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Debris recovery operation in sea carried out for first time since Fukushima nuclear disaster

The Japan Today article cites it as tsunami debris but it would also include debris from the reactor explosions at the plant. Pieces from these explosions have been found as far inland as Naraha. Why this work had not been done sooner was not mentioned.

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Japan performs tsunami debris cleanup off Fukushima 1st time since nuclear disaster

Local fisheries have begun a debris cleanup near the Fukushima plant for the first time since the tsunami-triggered nuclear disaster. However a plan to start trial fishing next year may face a setback as a nearly-completed ice wall is failing to halt water contamination.

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9 earthquake struck northeastern Japan at 2:46pm local time, unleashing a deadly tsunami. Less than an hour after the earthquake, the first of many tsunami waves hit Japan’s coastline. The tsunami waves reached heights of up to 39 meters (128 feet) at Miyako city and reached as far as 10 km (6 miles) ashore in Sendai, destroying everything in its wake. More than 15,000 people died.

At the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the tsunami caused a cooling system failure resulting in a nuclear meltdown and the release of radioactive materials. The waves forced the failure of electrical power and backup generators, leading the plant to lose its cooling capabilities. The retreating water sucked a vast amount of rubble into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, contaminating the traditional fishing grounds of the local companies.

Five years after the disaster a cleanup effort to remove the debris has finally been launched by collectives of local fishermen, who aim to start trial fishing expeditions within the area from 5 kilometers (3 miles) to 20 km (12 miles) off the wrecked plant.

On Monday Soma-Futaba Fisheries Cooperative Association send out 32 fishing boats to recover debris from the ocean floor. That fleet is focusing their efforts on the North side of the nuclear power plant.

On Tuesday, the Iwaki City Fisheries Cooperative Association also sent in their fleet to help with the cleanup efforts of the southern side of the contaminated segment.

Once the debris is pulled out and delivered to shore, the unloading of the waste is handled by the industrial waste treatment company. The rubble is then sent to a temporary storage facility where after an inspection for radioactive reading, cleared waste is disposed of in an industrial manner. It is as of yet unclear how the contaminated waste will be treated.

The cleanup work of the seabed endorsed by the Fisheries Agency is scheduled to last at least until February of next year. Fishing on a trial basis can start as early as March.

However such a prospect seem problematic as the recently-completed ice wall around the crippled station has failed to meet expectations, with contaminated groundwater still seeping into the sea.

The $320 million Land-Side Impermeable Wall was built to halt an unrelenting flood of groundwater into the damaged reactor buildings and consequent flow of the contaminated water into the ocean.

But on Tuesday the Japanese government and plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported that 1.5 km (1 mile) barrier frozen barrier failed to produce the intended results, Nikkei reported

While gaps still remain in some sections of the ocean-facing side of the wall, TEPCO believes that the inflows that penetrate the contaminated reactor are concentrated at seven unfrozen sections on the inland side.

A similar concern was voiced last month by the operator which claimed that 99 percent of the wall’s is mostly solid and frozen. However, a remaining one percent showed temperatures of the barrier above the freezing point, meaning that the contamination is not fully contained.

TEPCO has been repeatedly facing criticism for the handling of the Fukushima crisis. Despite the ongoing problems encountered following the meltdowns, the company has set 2020 as the goal for ending the plant’s water problem.

The problem of water contamination however is just one of many surrounding the dismantling and decommissioning of the Fukushima plant debris which is estimated to take at least 40 years.

We will continue to move forward with the decommissioning and contaminated water management in a transparent way, visible to the world, and will also share with the international community the lessons learned from this accident,” Hirotaka Ishihara, state minister of the cabinet office of Japan, told the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 60th General Conference earlier this week.

We are also making ongoing efforts to ensure the safety of food produced in Japan,” he added. “Recognizing that many countries have already lifted restrictions on food imports from Japan, we encourage the international community to implement import policies based on scientific evidence.”

https://www.rt.com/news/360879-fukushima-fishery-cleanup-debris/#.V-s-7I2uaW0.facebook

Debris recovery operation in sea carried out for first time since Fukushima nuclear disaster

FUKUSHIMA — For the first time since the 2011 nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the removal of debris in seawater located up to 20 km from the plant site has finally started.

The recovery operation, which began Monday, focuses on the removal of rubble in seawater within 5 to 20 km of the wrecked plant, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Five and a half years after the disaster, fishing has yet to be carried out in these waters while tsunami debris on the ocean floor near the Fukushima plant has remained untouched. 

With an aim to start trial fishing operations within this targeted cleanup area, the Soma-Futaba Fisheries Cooperative Association employed 32 fishing boats to recover debris such as driftwood and gill nets on Monday.

Following suit, from Tuesday, the Iwaki City Fisheries Cooperative Association started debris removal operations and will continue the cleanup efforts until February of next year.

https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/debris-recovery-operation-in-sea-carried-out-for-first-time-since-fukushima-nuclear-disaster

 

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September 28, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Daiichi Contaminated Groundwater Pouring into the Sea

 

Fukushima Daiichi Groundwater Rises from Typhoon N°16 Sept. 21, 2016

« Groundwater level rises in the aftermath of Typhoon 16, due to its heavy rain the groundwater now reaches now the surface.

It is unclear as whether or not the groundwater has been contaminated with radioactive material as it poured out into the sea, To be determined later, Tepco says. »

http://www.news24.jp/sp/articles/2016/09/21/07341567.html

 

Tepco pumping groundwater from Fukushima plant.

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station says it is pumping groundwater from under the plant to prevent contaminated water from leaking into the adjacent port.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says the heavy rains brought by Typhoon Malakas have raised the underground water levels around the plant’s embankments.

TEPCO officials say they added pumps to prevent the groundwater from rising further. They say the water rose nearly to the surface shortly before 10 PM on Tuesday.

The officials say this has prevented rain from permeating the ground and increased the risk that the rainwater could become contaminated and flow into the port.
The utility says that while it is pumping the groundwater to prevent leakage, it will measure the radioactive substances in the water.
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20160921_09/

September 21, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Prosecutors innocent TEPCO over radioactive water leakage into the ocean

The court said there is no evidence that proves that radioactive water flew out of the Fukushima nuclear power plant to the ocean. I hope this would finally convince those who haven’t been convinced that the state of Japan denies truth and violates peoples lives. Its time to get rid of Abe et al.

Prosecutors drop TEPCO case over radioactive water leakage

FUKUSHIMA–The Fukushima District Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on March 29 that it will not prosecute Tokyo Electric Power Co. or its executives for violating an environmental pollution law.

The decision came two and a half years after a group of plaintiffs, including residents of Fukushima Prefecture, filed a criminal complaint against TEPCO, operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and its 32 current and former executives.

The group sought to bring charges against the utility and its executives for allowing radioactive contaminated water to be discharged into the sea.

In its decision, the prosecutors said there was “insufficient” evidence to press charges against TEPCO and some of its executives, including Naomi Hirose, company president. The remaining executives, the prosecutors said, “had no authority or responsibility to set measures to avoid the leakage in the first place,” therefore, the accusation has “no grounds.”

“The Fukushima police investigated the case for almost two years. It is extremely disappointing,” said Ruiko Muto, 62, the head of the plaintiff’s group, at a news conference in Tokyo on March 29. “We wanted them to look into the case further. We can’t accept this decision.”

The group is planning to appeal to the Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution. The group will meet with its lawyers on March 30 and decide on whether it will pursue further action.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201603300068

Charges ruled out for Tepco figures over Fukushima No. 1 radioactive water spillage into sea

FUKUSHIMA – Public prosecutors decided on Tuesday not to indict Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Naomi Hirose and other current and former executives of the utility over radioactive water leaks from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Sufficient evidence was not found, the Fukushima District Public Prosecutor’s Office said.

In September 2013, a civic group filed a criminal complaint against 32 current and former Tepco executives, including Hirose and Tsunehisa Katsumata, former chairman of the operator of the northeastern nuclear power plant, saying tainted water leaked from storage tanks into the ocean due to their failure to take preventive measures.

Through its investigation, the Fukushima Prefectural Police concluded that some 300 tons of stored radioactive water had flowed into the sea as of July 2013 because Tepco executives neglected to monitor the tanks or take leak-prevention measures, and sent the case to the prosecutors last October.

The prosecutors said there was no evidence supporting the allegation that the leaked tainted water was carried into the sea by groundwater at the plant, which suffered meltdowns following the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

The group said it will ask for a prosecution inquest panel’s investigation.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/03/30/national/crime-legal/charges-ruled-tepco-figures-fukushima-no-1-radioactive-water-spillage-sea/#.VvtU1-IrLIU

 

March 30, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five years on, Fukushima still faces contamination crisis: environmentalists

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Crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan.

Fish market vendor Satoshi Nakano knows which fish caught in the radiation tainted sea off the Fukushima coast should be kept away from dinner tables.

Yet five years after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl there is still no consensus on the true extent of the damage – exacerbating consumer fears about what is safe to eat.

Environmentalists are at odds with authorities, warning the huge amounts of radiation that seeped into coastal waters after a powerful tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on March 11, 2011, could cause problems for decades.

The Japanese government is confident it has stemmed the flow of radioactive water into the ocean, but campaigners insist contaminated ground water has continued to seep into the Pacific Ocean, and the situation needs further investigation.

“It was the single largest release of radioactivity to the marine environment in history,” Greenpeace nuclear expert Shaun Burnie said on the deck of the campaign group’s flagship Rainbow Warrior, which has sailed in to support a three-week marine survey of the area the environmental watchdog is conducting.

Fukushima is facing an “enormous nuclear water crisis,” Burnie warned.

He added: “The whole idea that this accident happened five years ago and that Fukushima and Japan have moved on is completely wrong.”

Existing contamination means fishermen are banned from operating within a 20-km radius from the plant.

Although there are no figures for attitudes on seafood alone, the latest official survey by the government’s Consumer Affairs Agency showed in September that more than 17 per cent of Japanese are reluctant to eat food from Fukushima.

Nakano knows it’s best for business to carefully consider the type of seafood he sells, in the hope it will quell consumer fears.

“High levels of radioactivity are usually detected in fish that move little and stick to the seabed. I am not an expert, but I think those kinds of fish suck up the dirt of the ocean floor,” he said from his hometown of Onahama by the sea.

Greenpeace is surveying waters near the Fukushima plant, dredging up sediment from the ocean floor to check both for radiation “hotspots” as well as places that are not contaminated.

On Monday, the Rainbow Warrior sailed within a 1.6km of the Fukushima coast as part of the project – the third such test it’s conducted but the closest to the plant since the nuclear accident.

Researchers on Tuesday sent down a remote-controlled vehicle attached with a camera and scoop, in order to take samples from the seabed, which will then be analysed in independent laboratories in Japan and France.

“It’s very important [to see] where is more contaminated and where is less or even almost not contaminated,” Greenpeace’s Jan Vande Putte said, stressing the importance of such findings for the fishing industry.

Local fishermen have put coastal catches on the market after thorough testing, which includes placing certain specimens seen as high risk through radiation screening – a programme Greenpeace lauds as one of the most advanced in the world.

The tests make sure no fish containing more than half of the government safety standard for radiation goes onto the market.

The 2011 disaster was caused by a magnitude 9.0 undersea earthquake off Japan’s northeastern coast which then sparked a massive tsunami that swamped cooling systems and triggered reactor meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, run by operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

Today, about 1,000 huge tanks for storing contaminated water occupy large parts of the site, but as 400 tonnes of groundwater a day flows into the damaged reactor buildings, many more will be needed.

TEPCO have said they are taking measures to stop water flowing into the site, including building an underground wall, freezing the land itself and siphoning underground water.

The government too insist the situation is under control.

“The impact of the contaminated water is completely contained inside the port of the Fukushima plant,” Tsuyoshi Takagi, the Cabinet minister in charge of disaster reconstruction, told reporters on Tuesday.

But Greenpeace’s Burnie says stopping the groundwater flow is crucial to protecting the region.

“What impact is this having on the local ecology and the marine life, which is going on over years, decades?”, Burnie asked.

He added: “We can come back in 50 years and still be talking about radiological problems” at the nuclear plant as well as along the coast, he said.

http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/1917069/five-years-fukushima-still-faces-contamination-crisis

 

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Storage site of contaminated soil generated by decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture, home of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi complex

February 26, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , , | Leave a comment