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Fukushima: Time To Turn The Page

by afew Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:22:34 PM EST

OK, losers, don't you think people have had enough of hearing this obsessive fearmongering news talk about Fukushima? There's a general feeling that it's time to move on. Let's get back to normal and deal with life's real everyday problems. Another blonde white girl was kidnapped. And you still haven't worked your butt off to get that car that exactly expresses your personality and your precise status slot on the social ladder (take our poll).

Leave the isotopes to the experts. Sheesh.


Japan disaster threads:

Display:
Most Japanese reactors yet to have enough backups for stable cooling | Kyodo News
Most nuclear reactors in Japan would fail to achieve a stable condition in the event that all regular power sources are lost, even though plant operators have prepared new backup power sources as well as electric generators following the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Kyodo News found Monday.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:45:56 PM EST
Gov't endorses TEPCO's estimates on radioactive leak into sea | Kyodo News

The government's nuclear safety agency on Monday endorsed a report by Tokyo Electric Power Co. estimating radioactive substances 20,000 times the allowable annual limit were carried into the Pacific Ocean by contaminated water leaking from the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in early April.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency approved the report submitted by the plant operator last Thursday and said the leak would not cause immediate health hazards because radioactive materials would be diluted in seawater, while fishing had been banned in areas close to the atomic power station.

Can caesium and whatever else was in it accumulate on the seabed? In fish bellies?

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

by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:50:18 PM EST
It can accumulate along the chain of nutrition I guess. In Sweden meat from wild animals killed in the Gävle region is still measured for Caesium content. Source in Swedish

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 09:51:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima Pref. to cull dying livestock in 20-km radius of nuke plant | Kyodo News
Six Fukushima prefectural government workers dressed in protective outfits went into the no-entry zone within a 20-kilometer radius of the crisis-hit nuclear power plant in the northeastern Japanese prefecture Monday to begin work to cull starving livestock.

Ugh. Poor forgotten animals...

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

by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:53:55 PM EST
Given the financial investment livestock represent, I rather doubt they've just been "forgotten," but rather had their owners evicted.
by Zwackus on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 05:50:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In which case it's the evictors who forgot to evict the animals, too.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 06:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Triage?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 05:42:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From what you know would I be correct in assuming that small scale animal husbandry is much more prevalent in Japan than in the USA and that many Japanese livestock owners do not own the means for transporting their larger farm animals, especially cattle?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 08:34:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Small operations with 10 or 20 cows are far from uncommon.  While they might have a trailer with capacity for 2 or 3 cows, moving anything more is a significant operation for which I'd figure they would need specialized equipment.  Given that the transportation infrastructure was hit pretty hard, that would likely be more difficult than usual.
by Zwackus on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 01:18:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Farm animals starving to death in 20-km evacuation zone - English
Corpses of cattle, hogs and chickens have been left rotting in barns within the 20-kilometer evacuation zone of the hobbled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, a veterinarian said.

The animals likely starved to death after their owners left the area on the government's warning last month. Some farm animals were still alive, but most appeared too debilitated to feed themselves, according to Shigeki Imamoto, a veterinarian from Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture.

...Some cattle were on the loose apparently having been released by farmers upon fleeing the area.

...There were signs that people had sneaked into the zone to take care of cattle at some barns...



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 04:04:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Farmers demand Fukushima compensation but obstacles remain - English

About 400 farmers gathered outside TEPCO's head office in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on April 26 carrying placards that read "Return the safe farmland" and "TEPCO must pay for all damage."

Cattle were trucked in by dairy farmers in Fukushima, Chiba and other prefectures, and shipments of spinach that had been halted because of the nuclear leaks were also put on display.

The wife of a 64-year-old farmer in Fukushima Prefecture who hanged himself on March 24, the day after the government advised people not to eat cabbage and other vegetables grown in the prefecture, held a portrait of her late husband as she told TEPCO officials: "I think (he committed suicide) to protest TEPCO. Stop the nuclear power plant as soon as possible."

Sheesh. Only in Japan?

asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Farmers demand Fukushima compensation but obstacles remain - English

The government proposed to set no limits on TEPCO's liability. That would be in line with the law on compensation for nuclear accidents, which stipulates that a company that caused an accident bears unlimited liability.

...But a senior official of a government ministry said: "Banks and businesses have urged the government to cap TEPCO's compensation."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 04:08:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder if you haven't heard yet that the new reactor designs are perfectly safe, and therefore can be used as replacements for those lost in the disaster. It says so right here:

http://news.discovery.com/tech/nuclear-reactor-designs-future-110316.html

To wit, "The AP1000 reactor, designed by Westinghouse, can be shut down for three days without power. Instead of pumps, valves and human operators, the plant uses airflow, pressure changes and gravity to gradually cool the reactor." And on the fourth day? What then, Peter?

Well, just remember: "G.E. officials said the reactor design that failed in Japan, called the Mark 1, hasn't had a problem in 40 years of operation." In other words, 40 years is a really, really long time. You ask how, then, if 40 years is a "long time," then how can we so easily design a foolproof waste disposal site that lasts 10,000 years. Well, that's because 10,000 years is a short time. I know this is complicated, but you just don't understand the physics.

So, with that background firmly in place, it is clear that the obvious thing to do is put some of these new, perfectly safe nuclear plants right there in middle of the new 25 mile diameter nature preserve.

by asdf on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 10:47:32 PM EST
AFAIU, that's an argument for molten salt ~ the salt becomes a better reaction dampener if it heats up, whereas of course steam as opposed to water is much less effective.

And of course Thorium seeded by a smaller amount of fissile material can net consume plutonium because of the uranium isotopes that they primarily breed to ~ which seems like a step in the right direction compared to breeder reactors that net produce plutonium.

OTOH, when I found out that the vaunted "less prone to proliferation risks" of the Thorium fuel cycle that I had seen referred to is the fact that the presence of two isotopes of Uranium, chemically similar (identical?) and therefore hard to separate, and one of them is a big gamma radiation emitter, so easier to detect ...

... I was kind of like, "wait, a big gamma emitter so that makes it good?" I'm not yet clear on how this is an entirely unmixed blessing.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 07:52:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
High radiation levels detected at Fukushima grounds a month after explosions  Asahi

High levels of radiation were detected on the grounds of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant one month after hydrogen explosions spewed radioactive materials, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co. The findings were shown in a map depicting radiation levels that TEPCO released for the first time on April 24.
....

The air in an area to the northwest of the No. 3 reactor building had radiation levels of up to 70 millisieverts per hour. That building was damaged by a hydrogen explosion on March 14, three days after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant.

....

Radiation levels as high as 130 millisieverts per hour were confirmed around the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor buildings in late March. Because radiation decreases with the passage of time, subsequent testing found lower levels. But if the level of 70 millisieverts per hour continues to the northwest of the No. 3 reactor building, a worker who remains in that area for four hours will have been exposed to more than the upper limit of 250 millisieverts established for individuals engaged in work at the Fukushima plant.

....

On March 20, concrete rubble found west of the No. 3 reactor building had radiation levels of 900 millisieverts per hour. Even after that rubble was removed, radiation levels in the air measured between 10 and 30 millisieverts per hour. Another pile of rubble emitting radiation levels of 300 millisieverts per hour was found near the No. 3 reactor building.


A substantial amount of material with half lives >> 8 days seems likely to be present here.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 12:11:42 AM EST
#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: 154 Terabecquerels Per Day, Every Day | EX-SKF
On April 12 during the joint press conference with Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) where they jointly announced the Fukushima I Plant accident was INES Level 7, the Commission assured the world that said that the release of radioactive materials from the plant had decreased to less than 1 terabecquerel per hour, or 24 terabecquerels per day.

It took the Commission 11 days to go from 24 terabecquerels per day to 154 terabecquerels per day. They say they miscalculated. What else have they, all nuclear experts, miscalculated?

and

Hi-res photographic proof reactor core exploded at unit 3 | Lucas Whitefield Hixson

I was struck by the location of the spent fuel pool on the third floor. (The spent fuel pool in the diagram is in the upper right corner of the building to the right of the top of the reactor, below the yellow beam, which is below the large orange girders.Part of the pool is cut away in the diagram, it appears to extend most of the way across about half of the building on the third floor) I went back to the site with the aerial photos and confirmed that the third floor was pretty much entirely obliterated in the explosion. The spent fuel pool is gone... see for yourself.
Today I had another look at the diagram, and noticed something else quite significant that I had missed before. I realized that the top of the primary containment vessel was flush with the floor level of the 4th floor, and that the top of the reactor itself was in the space between the 3rd and 4th floors, partially surrounded by the spent fuel pool.
Look at those photos again, particularly the 5th shot. At the top of the photo you see the skeletal remnants of the wall of the 3rd and 4th floors. It is easy to see the floor level of the third floor - there are two massive steam pipes running behind and below the building...the lower edge of the lower pipe is almost perfectly aligned with the floor level of the 3rd floor. Follow the floor line of the third floor down down from that back wall along the right side of the building, then across the front side of the building near the bottom of the photo. That shows you the floor level of the 3rd floor very clearly, right? There is nothing but air remaining above that level, except for a bit of roof debris which you can see through. The top of the primary containment vessel, as well as the top of the reactor itself, is simply GONE


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 03:16:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sigh.

Regarding 154 Terabecquerels (discussed upthread already), there was no miscalculation, but the nuclear authority did shoot itself in the foot not realising conversions into equivalent units are too much for the media and the general public to follow.

Atmospheric radiation leak underestimated : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Iodine-131 and cesium-137 were released into the atmosphere that day at the estimated rates of 0.69 terabecquerel per hour and 0.14 terabecquerel per hour, respectively, the NSC said.

Emissions are converted into iodine-131 equivalents for assessment on the international nuclear event scale (INES), to arrive at the total 154 terabecquerels per day, the nuclear safety watchdog said.

That is, estimates for actual releases didn't change, those were and are less than than 1 terabecquerel per hour; 154 Terabecquerels per day is a virtual number meant to make releases of different isotopes comparable which they compare with the INES scale.

The second link is Truther-level BS. He mis-identified the floor levels, missed the news about pouring water into the No. 3 spent fuel pool, ditto the thermal images, and missed the actual drone photos showing the intact but debris-covered spent fuel pool in No. 3.

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

by DoDo on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 06:16:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding radiation levels and limits, what I think should be of real concern is the delayed expansion of the exclusion zone to the northeast, not using the soil contamination level standards established at Chernobyl. Also, what Crazy Horse thematised in the previous thread, checking the contamination of the seafloor over a wide area.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 06:21:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grateful for the debunking, DoDo.

whew

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 09:03:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the latest NISA press release:

Fresh water injection (around 47.5t) to the Spent Fuel Pool of Unit 3 using the Fuel Pool Coolant Clean-up System was carried out. (From 12:25 till 14:02 April 26th).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:31:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In this pdf, I also find they tried this:

April 22nd 13:40~14:00 Tentatively Injected freshwater to SFP via the Fuel Pool Coolant Purification Line.

If they are using the pump truck now, then it appears that the injection via the piping failed.

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

by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:42:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In Japan, I suppose I do have a somewhat different perspective on 'back to normal' as everyone else.  I cannot contest the fact that life in the greater Tokyo area has gotten back to normal.  What else should we do?

I understand the criticism from a news coverage perspective, but from the perspective of ordinary life, what is there to do?  Go on as best one can, and try not to starve to death or freeze in the cold.  

by Zwackus on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 05:37:57 AM EST
You have to go on with your life, but can you trust that those responsible for public health are being honest about the situation?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 05:39:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not particularly, but the fact that I can't read or understand what they say helps alleviate that situation somewhat.    

Joking aside, if it turned out my neck of the woods was exposed to enough radiation to require evacuation, then all of Tokyo would require evacuation as well.  I'm not expecting that announcement to come anytime soon.  However, all of my students are at school, and the government leaders are also in Tokyo, and they haven't evacuated yet . . .

by Zwackus on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 06:44:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ignorance is bliss, eh?

What about the talk of moving the government to Osaka or Nagoya? (that's a foreign source, FWIW Kyodo apparently didn't carry the report)

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 04:39:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In all honesty, that would be a wonderful idea for all kinds of reasons.  For a country the size of Japan, having one city as big as Tokyo is a serious problem - 20 percent or so of the population could be killed or incapacitated by a single severe earthquake, or by Mt. Fuji erupting.  I have heard rumors over the past several years of plans to decentralize a little bit, by moving some ministries around to different parts of the country.  Nothing seems to come of them, but maybe things will change now.
by Zwackus on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 07:32:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan's Terrifying Day   Bloomberg

Back at the Fukushima site, the head of the Dai-Ichi operation Masao Yoshida and two deputies, Masatoshi Fukura and Atsufumi Yoshizawa, set up a disaster control center in an earthquake-proofed bunker. Yoshida, 56, had taken up the position in June, his fourth stint at the 40-year-old atomic power station. Back at the Fukushima site, the head of the Dai-Ichi operation Masao Yoshida and two deputies, Masatoshi Fukura and Atsufumi Yoshizawa, set up a disaster control center in an earthquake-proofed bunker. Yoshida, 56, had taken up the position in June, his fourth stint at the 40-year-old atomic power station.

....

Yoshida had been vice chairman of the Japan Society of Maintenology, a group that studies how to safely extend the lifespan of nuclear power facilities.

....

Yoshida could get replacement electricity from 13 back-up diesel generators to run emergency water pumps for cooling reactors. Each generator is the size of a train locomotive and capable of delivering 6,000 kilowatt hours of power, enough to run 14,400 Japanese homes for that period. Again, the engineering was working.

At last! A useful specific.  Three 2000 kW Cummins Powered Generator Sets, 32246lbs each which are individually transportable by CH-53E helicopter which has 16,330 kg of underslung load capacity, would equal one of the failed diesel generators. Were this made an international priority I have trouble believing that a dozen of these could not have been transported to Fukushima in a week.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 11:41:50 PM EST
At last the following paragraph gives an indication why extending cables and bringing in generators could have been insufficient to solve the problem:

Seawater flooded the basements of turbine buildings and other sites, disabling 12 of the 13 back-up generators and destroying electrical switching units. Salt water shorted electric circuitry, depriving the reactors of power for cooling and triggering a nuclear disaster that Tepco was forced to combat with fire hoses and makeshift pumps.

More details on tsunami and defenses height:

At Tamura's Dai-Ichi workplace, the tsunami crashed over a 2.5-kilometer breakwater of 60,000 concrete blocks and 25-ton tetra pods as well as a 5.6-meter-high wall in the seabed in front of the site.

The plant, built on a layer of rock 10 meters above sea level, was pummeled by a wave as high as 15 meters that flooded parts of the facility in six meters of seawater before flowing back to the ocean, according to Tepco estimates.

Uh-huh. So the seawall level was well below the reator ground floor level. (Two of the generators were behind No. 4 on ground level, says the article.)

Here is something I wondered about when finding the measured reactor water level data, which showed ~50% rod exposure even at the time water pumping was on-going:

"Even as firefighters pumped water into the reactors, the levels wouldn't rise, and you can't determine the reason without getting inside," Tamura said.

Some leak?

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

by DoDo on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 06:46:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't recall ever seeing a diagram showing sea level, the ground level and the levels of various floors inside the reactor buildings and I have wondered if the torus might have been at or below sea level. From an initial cost/benefit point of view the reactor-turbine structures could have been located on the hill behind the complex and the pipes to the sea have been extended or a trench from the coast to the base of the hill dug. Locating these facilities 15 meters higher likely would have made a huge difference. But at design time GE-TEPCO apparently even refused to consider locating just the emergency generators on higher ground.

I also have wondered about the problems keeping the rods covered at 1-3, but, especially at 2 & 3 after the loss of PRV pressure. Something isn't adding up. I also wonder if getting adequate power within a week, even just to 3, might have made a difference to the long term outcome. I just remain dumbfounded that what seem to be feasible steps were not taken -- even if the likelihood of them significantly helping was low.

One of the chief results of this disaster/fiasco is that Japan has become a leading exporter of radioactive contamination.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 10:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Science ministry releases Fukushima radiation map  NHK


Japan's science ministry has for the first time released a map projecting estimated cumulative radiation exposure near the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The contour map shows the amount of annual cumulative radiation that a person would be exposed to by staying outdoors for 8 hours per day through March 11th, 2012.

It's based on readings at 2,138 points near the quake and tsunami-hit Fukushima Daiichi complex on or before last Thursday, including areas within 20 kilometers of the plant.




"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 12:23:36 AM EST
The map here

http://www.asahi.com/national/gallery_e/view_photo.html?national-pg/0426/TKY201104260415.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 Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 05:25:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]

By next year, the Iodine will be gone, but I guess there is enough Caesium for the orange-bordered zone to have to remain uninhabited even then.

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

by DoDo on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 05:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Updated radiation map shows fewer areas above evacuation standard - English

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology will update the map twice a month. The figures released are estimates for annual radiation exposure until March 11, 2012, a year after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant.

The map, used to designate evacuation zones, was updated April 26. Unlike the first post-quake map released on April 11, the latest update shows annual accumulated nuclear exposure estimates within a 20-kilometer radius of the nuclear plant.

...The estimated annual radiation exposure levels for these areas were calculated on the assumption that residents stay within wooden buildings for 16 hours a day.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 04:13:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Updated radiation map shows fewer areas above evacuation standard - English

Fukuyama asked the mayors to temporarily relocate residents, including to Nagano or Aomori prefectures.

It was the first time the central government suggested specific areas for the relocation of residents.

Both Kanno and Furukawa rejected the request, telling Fukuyama that the residents should be allowed to move to nearby areas within Fukushima Prefecture.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 04:13:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 307
Do you want to see some fun info from Reactor 4?

http://atmc.jp/plant/rad/?n=4

5000 Sieverts / hour in the suppresion chamber.

Down to 4250 Sieverts / hour today

If you look at the web pages there are Hyperlinks for every reactor apart from number four, but the page exists if you alter the URL by hand to find a reading abou 100 times that of any other 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 Apr 27th, 2011 at 08:31:40 AM EST
A fatal dose within a couple of seconds of exposure - impressive.

Good catch.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 08:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, I thought the #4 reactor was empty with all the fuel in the spent fuel pool. How did the suppression chamber become so contaminated?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 08:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Having had a couple of days with illnesses and a hospital visit for my father, ive rather fallen behind on keeping track. so I have much reading to do to see if this has been explained anywhere.

But the idea that this is so much higher than working reactors does seem absolutely amazing

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 Apr 27th, 2011 at 09:02:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While the URL would be one for reactor No. 4, the page doesn't indicate any actual location (field above the one indicating the time period; check pages for the other rectors). And the very first non-zero S/C value (5,000 for 4 April) is suspiciously round while there are no values for the drywell. Methinks this is a software artifact.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 09:33:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's a page which seems to show a very minimal monitoring offshore, with no data on depths.

LINK

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

by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 09:22:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The one you link to is dose in the air above the sea. You can check radiation level measurements on the surface, at depth. The depths are indicated for example in this (English) or this (Japanese) pdf (the latter also indicates a second set of medium-depth measurements).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 09:57:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't it significant that the measurements are of what's found in the sea, not of what's ingested by various stages in the food chain?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 06:26:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The water measurements are in Becquerels per litre, that's a measure of radioactivity not dose. For dose in relation to the food chain, I guess the testing of fishes would be relevant, where the question is whether and to what extent fishes accumulate the stuff in their fat like they do for marine heavy metal pollution. Relevant story I found:

Excessive radioactive cesium found in fish caught off Fukushima < Japan Today: Japan News and Discussion

One of the four sample fish had a level of cesium of 570 becquerels per kilogram on Thursday about 1 kilometer off the city of Iwaki, and the other three measured 480 to 500 becquerels. The limit is 500 becquerels under the Food Sanitation Law.

The samples were taken after the species was found contaminated off Ibaraki Prefecture, although fishermen have voluntarily refrained from fishing off Fukushima due to the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.

Radioactive iodine measured 1,100 to 1,700 becquerels in the samples against the legal limit of 2,000 becquerels.

The move came as food makers and restaurant operators in Japan have increasingly begun to check levels of radioactive substances in food coming from the Kanto region, where Fukushima is not included.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 02:54:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Japan readies own robot to probe crippled nuclear plant - English

Another project to develop a robot for a nuclear accident started after a fatal accident at JCO Co. in Ibaraki Prefecture in 1999. After several billion yen was spent, the project was ended in one year on the grounds that the government did not want to give off a mistaken impression to the public.

"(Authorities) perhaps thought that people would think that they were anticipating a nuclear power plant accident if they had developed robots for accidents," Hirose said.



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 Apr 27th, 2011 at 09:05:23 AM EST
<facepalm>

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 09:14:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Check out this argument then:

asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Disaster rekindles doubts about courts' nuclear plant rulings - English

...the courts have almost invariably sided with the authorities, ruling the reactors are safe.

Yoshika Shiratori, 78, who represents a group of plaintiffs demanding the shutdown of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in Shizuoka Prefecture, said what is unfolding at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is exactly what she and others had feared.

...The debate became more than an academic exercise after the emergency diesel generators at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant failed following the March 11 quake and tsunami.

However, Haruki Madarame, then a professor of thermal engineering at the University of Tokyo, dismissed this possibility during testimony as an expert witness for Chubu Electric.

"We don't expect it," said Madarame, now chairman of the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan. "We need to draw a line somewhere because we will not be able to build anything if we have to take everything into account."



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 04:22:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You do have to draw the line somewhere, after taking everything into account.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 05:01:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So we can have safe nukes or we can have economic nukes.

As long as we don't ask for safe, economic nukes.

by LondonAnalytics (Andrew Smith) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 10:25:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously, PR concerns trumped science and safety. It makes one wonder if the attitude in "The Nuclear Village" has always been that they are walking on eggshells with an unsafe technology that they cannot make safe and with a public that could turn against them in a flash. Their response seems to have been to hide all bad news and hope for the best.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 11:01:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Lawmakers Oppose Earthquake Rebuilding Tax, Call for More BOJ Action - Bloomberg
A cross-party group of senior Japanese lawmakers said Prime Minister Naoto Kan shouldn't raise taxes to pay for rebuilding from last month's earthquake, and called on the central bank to buy more government bonds instead.

"It's wrong to immediately raise taxes from a macro- economic standpoint, and we should use government bonds," Sakihito Ozawa, a former environment minister and member of Kan's Democratic Party of Japan, said at a press conference today in Tokyo. "The Bank of Japan should buy bonds in purchase operations to raise cash."

Ten legislators from the DPJ, the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, the New Komeito Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Your Party and the People's New Party attended the briefing. They made no specific mention of pushing the BOJ to directly underwrite government debt, a suggestion Governor Masaaki Shirakawa and administration officials have rejected.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 09:09:19 AM EST
They need a Japanese Warren Mosler to explain MMT to the Japanese public. Given that they mostly hold their own debt, can do the work with domestic resources and have significant unemployment this represents an optimum test case for MMT -- if they could deal with political problems and interference/sabotage.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 27th, 2011 at 11:06:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
French System For Cleaning Fukushima Water Blamed For Leukemia, Polluted Beaches In Europe - Jeff McMahon - The Ingenuity of the Commons - Forbes

The process a French firm will use to clean Fukushima's radioactive water has been blamed for a leukemia cluster in France and for polluted beaches and irradiated waters from the English Channel to the Arctic Sea.

Areva SA has promised to remove up to 99.99 percent of the radioactive contaminants in 67,500 tons of water flooding the crippled Fukushima-Dai-ichi nuclear plant. It will use a co-precipitation method employed at its La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing facility in Normandy.

That process has been documented in detail by a French nuclear expert and by the U.S. government, which has shunned France's fuel reprocessing method because of "a nonproliferation concern and environmental concerns," in the words of Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko.



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 Apr 27th, 2011 at 11:36:16 AM EST
Radiation Readings at Stricken Japanese Plant Rise to Highest in Crisis - Bloomberg

Radiation readings at Japan's Fukushima Dai-Ichi station rose to the highest since an earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems, impeding efforts to contain the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl.

Two robots sent into the reactor No. 1 building at the plant yesterday took readings as high as 1,120 millisierverts of radiation per hour, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at Tokyo Electric Power Co., said today. That's more than four times the annual dose permitted to nuclear workers at the stricken plant.

Radiation from the station, where four of six reactors have been damaged by explosions, has forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people and contaminated farmland and drinking water. A plan to flood the containment vessel of reactor No. 1 with more water to speed up emergency cooling efforts announced yesterday by the utility known as Tepco may not be possible now.



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 Apr 27th, 2011 at 05:39:39 PM EST
Increased water injection into No. 1 reactor yields positive signs | Kyodo News

The injection of increased amounts of coolant water into the damaged No. 1 reactor core at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has yielded positive signs, with both the temperature and pressure inside the reactor vessel falling as expected, the government's nuclear agency said Thursday.

The plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. began raising the amount of water Wednesday morning from 6 tons per hour to 10 tons in preparation for flooding the reactor's primary containment vessel to cool the fuel in a stable manner. The utility known as TEPCO will keep injecting the current amount until Thursday evening, it said.

Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, said TEPCO initially planned to increase the amount of water to 14 tons per hour, but decided to keep pouring 10 tons per hour so as not to cause abnormalities.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:07:03 AM EST
Female worker at nuke plant suffers radiation dose exceeding limit | Kyodo News
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that one of its female employees was exposed to radiation doses far above the legal limit at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant -- the latest revelation of lax radiation management by the plant operator since the crisis erupted last month.

Here it is:

TEPCO : Press Release | Regarding instructions received concerning the investigation of causes and development of preventive measures regarding radiation exposure exceeding designated dose limits to those persons at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station

On April 27th, NISA received from you the report stating that the /mean dose exposure from January 1st to March 31st (4th quarter) to the individual (female) who was working after the occurrence of the Tohoku - Pacific Ocean Earthquake is exceeding the dose limit (5mSv/3month) set down in Article 6-1-3 of Regulation of Provision Concerning the Installment, Operation etc. of Practical Generation Reactors based on Article 9-1-1 of Regulation Concerning the installment, Operation etc. of Practical Generation Reactors (The Ministry of International Trade and Industry Order No.77 of 1978). For this reason, we strictly warn and instruct you to investigate the causes, develop preventive measures and verify the dose management system at Fukushima Daiichi Power Station and develop countermeasures based on this verification, and report it to us no later than May 2nd 2011.

Checking the actual regulation (pdf, before-lat page), indeed the limit is lower for non-sterile females:

For female (except for those who diagnosed as sterility and those who notified will for no pregnancy to the reactor establisher with document and those who are specified in next Paragraph), 5mSvs per three-month starting April 1, July 1, October 1 and January 1, except for determined in two preceding subparagraphs


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:17:43 AM EST
From another release, she actually got 17.55 mSv... waaay above the limit for non-sterile females.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:52:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO : Press Release | Amendments to the estimate value of the core damage ratio of Unit 1 to 3 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station based on the measurement of the Containment Atmospheric Monitoring System
In the verifying process, we have confirmed that there were some mistakes in the part of the data measured by Containment Atmospheric Monitoring System (CAMS)*1. The data measured by CAMS is important as it is used to estimate the core damage ratio*2 of Unit 1 to 3 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Therefore, we have reported it to Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) today.

Only the wet well radioactivity level estimates changed. The resulting core damage ratio estimates for No. 2 and 3 increased by 5% (to 35% resp. 30%), that for No. 1 decreased by 15% (from 70 to 55%).

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

by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:27:44 AM EST
From the NISA press release, cleanup works seem to be get going at last:

- Full-scale implementation of spraying anti-scattering agent was
  carried out in the area of about 5,000 m2 on the ocean-side of Unit 3
  using an unmanned crawler dump. (From 13:30 till 17:00 April 26th)
- Removal of rubble (amounts equivalent to 2 containers) using
  remote-control heavy machineries was carried out. (From 9:00 till
  16:00 April 26th).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:33:54 AM EST
The number of confirmed dead climbed to 14,564, of which 12,215 have been identified. The number of registered missing sank to 11,356. 5,314 wounded. The numbers include victims of the aftershocks.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 03:59:09 AM EST
When in doubt, rely on the traditional energy source of the industrial age: coal.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/japan-power-crisis-could-benefit-coal-etfs-2011-04-28

by asdf on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 10:06:04 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
Tokyo Electric Power Company now says it is unlikely that water is leaking from the spent fuel rod pool of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant's No.4 reactor.

Water is being injected into the pool to replace coolant that is evaporating due to the high temperature of its 1,535 spent fuel rods.

Despite sporadically injecting 140 to 210 tons of water a day, the company says the water level in the storage pool is still 10 to 40 centimeters lower than estimated.


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 Apr 28th, 2011 at 10:45:50 AM EST
this not leaking only makes sense if the spent fuel is putting out nearly twice as much heat as expected.

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 Apr 28th, 2011 at 10:46:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Regarding the water level measurement, according to NISA:

April 22nd Measured the water level of SFP by a gauge hung on Concrete Pump Truck (62m class).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 01:36:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UPDATE 3-Storms knock out TVA nuclear units, power lines | Energy & Oil | Reuters
HOUSTON, April 27 (Reuters) - Severe storms and tornadoes moving through the U.S. Southeast dealt a severe blow to the Tennessee Valley Authority on Wednesday, causing three nuclear reactors in Alabama to shut and knocking out 11 high-voltage power lines, the utility and regulators said.


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 Apr 28th, 2011 at 11:45:14 AM EST
A TVA spokeswoman said the station's backup power systems, including diesel generators, started and operated as designed. External power was restored quickly to the plant but diesel generators remained running Wednesday evening, she said.

The Browns Ferry units are among 23 U.S. reactors that are similar in design to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan where backup generators were swept away in the tsunami that followed the massive earthquake on March 11.

One wonders if the backup generators are sufficiently tornado-hardened, or if they just got lucky.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 12:35:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pets in no-entry zone to be protected : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Fukushima Prefecture has decided to protect pets left by owners in the 20-kilometer-radius no-entry zone around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant by keeping them in a temporary shelter and providing health care.

Ten veterinarians and others in two groups sent by the prefecture were in the Odaka district in Minami-Soma and Katsuraomura within the no-entry zone with the consent of both municipalities' mayors Thursday afternoon, wearing protective suits and masks and carrying dosimeters to measure 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 Thu Apr 28th, 2011 at 07:08:37 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan has "definitely improved" but still requires close monitoring.

Commission members met on Thursday in Washington to assess the nuclear emergency in Japan.

One of the members said that US nuclear experts continue to provide support in Japan, adding that private US companies have joined the effort.

The commission members will meet again on May 12th and issue a short-term analytical report on the Fukushima plant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 01:45:07 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
A committee of India's environment ministry has refused to grant permission for the construction of 4 nuclear reactors. It cited the need for emergency safety measures to be reassessed following the accident in Japan.

In southern India, the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant is located on the coast of Tamil Nadu state. Two new reactors are currently under construction and 4 additional reactors were planned for the future.

A committee of the environment ministry has been tasked to assess the effects of nuclear power facilities. On April 5th, the committee decided not to grant coastal clearance for the construction of 4 new reactors.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 01:46:06 PM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 334
SFP #4 underwater video !!!!!!! http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/news/11031...s/110428_1.zip
We can see that upper parts of fuel sets are melted


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 01:49:00 PM EST
It is a take of a few seconds, with the camera dipped just below the surface of the water. I don't know what the blogger sees as evidence of melting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 02:34:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently NHK reporters have said that some of the fuel on one side looks melted, but I can't see it either

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 03:22:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Nuclear Agency: Reactor Building No. 4's Basement Filled With Five Meters Of Water - FoxBusiness.com

TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- The water in the basement of the No. 4 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is now five meters deep following frequent water-spraying with outside equipment to cool its spent fuel pool, the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Agency said Monday.

The No. 4 reactor was not operating at the time of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and there were no fuel rods in use, therefore there is no risk of overheating, unlike units Nos. 1-3.

"Removing water from the No. 4 reactor building is not high on our priority list," said Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman and deputy director general of the agency.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 01:50:19 PM EST
UPDATE: Special Adviser To Japan Govt Quits Over Handling Of Nuclear Crisis - WSJ.com
TOKYO (Dow Jones)--A special adviser to the Japanese government on radiation safety resigned Friday, saying that he was dissatisfied with the handling of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 29th, 2011 at 03:53:57 PM EST
Criticism up on Japan govt handling of nuke crisis - Forbes.com

In a tearful news conference, Kosako said he could not stay and allow the government to set what he called improper radiation limits of 20 millisieverts an hour for elementary schools in areas near the plant.

"I cannot allow this as a scholar," he said. "I feel the government response has been merely to bide time."

Kosako also criticized the government as lacking in transparency in disclosing monitoring of radiation levels around the plant, and as improperly raising the limit of radiation exposure levels for workers at Fukushima Dai-ichi, according to Kyodo News agency.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:27:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Coast guard releases March 11 footage : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

The Japan Coast Guard released Thursday 6-1/2 hours of video footage of the March 11 tsunami, taken at the second Regional Coast Guard headquarters Sendai Air Station and its Kesennuma Coast Guard Station in Miyagi Prefecture.

Footage taken at the Sendai Air Station, located next to Sendai Airport, showed dozens of cars and a few airplanes swept onto the runways by the tsunami.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 07:58:20 AM EST


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:30:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO Data Shows Ongoing Criticalities Inside Leaking Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 - GLG News
Data released on April 28, 2011 by TEPCO is now unequivocal in showing ongoing criticalities at Unit 2, with a peak on April 13. TEPCO graphs of radioactivity-versus-time in water under each of the six reactors show an ongoing nuclear chain reaction creating high levels of "fresh" I-131 in Unit 2, the same reactor pressure vessel (RPV) with a leak path to reactor floor, aux building, and outdoor trenches, that is uncontrollably leaking high levels of I-131, Cs-134, Cs-137 into the Pacific Ocean.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 08:12:48 AM EST
The key point of the analyst makes sense:

TEPCO Data Shows Ongoing Criticalities Inside Leaking Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 - GLG News

...instead of seeing that expected decrease in I-131 levels relative to Cs-134 and Cs-137 in the regular TEPCO press releases, I-131 was seen to be increasing, instead of decreasing as the physics said it should.

...look at the graphs of groundwater radioactivity measurements from all six reactors. "Outlier" Unit 2 has I-131 levels roughly 20 times its levels of Cs-134/137. The only possible source of I-131 would be "pockets" of molten core in the Unit 2 RPV settled in such a way that the boron in the injected water is insufficient to stop the localized criticalities.

Another possibility would be some process at the leak point that 'differentiates' between caesium and iodine.

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

by DoDo on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:29:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well when it was first noticed, it was suggested that this could be the result of how the internals were leaking, but the more time that passes the less tenable that analysis seems.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 03:21:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
some process at the leak point that 'differentiates' between caesium and iodine.

A steam leak might so differentiate -- I don't know, but it is one possibility. But for that to be the source for increased water contamination it would have to re-condense.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 05:09:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quake-hit railway lines in reconstruction limbo : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Railway companies have yet to develop a clear plan for the restoration of tracks and stations along the coast of the Tohoku region that were swept away by the tsunami that followed the massive quake in March.

Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains resumed full operations between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori stations on Friday, but railway lines operated by East Japan Railway Co. and semipublic companies remain crippled nearly two months after the disaster.

Plans for rebuilding the railways are in limbo because if the reconstruction of disaster-hit residential areas sees them relocated to higher ground, the railway routes might also have to change.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:54:58 PM EST
Civil servants could face 10% pay cut / Money saved to help fund quake recovery : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

The government tentatively decided Saturday to cut salaries of national public servants by about 10 percent to fund reconstruction programs in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, government sources said.

If implemented, the move would reduce the state's personnel costs by about 300 billion yen. The plan would be presented to civil servant labor unions for negotiation after the Golden Week holiday period. Bills to revise laws concerning public servant reenumeration would be submitted to the Diet during the current ordinary session.

If the salary revision is made without the recommendation of the National Personnel Authority, it would be the first time since the authority was established in 1948. Usually, the authority recommends changes to public employees' reenumeration to the Cabinet and the Diet every summer.

This system has served as an alternative to basic labor rights for national civil servants, which are limited by law. Along with the pay cut, the government plans to abolish this system in the current Diet session as part of reforms to the national civil servant system. In its place, state employees would gain the right to make labor agreements with the government through labor unions.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:55:17 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
A vice president of Tokyo Electric Power Company says he believes the nuclear crisis at Fukushima nuclear power plant is a man-made disaster.

TEPCO vice president Norio Tsuzumi visited Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture on Saturday and apologized to about 1,000 villagers who gathered to hear him speak.

When he was asked if he thinks of the nuclear crisis a man-made disaster or a natural disaster, he said personally he thinks it is a man-made disaster.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:56:15 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
Japan's Health Ministry says it has detected a minute amount of radioactive materials in breast milk in 7 mothers in central and northeastern Japan. The ministry says the amount does not pose a danger to their babies' health.

The ministry on Saturday released the results of a study conducted in Fukushima, Tokyo and other 3 prefectures in Kanto region from last Sunday through Thursday.

The ministry says breast milk samples from a mother in Iwaki City of Fukushima Prefecture contained 3.5 becquerels of radioactive iodine per kilogram and 2.4 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogra


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:56:58 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
The Tokyo Electric Power Company says it going to implement new measures at the disaster-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to protect it from any other tsunami or aftershocks. The work will be completed by late July.

A utility official told reporters on Saturday that it is going to build 12-meter-high temporary levees consisting of stone-filled baskets to protect the plant from any tsunami.

The power company will also fill in the pits leading down to the 4 tunnels on the ocean side of the Number 2 and Number 3 reactors with concrete to prevent highly radioactive water from leaking into the sea.

As a measure to protect the plant from aftershocks, TEPCO will set up a steel pillar at the bottom of the spent-fuel storage pool of the Number 4 reactor, and reinforce it with concrete.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 30th, 2011 at 09:57:54 PM EST
#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Ishikawa of JNTI Talks about Reactor Core Conditions | EX-SKF
More on 77-year-old Michio Ishikawa of the Japan Nuclear Technology Institute on the situation at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, as he appeared on Asahi TV on April 29.

As I watched the video, I started to like Mr. Ishikawa, who continues to believe in the safety of nuclear power generation. He didn't mince his words, and said what they are doing at Fukushima I Nuke Plant is not working. That surprised some, including the host of the show, as Ishikawa is known as a strong proponent for the nuclear power generation and the nuclear industry.

I watched the segment (video No.2 out of 11) where he discussed the situation at Fukushima I Nuke Plant, particularly about the condition of the reactor core.


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 May 2nd, 2011 at 09:29:36 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The Japanese government is about to begin releasing data projecting the spread of radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that it initially withheld for fear of causing panic.

The data in question is in a computer system called SPEEDI that predicts the spread of radioactive substances based on actual radiation measurements at various locations and weather conditions.

A joint task force of the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company says about 5,000 undisclosed bits of data will be released from Tuesday.


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 May 2nd, 2011 at 02:34:16 PM EST
AP IMPACT: Ties bind Japan nuke sector, regulators | BlueRidgeNow.com

Nearly 10 years after Japan's top utility first assured the government that its Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was safe from any tsunami, regulators were just getting around to checking out the claim. The move was too little, too late.

But even if there had been scrutiny years before the fury of an earthquake-powered wave swamped the six atomic reactors at Fukushima on March 11, it is almost certain the government wouldn't have challenged the unrealistic analysis that Tokyo Electric Power Co. had submitted in 2001. An Associated Press review of Japan's approach to nuclear plant safety shows how closely intertwined relationships between government regulators and industry have allowed a culture of complacency to prevail.

Regulators simply didn't see it as their role to pick apart the utility's raw data and computer modeling to judge for themselves whether the plant was sufficiently protected from tsunami. The policy amounted to this: Trust plant operator TEPCO - and don't worry about verifying its math or its logic.



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 May 2nd, 2011 at 03:07:46 PM EST
The core info:

TEPCO told NISA in a one-page memo it voluntarily submitted in December 2001 that waves would not exceed 5.7 meters (18 feet), according to Masaru Kobayashi, head of the agency's nuclear power plant safety section. On March 11, the water reached 14 meters (46 feet) above sea level at the plant, knocking out backup power generators to the reactors, causing a cascade of problems that has led to the ongoing release of radiation into the environment.

TEPCO's memo didn't include anything about its data or assumptions of earthquake size and location - vital details to determine whether the calculations made sense.

...and NISA's explanation of sorts:

"We do not know the contents of that assessment," Kobayashi said in an interview. "We had been planning to do our tsunami-related review."

Those discussions had been delegated to several of the 99 committees at NISA that scrutinize nuclear plant safety. They were going to start this year, Kobayashi said.

So, what were they doing for ten years?

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

by DoDo on Mon May 2nd, 2011 at 05:30:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO faces uphill battle in filling nuclear reactor containment vessel with water - The Mainichi Daily News

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is struggling to carry out its plans to fill the containment vessel of the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant's No. 1 reactor with water to control radiation emissions, it has emerged.

Workers have already pumped in more than enough water to fill the containment vessel, but they have not actually seen a rise in the water level. Furthermore, when workers increased the amount of water pumped into the containment vessel, pressure inside the vessel fell, threatening a hydrogen explosion. As a result, workers had to once again reduce the amount of water. When pressure inside the containment vessel falls to a level near regular atmospheric pressure, oxygen can enter the container from outside and react with hydrogen inside to produce an explosion.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 3rd, 2011 at 07:21:35 AM EST
What if only the two water level gauges failed? Alternatively, could the tubes of some out-of-service system be responsible for the leak?

Officials said the water level inside the reactor's pressure vessel remained almost unchanged -- at about 1.6 meters above the top of the fuel rods

Above? I thought below?

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

by DoDo on Tue May 3rd, 2011 at 08:34:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
文部科学省 緊急時迅速放射能影響予測 493;ットワークシステム(SPEEDI)&# 12395;よる計算結果
一歳児甲状腺の内部被ばく 561;価線量 成人の外部被ばくによる実 177;線量
(3月12日午前6時から3月24日午Ò 69;0時までの積算線量) (3月12日午前6時から3月24日午Ò 69;0時までの積算線量)
(3月12日午前6時から4月6日午࠺ 9;0時までの積算線量) (3月12日午前6時から4月6日午࠺ 9;0時までの積算線量)
(3月12日午前6時から4月24日午Ò 69;0時までの積算線量) (3月12日午前6時から4月24日午Ò 69;0時までの積算線量)

The Left hand column are the links to SPEEDI radiation calculations for cumulative dose on march 26, april 6th and april 24th for Children, the right hand column for Adults. the calculations were run on March 12th. The Japanese government is releasing these charts now, they didnt earlier to prevent panic.

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 3rd, 2011 at 07:32:17 AM EST
Japan says crippled Fukushima Daiichi's partner plant stabilising | Energy & Oil | Reuters

TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - Japan's Fukushima Daini nuclear plant, the companion of the crippled Daiichi plant 10 kilometers away that is still leaking radiation, has cleared a key milestone toward stabilising, regulators said on Thursday, although the outlook for a restart remains uncertain.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Thursday it reduced the evacuation zone around the four-reactor, 4,400 megawatt Daini plant after engineers had repaired the cooling systems and maintained the plant in a "cold shutdown" for several weeks.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 3rd, 2011 at 07:37:58 AM EST
The Hindu : News / International : Data monitor failed at Japan's nuclear plant, report says

A monitoring system at Japan's damaged nuclear plant failed in the power outage which took out the plant's cooling systems after the March quake and tsunami, depriving authorities of vital data to predict contamination, a news report said on Tuesday. The loss of data from the Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) probably delayed the evacuation order around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant around 250 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, Kyodo News agency quoted an anonymous source as saying. The ERSSmonitors pressures and temperatures in and around the reactors, and runs predictions to assess how much radioactive material might be released in various failure scenarios. It is meant to provide that data to another system, which then calculates how that radioactive material might spread to contaminate the surrounding area in the event of an accident. The government drew criticism last week for not implementing that second system, known as the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI), quickly or thoroughly enough.

The plant has been leaking radioactive materials into the air and sea since it was hit by the March 11 quake and tsunami. Critics have said information on the likely contamination from several fires and explosions at the plant was not available until April. And when the government did calculate models for the radioactive material's spread, it sent that data to the United Nations weeks without informing the Japanese public, reports said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 3rd, 2011 at 07:38:55 AM EST
High level radiation found on seabed near Japan's crippled nuke plant

TOKYO, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Radiation readings that are 100-1,000 times the normal level have been found on the Pacific seabed near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, local media reported Tuesday.

The high levels of radioactive materials were detected from samples taken Friday from the seabed at points 20-30 meters deep, Kyodo News reported, citing the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 3rd, 2011 at 02:23:03 PM EST
Have they told us what isotopes in what concentrations are being found?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed May 4th, 2011 at 05:34:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Relatively high levels of radioactive cesium have been detected in the sludge from a waste water treatment plant in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.

The prefectural government is tracking some of the sludge that has been shipped out of the prefecture to be used in making cement.

The prefecture's investigation found that the sludge contained 26,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram.

The solidified slag made from it contained 334,000 becquerels per kilogram, which is 1,300 times the level before the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.


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 May 4th, 2011 at 05:57:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Tokyo Electric Power Company is developing a device to remove radioactive substances from seawater. It hopes to install it in the Pacific Ocean near the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant at the end of May.

TEPCO says it will fill a metal container with zeolite, a mineral that absorbs radioactive materials. The company will use a pump to continuously inject seawater into the container.

Radiation levels have remained high in the waters around the Fukushima plant even after TEPCO managed to plug a leak of contaminated water 4 weeks ago. On Monday, 5,800 times the national limit of radioactive iodine was detected in samples collected near a water intake for the Number 2 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 May 4th, 2011 at 03:31:51 AM EST
Scant progress in repairing water, power lines : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Nearly two months after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, many disaster-stricken areas have made little progress in repairing water, electricity and other vital lifelines, causing stress and physical hardship to survivors.

In Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, about 73,000 utility customers, including households, have no tap water, and electricity has not been restored to about 120,000 such customers. These figures include structures that were destroyed or washed away by the tsunami that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake. Disaster survivors still without water and power have pressed officials to repair the vital services as quickly as possible.

Before the disaster, some areas relied on wells for their water. The tsunami flooded some of these wells with seawater or blocked them with debris. Desalinization and debris removal are huge tasks, and in these areas, the completion of repairs cannot even be forecast.

"The hardest thing for me is that I can't bathe every day," said a 17-year-old girl, nearly in tears, who was living in a shelter in Minami-Sanrikucho, Miyagi Prefecture. "Honestly, I don't even want to go out in public."



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri May 6th, 2011 at 08:28:41 PM EST
Ventilation system started at Fukushima No. 1 reactor : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has activated a system to purify the radiation-contaminated air in the No. 1 reactor building of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the company said.

Thirteen workers entered the No. 1 reactor building Thursday to start up the system. It was the first time workers had entered the building since a hydrogen explosion on March 12, the day after the Great East Japan Earthquake.

On Friday, the amount of water injected into the reactor pressure vessel was increased from 6 tons per hour to 8 tons per hour, TEPCO said.

TEPCO plans to complete a so-called water coffin operation, in which the No. 1 reactor's containment vessel will be filled with water in about 20 days to stabilize the 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 Fri May 6th, 2011 at 08:29:30 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
Critics say Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan's call to shut down the reactors at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant is too sudden.

Kan said on Friday that he had asked the plant's operator to stop the reactors until necessary safety measures are completed.

He pointed out that the plant has an 87 percent chance of being hit by a magnitude 8 earthquake in the next 30 years.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 12:16:52 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant in central Japan has put off a decision to halt operations of all active reactors due to the risk of earthquakes.

The board directors of Chubu Electric Power Company met for about one-and-a-half hours at its headquarters in Nagoya on Saturday to discuss the request by Prime Minister Naoto Kan on Friday.

Kan called on the utility to temporarily stop the operations of the Number 4 and 5 reactors, and the Number 3 reactor, which is undergoing a regular inspection.

The move follows the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in the northeastern Japan.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 12:17:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
anyone notice that one of western civilization's worst disasters is already off the radar screen?

oh right, we already called it with the title of this diary.

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

by Crazy Horse on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 09:34:54 PM EST
well of course, asshole. radiation isn't all that dangerous. 'specially when compared with the blight of those one-horned killing wind machines sprouting over the sunday walk hills.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat May 7th, 2011 at 09:38:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thankfully, PM Kan has learned his lesson, and Japan will develop to 50% of its electricity from nuclear power over the next 20 years.

In other news, one of the two Hopi brothers charged with keeping the axis of the Earth properly fixed decided to take off for a beer. "You can just watch so much, but what's the point?"

Sushi, anyone?

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

by Crazy Horse on Tue May 10th, 2011 at 06:06:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course, in the space of a day, PM Kan has reversed himself again.

Japan to Cancel Plan to Build More Nuclear Plants


The cancellation of the planned nuclear plants is the second time that Mr. Kan has suddenly announced big changes in Japanese nuclear policy without the usual endless committee meetings and media leaks that characterize the country's consensus-driven decision-making process. Mr. Kan appears to be seeking a stronger leadership role after criticism of his government's sometimes slow and indecisive handling of the Fukushima accident.
....
The announcement Tuesday came just days after Mr. Kan said Japan remained committed to nuclear power. His apparent pull- back may be driven partly by public opinion, which has significantly soured on nuclear power since the Fukushima accident.
....
The residents wore white antiradiation clothing and traveled in buses under tight supervision by nuclear officials. They retrieved belongings like photo albums and the tablets traditionally used in Japan to honor dead relatives in household Buddhist shrines, according to local media reports.

The government appeared to agonize for weeks over whether to allow even brief trips. Officials were concerned about whether civilians could be kept safe from exposure to potentially high radiation doses near the plant.

Complicating their decision was the lack of scientific knowledge on the health effects of the radiation doses now found in many of the evacuated areas. Some scientists say radiation levels even in many evacuated areas are too low to cause immediate illness, while others worry that the incidence of cancer could rise over the long term.

Last week, the government staged a trial run; officials played the role of returning residents to see if the trips could be made safely. Screened for radiation on their return, those participating were found to have been exposed to a dose of up to 25 microsieverts during the two-hour visit.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed May 11th, 2011 at 05:28:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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