Monday, June 6, 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe Update | Related News

this post includes a selection Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe and related nuclear news items // see also: previous post - "Nuclear Safety is an Oxymoron | How will broken-melting-fuming-leaking Fukushima Daiichi weather Monster Typhoon?", plus newfeeds, links, videos, IAEA Updates on Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, etc. See TOP OF BLOG for more recent posts.


from previous post "Nuclear Safety is an Oxymoron | How will broken-melting-fuming-leaking Fukushima Daiichi weather Monster Typhoon?" ~

nuclear power kills - it is not clean, it is not cheap, and it is immoral - anyone who says that it is safe is either lying, making money, misinformed and/or delusional朝日新聞社):Radiation levels likely exceed safety standard outside evacuation zone

2011/06/07: "Residents outside the planned evacuation zone near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are trying to lead normal lives, but radiation levels exceeding the safety standard are posing an increasing threat.

A report released June 3 by the science ministry said annual accumulated radiation levels are estimated at 20.1, 20.8, 23.8 millisieverts in the Ishida and Kamioguni areas of the Ryozen-machi district in Date city, and the Ohara area of the Hara-machi district of Minami-Soma, respectively.

The government's safety standard is 20 millisieverts of annual accumulated radiation.

These areas lie beyond the planned evacuation zone, which is just outside the off-limits area within a 20-kilometer radius of the plant."

Beyond Nuclear - Japan finally admits full meltdowns at three Fukushima reactors

June 6, 2011: "After almost three months of speculation, Japan's Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters (NERH) finally admitted on Monday that units 1,2 and 3 at th Fukushima I nuclear power plant fully melted down. TEPCO, the owner of the reactors, studiously avoided the word 'meltdown,' instead issuing vague speculative statements about possible 'partial' meltdowns, but the evidence has become too incontrovertible to deny. The NERH announcement goes farther than previous, downplayed statements, and reveals that Japanese authorities concealed the truth even though the meltdowns occurred during the first week after the March 11 accident began."

Radioactivity of materials released in Fukushima nuclear crisis revised upward - The Mainichi Daily News

June 6, 2011: "The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) on June 6 revised the level of radioactivity of materials emitted from the crisis hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant from 370,000 terabecquerels to 850,000 terabecquerels.

The Cabinet Office's Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan (NSC) had estimated that the total level of radioactivity stood at around 630,000 terabecquerels, but this figure was criticized as an underestimation. NISA officials plan to present the new figure at a ministerial meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) after reporting it to the NSC."

Radiation Understated After Quake, Japan Says -

June 6, 2011: "TOKYO — Japan said Monday that radioactive emissions from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the early days of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami disaster might have been more than twice as large as a previous estimate, suggesting the accident was more grave than the government had publicly acknowledged.

It is unclear whether a more accurate reading of emissions levels would have promoted a swifter or wider evacuation from around the plant. Still, the lag in reporting the true extent of the emissions added to what some critics have called a litany of confusing and contradictory data and analysis from the Japanese authorities, putting officials on the defensive about whether they delayed, or even blocked, the release of information to the public."

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Restoration Work 6 May 2011; Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station status of restoration work on May 6th, 2011. Released by Tokyo Electric Power Company on May 17, 2011. Obtained via Cryptome Nuclear Power Plants and WMD Series朝日新聞社):TEPCO faces prolonged battle against radioactive debris, water - English

2011/06/07: "As workers struggle to bring the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant under control, signs are increasing that the eventual cleanup of the disaster will take much longer than previously thought.

Containers of rubble, unwanted and of unknown levels of contamination, line the roadside near the plant. Pools of radioactive water at the plant, a constant problem since the March 11 disaster, may pose even longer-term challenges. And full studies on how to remove nuclear fuel and eventually decommission the four troubled reactors have yet to start."

Japan Weighs the Risk, and Uncertain Science, of Radiation -

June 6, 2011: "As officials in Japan agonize over what constitutes a safe radiation dose for people who live near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors, the state of the science has been a daunting problem. Studies on the effects of exposure are based mostly on large doses delivered quickly by atomic bombs, while radiation from the Fukushima disaster would more likely result in small doses delivered over many years."

So far the debate in Japan has centered on the risks to children. Government guidelines set after the disaster allowed schoolchildren in Fukushima Prefecture to be exposed to 20 times the radiation dose previously permitted. The new level is equal to the international standard for adult workers at nuclear power plants.

BBC News - Japan 'unprepared' for Fukushima nuclear disaster

7 June 2011: "Japan was unprepared for a nuclear accident on the scale of the one at the Fukushima plant, the government said in a report to be submitted to the IAEA.

The report says poor oversight may also have contributed to the crisis.

The authorities have pledged to make the country's nuclear regulator (Nisa) independent of the industry ministry, which also promotes nuclear power.

It comes after Nisa doubled its initial estimate of leaked radiation in the first week after the disaster."

IAEA Experts Say Japan Underestimated Tsunami Threat | East Asia and Pacific | English

June 1, 2011: "A team of international experts investigating the Fukushima nuclear accident says Japan underestimated the risk posed by tsunamis to its nuclear plants.

The finding is contained in a preliminary report prepared for delivery to the Japanese government Wednesday. The 18-member team's full report will be delivered to an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting beginning June 20 in Vienna."

Japan report promises independent nuclear agency - The Washington Post

June 7, 2011: TOKYO — Facing widespread criticism for its handling of the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Japanese government on Tuesday announced its intention to create an independent nuclear agency, breaking up the ministry that both promotes and regulates atomic energy.

The decision to separate the regulator (the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, or NISA) from the promoter (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, or METI) came as part of a government report that calls for several major overhauls in the way Japan operates its nuclear plants and provides information about the ongoing crisis after the earthquake and tsunami in March. Previously, NISA was a subdivision of METI, an arrangement that critics say contributed to lax oversight of nuclear safety in Japan."

Nuclear safety agency to become independent according to report for IAEA - The Mainichi Daily News

June 7, 2011: "The government has decided to remove the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) from under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, turning it into an independent body, a report on the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant shows.

The report, whose details emerged on June 7, points out that the body in charge of nuclear safety straddled several government agencies and when the crisis unfolded, it was unclear where the responsibility for enduring the public's safety lay. The government will submit the report at an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ministerial conference to open in Vienna on June 20.

Under measures outlined in the report, electric power companies will be legally required to take measures to avoid severe nuclear accidents such as those in which reactor cores are damaged. The report concludes that 'fundamental revisions to nuclear safety measures are inevitable.'"

Japan makes new nuclear safety vows after quake | Reuters

Jun 7, 2011: "(Reuters) - Japan on Tuesday pledged to overhaul regulation of nuclear power, saying that lax standards and poor oversight had contributed to the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.

Japanese officials from embattled Prime Minister Naoto Kan on down have been widely criticized for their handling of the nuclear disaster, triggered by a March 11 quake and tsunami, which has prompted a complete rethink on the future of nuclear energy in the quake-prone country.

The government report, which will be presented to the International Atomic Energy Agency, promised to set up an independent nuclear regulatory agency, breaking the long-criticized ties between the Japanese utility industry and officials overseeing its safety."


Fukushima Daiichi following explosions in March 21, 2011

Fukushima radiation found in California milk, fruit, vegetables – Red, Green, and Blue

June 1, 2011: "The emerging reality of the ongoing nuclear reactor crisis in Fukushima, Japan—now in its third month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami caused nuclear explosions at the plant 150 miles north of Tokyo—is that it is not under control at all. Three of the six reactors are in meltdown. The crippled reactors are acting like a huge dirty bomb, emitting significant quantities of radioactive isotopes that are, in fact, contaminating our air, water, soil and food in a steady stream that may continue for a long time."

BBC News - Ministers urge nuclear safety tests after Japan crisis

7 June 2011: "Ministers from nearly 30 nuclear energy-producing countries have called for safety tests on all reactors in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan.

France's environment minister said delegates at a summit in Paris agreed to 'improve and lift our standards and co-operation on nuclear safety'.

Some governments are reconsidering their nuclear energy strategy.

Germany has already decided to abandon nuclear energy for green technology and cleaner gas- and coal-powered plants.

In a major policy reversal, its government announced last month that all the country's nuclear plants would be phased out by 2022."

Countries seek nuclear stress tests after Japan crisis | Reuters

Tue Jun 7, 2011: "(Reuters) - Government ministers and officials from nearly 30 nuclear energy producing countries called on Tuesday for safety tests on all reactors, after the disaster at Japan's Fukushima plant sparked concern over standards.

A majority of delegates at talks hosted under France's G20 chairmanship supported stress tests that would determine how well nuclear plants could withstand major disasters, like the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Fukushima in March.

'The Fukushima accident in Japan shook us all and the need arose very quickly to draw lessons, to improve and lift our standards and cooperation on nuclear safety,' French Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet told a news conference after chairing the talks."

THE DAILY STAR :: Opinion :: Commentary :: Fukushima imposes new energy policies

June 06, 2011: "Two months after the earthquake and nuclear accidents in Fukushima, the debates on the future of nuclear power continue unabated. The events in Japan mark a watershed that could clear the way for a globally sustainable structure in energy policies.

The accidents in Fukushima have emphatically underscored that the dangers of nuclear energy cannot be controlled by human beings, despite all the technological progress which has been made and all the safety precautions instituted."

Q A: Yucca Mountain nuclear waste controversy | Reuters

Jun 2, 2011: "(Reuters) - Republican lawmakers want to revive a planned underground nuclear waste deposit that was scrapped by the Obama administration, stirring up the decades-long controversy surrounding Nevada's Yucca Mountain.

The crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant following the March earthquake and tsunami revived the decades-old U.S. debate about how to safely store spent nuclear fuel.

President Barack Obama's 'blue ribbon commission' is slated to firm up draft recommendations on storage options by July 29, with a deadline for a final report in January."

Beyond Nuclear - How will Germany transition to renewables without using coal and imported nuclear?

June 6, 2011: "Within four decades, one of the world’s leading economies will be powered almost entirely by wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and geothermal power. But can Germany really achieve these targets without resorting to fossil fuels? Some of these questions were recently addressed in a joint article by Arne Jungjohann, Program Director for Environment and Global Dialogue with the Heinrich Boll Foundation and Wilson Rickerson, CEO of Meister Consultants Group. Some excerpts follow:

“The old nuclear power plants had been a bottleneck for greater investment. With the planned phase out of all nuclear power capacity, investors are lining up to put more renewable energy and high-efficiency natural gas plants in place. Overall, CO2 emissions will not rise as the energy sector has to comply with the European Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the associated emissions cap...”"

Markey says NRC should create nuclear moratorium - Fall River, MA - The Herald News

June 6, 2011: "“We know the meltdowns that occurred in Japan could happen here in the United States,” Markey said in a statement issued by his office in Washington, D.C. “Yet, the [NRC] inspections highlight the industry hubris that has allowed dust to gather on [its] emergency response guidelines instead of ensuring that [its] employees are properly trained and drilled on their use.

“We must not wait until a nuclear incident in this country to ensure that the guidelines in place to respond to an emergency are up-to-date and consistently applied. The NRC should not give the go-ahead to any new reactors, new designs or relicense applications for operating reactors until we have incorporated the lessons of the Fukushima meltdown into our regulations.”"

Nuclear Energy: As Germany Goes… - Science News

June 1, 2011: "The German government surprised many energy analysts May 30, with its pledge to phase out use of nuclear power. The decision was triggered, at least in part, on witnessing local reaction to Japan’s economic meltdown in the wake of its Fukushima nuclear catastrophe, earlier this year. But what makes the German announcement particularly noteworthy is that Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is not offering to walk away from a bit player. Nuclear power currently supplies almost one-quarter of that nation’s electrical energy — more than its share in the United States."

Photo: Trude Refsahl/Statoil

When the Wind Blows: Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan Drives Increased Demand for Renewable Energy at Statoil / News / The Foreigner — Norwegian News in English

June 1, 2011: "With a not-so-gentle nudge from the recent disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the Norwegian energy conglomerate Statoil is making a more concerted push into renewable energy, namely wind farms. Part of the new strategy entails shifting its onshore wind assets to a turf much more familiar to the energy giant: the sea."

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Fukushima radioactivity highest in three months

Southeast Asia’s 1st nuclear plant will start in Vietnam in 2020

June 6, 2011: "MOSCOW: South East Asia's first nuclear power plant will be operational in Vietnam in 2020 after six years of construction, as demand for nuclear energy remains strong in the region in the post-Fukushima era, a nuclear conference was told Monday.

It will be commissioned two years after Bangladesh completes its Roopur Nuclear Power Project and becomes the latest country in the region to develop such energy.

Tran Chi Thank, of the Vietnam Institute of Energy, said the first plant would be built by Russia while Japan would undertake the construction of the second one beginning 2015 and ready for commissioning in 2021."

REFILE-E.ON to seek compensation for more nuclear losses | Reuters

Jun 6, 2011: "German utility E.ON (EONGn.DE) said on Monday it was facing additional financial damages from the government's latest plans to close all nuclear reactors by 2022 for which it would seek compensation.

Germany's planned exit from nuclear energy received backing from the cabinet on Monday, involving the immediate closure of eight already suspended reactors and, in a new development, a phased plan to shut the remaining nine successively by 2022."

Greenpeace blocks train transporting nuclear waste from Netherlands to France for reprocessing - The Washington Post

June 7, 2100: "THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Greenpeace activists say they are blocking a train carrying nuclear waste from a Dutch power station to a reprocessing plant in France."

See also
TOP OF BLOG for more recent posts
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