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Japanese Citizens Reject Government Plan to Use Soil Contaminated by Fukushima

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June 18, 2018
Japanese residents are fighting a government proposal to use soil contaminated with radiation from the area of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant for agriculture and road construction.
On June 3, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment released the outline of its plan to use soil contaminated by the nuclear accident that occured in March 2011 after a tsunami caused the facility’s power supply and emergency generators to fail. As a result of the power failure, meltdowns occurred in three reactors, resulting in the release of radioactive material. 
In 2011 after the accident, Japan enacted a law that allows the government to use contaminated waste from the Fukushima site for public purposes, Osamu Inoue, environmental law partner at Ushijima & Partners in Tokyo, recently told Bloomberg BNA.
According to the ministry’s plan, the contaminated soil will be used to grow horticultural crops in Fukushima Prefecture that won’t be consumed by humans. In a similar plan released in 2017, the ministry also suggested that contaminated soil be used for road construction.
However, the use of contaminated soil for road construction and agriculture has been heavily criticized by residents living in close proximity to the project locations with safety concerns.
“Pollutants contained in crops will surely pollute air, water and soil, thereby contaminating food to be consumed by human beings,” Kazuki Kumamoto, professor emeritus at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo, told Bloomberg Environment. Kumamoto also noted that contaminated crops could release radiation into the environment.
According to Kumamoto, because contaminated soil isn’t considered nuclear waste under Japanese law, it doesn’t have to be treated by special facilities. While the International Atomic Energy Agency’s standard for contamination radioactive waste that needs to be treated by special facilities is 100 becquerels per kilogram, the Japanese limit is much higher, at 8,000 becquerels per kilogram for nuclear waste and soil.
“The relaxed benchmark is one factor triggering safety concerns among residents,” Nagasaki told Bloomberg Environment earlier this month. 
“The government is saying that the contaminated soil will be covered by materials such as concrete, effectively reducing radiation levels, but many residents near the reuse projects aren’t convinced,” he added.
In addition, more than 2,300 property owners in the areas where the projects are expected to take place are declining government offers to sell their land because they don’t believe they are being compensated appropriately, Yoshiharu Monma, chairman of the Association of Landowners in Fukushima Prefecture, recently told Bloomberg. According to Monma, the government is only agreeing to compensate property owners for half of what the land was worth before the 2011 disaster if the land is to be used for interim storage facilities.
“This is totally unfair and, as much as the landowners are willing to sell their land to facilitate the government’s decontamination plans, they won’t do so until the government fixes such compensation discrepancies,” Monma noted.
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June 22, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Blowback Over Japanese Plan to Reuse Tainted Soil From Fukushima

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June 14, 2018
By Brian Yap
Japan’s plan to reuse soil contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant accident for agriculture is sparking something of its own nuclear reaction.
Residents and other critics don’t want any part of it.
“Pollutants contained in crops will surely pollute air, water and soil, thereby contaminating food to be consumed by human beings,” Kazuki Kumamoto, professor emeritus at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo told Bloomberg Environment. Contaminated crops “could trigger the release of radiation.”
The Ministry of the Environment released its latest plan June 3 for reusing the soil as part of a decontamination project associated with the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. The accident occurred after a tsunami disabled the facility’s power supply and caused its emergency generators to fail, leading to meltdowns in three reactors, hydrogen-air explosions, and the release of radioactive material.
The ministry’s plan calls for using the soil to develop farmland in Fukushima Prefecture for horticultural crops that won’t be consumed by humans, the June 3 document said. It builds on the ministry’s 2017 plan to use the contaminated soil for road construction.
Japan enacted a law in 2011 to respond to the Fukushima accident that provides for post-disaster measures and enables the government to reuse contaminated waste for public works and other purposes, with roads themselves being disposal sites, Osamu Inoue, environmental law partner at Ushijima & Partners in Tokyo, told Bloomberg BNA.
Safety issues
The reuse projects for road construction and agricultural land have met heavy opposition from residents living close to where such projects have been planned, according to Akira Nagasaki, environmental law partner at City-Yuwa Partners in Tokyo.
Key among their concerns are the changes Japan made to its benchmark.
Contaminated soil isn’t classified as nuclear waste under the law and therefore isn’t required to be treated by special facilities, Kumamoto said. That’s because Japan relaxed its benchmark, based on one set by the International Atomic Energy Agency, for determining at what level of contamination radioactive waste must be treated and disposed using more protective measures.
The international agency standard is 100 becquerel, a measure of radioactivity, per kilogram. Japan revised its limit to 8,000 becquerel per kilogram for nuclear waste and soil, exempting a greater amount of contaminated soil from strict treatment requirements and allowing it to be reused for public works projects and agricultural land.
 
“The relaxed benchmark is one factor triggering safety concerns among residents,” Nagasaki told Bloomberg Environment June 8. He added that the government has been promoting its plan to put contaminated soil back to earth, which seems contrary to the former process of removing it.
“The government is saying that the contaminated soil will be covered by materials such as concrete, effectively reducing radiation levels, but many residents near the reuse projects aren’t convinced,” he said.
The government’s original scheme set in 2012, Kumamoto said, was to have the contaminated areas in Fukushima Prefecture completely cleaned up in 30 years, with the tainted soil that had been temporarily stored offsite moved to interim storage facilities near the Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Plant.
Thirty-six of the prefecture’s 59 cities and townships are included in the government’s decontamination plan, environment ministry statistics show. Contaminated soil temporarily stored outside the areas closest to the Fukushima No. 1 plant was supposed to have been moved to interim storage facilities on land nearest the nuclear site by 2015 and kept there for 30 years.
Unfair Compensation
Another concern is how the government plans to compensate the owners of the land where these sites would be located.
Most of the more than 2,300 property owners in the area have refused to sell their land to the government for the storage sites because they don’t think they’re being fairly compensated, said Yoshiharu Monma, chairman of the Association of Landowners in Fukushima Prefecture.
The government agreed to compensate the owners for what the land was worth before the 2011 disaster if that property was to be used for the temporary storage sites, Monma said. But if the land has been designated for interim storage facilities, the government will only pay half of its value before the disaster.
“This is totally unfair and, as much as the landowners are willing to sell their land to facilitate the government’s decontamination plans, they won’t do so until the government fixes such compensation discrepancies,” Monma added.

June 22, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , , | Leave a comment

The penultimate storage of contaminated waste

From Pierre Fetet Fukushima Blog, translation Hervé Courtois
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Contaminated waste storage in Minamisoma in 2012 next to a primary school
 
 
On 28 October, nuclear waste was temporarily stockpiled at a site that is expected to be the penultimate (perhaps the last and perpetual) site in the cities of Ōkuma and Futaba, where the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is located.
 
The bottom of a large storage basin was lined with waterproof canvas to prevent groundwater pollution. The rainwater collected at the bottom will be purified by a machine and released into the rivers. This storage area covers an area of 16,000 hectares, but constitutes only 39% of the planned land. It is difficult to get the agreement of the landowners.
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On this land, an incinerator will be built for the uprooted plants and felled trees, and a storage area for highly radioactive ashes. According to the law, the government has promised that after 30 years (before 2045) this storage will have to be moved out of the Fukushima Prefecture, but nobody of course believes it, because no one will accept these dangerous installations near his house.
 
In Fukushima, 15.2 million cubic meters of contaminated soil are temporarily stored on sports fields, in car parks and even in private gardens. According to the plan, most of this contaminated land will be transported to the new storage site by 2020.
 
 
 

February 5, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan ponders recycling Fukushima soil for public parks & green areas

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Workers move big black plastic bags containing radiated soil. Fukushima prefecture, near Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Soil from the Fukushima prefecture may be used as landfill for the creation of “green areas” in Japan, a government panel has proposed, facing potential public backlash over fears of exposure to residual radiation from the decontaminated earth.

The advisory panel of the Environment Ministry on Monday proposed reusing soil that was contaminated during the Fukushima nuclear meltdown of 2011 as part of future landfills designated for public use, Kyodo news reported

In its proposal, the environmental panel avoided openly using the word “park” and instead said “green space,” apparently to avoid a premature public outcry, Mainichi Shimbun reported.

Following an inquiry from the news outlet, the Ministry of the Environment clarified that “parks are included in the green space.”

In addition to decontaminating and recycling the tainted earth for new parks, the ministry also stressed the need to create a new organization that will be tasked with gaining public trust about the prospects of such modes of recycling.

To calm immediate public concerns, the panel said the decontaminated soil will be used away from residential areas and will be covered with a separate level of vegetation to meet government guidelines approved last year.

In June last year, the Ministry of the Environment decided to reuse contaminated soil with radioactive cesium concentration between 5,000 to 8,000 becquerels per kilogram for public works such as nationwide roads and tidal banks.

Under these guidelines, which can now be extended to be used for the parks, the tainted soil shall be covered with clean earth, concrete or other materials.

Such a landfill, the government said at the time, will not cause harm to nearby residents as they will suffer exposure less than 0.01 mSv a year after the construction is completed.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant suffered a blackout and subsequent failure of its cooling systems in March 2011, when it was hit by an earthquake and a killer tsunami that knocked out the facility, spewing radiation and forcing 160,000 people to flee their homes. Three of the plant’s six reactors were hit by meltdowns, making the Fukushima nuclear disaster the worst since the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986.

https://www.rt.com/news/382515-japan-recycling-fukushima-soil/#.WNoJ3cpBs98.facebook

Gov’t proposes reusing Fukushima’s decontaminated soil on green land

The Environment Ministry on Monday proposed reusing decontaminated soil from disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture as landfill for parks and green areas.

At a meeting of an advisory panel, the ministry also called for launching a new organization to map out plans on how to gain public understanding about the reuse of decontaminated soil, ministry officials said.

The proposals come at a time when Fukushima Prefecture faces a shortage of soil due to the decontamination work following the 2011 nuclear meltdown.

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2017/03/465656.html

 

March 28, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Only 20% of planned waste site secured

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Six years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the government has secured only 20 percent of the site planned for intermediate facilities to store contaminated waste, such as soil.

The environment ministry plans to build the facilities at a 16-square-kilometer site surrounding the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Futaba and Okuma towns.

The site will store radioactive waste produced from the cleanup of nuclear contamination in Fukushima for about 30 years.

The facilities started going up in November of last year. The ministry says it plans to start their operation in the autumn of this year.

But as of the end of February, it has secured 3.36 square kilometers, or 21 percent, of the needed land.

Six years on, decontamination-related waste is still kept at about 1,100 temporary storage sites. Also individuals are keeping some waste in about 146,000 gardens and other sites.

Environmental experts urge the ministry to accelerate land negotiations to improve the situation.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20170309_02/

March 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Environment Ministry deleted some of its remarks from minutes on contaminated soil meet

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The Ministry of the Environment deleted some of its remarks made in closed-door meetings on reuse of contaminated soil stemming from the Fukushima nuclear disaster from the minutes of the meetings, it has been learned.

When the ministry posted the minutes on its website, it said it had “fully disclosed” them. The deleted remarks could be taken to mean that the ministry induced the discussions. The remarks led the meetings to decide on a policy of reusing contaminated soil containing up to 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram. An expert on information disclosure lashed out at the ministry’s handling of the minutes, saying, “It is extremely heinous because it constitutes the concealment of the decision-making process.”

The meetings were called the “working group to discuss safety assessments of impacts of radiation.” The meetings were attended by about 20 people, including radiation experts, officials of the Environment Ministry and the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and others. The meetings were held six times from January to May in 2016.

The meetings discussed the reuse of radioactively contaminated soil generated when areas affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis were decontaminated.

Initially, the meetings themselves were unpublicized. But because requests for information disclosure on the meetings were filed one after another, the Environment Ministry posted the minutes and relevant data on its website in August. As a matter of clerical procedures, the ministry said at that time that everything was disclosed.

The minutes that were disclosed contain “draft minutes” that were prepared before becoming official documents, but the Mainichi Shimbun obtained an “original draft” that was prepared even before then. Comparing the disclosed minutes with the original draft, the Mainichi found multiple cases of remarks being deleted or changed. According to the original draft, an Environment Ministry official said at the fourth meeting on Feb. 24, “With the assessments of soil with 8,000 becquerels, there have been cases in which the annual radiation dose slightly exceeds 1 millisievert in times of disasters and the like. But it will be good if it stays within 1 millisievert.” But the remark was deleted from the disclosed minutes.

Soil contaminated with radiation exceeding 8,000 becquerels is handled as “designated waste,” but discussions were held on reusing of contaminated soil containing 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram during a series of meetings. In the Feb. 24 meeting, the JAEA showed an estimate that workers engaged in recovery work on a breakwater made of contaminated soil of 8,000 becquerels that has collapsed in a disaster would be exposed to radiation exceeding 1 millisievert per year — the maximum dose allowed for ordinary people. Based on the estimate, there was a possibility of the upper limit for reusing contaminated soil being lowered, but the Environment Ministry official’s remark promoted experts and others to call for s review to make a new estimate, with one attendee saying, “If it collapses, it will be mixed with other soil and diluted.”

A fresh estimate that the annual radiation dose will stay at 1 millisievert or lower was later officially presented, and the Environment Ministry officially decided in June on a policy of reusing contaminated soil containing up to 8,000 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170105/p2a/00m/0na/007000c

January 5, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Landscapes I saw

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A short poem at the beginning of the year.
Accumulated dust can make mountains.

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Here are the pictures that show reality.
Taken on January 2nd 2017.

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These black bags are full of soil and fallen leaves gathered in the course of the decontamination work.

These bags last from 3 to 5 years.
What do we do now?

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Over the mountain of black bags lies Odaka station.

Now anybody can get on and off the train.

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Source: Akiyoshi Imazeki, Odaka Station, Minamisoma-shi, Fukushima Prefecture

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | 1 Comment

Reclaimed Land for Okinawa US Base Filled With Fukushima Radioactive Waste?

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According to one of my Japanese contacts,  Ryouichi Kawaguchi,  the Fukushima’s radioactive waste accumulated in Chiba Prefecture is brought to the reclaimed land of Henoko, Okinawa, via Fukuoka.
Consequently, the U. S. soldiers who will be stationed at the Henoko new base will be exposed to radiation like the Fukushima population.
As substitute land of the Futenma base, Japan and the United States should build the new base on Nozakijima island which is uninhabited, offshore from Hirado city, in Nagasaki prefecture rather than reclaim the foreshore from the sea at Henoko, Okinawa. The Japanese Government could build a long bridge from Hirado-city of Nagasaki prefecture to the Nozakijima Island.
The fact that the Abe Administration would be using Fukushima’s radioactive waste to reclaim land from the sea at Henoko, Okinawa should be dug into, and if confirmed exposed to world public attention.
I do not think US needs more irradiated US soldiers, having already those of Operation Tomodachi to deal with.
Source: Ryouichi Kawaguchi

December 9, 2016 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive Waste from Fukushima Plant Water Piling Up with No Final Destination

nov-26-2016

 

FUKUSHIMA — While contaminated water continues to accumulate at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, radioactive waste retrieved from that water during purification work is becoming a serious concern for the nuclear facility.

Since there is currently no way of dealing with the waste, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has stored it onsite as a temporary measure. But there are fears in Fukushima Prefecture that it may be left there for good.

Contaminated water builds up every day at the Fukushima No. 1 plant as groundwater flows into the reactor buildings where melted fuel from the Fukushima nuclear disaster lies. Since this contaminated water could flow into the sea, TEPCO processes it with several types of purification equipment, and reuses it to cool the No. 1 to 3 reactors.

Tainted water in the reactor buildings is pumped into the U.S. cesium absorption apparatus Kurion and Toshiba Corp.’s Simplified Active Water Retrieve and Recovery System (SARRY) to remove radioactive cesium and other materials. The water is then desalinated and sent through the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), which can remove 62 different types of radioactive substances.

This process, however, does not eliminate the radioactive materials themselves; they are soaked up by absorbents, such as minerals. Radioactive materials build up in these absorbents, which remain as waste emitting high levels of radiation. This type of waste is stored in metal containers that isolate the radiation. As of Nov. 10, there were 178 such containers at the SARRY processing area, 758 at Kurio and 2,179 at ALPS. The size of the containers differs depending on the area, but overall, it amounts to some 11,000 cubic meters — which would fill around 30 25-meter swimming pools. These containers of waste stand in a temporary storage area on the south side of the plant’s No. 4 reactor.

Isao Yamagishi, a group leader at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, warns, “Waste produced during water purification work is highly radioactive, and so is the risk of just keeping it in storage.” This is because even if the tainted water goes through a desalination process, salt can remain in the waste. There is a risk of the waste containers exploding if the concentration of hydrogen in them — produced due to the effects of radiation on water — reaches a certain level. Such a phenomenon was seen at the No. 1 and 3 reactor buildings of the Fukushima No. 1 plant, which exploded due to an accumulation of hydrogen soon after the outbreak of the disaster.

Yamagishi says that salt content has a tendency to aid hydrogen production, and it is necessary to release a sufficient amount of hydrogen from the containers. It is also possible that salt could corrode the metal containers. There do not seem to be any problems with hydrogen concentration or corrosion at this stage, but Yamagishi says, “We need to research over the long term what’s going on inside the containers.”

There is additional nuclear waste at the plant, too. Soon after the outbreak of the nuclear disaster, a decontamination system provided by France’s Areva SA was put into operation, and approximately 597 cubic meters of radioactive waste produced during the water purification process with this system remains stored at the plant.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority says that if the Fukushima plant is hit by another major tsunami, this waste could end up outside the plant. It therefore needs to be dealt with quickly, but there is nowhere for it to go.

Contaminated water also poses a problem. The ALPS system cannot remove radioactive tritium from the water, so tritium-tainted water is stored in tanks. There are about 1,000 tanks holding this type of water, whose total weight amounts to some 900,000 metric tons. And as work to decommission the plant’s reactors increases, both the amount of nuclear waste and the amount of contaminated water will increase.

Shigeaki Tsunoyama, former president of the University of Aizu in Fukushima and head of the Fukushima Prefectural Center for Environmental Creation, who is familiar with the field of nuclear safety engineering, comments, “Locals are concerned that nuclear waste will be left there as it is.”

In the future, work will begin to remove melted fuel at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, but its destination remains undecided. Some locals fear that if no destination for waste designated as being in “temporary storage” at the plant is decided, then Fukushima will become the final disposal site for melted fuel in the future. Tsunoyama is calling on officials to provide a map for the future.

“I want them to analyze the long-term risks, and provide an outlook for the storage and disposal of waste,” he says.

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161126/p2a/00m/0na/004000c

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November 27, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 1 Comment

About the Incineration of Fukushima Decontaminated Soil and Debris

From 2011 to 2014, decontaminated soil and debris were incinerated all over Japan. Informations about the quantity incinerated nationwide during those years in various locations are hard to get. As of today incineration is still ongoing in Eastern Japan, but we do no know if it is still ongoing or not in other parts of Japan as somehow nothing is being published about it.

Incineration is never a solution for  radiation contaminated waste, it reduces the volume of the contaminated waste but at the same time redistributes its contained radionuclides into the nearby environment, thus endangering the health of the people living there.

However, this article from September 2014 gives a list of the incineratition locations and of the disposal companies involved, among those Japan Environmental Safety Corporation (JESCO) was the most prominent, as JESCO was the company already handling most of the PCB waste disposal.

JESCO Hokkaido Office (Muroran City) JESCO北海道事業所(室蘭市)
Ecosystem Akita (Odate city)
エコシステム秋田(大館市)
Kureha environment (Iwaki City, Fukushima prefecture)
クレハ環境(福島県いわき市)
Tokyo Seaside Recycle Power (Koto Ward)
東京臨海リサイクルパワー(江東区)
JESCO Tokyo Office (Koto Ward)
JESCO東京事業所(江東区)
Toyama Environment Improvement (Toyama City)
富山環境整備(富山市)
JESCO Toyota Plant (Toyota City, Aichi) J
ESCO豊田事業所(愛知県豊田市)
JESCO Osaka Plant (Osaka City)
JESCO大阪事業所(大阪市)
KEIO GEORE (Amagasaki City, Hyogo)
関電ジオレ(兵庫県尼崎市)
Kobe Environment Creation (Kobe City)
神戸環境クリエート(神戸市)
Ecosystem Sanyo (Misaki Town, Okayama Prefecture)
エコシステム山陽(岡山県美咲町)
Sanko (Sakaiminato City, Tottori Prefecture)
三光(鳥取県境港市)
Fuji Clean (Ayagawa Town, Aya Gun, Kagawa Prefecture)
富士クリーン(香川県綾歌群綾川町)
Ehime Prefecture Waste Treatment Center Toyo Works (Niihama City)
愛媛県廃棄物処理センター東予事業所(新居浜市)
Lightwork refining tobata manufacturing plant (Kitakyushu city, Fukuoka prefecture)
光和精鉱戸畑製造所(福岡県北九州市)
JESCO Kitakyushu Office$
JESCO北九州事業所

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http://bit.ly/1z1eTlJ
 
http://www.jesconet.co.jp/

November 14, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

German firm aims to compactly convert radioactive Fukushima wood into power

 Whatever they say, incineration is never a solution as it just redistributes radionuclides into the environment

n-fukushima-a-20161031-870x538Black plastic bags containing radioactive soil, leaves and debris from decontamination operations are dumped at a seaside spot devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, in February 2015

Japan is turning to a small German company to generate power from timber irradiated by the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear meltdowns.

Closely held Entrade Energiesysteme AG will sell electricity from 400 of its container-size biomass-to-power machines set up in Fukushima Prefecture, said Julien Uhlig, the Duesseldorf-based company’s chief executive officer. The devices will generate 20 megawatts of power by next year and function like a “biological battery” that kicks in when the sun descends on the region’s solar panels, he said.

Selling green power with Entrade’s mobile units could support Japanese attempts to repopulate a region that’s struggled to restore a degree of normalcy after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami killed 18,000 people while also triggering the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns that displaced 160,000 others. The prefecture aims to generaJapan is turning to a small German company to generate power from timber irradiated by the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear meltdowns.

Closely held Entrade Energiesysteme AG will sell electricity from 400 of its container-size biomass-tote 100 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2040.

Entrade’s so-called E4 plants, four of which fit inside a 40-foot (12-meter) container, can reduce the mass of lightly radioactive wood waste by 99.5 percent, according to Uhlig. Shrinking the volume of waste could help Japanese authorities who need to reduce the volume of contaminated materials. Workers around Fukushima have been cleaning by scraping up soil, moss and leaves from contaminated surfaces and sealing them in containers.

Burning won’t destroy radiation but we can shrink detritus to ash and create a lot of clean power at the same time,” said Uhlig, a former German government employee, in a phone call from Tokyo on Oct. 21. “There’s a lot of excitement about this project but I also detected a high degree of reluctance in Fukushima to talk about radiation.”

The decommissioning of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s stricken plant is set to take as long as four decades and the government estimates environmental cleanup costs may balloon to ¥3.3 trillion through March 2018.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in March that Japan cannot forgo nuclear power. His government wants about a fifth of Japan’s power generated by nuclear by 2030, compared with almost 30 percent before three of the six reactors melted down at the aged Fukushima No. 1 plant.

Currently, just two of the nation’s 42 operable commercial reactors are running, which has translated into higher costs for imported fossil fuels as well as more greenhouse gas emissions.

Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection declined comment on the process of burning radioactive waste in Fukushima.

Entrade’s biomass units will be located about 50 km (31 miles) from the Tepco reactors, said Uhlig.

Entrade’s biomass plants, which rely partly on technology developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, are “compactors” of lightly irradiated waste, said Uhlig. The “all in the box” technology is attractive to environmentally conscious clients who have a steady stream of bio waste but don’t want to invest in a plant, he said.

Uhlig’s company is cooperating with London’s Gatwick Airport to turn food waste from airlines into power. Royal Bank of Scotland financed another project supplying power from 200 units to an industrial estate near Liverpool, in northwest England.

Entrade has experimented with 130 types of biofuel since beginning operation in 2009. The company claims its plants convert biomass to power with 85 percent efficiency.

It’s a bit like mixing muesli, taking what’s available from clients or the locality and blending it,” said Uhlig.

Entrade is moving its headquarters to Los Angeles to generate investment capital and help meet demand in the U.S. and Caribbean, he said. The company has 250 units in California and can hardly keep up with demand, Uhlig said.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/30/business/corporate-business/german-firm-aims-compactly-convert-radioactive-fukushima-wood-power/#.WBYNgCTia-c

 

October 30, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | 2 Comments

German Owned Biomass Plants Burning Radioactive Wood For Electricity in Fukushima

Japan to burn irradiated wood to create electricity, releasing gases to the environment AGAIN! Safe disposal?

“Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection declined to comment on the process of burning radioactive waste in Fukushima. Entrade’s biomass units will be located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Tepco reactors, said Uhlig.”

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A lone tree inside exclusion zone, close to the devastated Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plant in February 2016.

Radioactive Fukushima Wood Becomes Power in German Machine

  • Entrade contracts 20 megawatts of power sales to Fukushima
  • Lighty radiated wood turned to power in 400 biomass plants

Japan is turning to a small German company to generate power from timber irradiated by the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear meltdowns.

Closely held Entrade Energiesysteme AG will sell electricity from 400 of its container-sized biomass-to-power machines set up in Fukushima Prefecture, said the Dusseldorf-based company’s Chief Executive Officer Julien Uhlig. The devices will generate 20 megawatts of power by next year and function like a “biological battery” that kicks in when the sun descends on the the region’s solar panels, he said.

Selling green power with Entrade’s mobile units could support Japanese attempts to repopulate a region that’s struggled to restore normality after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami killed 18,000 people while also triggering the Fukushima nuclear meltdown that dislocated 160,000 others. The prefecture aims to generate 100 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2040.

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Entrade’s so-called E4 plants, four of which fit inside a 40-foot (12-meter) container, can reduce the mass of lightly irradiated wood waste by 99.5 percent, according to Uhlig. Shrinking the volume of waste could help Japanese authorities who need to reduce the volume of contaminated materials. Workers around Fukushima have been cleaning by scraping up soil, moss and leaves from contaminated surfaces and sealing them in containers.

Burning won’t destroy radiation but we can shrink detritus to ash and create a lot of clean power at the same time,” said Uhlig, a former German government employee, in a phone call from Tokyo on Oct. 21. “There’s a lot of excitement about this project but I also detected a high degree of reluctance in Fukushima to talk about radiation.”

Ballooning Costs

The decommissioning of Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc.’s stricken plant is set to take as long as four decades and the government estimates environmental clean-up costs may balloon to $3.3 trillion yen ($31.5 billion) through March 2018.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in March that Japan cannot forgo nuclear power. His government wants about a fifth of Japan’s power generated by nuclear by 2030, compared with almost 30 percent before three reactors melted down at the Fukushima plant.

Currently, just two of the nation’s 42 operable nuclear reactors are running, which has translated into higher costs for imported fossil fuels as well as more greenhouse gas emissions.

Germany’s Federal Office for Radiation Protection declined to comment on the process of burning radioactive waste in Fukushima. Entrade’s biomass units will be located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Tepco reactors, said Uhlig.

Like Muesli

Entrade’s biomass plants, which rely partly on technology developed by Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute, are “compactors” of lightly irradiated waste, said Uhlig. The “all in the box” technology is attractive to environmentally-conscious clients who have a steady stream of bio waste but don’t want to invest in a plant, he said. 

Uhlig’s company is cooperating with London’s Gatwick Airport to turn food waste from airlines into power. Royal Bank of Scotland financed another project supplying power from 200 units to an industrial estate near Liverpool, U.K.

Entrade has experimented with 130 types of biofuel since beginning operation in 2009. The company claims its plants convert biomass to power with 85 percent efficiency.

It’s a bit like mixing muesli, taking what’s available from clients or the locality and blending it,” said Uhlig.

Entrade is moving its headquarters to Los Angeles to generate investment capital and help meet demand in the U.S. and Caribbean, he said. The company has 250 units in California and can hardly keep up with demand, Uhlig said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-25/radioactive-fukushima-wood-becomes-power-in-german-biomass-plant

October 27, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | 1 Comment

Miyagi Prefecture to Request Municipalities to Dispose by Incineration the 8,000 Becquerels Below Contaminated Waste

 

The radioactive waste generated by the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident will be disposed in accordance to the contaminated waste standard disposal methods of the country. All to be incinerated in the Miyagi Prefecture existing waste treatment facilities.

First of all, they plan to have incineration tests beginning next year, testing incineration in various municipalities facilities, collecting data during approximately 6 months so as to confirm the safety of the concentration in the incinerated ash. Intending to embark on full-scale incineration from the middle of next year, 2017.
The Miyagi Prefecture summarizes its disposal policy : because the procedure for the disposal of contaminated waste above 8000 becquerels takes a long time, we decided to proceed with the disposal of substandard contaminated waste first.

As a specific method, contaminated waste will be burned while mixed with general waste so as not to exceed again radioactive concentration criteria. In addition, some municipalities which stored large volumes of contaminated waste and may not be able to handle it fully on their own, will get help from other municipalities facilities for disposal.

Next month, the Miyagi Prefecture will open the municipal mayors conference, during which it will the municipalities cooperation.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20161024/k10010741491000.html

tohoku_eng

 

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Radioactive contaminant levels can’t be read at 31 Fukushima temp waste sites

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FUKUSHIMA — It may be impossible to measure the radioactive contaminant concentrations of water leeching from soil and other waste produced by the Fukushima nuclear disaster cleanup at 31 temporary waste storage sites in Fukushima Prefecture due to a planning flaw, a Board of Audit inspection has found.

The cleanup waste is put in bags, put in piles and covered with a waterproof tarp at the temporary disposal sites. These piles are built atop a low convex mound of earth, which is also covered with a tarp and is supposed to funnel the water leeching out of the waste into underground tanks. Contaminant concentration measurements are then taken from these tanks.

However, though many temporary disposal sites have been built on soft ground such as agricultural land, apparently no provisions were made for land subsidence — the earth being pushed down by the pressure of the waste bags — during planning.

The Board of Audit chose 34 of the 106 disposal sites in the prefecture for inspection. The 34 sites were spread across five municipalities, had waste piles five to six bags (or about 5 meters) high, and had been established in the four years up to fiscal 2015. Of these, the earth beneath the waste stack had subsided — going from convex to concave — at 31 sites, meaning contaminated water was also not flowing into the storage tanks. It is possible the water is collecting in the tarps.

There are 15 such sites in the Fukushima Prefecture town of Kawamata, five in the town of Namie, four each in the city of Tamura and the village of Iitate, and three in the town of Naraha. The subsidence of the earth bases hasn’t been confirmed, but the Board of Audit has pointed out that if contaminated water is pooling in the tarps, it could impact future operations to move the waste to a mid-term storage site. It has also called on the Environment Ministry, which operates the sites, to take necessary measures to rectify the problem.

The ministry told the Mainichi Shimbun, “The stacks are designed so that contaminated water won’t escape even if the land underneath subsides, and no harm has been done by the treatment of the water. The waste bags themselves have been replaced with waterproof versions, but we would still like to consider ways to reinforce the ground (under the piles), such as by using sand in the middle.”

http://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20161024/p2a/00m/0na/017000c

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fukushima Decontamination, Waste Storage, Processing and Recycling Utopia

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In Fukushima Prefecture, large quantities of contaminated soil and waste have been generated from decontamination activities. Currently, it is difficult to clarify methods of final disposal of such soil and waste. Until final disposal becomes available, it is necessary to establish an Interim Storage Facility (ISF) in order to manage and store soil and waste safely.

The only solution proposed is a storage facility of 16 km2 around the Fukushima plant for a period of 30 years. After that, time will tell, because the problems are endless.

The following materials generated in Fukushima Prefecture will be stored in the ISF.

1. Soil and waste (such as fallen leaves and branches) generated from decontamination activities, which have been stored at the Temporary Storage Sites.

2. Incineration ash with radioactive concentration more than 100,000 Bq/kg.

It is estimated that generated soil from decontamination will be approx. 16 ~22 mil. m3 after the volume reduction incineration, estimated value based on the decontamination implementation plan of July 2013. (Ref: approximately 13~18 times as much as the volume of Tokyo Dome (1.24 mil. m3) .

 

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Transportation to Stock Yards

In order to confirm safe and secure delivery towards the transportation of a large amount of decontamination soil, MOE implemented the transportation approx. 1,000m3 each from 43 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture from 2015-2016.

Actual achievement in 2016 as of July 30, 2016

Stored volume: 13,384m3 (58,766m3 in total)

Stock yards in Okuma: 4,883m3; stock yards in Futaba: 8,501m3

* Calculated on the assumption that the volume of a large bag is 1m3

Total number of trucks used: 2,279 (9,808 in total)

Stock yards in Okuma: 815 trucks; stock yards in Futaba:1,464 trucks

 

To construct facilities, it will need comprehensive area and 2/3 will be assumed to be used for facilitation. The possible volume for installation is to be 10,000m3/ha and 140,000m3/5ha for a storage facility, and will be installed from TSS to ISF sequentially.

Approximate period from contract with operators to ISF operation: 3months for TSS, 6months for delivery & classification, 12months for storage, 18months for incineration.

On the premise that infrastructure construction on roads for Okuma and Futaba IC would proceed as planned, the maximum volume of possible transportation is estimated: 2millions m3 /y before the operation of both IC, 4millions m3/y after Okuma IC & before Futaba IC, 6 millions m3/y after the both ICs operation.

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Landowners are still reluctant to sell their land to put the waste. In late September 2016, according to the official data of the Ministry of Environment, only 379 owners out of 2360 had signed a contract. This represents an area of 144 ha, or about 9% of the total project.

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The town of Okuma, is almost entirely classified as “difficult to return”zone, therefore it intends to offer all its municipal land to put the waste. This represents 95 hectares, or about 10% of land considered in the town. This includes schools, the Fureai Park with some sports grounds … The town has not yet decided whether it would sell or would lease its land.

Meanwhile, it is an abandoned village:

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The Joban railway line was partially destroyed by the tsunami, as here in Tomioka:

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Destroyed Tomioka train station and sorting facility for radioactive waste

Some parts have reopened, but not in the most contaminated areas; between Tatsuta and Namie. Japan Railway wants to fully reopen the railway before 2020, avoiding the coast. Decontamination should produce 300,000 m3 of radioactive waste. The radioactive waste bags are along the railway, but they will need to be take them away. The Environment Ministry is negotiating with landowners owning the land beside the railway, but this is not enough because few responded favorably. So it’s a game of musical chairs that is planned: use the lands where some waste is right now after they’ll freed by the transfer of the waste to the storage center located around the Fukushima Dai-ichi.

Meanwhile, the waste is piling up everywhere:

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Radioactive waste in Iitate

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Valley of radioactive waste in Iitate mura

This storage was not expected to last as long, which is not without causing problems because the bags do not hold. Here in Tomioka, weeds grow back:

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The equivalent of the Court of Accounts of Japan went to inspect some of these sites and found other problems, according to the Asahi. Those who receive contaminated soil, are elevated in the center so that the water flows over the edges where it can be harvested and controlled because the bags are not waterproof. There are up to 5 levels. With time and the weight of waste, a hollow that may appear in the center, and contaminated water accumulates there. Monitoring is difficult or impossible. See diagram of Asahi:

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It is not normal that the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, the NRA does not control these storage sites for radioactive waste.

Regarding the waste from the decommissioning of nuclear power plants, the NRA wants to bury the most contaminated within 70 meters for 100 000 years. This is essentially reactor control rods. Utilities would bear responsibility for 300 to 400 years. They have not yet found where to have the sites … Read Asahi for more. http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201609020034.html

The government relies on the radioactive decay for these wastes to pass below the 8000 Bq / kg to be downgraded and utilized …

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http://josen.env.go.jp/en/pdf/progressseet_progress_on_cleanup_efforts.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 25, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment