,391 kilograms of problematic products and will continue to investigate……..http://fukushimaupdate.com/taiwan-283-mislabeled-japanese-food-products-originated-near-fukushima/
More errors with Monju nuclear reactor maintenance found, Mainichi, 27 Mar 15 Several more maintenance problems have been discovered at the Monju fast-breeder reactor facility in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, which has been banned from operation following the discovery of over 10,000 cases of maintenance errors in 2013, it has been learned.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) secretariat revealed on March 25 that the newly discovered maintenance errors — which involve the facility’s piping system — mean that Monju operator Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) may have violated safety regulations……..http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20150326p2a00m0na007000c.html
Soils retain, contain radioactivity in Fukushima Science Daily, March 24, 2015 Source: American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA)
Radiocesium dissolves easily in water, allowing it to spread quickly. However, different soils have the ability to retain various toxins and prevent them from spreading or entering the food chain. The authors measured the ability of a large number of soil samples collected from Fukushima to intercept radiocesium. They found success depends on various factors.
One key factor is the presence of rough or weathered edges of certain minerals, such as mica, in the soil. These rough edges catch the radiocesium and prevent its movement. This is the frayed edge site (FES) concentration. Nakao explains, however, that “quantification of the FES with a simple experiment has proven difficult.” A “surrogate” measurement used by soil scientists is the radiocesium interception potential (RIP). This measurement is time-consuming and requires specialized facilities, preventing its measure at local institutes.
Thus, Nakao’s study looked for and found that other, more easily measured soil properties to predict the radiocesium interception potential (RIP) of a soil. “These findings may be useful in screening soils that are particularly vulnerable to transferring radiocesium to plants grown in them,” Nakao says. “However, the amounts of radiocesium transferred to plants are normally negligible, because most of the radiocesium is strongly fixed on the frayed edge site.”……..http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150324101006.htm
Japanese audit finds $1.6 billion wasted in Fukushima nuclear plant cleanup Fox News, 24 mar 15 TOKYO – Japanese government auditors say the operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has wasted more than a third of the 190 billion yen ($1.6 billion) in taxpayer money allocated for cleaning up the plant after it was destroyed by a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
A Board of Audit report describes various expensive machines and untested measures that ended in failure. It also says the cleanup work has been dominated by one group of Japanese utility, construction and electronics giants despite repeated calls for more transparency and greater access for international bidders……
FRENCH IMPORT: Among the costliest failures was a 32 billion yen ($270 million) machine made by French nuclear giant Areva SA to remove radioactive cesium from water leaking from the three wrecked reactors. The trouble-plagued machine lasted just three months and treated only 77,000 tons of water, a tiny fraction of the volume leaking every day. It has since been replaced with Japanese and American machines.
SHODDY TANKS: TEPCO hurriedly built dozens of storage tanks for the contaminated water at a cost of 16 billion yen ($134 million). The shoddy tanks, using rubber seals and assembled by unskilled workers, began leaking and some water seeped into the ground and then into the ocean. The tanks are now being replaced with more durable welded ones.
GIANT UNDERGROUND POOLS: A total of 2.1 billion yen ($18 million) was spent on seven huge underground pools built by Maeda Corp. to store the contaminated water. They leaked within weeks, and the water had to be transferred to steel tanks.
UNFROZEN TRENCH: A 100 million yen ($840,000) project to contain highly contaminated water in a maintenance tunnel by freezing it failed because the water never completely froze. TEPCO subsidiary Tokyo Power Technology even threw in chunks of ice, but eventually had to pour in cement to seal the trench. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/03/24/japanese-audit-finds-millions-dollars-wasted-in-fukushima-nuclear-plant-cleanup/
Due to Fukushima, Japan now must choose to go in one of two directions that are largely exclusive: either towards a reactor restart choice that leads to a minimalist phase-out of separated plutonium over time; or towards a maximalist reliance on separated plutonium over time in a closed fuel cycle………
Should Japan opt to start enough reactors to justify reactivating the plutonium fuel cycle, then the implications for nuclear terrorism would be substantial. The train of logic for maximum spent fuel arising from a closed nuclear fuel cycle is radically different to that for the once-through fuel cycle. In this trajectory, the following would occur:
- Japan starts many more light water reactors, sooner rather than later, and extends reactor lifetimes beyond forty years, and constructs new reactors
- This choice enables far more MOx fuel fabrication and recycling of MOx fuel to these reactors than in the once-through fuel cycle usage; this choice would either slowly reduce or rapidly increase the stockpile of separated plutonium that would be supplemented (if the central state is willing to subsidize heavily the utilities for using MOx fuel) by reprocessing the spent fuel from the operation of the light water reactors
- Thereby generating a new stream of separated and un-separated plutonium in Japan to store and secure, and available for diversion or attack.
Although it does not follow automatically, this vision of the revived closed fuel cycle also implies that:
- The fast reactor is developed in order to burn actinides to reduce the waste disposal problem (whether it would do so is debatable)
- The fast reactor would be developed to breed plutonium based on the argument that doing so makes Japan more independent from external nuclear fuel supply.
All the steps in this second path which maximizes separated fuel involves more transport, more bulk processing and storage, and creates more opportunity for non-state actors to divert fissile material or to attack directly the spent fuel stocks in pools or other nuclear materials process sites in the envisioned “closed” fuel cycle. In short, this trajectory maximizes the nuclear terrorist threat, directly and indirectly, over the next thirty years, especially when the demonstration effect on other states to follow suit are taken into account. For exactly this reason, the United States has reaffirmed recently that it does not favor MOx use and breeder activity in Japan or elsewhere……..http://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-special-reports/nuclear-terrorism-risks-in-northeast-asia-japans-reactor-restart-and-spent-fuel/
Lawsuit targeting Genkai nuclear plant’s MOX plan rejected KYODO SAGA – The Saga District Court on Friday rejected a suit seeking to block Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s plan to use plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel (MOX) at the Genkai power plant in Saga Prefecture.,,(subscribers only) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/03/20/national/lawsuit-targeting-genkai-nuclear-plants-mox-plan-rejected/#.VQ8uJ_yUcnk
NHK admitted pieces of fuel rods and reactor vessels blasted to at least Ibaraki to contain Uranium & Zirconium http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/08/nhk-admitted-pieces-fuel-rods-reactor-vessels-blasted-least-ibaraki-contain-uranium-zirconium/ Iori Mochizuki In the early morning news flash of 8/9/2014, NHK announced that pieces of nuclear fuel, fuel rods, reactor pressure vessels and the internal structure were blasted to at least 130km away from Fukushima nuclear plant.
It was 2μm diameter particle. The ball-looking shape proves it was molten in high temperature and quickly cooled down. The particles contain Uranium, Zirconium etc, which are the same material as nuclear fuel and the structure inside the vessels. These were collected from 3/14 ~ 3/15/2011 in Tsukuba city Ibaraki prefecture by the study group of Science Univ. of Tokyo.
The reason why NHK suddenly started reporting about this fact is not clear. It has been already 3 years and 5 months, which is probably too late to escape. There is a possibility that NHK announces the actual contamination situation in the area closer to Tokyo when people pay much less attention to Fukushima accident.
International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning found no nuclear fuel nor water in Fukushima reactor 1
IRID SAW no fuel or water remaining in reactor core of Reactor 1 http://fukushima-diary.com/2015/03/irid-saw-no-fuel-or-water-remaining-in-reactor-core-of-reactor-1/ Iori Mochizuki Following up this article. Tepco to start “scanning” inside of Reactor 1 in early February by using muon [URL] IRID (International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning) and High Energy Accelerator Research Organization announced they could not find a potential part of nuclear fuel in Reactor core of Reactor 1.
On 3/19/2015, they released the prompt report of their “scanning” test implemented until 3/10/2015.
The report tells they could not find anything longer than 1m in reactor core, where originally fuel assemblies were set.
The muon equipment was installed in North of Reactor 1 and also in North-West of Reactor 1. However, neither of them detected a potential fuel assembly.
Also, no water is retained in the reactor core of RPV (Reactor Pressure Vessel). These facts found strongly supports the possibility that the molten fuel has already dropped onto the bottom of Primary Containment Vessel. They did not mention the further possibility that the molten fuel has already gone through the outer wall of the vessel.
About the state of Spent Fuel Pool 1, they did not conclude more than “assuming the fuel remains inside the pool, but the size is not identified”.
Decommissioning reactors should be step toward ending reliance on nuclear power Asahi Shimbun, 19 Mar 15 Kansai Electric Power Co. and Japan Atomic Power Co. on March 17 decided to decommission three nuclear reactors that have been in operation for more than 40 years. And on March 18, two more nuclear reactors, operated by Chugoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co., joined the “to be decommissioned” list.
This is the first application of the regulation that, in principle, limits the operation of nuclear reactors to 40 years. That rule was adopted after the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Nearly 20 of Japan’s 48 commercial nuclear reactors have been in service for 30 years or longer. Utilities get a one-time-only chance to extend operations beyond 40 years, but the reactor in question must pass special inspections and will require further investments. As the reactors continue to age, the utilities will have to make up their minds from year to year.
Since succeeding in nuclear power generation in 1963, Japan has promoted nuclear energy without any plans for decommissioned reactors. As a result, the nation is now stuck with all sorts of issues that must be resolved if the decommissioning of older reactors is to proceed. Only by overcoming these challenges and becoming a “nation capable of decommissioning nuclear reactors” will Japan be able to take its first firm step toward weaning itself off nuclear energy.
NUCLEAR WASTE PROBLEMS UNRESOLVED
Nuclear waste poses the most critical challenge to the planned decommissioning of nuclear reactors. Directives are effectively nonexistent as to where to store spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste left behind by dismantled reactors.
The government has never addressed this issue, citing its “nuclear fuel cycle” policy that presupposes the full recycling of all spent nuclear fuel. But in practice, this policy is completely useless. Utilities are effectively forced to resort to on-site storage of spent fuel in cooling pools or dry casks.
According to a promise made by Kansai Electric to the Fukui prefectural government, spent nuclear fuel will be “stored or disposed of outside the prefecture.” The utility’s decision to dismantle two reactors at the Mihama power plant means having to deal with this promise.
The handling of radioactive waste is just as problematic. While the waste is supposed to be sorted by the level of radioactivity and stored underground accordingly, nothing has been decided about specific storage locations, not only for highly radioactive waste but also for low-level waste. Nor have any standards been set for the management of buried waste.
Obviously, reactors cannot be dismantled in the absence of rules for spent fuel and nuclear waste disposal. In fact, Japan Atomic Power, which became the first in the nation to decide to decommission a reactor at the Tokai power plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, had to postpone the dismantling work for three years, and then an additional five years, because disposal rules for low-radiation nuclear waste could not be established in time.
Having given up on waiting for communities to volunteer as permanent storage sites for highly radioactive waste, the government has decided to take the initiative and start selecting candidate sites. But given that no community has ever volunteered, the selection process is obviously not going to be easy. To ensure that no community will be forced to become a nuclear waste dump against its will, the government must guarantee procedural transparency and be fully ready for dialogue with every candidate……..http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/editorial/AJ201503180044
it is very important that we recognize the danger posed to children by the routine ingestion of contaminated food with Cesium-137 where ever they might live. It is also important to prevent further nuclear disasters which release these fiendishly toxic poisons into the global ecosystems. Given the immense amounts of long-lived radionuclides which exist at every nuclear power plant this is an urgent task.
The Implications of The Massive Contamination of Japan With Radioactive Cesium [excellent slides and graphs]
Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility
Director, University of Missouri, Clinical Laboratory Science Program
Helen Caldicott Foundation Fukushima Symposium New York Academy of Medicine, 11 March 2013 “……..So now that we have some idea of the extreme toxicity of Cesium-137, let’s look at the extent of the contamination of the Japanese mainland.
It is now known that the reactors 1, 2, and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi all melted down and melted through the steel reactor vessels within a few days following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. This was not made public by either TEPCO or the Japanese government for two months.
The greatest amounts of highly radioactive gases were released shortly after the meltdowns and 80% of this gas released by the reactors is believed to have traveled away from Japan over the Pacific. However the remaining 20% was dispersed over the Japanese mainland.
On March 11th, the US National Nuclear Security Administration offered the use of its NA-42 Aerial Measuring System to the Japanese and US governments. The National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center of the Lawrence Livermore Lab stood up to provide atmospheric modeling projections. The next two slides were produced by Lawrence Livermore and presumably given to the Japanese government.
On March 14th, the easterly winds which had been blowing the highly-radioactive gases and aerosols coming from Fukushima out to sea, shifted and pushed the radioactive plume back over the Japanese mainland. You can see the progression. The red indicates the radioactive plume.
Note that the images indicate that the plume first went south over Tokyo and then reversed and went north as the wind changed. All the areas where the radioactive gases passed over were contaminated. However the heaviest contamination occurred where rainfall was occurring and the radiation rained out. This accounts for the patchy deposition of the radioactive fallout.
Eight months after the disaster, the Japanese Science Ministry released this map, which shows that 11,580 square miles, which is 30,000 square kilometers, which represents 13% of the Japanese mainland, had been contaminated with long-lived radioactive cesium. Note that the official map does not note any Cesium-137 contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area, unlike an unofficial survey done at about the same time by Professor Yukio Hayakawa of Gunma University. Given the fact that the Japanese government and TEPCO denied for two months that any meltdowns had occurred at Fukushima, one must look at all official data with a healthy degree of skepticism.
4500 square miles (or earlier today we heard 7700 square miles)—which is an area larger than the size of Connecticut—was found to have radiation levels that exceeded Japan’s previously allowable exposure rate of 1 millisievert per year.
Rather than evacuate this area, Japan chose to raise its acceptable radiation-exposure rate by 20 times, from 1 millisievert to 20 millisieverts per year.
However, approximately 300 square miles adjacent to the destroyed Fukushima reactors were so contaminated that they were declared uninhabitable. 159,000 Japanese were evicted from this radioactive “exclusion zone.” They lost their homes, property, and businesses, and most have received only a small compensation to cover the costs of their living as evacuees.
Note here that the criteria used for evacuation is the millisievert. It is not a measured quantity of radiation per unit area that I have described such as the Curie or Becquerel. Rather the Sievert is a calculated quantity. It’s calculated to represent the biological effects of ionizing radiation. In other words, the millisievert is a derived number, based on the mathematical models which are used to convert the absorbed dose to “effective dose.”
So what is the increased health risk to Japanese based upon their exposure to 20 millisieverts per year? Let us examine figures constructed on the basis of data published by the National Academy of Sciences, courtesy of Ian Goddard.
The vertical Y-axis is calibrated to the number of cancer cases per 100,000 age-peers, and the horizontal X-axis depicts the age of the population, beginning at zero years and moving towards old age. Now examine the allegedly safe dose of 20 millisieverts per year.
As a result of this exposure, there will be about 1000 additional cases of cancer in female infants and 500 cases of cancer in infant boys per 100,000 in their age groups. There will be an additional 100 cases of cancer in 30 year old males per 100,000 in this age peer group.
Notice that children, especially girls, are at the most risk from radiation-induced cancer. In fact a female infant has 7 times greater risk and a 5 year old girl has 5 times greater risk of getting a radiation-induced cancer than does a 30 year old man. Continue reading
In Japan, the “nuclear village” , like USA’s “military industrial complex” allows TEPCO to go unscathed
How does Tepco get away with it? It’s protected from on high by the “nuclear village,” Tokyo’s answer to the military-industrial complex that is said to hold sway in Washington.
This alliance of pro-nuclear politicians, bureaucrats and power companies promotes reactors over safer forms of energy like solar, wind or geothermal, and works to shield utilities from competition and global standards.
It’s Time for Japan to Punish Tepco, Bloomberg 18 MAR 10, 2015 By William Pesek Fishermen trawling the waters off Japan’s eastern coast have been alleging for a while that radioactive water was again spilling into the Pacific from the Fukushima power plant that melted down after a massive earthquake in 2011. On Feb. 24, Tokyo Electric Power Co., which is responsible for the site, admitted those suspicions were justified. And it turns out that Tepco knew about this latest radioactive leak since last May — and the giant utility said nothing for almost a year.
In the 15 days since Tepco finally confessed, have investigators raided its Tokyo headquarters? Have regulators demanded that heads roll? Has Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used his bully pulpit to demand accountability from the company that gave the world its worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl? In any other major democracy, those steps would have been obvious. But none have occurred in Japan. And that raises troubling questions not just about Tepco’s corporate governance, but the rampant cronyism enabling it. Continue reading
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