Archive for the ‘TEPCO’ Category

TV: Gov’t approves plan to ‘drain’ Fukushima nuclear waste into ocean

January 22, 2015


TV: Gov’t approves plan to ‘drain’ Fukushima nuclear waste into ocean — Professor: Monitoring necessary to detect ‘worrisome signals’ — Expert: “It’s completely unsafe… impossible to remove 100s of radioactive materials” — 1,200 radionuclides, only 62 reduced — Fisherman: “We can’t trust Tepco” (VIDEO)

Posted: 21 Jan 2015 07:43 PM PST

Study: Fukushima plume spread worldwide, far exceeding the hundreds of miles mentioned previously — 100 Quadrillion becquerels of Cs-137 released tops Chernobyl — “Implicates radiological hazard at distances otherwise overlooked”

Posted: 21 Jan 2015 09:17 AM PST

Multiple deaths at Fukushima nuclear plants – Worker dies after plunging over 30 feet into water tank

January 20, 2015


Multiple deaths at Fukushima nuclear plants – Worker dies after plunging over 30 feet into water tank – Another killed from severe head injury after caught in equipment – Tepco warned last week about soaring number of worker injuries

Posted: 20 Jan 2015 12:43 AM PST

TV: Hawaii coral “the worst scientists have ever seen” — Professor: “It’s like a ghost town… We would not typically see entire colonies bleached, ever” — Gov’t map of ‘maximum bleaching alert area’ in Pacific mirrors Fukushima plume model since 2011 (VIDEO)

Posted: 19 Jan 2015 08:28 AM PST

Late Fukushima manager flagged risks of big nuclear plants

September 12, 2014


The late manager of Japan’s destroyed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant questioned the safety of large nuclear facilities, documents showed on Thursday, potentially affecting the debate over the restart of the world’s biggest nuclear power station.

Masao Yoshida, who led the emergency response at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi plant after the March 2011 nuclear disaster, told investigators five months later that facilities with six or seven reactors were difficult to operate and had inherent safety risks, according to transcripts released by the government.

His comments have implications for the debate over the world’s biggest power station, Kashiwazaki Kariwa, TEPCO’s only hope of reviving idled reactors as it faces a decades-long cleanup of Fukushima.

They also come a day after the Nuclear Regulation Authority said Kyushu Electric Power Co’s Sendai plant in southwestern Japan had met safety requirements needed to restart, the first step to reopening the industry.

“When you’re talking about demerits, most other plants have four (reactors) at one site. I’ve always disliked dense location (of nuclear reactors),” Yoshida told investigators.

Yoshida cited Kashiwazaki Kariwa, a seven-reactor site in Niigata Prefecture, also run by TEPCO. The utility has struggled to win local support to restart that plant while it embarks on the decades-long shutdown of the Fukushima facility and faces the almost-certain closure of its nearby sister plant.

Yoshida, who died of cancer last year, was seen as a national hero for his decisive action and lack of regard for his personal safety after a massive earthquake and tsunami set off nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima.

The interview was contained in a release of hundreds of pages in transcripts of interviews, including with then-Prime Minister Naoto Kan, conducted in an investigation of the handling of the disaster.

The government has been under pressure to release the transcripts.

Yoshida said there had been “chaos” at the Kashiwazaki Kariwa site after a previous earthquake in northern Japan and added that grouping numerous nuclear reactors together made it far more difficult to operate.

“I thought it wasn’t very good from a risk-diversification standpoint, but (TEPCO) had already built this (Fukushima Daiichi) and Kashiwazaki, so I had to work within that (system),” he said.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2014.

In Landmark Decision, TEPCO to Pay Victim’s Family in Fukushima Suicide Case

August 27, 2014
Published on

Family of Hamako Watanabe, who committed suicide after fleeing Fukushima disaster, awarded $472,000 by court

Two IAEA experts examine recovery work on top of Unit 4 of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station on 17 April 2013 (Photo: IAEA Imagebank)


A Japanese court has ordered the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to pay damages to the family of a woman who killed herself after being forced to flee the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

The court awarded the family of Hamako Watanabe 49 million yen ($472,000) in a case that could influence future outcomes of other victim lawsuits against the nuclear operator, BBCreports.

Watanabe and her husband Mikio were evacuated because of radioactive contamination in June 2011, three months after the failure of several nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power plant in the Futaba district in Japan. Their home in Kawamata town was about 40 kilometers away from the site of the meltdown, which occurred when a 9.0-magnitude undersea earthquake triggered a tsunami that flooded cooling systems at the plant, resulting in the worst nuclear disaster in Japan’s recent history.

When Watanabe, 58, was allowed to return briefly to the family home after they were moved into an apartment in Fukushima city, she doused herself in gasoline and set herself on fire.

Mikio and the couple’s three children sued TEPCO for 91 million yen in damages, on the grounds that the forced evacuation, and subsequent uncertainty about her future, caused her depression. The chicken farm where she and her husband worked also closed, BBC says.

In a statement, TEPCO apologized again to the people of Fukushima, saying it would “examine the ruling and continue to cope with the issue sincerely,” according to theGuardian.

TEPCO, which was bailed out with taxpayer funds in 2012 in the wake of the disaster, is expected to spend more than $48 billion in compensation alone, IB Times says.

“We pray that Hamako Watanabe has found peace,” the company said.

Roughly 150,000 people were evacuated after the meltdown, approximately one-third of whom remain in temporary housing. Dozens are reported to have killed themselves since the disaster. News this week revealed that Fukushima youth were found to have elevated rates of thyroid cancer.

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‘Shock’: Water underneath Fukushima reactors to be dumped in ocean — Attempts to deal with problem have ‘failed’

August 9, 2014


‘Shock’: Water underneath Fukushima reactors to be dumped in ocean — Attempts to deal with problem have ‘failed’ — Officials: It’s better than radioactive substances just “spilling directly into the ocean” like it is now (VIDEO)

Posted: 08 Aug 2014 05:25 PM PDT

TV Host: I’m studying Fukushima every day — “They have no idea what they’re going to do… There’s no solution… It’s a nightmare” — Tens of thousands of gallons of radioactive water spill into Pacific Ocean each day — “We really need to shut down all reactors” (VIDEO)

Posted: 08 Aug 2014 09:58 AM PDT

Gov’t: Fuel melted “much deeper” into concrete at Fukushima reactor than revealed — Triple the depth of original estimate — Tepco: “Impossible for us to evaluate potential impact”

Posted: 08 Aug 2014 07:02 AM PDT

‘Increasing alarm’ at Fukushima: Thousands of tons of plutonium contaminated liquid in trenches leaking into ocean

August 8, 2014


‘Increasing alarm’ at Fukushima: Thousands of tons of plutonium contaminated liquid in trenches leaking into ocean — ‘Biggest risk’ at plant — ‘Exceptionally difficult’ problem — ‘Constant flow’ in and out of trenches — ‘Racing to stop’ more from coming in (PHOTO)

Posted: 07 Aug 2014 08:02 PM PDT

Fukushima Meltdown Worse Than Previous Estimates: TEPCO

August 8, 2014
Published on

Company releases new findings which show nearly all nuclear fuel melted in Reactor 3 following 2011 earthquake and tsunami

Workers at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station work among underground water storage pools on 17 April 2013. (Photo: Greg Webb / IAEA)

The meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan was more severe than previously acknowledged, owner Tokyo Electric Power Company announced Wednesday, according to reports from Japanese media.

The company released new estimates that nearly every fuel rod at Reactor 3, located at No. 1 plant, melted as a result of Japan’s March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and most likely fell to the bottom of the containment unit. The finding is far higher than the company’s previously stated estimates in which it told people that only 63 percent of the reactor’s nuclear fuel had melted. Furthermore, TEPCO’s new statement acknowledges that the fuel began melting six hours earlier than previously believed.

“It is still impossible for us to evaluate the potential impact (of the findings) on the decommissioning of the reactor,” a TEPCO official stated following the release of the findings, according to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

But Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the finding might further complicate the troubled decommissioning of the plant.

The paper explains:

As the core meltdown is now believed to have started earlier than was previously thought, the amount of melted nuclear fuel that passed into the containment vessel through the pressure vessel is considered to have been greater, making it technically more difficult to extract the melted fuel and dispose of it.

Official: “Unfortunately, the fuel itself is exposed” at Fukushima — Scientist: Our tests show contamination isn’t going away… reactors are leaking out into ocean…

August 7, 2014


Official: “Unfortunately, the fuel itself is exposed” at Fukushima — Scientist: Our tests show contamination isn’t going away… reactors are leaking out into ocean… there’s still a problem — PBS: Plume of water tainted with radiation is reaching to other side of Pacific (VIDEO)

Posted: 06 Aug 2014 11:36 PM PDT

TV: “Mysterious die off of young salmon” in Pacific Northwest — “Healthy… and then they die” heading out to sea — “Far less plankton than normal… There are too many questions” — Researchers now testing for plankton and Fukushima contamination off West Coast (VIDEO)

Posted: 06 Aug 2014 11:54 AM PDT

NHK News Flash: Meltdown at Fukushima worse than thought — Most of nuclear fuel ‘melted through’ Reactor 3 and “continued down to bottom of outer containment vessel” — “Has changed their understanding of what’s happening inside” (VIDEO)

New report estimates 278 trillion Bq of plutonium released from Fukushima reactors — Over 200 times higher than amount reported by Tepco

August 6, 2014


Alaska: “Scientists alarmed by new mystery disease” — Pacific Northwest: “Alarming changes” — “Couldn’t believe my eyes” — “Scientists really stumped… It’s kind of an alien thing” — “Gotten much, much worse… a horror show… could wreak havoc on entire ecosystems from Mexico to Alaska” (VIDEO)

Posted: 05 Aug 2014 10:12 PM PDT

New report estimates 278 trillion Bq of plutonium released from Fukushima reactors — Over 200 times higher than amount reported by Tepco — “Highly radiotoxic when incorporated into human body” as it decays

Posted: 05 Aug 2014 11:13 AM PDT

Does Tepco own a radioactive marshland in Oze national park it can not sell?

July 12, 2014
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Op Ed by Arclight2011

Published on 7 July 2014

At the early stages of the Fukushima nuclear disaster I wondered if the Oze National park had been contaminated from nuclear fallout.Chris busby had tested car air filtersfrom Tokyo and found high levels of radioactive particles and he alsotested a filter from an apartment in Tokyo and found high levels of radioactive lead (Pb).

A Japanese scientist was refused permission to check for radionuclides in the environment and had to leave his university position and then tested for contamination and found high levels of radionuclides in the forest in the mountains.

The map below shows a radionuclide dispersion different from the IAEA/UNSCEAR version in that it shows a wide dispersion that finds its way into the mountains nearly as far as Tokyo.

Radiation fallout map of Japan
(image by backyardworld)

Image source ; recent finding posted by Iori at Fukushima Diary asks why is the level of contamination in Tokyo drinking water as high as Fukushima and even higher than Myiagi prefecture (that is nearer than Tokyo)? A reason might be that the reservoirs that supply Tokyo are contaminated from the higher levels of contaminates washed down from the mountains and or through the rivers from the marshes at Oze National Park, these past 3 years.


If we look at the waters that feed the marshland in Oze National Park that is south of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear site, we might wonder if the waters that feed Oze National Park might also be suffering from contamination.

There are no known studies of this area that have been made public. However, an article published in Japan in July 2011 states that in a spa near to the mountain range an atmospheric reading showed that the contamination was as much as 50 percent of the contamination found in Fukushima city (0.45 mcSv/h at the spa).

TEPCO own some 70 percent of this unique wildlife area and were asked to sell it to compensate the people of Fukushima but that Yukio Edano, a government minister, was reported to ask TEPCO to not sell it. This is odd as the area had been losing visitors for many years before the disaster and therefore TEPCO were not showing themselves to be good stewards of the land anyway. In fact, an OECD report from 1999 said that conflicts between the private sector (TEPCO and the Oze Forest Management Co. owned by Tepco and runs 5 lodges in Oze, four of which are in the Special Protection Zone against other park organisers’ wishes) and the environment agency and conservation NGOs caused difficulties that would be easier to deal with if the environment agency had overall say in the running of Oze National park.

The fact that TEPCO only provide 200 million yen a year to the overall 1.4 billion yen a year running costs (600 million yen of which comes from the government and 400 million yen from NGOs). A sluice gate that provided water from the park helps to feed the Tone River, which is used for irrigation and which dams have been constructed on its headwaters to produce hydroelectricity and to form reservoirs to supply water to the Keihin Industrial Zone. This river meets the pacific just north of Tokyo near the heavily contaminated area of Chiba.

The questions really are “why has TEPCO not sold its shares in the national park? Is it because the area is contaminated and this might be found out by the new owners? Why is the government saying Tepco should not sell it if the OECD report says that it would be more simple not to have the ownership shared with a private company?

Also the aquifer that feeds the lower marshland is connected to the same aquifer that the nuclear-disaster site is situated on. So TEPCO would want control of this large area to cover up any cross-contamination from the nuclear site?

The contaminated ground water at Daichi is above another layer of groundwater that is deeper. The water at the lower level was found to have less pressure than the water above that which is contaminated. So that means that the lower layer of ground water has been contaminated over the last 3 years and that contaminated water may be making its way slowly towards the Oze national park marshlands that TEPCO owns.

The idea of the ice wall is to possibly lower the pressure of the upper layer under the nuclear reactors and slow down the process. Although it is reported that TEPCO have started the ice wall it seems that this means that they are drilling holes for sensors and the freezing process is not yet begun. I can find no report that the freezing of the water has started. So this means that the heavily contaminated high pressure water is still mixing with the lower-pressure deeper layer and likely traveling outwards from there.



A Japanese government report from 1993 shows that this whole area was affected by industry using this ground water to supply its factories and nuclear plants. This caused a vast subsidence all along the coast and on the Fukushima plain. Needless to say, TEPCO needs to be very careful how they manage these layers of ground water because it covers a vast area. And this was likely the reason for the need for a sluice gate to replace the ground-water restrictions brought in after the ground-subsidence issues reported above.

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I have been researching the issues concerning the nuclear industry and associated social impacts since the nuclear disaster in the Fukushima prefecture in Japan in march 2011. my interests in this field cover the technical aspects concerning (more…)

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