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S. Korea voices concerns about Japan’s Fukushima water release plan

Wearing masks depicting incumbent and former Japanese prime ministers, South Korean activists hold a rally in Seoul on Oct. 25, 2021, to condemn Japan’s plan to release radioactive water into the sea from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant. (Yonhap)

December 03, 2021

SEOUL, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) — South Korea on Friday expressed concerns over Japan’s assessment report about its planned release of radioactive water into the sea from its crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

The stance was delivered at a virtual meeting between South Korea and Japan over a draft report by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) about radioactive impacts of its planned discharge.

Last month, TEPCO, the operator of the tsunami-stricken Fukushima plant, said its planned release of radioactive water into the sea would have a very minimal impact on the marine environment and humans.

In April, Japan announced a plan to start discharging the radioactive water into the sea in 2023 in what is expected to be a decadeslong process, as all storage tanks at the Fukushima plant are expected to be full as early as the fall of 2022.

At the session, the Korean government voiced “regret” that Japan has unveiled the report on the premise that it will release the radioactive water.

“We also expressed concerns over uncertainty about the impact on humans and the environment that the discharge will have,” the government said.

South Korea also called on Japan to disclose related information in a transparent manner to its neighboring countries and sincerely engage in consultations on the issue.

According to Japanese media reports, TEPCO plans to build a roughly 1-kilometer-long undersea tunnel to release the tritium-laced water from the wrecked plant into the waters.

An estimated 1.25 million tons of such water are in temporary storage at the Fukushima nuclear plant on the east coast of Japan, which was devastated by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake in March 2011.

https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20211203010000320?fbclid=IwAR0syfFbbFnYKuqJAe_AgzUz3nNejDyRc6sw3yrjefevfo3zkvEncRch9Co

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima evacuee shares her feelings via illustrated books

The cover of the picture book “Nagai Orusuban” (Long housesitting)

December 3, 2021

SAKAI–Nobuko Shiga is still working through the trauma from the Fukushima nuclear crisis that ruined her hometown and upended her life.

But she has decided to channel her pent-up rage into creating something positive that may help the healing process.

She has created two illustrated books with the hopes of sharing her feelings and experiences, and hopes to pass on stories from early in her life as well as what happened after that fateful day. 

When the magnitude 9.0-earthquake struck on March 11, 2011, Shiga, now 81, was living with her retired husband in Namie in eastern Fukushima Prefecture.

The accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, situated only 9 kilometers southeast of their residence, drastically changed the course of her life.

She left her house with her pet Shiba Inu dog, named Ran, a day after the disaster. She traveled by car and spent nights at a gymnasium in a mountainous area and at Fukushima Airport before she arrived in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, where her daughter lived.

Shiga was left reeling over the way she was treated while trying to open a bank account there for her new life. Clerks at two banks told Shiga that she could not have one, after learning that she was fleeing from Fukushima Prefecture.

The bank operators later apologized, but she was still left with no clear explanation why. Looking back on the incident, Shiga thinks the nuclear crisis was likely why the banks had refused, and she said she still feels her heart ache over it.

Radioactive fallout made it impossible for residents to freely enter Namie. Shiga had planned to enjoy her golden years with her spouse at their home. But the yard has been left to grow wild and her friends are forced to live far apart from each other.

But Shiga soon learned that Bungeisha Co. was searching for manuscripts for picture books. She quickly finished writing her first title, “Nagai Orusuban” (Long housesitting).

Nobuko Shiga shows off her two illustrated books on Oct. 15 in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture. (Yasufumi Kado)

The book features paintings by Shiro Ishiguro. It went up for sale on an online book shopping site and elsewhere in 2019 for 1,210 yen ($10.50), including tax. A digitized version is available as well.

In the work, a dog named Ran, just like Shiga’s, suddenly becomes separated from his owner, a young boy. Ran spends days with a pig, chickens and cows, and they all join forces to work together.

While the real-life Ran passed away peacefully at the end of his natural life five years ago, many animals that were left behind in the region affected by the nuclear accident had starved to death.

Shiga said she cannot forget a pig emerging abruptly from a bush and coming close to her, as if it was pleased to have an encounter with a human, when she returned temporarily to Namie.

Her hope to console the souls of abandoned animals motivated her to work on the title.

Shiga finished a course at Fukushima University and once served as a Japanese language teacher in a junior high school in Fukushima Prefecture. But this was her first time creating an illustrated book.

Despite that, the publication received an enthusiastic response from readers. Muneyuki Sato, a renowned singer based in Sendai, said he “read it while shedding tears.”

In September this year, her second work, “Kaminari Ojisan” (Thunderbolt old man), illustrated by Kenji Tezuka, was released by Bungeisha for 1,100 yen, including tax.

It starts with the sound of wooden clappers made by the organizer of the “kamishibai” picture-card theater. Shiga said she ran to that kind of theater with pocket money in her hands during her childhood, every time she heard the unique clapping.

Reflecting the creator’s own days as a child in the eastern part of Fukushima Prefecture, the work portrays exchanges one summer between children and an old man offering kamishibai dramas in a somewhat mysterious ambience.

“Local acquaintances said the picture book rekindled fond memories from bygone days,” Shiga said shyly.

Shiga was born in 1940 and has lived in Saitama, Fukuoka, Fukushima, and Miyagi prefectures due to her father, who worked for the former Japanese National Railways, relocating several times for his job.

She said few children in distant Sakai know much about the nuclear accident.

“The catastrophe should not be forgotten,” said Shiga. “I want readers to understand such a thing can occur so long as nuclear plants exist on Earth.”

Speaking with friends of similar age from Fukushima Prefecture, Shiga cannot help but ask herself, “What have our lives been for?”

They spent their childhood days in the wake of World War II and worked hard, only to find themselves deprived of their normal lives by a nuclear disaster.

Shiga has yet to make up her mind on publishing her next book, but she said she has no plans to wait for her life to end just by doing nothing.

“I do not want to live dazed,” she said. “I will leave something as a legacy.”

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14485156?fbclid=IwAR3sJwolWaa9hkiymGJdI3VRRAMRscqz57o_hc8kNQvw7nDUwKhBuecy8JU

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Frozen Wall Section Fails

November 26, 2021

A section of the frozen wall at Fukushima Daiichi has melted. The portion south of unit 4 has had problems remaining fully frozen for years. Now TEPCO admits it has melted in recent weeks. This portion of the frozen wall has had issues for years. Recent changes to the nearby K drainage tunnel and a recently discovered crack may be redirecting water from an underground stream into the area of the frozen wall.

TEPCO found sections near the surface of the wall had fully melted. Puddled water was found nearby. The section is relatively small and didn’t impact the lower depths of the wall’s integrity.

TEPCO’s solution is to install steel piling sections between the K drainage canal and this section of the wall, hoping to deflect underground water. This steel wall will not be completely solid. Due to the nature of driving pilings into the ground, there could be gaps as wide as 10 cm.

Once the pilings are installed, TEPCO plans to monitor the area to make sure the problem has been resolved.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211126_16/

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

How Close Is Fukushima Nuclear Accident Contaminated Water to Us?

The increase in tritium concentration caused by Fukushima discharge over a decade.

Macroscopic and microscopic simulations of Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated water discharge.

On August26,  2021, the Japanese Cabinet passed a bill to discharge treated Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean to alleviate the problem of nuclear wastewater storage. However, large amounts of radionuclides can affect marine biological chains when inhaled by marine life and adversely influence marine fisheries and human health. The global effects of Fukushima discharge, which will last 30-40 years, remain unknown. Thus, identifying the diffusion process of radioactive water in oceans is critical.

To solve this problem, a team from Tsinghua University, China, developed analysis models from both macroscopic and microscopic perspectives, to simulate the diffusing process of the nuclear elements. The former one focuses on the overall distribution of pollutants, while the latter focuses on the behavior of individual pollutants.

Macro simulation results (Figure b) revealed that in the early stages of pollutant discharge, the polluted area increases rapidly, reaching 30° of latitude × 40° of longitude within 120 days. Due to ocean currents, the pollutant diffusion speed is considerably higher in the latitude direction than that in the longitude direction.

In 1200 days, the pollutants will cover almost the whole North Pacific region, reaching as far as the coast of North America to the east, and the Australia to the south. The pollutants will then spread rapidly to the South Pacific Ocean, under the influence of the equatorial current along the Panama Canal. The Indian Ocean will also be influenced, due to the waters infilling from north of Australia, in 2400 days. On day 3600, the pollutants will cover almost the entire Pacific Ocean.

Notably, although the contaminated water is discharged near the Japanese island, the contamination center (represented by yellow and red in Fig. b and c) will over time move eastward along the 35°N latitude line.

(a) Sub-processes of macroscopic and microscopic diffusion analyses and their relationships. Results of (b) macroscopic and (c) microscopic diffusion analyses for 1 unit relative concentration of approximately 29Bq/m3. (d) Variations in the pollutant concentration in the waters near the three coastal cities. (e) Comparison of the pollutant concentration curves by macro and micro methods. Credit: ©Science China Press

The team plotted the pollutant concentrations in adjacent waters of Miyazaki, Shanghai, and San Diego, all near 30°N, as shown in Figure d. Miyazaki gets polluted first, followed by Shanghai and San Diego, in order of their distances from Fukushima. According to the trend of the three curves, the pollutant concentration in each region increases rapidly at the beginning before stabilization. Although San Diego is the last city among the three to be affected, the steady-state concentration of pollutants in its adjacent waters is even higher than that near Miyazaki.

The differences in pollutant concentrations near Miyazaki, Shanghai, and San Diego result from the strong ocean current near Japan. Specifically, Fukushima is located at the confluence of Kuroshio (northward) and Oyashio (southward). Therefore, most pollutants do not migrate towards north and south along the land edges but spread eastward with the North Pacific west wind drift. In the early stage of treated water discharge, its impact on coastal Asia should be focused on. However, at a subsequent stage, the high concentration of nuclear elements near North America will definitely become a concern.

Reference: “Discharge of treated Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated water: macroscopic and microscopic simulations” by Yi Liu, Xue-Qing Guo, Sun-Wei Li, Jian-Min Zhang and Zhen-Zhong Hu 2021, 26 November 2021, National Science Review.
DOI: 10.1093/nsr/nwab209

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Nuclear Accident Discharge: Animation of Macroscopic Diffusion Analysis

2 déc. 2021

The increase in tritium concentration caused by Fukushima discharge over a decade. Credit: ©Science China Press

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Study: Fukushima discharge to affect entire Pacific Ocean in 10 years

An aerial image of tanks holding nuclear-contaminated water at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima, Japan, February 13, 2021.

03-Dec-2021

Chinese scientists have mapped out the potential global effects of Fukushima discharge, suggesting that the contaminated water, if poured forth, may sprawl onto the entire Pacific Ocean within 10 years.

The study, published online in the peer-reviewed journal National Science Review, showed that 3,600 days after discharge, the pollutants will have covered almost the entire Pacific Ocean.

The Japanese government announced in April that it would start dumping contaminated water from around the spring of 2023.

The researchers from China’s Tsinghua University led by Zhang Jianmin and Hu Zhenzhong simulated the diffusing process of nuclear elements and found that the pollutants could affect China’s coast 240 days after discharge.

The polluted water would spread to almost the entire North Pacific region within 1,200 days, before spreading southward to the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, according to the study.

The nuclear elements would eventually cause concern near North America, noticeably polluting the West coast of the United States after 2,400 days, it found. 

China has expressed serious concerns about Japan’s decision to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear station, calling for an open, transparent and responsible approach to prudently deal with its disposal.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-12-03/Study-Fukushima-discharge-to-affect-entire-Pacific-Ocean-in-10-years-15GVRMPB84w/index.html

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Tracking contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear accident

(a) Sub-processes of macroscopic and microscopic diffusion analyses and their relationships. Results of (b) macroscopic and (c) microscopic diffusion analyses for 1 unit relative concentration of approximately 29Bq/m3. (d) Variations in the pollutant concentration in the waters near the three coastal cities. (e) Comparison of the pollutant concentration curves by macro and micro methods. Credit: ©Science China Press

December 2, 2021

In a paper published in the National Science Review, a team from Tsinghua University analyzed the diffusion process of the treated Fukushima accident contaminated water to be discharged into the Pacific Ocean from 2023. Results show that the tritium, the main pollutant in the radioactive water, will spread to the whole North Pacific in 1200 days, which is important to formulate global coping strategies.

On 26 August 2021, the Japanese Cabinet passed a bill to discharge the treated water into the Pacific Ocean to alleviate the problem of nuclear wastewater storage. However, large amounts of radionuclides can affect marine biological chains and adversely influence marine fisheries and human health. The global effects of Fukushima discharge, which will last 30 to 40 years, remain unknown. Thus, identifying the diffusion process of radioactive water in oceans is critical.

To solve this problem, a team from Tsinghua University, China, developed analysis models from both macroscopic and microscopic perspectives, to simulate the diffusing process of the nuclear elements. The first focuses on the overall distribution of pollutant, while the second focuses on the behavior of the individual pollutant. Macro simulation results (Figure b) revealed that in the early stages of pollutant discharge, the polluted area increases rapidly, reaching 30 degrees of latitude × 40 degrees of longitude within 120 days. Due to ocean currents, the pollutant diffusion speed is considerably higher in the latitude direction than that in the longitude direction.

In 1200 days, the pollutants will cover almost the whole North Pacific region, reaching as far as the coast of North America to the east, and the Australia to the south. The pollutants will then spread rapidly to the South Pacific Ocean, under the influence of the equatorial current along the Panama Canal. The Indian Ocean will also be influenced, due to waters infilling from north of Australia, in 2400 days. On day 3600, the pollutants will cover almost the entire Pacific Ocean. Notably, although the contaminated water is discharged near the Japanese island, the contamination center (represented by yellow and red in Fig. b and c) will over time move eastward along the 35 degrees N latitude line.

The team plotted the pollutant concentrations in adjacent waters of Miyazaki, Shanghai and San Diego, all near 30 degrees N, as shown in Figure d. Miyazaki is polluted first, followed by Shanghai and San Diego, in order of their distances from Fukushima. According to the trend of the three curves, the pollutant concentration in each region increases rapidly at the beginning before stabilization. Although San Diego is the last city among the three to be affected, the steady-state concentration of pollutants in its adjacent waters is even higher than that near Miyazaki.

The differences in pollutant concentrations near Miyazaki, Shanghai and San Diego result from the strong ocean current near Japan. Specifically, Fukushima is located at the confluence of Kuroshio (northward) and Oyashio (southward). Therefore, most pollutants do not migrate towards north and south along the land edges but spread eastward with the North Pacific west wind drift. In the early stage of treated water discharge, its impact on the coastal Asia should be focused. However, at a subsequent stage, the high concentration of nuclear elements near North America will definitely become a concern.

More information: Yi Liu et al, Discharge of treated Fukushima nuclear accident contaminated water: macroscopic and microscopic simulations, National Science Review (2021). DOI: 10.1093/nsr/nwab209

https://phys.org/news/2021-12-tracking-contaminated-fukushima-nuclear-accident.html

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Explosive renewable energy growth in US — Beyond Nuclear International

US renewable share is triple that of nuclear power

Explosive renewable energy growth in US — Beyond Nuclear International

December 5, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment