Blog Archive

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Upcoming briefings may be "rough"

September 29, 2014
Landowners briefed on Fukushima waste storage plan
 Landowners near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have voiced frustration at the government's plan to buy up their properties to build intermediate storage facilities for radioactive soil and other waste.

About 150 people took part in an Environment Ministry briefing on Monday. It was the first in a series of sessions aimed at outlining compensation plans for landowners in Futaba and Okuma towns.

The move comes as the Fukushima prefectural government earlier accepted construction of storage facilities in the 2 towns.

Ministry officials said they plan to purchase land at around half of its value before the nuclear accident.
The officials said compensation for housing would depend on the age of buildings. They said landowners who decline to sell but allow usage of their plots would be paid 70 percent of the purchase price.

They said the prefecture would effectively cover the difference between the properties' pre-disaster value and the amount of compensation.

Many landowners expressed their reservations.

A man from Futaba Town said the offered price fell short of what he expected, and that the officials spoke about the possibility of forcibly buying up land. He predicted that upcoming briefings would be rough.

A woman from Okuma Town said government officials seemed to care little about the feelings of people who will be deprived of their land.

The government wants to win landowners' understanding, and start shipping contaminated waste to the storage facilities in January.

Source: NHK

What is a hospital "designated" to treat radiation?

September 29, 2014

Hospitals nominally designated for radiation treatment double from 2011

The number of hospitals locally “designated” to treat radiation exposure has grown to 201 from 83 before the Fukushima nuclear disaster, a survey says.
But the survey, conducted by Kyodo News, also showed that the so-called designated hospitals, as of August, were still struggling with shortages of skilled personnel and equipment as central government pushes to restart dozens of idled reactors, many of them old.
The hospitals were designated by local governments as medical institutions that will provide emergency treatment for radiation exposure if nuclear accidents occur. But there are no requirements for receiving the designation — including number of doctors specialized in radiation treatment.
This step was advised through a report compiled by the now-defunct Nuclear Safety Commission after the deadly 1999 criticality accident at a uranium-processing plant in the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority is reviewing medical preparedness for nuclear disasters as part of a package of initiatives introduced in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster but has not hammered out any specifics.
The survey was conducted from July to September, 15 years after the criticality accident at JCO Co. in Tokai on Sept. 30, 1999, which killed two people.
Responses were received from all 24 prefectural governments selected for their proximity to nuclear facilities.
Source: Japan Times

Former Tokai mayor says Japan is sleep-walking toward further nuclear disasters

The Fukushima nuclear disaster reflects a failure by the government to learn from Japan’s first deadly nuclear accident 15 years ago in Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, according to the village’s former mayor.
Speaking to around 350 people at a public meeting there Sunday, Tatsuya Murakami said the nation glossed over the Tokai disaster and upheld a “myth” about the safety of nuclear power.
“Japan was caught up in a safety myth, that a serious nuclear accident would not happen in this country,” he said.
The accident at a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the village occurred on Sept. 30, 1999. It left two people dead.
He said the safety myth and failure to clarify exactly why the accident took place led to mistakes that resulted in the Fukushima debacle.
The accident in Tokai, about 130 km northeast of Tokyo, killed two employees of operator JCO Co. and exposed more than 600 residents to radiation. The critical state lasted around 20 hours, through the next day.
Six JCO employees and the company itself were faulted for the accident. Workers using buckets had poured too much uranium solution into a processing tank, which led to a nuclear fission chain reaction.
Focusing on the use of buckets and calling it “an unexpected problem,” the government and the nuclear industry placed the responsibility for the accident solely on JCO.
The former mayor said what officials should have done was “determine the problems of a nuclear-dependent society as a whole.”
Murakami stepped down as mayor a year ago after 16 years in office and now works as a co-representative of Mayors for a Nuclear Free Japan, a body that comprises nearly 100 former and current mayors who campaign to phase out nuclear power.
When the Tokai accident occurred, the local and central governments seemed unable to take the lead in responding. Murakami stepped in, taking a unilateral decision to evacuate residents within 350 meters of the JCO compound.
After the Fukushima disaster, the then-government of the Democratic Party of Japan declared that the nation would aim to phase out nuclear power by 2040.
But the current government, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party, decided this year to support the continued use of nuclear power and upheld commitment to the nation’s spent-fuel recycling projects.
“To some extent, the DPJ government was reflecting public opinion. But the Abe government has refused to hear what the people say,” Murakami said. “In such circumstances I fear another nuclear disaster may happen.”

Another speaker addressing the meeting was Keiko Oizumi, a former worker at a factory near the JCO plant. She and her husband filed for compensation against JCO and parent company Sumitomo Mining Co. for damage to their health, but in 2010 the Supreme Court threw the case out.
Oizumi spoke of how she sometimes gets to meet evacuees from Fukushima. She also described how she still sees mental-health specialists.
“I have suffered general malaise, depression, sleeplessness and other symptoms, and I still see psychiatrists,” Oizumi said. “I always think I could have lived a normal life if it were not for nuclear power. . . . The JCO accident completely changed my life.”
She said she feels the pain of Fukushima evacuees as her own.
“People do not bleed if they are exposed to radiation, but they bleed in their hearts,” she said.
Oizumi urged supporters to take their demands to those in power.
“We should not accept reactor restarts,” she said. “Now is our only chance to terminate nuclear power.”
Source: Japan Times

Fukushima - September 2014 News Links

Unusual North Pacific warmth jostles marine food chain

Fukushima gov.: Tainted soil site decision ‘painful’

Three Chiba cities will store radioactive waste if state fails to build final disposal site, NHK says

Yoshida Interviews / Asahi insists N-plant staff disobeyed orders

Lawyers call on TEPCO to accept settlements

Testimony from former chief of crippled Fukushima nuclear plant encourages ex-worker

Deceased Fukushima Chief: “I thought we were really dead” — Fear of“nuclear doom for eastern Japan” — “A total failure in which the fuel melts and breaches… containment vessel”

Fukushima Daiichi workers to sue TEPCO

Disaster Relief Mansions' Are Tearing Neighbouring Fukushima Town Apart

The Console of the Fuel Handling Machine dropped during debris removal operation of Unit 3

VIDEO: Wreckage crashes into nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima Unit 3 —Officials not reporting if damaged, but “will continue monitoring regularly” — Cooling in pool interrupted

Fukushima Crisis Continues, Was Worse Than First Reported

Fukushima governor sets 5 conditions for storing radioactive waste

Workersgrappled with darkness at start of Fukushima nuclear crisis

Fukushima forecast used by gov’t shows nuclear waste crossing ocean in single massive cluster — “Maximum concentration propagates eastward inPacific toward U.S.” — Highest levels worldwide remain along coast of N. America through 2026

Fukushima: TEPCO sued for $868,000 in unpaid ‘danger money’

EDITORIAL: Storing radioactive debris should not be regarded as Fukushima’sproblem

Fukushima workers to sue TEPCO for danger pay

Mushroom contamination map shows contaminated products mainly consumed in Kanto area

Tepco “570 kg of debris dropped on 10 fuel assemblies in SFP3, can’t see the fuel but everything is ok”

NRA to study possible volcano eruptions

TV: ‘Zombie’ starfish found along Pacific coast — Experts: “Much spookier than in past” — Babies “die so quickly… they just disappear” — Change in seawater could have activated deadly pathogen — Worries about creation of ‘superbug’ — Serious ecosystem changes now appearing

LDP dismisses idea of using ‘hate speech’ restrictions against anti-nuclear protesters

Gov't body cuts compensation for deaths over Fukushima disaster

TV director to cover Fukushima thyroid cancer and nuclear industry“commit suicide”

Fukushima city gov claimed for damage against Tepco due to the evacuation of the residents

Nuclear disaster drill at Shika plant

TEPCO coating seafloor at Fukushima port with special cement mixture

Fukushima Workers Who Fled May Have Received Garbled Orders, Reports Say

Fukushima Unit 4 Fuel Removal Work Resumes Tomorrow

TEPCO Admits High Radiation Readings In Fukushima Port

Questions remain over how to handle huge volcanic eruptions near nuclear plants

California Nuclear Plant Engineer: We were hit by explosion at Fukushima Unit 3(MAP) — “The public started to freak out” — Tell colleagues what radioactive material is coming their way… don’t notify public — Don’t release initial data to officials until they’re‘on board’

Editorial: Fully disclose testimonies on Fukushima nuclear disaster

Fukushima Workers File Suit Over Missing Pay

Storing Tepco’s radioactive waste

No Fukushima Radiation Found In Coastal Areas

Lawrence Repeta on Japan’s New Secrecy Law

Fukushima Aftermath Lands at Feet of Ex-PM’s Daughter

New environment chief Mochizuki takes on Fukushima radiation woes

Fukushima nuclear material reported in West Coast groundwater; It’s discharging into Pacific Ocean — Fallout also found in meat and fish from same area — “Routinely detected’ in plant life long after March 2011

19-Year-Old Fukushima Woman Says, “Please Let Me Be the One to Decide on My Own Life.”

New METI chief Obuchi rules out new nuclear power plants

Radioactive water leaking from Fukushima tank

Tsuruga #2 Reactor To Never Restart

Tritium Filtration To Be Tested For Fukushima Daiichi

Tohoku residents wary of outsider picked as reconstruction minister

1,090Mega Bq/km2 of Cs-134/137 fallout still observed in July in Fukushima

Japan's nuclear disaster Toxic legacy

Kepco may scrap two aging reactors over upgrade costs

Japan to push for closure of ageing nuclear reactors: Nikkei

Toride city of Ibaraki decided to give lecture by the experts instead of thyroid inspection not to spread fear

IAEA, Japan to Conduct Joint Water Sampling in Fukushima

Surrealism on the Fukushima Daiichi TBS Webcam

Utilities consider decommissioning old reactors

New environment minister visits Fukushima

Radioactive plumes spread cesium a week after Fukushima disaster

Fukushima voices reverberate as history repeats itself

98,000,000 Bq of all β leaked from contaminated water tank

TV News program subtitle “We ran out of time to report about Fukushima related news”

LDP star Obuchi to lead nuclear debate

It was all over within hours certainly by 19th March, no power, no cooling, no containment.

26 among 39 children in Ushiku city Ibaraki given “A2, B” results in thyroid inspection

Two trillion becquerels of radioactive material may have escaped No. 1

Unité 3 de Fukushima : la théorie de l’explosion de vapeur

40-Year-Old Minister of Economy Declares "Contaminated Water Is Under Control", and "Effect of Radioactive Materials Is Completely Blocked" at #Fukushima I NPP

FUKUSHIMA: A Nuclear Catastrophe of Epic Proportions

Japan Gov’t: Tokyo area hit with ‘unnoticed’ wave of Fukushima radioactive material — Newspapers: “Heavily contaminated… High-concentration radiation” — Prime Minister:“We were right on the verge” of evacuating 50 million people

Sendai May Get Restart Approval, Who Has Potential To Restart

Local govts wary of nuclear plant restart

Editorial: Volcanic threat no light matter for Japan's nuclear plant operators

Fuel Removal from Unit 4

Video Showing #Fukushima I NPP Reactor 3 Operating Floor's Heavily Damaged Northwest Section

Power Plants Heading Out to Sea in Post-Fukushima Japan

TEPCO apologizes family over evacuee suicide

“Not for Distribution, Internal Use Only”: US Energy Dept. estimated Fukushima release up to 10,000 times larger than nuclear regulators predicted — ‘Supercore’ scenario an underestimate?

Fukushima fallout continues: now cleanup workers claim unpaid wages

Last month Tokyo Electric Power was ordered to pay $500,000 compensation, now workers sue for promised danger money
Senior Scientist: Fukushima reactors like Swiss cheese; No one knows how far melted nuclear fuel has spread — Newspaper: Highly radioactive water thought to be coming up from ground and directly into open ocean, bypassing plant’s bay; ‘Other substances’ making contamination more serious

EPA on Fukushima: “Modeling indicates greater potential impact to US coastal areas from precipitation than from transport” in ocean — California sea water exceeded 10,000,000 picocuries per cubic meter of iodine-131 in sample squeezed out of radioactive kelp

Seriously? Japan Plans to Restart Nuclear Reactors

Japanese fishing population plummeted since Fukushima nuclear disaster

Japan nuclear regulator gives final safety approval for Sendai restart

Regulator gives OK to restart 2 Sendai reactors in Kyushu

Japan to OK nuclear plant return while pushing to close old reactors

Japanese mass media “Jiji” rose in revolt against Tepco / 2 trillion Bq leaked to the sea in 10 months

Fukushima No. 2 scrambled to avoid same fate as sister site Fukushima No. 1

Japanto restart nuclear reactors

Yoshida Interviews / Strong words on Fukushima N-crisis from TEPCO’s manager on the ground

Hydrogen explosion left Fukushima No. 1 workers sure they would die

More than 90,000 still living in makeshift housing as buildings deteriorate

Head Scientist: “I used to think I knew” why mystery epidemic is decimating millions of West Coast starfish, “but now I don’t” —Toxic pollution now suspected — Fukushima ‘not dismissed’ as cause — California Professor: Significant levels of fallout got into our coastal food web… marine life exposed… It’s not good

Fukushima nuclear disaster: three years on 120,000 evacuees remain uprooted

Nuclear Conspiracies And Pacific Radiation

Japanese regulator caves to the nuclear industry and government pressure –but still no restart for Sendai

Can Occupiers of Anti-Nuke Tent Village Break Down METI of Japan?

Yoshida transcripts on Fukushima nuclear crisis released

Japan in Depth / TEPCO measures fail to hold water</a>

Japan newspaper apologises for false Fukushima report

Japan newspaper apologises for false Fukushima report

Daily Asahi Shimbun retracts faulty Fukushima story, sacks top editor

Late Plant Manager Says He Wishes to ‘Beat up’ Those Who Claim Fukushima Staff Hesitated

Govt.releases interviews about nuclear accident

Secret Fukushima Testimony Revealed: Plant chief considered “disemboweling himself” after explosions… “I should kill myself” — Smoke seen at No. 3 reactor before blast, “I figured this was the end of plant” — At start of crisis “I was in despair… panicking… I could not afford to logically think”

Late Fukushima manager flagged risks of Japan's big nuclear plants

Underground Zeolite Wall Installed At Fukushima Daiichi

Fukushima waste storage issue come into next stage

Editorial: Move to restart reactors without sufficient debate a huge mistake

Fukushima food imports to Korea top 250 tons

With no plans, designated waste sits by farms

Massive Radiation Plume from Fukushima Heading Toward American West Coast According to a Scientific Report

Fukushima plant chief rapped gov't for not sharing sense of crisis

International Symposium in Fukushima Comes Up with Recommendations to Government

Weekly magazine to cover “suicide”of the TV director cancelled release

Daily Asahi Shimbun retracts faulty Fukushima story, sacks top editor

Govt. panel member reacts to interview release

Suga: Record disclosure at govt. discretion

Kan forced visit to Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant amid crisis

Abe Approves Of Non Existent Evacuations Plans For Sendai

Human chain formed to mark 3rd anniversary of anti-nuclear protest tents

Yoshida feared nuclear 'annihilation' of eastern Japan, testimony shows

Top-Secret Fukushima Interview: All the melted nuclear fuel will escape from containment vessel … it’s completely exposed — Nuclear annihilation of entire eastern part of Japan envisioned

Diabolical Deceptions, Dengue Fever and Dirty Nuclear Politics

Fukushima plant chief Yoshida admits lack of contingency plan

Editorial: Nuclear plants cannot rely on luck

Report: Worry over nuclear fuel hitting aquifer under Fukushima plant after melting through concrete — TV: Raging meltdown going on even as we speak… they still don’t have control of 3 melted cores

Fukushima: Trouble in Mushi Mushi Land

Testimony shows confusion at Fukushima plant, chief’s anger

De la gestion des flux migratoires par un État nucléariste dans un contexte de catastrophe nucléaire

Progress report on The Asahi Shimbun's coverage of Yoshida testimony

Will Fukushima Become An Extinction Level Event?

Asahi Breweries, Ltd. Fukushima factory, 0.57 μSv/h

Molten fuel might be out of concrete base to directly damage primary containment vessel of Reactor 1

Pink Skies at Daiichi Sep 14 2014

A melted shoe and a farewell letter in the dark

Responders cowed by explosion at reactor 3 building of Fukushima No. 1

Economic realities of old reactors

Yoshida’s call on seawater kept reactor cool as Tokyo dithered; Fukushima & Nuclear News Roundup; Sept 14, 2014

Downspoutapprx 930cpm, 4.18uSv/h Kanamachi Katsushika Ward in Tokyo

Thinking of Purchasing a Geiger Counter?

Expert: Plutonium contamination of Pacific Ocean food chain from Fukushima now suspected; “Real source of potential long term problems for humans” — Newspaper: “Leakage of highly contaminated water into sea must be dealt with immediately” — Gov’t: Effect on health of US public not ‘significant’

Contamination of Japan compared to the cleanup Criteria of Maralinga

VeryFrightening”: Journalist on very popular Japan news program found dead — Was only person reporting about Fukushima on national TV —Chilling recent quote: “Whatever happens, I want you to know I will never commit suicide” — No official news coverage of death, no obituary, ‘strange’ nuclear message appears on broadcast (VIDEO)

Expert of Tokyo Uni “Evacuation increases cancer more than radiation”

Major road in Fukushima open for general traffic

Cars allowed to use highway section closed by Fukushima nuclear crisis

Ocean hits record high for radioactive Strontium at all 6 locations near Fukushima reactors — Levels up to 20 times higher than reported last week — Officials: Contamination from highly radioactive ‘debris’ is seeping into ground and flowing out to sea

EDITORIAL: Plans to restart Sendai nuclear plant leave a multitude of unresolved questions

IRID Admits Fukushima Unit 1 Fuel May Be Outside Of Containment

Over 2 Trillion Becquerels of Radioactive Waste Flowed from Fukushima Plant into Pacific in Just 10 Months

Regional politics poses the final hurdle to nuclear restarts

Japan's Secrecy Law and International Standards

Always read beyond misleading headlines

‘Fukushima-Gate’ tapes deepen dispute over nuclear legacy
Account from Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster was kept secret - until now

Medesis Pharmasolves nuclear contamination???

Gov’t Scientists:“Something very unusual occurring” off west coast of US, Canada —“Unprecedented in historical record” — “Will dramatically reduce productivity” in 6,500 sq. miles of ocean — Anomaly extends “across Pacific to Japan” — “Who knows what will happen?”</a><a>productivity-17000-square-kilometers-could-se

VIDEO: Gov’t experts highly suspicious of Japan’s claim that nobody suffered acute radiation syndrome after Fukushima — So many workers were ill they had to lay on cardboard after running out of beds — Officials“repeatedly talked of death” — CBS: There were reports of people with radiation sickness

ALPS 2.0 Begins Test Operations At Fukushima Daiichi

Further step for frozen soil walls approved

Abe visits radioactive waste facility site

Fukushima to Solartopia - Pt. 1

Fukushima worker fell ill, sent to hospital by air ambulance / Tepco rejects announcing the name of disease

Hibakusha group withheld nuclear testing protest photos from exhibition

Fukushima radiation a “major threat” to survival of baby birds — “Immediate and worrisome” impacts on marine wildlife discussed — More damage to come as radioactive material biomagnifies in food chain

Govt. releases transport plan for tainted soil

Fukushima fishermen against water release plan

TEPCO: Groundwater bypass helps lessen waste water

Leader of Fukushima Study: “Intense exposure” headed toward northwest coast of US; Plume
traveling very fast via oceanic jet —Releases of radioactive water to impact California coastal areas over prolonged period

Fukushima radiation damages rice genome

Dump trucks eyed for moving tainted soil to hot storage in Fukushima

New Fukushima Evacuation Revelations From First Responders

Fukushima radioactive contamination is rapidly warming North Pacific seawater.

Sep 14, 2014 Fukushima Anomaly Update

Kurion awarded Fukushima treatment contract
Towns vote to block radioactive waste dumps

TEPCO struggling to win approval of fishermen over water-discharge plan

Radio show aborted for DJ’s comments on media control after 311

EDITORIAL: Time running out to scrap nuclear fuel recycling program

Groundwater Bypass May Be Lowering Contaminated Water At Fukushima Daiichi

Tainted water problems still plague Fukushima, despite some positive signs

Tepco announced bypass project decreased 130 t / d of water / Worker “No supportive data”

But is it safe? Scientist weighs homecoming risks in Fukushima

Completion of nuclear fuel plant to be delayed

Japan Times: Fukushima plant plagued by problems as radioactive material bleeds into Pacific — Radiation level in groundwater now 25,000 times higher than when year began

TEPCO Announces Test Run of Improved Water Decontamination System at Fukushima

Govt. to set up new nuclear disaster relief office

26 times much radiation level detected from Japanese used car “Mitsubishi Pajero” in Russian customs

VIDEO: Radioactive material now flowing toward Tokyo and contaminating their water supply; Problems “actually only getting worse” — “Truth is no one in world really knows how to deal with Fukushima” — Gov’t Expert: Tepco “should give up’ making ice walls

Politicians discuss plan Bin nuclear power push: underground reactors

Japan joining nuclear compensation pact would clear way for U.S. cleanup aid

Opposition to waste storage complicates project - Fukushima cleanup going painfully slow

Secrecy law creates ruckus over guidelines

In the Wake of Fukushima (3/11): Japan’s Shift into Renewable Energy

Fukushima Decontamination Process Lagging Behind Set Time frame: Reports

Majority of municipalities planning residential decontamination haven’t finished work

Fukushima radiation still poisoning insects

Industry minister tries to convince public on need for nuclear energy

Gov’t Expert: Fallout in California thousands of times higher than we expected for several days after Fukushima explosions — ‘Orders of magnitude’ above estimates at start of crisis, even though estimations based on Chernobyl — Article: Releases at these levels would mean “many hundreds of kilograms” of “many other fission products!”

NHK changed their TVprogram about Fukushima radioactive particle to dinosaur with no explanation

SURVEY: Iwaki residents harbor mixed emotions toward Fukushima evacuees

Tepco to start removing blast debris from reactor 1 building in late 2015

Helplessness as reactor 2 lost cooling On verge of meltdown, operators feared evacuation of Tokyo possible

Tepco plea to evacuate enraged Kan

Japan PM: Nuclear Power Plants Will Not Reopen Unless 100% Safe

TEPCO changes radioactive water plan

16,000 demonstrators rally against restarting Japan nuke plant

Food affected by Fukushima disaster harms animals, even at low-levels of radiation

Japanese Official: Japan Should Follow Russia's Example in Setting Fukushima Regulations

Fukushima Unit 3 Dust Disperal Hints At Accident Events

What’s your anti-disaster plan?’ Thousands protest Japanese nuclear revival

Schools avoid Iwate Pref. world heritage site over radiation fears

“Groundbreaking” study reveals Fukushima nuclear waste is poisoning wildlife: Up to 99% of offspring died after eating ‘low-level’ contaminated food — “Very high” abnormality rates including “severe and rare” deformities

Ingestion of radioactively contaminated diets for two generations in the pale grass blue butterfly

Russian Scientists to Examine Kuril Islands for Fukushima Radioactive Waste

System to remove cesium at plant stops

Regulator: Cementing radioactive water unavoidable

Researchers,Find Radiation Hot Spots Off Coast Near Fukushima

TEPCO having trouble with 'ice wall' at Fukushima plant

Tepco to give up the preceding frozen wall and directly fill the trenches with cement instead

New industry minister vows to overcome nuclear crisis as Fukushima governor urges intervention

Japanese right targets liberal media A campaign of intimidation has been launched against Japan's major liberal and moderate media outlets.

Issues surrounding the seawall construction plans proposed by the Japanese government

Nuclear Professor: Fukushima Reactor 3 had blast similar to an“exploding vortex ring” — Ejection of nuclear fuel implies there was a “criticality excursion” and steam explosion — Black smoke possibly from burning MOX and uranium fuel (PHOTOS)

Over 10,000 Fukushima children still studying far from homes

Quicker way found to test for radiation in water

McCarthyism, Japan-style

Safety net for nuclear power

Rocky road ahead for Japan's nuclear restart

Nuclear Expert: We found ‘mystery’Fukushima plutonium; Why it’s there is yet to be understood, this was not expected — US Gov’t Expert: I don’t want to go down the rabbit hole too far… There’s speculation about plutonium fuel and about what other fuel they were using

Utilities should have nuclear waste storage facilities as prerequisite for reactor restarts, panel says

Newly released data shows Florida hit with highest level of radioactive material from Fukushima measured anywhere in world outside Japan — #1 out of more than 1,500 test results —Total radioactive iodine was up to 500% of amount reported

Japan to revamp feed-in tariff system amid utility capacity shortage

Old-established-cafe in Tokyo “Ginza West” decided to use Fukushima butter

Not nearly enough buses for mass exodus after nuclear accident

Here is how the National Academies of Science understands Fukushima

Recent reports indicate Fukushima was 2 to 3 orders magnitude greater in USA than Chernobyl (100 to 1,000 times greater)

Radiation fears still haunt Fukushima

70% to 90% of Fukushima and Chernobyl is in Food

Fukushima Worker: “All sorts of troubles going on in plant”; Officials won’t tell public what’s really happening, I’m concerned for my safety — People should be worried, it’s not under control —Employees wear disguises over fear of retaliation — Reporter: Tour of plant "was very strange... feels completely dead… you don’t see many people”

Fukushima Water Treatment System Fails Again

Govt. drafts bill on Fukushima radioactive waste

Four days later: ‘Fukushima 50′ recount start of nuclear crisis

Tears, hopeful promises of reunion as Tepco workers evacuated Fukushima No. 1

As radiation levels soared at Fukushima No. 1, plant chief Yoshida rescinded evacuation order

50%of Young People Living Near Fukushima Suffering From Thyroid Cancer

Hospitals nominally designated for radiation treatment double from 2011

Japan's Suga says volcanic eruption has no impact on nuclear restart

Is the Asahi a scapegoat of nationalist media or victim of own missteps?

Water treatment facility at Fukushima No. 1 suspended again

Water treatment facility at Fukushima plant suspended again

7,500 rally against restart of Kagoshima nuclear plant

Official data reveals lettuce from US West Coast nearly exceeded Chernobyl’s contamination limit; ‘Most dangerous’alpha radiation also detected — TV: Fukushima poses “significant health risks” to areas thousands of kilometers away (VIDEO)

Why is there no international effort to contain Fukushima’s nuclear mess?

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia

Tokai reprocessing plant to be shut

Tokai Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Plant To Close

Workers at Fukushima plant doubled in past year

Japan’s Nuclear Disaster Evacuation Myth; Not Enough Buses

Eruption or not, nuclear restart in Japan to go ahead on schedule

Landowners briefed on Fukushima waste storage plan

Volcanoes may be next obstacle for Japan’s atomic power industry

Le mythe de la sûreté nucléaire

Two former Japanese prime ministers take anti-nuclear stance to stage at rock festival

Volcanic eruption fires concern about Kagoshima reactor restarts

Restart of southwestern nuclear plant unlikely before January

Tepco, Sellafield to compare notes on decommissioning reactors

US Gov’t: Fukushima an “unprecedented wide-area” disaster — Nuclear power threatens human existence — Japan “profoundly impacted” by radiation, scale of damage is “extraordinary”

Former Tokai mayor says Japan is sleep-walking toward further nuclear disasters

Water treatment facility at Fukushima plant suspended again

Fukushima Worker Electrocuted, 3 Power Issues At Plant

Restart of Sendai plant may be delayed

More requirements for nuclear waste storage sites

TEPCO signs cooperation pact with Sellafield

Landowners briefed on Fukushima waste storage plan

Fukushima chief was pleading for help from U.S. military: “Fire’s broken out at Reactor 4… We can’t do anything… please” — Leader turned pale after seeing flames and black smoke near fuel pool — Worker tries to have last meal before dying and realizes he’s unable to taste food

Volcanic eruption fires concern about Kagoshima reactor restarts

Saturday’s eruption of Mount Ontake is likely to set back plans to restart nuclear reactors in Kagoshima Prefecture and possibly elsewhere, as local governments and residents start debating how safe the plants would be in the event of a nearby volcanic eruption.
Concern is especially high in Kagoshima, home to 11 volcanos classified as active by the Meteorological Agency.
From January to March 2011, eruptions at Shintoïsme, part of the Mount Kirishima chain, closed four railroad lines and forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents.
Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority signed off on the safety of reactors 1 and 2 at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Sendai plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, a major step toward their planned restart.
The decision came after months of concern in Kagoshima about what would happen to the plant in the event of a volcanic eruption, but Kyushu Electric says Mount Ontake will not change its plans for Sendai.
“The scale of the eruption at Mount Ontake was small, whereas in our safety measures we looked at the possibility of large eruptions. So we don’t think there will be any effect on the plans to restart the Sendai reactors,” Kyushu Electric spokesman Yuki Hirano said Tuesday.
But pressure on the utility and pro-nuclear politicians in both Kagoshima and Tokyo to delay, or halt, the road to a Sendai restart is growing. On Sunday, organizers said an estimated 7,500 people gathered in the city of Kagoshima to protest the restart of the Sendai reactors, the largest demonstration of its kind the prefecture has ever seen.
“Concern about what would happen to the Sendai reactors in the case of a volcanic eruption is growing rapidly in the wake of the Ontake eruption,” said Yoshitaka Mukohara, head of Antinuclear Kagoshima Network.
Ardent pro-nuclear Kagoshima Gov. Yuichiro Ito has said the only two local government heads that need to agree to a restart of the reactors are himself and Satsumasendai Mayor Hideo Iwakiri, a strong advocate of turning the reactors back on.
Since 1974, Satsumasendai, a city of about 100,000 people, has received more than ¥23 billion in nuclear power subsidies.
But a rush by Ito to restart the reactors could prove politically difficult. There are nine other cities within 30 km of the nuclear plant, and some of them are opposed.
Ichikikushikino, a city of 31,000 residents 10 km from the plant and where opposition to the restart is strong, passed a resolution Tuesday calling on Ito to seek the agreement of local governments around the plant, especially those within 30 km of the reactors.
Source: Japan Times

Monday, 29 September 2014

Radioactive spikes from nuclear plants - a likely cause of childhood leukemia

A radioactive emissions spike taking place during refueling from fugitive noble gas release at the Gundremmigen nuclear plant, Bavaria, Germany. Measured as kBq/m3 against time, in half-hourly intervals. Graph: Alfred Korblein.

29th September 2014
By  Dr Ian Fairlie

When nuclear reactors are refueled, a 12-hour spike in radioactive emissions exposes local people to levels of radioactivity up to 500 times greater than during normal operation, writes Ian Fairlie. The spikes may explain infant leukemia increases near nuclear plants - but operators provide no warnings and take no measures to reduce exposures.

On 23rd August, The Ecologist published very clear evidence of increased cancers among children living near nuclear power stations around the world, including the UK.
The story sparked much interest on social media sites, and perhaps more importantly, the article's scientific basis (published in the academic peer-reviewed scientific journal the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity) was downloaded over 500 times by scientists.
Given this level of interest and the fact that the UK government is still pressing ahead with its bizarre plans for more nuclear stations, we return to this matter - and examine in more detail an important aspect which has hitherto received little attention: massive spikes in radioactive emissions from nuclear reactors.

Refueling releases a huge radioactive emissions plume
Operating nuclear power plants (NPPs) contain large volumes of radioactive gases at high pressures and temperatures. When their reactors are depressurised and opened to refuel every 12-18 months, these gases escape creating a spiked emission and a large radioactive plume downwind of the station lasting for 12 hours or so.

However the emissions and plumes are invisible, and no advance warning is ever given of these spikes. The public is effectively kept in the dark about them, despite their possible health dangers.
For years, I had tried to obtain data on these spikes, but ever since the start of the nuclear era back in 1956, governments and nuclear power operators have been extremely loath to divulge this data.
Only annual emissions are made public and these effectively disguise the spikes. No data is ever given on daily or hourly emissions.

Is this important? Yes: these spikes could help answer a question which has puzzled the public and radiation protection agencies for decades - the reason for the large increases in childhood leukemias near NPPs all over the world.

Governments have insisted that these increased leukemias could not be caused by radioactive emissions from NPPs as their estimated radiation doses were ~1,000 times too low. But these don't take the time patterns of radioactive emissions into account, and so are riddled with uncertainties.

500 times more radiation released than during normal operation
This situation lasted until September 2011, when the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in Germany released a press notice. For the very first time anywhere in the world, half-hourly data on releases of radioactive noble gases from an NPP were made public.
This is shown in the chart (above right) below for 7 days in September 2011. These data were from Gundremmingen NPP -in Bavaria, Southern Germany.

The chart showed that the normal emission concentration (of noble gases) during the rest of the year was about 3 kBq/m³ (see squiggly line along the bottom on September 19 and 20) , but during refuelling on September 22 and 23 this sharply increased to ~700 kBq/m³ with a peak of 1,470 kBq/m³: in other words, a spike.
Primarily, the spike includes radioactive noble gases and hydrogen-3 (tritium) and smaller amounts of carbon-14 and iodine-131.
This data shows that NPPs emit much larger amounts of radioactive noble gases during refuelling than during normal operation in the rest of the year.

From the new data, Nuremberg physicist and statistician, Dr Alfred Körblein, has estimated that, at its maximum value, the concentration of noble gas emissions during refueling was 500 times greater than during normal reactor operation. He also has estimated that about two thirds of the NPP's annual emissions occur during refuelling.

20-100 times dose increases to local populations
In May 2011 in Germany, Green MPs entered the Bavarian State Parliament (Landtag) for the first time where they formed the Government in coalition with the German Socialist Party (SPD).
After several requests, the new Bavarian Government insisted that the state nuclear regulator release non-averaged data on emissions. The highly reluctant nuclear regulator was compelled to respond.
In other words, the Green MPs obtained the data because they had the political power to force its release: there is a lesson here for British environmentalists.

So could these spikes help explain leukemia increases near nuclear plants? Yes they could. People living near nuclear power stations and downwind from them will be exposed to high doses of radiation during these emissions spikes - estimated to be 20-100 times higher than from the tiny releases during the rest of the year.

In 2011, the UK National Dose Assessment Working Group published guidance on 'Short Term Releases to the Atmosphere'. This stated that "...doses from the assessment of a single realistic short-term release are a factor of about 20 greater than doses from the continuous release assessment."
An older German study (Hinrichsen, 2001) indicated that these doses could be 100 times greater. (Hinrichsen K (2001) Critical appraisal of the meteorological basis used in General Administrative Regulations (re dispersion coefficients for airborne releases of NPPs) See Annex D page 9: Radiation Biological Opinion (in German).

A dramatic increase in individual doses
Some scientists think that the time pattern is unimportant and only the population dose is relevant, but this turns out not to be the case. The reason is partly related to the duration of the release, as short releases produce very narrow plumes (plume widths vary non-linearly as a fractional power of the duration).

The result is that individual doses increase dramatically per Bq emitted. Another reason is that spikes result in high concentrations of organically bound tritium and carbon-14 in environmental materials and humans which have longer retentions and thus higher doses.

The precise amount will depend on many factors, including source term, proximity to the reactor, wind speed, wind direction, and the diets and habits of local people.
Even before the new data, official sources didn't have a good handle on these doses to local people. Official estimates of radiation doses from NPPs already contain many uncertainties, that is, they could be many times larger than admitted.

This was shown in the 2004 CERRIE Report, a UK Government Committee which showed that dose estimates from environmental releases depended on many computer models and the assumptions they contained. The new information on radioactive spikes adds to these uncertainties.
Therefore higher doses from emission spikes could go a long way to explaining the increased incidences of child leukemias near NPPs shown by the KiKK findings.

'Especially at risk are unborn children'
IPPNW Germany warned of the probable health impacts of such large emission spikes. Dr Reinhold Thiel, a member of the German IPPNW Board said:
"Especially at risk are unborn children. When reactors are open and releasing gases, pregnant women can incorporate much higher concentrations of radionuclides than at other times, mainly via respiration. Radioactive isotopes inhaled by the mother can reach the unborn child via blood with the result that the embryo/ fetus is contaminated by radioactive isotopes.
"This contamination could affect blood-forming cells in the bone marrow resulting later in leukemia. This provides a plausible explanation for the findings of the KiKK study published in 2008 that under-fives living near NPPs are considerably more at risk of cancer, particularly leukemia, than children living further away."

In the light of the German data, it is recommended half-hourly emissions data from all UK reactors should be disclosed and that the issue of childhood cancer increases near NPPs be re-examined by the Government.
Nuclear operators should inform local people when they intend to open up their reactors, and they should only do so at night-time (when most people are indoors) and when the winds are blowing out to sea.

Dr Ian Fairlie is an independent consultant on radioactivity in the environment. He has a degree in radiation biology from Bart's Hospital in London and his doctoral studies at Imperial College in London and Princeton University in the US concerned the radiological hazards of nuclear fuel reprocessing.
Ian was formerly a DEFRA civil servant on radiation risks from nuclear power stations. From 2000 to 2004, he was head of the Secretariat to the UK Government's CERRIE Committee on internal radiation risks. Since retiring from Government service, he has acted as consultant to the European Parliament, local and regional governments, environmental NGOs, and private individuals.
See also Ian Fairlie's blog.

Source: Ecologist

Workers at Fukushima plant doubled in past year

Sep. 29, 2014
The number of workers taking part in the decommissioning and other work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has doubled to more than 5,700 in the past year.

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, says an average of 5,730 people were working at the damaged facility each day as of July.

The figure is nearly double from a year earlier, as more work is being done to contain contaminated water at the plant.

TEPCO says it is not facing a labor shortage at present, and that more than 10,000 workers are registered on its contractors' lists.

But analysts say the decommissioning process could take up to 40 years. They say more workers will be needed when work gets underway to remove nuclear fuel from the damaged reactors.

They also say additional workers will be needed to implement a plan to freeze the earth surrounding the facility to prevent groundwater from flowing into the plant's highly contaminated compounds.

TEPCO says it plans to improve the working conditions by reducing the amount of radiation around the plant, and simplifying procedures to hire workers.

Source: NHK

Tokai reprocessing plant to be scrapped

Volcanoes may be next obstacle for Japan’s atomic power industry

The deadly volcanic eruption of Mount Ontake over the weekend may strengthen the argument of activists campaigning to keep the country’s 48 reactors shut.

Japan’s atomic plants are offline for safety checks as a result of the earthquake and tsunami that caused the meltdown of three reactors in Fukushima more than three years ago.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority has said two reactors at a plant run by Kyushu Electric Power Co. meet new safety standards, indicating they are closest to restarting.

Kyushu Electric’s Sendai plant is about 50 km (31 miles) from another active volcano called Sakurajima. It’s also not far from a cluster of calderas, volcanic craters caused by past eruptions.

“The NRA has been criticized for not taking the elevated risk of volcanic eruption into account,” Stephen Church, a Tokyo-based partner at equity researcher JI Asia, said in a note Monday.
“The Ontake eruption, if it were to become major, may cause a delay in the nuclear reactor restart program.”

The NRA sees no need to change its policy toward the Sendai reactors because it has already determined they could have withstood a known eruption at Sakurajima 10,000 years ago that was far worse than the Ontake event, said Masaru Kobayashi, who directs the agency’s earthquake and tsunami risk division.

The Ontake eruption, which is in a different part of Japan from Kyushu, won’t cause changes to safety measures for the Sendai units, Kyushu Electric spokesman Yuki Hirano said by phone.

Activists who oppose the Sendai reactor restarts had earlier cited volcano risk when the NRA was assessing safety at the facility.

Kyushu Electric argued to the NRA it could use seismic sensors and global positioning technology to predict eruptions that may threaten its reactors. The NRA approved the safety report on Sept. 10.

Seismologists, however, were unable to forecast the Saturday eruption at Ontake, which killed at least 31 people, mostly hikers in the area who were allowed onto the mountain as sensors didn’t indicate any threat from volcanic activity.

“The event has damaged NRA’s arguments about being able to predict eruptions,” Aileen Mioko Smith, director of the Kyoto-based anti-nuclear group Green Action, said in an email. “They said GPS monitoring could do it. In the case of Ontake, it could not.”

With newspaper opinion polls showing the majority of Japan’s public against nuclear plant restarts, the Ontake eruption may further bolster opposition as there are 110 active volcanoes scattered throughout the country.

Hokkaido Electric Power Co.’s Tomari plant in the far north, which has applied for NRA safety checks at three reactors, is also near an active caldera, Charles Connor, a geophysicist specializing in volcanoes at the University of South Florida, said by phone.

Larger volcanic eruptions can be predicted before they occur, which would give plant operators some time to prepare, said Connor.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Sunday that he does not expect the Ontake eruption to have any impact on nuclear restarts.

Still, the proximity of Sakurajima to the Sendai plant has been raised as an issue by those that don’t support restarts, Tom O’Sullivan, the founder of Tokyo-based energy consultant Mathyos, said by phone. “I think it casts a question mark over the restarts yet again.”

Source: Japan Times