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Fukushima poll: 74% say nuclear disaster work not promising

A cemetery in a district in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, on Jan. 20 is surrounded by solar panels installed on former farmland after the evacuation order was lifted.

February 24, 2021

Only 19 percent of residents in Fukushima Prefecture believe the work to decommission the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is showing “promise” nearly 10 years after the triple meltdown, a survey showed.

Seventy-four percent of respondents in the telephone survey said the situation was “not promising” at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s nuclear plant.

The survey, jointly conducted by The Asahi Shimbun and Fukushima Broadcasting Co. on Feb. 20 and 21, is the 11th since the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami caused the nuclear disaster in March 2011.

The first was conducted in September 2011, followed by surveys on February or March every year from 2012.

The central government and TEPCO have set a goal of completing the decommissioning work “in 30 to 40 years,” but their efforts so far have been hit with various problems and delays.

Although evacuation orders have been lifted, many residents who fled the disaster have not returned to their homes near the plant. Still, the government plans to entice people to move into municipalities around the nuclear plant.

According to the survey, 21 percent of respondents viewed the new settlement policy as “promising” for revitalizing the area, compared with 72 percent who said it was “not promising.”

One constant problem in the decommissioning work is the continual stream of contaminated water that must be stored in tanks at the site of the plant.

With space running out, the government’s policy is to treat the water and dump it into the sea, even though the process will not remove all radioactive substances.

Thirty-five percent of respondents approved this policy, up from 31 percent in the 2020 survey, while 53 percent opposed the policy, down from 57 percent.

However, 87 percent of respondents said they were worried about damage caused by rumors over the dumping of the water into the sea, such as overexaggerated claims about the effects. Of them, 48 percent were “greatly” worried while 39 percent were worried “to a certain degree.”

The government continues to hold explanatory briefings about the water-dumping policy at local sites, but the effort has not reduced the people’s concerns.

The respondents were also asked whether the government should be held responsible for failing to prevent the nuclear disaster from occurring. Eighty-four percent agreed, including 33 percent who said the state has “great responsibility” and 51 percent who cited “a certain degree of responsibility.”

Forty-five percent of respondents in their 60s and 44 percent aged 70 or older said the government was “greatly responsible.”

Twenty-eight percent of respondents gave high marks to the government’s response so far to the nuclear disaster, while 50 percent had low evaluations.

As for TEPCO, 39 percent said the utility has acted responsibly over the 10 years since the accident, compared with 43 percent who said, “It hasn’t.”

And only 32 percent of respondents said the country has learned lessons from the nuclear accident, while 57 percent said it has not.

All nuclear reactors in Japan were shut down following the Fukushima disaster. Much tougher safety standards were established, and some reactors have been brought back online.

Sixteen percent of the Fukushima residents approved restarts of nuclear plants while 69 percent said they should remain offline.

Nationwide, 32 percent were in favor of the restarts and 53 percent were against, according to a phone survey conducted on Feb. 13 and 14 that showed opposition is higher in Fukushima Prefecture.

Half of the Fukushima respondents said restoration of the prefecture was on track, including 3 percent who said “greatly” and 47 percent who said “to a certain degree.”

In the 2012 survey, 7 percent said restoration was on track. The ratio jumped to 36 percent in 2016.

In the 2019 survey, conducted a year after most of the decontamination work was completed in the prefecture, the figure increased to 52 percent, but it has since remained at around the same level.

Sixteen percent of respondents said they feel “great” anxiety over the effects of radioactive materials released in the accident on themselves and their families, while 48 percent felt a “certain degree” of anxiety.

The overall ratio of 64 percent was down from 91 percent in September 2011 and 68 percent in 2016. But the latest figure was up from 56 percent in 2020.

By sex, 69 percent of female respondents and 59 percent of males felt anxious about the radioactive fallout.

In addition, 79 percent of all respondents were worried that the public will lose interest in the plight of the victims of the nuclear accident. Of them, 34 percent were “greatly” worried and 45 percent were worried “to a certain degree.” Nineteen percent were not worried very much or not at all.

Fifty percent think the image of Fukushima Prefecture has been restored to the pre-disaster level, but only 4 percent “largely” believe this is the case.

The overall figure has improved from 30 percent in the 2016 survey.

But the nationwide survey on Feb. 13 and 14 showed that only 40 percent believe that Fukushima Prefecture’s image has been restored.

The survey used home phone numbers for voters in Fukushima Prefecture, excluding some areas, selected at random by computer. It received valid responses from 1,049, or 54 percent, of the 1,955 voters contacted.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Fish contaminated with radiation caught off northeastern Fukushima Prefecture

This 2007 file photo shows black rockfish.

February 24, 2021

FUKUSHIMA — Radioactive cesium five times above permitted levels in Japan has been detected in black rockfish caught in northeastern Fukushima Prefecture, according to a Feb. 22 announcement by a local fishing association.

Some 500 becquerels per kilogram of cesium was found in black rockfish caught at a depth of 24 meters about 8.8 kilometers off the town of Shinchi, exceeding the national standard level of 100 becquerels per kilogram.

The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations has since halted distribution of the fish until it can confirm their safety. The voluntary suspension of seafood shipments by the fishing body marks the first time since October 2019, when 53 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was detected in a white sea perch, exceeding the standard level set by the group at 50 becquerels per kilogram.

The fishing association has been conducting test fishing since June 2012 on a limited scale. After shipping restrictions on common skate were lifted in February 2020, shipment of all fish was permitted. The fishing body aims to resume full fishing operations in April.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Broken devices at Fukushima plant fail to record vital quake data

Either not replaced by negligence or claimed to be broken so as to not have to share disturbing data outside of Tepco….

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga visits the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in September. The No. 3 reactor building is seen in the background.

February 23, 2021

Two broken seismometers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant failed to record data from a powerful earthquake that struck off the coast of the prefecture on Feb. 13, according to the plant operator.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. became aware last year that the seismometers installed at the No. 3 reactor building were on the blink but didn’t repair them, company officials told a meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Feb. 22.

The company installed the seismometers in March last year after the NRA said they would be useful in evaluating the degree of deterioration of the structure. One was placed on the top floor, and the other was set on the ground floor.

But one was broken in July and the other in October due to heavy rain and other reasons.

The seismometers at the No. 3 reactor building were not required under laws or regulations.

The NRA plans to call on TEPCO to report on how it will deal with the issue. It will also consider requiring the company to properly manage and maintain seismometers.

The magnitude-7.3 earthquake on Feb. 13 registered an upper 6 on the Japanese seismic scale of 7 in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures.

TEPCO said the following day that cooling water had overflowed from pools storing spent nuclear fuel at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants due to the temblor.

The overflow, totaling three liters, was wiped off and did not escape the plant compounds. No changes in radioactivity were detected in nearby areas.

TEPCO also said Feb. 19 that contaminated water had leaked from the containment vessels of the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors of the Fukushima No. 1 plant apparently because the parts damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami were subjected to strong shaking from the temblor.

The company said the leakage has remained within the plant premises, and nuclear fuel debris has continued to be cooled in the containment vessels.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Containment Vessel Water Level Continues to Drop Due to Earthquake

February 23, 2021, 5:05 PM

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) summarized the impact of the February 13 earthquake on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant on February 22, and said that the water level in the containment vessel that houses the reactor continues to drop. The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has said that water injection is continuing and that there are no safety issues at present, but has called for tighter monitoring.

At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, water is being injected to cool the melted down nuclear fuel, but the water level in the containment vessels of the Unit 1 and Unit 3 reactors has dropped by several dozen centimeters and has been on a downward trend ever since.

In addition, nitrogen has been injected into the containment vessel to prevent hydrogen explosions and increase the pressure, but in the Unit 1 reactor, the pressure gauge that measures the difference from atmospheric pressure has dropped from 1.2 kilopascals to 0.1 kilopascals and is now almost at atmospheric pressure.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) says it will continue to monitor the water level and pressure, as it is possible that the earthquake may have caused damage that was created 10 years ago to spread, causing the water level and pressure to drop.

In addition to the above, it was also found that six tanks used to store water after treating contaminated water were displaced by up to 5 cm due to the earthquake.

The displacement was within the design assumptions, and no water leakage has occurred.

There was no change in the values of the monitoring posts after the quake, and there was no leakage of radioactive materials to the outside.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which received the report, said that cooling of the nuclear fuel and nitrogen injection are continuing and that there are no safety issues at present, and asked TEPCO to strengthen its monitoring.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

6.0 Plus Magnitude Earthquake Damages Radioactive Waste Incineration Facilities at 3 Sites in Fukushima

February 23, 2021

 The Fukushima Regional Environment Office announced on Tuesday that three temporary incineration facilities for radioactive waste from the accident at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant were damaged in an earthquake that registered a seismic intensity of 6.0 on the Japanese scale late on February 13. None of the facilities have leaked radioactive waste, but it is expected to take about a month to recover.

 According to the Environment Office, as a result of post-earthquake inspections at the Adachi temporary incineration facility (Nihonmatsu City) and the Futaba temporary treatment facilities No. 1 and No. 2 (Futaba Town), damage was found in the piping and ceiling. There was no change in the air dose rate at the site boundary. There was no damage caused by the earthquake at the other five facilities operating in Fukushima Prefecture.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear plant operator: Seismometers were broken

February 22, 2021

The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant says two seismometers at one of its three melted reactors have been out of order since last year and did not collect data when a powerful earthquake struck the area earlier this month

TOKYO — The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant said Monday that two seismometers at one of its three melted reactors have been out of order since last year and did not collect data when a powerful earthquake struck the area earlier this month.

The acknowledgement raised new questions about whether the company’s risk management has improved since a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed much of the plant.

The malfunctioning seismometers surfaced during a Nuclear Regulation Authority meeting on Monday to discuss new damage at the plant resulting from a magnitude 7.3 quake that struck the region on Feb. 13. Cooling water and pressure levels fell in the Unit 1 and 3 reactors, indicating additional damage to their primary containment chambers.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., has repeatedly been criticized for coverups and delayed disclosures of problems at the plant.

Regulatory officials asked TEPCO at the meeting why it did not have seismological data from the Unit 3 reactor for Saturday’s quake, and utility officials acknowledged that both of its seismometers had failed — one in July and the other in October — and had never been repaired.

TEPCO also said that seismometers at all but two of the reactor buildings that survived the 2011 disaster were submerged by water from the tsunami and have never been replaced.

During Monday’s meeting, regulatory officials said they were concerned about the declining water levels and pressure in the Unit 1 and 3 primary containment chambers because of the possibility that the quake had expanded the existing damage or opened new leakage paths, and urged the utility to closely check for any increased radiation levels in the ground water surrounding the reactor buildings.

TEPCO said no abnormality has been detected in water samples so far.

New damage could further complicate the plant’s already difficult decommissioning process and add to the large amounts of contaminated water being stored at the plant.

Since the 2011 disaster, cooling water has been escaping constantly from the damaged primary containment vessels into the basements of reactor and turbine buildings, where the volume increases as groundwater seeps in. The water is pumped up and treated, then part of it is reused as cooling water, while the rest is stored in about 1,000 tanks.

TEPCO initially reported there was no abnormality at the plant from Saturday’s earthquake. But on Monday, it said about 20 of the tanks had slid slightly due to the quake, a storage container carrying radioactive waste had tilted, and asphalt pavement at the plant was cracked.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima struggling to get people back, 10 years after disaster

An elementary school building in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, is seen deserted in January. Municipalities near the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima have been struggling to bring residents back. February 22, 2021

February 22, 2021

Fukushima – Municipalities near the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture have been stepping up efforts to bring residents back, a decade after the March 2011 triple reactor meltdown.

In areas in 10 Fukushima municipalities that were once off-limits due to radiation from the nuclear disaster, the ratio of actual to registered residents is as low as 31.8%.

Years of evacuation orders following the disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have left many registered residents unwilling to return, leaving officials concerned about the survival of their municipalities.

Taki Shoji, an 87-year-old former evacuee, returned from the city of Aizuwakamatsu further inland in the prefecture to the town of Okuma in April 2019 after an evacuation order was lifted.

In Aizuwakamatsu, Shoji struggled with snow-removing work during wintertime that he was not accustomed to.

“Living in a large house makes me feel calm,” he said, referring to his life in his warmer, coastal hometown.

Shoji needs to go to a neighboring town by bus to shop because local stores offer only a limited supply of goods. He is looking forward to the opening in spring of a commercial facility in Okuma that houses convenience and grocery stores. It “will allow me to go shopping by foot,” he said.

The ratio of actual to registered residents is especially low, at less than 20%, in the towns of Namie and Tomioka, where it took about six years for people to return after the nuclear accident.

A survey of Namie and Tomioka residents last summer by the Reconstruction Agency and others showed that greater access to shopping and medical and welfare services is needed for evacuees to return to their hometowns.

These municipalities are taking steps to encourage people to relocate to them.

The village of Iitate, where the ratio of actual to registered residents stands at about 30%, offers support measures for those willing to relocate, including up to ¥5 million in subsidies for the construction of a new house. As a result, the number of people who have relocated to Iitate topped 100 in summer last year.

Namie plans to create new jobs mainly in the renewable energy industry to bring more people to the town. “The current population is not enough to maintain infrastructure and administrative services and it’s difficult to keep the town afloat,” Namie Mayor Kazuhiro Yoshida said.

The government will start a new program in fiscal 2021, which begins in April, to provide up to ¥2 million per household to people relocating to Fukushima areas affected by the nuclear accident.

Fukushima Prefecture plans to promote support for both evacuees’ return to hometowns and relocation by making use of the aid from the government. “Unless there are people, there will be no reconstruction,” a prefectural official said.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

Pressure drops inside vessel at Fukushima plant

February 13 earthquake could have exposed damaged part

February 22, 2021

Tokyo Electric Power Company has found that the pressure inside one of the reactor containment vessels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has dropped.

The utility said the earthquake that hit the area on February 13 may have been to blame. TEPCO said no radioactive material has leaked.

The nuclear plant in Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan is now undergoing decommissioning.

TEPCO said it confirmed at around 6 p.m. on Sunday that pressure inside the vessel of the No.1 reactor dropped to 0.9 kilopascals from the usual 1.2 kilopascals. Nitrogen is being added to the vessel to raise the pressure and reduce the risk of a hydrogen explosion.

TEPCO found that after the quake the level of water in the containment vessel had dropped.

It said the part damaged in the 2011 nuclear accident may have been exposed after the water level dropped, possibly causing an air leakage and the drop in pressure.

TEPCO said it is continuing to pump water into the vessel and there should be no safety problem.

It said there have been no abnormality in the measurements at radioactivity monitoring posts in the compound.

The utility said it will keep watching the data at the vessel and other facilities

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive Materials in Black Rockfish Off Fukushima Coast: Shipment Suspended

February 22, 2021, 7:09 pm

The Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (FISHMA) has suspended shipments of a fish called “Kurosoy” that was landed on February 22 in an experimental fishery off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture. This is the first time in about two years that radioactive materials exceeding the standard have been detected in the fishery off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, and in February of last year, the shipping restrictions were lifted for all fish species.

According to the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, on the 22nd, radioactive materials were detected in a fish called “Kurosoy,” which was caught in a fishing ground 8.8 kilometers off the coast of Shinchi Town at a depth of 24 meters.

As a result of detailed measurements at a prefectural laboratory, the concentration of radioactive cesium was 500 becquerels per kilogram, exceeding the national food standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram.

The prefectural fishermen’s federation has also decided to suspend the shipment of black rockfish until the safety of the fish is confirmed, as it exceeded the voluntary standard of 50 becquerels per kilogram set by the federation.

The national government’s nuclear emergency response headquarters is expected to order restrictions on the shipment of black rockfish.

The amount of blue rockfish landed in the past year was 3 tons, which is less than 1% of the total landings of the experimental fishery being conducted off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture.

This is the first time that radioactive materials exceeding the national standard have been detected since February of two years ago in the common kasube, a species of ray-finned fish, and in February of last year, the shipping restrictions were lifted for all fish species off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture.

Prefectural Fisheries and Oceanic Research Center: “There is a possibility of fish entering and leaving the nuclear power plant port

According to the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries and Oceanic Research Center, which has been continuously measuring the concentration of radioactive materials in fish and shellfish off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture, the detected levels have dropped significantly compared to immediately after the nuclear accident.

According to the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries and Oceanic Research Center, which has been continuously measuring the levels of radioactive materials, the levels detected have decreased significantly compared to the levels immediately after the nuclear accident.

We also examined 50 samples of black carp, and all of them were below the detection limit.

On the other hand, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) once detected a radioactive substance of about 900 becquerels per kilogram in a sample of black rockfish taken for investigation in the harbor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has installed nets at the entrance and exit of the harbor to prevent fish from entering and leaving the harbor, but the prefectural Fisheries and Oceanic Research Center is investigating the possibility that the black rockfish got out for some reason, and is investigating the cause of the detection of radioactive materials exceeding the standard.

Kyoichi Kamiyama, director of the Radioactivity Research Department at the Fukushima Prefectural Fisheries and Oceanic Research Center, said, “Considering the low concentration of radioactive materials in the seawater and seabed off Shinchi Town, we really don’t know why such high levels of radioactive cesium were detected. We would like to investigate the cause, taking into consideration the possibility that fish are coming in and out of the harbor of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO neglected seismograph failure for more than six months, failed to record the earthquake of March 13 at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3

February 22, 2021

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) announced on Wednesday that two seismographs installed in the reactor building of the Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant had failed but had been left unrepaired for more than half a year, so they were unable to record data from a seismic intensity 6-weak earthquake that occurred late at night on the 13th of this month.

The water level in the reactor containment vessel dropped by more than 30 centimeters at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 and 3, possibly due to the magnitude 6-weak earthquake.

 The explanation was given by TEPCO when it reported on the effects of the earthquake at a Nuclear Regulation Authority meeting. TEPCO made no mention of the seismograph failure in its press conference after the quake or in its public documents, and had not announced it before that.

 Akira Ono, chief executive officer of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Decommissioning Promotion Company, apologized at the review meeting, saying, “We missed a chance to get valuable data and we regret it.

 According to TEPCO, seismographs were installed in March 2020, one on the operation floor and one on the first floor, both on the top five floors of the Unit 3 reactor building, and the one on the first floor broke down in July, four months after it was installed, when it was submerged in water due to rain, and the other broke down in October of the same year due to another cause.

 At a press conference on the evening of the 22nd, a TEPCO spokesperson said, “We had planned to install seismographs with countermeasures. The seismograph in the Unit 3 reactor was “installed on a trial basis” to study the earthquake resistance of the building where a hydrogen explosion occurred during the accident, he explained.

 At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, seismographs were installed on the basement floor of the reactor buildings of Units 1-6, but the equipment in Units 1-4, which were flooded by the tsunami, is not working. (Kenta Onozawa)

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

10 years after Fukushima, justice remains elusive for victims of nuclear disasters

New report warns of inevitable nuclear accidents in the future

February 22, 2021

A new report from Northwestern University’s Meridian 180 community is sounding the alarm that victims of nuclear disasters worldwide remain inadequately compensated and calls for a more inclusive process for approving nuclear projects and making nuclear energy decisions that gives ordinary citizens a seat at the table.

The report, “Nuclear Compensation: Lessons from Fukushima,” calls for a rigorous and inclusive process that transcends national borders and enables wiser decisions about nuclear projects and their many lingering consequences.

“We’re often inclined to think that nuclear disasters don’t happen very often, but that doesn’t take into view the damaging impact these disasters have in the long run on people, agriculture and anyone in the path of the nuclear fallout, sometimes beyond national borders,” said Hiro Miyazaki, Kay Davis Professor of Anthropology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and editor of the report.

The report is an outgrowth of more than five years of collaborative research on the Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima nuclear disasters among scholars and experts across three continents. Its authors include Northwestern Associate Provost and Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs Executive Director, Annelise Riles, the University of Toronto’s Mary Mitchell, Virginia Tech’s Sonja Schmid, Waseda University professor Takao Suami and Nagoya University professor Dai Yokomizo.

The report particularly emphasizes how compensation schemes for victims of nuclear accidents have not adequately addressed the plight of affected citizens.

“In the case of Fukushima, a large amount of money has been paid out to victims, but remains inadequate,” said Riles. “Many who suffered tremendous losses, but reside outside of the mandatory evacuation zone, have not been compensated. We need new, and much more inclusive nuclear disaster preparation processes involving careful deliberation over who deserves to be compensated in the wake of a nuclear disaster, and who should bear the costs.”

The report will be released during a virtual event co-sponsored by Northwestern and the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on March 9, featuring experts on nuclear issues, as well as victims of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

The keynote address will be delivered by Allison Macfarlane, former chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and director of the University of British Columbia School of Public Policy and Global Affairs.

The event will also include perspectives from Kazuhiro Yoshida, mayor of the town of Namie in Fukushima, as well as victims of Fukushima, including Masakazu Suzuki and Hidenori Konno, who are leaders of the plaintiffs in lawsuits against the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

Leading voices on nuclear issues and disaster response, including Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists president and CEO Rachel Bronson and University of Chicago professor Robert Rosner, will conclude the event with a panel discussion and live Q&A session. 

“Ten years after Fukushima, it remains essential that we tackle, head on, the full costs and benefits of nuclear energy. Fukushima is a warning of what happens when we shirk that responsibility,” Bronson said.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3 Finished Removing Deformed Nuclear Fuel

A supposedly excellent news. However to the risk of sounding the suspicious type, the one thing that I have learned covering for the past 10 years the ongoing nuclear disaster of Fukushima daiichi, is that when Tepco releases some good news it is usually to cover up a bad news, a bad happening behind the good news. Because for Tepco and the nuclear village, lying and secrecy are their second nature. They never inform us on time of what is really up. And just after the last severe earthquake that occured, we have all the reasons to believe that they are not telling us the real facts as usual.

February 20, 2021

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has announced that it has finished using a special device to remove nuclear fuel that was partially deformed in the accident and could not be pulled out of the spent fuel pool.

Since last year, the Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has been in the process of transferring 566 nuclear fuels in the spent fuel pool to a safe facility on the plant grounds.

Of these, four nuclear fuels have a handle on the top of the fuel that was deformed by the debris that fell into the pool during the accident, making it impossible to lift the fuel with normal equipment.

Therefore, TEPCO, in cooperation with a manufacturer, developed a device with an ingenious shape so that even if the handle is deformed, it can be grabbed and pulled up, and announced that they started removing four fuel cells this month and finished removing them this week.

When the fuel was pulled up, it was slightly tilted and lifted up, unlike normal, healthy fuel, but there were no safety problems and the work was completed.

With this, the work to remove the nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pool of the Unit 3 reactor has passed a milestone, and the number of remaining nuclear fuel is 22, and TEPCO plans to finish removing all the fuel by next month.

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

The media revels in rockets to Mars, ignores the horrible risk of plutonium pollution

Plutonium, Perseverance and the Spellbound Press, Karl Grossman 

            With all the media hoopla last week about the Perseverance rover, frequently unreported was that its energy source is plutonium—considered the most lethal of all radioactive substances—and nowhere in media that NASA projected 1-in-960 odds of the plutonium being released in an accident on the mission.

“A ‘1-in-960 chance’ of a deadly plutonium release is a real concern—gamblers in Las Vegas would be happy with those odds,” says Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

Indeed, big-money lotteries have odds far higher than 1-in-960 and routinely people win those lotteries.

Further, NASA’s Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the $3.7 billion mission acknowledges that an “alternative” power source for Perseverance could have been solar energy. Solar energy using photovoltaic panels has been the power source for a succession of Mars rovers.

For an accident releasing plutonium on the Perseverance launch—and 1 in 100 rockets undergo major malfunctions on launch mostly by blowing up—NASA in its SEIS described these impacts for the area around the Cape Kennedy under a heading “Impacts of Radiological Releases on the Environment.” Continue reading

February 25, 2021 Posted by | - plutonium, 2 WORLD, space travel | Leave a comment

Assange’s partner exposes ongoing denial of his legal and democratic rights, 

February 25, 2021 Posted by | civil liberties, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Former SCANA nuclear executive pleads guilty to fraud

Former SC utility CEO pleads guilty to nuclear plant fraud
The utility executive who spent billions of dollars on two South Carolina nuclear plants that never generated a single watt of power pleaded guilty in two courts,
By MICHELLE LIU Associated Press/Report for America, 25 February 2021,   COLUMBIA, S.C. — The utility executive who spent billions of dollars on two South Carolina nuclear plants that never generated a single watt of power pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges Wednesday.

Former SCANA Corp. CEO Kevin Marsh will likely spend two years in prison and pay $5 million back to ratepayers, per the plea agreement prosecutors presented to U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis in Columbia.

Marsh’s formal acknowledgement of his role in the conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud comes more than three years after the project imploded publicly and federal and state agencies began investigating.

Marsh, 65, will be free on bond as he cooperates with federal authorities until he is formally sentenced. He headed to Spartanburg in the afternoon to plead guilty on a state charge tied to the investigation. Officials said he will serve any state sentence he receives concurrently with his federal sentence.

A judge will hand down the final sentence after the investigation concludes. Prosecutors haven’t given indication of when that might be.

Marsh and other executives insisted the project to build the two reactors at the V.C. Summer site north of Columbia was on track ever since it started in 2008. The company hiked rates on customers nine times between 2009 and 2017 to help fund the project.

Prosecutors said that as the project lagged, Marsh lied repeatedly to investors, regulators and the media, claiming the reactors would be making power by a 2020 deadline to get $1.4 billion in federal tax credits needed to keep the $10 billion project from overwhelming SCANA and its subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas.

An independent report commissioned by SCANA in 2015 estimated the reactors would not be finished in 22 years. Executives fought to get the estimate removed from the copy of the report shared with state-owned utility Santee Cooper, which held a 45% stake in the new reactors, prosecutors said.

Santee Cooper ended up $4 billion in debt from the project. Lawmakers are still arguing over whether to sell or reorganize the utility.

Dominion Energy of Virginia bought out SCANA in 2019 after the former Fortune 500 company was crippled by the nuclear debacle.

In December, the Securities and Exchange Commission said both SCANA and its subsidiary agreed to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the SEC in February for $137.5 million, including a $25 million civil penalty.

Former SCANA Executive Vice President Stephen Byrne pleaded guilty to federal charges similar to Marsh’s in July. He is also awaiting sentencing. AT TOP

February 25, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment