nuclear-news

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

Rice planting resumes in Fukushima town

uhhkjl.jpg

May 13, 2019
Rice has been planted in a town hosting the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for the first time since evacuation orders were partially lifted early last month.

Orders for all districts of the town of Okuma in Fukushima Prefecture were issued following the 2011 accident. They were lifted for two districts on April 10.

More than 20 people, including town officials, planted rice seedlings on Monday in a paddy in the Ogawara district that measures about 160 square meters.

Okuma Town resumed rice growing on a trial basis in the district in 2014, three years after the accident.

The radiation levels in all the rice harvested there were within state safety standards.

The town plans to prepare manuals to facilitate the resumption of rice farming in earnest.

The head of the town’s agricultural committee, Tomoko Nemoto, says there are still many problems to address, but that the town wants to pass its farmlands down to future generations.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190513_14/

Advertisements

May 15, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO conducts test to halt water injection into crippled reactor

13 may 2019.jpgThis March 11, 2019 photo, taken from Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture, shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was struck by the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan and is in the process of being decommissioned.

May 13, 2019
FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) — The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Monday conducted a test to temporarily halt the water being injected into one of the reactors that suffered a core meltdown in the wake of the 2011 accident
Through the test, which is the first of its kind, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. plans to obtain data on how the temperature inside the No. 2 reactor could rise in the event of an emergency and use the input to update its response.
More than eight years on from the start of what has become one of the world’s worst nuclear crises, TEPCO continues to pour water inside the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors to keep the melted fuel debris inside them cool.
At 10:40 a.m. Monday, TEPCO completely halted the water injection into the No. 2 unit, which usually receives around 3 tons of coolant per hour.
The temperature at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel, a container that is supposed to hold the fuel, stood at about 24.5 C and TEPCO expects the reading to rise by up to 4 C following the 7-hour test.
Hit by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami on March 11, 2011, the Fukushima nuclear complex lost nearly all its power sources and consequently the ability to cool the reactors and spent fuel pools at the Nos. 1 to 4 units.
The conditions of the reactors are now kept relatively stable through recovery efforts, but a massive amount of contaminated water has accumulated at the plant as a result.
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190513/p2g/00m/0dm/071000c

May 15, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima plant radioactive water could be stored in tanks long term: gov’t source

Heading toward 1.37 million tons of strontium-90 tea, enough to give a 500ml portion to 2.74 billion people
fhjjkkll.jpg
May 13, 2019
The Japanese administration is considering keeping the enormous and still growing volume of radioactively contaminated water at the disaster-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in storage tanks for the long term, a source close to the government has told the Mainichi Shimbun.
Previously, five options to deal with the contaminated water were being compared: releasing it into the ocean; piping it into a deep stratum of the Earth’s crust; releasing it into the atmosphere as steam; encasing it in cement and burying it; and using electrolysis to hydrogenate tritium — a relatively low-impact radioactive element not filtered out with plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s current decontamination systems — in the water before releasing it into the air.
However, strontium 90 — a radioactive element that can accumulate in the bones — was discovered in treated water in government maximum-busting concentrations just before August 2018 public hearings on the contaminated water problem. The revelation “completely destroyed the premise for discussions,” the Mainichi source said, and public worries about releasing the water into the environment prompted the government to reconsider.
As a result, a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry expert committee on the contaminated water issue set to meet in June will add long-term tank storage to the existing five options.
According to the government source, the administration will take the expert committee’s opinions into account when it makes a final decision on the water problem. However, views in the prime minister’s office are apparently split. Furthermore, the government is worried that taking any decision ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Games could invite increased attention on the problem and risks the spread of harmful rumors, making it very difficult to project which method will be chosen.
Any of the options is expected to take about two years to implement, a senior industry ministry official said.
Meanwhile, Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa warned at a March news conference that “the time when a decision must be made (on how to deal with the contaminated water) is very close indeed.”
There is already over 1 million metric tons of contaminated water stored on-site at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, while existing plans will see total capacity max out at 1.37 million tons in 2020. At the current rate of increase, all the 10-meter-tall tanks will be full in four to five years. It is thought that the government will look into processing the water in small quantities as the total volume nears capacity, beginning with the most lightly contaminated.
However, “from a scientific and technical standpoint, the only choice is to dilute it and release it into the ocean,” Fuketa said at the March news conference. The industry ministry’s panel of experts has released figures showing this is also the fastest and lowest-cost option.
The water volume continues to increase due to ground water flowing into the fractured reactor buildings, and the need to keep pumping more water into the shattered reactor cores to cool the nuclear fuel debris inside. Just after the March 2011 triple-meltdown at the plant triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the amount of groundwater flowing into the reactor buildings was around 400 tons daily. A subterranean ice wall and other measures have cut this by about half, but eliminating it entirely is impossible.
It is expected to take until 2051 to finish decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant, including processing the contaminated water.
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190513/p2a/00m/0na/006000c?fbclid=IwAR073VgJRSeZObQZWxnufaW7bQVUNFuGKIoJAdnxFOI-XzjQhvJa2pvqQQY

May 15, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s mothers became radiation experts to protect their children after nuclear meltdown

 

1The mothers test everyday items including rice, vacuum cleaner dust, seafood, moss and soil for radiation

May 12, 2019
Inside a laboratory in Fukushima, Japan, the whirr of sophisticated equipment clicks, beeps and buzzes as women in lab coats move from station to station.
They are testing everything — rice, vacuum cleaner dust, seafood, moss and soil — for toxic levels of radiation.
But these lab workers are not typical scientists.
They are ordinary mums who have built an extraordinary clinic.
“Our purpose is to protect children’s health and future,” says lab director Kaori Suzuki.
In March 2011, nuclear reactors catastrophically melted down at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, following an earthquake and tsunami.
Driven by a desperate need to keep their children safe, a group of mothers began testing food and water in the prefecture.
The women, who had no scientific background, built the lab from the ground up, learning everything on the job.
The lab is named Tarachine, a Japanese word which means “beautiful mother”.
“As mothers, we had to find out what we can feed our children and if the water was safe,” Ms Suzuki says.

2“We had no choice but to measure the radiation and that’s why we started Tarachine.”

The director of the mothers’ lab in Fukushima said the aftermath of the disaster was “chaos.”
After the nuclear accident, Fukushima residents waited for radiation experts to arrive to help.
“No experts who knew about measuring radiation came to us. It was chaos,” she says.
In the days following the meltdown, a single decision by the Japanese Government triggered major distrust in official information which persists to this day.
The Government failed to quickly disclose the direction in which radioactive materials was drifting from the power plant.

3The mothers lost faith in government officials after they didn’t quickly communicate information about radiation levels.

Poor internal communications caused the delay, but the result was that thousands fled in the direction that radioactive materials were flying.
Former trade minister Banri Kaieda, who oversaw energy policy at the time, has said that he felt a “sense of shame” about the lack of disclosure.
But Kaori Suzuki said she still finds it difficult to trust the government.
“They lied and looked down on us, and a result, deceived the people,” Ms Suzuki says.
“So it’s hard for the people who experienced that to trust them.”
She and the other mothers who work part-time at the clinic feel great responsibility to protect the children of Fukushima.
But it hasn’t always been easy.
When they set up the lab, they relied on donated equipment, and none of them had experience in radiation testing.

4The women had to teach themselves how to use the equipment for their lab.

“There was nobody who could teach us and just the machines arrived,” Ms Suzuki says.
“At the time, the analysing software and the software with the machine was in English, so that made it even harder to understand.
“In the initial stage we struggled with English and started by listening to the explanation from the manufacturer. We finally got some Japanese software once we got started with using the machines.”
Radiation experts from top universities gave the mothers’ training, and their equipment is now among the most sophisticated in the country.

5The women were eventually taught more about testing radiation by world class experts.

 

Food safety is still an issue

The Fukushima plant has now been stabilised and radiation has come down to levels considered safe in most areas.
But contamination of food from Japan remains a hotly contested issue.
Australia was one of the first countries to lift import restrictions on Japanese food imports after the disaster.
But more than 20 countries and trading blocs have kept their import ban or restrictions on Japanese fisheries and agricultural products.
At the clinic in Fukushima, Kaori Suzuki said she accepted that decision.
“It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. I feel that’s just the decision they have made for now,” she says.
Most results in their lab are comparatively low, but the mothers say it is important there is transparency so that people know what their children are consuming.

Fukushima’s children closely monitored after meltdown

6Noriko Tanaka was three months pregnant when the Fukushima nuclear plant melted down.

Noriko Tanaka is one of many mothers in the region who felt that government officials were completely unprepared for the unfolding disaster.
She was three months pregnant with her son Haru when the disaster struck.
Ms Tanaka lived in Iwaki City, about 50 kilometres south of the power plant.

7The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melted down after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

Amid an unfolding nuclear crisis, she panicked that the radioactive iodine released from the meltdown would harm her unborn child.
She fled on the night of the disaster.
When she returned home 10 days later, the fear of contamination from the invisible, odourless radioactive material weighed deeply on her mind.
“I wish I was able to breastfeed the baby,” she says.
“[Radioactive] caesium was detected in domestic powdered milk, so I had to buy powdered milk made overseas to feed him.”
Ms Tanaka now has two children —seven-year-old Haru and three-year-old Megu.
She regularly takes them in for thyroid checks which are arranged free-of-charge by the mothers’ clinic.
Radiation exposure is a proven risk factor for thyroid cancer, but experts say it’s too early to tell what impact the nuclear meltdown will have on the children of Fukushima.
Noriko Tanaka is nervous as Haru’s thyroid is checked.
“In the last examination, the doctor said Haru had a lot of cysts, so I was very worried,” she says.
However this time, Haru’s results are better and he earns a high-five from Dr Yoshihiro Noso.
Doctors found that Haru had several cysts during his last thyroid check, but things look better this time.
“He said there was nothing to worry about, so I feel relieved after taking the test,” Ms Tanaka says.
“The doctor told me that the number of cysts will increase and decrease as he grows up.”
Dr Noso says his biggest concern is for children who were under five years old when the accident happened.
The risk is particularly high for girls.
Girls like Megu could be at greater risk than boys from radiation exposure.
“Even if I say there is nothing to worry medically, each mother is still worried,” he says.
“They feel this sense of responsibility because they let them play outside and drink the water. If they had proper knowledge of radiation, they would not have done that,” he said.

Mums and doctors fear for future of Fukushima’s children

After the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986, the incidence of thyroid cancers increased suddenly after five years.
Dr Noso travels across the country to check up on the children of Fukushima.
Doctor Noso has operated on only one child from Fukushima, but it is too early to tell if the number of thyroid cancers is increasing because of the meltdown.
“There isn’t a way to distinguish between cancers that were caused naturally and those by the accident,” he says.
“In the case of Chernobyl, the thyroid cancer rate increased for about 10 years. It’s been eight years since the disaster and I would like to continue examinations for another two years.”
As each year passes, the mothers’ attention gradually turns to how their children will be treated in the future.

Noriko Tanaka’s biggest fear now is the potential discrimination her children may face.
Noriko Tanaka has a seven-year-old son and a three-year-old daughter.
Some children, whose families fled Fukushima to other parts of Japan have faced relentless bullying.
“Some children who evacuated from Fukushima living in other prefectures are being bullied [so badly that they] can’t go to school,” Noriko Tanaka said.
“The radiation level is low in the area we live in and it’s about the same as Tokyo, but we will be treated the same as the people who live in high-level radiation areas.”
Noriko is particularly worried for little Megu because of prejudice against the children of Fukushima.
“For girls, there are concerns about marriage and having children because of the possibility of genetic issues.”
Noriko fears her daughter Megu will face discrimination because she was born in the fallout zone
Source:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-12/fukushima-mums-teach-themselves-how-to-be-radiation-experts/11082520

May 15, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO to slice dangerous chimney at Fukushima plant

chimney reactors 1 & 2 10 may 2019.jpgA chimney for both the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors remains unrepaired at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. At left is the No. 1 reactor building.

May 10, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Co. plans to start work on May 20 to dismantle a 120-meter-tall, highly contaminated chimney that could collapse at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
It will be the first highly radiated facility at the plant to be taken apart, the company said May 9.
The stack, with a diameter of 3.2 meters, was used for both the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors. TEPCO plans to remove the upper half of the chimney within this year to prevent the structure from collapsing.
The dismantling work will be conducted by remote control because the radiation level around the base of the chimney is the highest among all outdoor areas of the plant. Exposure to radiation at the base can cause death in several hours.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami struck in March 2011, pressure increased in the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor. Vapors with radioactive substances were sent through the chimney to the outside.
TEPCO also found fractures in steel poles supporting the chimney. The damage was likely caused by a hydrogen explosion at the No. 1 reactor building when the nuclear disaster was unfolding.
Since then, the chimney has been left unrepaired because of the high radiation levels.
Immediately after the nuclear accident, a radiation level exceeding 10 sieverts per hour was observed around the base of the chimney. In a survey conducted in 2015, a radiation level of 2 sieverts per hour was detected there.
TEPCO will use a large crane that will hold special equipment to cut the chimney in round slices from the top.
The company set up a remote control room in a large remodeled bus about 200 meters from the chimney. Workers will operate the special cutting equipment while watching footage from 160 video cameras.
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201905100045.html

May 15, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Tokyo 2020 – The Radioactive Olympics

Website_Logo_Olymp.jpg
In 2020, Japan is inviting athletes from around the world to take part in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. We are hoping for the games to be fair and peaceful. At the same time, we are worried about plans to host baseball and softball competitions in Fukushima City, just 50 km away from the ruins of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant. It was here, in 2011, that multiple nuclear meltdowns took place, spreading radioactivity across Japan and the Pacific Ocean – a catastrophe comparable only to the nuclear meltdown of Chernobyl.

The ecological and social consequences of this catastrophe can be seen everywhere in the country: whole families uprooted from their ancestral homes, deserted evacuation zones, hundreds of thousands of bags of irradiated soil dumped all over the country, contaminated forests, rivers and lakes. Normality has not returned to Japan. The reactors continue to be a radiation hazard as further catastrophes could occur at any time. Every day adds more radioactive contamination to the ocean, air and soil. Enormous amounts of radioactive waste are stored on the premises of the power plant in the open air. Should there be another earthquake, these would pose a grave danger to the population and the environment. The nuclear catastrophe continues today. On the occasion of the Olympic Games 2020, we are planning an international campaign. We are concerned about the health effects of the ongoing radioactive contamination in the region, especially for people more vulnerable to radiation, such as children and pregnant women.

According to official Japanese government estimates, the Olympic Games will cost more than the equivalent of 12 billion Euros. At the same time, the Japanese government is threatening to cut support to all evacuees who are unwilling to return to the region. International regulations limit the permitted dose for the general public of additional radiation following a nuclear accident to 1 mSv per year. In areas where evacuation orders were recently lifted, the returning population will be exposed to levels up to 20 mSv per year. Even places that have undergone extensive decontamination efforts could be recontaminated at any time by unfavourable weather conditions, as mountains and forests serve as a continuous depot for radioactive particles. Our campaign will focus on educating the public about the dangers of the nuclear industry. We will explain what health threats the Japanese population was and is exposed to today. Even during normal operations, nuclear power plants pose a threat to public health – especially to infants and unborn children. There is still no safe permanent depository site for the toxic inheritance of the nuclear industry anywhere on earth, that is a fact.

We plan to use the media attention generated by the Olympic Games to support Japanese initiatives calling for a nuclear phase-out and to promote a worldwide energy revolution: away from fossil and nuclear fuels and towards renewable energy generation. We need to raise awareness of the involvement of political representatives around the world in the militaryindustrial complex. We denounce the attempt of the Japanese government to pretend that normality has returned to the contaminated regions of Japan. We call on all organisations to join our network and help us put together a steering group to coordinate this campaign. The Olympic Games are still two years away – now is still time to get organised. We look forward to hearing from you, with best regards,

For the campaign „Nuclear Free Olympic Games 2020“:
Annette Bänsch-Richter-Hansen
Jörg Schmid
Henrik Paulitz
Alex Rosen

30 years living with Chernobyl
5 years living with Fukushima

Download IPPNW-Report
Download Flyer

http://www.radioactive-olympics.org/information-in-english/appeal/artikel/0594b31684814af50e1e2d5f9cfac1ca/tokyo-2020-the-radioactive-olympic-2.html

May 15, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Climate and Nuclear News – week to 15 May

Climate change –   climate crisis might be the more accurate phrase. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New Zealand, said the political will to fight climate change has faded at the same time as it is getting worse for those feeling its effects.

Some videos of this week’s news on the effects of global warming -Arctic Ocean Coastal Temperatures Surge to 84.2 F  11 May https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk4sTnfsVcQ    -Global Sea Ice Plunges to New Record Lows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ukc7-OVMx_Q . A tiny bit of good news: Rooftop Panels of Tiny Plants Can Cleanse Polluted Air at 100 Times the Rate of a Single Tree.

Nuclear news – the focus this week has been on international politics. While nuclear competition between India and Pakistan is accelerating, Stimson’s South Asia Program offers ways to reduce tensions.  Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign: paving the way for war against Iran?  Donald Trump likes strutting on the global ‘nuclear summit’ stage, but is not interested in genuine arms control.

Radioactive fallout could be released from melting glaciers.  Deep ocean animals are eating radioactive carbon from nuclear bomb tests.

Deep divisions between nations as preparations made for next year’s review of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Global paralysis in weapons control agreements as a new arms race begins.

The problematic arrival of Artificial Intelligence for Nuclear Weapons.

The vulnerability of nuclear weapons systems to cyber threats.

Nuclear power is subject to human error. — and that makes it a poor solution to climate change.

The World Blows Over $5 Trillion A Year On Oil And Gas Subsidies: Report

GREENLAND. Greenland Melt off to a Rather Early Start .

PACIFIC ISLANDS. UN chief Antonio Guterres to Pacific islands, warning rich nations about climate impacts.

UKRAINE. Drones find new radiation hotspots near site of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Investigative journalism –  Chernobyl nuclear accident: how it happened, and the aftermath. The International Atomic Energy Agency itself predicted 4,000 cancer deaths from the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

USA. 

MEXICO 108 wildfires are burning in 17 states, most in central and southern regions

NORTH KOREA. North Korea is unlikely to ever give up all its nuclear weapons.  Increased tension as U.S. has seized a North Korean ship for sanctions violations,

JAPAN. Fukushima’s mothers became radiation experts to protect their children after nuclear meltdown.  Highly radioactive chimney at Fukushima No 1 plant to be taken apart. New Discovery At Fukushima Unit 3 Provides Clues To Meltdown Severity, Environmental Releases.  Fukushima’s ghost towns. .“Worst Criminality against Humankind” Report from Fukushima by Kazuhiko Kobayashi.   South Korea plans to continue to ban all seafood imports from Fukushima Prefecture and seven other prefectures near Fukushima to protect public health and food safety.

IRAN.  European Union countries face deadline to save nuclear deal with Iran.  Iran Supports Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The difficulty in knowing if Iran did start making a nuclear bomb.  Increase in Iran Snap Nuclear Inspections as Tensions With U.S. Rise. Why Iran decided to partially withdraw from the nuclear weapons treaty.

UK.

UKRAINE. Drones find new radiation hotspots near site of Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Investigative journalism –  Chernobyl nuclear accident: how it happened, and the aftermath. The International Atomic Energy Agency itself predicted 4,000 cancer deaths from the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

FRANCE. Fraud and falsification regarding nuclear safety in France’s EDF reactors?

RUSSIA. Russia’s upgraded nuclear-powered missile cruisers to get advanced torpedo defense systems.  Rosatom keenly pursuing international nuclear sales, especially nuclear-weapons related.

MIDDLE EAST. Nuclear power completely unnecessary in sunblest Middle East.

ISRAEL. President Kennedy strongly warned Israel against getting nuclear weapons.

SLOVAKIA. Safety concerns by Austria mean delay in Slovakia’s nuclear station expansion.

AUSTRALIA  Federal election on 18 May. If the climate-denying, nuclear-loving Liberal Coalition gets back in, I reckon that there’ll be wholesale emigration to New Zealand, where they have decent and compassionate policies, and a Prime Minister with integrity!  Australia’s role in the species extinction crisis.

 

May 15, 2019 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment