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Uranium Dioxides and Debris Fragments Released to the Environment with Cesium-Rich Microparticles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

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January 29, 2018
Trace U was released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) during the meltdowns, but the speciation of the released components of the nuclear fuel remains unknown.
 
We report, for the first time, the atomic-scale characteristics of nanofragments of the nuclear fuels that were released from the FDNPP into the environment.
 
Nanofragments of an intrinsic U-phase were discovered to be closely associated with radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) in paddy soils collected ∼4 km from the FDNPP. The nanoscale fuel fragments were either encapsulated by or attached to CsMPs and occurred in two different forms: (i) UO2+X nanocrystals of ∼70 nm size, which are embedded into magnetite associated with Tc and Mo on the surface and (ii) Isometric (U,Zr)O2+X nanocrystals of ∼200 nm size, with the U/(U+Zr) molar ratio ranging from 0.14 to 0.91, with intrinsic pores (∼6 nm), indicating the entrapment of vapors or fission-product gases during crystallization.
 
These results document the heterogeneous physical and chemical properties of debris at the nanoscale, which is a mixture of melted fuel and reactor materials, reflecting the complex thermal processes within the FDNPP reactor during meltdown.
 
Still CsMPs are an important medium for the transport of debris fragments into the environment in a respirable form.
 

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Japan-Korea trade spat about Fukushima food products will not end with the WTO ruling

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March 5, 2018
Japan appears to have won the latest World Trade Organization (WTO) battle over South Korea’s post-Fukushima disaster food import ban and restrictions, but the trade spat between the East Asian giants looks set to continue.
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March 6, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

SEVEN YEARS AFTER: Surprise finding in Fukushima as radiation fears increase slightly

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March 5, 2018
A gradual lessening of fears about the effects of radiation from the 2011 nuclear disaster reversed itself slightly as the seventh anniversary of the accident looms.
A joint survey by The Asahi Shimbun and Fukushima Broadcasting Co. found that 66 percent of Fukushima Prefecture residents still feel anxiety over radioactive substances spewed out of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant after it went into triple meltdown.
The figure, which had been on a downward trend in recent years, was up from 63 percent in the previous survey in 2017.
The Feb. 24-25 survey canvassed the views of 1,888 eligible voters living in the prefecture, excluding some areas that remained off-limits due to high levels of radiation. Respondents were randomly chosen by computer and contacted by landline. Valid responses were given by 1,004 voters, or 53 percent.
It was the eighth such survey since the nuclear disaster triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake that unleashed devastating tsunami on March 11, 2011.
Twenty-one percent of respondents said they are “very much” anxious about the effects of radiation, and 45 percent replied that they are feeling anxiety “to some degree.”
Against that total of 66 percent, 33 percent replied “not very much” or “not at all” with regard to anxiety.
To a question about the course of recovery from the disaster, 45 percent of respondents agreed that it has been set. The breakdown was 3 percent saying “very much” and the remaining 42 percent answering “to some degree.”
On the other hand, 52 percent said the course has not been set yet. The figure included the categories of “not very much” and “not at all.”
Asked when residents will be able to live as they did before the disaster, 54 percent replied “more than 20 years later,” followed by 19 percent with “about 20 years,” 16 percent with “about 10 years” and 4 percent with “about five years.”
Even among those who replied that the course of recovery has been set, 47 percent answered “more than 20 years later.”
On the issue of whether to back the restart of idled nuclear reactors, 11 percent said they support it while 75 percent replied that they are opposed.
The percentage figure of those opposed to restarts was much higher than in a nationwide survey in February, in which 61 percent expressed that sentiment against 27 percent who were in favor.
Another question focused on plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s on-site storage of water containing difficult-to-remove tritium. As the number of storage tanks continues to pile up, TEPCO wants to discharge the water into the sea, a plan that won the support of the nation’s nuclear watchdog body.
Sixty-seven percent of respondents were opposed to diluting the water and discharging it into the sea, while 19 percent supported it.
Besides, 87 percent said they felt anxiety “very much” or “to some degree” about contamination of the sea caused by the discharge.
In addition, 52 percent said they felt anxiety “very much” over damages from rumors without substance about the safety of local seafood.
While 64 percent of respondents did not rate TEPCO’s handling of the nuclear accident highly, 17 percent rated it highly.
Another question centered on moves by Fukushima prefectural authorities to switch from blanket testing for radiation of all bags of harvested rice to random checks.
Forty-nine percent were in favor of switching to a new system, while 44 percent were opposed.
The ratio of opposition was higher than in a nationwide survey in February in which 35 percent expressed opposition against 54 percent who supported it.
Eighty-six percent of the respondents answered that blanket testing had eased consumer concerns. The categories for this were “very much” and “to some degree.”

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima tourism finally rebounds from 2010’s triple disasters

Proving that covering up,  disinformation and censorship are working very well. Those tourists are certainly unaware that they might bring back from Fukushima more than just wrapped souvenirs….wrapped inside their body.
5 March, 2018
Nearly seven years after the triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown virtually crippled Fukushima’s tourism industry, the number of foreign overnight travellers has recovered to levels last seen before the disaster.
In the first 10 months of calendar 2017, a total of 78,680 foreign visitors spent at least one night in the prefecture, surpassing the 77,890 visitors in the same period in 2010. Final statistics for the full year are not available, but prefectural authorities expect the 2017 figure to eclipse 2010’s figure of 87,170 foreigners who stayed in the prefecture.
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Tourist visiting Ouchijuku Village, a former post town along the Aizu-Nishi Kaido trade route in Fukushima
 
Visitor numbers collapsed in the months after the March 11 earthquake and a mere 23,990 foreigners stayed in calendar 2011.
“We have been working with the Fukushima government to promote the prefecture at international events, focusing on events in countries where we have already seen visitor numbers recover, such as Taiwan, Thailand and Australia,” said Kazuhiko Yoshioka, director of overseas promotion for the Fukushima Prefecture Tourism and Local Products Association.
Yoshioka shared that the organisation plugs the prefecture’s samurai history, onsen, fruit, scenery and seasonal highlights as part of overseas promotion. Information on the destination is also shared online.
“Getting the message across can be difficult,” he admitted. “We have found that the best way to overcome worries about safety is to ensure that up-to-date and accurate information is accessible and then to share that information as widely as possible.”
Travel operators concur that visitor numbers have bounced back strongly.
Paul Christie, CEO of Walk Japan, said the company’s walking tour in the footsteps of famous poet Basho in Tohoku are “selling very well – so well, in fact, that they are sold out months in advance.”
“We have found that whatever problems happened in Fukushima seven years ago are no longer in the forefront of people’s minds,” he said. “I have been quite surprised, but it is really not an issue for the vast majority of people.”
At Nippon Travel Agency, Kaho Mori, assistant manager of the inbound division, observed: “There is interest in Fukushima Prefecture as part of our tours of the Tohoku region. We are getting a lot of interest in that part of the country from visitors from North America, although less from European countries.”

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment