Archive for the ‘Fukushima’ Category

Fukushima Radiation Alert — Concern ‘nuclear chain reaction’ could occur at plant

April 25, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Mass die-off ongoing along US West Coast — TV: “It’s just not clear why all the marine life is washing up like this… Reports coming in every day” — Experts: ‘Unknown’ organisms eating away brains, hearts… New infection never seen before (VIDEOS)
Posted: 24 Apr 2017 12:28 PM PDT

TV: Fukushima Radiation Alert — Concern ‘nuclear chain reaction’ could occur at plant — Reactors are still melting down and spewing radioactivity — Fuel has burned through containment — Expert: It’s unprecedented… could’ve been 12 Chernobyls (VIDEO)
Posted: 24 Apr 2017 07:34 AM PDT

Nuclear energy and the sickness of Japan

April 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

The financial support of Tepco for the more than 60 thousand voluntary refugees from Fukushima ended last March.
This has given rise to deep sympathy and sharp criticism as to the irresponsible Japanese nuclear policy
from the standpoint of human rights、humanism and ethics.
Conscientious Japanese will not give up requiring the redressing of the situation.

Some comments so far received;

“Dear Mitsuhei,
so much denial – horrendous. Thank you for sharing this article. May responsibility and common sense prevail!”

“As far as nuclear reactors are concerned,the term”accountability” does not exist in Japan.This is due to the lack of three senses,
the sense of responsibility,that of ethics and that of justice,that is to say, the sickness of Japan.

In the internet,the lack of ethics as regards the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 is being revealed at its deep roots.Heaven’s vengeance is slow but sure (Lao Tsu).

The warning that “the fate of the world will be decided by electric countries (sic., companies’?)”is finally bringing about countermeasures;an international move to enact legislation against producing radioactivity and a new move against radioactive pollution in Japan.

It is evident that crisis management is now needed to cope with the eventual retreat from the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, in view of the impact beyond imagination it could cause.

Fukushima could never be hidden or forgotten.
Yesterday, I sent a message to this effect to Chairman Shuichi Tanaka of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

Mitsuhei Murata
Fomer Ambassador to Switzerland

Fukushima’s Upcoming Olympics

April 13, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am sending you an article in the Counterpunch sent to me by Mr.Robert Hunziker.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/12/fukushimas-upcoming-olympics/

Its following excerpts are convincing.
Japan will hold soccer and baseball events in Fukushima Prefecture for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This is not a spoof.
—–It is absolutely true Olympic events will be held in Fukushima Prefecture, thereby casting aside any and all concerns about the ongoing nuclear meltdown,thereby casting aside any and all concerns about the ongoing nuclear meltdown; after all that’s history.

How could anybody possibly have the audacity to bring Olympic events to the backyard of the worst nuclear meltdown in history whilst it remains totally 100% out of control? Answer: Japan’s PM Shinzō Abe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone is 1,000 square miles (off limits for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years) because of an explosion in one nuclear power plant that is now under control whereas Fukushima has three nuclear meltdowns that remain, to this day and into the unforeseeable future, radically out of control and extremely hazardous.

Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

Officials: Melted fuel still leaking from Fukushima reactor

April 11, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Officials: Melted fuel still leaking from Fukushima reactor — Likely escaping from opening at bottom of containment vessel — Gov’t experts want to give up sending in robots to search for molten cores

Posted: 11 Apr 2017 06:27 AM PDT

Alarming article on Fukushima

April 9, 2017

Dear Friends,

I m sending you my message addressed to President Bach of the IOC.
The following alarming information provided by the Fukushima Fallout Awareness Network
will motivate the IOC to take action in order to reassure the safety of the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.

http://www.fukushima-is-still-news.com/2017/04/no-olympics-in-fukushima.html

Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

With warmest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

—–Original Message—–

To: Boite lettres Cabinet president
Subject: Alarming article on Fukushima

Dear President Thomas Bach,

The attached alarming article is being widely disseminated by the Fukushima
Fallout Awareness Network.

http://www.fukushima-is-still-news.com/2017/04/no-olympics-in-fukushima.html

Please have a close look at it.
I hope you will understand why inceasing conscientious Japanese citizens are
asking for the retreat from the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Japan must fully accomplish its resposibility of bringing the unstoppable
Fukushima nuclear disater under control as soon as possible.

With warmest and highest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

Interview article of Withnews Asahi

April 8, 2017

Dear Friends,

I have a feeling that the international community is increasingly siding
with the efforts of conscientious Japanese to have Japan consecrate maximum
efforts to cope with the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster.

In this connection, I am sending you an impressive article of the Asahi Withnews
based on the interview given to me by Ms.Zhang Rong, Asahi News Paper journalist(Chinese).
It is in Japanese, but the photos showing me in the presence of outstanding figures like Robert McNamara,
Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorvachev, Martina Hingis make it symbolic of the international support for my activities
that include the plea for retreating from the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 in favor of coping with Fukushima.

http://withnews.jp/article/f0170406000qq000000000000000W02310701qq000014960A

On April 25,I was interviewed by Mr. Rao Jin,journalist of “April Media”, Chinese Website very popular among the young.
In the interview,I referred to the Unit 2 problem of the Fukushima Daiichi. Ms.Zhang Rong served as an interpreter for the Interview.
Mr. Rao Jin was alarmed and went to kyoto two days later to interview Mr. Shuzo Takemoto, Emeritus Professor of Kyoto University.
He has been warning against the collapsing of the Unit 2 building with intensity 7 or 6 plus earthquakes in perspective,that could make Tokyo uninhabitable. Mr Rao is making a documentary film on the dangers of nuclear reactors.

The Japanese mass media are still silent on the Unit 2 problem.

Please allow me to count on your understanding and support.

With warmest and highest regards,
Mitsuhei Murata
Former Ambassador to Switzerland

Hundreds Of Millions Of Salmon Disappear On West Coast Of US Salmon presumed dead following Fukushima

April 3, 2017

By: Daniel Newton |@NeonNettle on 28th March 2017 @ 10.14am © press

Hundreds of millions of Salmon are missing from the pacific ocean and are presumed dead.

Following the catastrophic effects of Fukushima, now millions of Salmon are missing from the pacific ocean and are presumed dead.

Fears that ocean food chain has been damaged to the point that sea life could die off as a result.New data from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have now found that Salmon numbers have dropped dramatically from the Sacramento River.

The worst run forecast on record for the Klamath River’s chinook salmon could close all salmon fishing along most of the Oregon Coast this summer…

Mendocino Beacon: Returns of spawning Klamath River fall Chinook are projected to be the lowest on record in 2017… “The salmon runs this year will present a challenge for ocean fishermen and managers throughout the West Coast,” said Executive Director Chuck Tracy… “the low forecast for Klamath River fall Chinook is unprecedented”… “This year will be an exceptionally difficult year for ocean salmon fisheries, especially in Oregon and California”… said Council Chair Herb Pollard.

Juneau Empire: Spring king fishing canceled by emergency order… the Juneau area will be closed for king salmon fishing… biologists expect a second-straight year of record-low king salmon returns on the Taku River. “We’ve been in a period of low productivity, not just on the Taku, but on several rivers up and down the coast,” Juneau Area Management Biologist Daniel Teske said… Nobody knows exactly why Southeast king salmon are struggling, but biologists do know where the fish are being affected: in the ocean… The increased die-off must be happening in a marine environment, Teske said, otherwise numbers on the four rivers wouldn’t fall at the same time… Undercurrent News: Japanese salmon fisheries in historic collapse — Landings in Hokkaido, Japan are the lowest in nearly three decades, reports the blog RussGeorge.net. The volume of salmon caught at main fishing ports, including Hokkaido, plunged 30-40% in 2016 from the previous year. The figure represented the lowest level in 28 years. The collapse has been confidently attributed to the starvation of four-year-old Chum salmon…

Russ George: Japanese Salmon Fisheries in Historic Collapse… News from Japan is terrible for NW Pacific fish… Local fishermen have been increasingly concerned over the fact that the trend of meager catch that continued in recent years has not been held in check and indeed is worsening every year… Given the shortfall of fish and the scrawny condition of the fish that were caught all evidence points to a cataclysmic collapse of ocean pasture primary productivity and fish starving at sea… Across the Pacific ocean salmon pastures have failed…

Minato-Tsukiji: Japan chum salmon landings the worst in 24 years — This year’s chum catch in Japan is very poor, with declines in landings not only in the Hokkaido region but also in Honshu… Also, chum sizes are also getting smaller…

Russ George: Hundreds of Millions of Pacific Salmon Missing and Presumed Dead — Across 10,000 miles of North Pacific ocean pasture declarations from Japan and the USA are reporting a cataclysmic collapse of Pacific Salmon. The fish are tragically starving at sea as the plankton pastures have turned into clear blue lifeless deserts…

Collapse of North Pacific ocean fish pastures has resulted in near total collapse of Pacific Salmon… It’s not just Pacific salmon that are dying in the North Pacific all forms of ocean life are being reported dead and dying [in] stunning numbers…

Hokkaido Shimbun: Salmon landings in Hokkaido in 2016 are the lowest in three decades — The number of salmon caught in Hokkaido in 2016 plunged 29.4% from the previous year… The figure represented the lowest level in 28 years… Local fishermen have been increasingly concerned over the fact that the trend of meager catch that continued in recent years has not been held in check…

Minato-Tsukiji: The harvest in Hokkaido was the worst in 24 years… Beginning with the Sanriku area, landings all over Honshu were below those of the previous year… The number of returning four-year-olds, which are regarded as the main shoal, was a record low…

Read more at: http://www.neonnettle.com/features/825-hundreds-of-millions-of-salmon-disappear-on-west-coast-of-us
© Neon Nettle

Nuclear Investigator: Worry over underground explosions at Fukushima

March 21, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Nuclear Investigator: Worry over underground explosions at Fukushima — New data shows molten fuel is “dropping lower each day”, melting deeper into ground below plant — Disaster far worse than public being told — “Why aren’t we reading about this everywhere?”
Posted: 20 Mar 2017 12:28 PM PDT

“Massive leak” at nuclear plant after reactors contract “small pox” — Stunning Discovery: Contagion has spread all over critical structures — Multiple large cracks found — Experts befuddled… Literally a plot similar to a movie thriller
Posted: 21 Mar 2017 04:07 AM PDT

Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima is “worst industrial cataclysm in history of world… As close to hell as I can imagine”

March 15, 2017

Latest Headlines from ENENews

Nuclear Engineer: Fukushima is “worst industrial cataclysm in history of world… As close to hell as I can imagine” — Melted fuel ‘disappeared’ — Contamination will go on for hundreds of thousands of years… “No one knows when it’ll end” — Gov’t perpetrating ongoing cover-up (VIDEO)
Posted: 14 Mar 2017 03:36 PM PDT

Struggling With Japan’s Nuclear Waste, Six Years After Disaster

March 14, 2017

ASIA PACIFIC

By MOTOKO RICHMARCH 11, 2017
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(Full article with photos here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/world/asia/struggling-with-japans-nuclear-waste-six-years-after-disaster.html?emc=eta1&_r=0)

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A worker on the outside wall of the Reactor 2 building at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station last month. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI NUCLEAR POWER STATION — Six years after the largest nuclear disaster in a quarter-century, Japanese officials have still not solved a basic problem: what to do with an ever-growing pile of radioactive waste. Each form of waste at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and a tsunami on March 11, 2011, presents its own challenges.

400 Tons of Contaminated Water Per Day

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Tanks for contaminated water, with Reactors 1 and 2 in the background. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The Tokyo Electric Power Company is pumping water nonstop through the three reactors to cool melted fuel that remains too hot and radioactive to remove. About 400 tons of water passes through the reactors every day, including groundwater that seeps in. The water picks up radiation in the reactors and then is diverted into a decontamination facility.

But the decontamination filters cannot remove all the radioactive material. So for now, all this water is being stored in 1,000 gray, blue and white tanks on the grounds. The tanks already hold 962,000 tons of contaminated water, and Tokyo Electric is installing more tanks. It is also trying to slow the flow of groundwater through the reactors by building an underground ice wall.

Within a few years, though, and no one is sure exactly when, the plant may run out of room to store the contaminated water. “We cannot continue to build tanks forever,” said Shigenori Hata, an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

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The authorities are debating whether it might be acceptable, given the relatively low radioactive levels in the water, to dilute the contaminated water and then dump it into the ocean. But local fishermen are vehemently opposed. Many people still do not trust Tokyo Electric because of its bungled response to the disaster, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

3,519 Containers of Radioactive Sludge

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Shipping containers holding reactor maintenance equipment from the plant. Other containers at the site hold rubble or filters full of radioactive sludge. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The process of decontaminating the water leaves radioactive sludge trapped in filters, which are being held in thousands of containers of different sizes.

Tokyo Electric says it cannot quantify the amount of radioactive sludge being generated. But it says it is experimenting with what to do with it, including mixing it with cement or iron. Then it will have to decide how to store it.

64,700 Cubic Meters of Discarded Protective Clothing

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An employee putting on work attire.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
The estimated 6,000 cleanup workers at the site put on new protective gear every day. These hazmat suits, face masks, rubber gloves and shoe coverings are thrown out at the end of each shift. The clothing is compressed and stored in 1,000 steel boxes stacked around the site.

To date, more than 64,700 cubic meters of gear has been discarded, the equivalent of 17 million one-gallon containers. Tokyo Electric says it will eventually incinerate all this contaminated clothing to reduce the space needed to store it.

Branches and Logs From 220 Acres of Deforested Land

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Cut trees on the grounds of the Fukushima plant.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
The plant’s grounds were once dotted with trees, and a portion was even designated as a bird sanctuary. But workers have cleared about 220 acres of trees since the meltdown spewed radiation over them.

Now, piles of branches and tree trunks are stacked all over the site. Officials say there are about 80,000 cubic meters of this waste, and all of it will have to be incinerated and stored someday.

200,400 Cubic Meters of Radioactive Rubble

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The shell of the Reactor 1 building at the plant. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Explosions during the meltdown filled the reactors with rubble. Workers and robots are slowly and carefully trying to remove this tangled mass of crushed concrete, pipes, hoses and metal.

Tokyo Electric estimates that more than 200,400 cubic meters of rubble — all of it radioactive — have been removed so far and stored in custom-made steel boxes. That is the equivalent of about 3,000 standard 40-foot shipping containers.

3.5 Billion Gallons of Soil

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Bags of contaminated soil are stored in this lot in the town of Namie.
Veda Shastri/The New York Times
Thousands of plastic garbage bags sit in neat rows in the fields and abandoned towns surrounding the Fukushima plant. They contain soil that was scraped from land that was exposed to radiation in the days after the accident.

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment estimates that it has bagged 3.5 billion gallons of soil, and plans to collect much more. It will eventually incinerate some of the soil, but that will only reduce the volume of the radioactive waste, not eliminate it.

The ministry has already begun building a massive, interim storage facility in Fukushima prefecture and negotiating with 2,360 landowners for the thousands of acres needed to complete it. And that is not even a long-term solution: The government says that after 30 years it will need another site — or sites — to store radioactive waste.

1,573 Nuclear Fuel Rods

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A pool at the facility for storing spent fuel rods. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
The ultimate goal of the cleanup is to cool and, if possible, remove the uranium and plutonium fuel that was inside the three reactors at the time of the disaster.

Hundreds of spent fuel rods are in cooling pools inside the reactors, and the company hopes to have cleared away enough rubble to begin removing them next year. The much bigger challenge will be removing the fuel that was in use in the reactor core at the time of the meltdown.

The condition and location of this molten fuel debris are still largely unknown. In one reactor where a robot was sent in January, much of the melted fuel is believed to have burned through the bottom of the inner reactor vessel and burrowed into the thick concrete foundation of the containment structure.

The plan is to completely seal the containment vessels, fill them with water and use robots to find and remove the molten fuel debris. But the rubble, the lethal levels of radiation and the risk of letting radiation escape make this an exceedingly difficult task.

In January, a camera inserted into one of the reactors detected radiation levels high enough to kill a person in less than a minute. A robot that was sent into the reactor last month had to be abandoned after debris blocked its path and radiation disabled it.

Tokyo Electric hopes to begin removing fuel debris from the reactor cores in 2021. The entire effort could take decades. Some say the radioactive material may prove impossible to remove safely and have suggested leaving it and entombing Fukushima under a concrete and steel sarcophagus like the one used at Chernobyl.

But the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric say they are committed to removing all the waste and cleaning the site, estimated at a cost of $188.6 billion.

“We want to return it to a safe state,” said Yuichi Okamura, general manager of the company’s nuclear power and plant siting division. “We promised the local people that we would recover the site and make it a safe ground again.”

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A monitoring post in Naraha shows the radiation level at the entrance gate to temporary storage for contaminated soil. Credit Ko Sasaki for The New York Times
Correction: March 13, 2017
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated the contents of shipping containers at the plant. The ones in the photograph hold reactor maintenance equipment, not rubble. (Rubble and radioactive sludge are held in other containers.)

Correction: March 14, 2017
An earlier version of this article mischaracterized how lethal levels of radiation were found in one of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors in January. The radiation was detected with a camera inserted into the reactor, not a robot.

A version of this article appears in print on March 13, 2017, on Page A9 of the New York edition with the headline: Nuclear Waste’s Toll and Challenge in Japan, Six Years After Disaster. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

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