The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

July 21 Energy News


Science and Technology:

¶ Lark Energy has secured a UK patent for a new renewable solar thermal technology that uses a Fresnel lens to concentrate solar irradiation, which in turn heats tubes containing water to make steam. The angle of the lens can also be adjusted using a vertical axis to track the sun’s rays, maximizing the levels of irradiation. [Solar Power Portal]

Larkfleet thermal system Simone Perini, renewable energy
development engineer, and the Larkfleet thermal system

¶ It’s no news that Greenland is in serious trouble, but now, research has helped quantify just how bad its problems are. A satellite study, published last week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, suggests that the Greenland ice sheet lost a whopping 1 trillion tonnes of ice between the years 2011 and 2014 alone. [The Independent]


¶ Energy consumed at data centers could account for as much as 2%…

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July 21, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At tax-payers’ expense a blanket of pro nuclear hype across South Australia

Nuclear Australia

South Australia blanket

What I’m worried about is the amount of tax-payers’ money that is going into this State-wide nuclear brainwash.  Is Premier Jay Weatherill squandering so much of the State’s coffers on this fool’s enterprise that he and the rest of the politicians will feel that they MUST go on and complete the damn thing  – commit to an international nuclear waste dump? Current estimate is $13 million. But will it be more?

From July 29 to October 20 they will be sending teams of nuclear spruikers all over the State of South Australia.

Teams from Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission Consultation and Response Agency will be there to spread the jolly word of the biased Nuclear Fuel Chain Royal Commission. Who’s on this Agency anyway? Can we expect to hear, yet again, from Greg Ward and Chad Jacobi giving theirr polished pro nuclear spiel?  Will there be deceptive and trivialised…

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July 21, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Radiation along Fukushima rivers up to 200 times higher than Pacific Ocean seabed – Greenpeace


Sediment Sampling at Lake Biwa in Japan: Mai Suzuki from Greenpeace Japan, removes sediment samples from the ROV grabber (Remote Operated Vehicle), at Lake Biwa. Greenpeace has been surveying lake Biwa to conduct baseline sampling. The lake is located as close as 30 km from the Takahama nuclear plant owned by Kansai Electric. In the event of a severe accident Lake Biwa would be at risk of major radioactive contamination. The lake provides the drinking water for 14,5 million people in Shiga Prefecture, the city of Kyoto and the wider Kansai region. The citizens of Shiga recently won a historic legal action that forced the immediate shutdown of Takahama reactor #3, Kansai electric is determined to overturn the legal action on appeal and restart both Takahama 3 and 4 reactor.

Tokyo, 21 July 2016 – Radioactive contamination in the seabed off the Fukushima coast is hundreds of times above pre-2011 levels, while contamination in local rivers is up to 200 times higher than ocean sediment, according to results from Greenpeace Japan survey work released  today.

The extremely high levels of radioactivity we found along the river systems highlights the enormity and longevity of both the environmental contamination and the public health risks resulting from the Fukushima disaster,” said Ai Kashiwagi, Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Japan.

These river samples were taken in areas where the Abe government is stating it is safe for people to live. But the results show there is no return to normal after this nuclear catastrophe,” said Kashiwagi.

Riverbank sediment samples taken along the Niida River in Minami Soma, measured as high as 29,800 Bq/kg for radiocaesium (Cs-134 and 137). The Niida samples were taken where there are no restrictions on people living, as were other river samples. At the estuary of the Abukuma River in Miyagi prefecture, which lies more than 90km north of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, levels measured in sediment samples were as high as 6,500 Bq/kg.

The lifting of evacuation orders in March 2017 for areas that remain highly contaminated is a looming human rights crisis and cannot be permitted to stand. The vast expanses of contaminated forests and freshwater systems will remain a perennial source of radioactivity for the foreseeable future, as these ecosystems cannot simply be decontaminated.

Caesium-137 has a half life of 30 years, and will continue to pose a risks to the the environment and human health for hundreds of years. Cs-137 contamination in seabed samples near the Fukushima plant was measured at up to 120 Bq/kg – compared to levels pre-2011 of 0.26 Bq/kg. Further, the levels of contamination found 60km south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant were comparable with those found within 4km of the plant. Numerous marine science investigations, have concluded that these higher levels are one explanation for some marine species still showing higher cesium levels than the background levels in seawater.

The radiation levels in the sediment off the coast of Fukushima are low compared to land contamination, which is what we expected and consistent with other research,” said Kendra Ulrich, Senior Global Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Japan. “The sheer size of the Pacific Ocean combined with powerful complex currents means the largest single release of radioactivity into the marine environment has led to the widespread dispersal of contamination.”

Most of the radioactivity in Fukushima Daiichi reactor units 1-3 core fuel in March 2011 remains at the site.

The scientific community must receive all necessary support to continue their research into the impacts of this disaster,” said Ulrich.

In addition to the ongoing contamination from forests and rivers, the vast amount of radioactivity onsite at the destroyed nuclear plant remains one of the greatest nuclear threats to Fukushima coastal communities and the Pacific Ocean. The hundreds of thousands of tonnes of highly contaminated water, the apparent failure of the ice wall to reduce groundwater contamination, and the unprecedented challenge of three molten reactor cores all add up to a nuclear crisis that is far from over,” said Ulrich.

A radiation survey team onboard the research vessel Asakaze, supported by the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior, conducted underwater survey work along the Fukushima coastline from 21 February to 11 March this year, as well collecting samples in river systems. The samples were measured at an independent laboratory in Tokyo.

Link to the report, Atomic Depths, can be found here


Greenpeace Japan members carry out ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) operations at Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture in Japan. Greenpeace has been surveying lake Biwa to conduct baseline sampling.

July 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greenpeace reports jump in radioactive contamination in Fukushima waterways


Greenpeace Japan member Mai Suzuki removes sediment samples from a remotely operated grabber at Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture on March 22.

OSAKA – Greenpeace Japan on Thursday said it has discovered radioactive contamination in Fukushima’s riverbanks, estuaries and coastal waters at a scale hundreds of times higher than pre-2011 levels.

One sample of sediment taken along the Niida River, less than 30 km northwest of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant, revealed the presence of cesium-134 and cesium-137 at levels of 29,800 becquerels per kilogram.

That was just one of 19 samples of dried sediment and soil the environmental activist group took and analyzed from the banks of the Abukuma, Niida, and Ota rivers. The samples were collected by Greenpeace in February and March.

All of the samples but one exhibited more than 1,000 Bq/kg of radioactive material. The lowest level, 309 Bq/kg, was logged at a spot along the Abukuma River.

Cesium-134 has a half-life of about two years, but cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years and is considered particularly hazardous. The standard limits set for radioactive cesium in Japan are 100 Bq/kg for general foods and 10 Bq/kg for drinking water.

The radiological impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on the marine environment, with consequences for both human and nonhuman health, are not only the first years. They are both ongoing and future threats, principally the continued releases from the Fukushima No. 1 plant itself and translocation of land-based contamination throughout Fukushima Prefecture, including upland forests, rivers, lakes and coastal estuaries,” the report said.

Greenpeace Japan also published the results of tests on dried marine sediment samples collected at 25 points off the Fukushima coastal area, including three river estuaries, during this same period, at depths of between 7.4 and 30.6 meters. The results showed that the highest level of cesium was 144 Bq/kg taken from a sample collected off the coast from the Fukushima power plant, while the lowest total cesium figure was 6.5 Bq/kg off Nakanosaku, well to the south of the plant.

In addition to Fukushima, Greenpeace Japan took dried sediment samples from Lake Biwa at three locations near the shore. The results showed cesium levels to be between 7.1 Bq/kg and 13 Bq/kg at two locations, and negligible at the other two.

The safety of Lake Biwa, which provides drinking water for about 14 million people in the Kansai region, has become a major bone of contention between Kansai Electric Power Co., which wants to restart reactors in neighboring Fukui Prefecture, and residents in and around Lake Biwa who are fighting to keep them shut down.

July 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Glass Encapsulated Insoluble Cesium Particles Lodged in the Fukushima Workers Lungs





A study published in March of 2016 found insoluble cesium lodged in the lungs of some of the highly exposed Fukushima disaster response workers. After doing additional scans they found most of that persistent cesium contamination resided in the workers lungs.

Direct measurements of seven highly exposed workers at the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident have been performed continuously since June2011.

Caesium clearance in the monitored workers is in agreement with the biokinetic models proposed by the International Commission on Radiological Protection. After 500 days from the initial measurement, however, the caesium clearance slowed.

It was thought to be unlikely that additional Cs intake had occurred after the initial intake, as activity in foods was kept low. And, the contribution from the detector over the chest was enhanced with time. This indicates that insoluble Cs particles were inhaled and along metabolic rate showed.

The study concludes that insoluble cesium particles lodged in the workers lungs, preventing them from leaving the body through normal processes.

“The subjects seem to have inhaled insoluble caesium particles, even though it was only a small amount. At present, it is more plausible that the retention curves reported here were due to inhalation of a mixture of type F caesium (soluble particle) and type S caesium (insoluble particle).”

This finding is significant as it shows how the various kinds of insoluble radioactive cesium materials discovered after the initial disaster, both black substances and the glass spheres could contaminate the human body.

Read more:


July 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | 1 Comment

TEPCO ordered to pay for rumor-caused damages

A Japanese court has ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, to compensate a golf course operator for damages caused by rumors after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in 2011.

This is the first ruling in Japan that recognizes rumor-caused damages related to a nuclear accident.

The golf course operator’s suit claimed that revenues from its course in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo, dropped due to harmful rumors related to the nuclear accident.

TEPCO argued that there was no danger from radiation because the golf course is more than 100 kilometers from the nuclear plant.

In the ruling on Wednesday, Tokyo District Court Judge Tetsuro Nakayoshi said the public did not have sufficient knowledge about radiation around the time of the accident.

He noted that it was not unreasonable for ordinary people to worry about health risks.

The court determined that harmful rumors were responsible for 30 to 50 percent of the decline in revenue for more than 5 months following the accident.

The court ordered the utility to pay about 180,000 dollars in compensation.

TEPCO says the company will deal with the matter sincerely after studying the ruling.

July 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Reactor decommissioning plan revised



A Japanese government body has revised its plan to decommission the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in response to local opposition.

The revision ruled out the option of adopting a Chernobyl-style “sarcophagus” method that seals off disabled reactors with nuclear fuel inside.

The Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation released the revised plan on Wednesday.

The body presented a technical report a week ago that mentioned the possibility of adopting the sarcophagus method for the first time, while saying it remained committed to removing fuel debris from the reactors.

The report faced backlash from the people in Fukushima Prefecture. Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Motoo Hayashi instructed the body to revise the plan.

The word “sarcophagus” has been deleted from the revised plan, which states that the method will not be adopted in the decommissioning process at the plant.

Shunsuke Kondo, the head of the body’s technical committee, says he regrets the body’s lack of consideration for the locals.

He said he will make sure the body communicates with the locals properly and places top priority on their thoughts.

Fukushima Governor Masao Uchibori said he wants the body to realize how shocked the Fukushima residents were with the word “sarcophagus.”

He said he wants the body to proceed with the removal of fuel debris from the reactors in a safe manner, in line with the locals’ desires.

July 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment