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Total tally for Fukushima decommission is $75 billion

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April 2, 2018
The decommissioning of the Fukushima nuclear power plant will cost an annual $2 billion (220 billion yen) until 2021, an unnamed source told the Japan Times.
 
Half of the money will be used to tackle the radioactive water buildup at the site of the plant and for removing radioactive fuel from the fuel pools. A small amount of funds will be used to research ways of retreating melted fuel from the reactors that got damaged during the 2011 tsunami disaster.
 
The $6 billion for the three years is only part of the total estimated cost for taking Fukushima out of operation.
 
The total decommissioning tally came in at $75 billion (8 trillion yen), as estimated by the specially set up Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp (NDF). That’s four times more than the initial estimate of the costs around the NPP’s decommissioning.
 
Now the operator of Fukushima, Tepco, and the NDF are due to submit their financial plan for the facility to the government for approval by the energy industry minister.
 
In addition to the $6 billion allocated for the cleanup, Tepco will spend another $1.88 billion (200 billion yen) on preparing to start extracting the melted fuel from the three damaged reactors. This seems to be the biggest challenge for the cleanup efforts because of the still high radiation levels as well as technical difficulties.
 
Tepco is still reeling from the effects of the 2011 tsunami and resulting nuclear meltdown. Around 15,000 people died in March 2011, when a magnitude-9 quake caused a deadly tsunami and erased the coastline in the area of the nuclear power plant.
 
At the end of 2016, the Japanese government revised upwards the total costs of the disaster to $192 billion (21.5 trillion yen), stepping up pressure on Tepco to clean up its act and implement urgent reforms to its safety procedures.
 
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April 7, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | 2 Comments

Fukushima Jitters

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April 2, 2018
by Robert Hunziker
Fukushima is full of nasty surprises, similar to John Carpenter’s classic film The Thing (1982), which held audiences to the edge of their seats in anticipation of creepy monsters leaping out from “somebody, anybody, nobody knows for sure,” but unlike Hollywood films, Fukushima’s consequences are real and dire and deathly. It’s an on-going horror show that just won’t quit.
Only recently, a team of international researchers, including a group of scientists from the University of Manchester/UK and Kyushu University/Japan made a startling discovery. Within the nuclear exclusion zone in paddy soils and at an aquaculture center located several miles from the nuclear plant, the research team found cesium-rich micro-particles.
Evidently, the radioactive debris was blown into the environment during the initial meltdowns and accompanying hydrogen blasts. Accordingly, the environmental impact of radiation fallout may last much longer than previously expected. (Source: New Evidence of Nuclear Fuel Releases Found at Fukushima, University of Manchester, Phys.org, Feb. 28, 2018)
According to Dr. Gareth Law, senior lecturer in Analytical Radiochemistry at the University of Manchester: “Our research strongly suggests there is a need for further detailed investigation on Fukushima fuel debris, inside, and potentially outside the nuclear exclusion zone. Whilst it is extremely difficult to get samples from such an inhospitable environment, further work will enhance our understanding….” Ibid.
Their discovery dispels the long-held view that the initial explosion only emitted gaseous radionuclides. Now, it is clear that solid particles with very long-lived radionuclides were emitted. The research team did not discuss the likely impact, as more analysis is necessary before drawing conclusions.
Decidedly, they’d best hurry up, as the Olympics are scheduled for 2020.
Still, this discovery smacks in the face the government’s and TEPCO’s statements about successful cleanup efforts and pressuring prior residents to return to homes in the exclusion zones.
In another recent development, lethal levels of radiation have unexpectedly popped up in leaks at the nuclear plant facility, as explained in an article by Jeff Farrell: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Lethal Levels of Radiation Detected in Leak Seven Years After Plant Meltdown in Japan, Independent/UK, Feb. 2, 2018.
TEPCO has discovered lethal levels of radiation leaking around the facilities, radiation that would kill a person within one-hour of exposure. Even though this is not entirely a surprise with 100% total meltdowns and tons of radioactive corium sizzling wildly underneath, irradiating like crazy. This is why radioactive water continues flowing into the Pacific Ocean, necessitated to cool white-hot sizzling corium. Nobody knows what the long-term effect will be for the ocean, but guaranteed, it cannot be good.
Furthermore and distressingly, Mycle Schneider of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report claims, “TEPCO does not have a clue” to decommissioning the plant. That’s not comforting, knowing that mistakes could circumnavigate the planet much worse than the current flow of radioactive water into the Pacific, thus turning into a global catastrophe of unspeakable proportions.
After all, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the country has 100,000 earthquakes every year. Who knows what can happen to rickety broken down nuclear reactors in a country that slip slides so easily, so readily, so often, totally unpredictably.
According to Schneider: “It’s a disaster of unseen proportions.” The radiation leaks, coupled with inappropriate storage of radioactive waste has global consequences. Schneider is aghast at the sloppiness and ignorance of TEPCO, in charge of handling the disaster.
“This is an area of the planet that gets hit by tornadoes and all kinds of heavy weather patterns, which is a problem. When you have waste stored above ground in inappropriate ways, it can get washed out and you can get contamination all over the place… This can get problematic anytime, if it contaminates the ocean there is no local contamination, the ocean is global, so anything that goes into the ocean goes to everyone… It needs to be clear that this problem is not gone; this is not just a local problem. It’s a very major thing.” (Schneider)
And remarkably, the Olympics are coming to Tokyo and Fukushima in 2020.
For the world’s best and clearest understanding of the power and imposing danger inherent with nuclear power, the following is a spectacular power point demonstration that discusses the ABCs of nuclear power: The Age of Nuclear Waste, From Fukushima to Indian Point, prepared for the Fukushima anniversary on March 11, 2017 by Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., president Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Resp0nsibiliy. It’s the best-ever most important-ever description of nuclear power, the process, and inherent dangers.
See a list of 211 man-made radionuclides (p.59 of the power point) contained in irradiated nuclear fuel, not found in nature, which should be a big tipoff of potential dangers inherent with irradiated isotopes… umm, not part of nature!
Gordon Edwards discusses the nuclear waste “word game” as follows: (1) Clean-up is moving nuclear waste from one place to another;(2) Decontamination is collecting and repacking, but not eliminating; (3) Nuclear Waste Disposal is abandoning nuclear waste “somewhere.” In short, there is no such thing as “getting rid of nuclear radiation waste.”
According to The Age of Nuclear Waste, From Fukushima to Indian Point, it’s impossible to dispose of nuclear waste!
Postscript: “It would be irresponsible and morally wrong to commit future generations to the consequences of fission power… unless it has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that at least one method exist for the safe isolation of these wastes….” Sir Brian Flowers, UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, London, 1976.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , | Leave a comment

Seven years on, radioactive water at Fukushima plant still flowing into ocean, study finds

Fukushima Daiichi still leaking radioactivity into Pacific Ocean. That expensive Ice wall turned out to be a slushy. Keep trying. Better yet, shut down before meltdown.

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Fukushima Daiichi still leaking radioactivity into Pacific Ocean. That expensive Ice wall turned out to be a slushy. Keep trying. Better yet, shut down before meltdown.
More than seven years after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, radioactive water is continuing to flow into the Pacific Ocean from the crippled No. 1 plant at a rate of around 2 billion becquerels a day, a study has found.
The amount of leaking cesium 137 has decreased from some 30 billion becquerels in 2013, Michio Aoyama, a professor at the Institute of Environmental Radioactivity at Fukushima University, said in his study, which was presented Wednesday at an academic conference in Osaka.
The study said the concentration of radiation — 0.02 becquerel per liter of seawater found in samples collected near a coastal town 8 km south of the No. 1 plant — is at a level that does not affect the local fishing industry.
The radioactive water is generated in a process to cool melted nuclear fuel at three damaged reactors at the complex. The reactors experienced core meltdowns after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
“It can be assumed that there is a path from the complex to the ocean” through which contaminated water flows, Aoyama said.
The water accumulates in the basements of the buildings at the site after being used to cool the melted fuel.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., the operator of the Fukushima complex, has been trying to prevent contaminated water from increasing within the facilities by building an underground ice wall in an effort to block ground water. It has also built a seawall aimed at preventing contaminated water from entering the ocean.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | 2 Comments

Russia lifts bans on Japanese seafood

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March 27, 2018
Russia lifts bans on Japanese seafood
The Russian government has eased import restrictions on Japanese seafood. It imposed bans after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on concerns of radioactive contamination.
Russia’s quarantine-control authorities say they have approved imports from 6 prefectures in regions around the Fukushima power plant.
The have also lifted a ban on seafood from Fukushima Prefecture. That’s on the condition the products carry an additional document that certifies they are free of contamination.
The Russian officials say their decision takes into account reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency and data from Japan’s monitoring of radioactive materials.
 
Russia lifts Japan seafood ban adopted after Fukushima crisis
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Russia has lifted its ban on Japanese seafood imports adopted in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster due to concerns over radioactive contamination.
Moscow’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance on Friday approved seafood imports from six prefectures in northeastern and eastern Japan — Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Chiba and Niigata.
It also said the country would accept products from Fukushima Prefecture that are accompanied by documentation showing they are free of contamination.
The move should give a boost to Japan’s fishing industry, which has faced international concern over the impact on marine life of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis triggered by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
Russia banned fishery imports from over 200 companies in April of that year, before allowing products from Aomori Prefecture in July 2015.
According to Japan’s Fisheries Agency, more than 20 countries and regions, including China and South Korea as well as the European Union, still ban or partially ban imports of Japanese seafood products.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Nuclear scientists not so well aware of the risks – theme for April 2018

Research has found disturbing differences in the attitudes of scientists in different areas, to health and environmental risks of the nuclear industry.

It is even more disturbing that policy-makers and politicians prefer to support  and value the opinions and work of the very scientists who are least informed and least interested in those risks.

Politics and Scientific Expertise: Scientists, Risk Perception, and Nuclear Waste Policy, Richard P. Barke Hank C. Jenkins‐Smith.   – To study the homogeneity and influences on scientists’perspectives of environmental risks, we have examined similarities and differences in risk perceptions, particularly regarding nuclear wastes, and policy preferences among 1011 scientists and engineers. We found significant differences (p0.05)in the patterns of beliefs among scientists from different fields of research. In contrast to physicists, chemists, and engineers, life scientists tend to: (a)perceive the greatest risks from nuclear energy and nuclear waste management; (b)perceive higher levels of overall environmental risk; (c)strongly oppose imposing risks on unconsenting individuals; and (d)prefer stronger requirements for environmental management.

On some issues related to priorities among public problems and calls for government action, there are significant variations among life scientists or physical scientists. We also found that–independently of field of research–perceptions of risk and its correlates are significantly associated with the type of institution in which the scientist is employed. Scientists in universities or state and local governments tend to see the risks of nuclear energy and wastes as greater than scientists who work as business consultants, for federal organizations, or for private research laboratories. Significant differences also are found in priority given to environmental risks, the perceived proximity of environmental disaster, willingness to impose risks on an unconsenting population, and the necessity of accepting risks and sacrifices. more https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1539-6924.1993.tb00743.x

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Christina's themes, culture and arts | Leave a comment

The week to April 7, in nuclear news

While I’m supposedly focussed on nuclear news, it is really madness to ignore climate.  The  biosphere is being dramatically changed by human activities.  Climate news has become ever more complicated.  Last week, I struggled to explain the complexity of the Arctic currents of warm air, their effects on the polar vortex, and the extreme cold in Northern Europe and America.

At the same time, climate change is heating up the southern half of the globe.

Rapid Sea Level Rise Possible as Ocean Floods into Antarctica at up to 400 Meters Per Year. Antarctica’s great ice sheet being eroded by warm water circulating underneath. Drastic action on fossil fuels is needed, as the Poles melt – with unpredictable consequences.

Madeleine Allbright  on the global threat of fascism,  and Donald Trump

Chris Busby comments on the Skripal incident – Nuclear war an option?

Women, today and always, understand and fight the peril of nuclear war, nuclear pollution.

The world should be outraged at the silencing of Julian Assange.

The carbon footprint of huge digital data centres.

JAPAN. Powerful volcanic eruption at Mount Shinmoe, and more to come -ONLY 40 MILES FROM Sendai Nuclear power station.  The end for Japan’s expensive Monju nuclear fast breeder dream.  Closing down of Fukushima nuclear power plant has skyrocketed to US$75 billion.  Problems with local consent hang over Japan’s proposed nuclear station restarts. Tepco facing huge costs in Fukushima disaster, but still plans to help fund restart of Tokai nuclear power station.

NORTH KOREA   Kim Jong Un’s complete turnaround in tactics: will it result in peace, or not?   Experts reject Japanese claim about North Korea preparing for a new nuclear weapons test. North Korea nuclear missile ‘could reach UK within months’ – but Kim Jong-un ‘too rational’ to use them.

SOUTH KOREA. Researchers from 30 countries call for boycott of South Korean university, in campaign against lethal autonomous weapons.

UK.

RUSSIA. The new arms race, as Russia tests its ‘Satan’ nuclear missile.  – Novichok A234 – The facts .

USA.

CANADA. Canada’s so-called “medical”nuclear research reactor finally bites the dust.

CHINA. China expanding its nuclear marketing overseas, with the help of Bill Gates.

TURKEY. Nuclear energy is not coming to Turkey quickly.  Cyprus to lodge complaint over Turkey Nuclear Power plant plans.

PAKISTAN. Submarines with nuclear weapons bring nuclear war closer for India and Pakistan.

MIDDLE EAST. Global nuclear power firms scrambling to market nuclear technology to Middle East countries.

FRANCE. Resurrected nuclear company Orano (formerly Areva) – still losing money-France’s EDF to spend 8 billion euros ($9.8 billion) by 2035 on energy storage.

BELGIUM. Belgium’s nuclear power to be ended by 2025.

SAUDI ARABIACrown Prince Bin Salman suggests war may happen between Saudi Arabia and Iran.  Inside the vast web of PR firms popularizing the Saudi crown prince.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Powerful volcanic eruption at Mount Shinmoe, and more to come -ONLY 40 MILES FROM Sendai Nuclear power station

Another powerful eruption observed at Mount Shinmoe , Japan Times, 5 Apr 18   Another powerful eruption was observed at Mount Shinmoe in southwestern Japan early Thursday, with ash sent spiralling into a plume around 5,000 meters high, the Meteorological Agency said.

The eruption at the 1,421-meter volcano that straddles Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures was the largest since March 25, according to the agency.

Mount Shinmoe erupted violently for the first time in about seven years on March 6, and the agency said a week later that it was expected to continue explosive eruptions for several months or more……..https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/04/05/national/another-powerful-eruption-observed-mount-shinmoe/#.WsggQIhubIU

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment