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Fukushima evacuees prepare for eventual return, but most are choosing not to

Evacuees from three Fukushima Prefecture localities who were displaced by the nuclear disaster started temporarily returning to their homes on Aug. 31 to prepare for their eventual permanent return.
But applicants for the temporary stay program that began that day totaled 1,265, less than 10 percent of about 14,000 eligible as of Aug. 30.
The small number indicates that an overwhelming majority of evacuees are still concerned about radiation levels and prospects for a return to normalcy in their hometowns.
Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said a secure environment must be in place for evacuees to participate in the preparatory program.
“What is most important is to provide a sense of safety and security,” he said at a news conference on Aug. 31. “Evacuees will not readily join the program unless they have easy access to health care, education and shopping areas.”
Residents of parts of Minami-Soma, Kawamata and Katsurao were ordered by the central government to evacuate when a triple meltdown occurred at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant as a result of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Last month, the government approved the program that would let evacuees from the three areas temporarily return to their homes for up to three months. The program is a step toward lifting the evacuation order and encouraging people to return home, as many have chosen to settle elsewhere after the prolonged evacuation.
In the village of Katsurao on Aug. 31, evacuee Kazuhiro Matsumoto, 59, was busy repairing the damaged walls of his home.
“It is nice to be back home, but I will miss my grandchildren after my return here,” Matsumoto said. “I am fixing my home because we need a place where my family and relatives can get together on New Year’s Day.”
While living in makeshift housing, Matsumoto has been working in cleanup operations in Katsurao for which his company was commissioned.
His son’s family of six already built a home outside the village and decided not to return to Katsurao to live.
Rice paddies across from Matsumoto’s home are overrun with weeds, with a large number of bags containing radioactive soil and other waste produced in decontamination operations piling up.
“Even though the authorities say we are safe, I am still anxious because we cannot see radiation,” he said.
The government plans to lift the evacuation order by spring 2017 for many parts of the evacuation area, which encompasses a 20-kilometer radius around the Fukushima plant and localities outside the zone that had high levels of radiation.
Officials from Minami-Soma, Kawamata and Katsurao hope to see the evacuation order lifted by next spring.
They have begun a preparatory program based on prospects that cleanup work will progress further in the coming months.
Local authorities say many general contractors will not accept assignments in the evacuation area. But they believe that work to mend local infrastructure and homes will proceed once evacuees are allowed to return home to live.
The number of residents who signed up for the preparatory program was low because many of the evacuees, primarily young couples, have decided to make a fresh start. They have purchased homes close to their workplaces or their children’s schools.
Four years after the onset of the nuclear disaster, about 79,000 people from 10 localities remain evacuated.

Source: Asahi Shimbun

Fukushima evacuees begin three-month stays in their homes ahead of final return

FUKUSHIMA – Evacuees from three municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture are being allowed to return home for long-term stays before the central government formally lifts the evacuation order for those areas.

The government says it made the move, which took effect Monday, because radiation levels have dropped sufficiently in Minamisoma, Kawamata and Katsurao since the March 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The government will decide by November whether to lift the evacuation order after hearing from the evacuees.

The long-term stays are allowed for 14,255 people in 4,647 households, the largest number in the long-stay program so far.

Some areas will remain no-go zones because radiation levels remain high.

As of Monday, 1,308 people in 478 households, some 10 percent of the total, had reported to the government that they would start the long-term stays in their homes.

Decontamination work in residential areas in Kawamata and Katsurao was completed in summer last year, halving the average radiation level in the air to 0.5 microsievert per hour.

In Minamisoma, only 26 percent of decontamination work had been finished by the end of July, but natural falls in radiation levels were taken into consideration.

Dosimeters will be given to each household, while consultants will be dispatched to check the health status of residents. Minamisoma has set next April as its target date for the lifting of the evacuation order, while Katsurao and Kawamata are being less exact and have set the target for next spring.

Long-term stays have already been conducted in Tamura and part of Kawauchi, where evacuation orders have been removed, and in Naraha, where it is slated to be lifted on Wednesday.

Source: Japan Times

September 1, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Cs-134/137 density became the highest reading at 4 points inside and outside Fukushima plant port

Cs-134137-density-became-the-highest-reading-inside-and-outside-Fukushima-plant-port-sept 1, 2015

According to Tepco, Cesium-134/137 density reached the highest reading in 3 locations of Fukushima plant port.

The samples were taken on 8/28/2015. Those sampling locations are the center of Fukushima plant port, water intake of Reactor 1 and 2, where are outside of underground wall.

In the center of Fukushima plant port, Cs-134/137 density (79,000 Bq/m3 in Cs-134/137) became as double as the previous highest reading measured at this point this July.

Additionally, Cs-137 was detected for the first time in the North of the plant, where is outside of the port. The density was 800 Bq/m3.

Source: Fukushima Daiichi

September 1, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Staff to Start Pumping Radioactive Ground Water Away From Plant

Staff at the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will begin pumping groundwater from the plant’s territory to prevent the buildup of radioactive liquid this week, the NHK television reported Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Pumping will begin on September 3 and will be conducted through wells dug specifically for this purpose, the NHK reported.

According to experts of the TEPCO energy company, these measures will reduce the rate of accumulation of radioactive water in the ground under the plant, from where the dangerous fluid flows into the sea.

Currently, the volume of groundwater under the power plant is increasing daily by 300 tons. It is expected that after the start of pumping, the figure will be reduced to 150 tons per day, the media outlet reported.

TEPCO plans to clean the collected water from radioactive substances and drain it into the sea, according to the channel.

The company received permission to do so after long negotiations with the Fukushima Prefecture authorities and local fishing cooperatives. The agreement between the parties implies that the levels of radioactive substances in the water drained into the sea would not exceed the norm.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was severely damaged in March 2011 after being hit by a 46-foot tsunami triggered by a massive offshore earthquake. Three of its six reactors went into meltdown, resulting in the release of radiation into the atmosphere, soil and sea.

Source: Sputnik News

September 1, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

2,000 people join nuclear disaster drill in Fukushima

MINAMISOMA, Fukushima — The Fukushima Prefectural Government organized a nuclear disaster drill here on Aug. 30 ahead of nationwide Disaster Prevention Day on Sept. 1.

Some 2,000 people, including local residents, fire department officials, police officers and Self-Defense Force personnel, joined the general disaster drill in the city where some of its areas remain as evacuation zones following the 2011 nuclear meltdown.

The drill was held on the assumption that the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, battered in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, was hit by another massive tsunami triggered by a large earthquake. The exercise supposed that the cooling system of the spent fuel pool at the Fukushima plant had stopped while undergoing decommission work, releasing radioactive material into the atmosphere. Residents evacuated to a designated site and then went through a radiation exposure screening conducted by medical experts dressed in protective gear.

Source: Mainichi

September 1, 2015 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Why Does NuScale SMR Look Like a 1964 Drawing of Swiss Lucens Nuclear Reactor (which suffered a major meltdown in 1969)?

Mining Awareness +

Whatever NuScale is, or is not, it clearly isn’t “new”. The Bible must have foreseen the nuclear industry when it said that there was no new thing under the sun. While there might be something new about it, certainly its scale is not. And, it seems mostly a remake of old military reactors, perhaps with influence from swimming pool reactors. The main ancestor seems to be the US Army’s SM-1, made by the American Locomotive Company, making its most distant ancestor the steam locomotive.

Government subsidizes for NuScale are a deadly taxpayer rip rip-off. Even without an accident, nuclear reactors legally leak deadly radionuclides into the environment during the entire nuclear fuel chain, as well as when they are operating. Then, the nuclear waste is also allowed to leak for perpetuity.

The 1964 Lucens Design certainly looks like the one unit NuScale. Did MSLWR, now NuScale, take from Lucens or…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 1 Energy News



¶ Delhi Metro Rail Corporation has bagged the top spot for highest capacity installation of solar power plants in stations and depots across its vast network. Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal made the award. The solar PV plants DMRC has so far installed generate a total of around 2,794 kW (peak) currently. []

Image Credit: Shutterstock Image Credit: Shutterstock

¶ The cost of producing electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar has been falling. Now, a report details the contrasting costs for different power generation technologies and shows that renewable sources can produce electricity at close to or even below the cost of new fossil fuel-based power stations. [The Maritime Executive]

¶ The Climate Change (Scotland) Act demands a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% 2050, across sectors ranging from electricity generation to the food sector, building efficiency, and transportation. The…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Ongoing Saga 60: News, Updates, Tidbits & Trivia

Mining Awareness +

This Ongoing Saga post is usually updated daily. Most recent updates are on top, after images, and comment info, so that daily readers will not have to scroll-down far. Time is UTC-GMT. This is a continuation of:
70 Years is Enough Campaign:  Nuclear Energy is Nuclear War EverydayPro Nuclear Call up to Clean up WiPP and FUkushima
Call-up to Clean-up Nuclear Sites
These images or something similar will probably stay on top until a) pro-nuclear people volunteer to work at nuclear waste sites (WIPP, Fukushima, Hanford, etc.) in droves, and b) the nuclear industry is shut down. Then, after b), there will still be the problem of a) the nuclear waste to be secured. We live on borrowed time. Let’s shut the nuclear industry down now!
Let’s hurry up people! There’s 4 months to the end of the year.

Comment period for US NRC-2015-005 proposal to expose the general American Public to 100 mSv of radiation PER YEAR, falsely named “Linear No-Threshold Model and Standards for Protection Against Radiation”…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Did We Just Stop Radioactive Waste Going Into Whitemoss Landfill? Who Knows?


The River Ribble and Radioactive Landfill The River Ribble and Radioactive Landfill

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Make Room for Radioactive Landfill! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Make Room for Radioactive Landfill!

Radioactive Landfill Radioactive Landfill  “Safegrounds” SITA ppt

A while back the brilliant anti fracking campaigner Tina Louise Rothery posted on the Radiation Free Lakeland facebook page requesting help to stop the huge expansion of Whitemoss landfill. We looked at Whitemoss, near Skelmersdale and what goes into the landfill is very, very  nasty ….even without radioactive wastes.

What we found though was that Whitemoss was indeed designated for receipt of low level radioactive wastes. According to the Cheshire West and Chester Local Plan for 2015: “Currently low level radioactive waste is exported to Whitemoss Landfill site in Lancashire”. So we asked Questions under Freedom of Information.   What happened next is incredible. The reply came back within 6 days not from the Department of the Environment (who we addressed the FOI to) but from Whitemoss Landfill:

Whitemoss Landfill (25…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s What Will Happen To New York City If The World’s Ice Sheets Melt #Auspol


A disconcerting report released last week revealed that New York City could see a 6-foot rise in sea levels by the end of this century. It would make nearly half a million New Yorkers vulnerable to flooding, and waterfront properties would be virtually uninhabitable.
But what if climate change continues unabated for even longer? What will New York City look like if, say, both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets melt completely, raising sea levels an estimated 260 feet?
Urban planner and cartographer Jeffrey Linn used computerized mapping to make a GIF demonstrating just that. Watch the city’s five boroughs disappear, with only the lofty heights of New Jersey’s Pallisades left as an island:

Linn, who posted the GIF on his blog Spatialities, told The Huffington Post he wanted to show people what the city would look like after “the terminal point for ice caps melting,” which some scientists estimate…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Canadian Election Ignoring Hot Issues

Journalism as Art

Very Real Nuclear Dilemma

There are several lists with a total of 89 different topics scolding PM Stephen Harper.  I am certain the list has grown since last week. As the Prime Minister of Canada he could admit that he made some serious errors during the last four years. I would never suggest Canadians hold their breath waiting for him to say anything honest.

A major story, not on any of the lists, nor mentioned by our glorious news readers has to do with nuclear waste. Thousands of Canadians have tried everything possible to bring the issue to any political parties who will listen. Listen is a key word rarely found in the political realm. It is easier to toss billions of dollars at people than pay attention to what the people have to say. Links to Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party and Thomas Mulcair of the…

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September 1, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment