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Fuel removal from Fukushima reactor to be delayed

Oct. 30, 2014
The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company are to revise the timetable for decommissioning the No.1 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The current timetable calls for the process of removing spent fuel assemblies from the storage pool to begin in fiscal 2017, and removing melted fuel to begin 3 years later.

Government and TEPCO officials are now planning to delay the start of removing spent fuel units until fiscal 2019, or by 2 years, and the start of removing melted fuel till 2025, or by 5 years.

Radioactive rubble which has accumulated inside the No.1 reactor building is hampering fuel removal efforts.

Workers began dismantling the cover of the building this month to remove the debris.

But full-fledged work to dismantle the cover will not take place until March of next year, already resulting in a delay of more than 6 months.

To remove the spent fuel and melted fuel, separate facilities, such as cranes, must be set up on top of the reactor building. This would take more time.

The current timetable says complete decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi plant with 4 damaged reactors will take 30 to 40 years.

Source: NHK

October 30, 2014 Posted by | Japan | | 1 Comment

Town submits petition opposing waste facility

20141029_33_v_s2Oct. 29, 2014

Residents of Shioya Town, Tochigi Prefecture, have petitioned the Environment Ministry to drop a site in their town from consideration to host a facility for storing radioactive waste.

The site in Shioya, north of Tokyo, is one of five the government wants to build permanent storage facilities on for designated waste. The waste is material from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident that has radiation levels exceeding 8,000 becquerels per kilogram.

The mayor of Shioya and the leader of a group of residents handed their petition to State Minister of the Environment Yasuhiro Ozato at the ministry in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Shioya has a population of about 12,000. But the petition was signed by about 173,000 people from across Japan.

Residents and their supporters claim a permanent storage facility would threaten the town’s water supply and accelerate population decline.

State Minister Ozato said he takes the residents’ and signatories’ concerns seriously. He stressed the importance of smooth communication and exchange of views over those concerns.

The representative of the residents’ group said that he expects the State Minister to understand that the signatures show how strongly people feel about the government’s plan.

The Environment Ministry plans to hold a meeting of the prefecture’s mayors on November 9th to win support for the permanent storage facility.

Shioya is expected to reiterate their opposition to the plan.

Source: NHK

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141029_33.html

October 30, 2014 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Green tea from Japan to be tested for radiation

index2014/10/29

Taipei, Oct. 29 (CNA) Sweets, cookies and teas and tea products imported from Japan into Taiwan will be subject to tests for radioactive substances beginning next year, the acting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) director-general said Wednesday.

Chiang Yu-mei said that under the proposed measure, importers of the Japan-made items will not be able to apply for the necessary imported food inspections unless the products come with radiation examination certificates from the Japanese government.

The new measure is expected to take effect next year, Chiang said in response to a post by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen on her Facebook page that criticized the government for not checking Japanese green tea products for radioactive substances.

In the post dated Oct. 29, Lin questioned the surge in green tea drinks imported from Japan into Taiwan over the past three years even though green tea leaves in Japan had tested positive for radioactive substances since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

“Do you know that since the Fukushima disaster, imports of Japanese green tea have increased dramatically? Do you know that Japanese green tea has often tested positive for radiation?” Lin asked in her post.

In defending Taiwan’s practices on Japanese food imports, the FDA has repeadly stressed that Taiwan suspended imports of food items from five Japanese prefectures near the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant days after the facility suffered a meltdown in March 2011.

The temporary ban, imposed on foods from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures, remains in effect today, the agency said.

In addition, batch-by-batch inspections for radioactive substances have been enforced on eight major types of foods produced in other parts of Japan since then, the FDA said

The tests cover fresh and chilled vegetables and fruits, frozen vegetables and fruits, live and chilled fishery products, frozen fishery products, dairy products, products for infants, mineral water or other types of drinking water, and seaweed, it said.

(By Chen Ching-fang and Elizabeth Hsu)

Source: Focus Taiwan

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aeco/201410290021.aspx

October 30, 2014 Posted by | Japan, Taiwan | | 1 Comment

TEPCO covered up the truth about Fukushima disaster

fukushima.si

October 28, 2014
TEPCO has hidden the truth about the Fukushima nuclear disaster and now drip feeds information so the public can get ready for the next piece of bad news, James Corbett, editor, The Corbett report, told RT’s In the Now show.
Journalist Jun Hori has quit NHK, the Japanese state broadcaster saying that his network restricted what he could say about the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and moved more slowly than others to report how far the radiation was spreading.
RT: Has TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company) gotten away with hiding information from the public?
James Corbett: TEPCO has lied obfuscated and covered up the truth about what they knew about, or know about what is going on at sites since day one. And of course this goes back to the very beginning of the disaster when they knew within 72 hours that three of the reactors at the Fukushima No.1 plant site were in full melt down. In fact that they did not reveal to the public for almost three months after that event took place. And from there it only continues. We have cover-ups about the amount of radiation that has been released. TEPCO had to revise its original estimate up 250%. We have had cover up of the fact that there was and continues to be 300 tons of radioactive water flooding through the site. That wasn’t really revealed to the public until the summer of 2013, two years after the event took place. Cover-up after cover-up continuously being revealed and only very much later after the fact. I think TEPCO certainly has gotten away with an awful lot. Their practice seems to be, I am not sure if this is a coordinated strategy, but it certainly seems to be that it reveals information in dribs and drabs over long periods of time so that the public has time to be acclimatized to the last piece of bad news before the next one hits them.

fukushima-1

RT: How tight is TEPCO with the Japanese government?
JC: Technically TEPCO has now been nationalized with the Japanese government being the largest stakeholder. So there is a direct Japanese government stake in the company. That is obviously a situation which creates a type of direct relationship between the company and the government in which obviously the interest of the government and interest of the company are directly tied financially. It creates a very worrying situation and the government has attempted to reform the nuclear regulatory agency here in Japan and attempted to set up a separate division of TEPCO for taking care of decontamination of the sites specifically. But arm’s length institutions or agencies like that are supposed to have oversight over this process aren’t really anything more than just a buffer between what is essentially the same thing now: the Japanese government/ TEPCO which are really wedded at the hip.
RT: Are you suggesting that the revelations from this disaster and the implications have not really caused tougher control over the industry?
JC: They certainly haven’t it at this point. In fact, what we have seen is the shutdown of all of the other reactors in the country for maintenance and none of those reactors have been turned on as of now. What we are seeing right now is that the struggle that is taking place between protesters and the Japanese government over the restart of those reactors. What has taken place since Fukushima has been the renewal of guidelines regarding safety measures for some of these plants. But there is a lot of concern that these measures that are now being used as the guidelines for whether or not a plant is within the safe operating limits – [are] equally as flimsy as those regulations that allowed the Fukushima plant to operate in the incredibly precarious position that it was operating in. There is still a lot of concern over the nuclear regulatory agency here and the fact that a lot of the members have taken outright bribes of various sorts from the nuclear industry. It seems that the long standing ties between the nuclear industry and the Japanese government here in Japan hasn’t really been shaken and they continue to have … influence over the Japanese government’s policy on nuclear energy.
Source: RT
http://rt.com/op-edge/200107-fukushima-japan-tepco-nuclear-disaster/

October 30, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 2 Comments