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Workers Enter Fukushima Electrical Room In Socks, Get Contaminated

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June 25, 2019
This unusual event at Fukushima Daiichi took place in early June. Workers entered a 2nd floor electrical room in the unit 4 turbine building in their socks. The room holds electrical equipment for the nearby reverse osmosis water filtration system. The equipment in this room is all new, post disaster equipment. The room appears to be a “clean” area where they attempt to keep dust and contamination out of the room.
 
To keep the room clean, workers are expected to change into shoes placed for use in the electrical room to prevent dust and radioactive contamination from entering the room. Instead of switching shoes, five of the ten workers removed their shoes and entered in their socks. TEPCO reports the act of opening and closing the door allowed dust to enter the room. When the workers entered in their socks they picked up contaminated dust on their socks.
 
The contaminated socks were discovered as workers were scanned at the workers facility. The inside of the shoes they wore that day were contaminated. Everywhere they walked in their socks in the worker facility was also potentially contaminated. TEPCO had to track down the shoes these workers wore by scanning all shoes of those sizes until they found the contaminated ones.
 
TEPCO did not clarify if there was a lack of enough pairs of shoes or if they were not proper sizes to allow all of the workers to use them. TEPCO is now reviewing the shoe inventory for this room to assure there are enough available for workers to change shoes. Training and new notices about work processes are being added to avoid a repeat problem. Radioactive dust on site can contain insoluble microparticles and alpha radiation. These are an inhalation hazard as well as a problem of external exposure if they become attached to the skin or hair.
 
Read more: Simply Info
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June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Fukushima’s Three Nuclear Meltdowns Are “Under Control”: That’s a Lie

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by William Boardman / June 23rd, 2019

The implementation of the safe decommissioning of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station is a unique complex case and expected to span several decades: the IAEA Review Team considers that it will therefore require sustained engagement with stakeholders, proper knowledge management, and benefit from broad international cooperation.

– Report by IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) Review Team, January 30, 2019

The bland language of the official IAEA report is itself a form of lying, offering the false appearance of reassurance that a catastrophic event will be safely managed “for several decades.” There is no way to know that: it is a hope, a prayer, a form of denial. The IAEA, as is its job in a sense, offers this optimism that is unsupported by the realities at Fukushima.

On April 14, 2019, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visited the Fukushima meltdown site. According to The Asahi Shimbun’s headline, “Abe [was] pushing idea that Fukushima nuclear disaster is ‘under control’.” Abe entered the site wearing a business suit and no protective clothing to shield him from radiation. He stood on elevated ground about 100 meters from a building holding one of the melted-down reactors. He had his picture taken. He told reporters, “The decommissioning work has been making progress in earnest.” Abe’s visit lasted six minutes. This was a classic media pseudo-event, designed to be reported despite its lack of actual meaning – for all practical purposes it was another nuclear lie.

The entire Fukushima site remains radioactive at varying levels, from unsafe to lethal, depending on location. The site includes six reactors, three of them in meltdown, and at least as many fuel pools, some of which still contain fuel rods. The site has close to a thousand large storage tanks holding more than a million tons (roughly 264.5 million gallons) of radioactive wastewater.

The prime minister’s stage-managed visit placed him on a platform where the radiation level “exceeds 100 micro-sieverts per hour,” a low level but less than safe. That’s why Abe’s visit lasted only six minutes. Prolonged exposure to that level of radiation is not healthy. A year’s exposure to 100 micro-sieverts per hour would total 87,600 micro-sieverts in a year. How bad that would be is debatable. By way of illustration, even US regulations, not known for their stringency, allow American nuclear workers a maximum annual radiation exposure of 50,000 micro-sieverts.

Translation: the Prime Minister was posing in an area of dangerous radiation level and pretending it was all fine. Call it lying by photo op.

The first thing to know about the Fukushima meltdowns is that they are not even close to being over. The second thing to know about the Fukushima meltdowns is that no one really knows what’s going on, but officials routinely and falsely issue happy-talk reassurances that just aren’t true. The third thing to know about the Fukushima meltdowns is that they won’t be over for years, more likely decades, perhaps even ever.

Now, more than eight years after the triple reactor meltdown at Fukushima, the status of the three melted reactor cores remains somewhat contained but uncontrolled, with no end in sight. No one knows exactly where the melted cores are. No one has any clear idea of how to remove them or how to dispose of them safely. For the foreseeable future, the best anyone can do is keep the cores cooled with water and hope for the best. Water flowing into the reactors and cooling the cores is vital to preventing the meltdowns from re-initiating.

Clean groundwater continues to flow into the reactors. Then radioactive water flows out into the Pacific. Continuously. A frozen ice wall costing $309 million diverts much of the groundwater around the site to the Pacific Ocean. The water flow is not well measured. Some contaminated water is stored on site, but the site’s storage capacity of 1.37 million tons of radioactive water may be reached during 2020.

One proposed wastewater solution is to dilute the stored radioactive water and then dump it in the Pacific. Fukushima fishermen oppose this. Radioactivity in Fukushima fish has slowly declined since 2011, but the local fishing industry is only at 20 percent of pre-meltdown levels.

When it exists, reporting on Fukushima continues to be uneven and often shabby, buying into the official rosy view of the disaster, as The New York Times did on April 15. The day after Abe’s visit to Fukushima, the Times reported that an operation to begin removing fuel rods from a fuel pool was a “Milestone in Fukushima Nuclear Cleanup.” The Times, with remarkable incompetence, couldn’t distinguish clearly between the fuel pool and the melted reactor cores:

The operator of Japan’s ruined Fukushima nuclear power plant began removing radioactive fuel rods on Monday at one of three reactors that melted down after an earthquake and a tsunami in 2011, a major milestone in the long-delayed cleanup effort….

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power, said in a statement that workers on Monday morning began removing the first of 566 spent and unspent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s third reactor. A radiation-hardened robot had first located the melted uranium fuel inside the reactor in 2017.

That is such a botch. The fuel pool is a storage pool outside the reactor. It contains fuel rods that have NOT melted down. They could melt down if the pool loses its cooling water, but for now they’re stable. The fuel pool has nothing more to do with the melted reactor cores than proximity. The fuel pool is outside the reactor, the melted cores are somewhere near the bottom of the reactor. The melted cores are beyond any remediation for the foreseeable future. To pretend that the start of fuel rod removal is any kind of meaningful milestone while the three melted cores remain out of reach is really to distort the reality of Fukushima.

The summer Olympics are planned for Tokyo in 2020. In 2013, two years after the Fukushima meltdowns, Prime Minister Abe pitched the Tokyo site by telling the Olympic Committee in reference to Fukushima: “Let me assure you, the situation is under control.”

This was a lie.

Even now, no one knows where the melted reactor cores are precisely. One robot has made one contact so far. Radiation levels at the core are lethal. There is, as yet, no way to remove the cores safely. They think they’re going to remove the cores with robots, but the robots don’t yet exist. The disaster may not be as out of control as it was, but that’s about the best that can be honestly said, unless there’s another tsunami.

Official government statistics show pediatric cancers almost doubling since the Fukushima meltdowns of 2011. Thyroid cancers are reaching epidemic levels. The Japanese government refuses to track leukemia and other cancers. The official Fukushima death toll is more than 18,000, including 2,546 who have never been recovered. Most of Fukushima prefecture remains uninhabitable due to high radiation levels.

On March 21, 2019, Dr. Helen Caldicot offered an assessment much closer to the likely truth:

They will never, and I quote never, decommission those reactors. They will never be able to stop the water coming down from the mountains. And so, the truth be known, it’s an ongoing global radiological catastrophe which no one really is addressing in full.

The Japanese government doesn’t want to address Fukushima in full because it wants to re-start all its other nuclear power plants. TEPCO doesn’t want to address Fukushima in full because it wants to stay in business as long as the Japanese government is willing to make the company profitable with billions of dollars in bailouts. The IAEA and the rest of the nuclear industry don’t want to address Fukushima in full because they don’t want to see the over-priced, over-subsidized, and ultimately dangerous nuclear industry die from its own shortcomings. With billions of dollars at stake, who needs the truth?

https://dissidentvoice.org/2019/06/fukushimas-three-nuclear-meltdowns-are-under-control-thats-a-lie/

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Restoring crops and a sense of pride

The mayor of Okuma, home of the damaged nuclear power plant, has been in exile for eight years – here he writes about finally returning
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Okuma residents plant rice in an experimental field in May this year.
June 22, 2019
The residents of Okuma were among more than 150,000 people who were forced to flee their homes after the March 2011 triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. As one of the wrecked plant’s two host towns, Okuma was abandoned for eight years before authorities declared that radiation levels had fallen to safe levels, allowing residents to return. Even now, 60% of Okuma remains off limits, and only a tiny fraction of the pre-disaster population of 11,500 has returned since their former neighbourhoods were given the all clear in April. A month later, Okuma’s mayor, Toshitsuna Watanabe, and his colleagues returned to work at a new town hall. In his final diary for the Guardian, Watanabe reveals he has mixed feelings about being able to return to his family home.
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Okuma’s mayor, Toshitsuna Watanabe, stands outside his family home. He will move back soon after renovations are completed.
 
Toshitsuna Watanabe, mayor of Okuma
My family home is in the Ogawara neighbourhood of Okuma. The radiation levels there were deemed low enough for the government to lift the evacuation order for that part of the town in April this year, eight years after every single resident was forced to leave. My house, which stood empty for all that time, is being refurbished and I will be able to move back in August.
It’s a big old house and needs a lot of work. All of the walls and roof have to be removed as they were badly damaged in the earthquake. Other parts will have to be renovated. The workmen will also strengthen its foundations and rebuild the outer walls. It would have been cheaper and quicker to demolish the house and build a new one on the same plot of land. But I decided against that as I was determined to keep at least some of the house that my father built 60 years ago.
My father was always eager to learn. He studied new farming methods at university in Tokyo, and tried his hand at poultry farming and aquaculture, which were almost unheard of in those days. As his eldest son, I was expected to follow in his footsteps and work in agriculture. It seemed only natural to me that that’s what I would do.
I spent two years away from Okuma when I studied at an agricultural college in Sendai. My father and I had disagreements when I was young, but I eventually came round to his way of thinking about the importance of protecting our home and keeping it in the family. Now I say exactly the same thing to my son.
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Sunflowers grow in fields in Okuma that were used for crops before the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Photograph: Okuma town office
I like the Japanese saying seiko udoku – which means working in the fields when the sun is shining and staying at home reading when it rains. So when I finally return to my own home in Okuma, I’m going to get involved in farming again, but this time as a hobby.
Sunflowers grow in fields in Okuma that were used for crops before the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
 
The fields we own have been decontaminated, but because they haven’t been used for eight years they need to be restored to a state fit for growing crops. Eventually I’d like to keep chicken and sheep, and grow mushrooms. I get secretly excited whenever I think about it.
But the painful truth is that less than 4% of Okuma’s population can dream like that. The area where the other 96% of the population lived is still classed as “difficult to return to” because of radiation levels. It could take years to lift the evacuation order there, or it might not be lifted at all.
It breaks my heart to think that our residents have been divided into those who can come home and those who can’t. The latter must be tempted to think that they have been left behind while other people are able to return to their clean homes.
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Residents of Okuma dance during the O-bon summer festival in 2018, when they were able to visit their hometown but not stay there overnight.
 
A conversation I had with someone I know in the town left a real impression on me. She had been told that she could, in fact, return as long as she moved to a neighbourhood where the evacuation order had been lifted. But she said: “I don’t just want to return to Okuma; I want to return and live in my old house in Okuma.”
I know exactly how she feels, and so do the other people who want to return to Okuma. When I think about people in that predicament I can’t feel completely happy about my own situation.
From now on, we will try to revive our hometown in two ways. First, every single resident, including those who may have given up on ever living in Okuma again, will be able to return whenever they like. And second, we will build a town that will attract people who have never lived here.
We have always taken great pride in the hard work everyone put into building Okuma into a great place to live. I am sure that the same sense of pride will continue to help us as we rebuild our town and make it an even better place.
I will spend the rest of my life doing everything I can to get our old town back. My seiko udoku hobby can wait if necessary.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Get your fax right: Tepco workers accidentally spark Japan nuclear scare

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The No. 6 reactor at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, seen here, has remained shut for years amid a protracted safety vetting by the regulators.
June 20, 2019
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco) employees sparked a nuclear scare after a violent, late-night earthquake by ticking the wrong box on a fax form — inadvertently advising authorities that an accident had occurred when it had not.
The workers at Tepco, operator of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant in Niigata Prefecture where the strong quake struck, faxed a message to local authorities Tuesday night, seeking to allay any fears of damage.
But the Tepco employees accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form, mistakenly indicating there was an abnormality at the plant rather than that there was no problem.
One official filled out the form, and it was checked by a colleague before being sent.
Many government departments and companies in Japan still rely on fax machines for communication.
Tepco’s Tokyo headquarters noticed the mistake and a correction was published 17 minutes after the original release, the firm’s Tokyo-based spokesman said.
The mayor of Kashiwazaki city, Masahiro Sakurai, saw the incorrectly filled-out form and immediately directed staff to check what was happening.
The mayor hit out at Tepco, which also operates the Fukushima No 1 nuclear plant that suffered a catastrophic disaster when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.
“When a real earthquake is happening, not a drill, this is a massive error,” Sakurai told local reporters, according to the Mainichi Shimbun daily.
“It is extremely poor on their part to make errors in the most important and basic information at a time of crisis,” he said, according to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
Tepco apologized and vowed not to repeat the mistake.
The late-night quake prompted a tsunami advisory, but only small ripples of 10 centimeters (three inches) were recorded.
The government said up to 26 people were injured — two seriously, although their injuries were not life-threatening.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Court rejects call to revoke approval for nuclear reactor restarts

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Kyushu Electric Power’s Sendai nuclear power plant
June 18, 2019
FUKUOKA – A district court said Monday it had found no illegality in safety clearance granted for two nuclear reactors in southwestern Japan that restarted after the 2011 Fukushima crisis, dismissing a demand by local residents and others seeking retraction of the permission.
A total of 33 plaintiffs filed the lawsuit over a license issued by regulators for design changes to the Nos. 1 and 2 units at Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture, under tougher post-Fukushima safety regulations.
The two units were the first to restart among the commercial reactors that went offline in the wake of the nuclear disaster. The plaintiffs argued regulators gave the green light without sufficiently assessing the potential risk of eruptions at nearby Mt Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture and four other volcanoes.
But, in the first ruling of its kind, the Fukuoka District Court concluded the license issued by the Nuclear Regulation Authority was not illegal.
“Japanese laws on nuclear power do not go so far as requiring (regulators) to consider the impact of a catastrophic volcanic eruption that is impossible to predict and highly unlikely to occur,” Presiding Judge Moriharu Kurasawa said.
But Kurasawa acknowledged there were some “doubts” over the NRA’s volcanic risk assessment standard, given that methodology to accurately assess volcanic activity is yet to be established.
The plaintiffs, from a total of 10 prefectures, are considering appealing the ruling. Kyushu Electric said it viewed the ruling as “appropriate” and will continue to work to ensure the safety of the reactors.
During the trial, authorities said the rules were rational based on the latest analysis and there was nothing wrong with the approval process.
The plaintiffs, meanwhile, argued it is difficult to predict exactly when an eruption could occur and how big it could be, and the current safety standards on volcanoes underestimate their impact.
“It is regrettable,” Ryoko Torihara, a 70-year-old plaintiff from Kagoshima Prefecture, said after the ruling, adding, “The lessons of the nuclear accident (in Fukushima) have not been learned.”
Another plaintiff said, “The frequency of a catastrophic eruption may be low, but it could happen tomorrow. I’m very disappointed that the ruling appears to be just following (what) the state (wants to do).”
While the government is aiming to bring reactors back online after the triple reactor core meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi complex led to a nationwide halt of nuclear plants, a number of lawsuits have been filed in the hope of stopping the drive.
The Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at the Sendai plant were rebooted in August and October 2015, respectively, after securing the license in September 2014.
A suit demanding an injunction to halt the Sendai reactors was rejected by the Kagoshima District Court in April 2015, a decision upheld by the Miyazaki branch of the Fukuoka High Court in April 2016.
Volcanic hazards have been a major concern in regard to nuclear plant operations, with similar injunction requests filed elsewhere.
The Hiroshima High Court in December 2017 halted the planned restart of the No. 3 unit at Shikoku Electric Power Co’s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture with a provisional injunction, citing the potential hazard from Mt Aso, around 130 kilometers away.
But the court later accepted an appeal by the utility to reactivate the reactor, saying worries over a volcanic eruption damaging the unit were “groundless.”
The Saga District Court in March 2018 rejected local residents’ demand to suspend the planned restart of two reactors at Kyushu Electric’s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture due to the risk of a volcanic eruption in the region.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

How Work To Remove A Radioactive Tower At Fukushima Daiichi Went Wrong

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June 12, 2019
Measure twice, cut once.
 
Work to remove the highly contaminated units 1-2 vent tower at Fukushima Daiichi took an unfortunate turn last month. The cutting rig had been tested at one of the research facilities and was determined ready to use. When the equipment was assembled on site and work was to commence, it was discovered the crane and cutting rig could not be lifted high enough to place it in the vent tower stack.
 
With the work now on hold, contractors involved tried to determine what went wrong. Three issues were found that created the cascading error.
 
The cables that attach the cutting rig to the crane were longer in real life than they were in the on paper design. This caused the cutting rig to sit 3 meters too low.
 
The crane being used on site was slightly different than what was assumed on paper, this impacted the height the rig could be lifted to.
 
The engineering survey of the site and ensuing blueprints incorrectly interpreted the total height of the tower by 1 meter. This was due to portions of the base and attachment of the vent tower on site being miscalculated. The base of the tower is obscured by concrete slabs and other shielding put in place after the extent of the dangerous radiation in the tower was better understood.
 
The solution to part of the problem is to position the crane closer to the tower. This requires the addition of gravel fill to the area to provide the crane a elevated area to sit upon.
 
The series of miscalculations will cause the work to cut down the vent tower to be delayed until late July 2019.
 
Read more: simply Info

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

Voices of Fukushima power plant disaster victims strengthens call to ban nuclear energy

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Two IAEA experts examine recovery work on top of Unit 4 of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on 17 April 2013 as part of a mission to review Japan’s plans to decommission the facility.
June 6, 2019
[ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] Japanese parish priests shared stories of suffering from victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster at an International Forum for a Nuclear-Free World held in Sendai, Japan, last week. A joint statement from the forum, due out next month, is expected to strengthen the call for a worldwide ban on nuclear energy and encourage churches to join in the campaign.
The forum, organised by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK) – the Anglican Communion in Japan – follows the NSKKs General Synod resolution in 2012 calling for an end to nuclear power plants and activities to help the world go nuclear free.
The disaster in 2011 followed a massive earthquake and tsunami which caused a number of explosions in the town’s coastal nuclear power station and led to widespread radioactive contamination and serious health and environmental effects. The Chair of the forum’s organising committee, Kiyosumi Hasegawa, said: “We have yet to see an end to the damage done to the people and natural environment by the meltdown of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. I do think this man-made disaster will haunt countless people for years to come. We still see numerous people who wish to go back to their hometowns but are unable to. We also have people who have given up on ever going home.”
One pastor, Dr Naoya Kawakami, whose church was affected by the tsunami and is the General Secretary of the Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network, Touhoku HELP, explained how he had supported sufferers in the aftermath and heard from priests supporting the survivors. He said: “I have been more than 700 times to meet with more than 180 mothers and about 20 fathers, all of whom have seen abnormalities in their children since 2011. . . Thyroid cancer has been found in more than 273 children and many mothers are in deep anxiety.
“The more the situation worsens, the more pastors become aware of their important role. The role is to witness . . . pastors who have stayed in Fukushima with the ‘voiceless survivors’ are showing us the church as the body of Jesus’s resurrection, with wounds and weakness . . . sufferers are usually in voiceless agony and most people never hear them.”
The forum was attended by bishops, clergy and lay representatives from each diocese, together with representatives from the US-based Episcopal Church, USPG, the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, the Diocese of Taiwan, the Anglican Church of Korea, and also ecumenical guests. International experts took part, along with local clergy who shared individual stories from those directly affected by the disaster.
Keynote lecturer Prof Dr Miranda Schreurs, from the Technische Universität München in Germany, launched the forum at Tohoku Diocese’s Cathedral, Sendai Christ Church. The professor currently serves as a member of the Ethic Commission for Safe Energy Supply and significantly influenced Germany’s nuclear free energy policy. Other speakers included the Bishop of Taiwan, David Jun Hsin Lai, and Amos Kim Kisuk from the Anglican Church of Korea.
During the week delegates from outside Japan visited sites and towns near the nuclear power plant. They also visited St John’s Church Isoyama and “Inori no Ie” (House of Prayer) in Shinchi, Fukushima, to offer prayers for all the victims of the disaster.
The NSKK Partners-in-Mission Secretary, Paul Tolhurst, said the visit to Fukushima had brought home the reality of the situation for local people. “Driving past the power station and seeing the ghost town around us as the Geiger counter reading kept going up is something I won’t forget”, he said. “It was like the town time forgot – they still seem to be living the incident, while the rest of Japan has moved on.”
Arguing for an end to nuclear power, NSKK priest John Makito Aizawa said: “Both religiously and ethically, we cannot allow nuclear power plants to continue running. They produce deadly waste, which we have no way of processing into something safe.
“More than 100,000 years are necessary for the radiation of such deadly waste to diminish to the level that it was in the original uranium. This alone is a strong enough reason to prohibit nuclear power plants. Insistence on restarting nuclear power plants seems to come from the insistence on getting more and more money and profit.”
He added: “I am no scientist or engineer of nuclear power generation. I am no expert. Still, as Christians, and to live as humans, I am certain this is an issue we cannot afford to ignore.”
The forum’s statement is expected to call for a goal of conversion to renewable sources of energy and set out ways to build a network to take forward denuclearization and how the church can play its part.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

No Damages to Nuclear Plants after 6.8 Magnitude Earthquake ‘according’ to TEPCO and Trade Ministry

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No Damages To Nuclear Power Plants Reported After Earthquake In Japan – Trade Ministry
June 18, 2019
No damages have been reported so far on Japan’s nuclear power plants after the north of the country got hit by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said
MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 18th June, 2019) No damages have been reported so far on Japan’s nuclear power plants after the north of the country got hit by a 6.8 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said.
“There is no information of damage inflicted on the following Nuclear Power Stations (all in shutdown or in decommissioning). Tokyo Electric Power: Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant / Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant / Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Plant, Tohoku Electric Power: Higashidori Nuclear Power Plant / Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant,” the ministry said on Twitter.
 
No impact from the earthquake on primary TEPCO power facilities
June 19, 2019
At around 10:22 PM on June 18th, a 6.7 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.
Field patrols at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power stations did not find any abnormalities with equipment at any of the stations. And, no abnormalities were found in monitoring post or plant parameter data.
There was also no impact from this earthquake on other primary TEPCO power facilities, such as hydroelectric power facilities and transmission facilities in Niigata Prefecture.

June 20, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Nuclear washing machine for soil decontamination?

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Technology to clean radioactive contaminated soil
Tuesday, June 18, 15:14
Japanese researchers say they have developed technology to clean soil contaminated by radioactive fallout from accidents at nuclear power plants.
Waseda University Professor Masahiko Matsukata and his team developed the technology.
The technology involves removing the contaminated particles of soil by adding a special chemical to high-pressure water that is used to clean the soil.
The researchers say their technology needs less electricity and chemicals than conventional methods, reducing costs by more than two-thirds.
Large volumes of soil affected by the fallout from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident have been removed during decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture.
The government aims to bring the soil to intermediate storage facilities and lower the concentration of pollutants or recycle it so that the amount of soil for final disposal will be reduced.
The Waseda team plans to use soil from such intermediate storage facilities in testing its technology before it can put it to practical use.
Matsukata said the team has proven that its technology can reduce the volume of contaminated dirt at low costs. He said he aims to further test the technology and put it into practice in the affected areas.

June 20, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | 1 Comment

Torchbearer application for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay opens Monday

The first 3 days of the 2020 Olympic Torch Relay to start and go thru Fukushima prefecture.
Quote from Robin Lawrence: “The route seems like a ridiculously cynical one. Doublespeak played out before a watching world.
No one would conduct such a relay in the Chernobyl exclusion zone but this? The IOC, the Japanese government and the UN hierarchy would endorse turning a blind eye into farce.
The civilisation that this symbolism represents exhibits no heart or care for our future wellbeing. A facile attitude.”
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Torchbearer application for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay opens Monday
The torchbearer application for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay opened Monday, which is the relay that brings the Olympic flame from Olympia, Greece, to Tokyo, Japan, for the beginning of the Summer Games.
June 17th 2019
Megan Marples and Katia Hetter, CNN – The torchbearer application for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay opened Monday, which is the relay that brings the Olympic flame from Olympia, Greece, to Tokyo, Japan, for the beginning of the Summer Games.
About 10,000 torchbearers, half of which will be members of the public, will wind their way through all 47 Japanese prefectures to safely deliver the flame to the Olympic cauldron.
Each leg of the relay is about 200 meters (656 feet), although one leg could be longer than the other. The route was designed to be easily accessible for almost everyone in Japan, with 98% of the population being within an hour car or train ride away from the route.
The relay will begin on March 26, 2020, at the J-Village National Training Centre in Fukushima Prefecture and will last 121 days.
The application says that all people are eligible to apply, regardless of nationality, age, gender or impairment. Applicants must be born on or before April 1, 2008. Children 17 and younger on March 1, 2020, will need a parent or guardian’s permission to participate.
“In 2020, the Olympic flame will not only symbolize the sunrise of a new era spreading the hope that will light our way, but will also serve to spread the joy and passion of the Japanese around the Olympic movement as the Games approach,” the Tokyo Organising Committee said in a statement.
Three categories are outlined in the application to describe the selection approach.
The first is “spirit of reconstruction and perseverance,” which applies to people who have demonstrated the ability to overcome great adversity.
The second category is “tolerance to embrace diversity” for people who have united a diverse group of individuals.
The third category is “unity experienced through the celebration” for people who can bring together a community by acting as torchbearers.
In honor of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, there will be a special display called “Flame of Recovery” before the official relay begins. It will begin on March 20, 2020, and last for two days each in the Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures.
Daisuke Obana, the torch relay uniform designer, commented on the significance of the display.
“In Japan, these Games are being referred to as ‘the Recovery Games’ and so the Olympic flame will start its journey from an area affected by recent natural disasters. I hope that the Olympic flame that is transported to Japan will bring with it the encouragement and thoughts of people from all over the world,” Obana said in a statement.
Application details can be found here. Successful applicants will be notified on or after December 2019.

June 20, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | 1 Comment

First 3 Days of 2020 Olympic Torch Relay Race Route Thru Fukushima

olympic torch race relay course

 

By Kolin Kobayashi
June 19, 2019
The Tokyo Olympic Committee has published the Olympic torch relay race route. It is clear that they are trying to “normalize”, and sweep “the traces of the Fukushima disaster.
The Tokyo Olympics are the denial of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. We will not let them do this unopposed.

June 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Researchers Find Radioactive Particles from Fukushima or other Nuclear Disasters Could Stay in Environment, Human Lungs for Decades

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Aftermath of the Fukushima 2011 earthquake.
June 17, 2019
Q&A with Professor Rodney C. Ewing, Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security and co-director at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). Interview with Katy Gabel Chui.
Your previous research with this team helped identify the types of radioactive particles that can become airborne and were transported away from Fukushima during the 2011 nuclear disaster.
This most recent paper goes further to show how these Cesium (Cs)-rich silica particles behave in several types of fluids, including simulated human lung fluid, concluding that the particles are fully dissolved in the latter after more than 35 years. What might that mean for human health in the Fukushima area and beyond?
The first breakthrough was the recognition that such particles, a few microns in diameter, existed, a discovery by Japanese scientists at the Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, in 2013. The particles are important because they were dispersed over distances of tens of kilometers and were “carriers” of highly radioactive Cs. Our team’s previous work, led by Professor Satoshi Utsunomiya, mainly focused on the characterization of the particles and their constituents at the atomic-scale and surveyed their distribution in the area away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants. Our earliest work from 2016 can be found online. A good summary of the history of the work on these cesium-rich microparticles was recently published in Scientific American.
This latest paper published in Chemosphere is the 6th in a series of papers on the Cs-rich microparticles. We describe the behavior of these particles when exposed to different types of fluids: ultra-pure water, artificial sea water and simulated lung fluid. The microparticles dissolve in all three fluids, reaching a long-term but a continuing, slow rate of release after just three days. Essentially, the calculated release rate of cesium depends on the rate of dissolution of the silica glass matrix and the initial size of the particles. In the simulated lung fluid, the particles are modelled to fully dissolve after more than 35 years.
What is the simulated lung fluid made of, and how does it work in simulation? How do you estimate 35 years?
The constituents of typical lung fluid were simply mixed to simulate its composition based on a recipe reported by previous studies. The lung fluid is different from the other solutions because it contains organic compounds and has a different chemistry, i.e., higher sodium and chlorine content. The estimates of residence time in the body assumes that the particles are inhaled and find their way to the pulmonary system. The calculation of residence time is based on assumptions about the size and composition of the microparticles, and we used the long-term release rate from the experiments. We assumed a spherical shape and a constant decrease in size as the leaching process continued. The rate can vary depending on the actual shape, internal texture, composition (such as occurrence of intrinsic Cs-phase inclusions), and precipitation of secondary phases that may form a “protective” coating on the cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs). The rate of release was fastest in the simulated lung fluid.
The important result is to realize that the Cs-rich silica particles dissolve slowly in the environment and in the body. Essentially, the release extends for several decades.
How can nuclear energy experts and policy makers use this research to avoid future risk?
Understanding the form and composition of materials that host and disperse radionuclides is the first step in completing a careful dose calculation. Based on these results, the fraction of Cs contained in the silica particles will not be rapidly “flushed” through the environment or the body, but rather will be released over several decades.

June 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

Children and Youth Thyroid Cancer Cases in Fukushima and East Japan

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By Mari Inoue
June 17, 2019
OurPlanet-TV, an alternative media, is probably the only media in Japan that has been closely monitoring thyroid cancer cases among children and youth in Fukushima and East Japan.
It is sad to learn that thyroid cancers among children outside Fukushima Prefecture are already reported. OurPlanet-TV reports that 9 thyroid cancer cases were already found among children in Tokyo and 7 cases each in Saitama and Kanagawa Prefectures, and 6 cases in Miyagi Prefecture, according to the data from “3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer”, an NPO that provide financial aid to families of children who were 18 or younger at the time of the nuclear accident in 2011.
 
Info on 3.11 Fund for Children with Thyroid Cancer is here: https://311kikin.org/english
fbclid=IwAR1geAYvJdadKYdExEx5ABRObrYub6VeSclAJXEp–6Jqa7jwRjr6RoDsp0

June 19, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , | Leave a comment

AECOM signs agreement with Toshiba to perform nuclear decommissioning services in Japan

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The signing of the collaboration agreement. From left to right: Dan Brouillette, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy; Mark Whitney, Executive Vice President and General Manager for AECOM’s Nuclear & Environment strategic business unit; Goro Yanase, Chief Nuclear Officer, Toshiba ESS; and Taizo Takahashi, Commissioner, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE).
June 17, 2019
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–
The partnership will expand access to the key Asian market that is valued at $50 billion and further underscores AECOM’s leading nuclear decontamination and decommissioning capabilities
AECOM (ACM), a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, and Toshiba have signed an Alliance Agreement to work together on decommissioning nuclear reactors in Japan. This is a major step forward that combines AECOM’s 30 years of experience in nuclear decommissioning with Toshiba’s long history of supporting the nuclear industry. The alliance will offer comprehensive services to Japanese government organizations and commercial power utilities that plan to decommission their reactors and nuclear facilities.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190617005844/en/
“We are proud to be in an Alliance with such a respected company and excited about marketing our collective capabilities to the Japanese government and utilities,” said Michael S. Burke, AECOM’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We believe this Alliance has the right experience, capabilities, skill mix and resources to meet the needs of this nuclear cleanup market. We have had tremendous success in nuclear decommissioning for the U.S. Department of Energy and the UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, as well as commercial clients around the world, and we look forward to supporting the Japanese utilities through this Alliance.”
AECOM is the market leader in the U.S. and U.K. for managing high-hazard, complex nuclear decommissioning programs. This includes work for the U.S. Department of Energy at key sites, such as Hanford, Savannah River, Oak Ridge and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. AECOM also is a leader in the U.K. decommissioning market with major contracts at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority facilities at Dounreay and the Low Level Waste Repository. Including the Company’s work for commercial nuclear utilities, such as at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California, AECOM is viewed as a world leader in this expanding clean-up market. Combining AECOM‘s expertise with the local knowledge and capabilities of Toshiba, the Company can expand the full range of required decommissioning services to Japan.
“We are excited to partner with Toshiba and further expand our expertise in the nuclear D&D market,” said John Vollmer, AECOM’s president of its Management Services group. “In addition to our ongoing work at key U.S. Department of Energy sites and our recent selection for the $400 million Dounreay decommissioning framework, our teams have demonstrated a high level of success as we continue to expand our share within this high-growth market.”
Within the nuclear decommissioning sector, AECOM provides program management; planning, design and engineering; systems engineering and technical assistance; construction and construction management; operations and maintenance; environmental remediation; waste management and decommissioning, dismantling and closure services to a broad range of clients.
About AECOM
AECOM (ACM) is built to deliver a better world. We design, build, finance and operate critical infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations. As a fully integrated firm, we connect knowledge and experience across our global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, our work is transformative, differentiated and vital. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM had revenue of approximately $20.2 billion during fiscal year 2018. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at aecom.com and @AECOM.

June 19, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

NRA safety license for Sendai reactors legal, Fukuoka court finds, dismissing volcano risk lawsuit

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“The plaintiffs argued the Nuclear Regulation Authority gave the green light without sufficiently assessing the potential risk of eruptions at nearby Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture and four other volcanoes.”
June 17, 2019
FUKUOKA – A district court said on Monday it found nothing illegal with a safety clearance granted to two reactors in Kyushu that were restarted after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, dismissing a demand for a retraction filed by plaintiffs who said it ignored the risk of volcanic eruptions.
The lawsuit was filed by 33 plaintiffs against a license authorizing design changes at reactors 1 and 2 at the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kagoshima Prefecture under tougher post-Fukushima safety regulations.
They were the first commercial reactors in the nation to be restarted after the crisis.
The plaintiffs argued the Nuclear Regulation Authority gave the green light without sufficiently assessing the potential risk of eruptions at nearby Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture and four other volcanoes.
In the first ruling of its kind, the Fukuoka District Court concluded the license issued was not illegal.
“Japanese laws on nuclear power do not go so far as to require that regulators consider the impact of a catastrophic volcanic eruption that is impossible to predict and highly unlikely to occur,” Judge Moriharu Kurasawa said.
But Kurasawa acknowledged there were “doubts” over the NRA’s standard for volcanic risk assessment, given no methodology exists for accurately assessing volcanic activity.
Kyushu Electric Power Co. described the ruling as “appropriate,” but the plaintiffs, who came from 10 prefectures, said they might appeal.
During the trial, authorities said that the rules were rational based on the latest analysis and that there was nothing wrong with the approval process.
The plaintiffs argued it is difficult to predict exactly when an eruption could occur and how big it could be, and said current safety standards underestimate their impact.
“It is regrettable,” plaintiff Ryoko Torihara, 70, of Kagoshima Prefecture said after the ruling. “The lessons of the nuclear accident have not been learned.”
Another plaintiff said, “The frequency of a catastrophic eruption may be low, but it could happen tomorrow. I’m very disappointed that the ruling appears to be just following (what) the state (wants to do).”
While the government is aiming to bring dozens of reactors back online after the triple reactor core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 complex led to a nationwide suspension of nuclear power, a number of lawsuits have been filed to stop the drive.
The two reactors at the Sendai plant were rebooted in August and October 2015, respectively, after the license was issued in September 2014.
A suit demanding an injunction to halt them was rejected by the Kagoshima District Court in April 2015, a decision that was upheld by the Miyazaki branch of the Fukuoka High Court in April 2016.
Volcanic hazards have been a major concern in regard to nuclear plant operations, with similar injunction requests filed elsewhere.
The Hiroshima High Court in December 2017 halted the restart of the No. 3 unit at Shikoku Electric Power Co.’s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture with a provisional injunction, citing the potential hazard from Mount Aso, around 130 km away.
But the court later accepted an appeal by the utility to reactivate it, saying worries over a volcanic eruption damaging the unit were “groundless.”
In March 2018, the Saga District Court rejected a demand by residents to suspend the restart of two reactors at Kyushu Electric’s Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture due to the risk of a volcanic eruption in the region.

June 19, 2019 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment