The Asahi Shimbun, June 17, 2014: Asked why the government officials only expanded the evacuation zones in increments, [Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Tetsuro Fukuyama] told committee members that it was feared that major traffic jams could ensue [...] Asked why the officials did not issue an evacuation order for people living in a radius of 20 km to 30 km from the plant, Fukuyama suggested they instead were ordered to remain indoors as an emergency response, because it was estimated that it could take four to five days to evacuate all the 140,000 residents [...] Fukuyama’s testimony shows that he apologized for the government’s decision for forcing residents in the area to wait inside buildings for as long as 10 days. [...] 80 percent of [evacuees surveyed] said they believe the government’s evacuation orders were inappropriate. Even though the government expanded evacuation zones in stages, extensive traffic congestion actually blocked evacuation efforts in many areas. Continue reading »
Al Jazeera, June 17, 2014: Fukushima ‘ice wall’ looking more like a dirt Slurpee [...] Skeptics of the plan to build a massive ice wall [...] didn’t have to wait particularly long for their first “I told you so.” […] “We have yet to form the ice stopper because we can’t make the temperature low enough to freeze water,” a TEPCO spokesman said. […] What if freezing causes the ground to sink? What if the ice and the ensuing expansion and contraction interrupts or further damages drainage in the reactor buildings? […] TEPCO’s experiment around the margins does nothing to address the hot mess at the core (as it were) of the crisis, and is cold comfort to those people still displaced or a country and hemisphere facing generations of radiologic contamination. Continue reading »
Zukunashi no Hiyamizu, June 9, 2014 (h/t Dissensus Japan]: Why many of decontamination volunteers died — “Genpatsu Mondai” wrote a blog article in the May 21, 2014 titled “Joining the volunteer with Fukushima citizens result in sudden death!!! Two of fifteen students in the neighborhood already died from an unknown cause”. In this article, you can read many dead cases of volunteers who went to Fukushima and worked there. They went to contaminated area and worked for decontamination as volunteers. [...] Basically the purpose of volunteers is to go to the contaminated area where the air dose rate is high and to work there. Continue reading »
A year ago we wished TEPCO the best of luck with the construction of the “Game of Thrones”-esque 1.4km giant wall of ice that was designed to surround the exploded Fukushima power plant and slow the movement of irradiated water below the damaged reactors, preventing it from flowing over into the ocean and surrounding land. A plan so idiotic we were at a loss for words trying to list the ways it could go wrong. And, as it turns out, making a project overly complicated and ridiculous doesn’t assure it will be a success. Quite the contrary. As Japan JIJI reports, Tepco said the project, which remains in its early stages, is experiencing a problem with an inner ice wall designed to contain highly radioactive water that is draining from the basements of the wrecked reactors. A Tepco spokesman added that “We have yet to form an ice plug because we can’t get the temperature low enough to freeze the water.”
Kyodo News, June 14, 2014: Tadao Mitome feels a duty to continue capturing images of the area to document the effects of the nuclear disaster [...] Mitome, 75, published a photo book titled “3/11 Fukushima: Hibaku no Bokujo” (“Stock Farm Exposed to Radiation”), documenting a farm in the village of Iitate and its dying horses. “People should do whatever they are capable of doing,” Mitome said [...] Iitate, about 40 km away from the wrecked power plant, [farmer Tokue Hosokawa] defied the central government’s order to evacuate. [...] After nearly two years, horses became weak and died, one by one, from an unknown cause. Some horses in Fukushima were also put to death and sent away for autopsies. Mitome said he felt as though the eyes of the killed animals were trying to tell him that they would never let human beings forget about the nuclear disaster. [...] “There are things that I must let people in the world know,” he said. Continue reading »
AP, June 11, 2014 (emphasis added): Scientists investigating a mysterious radiation leak at the federal government’s underground nuclear waste dump have identified five other potentially explosive containers of waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory that are being stored at a site in West Texas, New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn told a legislative panel Tuesday. […] Asked if the public should be worried, Flynn said: “Every member of the community should be concerned. … But I don’t think they should be worried. I don’t think people should be panicked about another drum exploding because we required (the U.S. Department of Energy) to plan for that and have a system in place to protect the public.” […] The Department of Energy has dozens of the world’s finest scientists trying to identifying what type of reaction could have caused the leak, Flynn said after the hearing. But he estimated it would be months before a definitive cause is determined. Until then, Flynn said, it is hard to speculate on what if any action can be taken to finish getting the last of thousands of barrels of decades-old waste off the Los Alamos campus in northern New Mexico. […] given the uncertainty of what caused the radiation leak, transporting the waste now is seen as too risky. Flynn said it also remains unclear how long the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant will be closed or how long it will take the [WIPP] plant to seal off the rooms where more than 350 other barrels of suspect waste from Los Alamos are currently stored. Continue reading »
Tokyo Electric Power Co. will use a truck-mounted filtration system to extract strontium from water stored at the damaged Fukushima No. 1 power plant as the utility struggles to overcome technical problems with its existing water-processing facility.
Tepco has signed a contract with Kurion Inc. to remove strontium from more than 340,000 metric tons of radioactive water stored at the wrecked plant using the mobile filtration system, the U.S.-based firm said in a statement Monday.
The system will be used to improve site safety while testing of the ALPS processing facility continues. ALPS is designed to remove strontium and 61 other isotopes from cooling and other water tainted by contact with the plant’s melted fuel rods. Strontium has been linked to bone cancer. Continue reading »
Radio VR, June 9, 2014: Fukushima, the world’s permanent headache [...] Arnie Gundersen, a veteran nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education: “What the water did do is it went into the ground and is moving downward into groundwater, which will get to the ocean shortly. [...] The site is going to bleed into the ocean for a hundred years. [...] They have contaminated the entire groundwater underneath the site and eventually, all of that water will move into the Pacific.” >> Full broadcast here
The largest environmental clean-up effort in the world is going on right now in Washington state at the Hanford Site where tens of millions of gallons of radioactive waste is leaking into the ground. Sam Sacks is on the Redacted Frontlines to explore the legacy of nuclear power and nuclear waste in America.
Many people might think that Fukushima has been unhappy after 311. But it’s not true.
With this video I want you to know that we are also happy and healthy just like you. Please enjoy our dance and share our happiness !
Many thanks to Pharell for this great song.
I love the comment bellow by Mark Barrie via Guy Kawasaki.
Jiro Ishimaru, host: About the current progress of decommissioning…
Hiroaki Koide, professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute: [...] In November 2013, they started with Reactor #4 because it was the most accessible pool, and the most dangerous. The floor that housed the Used Fuel Pool in Reactor #4 was hugely damaged and it has been feared that the pool might collapse in any time. This is a very dangerous job. Any scale of accident is possible. But they have to do it. [...] Continue reading »
Mark Willacy, ABC correspondent: Since the accident [at Fukushima Daiichi], the nuclear cores have melted, they’ve gone – leached through some of the pressure vessels and going through what they call the containment vessels… In fact, they don’t even know exactly where those melted radioactive cores are. They know they’re down there somewhere. […] Tepco said “We think one’s eaten through about a meter of the concrete containment vessel, but we can’t be sure.” Continue reading »
Excerpts from Interview with Yuri Kageyama, AP reporter
3:00 in — People are worried about getting sick, and there are really people getting sick, including thyroid cancer, which is what happened after Chernobyl. But there’s no direct proof that this is from Fukushima, but we may never know because it is very difficult to link individual sicknesses with whatever caused that sickness. So the fear keeps building, the distrust keeps building, and the people are still there living every day with that uncertainty.
5:30 in — I wish there were more interest because the people of Fukushima are extremely worried about being forgotten. It’s probably the biggest story of my life. I’ve been with AP for more than 20 years. And I think it’s up to the reporters to make sure this is important story is not forgotten.
6:00 in — I don’t want to sound alarmist or scare anybody, but this is real.
Japan has failed to mention having about 640 kg (1,411 lbs) of unused plutonium in reports it submitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2012 and 2013. The unreported amount is enough to make about 80 nuclear bombs.
The missing 640 kilograms Japan kept as Mixed oxide (MOX) fuel, a plutonium-uranium mixture that could be burned in a reactor. It was found in an offline reactor in a nuclear plant in Saga Prefecture in the southern Japanese town of Genkai.
The MOX fuel was loaded into the No. 3 reactor of Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai nuclear plant in March 2011 during its regular checkup, shortly before the Fukushima Nuclear disaster happened later that month. It was then taken out two years later as the reactor remained offline. Continue reading »
A citizen’s radiation monitoring station in Saitama tweeted that they measured the significant level of radioactive material from inside of elementary school student’s shoes.
The sample was the insoles of the shoes after worn to clean the swimming pool. (cf, High schooler leukemia→School had students “clean” the swimming pool last summer [URL]) The location is Kawagoe city Saitama.
Vancouver Aquarium: Fukushima – A View From The Ocean, June 5, 2014 (h/t Deep13th Nuclear Waste Info): The triple disaster of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent radiation releases at Fukushima Dai-ichi were unprecedented events for the ocean and society. [...] Across the Pacific, ocean currents carrying Fukushima cesium will be detectable along the west coast of North America at some point in 2014, and though models predict levels below those considered of human health concern, measurements are needed. A report will be given on Our Radioactive Ocean, a citizen scientist website launched to monitor the arrival of Fukushima cesium along the west coast over the coming 2-3 years. Continue reading »
NHK, June 6, 2014: [TEPCO] says more than 3 tons of radioactive water may have leaked from barriers surrounding storage tanks. [TEPCO] made the announcement on Friday [...] TEPCO found that regular patrols have not been conducted in the area near the tanks since March, and that the leakage may have begun then. [...] It detected higher levels of radiation around the area than at other locations in the complex. [...] TEPCO officials say regular patrols did not cover the area [...] Continue reading »
31:00 in — Katsutaka Idogawa, Former Mayor of Futaba, Fukushima: In the midst of all this sorrow, Prime Minister Abe is facing outward and promoting exports of nuclear power plants. [...] As a Japanese citizen I am truly ashamed […] The contaminated water from the plant is polluting the Pacific Ocean more and more. I feel humiliated when Abe lies to the world, when he says the radioactive contamination is completely blocked from spreading further into the ocean. […] I urge the people of the world to take a look at us [...] We’re living in conditions that punish us for what happened. Our dreams, our children’s futures, out towns have all been destroyed. We’ve been swept to the very margins of Japanese society and told to live there in silence. [...] Nuclear facilities bring misfortune on human kind. We all need to raise our voices and demand a safe environment where we can live and children can have dreams. We inherited a clean environment from our parents, but I as a parent cannot pass along a clean and beautiful town to my own children. This sad situation can never happen again. Please, don’t just help us, please help human kind.
The US Department of Energy will not be able to meet a June-30 deadline for removing thousands of drums of nuclear waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, where atomic bombs have been built for decades.
In a statement released on Friday, the department said it had notified the New Mexico Environment Department that the waste cannot be transported until officials are certain it poses no threat to public health.
“As we work to assess the conditions of the transuranic waste program at the (Los Alamos) lab, we have decided to halt further shipments until we can reassure the public that it is safe to do so,” Reuters cites David Klaus, an Energy Department secretary for management and performance, as saying in a statement. Continue reading »