Radiation-contaminated debris and soil are stockpiled for disposal near the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s embattled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. (Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images)
Tokyo Electric Power Company says coolant has seeped out from an underground frozen soil wall built around its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The frozen soil wall came into operation four years ago. It was built to keep groundwater from flowing into reactor buildings. They were damaged by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdowns.
The utility firm, TEPCO, says it found coolant leaking at three locations from components that connect pipes in the wall. The company had noticed a reduction in coolant in its tank earlier this month and was searching for the cause. TEPCO says it believes 20,000 of 1.1 million litres of the coolant has leaked, but that this will not affect the operation of the wall. The company says it will replace the components in the wall and repair another leak that was found in December. nhk.org
Almost six years after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe famously declared the contaminated water problem at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant “under control,” today it remains anything but.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) continues to face difficulties in dealing with water contaminated with radioactive substances at its crippled plant. About 18,000 tons of highly contaminated water remains accumulated in reactor buildings and other places. Abe made the “under control,” declaration in September 2013 while Tokyo was bidding to win the 2020 Summer Games.
In reality, however, the situation is not under control even now.
In a meeting of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in June, one of its members, Nobuhiko Ban, told TEPCO officials, “I want you to show whether you have a prospect (for the reduction of contaminated water) or you have given up.” The water level did not fall as planned in an area of a basement floor at the No. 3 reactor building for two months. Asked why the level did not drop, TEPCO officials offered only vague explanations in the meeting. Ban made the remark out of irritation. Highly contaminated water that has accumulated in reactor buildings and turbine buildings is a major concern at the Fukushima plant. In addition to water that was used to cool melted nuclear fuel at the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, groundwater also has flowed into those buildings through cracks. The concentration of radioactive substances in highly contaminated water is about 100 million times that of the contaminated water that has been processed and stored in tanks.
Immediately after the nuclear accident at the Fukushima plant in March 2011, highly contaminated water leaked into the sea through underground tunnels. As a result, radioactive substances whose concentrations were higher than allowable standards were detected in fish and other seafood. After the nuclear accident, about 100,000 tons of water initially accumulated in the basement portions of buildings that housed the No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors and buildings that accommodated turbines. TEPCO has removed groundwater through wells.
It also created “frozen walls” in the ground by freezing soil around the buildings.
Using those methods, the company has decreased the flow of groundwater into the buildings and, as a result, the level of highly contaminated water has dropped there. Nine years since the nuclear accident occurred, the volume of highly contaminated water in the buildings has fallen to 18,000 tons. TEPCO aims to reduce the volume further to 6,000 tons by the end of fiscal 2020. Fairwinds.org
The Japanese government is refusing to allow independent testing of contaminated water found in the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, which has been leaking ever since a tsunami and earthquake devastatingly hit the facility in March 2011.
The decision not to allow independent testing was allegedly arrived to over “safety concerns” in relation to the storing and transportation of the radioactive water.
Other organizations are not permitted to carry out tests of the water…If we are going to allow external organizations to test the treated water then we would need to go through very strict procedures and due process because that water is contaminated. If it is taken outside this facility, then there need to be strict regulations. – Hideki Yagi, a spokesman for the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)
However, independent environmental groups including Greenpeace and Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre (CNIC) assert that this is indeed a cover-up against the true level of contamination in the water used to cool three damaged reactors.
There would need to be lots of checks because there is a lot of water, but right now it looks very much to the outside world that they are trying to cover something up – as they have a long history of doing. – Hideyuki Ban, co-director of CNIC
Although the contaminated water is deemed too dangerous to test for potency, the government of Japan and TEPCO both regard it as not too dangerous to dump into the Pacific Ocean as they likely plan to do as soon as their storage tanks reach maximum capacity in the summer of 2020.
The amount of contaminated water at Fukushima is astounding. On top of an undisclosed amount, which we still don’t know the potency of, ground water continues to seep into the basement levels of the facility with an additional 120 tons accumulating every day, according to the London Telegraph.
The decision not to allow third-party testing of the contaminated water at Fukushima is not only causing the public to lose faith in the government’s ability to safely manage emergencies, but whether Japanese citizens can trust them to tell the truth about the dangers they face as a country.
Tepco has lost trust across society in Japan as well as in the international community, including in South Korea, and providing samples for analysis would be in their best interests – unless they are covering something up…so providing samples that could verify their reports on content would go some way to demonstrating their commitment to transparency. – Shaun Burnie, Senior Nuclear Specialist for Greenpeace
In 2016, the Japan government estimated the cost of the Fukushima disaster to be about 21.5 trillion yen ($188 billion), nearly doubled compared to their previous projection of 11 trillion yen in 2013.
In 2012, exactly one year after the disaster, 79.6% of polled Japanese citizens favored phasing out nuclear power altogether. This led to the then-prime minister Yoshihiko Noda announcing a plan to phase out Japanese nuclear power completely by 2040. However, current prime minister Shinzo Abe walked back that statement in 2016, announcing that Japan “cannot do without” nuclear power as anywhere from 3.1-4.7% of Japan’s electricity is supplied by nuclear. By 2030, the government that number to be between 20-22%.
Since Abe’s government took power in late 2012, they have given the green light to several nuclear power plants, including the Onagawa reactor which was also damaged by the earthquake on March 11, 2011.
They claim that the disposal of Fukushima’s radioactive water will have only a “small” impact on humans, but how do we know that’s true without independent testing? How do we know what impact the radiation will have on marine life, fish, and in turn, humans who eat fish caught near the dumping site?
The Japanese government and nuclear companies want you to believe that what they’re doing is completely safe, “but that has to be full of caveats because the way that information has been presented is confusing and not transparent so ordinary people do not understand and cannot make informed decisions,” says Azby Brown, lead researcher for Safecast Japan, a Tokyo-based group which monitors radiation. (Click to Source)
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(Natural News) Back in March of 2011, the province of Fukushima, Japan, was struck by a series of devastating events that culminated in one of the worst nuclear disasters in history. The area was hit first by a massive earthquake, and then by a 15-metre (50-foot) tsunami. That massive tsunami, in turn, disabled the power supply and cooling functions at the Daiichi nuclear power plant, which finally triggered a nuclear accident on the 11th of March that was rated a 7 on the INES scale. Four nuclear reactors were destroyed, and clean-up work has been ongoing ever since.
Experts estimate that the task of decommissioning the plant and cleaning up the site will take upwards of four decades and cost billions of yen to complete.
In August of this year, news agencies reported that work had commenced at the plant to dismantle a highly contaminated, unstable exhaust stack. Before the disaster, the 110m (360 foot) high exhaust stack was used for the No. 1 and 2 reactors, and dismantling it is seen as a crucial part of the decommissioning work.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), responsible for getting the cleanup work done, decided that the dismantling work would have to be done via crane and remote control because of the incredibly high levels of radiation surrounding the stack. Even at the base of the stack radiation levels have been deemed to be too high for humans to work in.
Workers exposed to extremely high levels of radiation
As reported by Strange Sounds, after the robotic remote-controlled equipment failed, humans had to be sent in to assist with cutting the cylinder body:
Some weird stuff is happening at the TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant right now. While Japan has decided to drop radioactive water in the ocean, Tepco sent humans to repair where robots failed. …
The workers at the top of 110-m high Fukushima Dai-ichi vent stack were exposed to an estimated 810 ?Sv, making this action an emergency response.
According to Japanese sources, work initially commenced late in the afternoon of the 3rd, when three workers were lifted by crane to the cutting device located at the top of the cylinder. The workers were busy for around three hours, all the while wearing protective masks to cover their faces. Work had to be suspended in the evening over concerns about strong winds that had come up.
The following morning, another three workers climbed up to the cutting device where they refueled the generator. Within 4.5 hours, exposure levels had increased to 0.47 mSv.
TEPCO plans to cut the cylinder body of the exhaust pipe into sections of between 2 and 4 meters at a time, and estimates that its size will have halved by March 2020.
Since TEPCO officials were initially adamant that humans should not be involved in this work at all because of the dangerously high radiation levels involved, it can only be hoped that the robotic equipment will not fail again before the project is completed. Stay abreast of the latest developments at Fukushima.news. (Click to Source)
The Associated Press, Tokyo – Monday, 23 December 2019
Japan’s economy and industry ministry has proposed gradually releasing or allowing to evaporate massive amounts of treated but still radioactive water at the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.
The proposal made Monday to a body of experts is the first time the ministry has narrowed down the options available to just releasing the water. It is meant to tackle a huge headache for the plant’s operator as storage space runs out, despite fears of a backlash from the public.
Nearly nine years after the 2011 triple meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi, the radioactive water is still accumulating as the water is needed to keep the cores cooled and minimize leaks from the damaged reactors.
For years, a government panel has been discussing ways to handle the crisis and to reassure fishermen and residents who fear potential health impacts from releasing the radioactive water as well as harm to the region’s image.
In Monday’s draft proposal, the ministry suggests a controlled release of the water into the Pacific, allowing the water to evaporate, or a combination of the two methods.
The ministry said a controlled release into the sea was the best option because it would “stably dilute and disperse” the water from the plant using a method endorsed by the United Nations’ Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. It also would facilitate monitoring of radiation levels in the environment.
Releasing the entire amount of water over one year would only increase radiation levels to thousands of times less than the impact humans usually get from the natural environment.
In the proposal, the ministry noted that evaporation has been a tested and proven method following the 1979 core meltdown at Three Mile Island, where it took two years to get rid of 87,000 tons of tritium water.
The government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., have been unable to get rid of the more than 1 million tons of radioactive water that has been treated and stored due to opposition from local fishermen and residents fearing further damage to Fukushima’s reputation and recovery. The utility has managed to cut down the volume of water by pumping up groundwater from upstream and installing a costly underground “ice wall” around the reactor buildings to keep the water from running into the area.
TEPCO says it has space to store only up to 1.37 million tons and only until the summer of 2022, raising speculation that the water may be released after the Tokyo Olympics next summer. TEPCO and experts say the tanks get in the way of decommissioning work and that they need to free up the space to build storage for debris removed and other radioactive materials. The tanks also could spill out their contents in a major earthquake, tsunami or flood.
Experts, including those at the International Atomic Energy Agency who have inspected the Fukushima plant, say the controlled release of the water into the ocean is the only realistic option, though it will take decades.
A government panel earlier compiled a report that listed five options, including releasing the water into the sea and evaporation. The three others included underground burial and an injection into offshore deep geological layers.
The panel has also discussed possibly storing the radioactive water in large industrial tanks outside the plant, but the ministry proposal ruled that out, citing risks of leakage in case of corrosion, tsunamis or other disasters and accidents, as well as the technical challenge of transporting the water elsewhere. (Click to Source)
Last Update: Monday, 23 December 2019 KSA 08:17 – GMT 05:17
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Japan doesn’t want to share information about the release of Fukushima radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean.
And neighboring countries start to get really angry.
The Fukushima disaster is taking a new dimension, as Japan continues to hide important information about its plan of releasing radioactive water in the Pacific Ocean to neighboring countries.
The head of South Korea’s nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday, this ‘cover-up’ behavior was hampering the efforts made by Japan’s neighboring countries to minimize the impacts on their people and environement.
The owner of the Fukushima plant has been storing radioactive water in tanks at the site from the cooling pipes used to keep the fuel cores from melting since the meltdown in 2011. However, it will run out of storage space for the water in 2022.
The most probably consequence is that Japan will start dumping its radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
Fukushima Crisis and Nuclear Safety Concerns
Uhm Jae-sik, chairman of the Nuclear Safety and Security Commission, told Reuters: “We have been raising Japan’s radioactive water issue to the international community to minimize the impact … but as Japan hasn’t disclosed any specific plan and process we would need more details to run simulations and study.“
In addition to the Fukushima crisis, safety concerns about nuclear energy have increased in South Korea following a 2012 scandal over the supply of faulty reactors parts with forged documents, prompting a series of shutdowns of nuclear reactors.
South Korea, the world’s fifth-largest user of nuclear power, operates 25 nuclear reactors, which produce about a third of the country’s total electricity. Of the 25 reactors, 10 are offline for maintenance. [Reuters, KHNP] (Click to Source)
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Japan is set to lift evacuation order in town where Fukushima nuclear plant is
The government plans to lift the order for part of Okuma town on April 10
It will be the first time the order has been lifted in either Okuma and Futaba
By AFP – PUBLISHED: 22:51 EDT, 25 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:10 EDT, 26 March 2019
Japan will for the first time next month lift an evacuation order in one of two towns where the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is located, officials said Tuesday.
The government plans to lift the order for part of Okuma town on April 10, cabinet office official Yohei Ogino told AFP.
It will be the first time the government has lifted an evacuation order in the towns -Okuma and Futaba – that host the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Okuma mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe described the decision as a ‘very welcome move’, a town official said.
‘We will be able to take the first step forward (towards reconstruction) eight years later,’ the official quoted Watanabe as saying.
In March 2011, a massive tsunami caused by an earthquake slammed into Japan, killing more than 18,000 and setting off the worst nuclear accident in a generation.
Japan’s government has lifted evacuation orders across much of the region affected by the meltdown – allowing residents to return – as Tokyo has pressed an aggressive decontamination programme involving removing radioactive topsoil and cleaning affected areas.
But not everyone has been convinced, with a poll conducted in February by the Asahi Shimbun daily and Fukushima local broadcaster KFB finding 60 percent of Fukushima region residents still felt anxious about radiation.
No one is officially recorded as having died as a result of radiation from the accident, but last year the government for the first time acknowledged the death from cancer of a man involved in the cleanup.
More than 3,700 people – most of them from Fukushima – have died from illness or suicide linked to the aftermath of the tragedy, according to government data.
As of the end of February, about 52,000 people remain displaced because of evacuation orders or because they are unwilling to return, according to Japan’s Reconstruction Agency.
As we prepare for the eighth remembrance of the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, Fairewinds is ever mindful of what is currently happening in Japan.
There has never been a roadmap for Japan to extricate itself from the radioactive multi-headed serpentine Hydra curse that has been created in an underfunded, unsuccessful attempt to clean-up the ongoing spread of migrating radioactivity from Fukushima. Rather than focus its attention on mitigating the radioactive exposure to Japan’s civilians, the government of Japan has sought instead to redirect world attention to the 2020 Olympics scheduled to take place in Tokyo.
Truthfully, a situation as overwhelming as Fukushima can exist in every location in the world that uses nuclear power to produce electricity. The triple meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichiare the worst industrial catastrophe that humankind has ever created.
Prior to Fukushima, the atomic power industry never envisioned a disaster of this magnitude anywhere in the world. Worldwide, the proponents and operators of nuclear power plants still are not taking adequate steps to protect against disasters of the magnitude of Fukushima!
Parts of Japan are being permanently destroyed by the migrating radioactivity that has been ignored, not removed, and subsequent ocean and land contamination is expanding and destroying once pristine farmlands and villages. For reference in the US and other countries, Fukushima Prefecture is approximately the size of the State of Connecticut. Think about it, how would an entire State – its woods, rivers, and valleys, eradicate radioactive contamination?
Let’s begin with the reactors and site itself. There was a triple meltdown in 2011, yet Tokyo Electric banned the use of the word “meltdown” in any of its communications with Japanese civilians. Now we know that in the first week after the tsunami, each molten radioactive core melted through its six-inch-thick steel reactor, burned and chemically reacted with the concrete underneath, and all are now lying in direct contact with groundwater. Aside from a few grainy pictures of those cores showing burn holes in the reactors, nothing has been done to remove the cores and to prevent further contamination of the groundwater. I have witnessed schemes including a mining operation to bore under the reactors and an underground train to collect the molten masses, but those schemes are decades from fruition. The government of Japan claims that the Fukushima site will be entirely cleaned and decommissioned in less than forty years, a date that will definitely slip AFTER the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are held, and one that is scientifically impossible since some radioactive isotopes will be spread across the Fukushima site and surrounding landscape for 300 years and others for 250,000 years.
Fukushima’s radioactive reactor cores have been in direct contact with groundwater for the last eight years, and then that highly toxic radioactive water enters the Pacific Ocean. When the disaster struck TEPCO wanted to build an ice-wall to prevent the spread of the contamination, which I knew would fail. I advocated immediately surrounding the reactors with a trench filled with zeolite, a chemical used to absorb radiation at other atomic facilities.
“The problem with freezing the soil is that as soon as you get an earthquake, you lose power and then your ice turns to mush and you’re stuck.” Gundersen, who has visited the Fukushima power plant in the past, said a better solution would be to dig a two-meter wide trench down to bedrock level and fill it with a material called zeolite: a volcanic material that comes from Mother Nature.
“It’s incredibly good at filtering radioactive isotopes. So whatever is inside the fence will stay inside and whatever is outside the fence would be clean,” said Gundersen, who estimates the price tag for such a project would be around $10 billion.
TEPCO’s ice wall has not eliminated radiation from spreading via groundwater. How will Fukushima’s owner TEPCO and the government of Japan successfully clean and mitigate the damage caused by the three atomic reactors that each lost their fuel to a meltdown? These problems were never anticipated in Japan where these reactors were built and operated or in the United States where the Fukushima nuclear plants were engineered and designed and the parts were manufactured.
Since the meltdowns in 2011, Fairewinds notified the world that the recovery plans for the proposed cleanup would be almost untenable, calling it a ‘long slog’. From the very beginning, I made it clear that “the nuclear disaster is underfunded and lacks transparency, causing the public to remain in the dark.” Sadly, eight years later, nothing has changed.
In February 2012 when I spoke to the press at the Tokyo Foreign Correspondents Press Club, the governments recovery from the radiation released by Fukushima has never been about protecting the people of Japan. It was clear in the immediate aftermath of the world’s largest atomic power disaster and still today, the government of Japan is focused on protecting the financial interests of the nuclear power corporations in Japan so they may build new reactors as well as continue to operate the old ones. Clearly, the steps taken by the government of Japan shows that the survival of the electric generating corporations like Hitachi, Toshiba, Tokyo Electric and others are more important to the Abe Government that the survival of 160,000 evacuees and the future of the food supply emanating from Japan’s agriculture and aquaculture.
Evacuees in Japan are being forced to move back to their community and their homes that remain radioactively contaminated by the Fukushima Daiichi detonations and meltdowns. The government of Japan and the alleged global regulator, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – which was chartered by the United Nations (UN) to both promote and regulate atomic power generation – have raised the allowable public radiation levelmore than 20-times what it originally was rather than return to land to the condition it once was.
An exposé released in early February 2019 in The Washington Post said that,
For six years, Namie was deemed unsafe after a multiple-reactor meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant following a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. In March 2017, the government lifted its evacuation order for the center of Namie. But hardly anyone has ventured back. Its people are scattered and divided. Families are split. The sense of community is coming apart…
As we at Fairewinds Energy Education have repeatedly said since the tragic 2011 meltdowns, understanding why the fate of the 160,000 evacuees from the toxic Fukushima landscape does not matter to the government of Japan, one must simply follow the money trail back to the corporations producing Japan’s electricity. As Fairewinds has noted from its personal experience, and what The Washington Post and the people of Japan clearly understand is that these meltdown refugees are simply pawns in a much bigger issue of money and politics. According to The Washington Post article,
For the people of Namie and other towns near the Fukushima plant, the pain is sharpened by the way the Japanese government is trying to move beyond the tragedy, to use the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a symbol of hope and recovery, a sign that life can return to normal after a disaster of this magnitude…. Its charm offensive is also tied up with efforts to restart the country’s nuclear-power industry, one of the world’s most extensive networks of atomic power generation. [Emphasis Added].
Six Olympic softball games and a baseball game will be staged in Fukushima, the prefecture’s bustling and radiation-free capital city, and the Olympic torch relay will start from here.
To determine whether or not Olympic athletes might be affected by fallout emanating from the disaster site, Dr. Marco Kaltofen and I were sponsored by Fairewinds Energy Education to look at Olympic venues during the fall of 2017. We took simple dirt and dust samples along the Olympic torch route as well as inside Fukushima’s Olympic stadium and as far away as Tokyo. When the Olympic torch route and Olympic stadium samples were tested, we found samples of dirt in Fukushima’s Olympic Baseball Stadium that were highly radioactive, registering 6,000 Bq/kg of Cesium, which is 3,000 times more radioactive than dirt in the US. We also found that simple parking lot radiation levels were 50-times higher there than here in the US.
Thirty of the dirt and fine dust samples that I took on my last two trips to Japan in February and March 2016 and September 2017 were analyzed at WPI (Worchester Polytechnic Institute. The WPI laboratory analysis are detailed in the report entitled: Measuring Radioactivity in Soil and Dust Samples from Japan, T. Pham, S. Franca and S. Nguyen, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, which found that:
With the upcoming XXXII Olympiad in 2020 hosted by Japan, it is necessary to look into the radioactivity of Olympic venues as well as tourist attractions in the host cities… Since thousands of athletes and millions of visitors are travelling to Japan for the Olympics, there has been widespread concern from the international community about radiation exposure. Therefore, it is important to investigate the extent of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi incident…
The measured results showed a much higher activity of Cesium-137 in the proposed torch route compared to other areas. Overall, the further away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, the lower the radioactivity. The activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo, the furthest site from the plant, was the lowest when compared to the other sites. Therefore, the activity of Cesium-137 in Tokyo sample was used as the baseline to qualitatively estimate the human exposure to radiation.
.… At the Azuma Sports Park, the soil and dust samples yielded a range of 78.1 Bq/kg to 6176.0 Bq/kg. This particular Olympic venue is around 90 km from the Nuclear Power Plant. The other sites that are closer to the Nuclear Power Plant like the tourist route, proposed torch route, and non-Olympic samples have higher amounts due to the close proximity to ground zero of the disaster.
… the proposed torch route samples had the highest mean radioactivity due to their close proximity to the plant. Based on the measurement, we estimated qualitatively that the radiation exposure of people living near the Azuma Sports Park area was 20.7 times higher than that of people living in Tokyo. The main tourist and proposed torch routes had radiation exposure of 24.6 and 60.6 times higher, respectively, than in Tokyo…. Olympic officials should consider using the results of this project to decide whether the radioactivity level at the proposed torch route and the Olympic venues are within acceptable level.
On a more personal note, I witnessed first-hand the ongoing radioactive devastation in and around the Namie area like that detailed in The Washington Post’s revealing and factual essay. During the two weeks I spent in and around Namie in September 2017 I took six short videos showing what the devastation looks and feels like up close. These short iPhone videos total less than 5-minutes of run time. I was on my own, without a videographer, so these short films probably lack the professional quality viewers may usually associate with Fairewinds, however, they do convey the very palpable feeling of gloom and emptiness pervading the ghost towns I visited. I am sharing the first three short videos in today’s blog. We will be releasing a Part 2 of this Fukushima update, which will feature another three short films.
Longtime Friends of Fairewinds may remember that back in 2011, Prime Minister Noda (he was between the ousted Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was PM when the Fukushima Meltdowns occurred and today’s Prime Minister Abe), claimed that the three melted down Fukushima reactors were in ‘cold shutdown’, which they were not, in order to lay the groundwork for Japan’s Olympic bid. Noda claimed “… we can consider the accident contained”. Fairewinds compared Noda’s “cold shutdown” hypocrisy to former President George Bush crowing about “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq. Sadly, what we said in 2011 still rings true today:
Is the Japanese government and the IAEA protecting the nuclear industry and not the people of Japan by claiming that Fukushima is stable when it is not? Fairewinds’ chief engineer Arnie Gundersen outlines major inconsistencies and double-speak by the IAEA, Japanese Government, and TEPCO claiming that the Fukushima accident is over. Dynamic versus static equilibrium, escalated dose exposures to the Japanese children and nuclear workers, and the blending of radioactive materials with non-contaminated material and spreading this contaminated ash throughout Japan are only a small part of this ongoing nuclear tragedy.
Later in 2013, Japan pressed the International Olympic Committee and bribed some of its members to accept the Olympics in 2020 according to an Associated Press article February 18, 2019 by Journalist Haruka Nuga.
Members of the JOC executive board are up for re-election this summer. There is speculation Takeda…[ Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda, who is being investigated for his part in an alleged bribery scandal] will not run, or could be replaced. French investigators believe he may have helped Tokyo win the 2020 Olympics in a vote by the International Olympic Committee.
Takeda has been JOC president since 2001. He is also a powerful IOC member and the head of its marketing commission. He has not stepped aside from either position while the IOC’s ethics committee investigates.
…French authorities suspect that about $2 million paid by the Tokyo bid committee — headed by Takeda — to a Singapore consulting company, Black Tidings, found its way to some IOC members in 2013 when Tokyo won the vote over bids from Istanbul and Madrid… Takeda last month acknowledged he signed off on the payments but denied corruption allegations. An internal report in 2016 by the Japanese Olympic Committee essentially cleared Takeda of wrongdoing.
Tokyo is spending at least $20 billion to organize the Olympics. Games costs are difficult to track, but the city of Tokyo appears to be picking up at least half the bill.
Much of Japan’s focus has been to show that the Fukushima area is safe and has recovered from a 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and the meltdowns at three nuclear reactors. [Emphasis Added]
Here is what I said in a video on Fairewinds website in 2013, when the original Tokyo Olympic announcement was made.
I think hosting the Olympics in 2020 is an attempt by the Japanese to change the topic. I don’t think people around the world are going to care until 2020 approaches. There is a seven-year window for the Japanese government to work to make Tokyo a showcase for the entire world to view. I think the Japanese government wanted to host the Olympics to improve the morale of the people of Japan after the Fukushima Daiichi accident. Unfortunately, it’s taking people’s attention off of the true cost of the accident, in terms of both money and public health.
Placing the Olympics in Tokyo was and still is a ploy to minimize the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns and to take the public’s attention away from a pressing emergency that still needs resolution for the health and safety of the people of Japan. (Click to Source)
Fairewinds Energy Education will keep you informed with Part 2, at fairewinds.org.
Youtuber and urban explorer, Bob Thissen, from The Netherlands, visited Fukushima and found the arcade
He had to hike through bushes to avoid police patrols before he could enter into the abandoned games hall
A thin layer of radioactive dust covers all the games and has deterred looters from stealing and selling them
The nuclear disaster happened in 2011 when a magnitude nine earthquake disturbed a nearby power plant
By ISABELLA NIKOLIC FOR MAILONLINE – PUBLISHED: 07:09 EDT, 27 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:48 EDT, 27 February 2019
An urban explorer has documented the forbidden Fukushima red zone where an abandoned video games hall remains perfectly preserved.
Bob Thissen from Heerlen, The Netherlands, had to hike through bushes and streets, avoiding Japanese police patrols to reach the eerie games arcade – located deep inside off-limits sections.
In contrast to a traditional SEGA Hall, spewing with loud sounds and colourful lights to entice gamers, Fukushima’s lie silent and sombre yet surprisingly intact.
The once vibrant and enchanting SEGA games hall now lies abandoned and with a distinct chill of abandon. Mr Thissen had to hike through bushes to avoid police patrols before he could enter the games hall. The Japanese government has put exclusion zones around the area to protect people from potential radiation
Untouched: The site looks as though it has been undisturbed since the nuclear disaster in 2011 apart from the odd looted vending or cash machine. Mr Thissen noted how eerie it was that a once vibrant arcade hall was now deserted. He said: ‘It was strange to find a normally vibrant place totally silent and sombre, no lights, visuals or sound’
Apart from looted vending and cash machines, the spot still had stacks of tokens, winnable cuddly toys and games galore – all surfaces covered in a thin layer of radioactive dust.
Mr Thissen believes the site appears to have remained untouched since the Fukushima nuclear disaster – which saw more than 160,000 people flee, leaving homes, belongings and their old lives behind.
He said: ‘The noise inside a SEGA hall is overwhelming, different loud sounds come from each arcade and they also contain a lot of visuals and flashing lights to attract people. Players are totally absorbed in the games.
‘So it was strange to find a normally vibrant place totally silent and sombre, no lights, visuals or sound.
‘While I was walking around, I suddenly heard stuffed animals say “I love you”.’
Some of the winnable toys and games had batteries which were still in working order and Mr Thissen even heard stuffed animals saying ‘I love you’
Mr Thissen believes that without the radioactive dust covering the entire place, looters would have stolen the arcade games themselves and sold them on for more money. Pictured is a SEGA games hall that, by comparison, has not closed down
A thin layer of radioactive dust covers all of the old games and has served to deter any potential looters from disturbing the pristine site. Mr Thissen said: ‘People fled during the Fukushima disaster and it appears to be in almost the exact same state as it was left’
‘It was crazy to see the batteries still worked. I also saw a lot of Disney figures which you could win.
‘We barely touched anything, because there is radioactive dust.
‘It’s a unique location, because you normally don’t get to see a SEGA or arcade hall which is fully intact.
‘I only noticed vending and cash machines were pried open by looters.
‘Normally they would take out the prices and sell the arcades. But because of the nuclear disaster everything is left behind.
‘People fled during the Fukushima disaster and it appears to be in almost the exact same state as it was left.
The earthquake triggered a subsequent tsunami which destabilised a nearby nuclear power plant that would change the future of Fukushima forever
Following the disaster the government put up exclusion zones to try and minimise radiation contamination as much as possible. Mr Thissen says that government clean up projects usually happen fairly quickly so this preserved arcade hall wont stay like this for much longer
‘Soon the whole area will be history. The clean-up and rehabilitation happens really quick and former red zones are coming back to life.
‘That’s why I think it’s important to show the real aftermath of the disaster before all traces are gone.’
A magnitude nine earthquake – the strongest ever experienced in Japan – hit the region in March 2011, and a subsequent tsunami destabilised the nuclear power plant that would forever change Fukushima.
The spot has remained near-lifeless and hidden from the outside world behind government exclusion zones – put in place for fear of radiation contamination.
Some of the games included Sonic the Hedgehog, Donkey Kong, House of the Dead, and many more, including toys of Disney characters, talking bears and more.
Mr Thissen who visited the site for his YouTube channel, Exploring the Unbeaten Path, wasn’t surprised by the extremely-pristine condition of the games hall.
Some of the games included in the abandoned site are Sonic the Hedgehog, Donkey Kong and House of the Dead (pictured). Mr Thissen had tried to get into the abandoned arcade hall in 2017 but because there was a lot of renovations and radioactive clean-up he was unable to get in
Mr Thissen believes that part of the reason the site is so untouched is because people living in Japan respect the boundaries put in place by authority
Having visited multiple spots within Fukushima, he believes the people of Japan respect the boundaries put in place, which has helped to preserve it as a near eight-year-old time piece.
Mr Thissen said said: ‘I wasn’t surprised, because almost everything is left untouched in the forbidden zone.
‘Everywhere else in the world these buildings would be totally looted after a few weeks.
‘The Japanese people really respect the rules and never trespass, even if doors are wide open.
He initially spotted the locations during his trip in 2017, but was unable to reach it.
Now having gone back to document the dying remains of Fukushima, he hopes others will respect and appreciate the hall too.
Mr Thissen added: ‘We drove by this location in 2017 on route six – at that time the only open road which goes through the red zone – and I really wanted to see it.
‘But because there was a lot of activity in the red zone – demolition, renovation, radioactive clean-up – we didn’t manage to get there.
‘We went back to document more of the forbidden zone of Fukushima, like this SEGA hall.’ (Click to Source)
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OKUMA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – Nearly a thousand storage tanks are scattered across the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, holding a staggering 1.1 million tons of treated water used to keep its melted reactor cores cool while they rust in the sun.
Plant manager Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., or Tepco, plans to build more of the gigantic tanks to hold another 0.27 million tons, which is roughly the equivalent of 108 Olympic-size swimming pools. The new tanks are expected reach full capacity in four or five years.
Each tank takes seven to 10 days to fill and holds between 1,000 to 1,200 tons of liquid, Tepco officials told reporters during a tour in February organized by the Japan National Press Club. It’s been eight years since Fukushima No. 1 suffered three core meltdowns triggered by tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake, but the situation with the tanks may be a sign Tepco has yet to get the facility under control.
“Space isn’t a big issue at this point in time, but five or 10 years from now, after we’ve started removing the melted fuel debris, we’re going to need facilities to store and preserve it,” Akira Ono, president of Fukushima No. 1 Decontamination and Decommissioning Engineering Co., a Tepco unit overseeing the decommissioning process, said at a news conference in January.
The water issue is eating up both space and resources, but a solution is unlikely to emerge anytime soon.
The International Atomic Energy Agency published a report in November that said the physical constraints of the site “leave little room for additional tanks” beyond what Tepco has allocated.
The IAEA report went on to say it believes storing tainted water in “above ground tanks . . . can only be a temporary measure while a more sustainable solution is needed” and a “decision on the disposition path should be taken urgently.”
Beyond 2020, Tepco has not allocated any additional space for holding treated water on the site and has no plans to do so at this time. The utility said the tanks will likely become a headache if they remain at the plant.
“At that point, we may need to rethink how we’re using the space,” Ono said.
Eight years ago when the monstrous tsunami hit, the entire plant lost power and reactors 1, 2 and 3 lost coolant, causing their cores to overheat. The fuel rods consequently melted, dripping molten fuel that burned through their pressure vessels and pooled in their primary containment vessels. Reactors 1, 3 and 4 then suffered hydrogen explosions.
Tepco must inject water into the reactors indefinitely to keep the melted cores cool, but water tainted by contact with the fuel and associated debris has been leaking from the damaged containment vessels and into the basements of the reactor buildings, where tons of fresh groundwater flows in daily through holes in their damaged walls.
The contaminated water is pumped out and passed through a filtration device called the Advanced Liquid Processing System — which is supposed to remove every radionuclide except for tritium — and stored in the tanks.
Tepco has taken steps to limit the amount of groundwater seeping into the reactor buildings, including wells to intercept and divert it and an underground ice wall around the buildings to block any inflow.
According to Tepco, however, about 83 tons of water are seeping into the reactor buildings each day. Although this is an improvement from some 300 tons in previous years, Tepco must keep making more tanks.
At the moment, Tepco is waiting for a government panel’s advice on what to do with the tritium-tainted water. The panel is considering five disposal methods: ground injection, sea discharge after diluting the tritium concentration, discharging it as steam, discharging it as hydrogen, and solidification followed by underground burial.
Tritium is a radioactive form of hydrogen that forms naturally and is a common byproduct of nuclear reactors. In large quantities, exposure can be dangerous, especially if ingested or inhaled. Processed adequately, however, tritium is believed to pose little to no health risk. For instance, tritium is present in regular tap water, but no ill effects have been confirmed, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Discharging treated tritium water into the ocean is a common practice at nuclear power plants around the world.
Thus some experts, including Toyoshi Fuketa, who heads the Nuclear Regulation Authority, think this is the best option for Fukushima.
“Prolonging the storage of water in those tanks will make decommissioning the power plant that much more difficult for Tepco. Limited resources are being used to use these tanks as storage, not just money but other resources as well,” Fuketa said at a news conference in September.
“The longer we store the water, the greater the influence it will have on the decommissioning of the Fukushima No. 1 power plant.”
But there are concerns about the impact an ocean discharge may have on fisheries still trying to recover from the nuclear crisis.
Fishing in the area has resumed on a trial basis and workers still perform radiation checks before shipping their hauls to fish markets. The waters off Fukushima Prefecture are at the confluence of two ocean currents — the Oyashio from the north and Kuroshio from the south — which make for the good fishing grounds that have been a vital part of the agrarian prefecture’s economy.
Eight years after the meltdowns, however, residents are still struggling to convince the world that fish from the area are safe to eat. Many believe public perception alone will cripple Fukushima’s fishing industry anew if the tainted water is expelled into the ocean — even if the tritium has been reduced to below international standards.
Trust issues continue to plague Tepco after it claimed ALPS was filtering every radionuclide from the cooling water except tritium. Last August it came to light that the allegedly treated water still contained other dangerous contaminants, including iodine, cesium and strontium. Some of the concentrations were above current safety limits.
This has further angered Fukushima residents and made it harder to get their approval for dumping the water held by the tanks into the sea.
During a public hearing hosted by METI in August, participants urged the government and Tepco to consider finding an off-site location to store the water instead of discharging it into the ocean.
“Without a national debate and without the understanding of Japanese citizens or the countries importing our products, as a fisherman of Fukushima Prefecture, I strongly oppose the plan to discharge the treated water into the ocean,” Tetsu Nozaki, chairman of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Association, told the hearing.
“To release the ALPS-treated water into the ocean, at this time, would deal a disastrous blow to the fishermen of Fukushima and rob them of their hard work and motivation,” he said.
Thierry Charles, deputy director-general in charge of nuclear safety at the Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute in France, admitted it is a difficult problem to address, given the volume of water concerned and the tritium content.
Charles believes a controlled release into the ocean would be viable “under conditions to be defined.”
“In this respect, the societal acceptance of this solution should be based on the broad involvement of all stakeholders at the various stages of the process, by explaining the different options studied,” he told The Japan Times.
Meanwhile, the crippled plant faces other serious challenges — including how to extract the molten fuel.
“How we remove the melted fuel debris from the reactors. That’s the most important point. . . . The water tanks are not a big problem,” said Hiroshi Miyano, a professor at Hosei University’s Graduate School of Engineering and Design and chair of the decommissioning committee of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan.
In February, Tepco inserted a remote-controlled probe into reactor 2 to make contact with material inside the containment vessel believed to be melted fuel. The machine — equipped with a camera, thermometer and dosimeter — was designed to poke and gently lift sediment to test its physical properties.
This was the first time a machine had touched melted fuel debris inside any of the crippled reactors at Fukushima No. 1.
The removal process at the plant is slated to begin in 2021. Before that part begins, though, research from the site will be used to make various remote-controlled probes capable of navigating the unique scenarios in each unit. Reactor 3, for example, remains largely submerged and requires an aquatic probe.
Miyano said Tepco and the government — with the help of scientists, nuclear physicists and engineers from around the world — are inventing new technologies as they devise a way to remove the debris.
He added that no country has ever attempted to use remote-controlled robots to remove melted fuel from the inside of a crippled nuclear reactor.
“This is the first time, so there will be many challenges.” (Click to Source)
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The silence surrounding the Fukushima disaster recently has been deafening, it is one year in fact since any reliable information has been released from Tokyo Electric Power Co, the owners of the stricken plant.
Last year, Tokyo Electric Power Co said a system meant to purify contaminated water had failed to remove dangerous radioactive contaminants.
A report from Reuters today, claims most of that water – stored in 1,000 tanks around the plant – will need to be reprocessed before it is released into the ocean, the most likely scenario for disposal.
Reprocessing could take nearly two years and divert personnel and energy from dismantling the tsunami-wrecked reactors, a project that will take up to 40 years, (which is only an estimate as Tepco still haven’t invented the technology to fix the problem, they could still be trying to fix the problem in 2060.)
It is unclear how much that would delay decommissioning. But any delay could be pricey; the government estimated in 2016 that the total cost of plant dismantling, decontamination of affected areas, and compensation, would amount to 21.5 trillion yen ($192.5 billion), roughly 20 per cent of the country’s annual budget.
Tepco is already running out of space to store treated water. And should another big quake strike, (which is a question of when and NOT if), experts say tanks could crack, unleashing tainted liquid and washing highly radioactive debris into the ocean.
Exactly one year ago today, The Big Wobble released an article, claiming during the summer of 2017, 50,000 trillion Becquerel’s of radiation leaked into the Pacific, however, Tepco continue to claim tritium poses little risk to human health and is quickly diluted by the ocean.
300 tons of radioactive water is leaking daily into the Pacific and there is no known technology to fix it.
In one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters, the Nos. 1 to 3 units experienced fuel meltdowns while the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 units were also severely damaged by hydrogen explosions following a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
To prevent leakage of tainted water, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) had installed a costly “ice wall” to keep groundwater from seeping into the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, however, data from the operator shows, it had failed.
The aim was to freeze the soil into a solid mass that blocks groundwater flowing from the hills west of the plant to the coast.
However, the continuing seepage has created vast amounts of toxic water that Tepco must pump out, decontaminate and store in tanks at Fukushima that now number 1,000, holding 1 million tonnes, which will at some time be dumped into the Pacific.
Last July TEPCO released around 770,000 tons of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.
A study by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa have revealed almost 50% of fish consumed on the islands of Hawai’i were contaminated with caesium 134 the radioactive finger-print of Fukushima.
The report also showed that migrating organisms can transport the Fukushima-signature (caesium 134) over significant distances as they showed detectable 134Cs (6.3±1.5 Bq/kg) in Pacific bluefin tuna caught off the California coast only a year after the incident.
Another study found caesium 134 in longfin tuna (Albacore) along the western coast of the US just one year after the Fukushima disaster.
It’s another blow for the stricken nuclear plant with TEPCO claiming the clean-up of the site will take at least 40 years.
Last year The Big Wobble received an email from Bill Laughing Bear, our friend in Alaska who is monitoring the radiation in fish along the Alaskan coast.
The up-to-date and timely information your website delivers just brought a new topic to my mind: Fukushima. On your March 8, 2018, posting about another million tons of toxic waste to be dumped into the Pacific, the thought occurred to me ‘how much more radiation would I be reading in this coming year’s fish harvest than when the Fukushima nuclear disaster on March 11, 2011, changed our world forever?’
As a musher in Alaska, I have often been blessed from collecting numerous people’s previous year’s salmon catch as they cleaned out their freezers, making room for the current year’s catch. I fed it to my dog team and I ate endless pounds of it myself. I also have enjoyed standing on the banks of some of our first class rivers while fishing for salmon with a pole which I no longer do.
When the Fukushima fiasco occurred, it was obvious to me that with the currents that come up the coast of Alaska from Japan, we were in trouble. I believed our fishing resources would become radioactive and because I love my dogs as most would love their family members, I knew I had to verify this food supply was safe.
Talking to anyone I could who was supposedly in the “know,” I was assured there would be no problem. That did not ease my mind. I decided to invest in a radiation monitor of my own. Being a disabled veteran with a limited income, I set out to buy a meter of the best value I could with my minimal resources. I was told that the most common monitor being used in Japan that people living near the Fukushima area use is the Radex RD 1503. This meter is made in Moscow, Russia, by Quarta-Rad Limited.
The Russian people who had to deal with the monster, Chernobyl, manufactured a quality radiation monitor and I decided to order one. The meter cost me approximately $160.00 U.S. Funds. This monitor was designed for detection and evaluation of the level of ionizing radiation and for the evaluation of contamination levels of materials and products. Although a good monitor, it cannot be used for official conclusions about radiation, environment and fouling factors. The meter estimates the radiation environment in the magnitude of the ambient equivalent power of gamma radiation dose taking into account the pollution of objects by beta sources. The meter reads two ways: microSievert per hour or microRoentgen per hour.
Once obtaining the meter, I started taking readings of people’s salmon. By the second year after the Fukushima incident, all salmon I scanned read radioactive. I have seen a steady increase in radiation levels of salmon through last year with not one salmon failing to register some contamination.
Last year I checked my first halibut which came from local waters. It, too, registered radiation. Since halibut are bottom feeders, I thought this might explain why, on my walks along the beach and seeing at various times dead crab, the occasional sea otter, and a couple of times more jellyfish than I could count, not to mention numerous birds.
In my attempts to find what constitutes safe levels of radiation, official agencies do not seem to be able to agree on just what those safety levels are. I will say that I have found an increase of over 27% of radiation levels since around 2012. So whether the data I have observed is minimal or should be alarming, it is definitely building every year.
Last year, a woman I know, who had just been released from the hospital after receiving numerous doses of radiation had me scan her body. It read lower than the salmon taken out of her freezer.
Three days ago I talked with a commercial fisherman whom I respect and I asked him what he had heard about radiation levels and salmon. He told me they have been told there is no radiation problem in salmon and they are healthy. I told him that I was finding constant radiation and I would come over and scan his salmon in his freezer if he wanted me to. He was visually shaken.
Many of us have chosen to no longer consume for ourselves or our dogs any seafood off the Pacific Coast. From what I understand, radiation can build up in one’s system.
I have also been warned by my friends and numerous others whose fish I have scanned to be quiet about this because it might not go well with me. But ethically I feel I have a moral obligation to my fellow man and I am issuing a strong alert about the condition I have personally found with the salmon and halibut in Alaskan waters. I do not want anyone to suffer a “slow burn” with their health and life. (Click to Source)
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