Author Topic: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?  (Read 12491 times)

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #120 on: June 13, 2012, 08:18:00 AM »
Rice-planting in protective clothing



In Okuma machi Fukushima, where is 6km South-West to Fukushima plant, local government staff planted rice and vegetables in protective clothing on 6/12/2012.

The entire area of this town is in hazard area. They planted in the farm and another farm after decontamination to see how much radiation is absorbed by the plants. They removed 5cm of the soil from its surface for decontamination.

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #121 on: June 15, 2012, 02:16:51 PM »
NHK: Extremely high levels of radiation detected just above Reactor 2 containment vessel

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it has detected extremely high levels of radiation on a floor just above the No. 2 reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

[...]

The company said a reading of 880 millisieverts per hour of radiation was detected on the fifth floor, which is 4.5 meters above the reactor containment vessel.

TEPCO suspects radioactive substances leaked from the No. 2 reactor moved through the location.

[...]

During the Fukushima nuclear accident the No. 2 reactor is believed to have released the largest amount of radioactive substances.

[...]

Watch the video here http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english/20120615_02.html

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #122 on: June 15, 2012, 03:05:19 PM »
UPDATE June 15.

Efforts to Restart Oi Reactors

The Mayor of Oi, Shinobu Tokioka, has announced his approval for restarting reactors #3 and #4 at Kansai Electric’s Oi Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture. Issei Nishikawa, Governor of Fukui, is expected to follow suit today. That decision will leave the final restart authority in the hands of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who plans to meet with Yukio Edano, the Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI); Goshi Hosono, Nuclear Crisis Minister; and Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura on Saturday, before Noda leaves the country on Sunday. Kansai Electric officials said that even if reactors #3 and #4 are restarted on Saturday, the will not achieve full power until July 27 at the earliest.

In an effort to quell widespread public anti-nuclear sentiment and concerns about the safety of restarting the Oi reactors, Japan will station two high-ranking officials, Deputy Trade Minister Seishu Makino and nuclear regulator Shinichi Kuroki, within 7 km of the Oi plant. Officials from the Environment Ministry have jokingly referred to the two as “hostages.”

State of Nuclear Politics in Japan

A study by the Japanese Nuclear Safety Commission of 20 offsite Emergency Response Centers located near nuclear plants shows that all are located between 2 and 13 km from nuclear reactors, and only two contain radiation filtration systems, placing them at risk of being unusable in case of a nuclear disaster. Many are located close to the sea and at low elevations, increasing the risk of damage by tsunamis. In addition, a new survey conducted by Kyodo News reveals that nine of 17 emergency response centers are not earthquake proof. The Oi Emergency Response Center, where Prime Minister Noda is pushing to restart two nuclear reactors, is not earthquake proof, is located only 7 km from the reactors, and is less than 12 meters from the sea. In a nuclear emergency, the chances of it being rendered unusable are significant.
 
Members of both ruling and opposition parties in the Diet have agreed to establish an independent five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission by September. The new entity will replace the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), which was highly criticized for conflict of interest while operating under METI, which is tasked with promoting nuclear power. As part of the new bill, a nuclear disaster preparedness council, including all cabinet ministers, will operate under the direction of the Prime Minister.

In addition, the Diet voted to limit operation of nuclear reactors in Japan, but left the age at which they need to retire open ended for the time being. Prime Minister Noda had pushed for the limit to be set at 40 years, with the option for extending that limit to 60 years. The bill will allow the proposed Nuclear Regulatory Commission to make the final determination. The 40-year age limit of reactors has been highly controversial, as many raise concerns about the safety of aging reactors.

A new report from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) reveals that continued testing of the Monju fast-breeder reactor over the next decade—be required in order to put it into practical use--will cost Japanese taxpayers an additional 300 billion yen ($3.8 billion). Alternately, if the government chooses to end development on the reactors and simply maintain it, costs will only be between six and eight billion yen. The Monju fast-breeder reactor was long considered the linchpin of the Japanese nuclear cycle, hypothetically allowing spent fuel to be recycled into so called MOX (mixed oxide) fuel. However, the reactor has been plagued with technical problems and cost overruns for years.
 
Fukushima Prefectural officials have admitted that they asked researchers from Hirosaki University to stop measuring internal levels of radiation contamination of iodine-131 immediately after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, because testing was “stirring uneasiness” among residents. “It’s all right to measure environmental levels, but testing people stirs uneasiness, so we would like you to stop it,” one official from the prefecture’s Local Medical Care Division reportedly said. Radioactive iodine-131 has a half-life of only eight days, so failure to conduct testing at those early stages means that that research was forever lost. Currently, very little data on internal exposure to iodine-131 exists. A Hirosaki University researcher noted, “If proper tests had been carried out, then we could have accurately evaluated the effects of the nuclear crisis, and residents would have felt more at ease.”
Anti-nuclear activists led by Nobel laureate Kenzeburo Oe submitted 7.48 million signatures to Takahiro Yokomichi, Speaker of the Lower House this week, calling for the permanent elimination of nuclear power in Japan. Their efforts were a direct response to the nuclear crisis last year at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The group plans to gather a total of 10 million signatures, and say that they will submit the remaining signatures, once collected, to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Journalist Satoshi Kamata, another leader of the group, said, “We want to put an end to the politics that put economy and money ahead of our lives and health.” Following presentation of the signatures, group leaders met with 40 anti-nuclear members of the Diet.

Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan responded to members of the Diet’s Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission this week, who roundly criticized his actions as the nuclear crisis unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi plant last year. The panel accused him of micromanaging and distracting TEPCO workers from the emergency. In a blog post, Kan wrote, “It was indeed unusual for the Prime Minister’s Office to get directly involved, but we were dealing with a disaster more serious that either TEPCO or the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has ever envisioned. That the Prime Minister’s Office did what was necessary was fact.” He added, “TEPCO could not inject water into the reactors on its own, and it was my office that ordered the Self-Defense Forces and other units into action. I still believe that, as NISA was not functioning, my office could not avoid getting directly involved in managing the crisis.”

The Japan Atomic Energy Commission announced that it will cease its efforts to create a new national nuclear policy, after last week’s revelations that a working group held closed-door meetings with nuclear industry insiders and solicited their input for and provided advanced copies of a draft report on nuclear policy.

TEPCO

TEPCO is admitting that it studied the effect of a 13.5-meter tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2006, and determined that all power at the plant would be lost should a such a large tsunami strike the coast there. Staff estimated that making upgrades to prevent power loss would cost $25 million. TEPCO never addressed the issue. In 2008, the company again studied the effects of a 10-meter tsunami, but made no upgrades. After last year’s triple nuclear meltdown, which was caused by power loss after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a tsunami, the utility insisted that no one could have predicted that type of natural disaster.

TEPCO is now blaming Japan’s central government for its failure to effectively communicate with the Japanese public after last year’s Fukushima nuclear disaster, including releasing information in a timely manner. Although experts said within days that three reactors there had melted down, TEPCO took more than a month to make that pronouncement. In a draft of a soon-to-be-released final assessment of the disaster, the utility claims that government officials “restricted” its announcements. “Because we had to seek approval from the Prime Minister’s Office and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency [on publicity matters] the timing of the announcement and content were restricted.”

Forty-two TEPCO shareholders have filed suit against 27 former and current presidents and chairmen of the utility, charging that they ignored scientific warnings of a potential catastrophic earthquake and tsunami at the plant. They are demanding 5.5 trillion yen ($70 billion) in damages.

State of the Reactors

Workers from TEPCO have once again failed in their efforts to find the cause of major leaks in the suppression chamber of reactor #2, after using infrared cameras. Radioactive water continues to leak into the chambers at a significant rate. Currently, the water level in each chamber, which is 9 meters (29.5 feet) in diameter, exceeds 5 meters (17 feet). TEPCO will not be able to remove damaged, molten fuel from the reactors until the leaks are repaired. TEPCO said that they will continue to search for other methods.

family times41607

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #123 on: June 15, 2012, 04:19:06 PM »
  I could be wrong... but typhoon gulch's path looks like it will go to or get pretty close to the already damaged Fukushima nuke plant.  I read today that the radiation levels are high and getting worse.  I hope it misses,or at least does no damage, or extends the damage. This could get way worse.  If someone could compare the projected track of the typhoon, to the Fukushima area, that might be able to ease my mind.  I hope I'm wrong, the storms winds are projected to be around 80 to 115.  Good luck to all

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #124 on: June 15, 2012, 11:35:34 PM »
Japan PM Noda orders nuclear reactors back online

Japan has announced that it will restart two nuclear reactors - the first to go back online since all the country's plants were closed following last year's Fukushima crisis.

Reactors at the Ohi plant in central Fukui prefecture will be switched on in three weeks, officials said.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has urged support for the move, saying Japan faces a summer of power shortages.

But widespread public opposition to nuclear power remains.

Japan's 50 reactors were shut down for routine maintenance after the meltdown at the Fukushima power plant, which was triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Stabilise livelihoods'

Prime Minister Noda made the announcement after meeting the governor of Fukui prefecture, Kazumasa Nishikawa, who gave his approval for the decision.
The prime minister then held talks with the minister of economy, the minister in charge of the nuclear accident and the chief cabinet secretary, before making the announcement.

"Now that we have the approval from the autonomous body where the reactors are relocated, the four ministers concerned made the decision to restart the reactors," Mr Noda said, according to AFP news agency citing local media.

Mr Nishikawa told reporters the agreement was reached to "help stabilise livelihoods and industry".

He said he had given his approval because he had been "assured of the government's safety efforts".

But Mr Noda still faces stiff opposition from lawmakers and the public, says the BBC's Mariko Oi in Osaka.

According to the latest poll by Jiji news agency, 46% of the public is still against the move to restart the reactors in Fukui, she says.

Nuclear power used to provide one third of Japan's electricity.

The government has asked households and businesses in parts of the country to cut electricity usage by 15% to avoid possible blackouts.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18468685

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #125 on: June 15, 2012, 11:44:59 PM »
  I could be wrong... but typhoon gulch's path looks like it will go to or get pretty close to the already damaged Fukushima nuke plant.  I read today that the radiation levels are high and getting worse.  I hope it misses,or at least does no damage, or extends the damage. This could get way worse.  If someone could compare the projected track of the typhoon, to the Fukushima area, that might be able to ease my mind.  I hope I'm wrong, the storms winds are projected to be around 80 to 115.  Good luck to all

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FgKyMMxaNdw


Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #126 on: June 15, 2012, 11:46:06 PM »
Here are some more HD photo's of the plant.


http://cryptome.org/eyeball/daiichi-npp/daiichi-photos.htm

family times41607

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #127 on: June 16, 2012, 05:27:18 AM »
Winds are not gonna be good for Fukushima, radiation will be blown everywhere.  I'm sure the tidal surge will not effect the plant.  The torrential rain may help  the plant stay cool.  There will be more to talk about I'm sure. Thanks Nigel

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #128 on: June 16, 2012, 10:34:07 AM »
1.32E+9 of cesium leaked from decontamination system of Areva







6/14/2012, Tepco announced 3 tones of contaminated water leaked from the decontamination system of Areva. It contains 4.4E+8 Bq/m3 of cesium.
1.32E+9 Bq/m3 of cesium was leaked in total. The leaked amount of Strontium or Tritium is not announced.This system was stopped but it has been under circulation operation from 5/21/2012.

The leaking point is not identified yet. Tepco states it didn’t leak out of the system of Areva.

At 7:00 6/14/2012, decontamination system alerted to stop the operation. Nuclear worker confirmed 3 tones of contaminated water was leaking on the 1st floor of the building.

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #129 on: June 18, 2012, 02:41:00 PM »
150 MPH Super Typhoon Sets Aim At Japan: Fukushima Near Center Of Forecast Track - “Expected To Intensify”



Accuweather
By Evan Duffey, Meteorologist
Jun 17, 2012; 11:32 AM ET

Guchol, a tropical cyclone in the western Pacific, rapidly strengthened Saturday afternoon, local time. Winds are now in excess of 150 mph, making Guchol a super typhoon, the highest classification for tropical cyclones in the western Pacific.

If Guchol were an Atlantic Hurricane, it would be considered a Category 5 storm.




enlightenme

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #130 on: June 19, 2012, 04:46:52 AM »
Certainly not good news for Japan, or the rest of the world!  Thanks Nigel for this important information.

Yowbarb

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #131 on: June 19, 2012, 08:19:06 AM »
It looks like it is clobbering Japan right now; will try to post a report,
Yowbarb
=============================================
SEE:
Animated display of satellite:

http://www.accuweather.com/en/jp/national/satellite

Yowbarb

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #132 on: June 19, 2012, 08:25:13 AM »
NASA on Typhoon Guchol:
 
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurricanes/archives/2012/h2012_Guchol.html

Hurricane Season 2012: Guchol (Western North Pacific Ocean) 06.18.12

All hatches should be battened down at Kadena Air Base, Japan as NASA satellite imagery today, June 18, revealed the northern quadrant of Typhoon Guchol as already affecting the island.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Typhoon Guchol on June 18, 2012 at 0445 UTC (12:45 a.m. EDT/U.S.). Guchol is approaching Kadena Air Base. The image showed high cirrus clouds over Guchol's eye. The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument onboard Aqua captured an infrared image that revealed powerful thunderstorms over a large area surrounding the eye, that had very cold cloud top temperatures (colder than -63F/-52C). The infrared image also revealed bands of thunderstorms east and south of the center.

On June 18 at 0900 UTC (5 a.m. EDT/U.S.) Guchol has maximum sustained wind near 105 knots (120.8 mph/194.5 kph), which makes it a Category three typhoon on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Typhoon-force winds extend 55 nautical miles (63 miles/102 km) from the center, while tropical-storm-force winds extend 165 nautical miles (190 miles/305 km), making the storm about 330 nautical miles (380 miles/611 km) in diameter. Guchol's storm surges pose a big threat, as it is generating 52 foot-high (~16 meters) seas.

At 9:35 p.m. EDT on June 17, the Kadena Air Base Facebook page reported "The 18th Wing commander announced TCCOR 1: Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots [57.5 mph/92.6 kph] or greater are expected within 12 hours. DODDs schools will close at this time. Fill any available containers with water. Make a final check of food, water and other supplies." Kadena Air Base will experience rough surf, heavy rainfall and typhoon-force winds from June 18 to 20 as the storm moves north.

Guchol is moving north toward the big Island of Japan and expected to track near Kyoto. Guchol continues to weaken and is expected to become extra-tropical while moving over Japan.

Text Credit: Rob Gutro
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
........

› View larger image
This image of Typhoon Guchol was taken by the MODIS instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite on June 18, 2012 at 0445 UTC (12:45 a.m. EDT/U.S.). Guchol is approaching Kadena Air Base. This image shows high cirrus clouds over Guchol's eye.
Credit: NASA MODIS Rapid Response Team

This infrared image was taken on June 18 at 0441 UTC (12:41 a.m. EDT) from the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite shows the northern quadrant of Typhoon Guchol brushing Kadena Air Base. The purple areas show the strongest storms and coldest cloud top temperatures. Those are the areas of heaviest rainfall. Notice the bands of thunderstorms east and south of the center.
Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen NASA Sees Powerful Typhoon Guchol Affecting Kadena Air Base



..................

Yowbarb

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #133 on: June 19, 2012, 08:32:27 AM »
I'm not sure how hard it hit or what the affect was upon the nuclear plant.
If anyone has that info, please post update here.
- Yowbarb
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The Weather Underground

 Tropical Weather & Hurricanes

http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/?index_region=wp

Tropical Storm Guchol
Wind: 40 MPH — Location: 35.3N 137.5E — Movement: NE

737
wtpn31 pgtw 191500
msgid/genadmin/joint typhoon wrncen Pearl Harbor hi//
subj/tropical cyclone warning//
rmks/
1. Tropical storm 05w (Guchol) warning nr 035
   02 active tropical cyclones in northwestpac
   Max sustained winds based on one-minute average
   wind radii valid over open water only
    ---
   warning position:
   191200z --- near 35.3n 137.5e
     movement past six hours - 040 degrees at 37 kts
     position accurate to within 050 nm
     position based on center located by a combination of
     satellite and radar
   present wind distribution:
   Max sustained winds - 035 kt, gusts 045 kt
   wind radii valid over open water only
   becoming extratropical
   repeat posit: 35.3n 137.5e
    ---
   forecasts:
   12 hrs, valid at:
   200000z --- 39.8n 142.3e
   Max sustained winds - 025 kt, gusts 035 kt
   wind radii valid over open water only
   extratropical
   vector to 24 hr posit: 055 deg/ 30 kts
    ---
   24 hrs, valid at:
   201200z --- 42.9n 149.0e
   Max sustained winds - 020 kt, gusts 030 kt
   wind radii valid over open water only
   extratropical
    ---
remarks:
191500z position near 36.4n 138.7e.
Tropical storm 05w (Guchol), located approximately 110 nm west of
yokosuka, Japan, has tracked northeastward at 37 knots over the past
six hours. Composite radar reflectivity loop from Japan shows the
system had rapidly moved inland, making landfall in the Kii peninsula
near nagoya chubu. Infrared satellite animation shows the main
convection is mostly decoupled from the low level circulation as the
system became embedded in the baroclinic zone. Ts 05w is expected to
drag across the japanese Alps and the remnant low, should it survive
the rugged terrain, will emerge in the cold Pacific Ocean just south
of hokkaido as a cold-core extra-tropical low by tau 12. The
numerical model aids are in tight agreement and lend high confidence
to this forecast. This is the final warning on this system by the
joint typhoon wrncen Pearl Harbor hi.  The system will be closely
monitored for signs of regeneration. Refer to tropical storm 06w
(Talim) warnings (wtpn32 pgtw) for six-hourly updates.    //

http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/?index_region=wp
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 08:50:19 AM by Yowbarb »

Nigel Beardsley

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Re: Is Fukushima’s Doomsday Machine About To Blow?
« Reply #134 on: June 20, 2012, 02:28:37 AM »
UPDATE June 20.

Efforts to Restart Oi Reactors

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda approved restarting reactors #3 and #4 at Kansai Electric’s Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture this week, ignoring concerns of many local residents and government officials who live within 30 km of the plant, and who would be profoundly affected should a nuclear disaster occur. He made the move after Issei Nishikawa, Governor of Fukui, met with Kansai President Makoto Yagi on Friday night, and announced his own approval the next morning. Fukui Prefecture is home to 14 nuclear reactors, and the economy there has been highly dependent on subsidies from nuclear power companies. Both reactors will not reach full capacity until approximately July 27.
The government will post Ministry of the Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) Vice Minister Seishi Makino at the plant’s off-site emergency response center as the reactors are fired up. Some government insiders have jokingly referred to Makino as a “hostage”, since the response center is located near the sea and at risk of tsunamis, is not earthquake proof, and has no radiation filtration system to protect those inside in case of a nuclear accident. Earthquake upgrades will not be completed until 2016, tsunami barriers will not be done until 2014, and the new ventilation system will not be installed until 2016. External power supplies need to be upgraded, but that will not happen until December 2013. The center is located only 7 km from the Oi plant, and evacuation procedures are not in place for residents in the town, where there is only one main road out of the town. One resident said, “There’s no way we could get out in time if the wind blew radiation this way.” During the Fukushima crisis, the emergency response center was rendered completely unusable for similar reasons.
As Noda was preparing his decision, over 400 demonstrators protested outside of his office, pointing out that the causes of the Fukushima disaster have not yet been fully determined, and safety at the Oi plants has not been assured. Earlier this month, over 10,000 people gathered in Tokyo to protest the reactor restarts, shouting, “Lives matter more than the economy.” One Tokyo resident noted, “There is a huge gap between public opinion in which more people are opposed to resumption of operations, and the decision of the government. I did not want just a few people to make such an important decision.” Meanwhile, the country has been running completely without nuclear power since the beginning of May, and with very little for months before that.
In addition, the announcement sparked international criticism and protests over the weekend in Australia, Germany, Thailand, Rome, New York, Washington, and Seoul. More protests are planned later this week in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, a group of 73 current and former mayors from nearby municipalities held a news conference to protest Noda’s decision, accusing the government of conducting insufficient safety tests and restarting the reactors before a reputable nuclear regulatory entity is in place. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), long criticized for conflicts of interest since it exists under the umbrella of METI, which promotes nuclear power, is scheduled to be disbanded and replaced by a new more independent Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). However, that commission is not expected to be up and running until at least September.  In April, Yukio Edano, the head of METI, stated, “In my opinion, we should wait for the new regulator organizations to be launched to proceed with the process of confirming the safety of reactors [for future restarts].”
However, Edano flip-flopped and agreed to the restarts on Saturday. He later conducted a news conference after Noda’s announcement, where he admitted, “There is no such thing as a perfect score when it comes to disaster prevention steps.” He added, “We understand that we have not obtained all of the nation’s understanding.”
Experts point out that Noda may now push for other reactors to be restarted; the first will probably be Shikoku Electric Power’s Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture, which has passed the government’s controversial first round of stress tests. However, many analysts say that Noda will have a difficult time doing so before the new NRC begins operation in September. They estimate it will take an additional 10 months for the commission to establish new standards, pushing those restarts to next summer. In addition, the government is scheduled to begin discussions this summer over whether or not nuclear energy should be phased out completely, as the country develops a new energy plan.

State of Nuclear Politics in Japan

Newly released information reveals that the Japanese government ignored US Department of Energy (DOE) radiation data in the days following the Fukushima nuclear disaster and failed to release it to the public, as thousands of residents unknowingly evacuated to even more highly contaminated areas. The DOE used an Aerial Measuring System (AMS) between March 17 and 19, flying in a 45 km radius around the plant, and measured radiation levels as high as 125 microsieverts per hour in a 30 km-wide area. That data—which measured actual radiation levels, not just predictions—was conveyed twice in emails to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, which were then forwarded to both NISA and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT). Several MEXT officials have admitted that the information was never forwarded to the Prime Minister’s office. Although the information was sent over a year ago, NISA officials said they are still trying to determine whether or not they received the data. Tokushi Sahibata, professor emeritus at Tokyo University noted, “It was a fatal error in judgment. If the data had been released immediately, the situation of residents evacuating in the wrong direction and becoming exposed to radiation could have been avoided.” The central government also ignored its own System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI), which predicted radiation spread in the areas to which residents were fleeing, claiming they did not know whether or not it was accurate. Recent reports show that in fact, officials did know that the readings were reliable.
Hideo Kishimoto, Mayor of Genkai in Saga Prefecture, has proposed taxing spent fuel rod storage at the Genkai power plant. The town received significant subsidies—up to 10 billion yen over the course of each reactor’s average 40-year life span, as well as property taxes—in order to convince them to accept the danger of having a nuclear plant in their backyard. Shizuo Tsusumi, who heads Sayonara Nuke, an anti-nuclear organization, said, “It is wrong to get remote communities to accept danger in exchange for money.” Another environmentalist noted, “Nuclear related money is like a drug: you get addicted once you receive it.”
Kenzaboro Oe, Nobel laureate and anti-nuclear activist, presented 7.5 million signatures decrying the use of nuclear power to Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura last week. The petition requested that nuclear power be abolished in Japan, and criticized the restart of reactors #3 and #4 at the Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture. Oe’s group plans to hold an anti-nuclear rally on July 16, at which 100,000 people are expected to protest.

State of the Reactors

TEPCO announced that exceedingly high levels of radiation have been found on a floor 4.5 meters above reactor #2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The discovery signifies substantial radiation leaks, although the utility admitted it could not confirm the route of the leaking radiation. The contamination was discovered after workers used a robot to assess damage there. Radiation levels measured 880 millisieverts per hour. The issue raises concerns about TEPCO’s ability to decommission the reactor. Workers will need to remove fuel from the containment vessel, but cannot do so until they repair the damaged reactor. That process will be difficult if high levels of radiation prevent workers from gaining entry.
Workers have installed a 4 cm thick steel plate weighing 60 tons over the spent fuel pool at reactor #4, in an effort to prevent more rubble from falling into the pool, which contains 1,535 spent fuel rods. TEPCO hopes to begin dismantling some parts of the building, a process that is expected to create a lot of debris.

Contamination

Fishermen from Fukushima Prefecture plan to begin test fishing this week, after voluntarily refraining from fishing in contaminated waters off the coast of Fukushima for over a year. Catches will be tested for radiation but will not be released for sale to the public. If radiation levels remain low, the fishermen, who belong to the Soma-Futaba Fishermen’s Union, will fish again on June 20 and 27, at which point radiation levels will once again be tested. Radioactive cesium has bound with the mud at the bottom of the ocean, and many bottom-feeding fish have shown radiation levels exceeding government limits. TEPCO has agreed to compensate fishermen for lost wages, and recently agreed to also compensate for decreased sales value of fish as a result of negative publicity and radiation fears.
Local officials in Okuma, home to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, have approved test planting of rice, carrots, spinach, and other vegetables in order to determine whether new crops there will be contaminated. Okuma lies in the evacuation zone around the plant and is considered uninhabitable. The tests include planting some vegetables in plots where 5 cm of soil has been removed in an effort to decontaminate it. Officials hope to learn whether those efforts have been successful.

 

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