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Half-Year Fukushima Meltdown Remembrance

by Crazy Horse Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 01:19:44 AM EST

Today (11 September) is the six-month anniversary of the beginning of the meltdown, caused in part by the "can't happen here" combination of giant earthquake and tsunami. I wish everyone, pro and anti alike, would try to take some time to reflect on the capabilities of this civilization we live in.

front-paged by afew


Not forgetting that we're still a few decades away from understanding the effect of low-level radiation on humans. Not forgetting that the skills which created the global financial clusterfuck can be applied to technocrats as well. But those are merely my views.

It's probably wise to reflect a bit on the displaced people put in danger, and lands which likely can't be recovered economically. And perhaps the ocean, where a true high-level study of effects caused by Fukushima is too damn expensive.

Anyway, i'm wearing a black T-shirt produced two days after the event by a Japanese friend running a top sushi restaurant in Frisco (Moshi Moshi). It has a white Torii Gate in a circle, and on the memorial on the sleeve, a grey and white origami symbol for good luck. This is why i'm wearing a Torii Gate:

Remembering that TPTB have their wish, and Fukushima has disappeared from the radar screens.

"All I have left is the voice of the wind."  --  Katzenjammer

[editor's note, by Migeru] Japan disaster threads:

Display:
I like this photo because we see humans there.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Sep 11th, 2011 at 06:41:04 AM EST
According to my sources, at least one of the reactors at Fukushima is still melting down into the ground with the possibility of a hydrogen or steam explosion sometime in the future.  Whether that is true or not, there are still ongoing radioactive releases from Fukushima.  I have yet to see a full report on the amount and specifics of the radioactive releases to date.  This disaster is ongoing and will be affecting people for a long, long time.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Sun Sep 11th, 2011 at 04:20:17 PM EST
There was a report earlier this week, that the release ammount estimates have quietly been tripled.

(ive been meaning to bring myself up to date on all the press releases etc over at a couple of sites, and so this diary is a good excuse)  

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 11th, 2011 at 10:31:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ouch, just looked and I have about 100 pages of links to look through on just one site

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Sep 11th, 2011 at 10:32:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hiding the Bad News in an avalanche of fluff and logomachian obfuscation is an old trick.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 06:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but the problem is its mostly 100 pages of bad news

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 07:33:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
and now a nuclear emergency in France

 BBC News - 'Leak risk after explosion at French nuclear plant'

There is a risk of a radioactive leak after a blast at the southern French nuclear plant of Marcoule, media reports say.

One person was killed and three were injured in the explosion, following a fire in a storage site for radioactive waste, Le Figaro newspaper said.

and cia twitter, but grabbed from wrong browser and so lost link

The oven in #Marcoule was used for metalic intermediate level waste melting for reprocessing. It exploded when it was restarted

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 12th, 2011 at 07:57:07 AM EST
One dead in explosion at French nuclear plant; no radiation leak, ASN nuclear safety agency says - Reuters

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 12th, 2011 at 08:10:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Marcoule is a nuclear waste management site that does not include any reactors. The explosion took place near a furnace, an ASN spokesperson told Reuters

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 12th, 2011 at 08:15:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Funny (not so funny, CH) that just this morn, as i was thinking about the lack of response to my plea to just remember Japan, and why, i thought, people will be really surprised when the next crisis happens in France.

But then i thought no, that'll happen at Diablo Canyon, spoiling my chance to retire to Big Sur. (PG&E can't even handle gas lines.)

This explosion is not about whether or how much radiation will leak, but that reality is more complex than the most researched technology can stand. Even if it takes decades to relearn.

Then i thought, wow, well over 80% of Germans want nothing further to do with harnessing the unknowns involved in splitting the atom, and what does it matter when the next door neighbor, Czech Republik, wants to become the next nuclear center of Europe.

Then i thought i should just die. Which made me realize how long since i'd been in a sweat lodge ceremony, where one contacts the spirits (which don't exist, of course) directly.

Then i thought i should stop thinking and get away from ET, go sweat on my new used bike against the very strong winds here today.

But my depression continues to make me completely immobile. At least two nights ago i was able to dream we set up a new band, and for the first time in decades of dreaming, there was no problem finding all the bits of my drum kit, and when the music began, it was easy to play.

(i can't really do anything anymore, but write.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 12th, 2011 at 09:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the next door neighbor, Czech Republik, wants to become the next nuclear center of Europe.

This appears to be connected with a fixation on the Energy Independence From Russia meme. If they won't get a Russian reactor, I have my doubts that they will ever get together the financing for the entire plan.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 12th, 2011 at 02:43:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
At least two nights ago i was able to dream we set up a new band, and for the first time in decades of dreaming, there was no problem finding all the bits of my drum kit, and when the music began, it was easy to play.

there you go... same state of mind, same game plan. beautifully put.

only thing left is to get up and wail...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 12:26:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German TV ARD reports that the French nuclear agency stated that the explosion was a small nuclear chain reaction under compression of some waste. I can't confirm if that's the case.

A doctor on site reported that everyone was told to stay inside, don't open windows, and drink or eat nothing.

The report also stated that the site is where plutonium for France's weapons are stored, and where MOx reprocessing occurs.

Not trusted info, but the report featured a French activist who stated there are three "incidents" every day in France. I would not be surprised if almost all were really just technical issues, but does give one pause.

I would be surprised if French authorities were completely forthcoming about the event. This is another reminder that this civilization is not ready to handle such responsibility, in my opinion.

video and german report here

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 12th, 2011 at 07:04:11 PM EST
Nuclear dirty tricks and the consequences of Fukushima | Greenpeace International

In the wake of Fukushima, Germany and Italy have both taken the courageous step in turning their backs on nuclear energy. In Japan and elsewhere, however, the nuclear industry is trying to ensure business as usual despite, becoming increasingly dogged in cover-up and scandals.

Instead of taking control of the situation, and earning the public's trust by being transparent, TEPCO remains reluctant to provide important information about the nuclear crisis. This is a trend that has continued since the beginning of the crisis. TEPCO's nuclear accident operating manual was released to a government committee this week. The committee found it so heavily censored that it was unreadable. Even Naoto Kan, who recent stepped down as Prime Minister was in the dark about what TEPCO was doing, saying that he personally visited the Fukushima reactors the day after the crisis began `because we were not receiving accurate information from the plant'.

Japan's other nuclear companies, having seen public opinion swing against them, have embarked on a covert mission to persuade the people of Japan to give them a second chance. Since the nuclear crisis began,  both the nuclear industry and government officials have been embroiled in a series of scandals where power companies have attempted to manipulate public opinion in favour of nuclear power.

read the rest... if you have a strong stomach.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 12:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Anyone who seriously considers themselves to be expert, or even to have an opinion about nuclear power should go through the Greenpeace article melo posted and click on the links, then go through the timeline.

After the lies and obfuscations, you would then be forced to admit that irrespective of the technology itself, the nuclear industry itself is incapable of any responsibility. And before you say that France isn't Japan, you find out EdF has been hacking Greenpeace computers since 2004.

Cesium in children's urine, 3x the level of radiation in the sea as reported, radiation found farther and wider than disclosed. The Japanese government wants to examine the TEPCO manuals, which TEPCO released only one of, and that HEAVILY redacted because of "intellectual property" concerns during a huge disaster.

Little blips on the timeline like "TEPCO can't account for a hundred eighty workers." What, they realized what they were doing and went home?

I used to be so frustrated dealing with pro-nukers because they continually refuse to admit that the management itself of the industry is so corrupt and incapable, and cavalier about it.  if only half of that article is true, the entire industry should stand naked in the corner forever.

When i say that this civilization with its environmental blindness and psychopathic pursuit of who knows what greed is not evolved enough to be entrusted with caretaking the splitting of the atom, this is what i talk about.

i would appreciate if some nuclear power advocate could give me their own views on what i just read and wrote.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 01:40:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
i would appreciate if some nuclear power advocate could give me their own views on what i just read and wrote.

they won't because they're too busy emotionally blackmailing everyone with coal threats.

it always astonishes me when people as intelligent and informed as Thomas or NNadir still believe in the 'peaceful' atom, after all the shit greenpeace cites has gone down. taking that view seems the par excellence example of what can happen when 'rationality' outstrips compassion.

we are living in a time of disconnected hearts...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 05:33:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, no nuclear power advocate seems to want to step up and touch these issues. Is that telling? Why not? I know when I see garbage written about windpower i'm always tempted to set the record straight.

Let me put it a bit clearer. As long as nuclear power remains a perceived viable option to mediate climate change, the path to build a sustainable world is at best compromised, at worst stalled. it's really about time for Stewart fuckin whole-earth Brand to man up and admit he was wrong, or tell us where we're wrong.

For creator's sake, earthlings, if you must keep your infatuation with derivatives, then at least use direct derivatives of the sun.

(PS. and no, your civilization is nowhere near advanced enough to consider using what actually powers the sun itself.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 03:26:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
I would be surprised if French authorities were completely forthcoming about the event.

So would I.

by Bernard on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 02:01:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Explosion mortelle sur le site nucléaire de MarcouleDeadly explosion at Marcoule nuclear site
Hier, aux alentours de 11 h 45, une déflagration a retenti dans un hangar de l'entreprise, qui dépend du site nucléaire de Marcoule. Dans le bâtiment : le four à fusion, chargé de détruire les métaux légèrement radioactifs. Selon une source proche du dossier, c'est l'apparition d'une poche d'air dans les métaux en fusion qui pourrait être à l'origine de l'explosion. Le four (toujours intact) aurait rejeté le métal chauffé à 1 300 °C.Yesterday, around 11:45, an explosion occurred in a hangar belonging to the company based on the Marcoule site. In the building: the fusion oven used to melt lightly radioactive metals. According to a source close to the investigation, a pocket of air inside the metal in fusion could have triggered the explosion. The oven (still intact) has projected metal at 1300°C.
"Nous avons procédé à de nombreux relevés. Dans les locaux, sur le site et dans les villages avoisinants", détaille le colonel Simonet, du Sdis 30."We proceeded to numerous measurements. In the premises, on the coumpound and neighboring villages", said colonel Simonet, from the regional fire department.
"Nous avons également procédé à des relevés sur les victimes. Tous les résultats sont négatifs. Pas de traces de radioactivité." Si ce n'est celle naturellement présente dans l'air. "Aucune mesure de confinement ou d'évacuation des salariés n'a été nécessaire", a souligné le ministère de l'Intérieur. "We also did measurement on the victims. all results are negative. No trace of radioactivity." Except for the natural background one. "No confinement or evacuation of the workers was necessary", underlined the ministry of interior.
by Bernard on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 02:14:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crazy Horse:
Not trusted info, but the report featured a French activist who stated there are three "incidents" every day in France. I would not be surprised if almost all were really just technical issues, but does give one pause.

As far as I understand the rules in Sweden, almost everything that happens that deviates from the normal routine shall be reported as an incident. Most incidents turn out to be nothing.

It is like the number of reported crimes, a high number can indicate much crime or a high percentage reported.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 10:10:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sure it's the same in most industrial nations. But in the US there's a long record of non- or under-reporting of significant incidents.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Sep 13th, 2011 at 12:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You are too kind.

The US nuclear power industry are a bunch of lying scumbags.  They lie by commission.  They lie by omission.  They lie by mis-direction.  They've continuously lied for so long, so often, I'm not even sure they know what Truth is, anymore.

That the San Onofre plant was even considered to be built, where it was built (5 miles from the San Andreas fault,) is evidence of serious cognitive dysfunction.

Putting these people in charge of a book of matches seriously strains their ethical and mental abilities.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 06:22:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps that comment could be the starting point of a healthy debate about the management capabilities of the industry.
/snark

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 06:58:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We must admit it's a symptom. He said what many people think without daring to say it.

[From the afew Guide to the Overton Window.]

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 07:12:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the management capabilities of the industry

or even

the management's capabilities of the industry

maybe?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 01:53:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely, you're not tarring the feathers of management in general. Look at the performance of other too valuable to fuckup industries, such as financial services or defense and nation-building. (It's hard to move 2-ton pallets of hundred dollar bills in a war zone with a forklift, without some "spillage" or "loss.")

Seriously, in my vast career, i've seen competence and once in a while even brilliance in management, but that's mostly because people themselves are so diverse. The wind industry has had plenty of management errors, some serious.

It's just that in the wind business, the failure debris doesn't destroy humanity's genetic code, or create dangerous but necessary "evacuation zones." Wait, even that statement is in error, since I left out the effects on the rest of the circle of life, in this case beginning with the ocean, which previously, at least before humans came along, seemed to have fairly competent management.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 02:54:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's just that in the wind business, the failure debris doesn't destroy humanity's genetic code, or create dangerous but necessary "evacuation zones."

That was the solace Andy Hannon, President of Hannon Engineering in Los Angeles, drew regarding the errors his company might make in public address systems. Andy was a pre WW II Electrical Engineering graduate of Cal Tech who served in Technical Training for the Army in WW II and then founded his company after the war, developing most of the early PA/Intercom system used in Los Angeles Public Schools himself. Not glamorous, but he wasn't risking killing people either. He was, however, capable of turning, literally, a deaf ear to really ugly 120Hz buzz from vacuum tube equipment and saying "What buzz?"  :-)

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2011 at 10:38:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
taken from an IAEA report

Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 631

Unavailability of measurements has resulted in initiating urgent protection action based on the plant status. The fast changing plant circumstances made it imperative to take several consecutive measures (mostly evacuations) to protect the residents. Long term sheltering was not in line with international practice and has been abandoned and the notions of ―deliberate evacuation‖ and ―evacuation-prepared area‖ were introduced instead.
4 - LESSONS LEARNED _/_/2011 1. Use of long term sheltering (―in-house evacuation‖) was an unusual and not fully justified action that will need further analysis in the future.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 09:08:01 PM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 631
UK Government secret documents on the Fukushima Disaster released through freedom of information request.

Guardian Report

Fukushima contingency documents


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 09:09:42 PM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 633
When I calculated the amounts of cesium in the ~105,000 t of water in TEPCO's data sheet (reactor basements, turbine basements, trenches and rad waste buildings, but not in SPFs), I was amazed at the comparison of the units:
  • 1/2 of the cesium is in unit 2 alone
  • Another 1/4 of the total is in the central rad waste building, but was mostly pumped out of the #2 basement and trench.
  • Almost all of the rest is in unit 3.
  • A little more than 1% is in unit 1
  • About 0.1 % is in unit 4
That means:
  • Unit 2 was 3x as dirty as unit 3
  • Unit 3 is 50% bigger and 30x as dirty by volume as unit 1


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 09:24:32 PM EST
As for the caesium that escaped, there is some good news:

Most cesium in forests found 'on fallen leaves' : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

As much as 50 percent to 90 percent of radioactive cesium on the ground in forested areas as a result of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant accident is concentrated on fallen leaves and branches, according to a measurement by experts.

The discovery indicates it is possible to reduce large amounts of ground radiation by removing fallen forest materials, and likely will become basic data for decontamination measures.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 03:14:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't believe you can literally say that the caesiums "escaped." As in California, the prisons were overcrowded, and they were forced to make a "compassionate release."

Then the prisons would have been less crowded, except more of them little criminal caesiums kept getting remanded. Luckily, half of them will die in a few decades, although some authorities still consider them "armed and dangerous."

Of course, others did "break out" because of "explosive conditions" in the prisons.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 03:35:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So it is critical to carry out cleaning operations within the first few months, before the contaminated material has a chance to decay into the topsoil.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 03:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
desperate measures in the early hours of the problem

Aftershocks, explosions hindered N-plant staff : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

At about 5:30 p.m. on March 12, Yoshida instructed workers to prepare to vent pressure inside the No. 3 reactor. Early in the morning of the next day, workers headed for the reactor's pressure control room, located at the lower part of the containment vessel, to open the valve of the vent.

However, the temperature around the pressure control room was high, as the vent releases high-temperature vapor. Workers also needed to exchange containers of compressed air, which were used to open the valve, in the dark. They were ordered to open and close the valve several times, but various problems interrupted the operations.

Workers had trouble injecting water into the nuclear reactor. They needed to release pressure from the reactor to inject water via a pumper truck, but they could not open the valve after a certain battery ran down.

One of the workers brought the battery from his car to the central control room, and connected it to the instrument panel. This finally allowed the workers to open the vent, release the pressure and inject water into the nuclear reactor.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 09:29:50 PM EST
Tepco report reveals lack of preparedness | The Japan Times Online

okyo Electric Power Co. has released a 41-page timeline detailing its initial actions in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear plant crisis, and experts said it reveals a lack of preparedness and severe difficulty in coping with the world's worst atomic accident since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown.

According to Tepco, plant director Masao Yoshida ordered staff to prepare to lower the pressure in reactor No. 1 by venting steam from its containment vessel at 12:06 a.m. on March 12, more than eight hours after the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunamic knocked out power to the plant and triggered the crisis



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 14th, 2011 at 09:30:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]

But Tepco's records, released Saturday, show it did not have crisis-management manuals that detailed the procedure for manually opening the valves in the event of full power loss.

Only after the situation had turned into a full-blown crisis did Tepco send workers into a quake-damaged building at the compound to grab the documents needed to check the design and other specifications of the release valve to see if it could be opened manually.

At that point, Tepco learned that the valve actually had a handle for doing exactly that, the utility said in the report.

Ugh.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 03:30:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

The report also revealed that industry minister Banri Kaieda ordered Tecpo to "manually open" the valves to vent steam from reactor 1 at 6:50 a.m. on March 12.

But Tepco didn't send anyone to open the valves until 9:04 a.m., after confirming that all residents of Okuma, one of the towns that hosts the power plant, had been evacuated from areas at risk of being contaminated by the radioactive steam and other materials that would be released in the process.

Well that makes a dilemma...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 03:31:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is roughly what I expected. As a reminder: in the first weeks, the failure to vent came into the media via government sources, with the framing that the PM and his staff was outraged at TEPCO for failing to follow through with the venting as ordered by the government. The implication being, TEPCO mamagers dragged their feet. But from the info back then, I already suspected that managers had little to do with it and workers just don't haver the proper means for emergeny work (due to lack of preparedness).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 02:51:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Operating in the dark:

After the plant lost power, workers could not measure water levels in the reactors. Realizing the seriousness of this, the disaster headquarters established at the plant after the quake ordered workers to give top priority to confirming the water levels as soon as possible.

Another issue was the failure to get emergency generators on site. It was already known that emergency plans foresaw bringing the generators by road, which was stupid due to the post-quake road damage and traffic jams, wich could have been foreseen. On ET the air route was discussed, too, but they say now:

There was talk of transporting power generators by Self Defense Forces and U.S military helicopters, but it was soon discovered they were too heavy to transport by air.

We also knew that, although the mobile generators must have arrived on site, they weren't used in the next days either; but not the reason. There was long speculation about connector incompatibility and 50/60 Hz incompatibility, but later those appeared to be false rumours based on baseless speculation. Months later it became clear that the switchboxes, into which the mobile generators were supposed to be connected, were submerged by the tsunami, too. Now it is revealed that one switchbox survived, but connection work was interrupted by aftershocks and a false tsunami warning, and then debris flying from the No. 1 reactor building explosion put an end to the effort by severing the cable:

All the plant's switchboards stopped functioning after being submerged by tsunami, except one at the No. 2 reactor. About 40 workers struggled to connect the switchboard to a power generating vehicle with a cable 200 meters long and weighing more than a ton.

A major tsunami warning was issued during their efforts, which also were interrupted by aftershocks from time to time.

At 3:30 p.m. on March 12, the workers finally succeeded in connecting the switchboard and the power generating vehicle. Just six minutes later, however, an explosion occurred at the No. 1 reactor building. Debris from the building severed the cable, rendering it useless.

So it's not that the emergency response team were out of their debth, more that they were out of time and short on options.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 03:02:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
More on the messy conditions...

The cause for a delay in fire truck water injection for No. 1:

The main reason for the delay was that a tank had been swept by tsunami onto the road that fire trucks would take to the nuclear reactor, and was blocking access, TEPCO said.

They also mention how the No. 1 explosion also severed the fire hose used to pumb seawater into No. 1 and destroyed the generator vehicle powering the pump, and how the same happened with the fire hose and pump truck for No. 2 when No. 3 exploded, but IIRC both of these were reported already. What's new is the info (without details) that traces the cause of the mysterious No. 2 wetwell explosion to the No. 3 explosion debris, too:

In addition, the explosion damaged the nuclear reactor's system for releasing pressure through a vent. Efforts to release pressure from other smaller vents did not go smoothly, and in the early morning of May 15, workers heard a sound like an explosion from the pressure control room of the reactor's containment vessel.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 03:13:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yup, you read the title correctly. From the BEEB:

UK Nuclear Support 'Rises After Fukushima'


An opinion poll suggests that support for nuclear power in Britain has increased in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

In the British Science Association poll, over 40% of respondents said the benefits outweighed the risks.

Researchers believe that worries about future energy security have become far more important in people's minds.

Men were more than twice as likely as women to be in favour of nuclear, the poll suggests.
....

(Shouldn't they have put those monstrous sea walls on the other side of the reactor? - CH)
....
Bucking the trend

While opinion polls in Japan, Germany and Italy have all shown a drop in support for nuclear power following the disaster, Britons seem to be bucking the trend with increasing enthusiasm for the technology.

In 2010, 38% of those polled in the UK believed the benefits of nuclear outweighed the risks; this has increased to 41% today. (Margin of error interpretation alert: CH)

When asked about building new nuclear power stations, support has increased substantially from just 9% in 2005 to 23%.

In the light of the disaster, Professor Bob Cywinski, a nuclear expert from the University of Huddersfield, said the poll findings were unexpected.

"I am surprised that there is still such strong support after Fukushima despite the public misunderstanding and despite the bad publicity."

So, no way on god's green background-irradiated earth could this be spin or even propaganda, dutifully transmitted by the impartial BBC.

Forgetting MOE, we have "support" for the technology growing (but still at far less than half the population) at 40%, highlighted rather than the later stat that only 23% "support" new plants.

We have the expert claiming that the Fukushima disaster was "bad publicity," and that the public doesn't understand something. And that 23% is "strong support" for both experts (one from U of Huddleston no less) seems to indicate the batteries are low on one's calculator, if not in the other's brain.

And thankfully, Professor Pidgeon (Carrier?) let's us know the reason, because for the past five years, climate change has "gone off people's radar." As far as I knew, most people don't even have radar.

Yo BEEB, that still means that 77% of Brits don't support new plants, not all that far from the percentage in Germany.

We now return you to your regular installment of feces from Big Brother.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 07:21:46 AM EST
Funny, just the other day, I posted a poll with the opposite result in Britain:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 12:01:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As suspected, core funders include Saudi Aramco, BP, and The Goldsmith's Companies, affiliates include the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, GlaxoSmithKline, Christians in Science, and who gives a shit about the rest.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 01:11:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am not going to dig up the actual surveys, but I do note that 51% opposed (up from 41) 41% in favor (up from 38) are not mutually exclusive numbers.

Though in all probability the opposed/favor numbers will be different for the two polls, as it hinges on exactly what is asked.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 08:03:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On Arte Global Mag this evening, a report from the town of Fukushima. The team showed up with their camera to cover a public information meeting on the risks for the local population after (during) the meltdown.

At the door a steward bars access unless they can attest to not being against nuclear. "Are you pro or anti-nuclear?" he insists. No "anti-nuclear" media are allowed to cover the public meeting. (See video here, 8.45 in.

The Arte people said they were not anti-nuclear and were allowed in. A professor tells the good people that recent research has shown that the international safety levels are way too high, and that you can take 100 times more without the slightest risk.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 04:37:06 PM EST
high low
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 04:40:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Damn, they don't a version auf Deutsch yet.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 05:53:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Who organised that meeting?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 06:02:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I went back and listened more carefully - it was organized by Fukushima municipality for municipal workers, teachers, etc, to give them information they should pass on in their work.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 03:43:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 639
NISA press conference 2011.06.24 11:10 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15577343 : it is expected that the original primary circuit at the unit 1 SFP cooling system can be reused instead of creating a new one as was previously thought. Tepco provided a report on the safety issues concerning the cover for unit 1 : http://www.meti.go.jp/press/2011/06/...10624005-2.pdf : the roof can bear the weight of 30 cm of snow. The average maximum wind speeds recorded during the past 10 years being 17 m/s, the structure is designed to withstand 25 m/s winds. It is a "C class building" as regards the earthquake safety. 6 air-filtering units with a 10,000m³/h capacity each will be installed, providing a total capacity of 40,000m³/h (4 units are active, 2 spare units are inactive). There will be a nozzle in the roof, that can be used to pour water into the spent fuel pool. Thermometers will measure the air temperature inside the cover. Cameras will watch the spent fuel pool. Radiation sensors and hydrogen sensors will be installed (sensor locations are shown on the figure page 8). The tsunami wall will be completed by the time the cover structure is finished. The cover sheet material respects the relevant fire resistance standard. The roof and panels could be opened for fire-fighting purposes. The walls of the reactor building will be coated with a dust fixating material beforehand. Even if the cover structure collapses, the added weight is not enough to curtail the reactor building's earthquake or wind resistance. The temperature is expected to rise inside the reactor building, and on a case by case basis spot-coolers will be installed. The humidity is not expected to rise because it will be absorbed by the air-filtering system.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 07:12:28 PM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 639
Analysis of the spent fuel pool water at reactor 1 is out:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushi...10624_02-e.pdf

Numbers are a fair bit lower than for reactor 3 pool ( http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp.../110510e12.pdf )

But way, way higher than for reactor 4 pool ( http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp...s/110509e3.pdf )


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 07:12:56 PM EST
These are analyses of the radioactive isotope content of the spent fuel pools. They include time series.For No. 4, what I find most noteworthy is the order of magnitude drop in Iodine-131 (the shortest half-life isotope): it indicates that there is no re-supply, that is chain reaction stopped at least in its spent fuel pool. As for "way higher", huh, values for No. 1 and 3 are two-three orders of magnitude above those for No. 4.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 03:09:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 652
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushi...10630_03-e.pdf


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 08:13:23 PM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 652
Here is another photo from their adventure on the refuelling floor at reactor 4:

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/11031...s/110701_1.jpg


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 08:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct link here. According to the forum link, this document includes a sketch of the No. 4 refueling floor ofr the first time, with five detail photos. To be seen is the well covered spent fuel pool, some radiation measurement values (3.7 mSv/h on the water surface, 1.3 mSv/h at a height of 50 cm, 0.5 mSv/h on the surface surrounding the spent fuel pool, 0.2-0.6 mSv/h on other measurement points on that floor). All this at the end of June, so values in March were presumably higher.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 03:16:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That takes me to the end of June, Im away for a day or two, so will carry on reading  when I get back

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2011 at 08:14:48 PM EST
A small-g green (centrist, she has been a powerless minister of the environment in a right-wing government), but a good'un.

Corinne Lepage : "Ce que je viens de voir à Fukushima" | Atlantico Corinne Lepage: "What I have seen in Fukushima" | Atlantico
Rien n'est résolu au niveau de la centrale. Trois coeurs ont fondu et nul ne sait l'étendue des dégâts au niveau de leurs enveloppes. Les coeurs sont refroidis par une eau qui devient hautement contaminée et se répand ensuite. Mais arrêter de refroidir est infiniment dangereux, d'où le piège infernal. Plus de 100 000 m3 d'eau hautement contaminée, utilisée dans les piscines pour le refroidissement, doivent être retraitées mais la difficulté parait extrême. Si la radioactivité a baissé, semble t-il, les conditions de travail restent très difficiles et il est, bien entendu, impossible de pénétrer dans les réacteurs.
Nothing is resolved at the plant. Three cores melted and no one knows the extent of damage in their envelopes. The cores are cooled by water that is highly contaminated and then spreads. But stopping the cooling would be infinitely dangerous, hence the vicious trap. More than 100 000 m3 of water is highly contaminated, used in pools for cooling, needs to be reprocessed but the difficulty seems extreme. If the radioactivity has decreased, it seems, working conditions remain very difficult and it is of course impossible to enter the reactors.
La première leçon à tirer est donc celle de l'improvisation de réponse à laquelle conduit une catastrophe nucléaire, totalement incompatible avec la dangerosité de ces installations et avec les propos lénifiants des autorités de sûreté. The first lesson is that an improvised response to a nuclear catastrophe is totally incompatible with the dangerous nature of these facilities and with the soothing responses of the safety authorities.
Rien n'est résolu au niveau de la contamination des zones voisines de la centrale. Si la population a été évacuée dans la zone de 20km - l'ancien Premier ministre ayant avoué récemment que beaucoup ne pourraient revenir car les zones étaient perdues de manière irréversible - il reste 2 millions de personnes, 300 000 enfants de moins de 18 ans et 20 000 femmes enceintes dans la préfecture de Fukushima. Ces personnes sont soumises à une contamination de l'ordre de la dose annuelle maximale admissible pour les travailleurs du nucléaire : 20 Msv/an. Et aucune réponse n'est apportée aux mères de famille que j'ai rencontrées, qui veulent désespérément partir et n'en n'ont pas les moyens. Ni décontamination possible, ni allocation d'une indemnisation qui permettrait de refaire une vie. De plus, l'omerta qui règne sur la contamination locale (qui varie en fonction des « taches de léopard », les pressions qui s'exercent sur les médecins) ne permet pas aux populations de connaître leur réelle exposition.
Nothing is resolved at the level of contamination of adjacent areas of the plant. If the population was evacuated in the area of ​​20km - the former prime minister who confessed recently that many could not return because the areas were irreversibly lost - there are still 2 million people, 300,000 children under 18 years and 20 000 pregnant women in the prefecture of Fukushima. These people are subject to contamination in the range of maximum permissible annual dose for nuclear workers 20 mSv /year. And no answer is given to the mothers I met, who desperately want to leave and do not afford. Decontamination or possible or allocation of compensation that would start a new life. In addition, the omerta that prevails on the local contamination (which varies according to the "leopard spots", the pressures on doctors) do not allow people to know their real exposure.
La seconde leçon est donc celle du caractère tragique pour les populations d'une catastrophe nucléaire. Il n'y a pas de solution, et cette situation induit nécessairement le secret et le silence pour couvrir cette incapacité d'agir.
The second lesson is that of the tragic nature for people of a nuclear disaster. There is no solution, and this inevitably leads to secrecy and silence to cover up this inability to act.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 05:05:28 AM EST
She consciously chose to use the word "omerta," wow.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Fri Sep 16th, 2011 at 05:39:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 658
http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/science/new...OYT1T00400.htm Parts of the cover structure for unit 1 have arrived at the plant harbour this morning after being brought by boat from Onahama Port. They are two 35 ton concrete foundation stones. They are going to be unloaded by crane.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2011...003071000.html Tepco wants to calculate by the end of this month an estimation of the radiation emitted by the reactor building(s). The purpose is to be able to compare the figures and measure the effect before and after the cover has been completed.

http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/...08122009000000 3 workers have been sent to hospital today ; 2 are workers in their twenties suffering from hyperthermia, one laying cables at unit 1's turbine building, the other controlling entrance and exit at the West Gate. The third one is a heavy equipment operator working near unit 4 who slipped in a stair.

http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/...08122009000000 Tepco is unveiling a plan to build a new water treatment system to be completed by spring or summer of 2012. The plan is to purify water in each reactor rather than go on sharing the present water treatment facility with its 4 km long pipes. The reactors will require cooling by water injection for years before the fuel can be removed (at Three Mile Island it took 10 years). The present water treatment facility has been designed with a durability of one year.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2011 at 09:45:23 AM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 658
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/2011...013131000.html The water treatment facility achieved a utilization rate slightly above 80% during the week up to 5 July. But it was only 55% before that, as the facility encountered a number of issues on 29 and 30 June. So as a whole the 80% goal is not achieved. While Tepco wants to achieve an 80% goal, the 90% goal is abandoned.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2011 at 09:45:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 658
After some investigation, we can now confirm that the Kauai Monitoring Station in Hawaii broadcast yet another Radiation Alert recently (see graph at right), commencing toward midnight of June 29th and continuing into the early morning hours of June 30th.

This is becoming somewhat of a routine event for the Kauai station, considering elevated radiation detections twice before, on June 10th and June 22nd.

This most recent Alert was triggered by a detection of over 100 CPM (Counts per Minute) for a sustained period of almost 15 minutes, followed by lower, yet elevated radiation levels for another half hour, making this the longest detection period yet for the Kauai station (clear sky this time - no rain). Background radiation for that station approximates 37 CPM, so these sustained levels were 2 to 3 times normal. Again, our best judgment is that the source of this radiation is probably Fukushima, perhaps from recent "releases" - we will try to correlate.
http://hawaiinewsdaily.com/2011/07/k...ima-radiation/


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2011 at 09:49:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 659
Two new emergency diesels were installed and tested in unit 5 on June 27/28, mentioned towards the end of this document:
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushi...10629_02-e.pdf

As a result, units 5 and 6 should now have 3 EDGs between them. No word on whether the replacement units are water-cooled or air-cooled...


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2011 at 09:50:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 659
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=soc_30&k=2011070700396 In a reply to Yukishige Okubo at the Upper House Budget Committee on 7 July, minister Goshi Hosono said there was a plan to introduce Japanese technology led by Toshiba in August to supplement the French/US, Areva/Kurion technology currently used at Fukushima Daiichi. He also insisted that the current facility was a temporary one, while a permanent facility using Japanese technology was being studied in combination with the temporary one.

http://www.tepco.co.jp/nu/fukushima-...10707_03-j.pdf (not yet translated into English) the Decontamination Factor at the Kurion facility has greatly improved. As a result the radiation at the end of the Areva facility is below the detection limit for cesium.

http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=soc_30&k=2011070500852 In order to reduce worker exposure, flushing with low contaminated water has been performed since some time ago before replacing the adsorption towers at the Kurion facility, which is done using a crane. To further reduce worker exposure, what is planned is to change the policy to change 2~4 towers every day into 4 towers or so every other day. This has already been tried on 5 July with the replacement of 4 towers at the same time.

http://www.nikkei.com/news/category/...08122009000000 0.13 Bq/cm³ of Cs-134 and Cs-137 is detected again in ground water South East of the Process Main Building, after a number of days below the detection limit. This is thought to be either a consequence of the rain or of moving debris nearby.

http://japanfocus.org/-Sakai-Yasuyuki/3546 (English article) Sakai Yasuyuki, Japan's Decline as a Robotics Superpower: Lessons From Fukushima, The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 9, Issue 24, No. 2, June 13, 2011.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2011 at 09:51:47 AM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 659
Trial fitting of the cover for Unit 1, Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station at Onahama port


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2011 at 09:57:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Physics Form site is certainly one of the best sources of information. Thanks for updating.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Sep 19th, 2011 at 01:45:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We may all have forgotten, but some folks in Japan haven't.

Source

PS. This diary topic got no action, but at least the lead Torii Gate photo is beautiful. Hope you all had a chance to click on the link.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Sep 20th, 2011 at 05:16:13 PM EST
Thanks for your diary CH, and for keeping this matter alive.

I don't have anything on the scientific side to contribute, just a comment about how this disaster has touched lives and affected all sorts of people around the world, including me.

Back sometime in the 90s when I was living in the City, I went on a health kick, wanting to know more about nutrition, ingredients, organic products, stuff like that. A number of studies I read at the time claimed that drinking green tea was beneficial because of useful antioxidants, tannins and flavonoids, as well as catechin polyphenols. So, having only to walk a couple of blocks away and I would be in the middle of Japantown, it was no problem getting organic Japanese Sencha green tea, and I got totally hooked on the taste. Besides red wine and a green, slimy concoction that I used to love called Odwalla Superfood, Japanese green tea quickly became a favorite, daily beverage.

Once I moved to Helsinki, one of the first places I sought out was a place to buy Japanese green tea. And then I found Tokyokan in the downtown area, and it became one of my favorite places. A couple years later when I moved to the countryside, the owner, Norio, mailed my regular order of Yuuki Maccha organic green tea to me. Then Fukushima happened, and it no longer seemed smart to down copious amounts of Japanese green tea on a daily basis, or at all.

My addiction proved easier to get over than I thought. Even though I do miss the delicious taste of green tea, I've managed to substitute tea made of nettles instead. In one way this is a good thing, as I can and do grow nettles in the yard, so this is cutting down on the expense. My organic green tea habit was never cheap.

But what I can't stop thinking about is my dearly beloved Tokyokan, and what has happened to them as a result? They can't import product, and who would buy it even if they could? Since I've come to know the owner and the staff on a personal level over the years, this really saddens me. Sure, they sell non-perishable items of a Japanese nature too, but I really don't need more stuff. I wish I could figure out a way to help during what must be a really difficult time for them . . .

One way to help, really the only way I know to help is to buy merchandise. A t-shirt is a good example of wearing/spending money on causes we believe in. I wanted to buy a t-shirt like yours CH, so I stopped by Moshi Moshi's web site to see if I could send them an email about it, but no email or contact info on their site. Sigh!

by sgr2 on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 12:19:04 PM EST
Nice of you to share your thoughts, sgr2, you're welcome.

Imagine your experience now multiplied by x, with x defined by whether you imagine the people in Fukushima Province, or Japan, or the northern Pacific, or other places which might be affected by global winds.

Haven't checked this out yet, but now imagine it's about to get worse. German radio reported that a strong typhoon is about to strike the region, or is striking. Supposedly, efforts at the reactor complex have been halted. Churning seas will now have a greater effect on the ocean food chain.

Magnifico is reporting that Scottish authorities have abandoned plans to totally clean the seabed around their leaking reactor, after decades. Too expensive, of course, or perhaps impossible. Oh well, that won't show up in the price of electricity.

I'll be in touch with Mitsu at Moshi Moshi, to see if they have some mail program, though it must be costly.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 04:11:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danke!
by sgr2 on Fri Sep 23rd, 2011 at 06:43:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
20 cm of typhoon rain at the plant, up to 180kmh winds from Roke. TEPCO says plant is ok, but they're "worried" about radioactive rainwater leakage.

A 5.3 (preliminary magnitude) earthquake struck the area an hour after the storm center. No comment.

Damn, now we'll have to rethink the load calculations and event chains for those fail-safe nextgen reactors. this is "beginning" to get a "touch" expensive.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 04:53:53 PM EST
Staff race to save Fukushima plant from Japan storm

Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant on Japan's Pacific coast were racing against time to ready the crippled plant against a powerful typhoon heading straight for it, a spokesman said Wednesday.

Loose cables and hoses were being tied down and efforts made to ensure radiation was not whipped up by winds that have been recorded at more than 200 kilometres (125 miles) an hour.

Teams were putting sheeting over holes in the reactor buildings to try to prevent torrential rain from getting inside the stricken reactors.

Typhoon Roke, packing winds of up to 216 kilometres per hour, made landfall near Hamamatsu, central Japan, at about 2:00pm (0500 GMT) and was on course to move northeast across the major island of Honshu toward the plant.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 04:56:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are stepping up precautions in advance of the approaching typhoon.

Typhoon Roke is expected to approach the northern prefecture of Fukushima on Wednesday night. It has already brought a total rainfall of more than 200 millimeters to the area since Tuesday midnight.

Efforts to install steel plates at the plant's water intake area have been halted for fear of storm surges. Strong winds and heavy rain have forced the suspension of work to cover the No. 1 reactor building.

Outdoor piping and pumps for injecting water into the reactors have been secured with ropes to keep them from being knocked over by strong winds.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has confirmed rainwater has flowed into the basement floor of the No. 6 reactor turbine building and that it has found leaks in the roof of the central control room of the No.1 and 2 reactors. But no serious damage to the plant has been discovered.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 04:57:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Typhoon Roke has inflicted no major damage to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The typhoon approached the plant on Wednesday night, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the area.

Rainwater flowed into the basement of the turbine building of the Number 6 reactor.

Of the number one through 4 reactor buildings whose basements are flooded with contaminated water, water levels rose by 44 centimeters at the number one reactor building, and by about 10 centimeters at the other 3 reactor buildings due to rain.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 22nd, 2011 at 08:04:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO may cut corporate pensions : Business : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will likely cut corporate pension payments and reduce its workforce as part of efforts to raise funds to finance compensation payments for damages caused by the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO President Toshio Nishizawa on Tuesday told reporters of the cost-cutting plan after a meeting of a third-party government panel tasked with reviewing the utility's financial situation.

The panel hopes to draw up its report by the end of this month. However, the announcement of the report may be delayed as TEPCO and the panel do not agree on the utility's wish to raise electricity charges.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 04:55:53 PM EST
Tepco Bond Risk Surges by Record on Edano Loan Waiver Call: Japan Credit - Bloomberg

Bond prices show creditors will have to share the bill for Japan's nuclear crisis after the new minister responsible for power companies said banks should write off some loans to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

Five-year credit-default swaps on the utility, whose Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant was wrecked by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, surged a record 271.9 basis points last week to 887.9 basis points after Yukio Edano repeated calls for investors to help pay for the costs of the disaster, according to CMA. Contracts on the power company are the most expensive relative to global peers since June 28, the data show.

Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, faces compensation claims of as much as 11 trillion yen ($144 billion) after three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, about 220 kilometers (137 miles) north of Tokyo, and helped tip the world's third-largest economy into recession. Edano, 47, the chief of staff for the previous government, first called in May for banks to forgive some loans made before the quake. He was appointed head of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Sept. 12.

"We really have to consider the risk that Edano will push for a loan waiver," said Hiroshi Nakamura, who helps oversee 3.5 trillion yen in assets as general manager of fixed-income investment in Tokyo at Mizuho Asset Management Co. "He shouldn't say anything that might destabilize the market anymore."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 04:58:13 PM EST
None of us should say anything that might destaaaaabilize the market anymore.

That's why they stage gladiator contests for us.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Sep 21st, 2011 at 05:26:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
A Japanese government survey shows that radioactive iodine emitted from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant spread not only northwestward but also to the south of the plant.

The science ministry sampled soil at 2,200 locations, mostly in Fukushima Prefecture, in June and July, and created a map indicating the extent of the radioactive contamination as of June 14th.

Officials were able to obtain data for iodine 131 at only 400 locations, because of its short half-life of 8 days.

The latest map shows that iodine 131 spread northwest of the plant, just like cesium 137 as indicated on an earlier map. But the substance was also confirmed south of the plant at relatively high levels.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Sep 22nd, 2011 at 08:03:44 AM EST
What TEPCO and the Media are Hiding » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
Note that in my book the magnitude of all the past earthquakes is shown by the customary Mj scale. If the scale is changed abruptly, it becomes impossible to compare with past earthquakes.  Why did JMA change the scale without explanation?  Here I can feel political intervention distorting a scientific truth.  If the magnitude figure remained at the original 8.4, that would mean that the earthquake fell within the range of a "predictable" disaster.  And if that were so, not only TEPCO, but also the Japanese government and the "experts" who have promoted nuclear power, would be held responsible.


"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2011 at 11:37:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Very worthwhile catch, melo. Recommend reading the entire article (segment of a new book.)

What it entails is a deliberate misrepresentation of the quake data, to aid TEPCO in limiting damage claims.

Further, the article was written by the man who asked a Japanese journalist to go to the press conference and ask them about the danger of a hydrogen explosion due to extended loss of coolant, shortly before the first explosion (reactor #1.) Which indicates TEPCO should have been well aware of the coming explosion of reactor #3. Even if they could not have prevented it, shouldn't they have issued a warning?

There's more. Danke.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Sep 23rd, 2011 at 03:59:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you're welcome CH. there is no issue more than nukes where teh stupid burns more...

...literally.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Sep 23rd, 2011 at 05:38:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't get it. The USGS lists the March earthquake as 9.0 using the Mw scale. The Wikipedia page on Japanese earthquakes lists all earthquakes since the 1940s with the Mw scale (and none of them are close to 9.0).
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2011 at 02:27:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also note that USGS made its own magnitude evaluation independently (I remember that at the time the reported magnitudes were preliminary, the Japanese and US data differed by a few tenths).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 24th, 2011 at 05:43:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I checked around on Wikipedia for MJ but am more confused for the efforts. What I have learnt is that there are different scales and they measure in general different things.

For example:

Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale is a seismic scale used in Japan and Taiwan to measure the intensity of earthquakes. It is measured in units of shindo (震度?, seismic intensity, lit. "degree of shaking"). Unlike the moment magnitude scale (formerly Richter scale), which measures the energy released by the earthquake, the JMA scale describes the degree of shaking at a point on the Earth's surface, and is analogous to the Mercalli intensity scale. The intensity of an earthquake is not totally determined by its magnitude, and varies from place to place; for example, a quake may be described as "shindo 4 in Tokyo, shindo 3 in Yokohama, shindo 2 in Shizuoka".

The JMA operates a network of 180 seismographs and 627 seismic intensity meters[1][2] and provides real-time earthquake reports to the media and on the internet.[3]

However, this can not be the the MJ refered to, as:
Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The JMA Scale runs from 0 to 7, with 7 being the strongest. The Mercalli intensity scale is sometimes used together with the Shindo; however this is not usual practice in Japan. Real-time earthquake reports are calculated automatically from measurements of ground acceleration. The JMA reports the earthquake level based on the ground acceleration, measured automatically with seismic intensity meters. There is no simple and linear relationship between Shindo Number and peak ground acceleration,[7],[8] so the values of the table below should only be regarded as an approximate orientation.

And the article states:

What TEPCO and the Media are Hiding » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

In fact a number of different scales have been used to calculate magnitude.  In Japan in the past the "JMA magnitude (Mj)"scale has been used. If we enter data of the Great Tohoku Earthquake into the Mj formula (omitted here as it is complicated), its magnitude would be 8.3 or 8.4 at most according to Shimamura. He continues, "It is because JMA recalculated the data using the `moment magnitude (Mw)' scale, which has been used only by scientists, that the magnitude could be raised to 9.0."

The USGS measures on the MW scale is I think neither here nor there if the claim is that the Japanese population was led to think of it as even more severe by changing what scale is used.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 06:31:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Should just have googled it:

What is Mj ?

What is Mj ?
   Mj is the local magnitude defined and calculated by Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). It is one of the magnitude scales based on maximum amplitudes of seismograms.
   There are some good points in Mj. First, Mj can be calculated faster than Mw. Second, Mj can be calculated for small earthquakes. And there is a large amount of earthquake magnitude data since August 1923.

   Procedure to calculate Mj is as follows. (See, for details, for example, JMA(2004) ).

Wheter 9.0 on the MW scale can be 8.3-8.4 on the MJ scale is another problem.

From this handbook it looks plausible:

International handbook of earthquake ... - International Association of Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior. Committee on Education, International Association for Earthquake Engineering - Google Böcker

International handbook of earthquake and engineering seismology

Check the graph on the bottom of the linked page. MJ follows MW in a fairly linear fashion until MW 7.5, then MJ flattens out. This is probably a rough representation as the basis differs, but good enough for engineering.

So yes, MJ is the Japanese measurement and 9.0 MW being 8.3-8.4 MJ for this particular earthquake appears likely.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 06:45:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why not check some sources on the originally reported magnitudes? This article says:

The promptly-estimated M7.9 was based on Mjma, which is the combination of the displacement magnitude for relatively large earthquakes and the velocity magnitude for relatively small earthquakes (Katsumata, 2004; Funasaki and Earthquake Prediction Information division, 2004). It can be calculated within several minutes, but it has a downside to be saturated for magnitude substantially larger than 8. JMA updated Mjma to 8.4 at 16:00 and determined moment magnitude (Mw) as 8.8 by CMT analysis at 17:30, which were calculated from overseas broadband seismic data. On March 13, Mw was revised to be 9.0 by CMT analysis using a longer range of filter (Hirose et al., 2011).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 11:29:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, there we go.

Now that the technical questions as been sttled, then we have the more complex issue of wheter the Japanese public was hoodwinked.

What TEPCO and the Media are Hiding » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Note that in my book the magnitude of all the past earthquakes is shown by the customary Mj scale. If the scale is changed abruptly, it becomes impossible to compare with past earthquakes.  Why did JMA change the scale without explanation?  Here I can feel political intervention distorting a scientific truth.  If the magnitude figure remained at the original 8.4, that would mean that the earthquake fell within the range of a "predictable" disaster.  And if that were so, not only TEPCO, but also the Japanese government and the "experts" who have promoted nuclear power, would be held responsible.

The Chubu Electric Power Company (CHUDEN) has announced that its Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant is built to withstand an earthquake of a magnitude of magnitude 8.4. Advocates of nuclear power needed to raise the magnitude to 9.0, otherwise they would be in a pinch.  By announcing this unprecedented figure, they want to make people think the earthquake was "a once-in-a-thousand-years earthquake" and "beyond expectation" thus escaping responsibility.

Actually, I realise from this that I have another technical question: are Japanese nuclear reactors built to withstand quakes measured in MJ or MW or both?

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 02:49:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The technical details also indicate that the public-was-hoodwinked argument was full of inconsistencies. As the diagram in your link and the quoted text in my link demonstrates, the JMA scale is basically useless above magnitude 8 (minute within-error-margin differences in MJ can correspond to differences of orders of magnitude in energy), which explains the use of MW. From my link, there was never a raise from 8.4 to 9.0 MJ (from the diagram in your link, 9.0 cannot even be attained), but there was one from 8.8 to 9.0 MW (a two-fold increase in energy) while MJ remained unchanged. And even on the moment ( MW) scale, 9.0 was "a once-in-a-thousand-years earthquake".

Checking the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant earthquake scaling, I first find:

TEPCO crisis prompts rethink of nuclear plant plans - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

Company officials said the Hamaoka plant had been designed to withstand at least a magnitude 8.5 earthquake. The design decision was made because of an 1854 earthquake with a magnitude of 8.4 that is believed to be the largest ever to strike the region.

...which leads me to the 1854 Ansei-Tōkai earthquake, one of two 8.4 earthquakes hitting Japan in 32 hours. According to the Wikipedia page, this is neither moment nor JMA magnitude, but the old Richter scale magnitude (which was succeeded by the moment scale). All scientific publications I could find seem to agree, and this one gives moment magnitudes: 8.4 for this event, and 8.5 for the second Ansei earthquake.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 04:12:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
The technical details also indicate that the public-was-hoodwinked argument was full of inconsistencies. As the diagram in your link and the quoted text in my link demonstrates, the JMA scale is basically useless above magnitude 8 (minute within-error-margin differences in MJ can correspond to differences of orders of magnitude in energy), which explains the use of MW. From my link, there was never a raise from 8.4 to 9.0 MJ (from the diagram in your link, 9.0 cannot even be attained), but there was one from 8.8 to 9.0 MW (a two-fold increase in energy) while MJ remained unchanged. And even on the moment ( MW) scale, 9.0 was "a once-in-a-thousand-years earthquake".

Yes, the argument does not hold. I think we can divide it into two parts:

What TEPCO and the Media are Hiding » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

It is the expression "once-in-a-thousand-years earthquake" used by every TV station including NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation).  The expression is based on the figure "magnitude 9" announced by Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). But was it really that big an earthquake?

Yes, it was that big.

What TEPCO and the Media are Hiding » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

When I talked with news people who reported on the disaster, they all said with one voice, the earthquake damage was not so great, but the tsunami was appalling.  I myself saw the enormous damage wreaked by the tsunami on TV and was terrified.

Yes, it was the tsunami that was the problem (as you noted in your other comment).

What TEPCO and the Media are Hiding » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

The seismologist and geologist Shimamura Hideki (former Director of the National Institute of Polar Research) said, "This never-before-heard-of figure of magnitude 9 is was produced by JMA's arbitrary altering of the magnitude scale."

We can argue that MW is a better scale for large quakes, but that still does not answer what I see as the main question:

What TEPCO and the Media are Hiding » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Why did JMA change the scale without explanation

Changing scales, even changing to a more appropriate one can be used to confuse. If there was no explanation, it is bound to be confusing, in particular since the MJ does not reach 9.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Wed Sep 28th, 2011 at 05:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As for the precise design criteria, further search leads to this long article. It appears that the design criterion is not earthquake magnitude directly, but maximum ground acceleration at the plant's location. Since the epicenter of the 9.0 earthquake was far away from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, it wasn't that much bigger than planned. Indeed on page 4 of this pdf, there is a complete list of design and measured accelerations (in three directions for all six reactors), and measured values exceeded design values in only three cases (east-west accelerations at reactors 2, 3, and 5, with the excess strongest in the first case at 550 vs. 438).

This whole argument BTW seems mis-directed: it wasn't the earthquake but the tsunami that really did the plant in, and it were the tsunami defenses that were wholly inadequate (6.7 m walls vs. 14 m waves).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 04:56:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was just as confused, which is why I looked at the USGS data. From the data  I cited, it looks as though the recent earthquake was much more powerful than other Japanese earthquakes, when using consistent scales.

One possible issue is what scale the design specifications in Japan use. If they are use the JMA scale, changing the scale could be a way of hiding the fact that the reactors weren't designed properly. But that doesn't seem to be what he's saying.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Mon Sep 26th, 2011 at 06:45:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hydrogen detected in pipe at Fukushima No. 1 reactor : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Hydrogen has been detected in a pipe at the No. 1 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, but there is no possibility it will cause an explosion "in the immediate future," the plant's operator said Friday.

According to Tokyo Electric Power Co., hydrogen of at least 10,000 parts per million was detected at two spots in a pipe passing through the containment vessel on the reactor building's first floor. This concentration was higher than TEPCO had anticipated.

Although TEPCO is not certain how much hydrogen is still inside the vessel, the utility believes it is possible the concentration of the highly flammable gas is higher than had been assumed.

In air and liquid, 10,000 ppm is equivalent to 1 percent. Air containing at least 4 percent hydrogen and 5 percent oxygen is at risk of causing explosion.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2011 at 03:31:17 PM EST
2011/09/24 22:43 - Rice With Upper Limit Level Of Cesium Found In Fukushima

TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Rice contaminated with the maximum permissible level of cesium set by the government was detected in a city in Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

A preparatory test ahead of the official examination of the safety of rice in Nihonmatsu city, about 50 kilometers west of the Fukushima power plant, found that a sample of unharvested rice contained 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, an official of Fukushima Prefecture said.

Rice with up to 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram is considered safe for consumption and shipments of rice exceeding that level are banned under Japanese regulations.

The cesium level found in the rice sample in Nihonmatsu is the highest since the regulations were set in April, and no rice shipments have been banned until now, an official at Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said. Rice with 500 becquerels of cesium per kilogram still can be shipped.

Fukushima is one of seventeen prefectures in eastern Japan that are testing rice for radiation, the ministry's official said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2011 at 03:31:29 PM EST
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Panel's impartiality questioned over payments from research institute with TEPCO ties - English

The integrity of a government panel setting the compensation guidelines for damage from the Fukushima nuclear accident is being questioned amid revelations two members accepted monthly payments from a research institute with close ties to the electric power industry.

The payments amounted to 200,000 yen ($2,600) each time.

The government screening panel on disputes over compensation for nuclear accidents has been compiling guidelines for the compensation to be paid by Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The whiff of scandal will cast doubt on whether the panel can remain neutral as it seeks to resolve compensation disputes that arise between TEPCO and disaster victims.

The nine-member panel was established on April 11 and is overseen by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2011 at 03:31:39 PM EST
the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

My, my!  With that broad remit one might suppose that the Ministry could be led by an expert on soccer, sumo wrestling, calligraphy, motion pictures, etc.  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Sep 24th, 2011 at 11:03:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UN agency to aid Fukushima clean-up

The UN atomic agency said Monday it was hoping to send in early October a team of experts to assist in making safe "properly" the area around Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

"Japan does not have that much experience in decontamination," International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general Yukiya Amano, himself Japanese, told reporters at the UN body's Vienna headquarters.

"They have had small accidents but they have never had an accident this big, so we can provide assistance. Even though they have some ideas, we can provide confidence and credibility," he said.

"For many countries, for the engineers, what is going on in the reactor is the main issue of interest. But for the local people the most important is what happens with their house or rice field. We need to decontaminate."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 02:01:21 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
A government panel says Tokyo Electric Power Company was unprepared for the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and failed to take steps to minimize the damage.

The panel investigating the accident held its third meeting on Tuesday. It met behind closed doors, saying that allowing media access would negatively affect its interviews with the plant's staff.

Panel leader Yotaro Hatamura told reporters after the meeting that they are looking into whether Tokyo Electric was ready to protect the plant from tsunami and other severe accidents.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 02:01:38 PM EST
Fukushima N-response center lost functions : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

The Yomiuri Shimbun

A power loss shut down an off-site emergency response center near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant for half a day after the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, delaying the initial response to the nuclear disaster at the power plant, according to sources.

According to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, the center lost its external power supply immediately after the earthquake, and an emergency diesel generator stopped operating soon after. Due to the power loss, agency officials stationed at the center were unable to use important equipment such as monitors that show conditions inside the plant.

The agency, which believes the earthquake caused the generator to break down, had not taken any anti-seismic reinforcement measures to protect the generator, the agency said.

The government panel tasked with investigating the nuclear crisis has begun studying the case, according to the sources.

The off-site center is located in Okumamachi, Fukushima Prefecture, about five kilometers from the nuclear power plant.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 02:02:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Noda's flip-flop on nuclear power points to naked ambition - English

One month ago, with the nation's top political post within his grasp, Yoshihiko Noda sided with those who sought to lessen Japan's dependence on nuclear power generation.

His stance helped him defeat rivals in the election for president of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, which automatically led to his becoming prime minister. To all appearances, Noda seemed determined to follow the policy of his predecessor, Naoto Kan.

And then, inexplicably to some, he radically altered his position on the issue and made clear that energy based on nuclear power was the best way forward for Japan.

In a news conference held immediately after he became prime minister, Noda made clear he favored Kan's policy of not relying on nuclear power generation to light Japan's towns and cities and keep its industries running.

Before long, however, Noda had a change of heart and embraced nuclear power generation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 02:02:36 PM EST
Hm? The soundbite on German TV after Noda's election was already his quip that nuclear phaseout is (paraphrasing from memory) 'one person's private preoccupation' (that person being Kan).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Sep 27th, 2011 at 04:11:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation decontamination, disposal work to cost over 1 trillion yen: ministry - The Mainichi Daily News

The cost of decontamination work and the disposal of rubble tainted with radioactive materials from the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant is expected to top 1 trillion yen, the Environment Ministry disclosed on Sept. 29.

Based on its projections, the ministry will seek 453.6 billion yen in related expenses in its fiscal 2012 budget request. The costs do not include the maintenance of interim storage facilities for contaminated soil and waste, or measures to treat areas with highly concentrated radiation, and officials say it is possible that in the future costs could run several trillion yen higher.

The Environment Ministry is including decontamination and disposal-related funding for other ministries in its requests. In the fiscal 2012 budget, the ministry will seek 374.4 billion yen for decontamination work, 77.2 billion yen for the disposal of contaminated waste, and 2 billion yen for research and examination of interim storage facilities.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 30th, 2011 at 05:00:36 PM EST
AFP: Plutonium 'detected outside Fukushima plant'

TOKYO -- A limited amount of plutonium has been detected in soil outside Japan's troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant which was crippled by the March 11 quake-tsunami disaster, the government said Friday.

It was the first time plutonium had been found in government tests outside the plant, presumably due to the nuclear accident, the worst since 1986 Chernobyl, the education and science ministry said in a statement.

Plutonium was detected in soil at six places in a survey which was conducted in June in an area within 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the ministry said.

Nuclear reactors at the plant suffered meltdowns after cooling systems there were knocked out by the double disasters. Plutonium has been already detected in the plant's compound, some 220 kilometres from Tokyo.

The highest density of plutonium-239 and 240 -- 4.0 becquerels per square metre -- was registered in a town some 30 kilometres from the plant, the ministry said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 30th, 2011 at 05:00:51 PM EST
Japan gov't lifts evacuation advisory for 20-30 km zone | Kyodo News

The Japanese government on Friday lifted its advisory for residents living in areas between 20 and 30 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant to evacuate due to the nuclear crisis at the plant, scaling down the evacuation zone five months after its designation.

''This is major progress following the nuclear accident, and we will support residents' steady and safe return,'' nuclear disaster minister Goshi Hosono said in announcing the decision reached during a government meeting to discuss measures to deal with the world's worst nuclear accident in 25 years.

Efforts to decontaminate land polluted with radioactive substances and restoration of infrastructure are expected to proceed to pave the way for the actual return of around 26,000 people who are currently staying outside the so-called Evacuation-Prepared Area in Case of Emergency.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 30th, 2011 at 05:01:00 PM EST
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Radiation spread reaches Chiba, Saitama prefectures - English

Fairly high levels of accumulated radioactive cesium in Chiba and Saitama prefectures were shown in a new contamination map released by the science ministry on Sept. 29.

The two prefectures, neighboring the municipal areas of Tokyo, are located about 200 kilometers from the disabled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The measurements for Chiba and Saitama prefectures were taken from Sept. 8 to Sept. 12 using helicopters.

In Chiba Prefecture, the highest levels of cesium-137, between 30,000 and 60,000 becquerels per square meter, were detected in northern areas, such as Kashiwa, Matsudo, Abiko and Nagareyama. Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years.

In Saitama Prefecture, some mountainous areas of Chichibu, located 250 km from the plant, recorded 30,000 to 60,000 becquerels per square meter.

In the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, areas with 37,000 becquerels or more of radioactivity per square meter were designated contaminated zones, while levels of 555,000 becquerels or more required forcible relocation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 1st, 2011 at 02:56:14 PM EST
I have the distinct impression that civilization, including us here, are now psychologically unable to process the data that has emerged in the past six months.

Plutonium found in several wind directions? Caesium near Tokyo (though in "mild" concentrations from a pro-nuclear perspective)? And so little data from the ocean, even assuming we actually are capable of measuring what's happening there.

I despair.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Oct 1st, 2011 at 07:14:53 PM EST
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Ministry maps strontium, plutonium fallout - English

Levels of strontium in soil near the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are up to six times the highest concentrations deposited in Japan by pre-1980 atmospheric nuclear tests, according to the science ministry.

Official maps of soil contamination by strontium and plutonium were published for the first time on Sept. 30 and reveal that, while concentrations are dwarfed by the radioactive cesium leaked from the stricken plant since March 11, significant quantities are present in some locations.

The survey team collected soil samples within a 100-km radius of the nuclear plant between June 6 and July 8.

The concentrations of different nuclides of strontium and plutonium per square meter were analyzed at 100 locations, including each of the 59 municipalities within an 80-km radius of the plant. Forty-one additional locations within the 20-km no-entry zone were studied.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 at 03:05:26 PM EST
NHK WORLD English

Government documents show that the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant predicted in 2008 that a tsunami over 10 meters high could hit the plant, which was only designed to withstand tsunami of 5.7 meters. But it failed to report this to the government until just before the March 11th disaster.

At the request of NHK, the government on Monday released a simulation report by Tokyo Electric Power Company.

TEPCO had predicted that waves between 8.4 and 10.2 meters high could hit all 6 reactors at the plant in the event of an earthquake similar to one that devastated the area in 1896.
But the prediction was not conveyed to the government's nuclear safety agency until March 7th, just 4 days before the plant was crippled by tsunami.

In the report, TEPCO also said it would begin examining the plant's tsunami-resistance measures in April of this year. It said it planned to deal appropriately with the matter by around October of 2012, when academics were expected to review their tsunami evaluations.

TEPCO official Junichi Matsumoto says the company did not feel the need to take prompt action on the estimates, which were still tentative calculations in the research stage.

But a Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency official says it is regrettable that TEPCO did not start work on its tsunami measures right after it made the estimate 3 years ago. He said TEPCO should have called on experts to discuss its calculations in public.

Monday, October 03, 2011 16:46 +0900 (JST) iframe

h/t ceebs

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 3rd, 2011 at 08:44:53 AM EST


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Mon Oct 3rd, 2011 at 12:54:33 PM EST
by sgr2 on Tue Oct 4th, 2011 at 10:35:28 AM EST
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):TEPCO orchestrated 'personal' donations to LDP - English

Tokyo Electric Power Co. executives pumped tens of millions of yen in personal donations into Liberal Democratic Party coffers in a campaign apparently backed by the company's political lobbyists, an Asahi Shimbun investigation found.

Although TEPCO's public relations department insists that the company does not encourage the donations, The Asahi Shimbun found that at least 448 of the company's executives donated a total of 59.57 million yen ($777,000) to a political fund-raising arm of the then ruling party between 1995 and 2009.

Sources said TEPCO determined the amounts different ranks of executives should donate, with the chairman and president asked to contribute 300,000 yen, executive vice presidents asked to donate 240,000 yen and managing directors asked to give 120,000 yen.

Senior staff were briefed about donations on taking up new positions and told exactly how much was appropriate for their jobs, the sources said.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Oct 10th, 2011 at 09:39:04 AM EST
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):NISA: TEPCO lax on anti-quake measures at Fukushima plant - English

Tokyo Electric Power Co. failed to take anti-quake measures on about 600 important pieces of equipment at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, even though revised safety guidelines in 2006 required such action.

TEPCO's lax practices were described Oct. 13 at a Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) meeting, in which nuclear experts were questioned. NISA officials said the utility did not conduct strength tests and implement reinforcement work on key equipment, including control rods in the No. 1 to 6 reactors that adjust the nuclear fission process within the reactors.

"TEPCO also did not conduct tests on a large majority of the piping" at the Fukushima No. 1 plant, Masaru Kobayashi, director of the Seismic Safety Office at NISA, said.

After the anti-quake guidelines were revised, TEPCO submitted an interim report to the central government in March 2008 in which it concluded that reinforcement work was not needed. It cited the results of tests on the pressure vessel and other important equipment.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Oct 15th, 2011 at 03:07:03 PM EST
Since this thread hasn't died yet, isn't it time we asked for some water table data?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Oct 24th, 2011 at 06:21:25 PM EST
Wonder if this diary can take the lead from the Fukushima plant, and regain criticality.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Nov 2nd, 2011 at 06:00:09 AM EST
Probably best to do a new one.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 2nd, 2011 at 06:10:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean like India's new Thorium reactor?  Or Faroe Island's new Wotanium reactor?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Nov 2nd, 2011 at 06:51:57 AM EST
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My back yard's Unobtanium reactor.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 2nd, 2011 at 06:53:49 AM EST
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