Blog Archive

Thursday, 27 November 2014

WHERE DOES FUKUSHIMA GO - Pacific and Atmosphere


By Marushka France
WHERE DOES FUKUSHIMA GO UPON ENTERING THE OCEAN?
September 25, 2013   [Last Update Feb 111,2014]
PREFACE
Radionuclides go everywhere. The first fallout did fall, first or highest to least amount  (both ocean and landfall):
Coast of North America into north Pacific, Bering Strait, Alaska, Canada, Pacific Northwest of USA
(Washington and Oregon), California and Baja California/Mexico, and then EASTward around the globe. Back sweep also hit Japan hard, of course, far east Asian continent (Russia, Korea)... Initial fallout at least ast far as 1,700 km from Fukushima. (as reported in enews). 


Pure Propaganda
As predicted, IAEA is about control of information – propaganda – and not transparency, not disclosure. IAEA is the pro-nuclear body for U.N., overrides anything and everything W.H.O. can say or do.
As an example, this recent ‘report’ (cough-cough) - this piece of propaganda issued by IAEA --  expects us  to believe  that NO contamination from Fukushima will reach NorthAmerica! Absolutely preposterous!
http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/PDFplus/2013/cn207/Presentations/1028-Aoyama.pdf





Not Valid for Tracking Radionuclides - NOAA tsunami map
A)   Often used, the NOAA TSUNAMI MAP IS NOT the same as radionuclides (aka radioistopes) making its way across the Pacific to other shores:
NOAA.org >> the initial Tsunami http://nctr.pmel.noaa.gov/honshu20110311/
One year later http://www.noaa.gov/features/03_protecting/japantsunami_oneyearlater.html
B) 'Thumbs down' on tracking plastics http://adrift.org.au/fukushima   This one also ignores the far north, Bering Sea, and we know that got hit.
C, Certainly we do want to track the debris from Japan, it could be a mammoth problem, not sure how much radioactivirty might be involved:  Washington blog article includes Japanese debris distribution of U of Hawaii  -  I would NOT assume debris of various sizes, weight, dimensions and type to behave the same as radioisotopes.   Nor do we know if they got hit with radionuclide contamination.  Plastics tracked across Pacific, again, not the same as radioisotopes, cannot expect the same behavior of unlike material.
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/west-coast-of-north-america-to-be-hit-hard-by-fukushima-radiation.html


11.11.2013 SYNOPSIS
There is a difference between radionuclides spreading across the Pacific and debris from the tsunami... How it travels, variable depths...  Briefly:  radionuclides' fallout on to land and rivers and (both) travels to the ocean, radionuclides tend to coalesce and float together (referred to as pools, clouds or streams);  settle in at about 1-100 meters depth, travel along ocean currents (varies by weight).
In the ocean, uranium buckyballs flew across the ocean's surface in days after 311;  radionuclides also biomagnify up the food chain; can be estimated by the degree of plankton uptake; concentrates in seawater, sea spray and is especially troublesome along coastlines - the entire Pacific rim.
Radionuclides also find their way back into the ATMOSPHERE  via the natural water (hydrolic) cycle.  Radionuclides traveling up with evaporation process is called 'resuspension,'  thus finding its way to be redistributed on land wherever rain falls.  The life-giving micronutrients from the ocean - the source of life and 50-85% of the oxygen in our world, is thus transformed into genomic instability, every possible breakdown of systems that sustain all life... e.g.  death.  Call it ecocide or omnicide, the more we pollute our environment, the more we pollute ourselves.  The global growth of chronic disease is in step with the spread of man-made radioisotopes and man-made chemicals.... it destroys the 'stuff of life' as we know it. 


WHERE DOES FUKUSHIMA GO UPON ENTERING THE OCEAN?
Tracking Radionuclides aka Radioisotopes
‘Plume’ is being used to address both Atmospheric (NOAA) and sometimes ‘into the ocean’ dispersal as well. Important to notice the distinction and be clear which one we mean when we post or write about Fukushima. Likewise, ‘cloud’ is being used to describe the coalescing of radioisotopes in pools that float and move together. Another study calls it ‘rivers’ or ‘streams’.  Be very clear in disseminating information.


1. The first detection, of course, “The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) is meant to deter nuclear explosions by everyone, everywhere: on the Earth’s surface, in the atmosphere, underwater and underground.   (All nukes have their own chemical 'signature as well.)http://www.ctbto.org/verification-regime/the-11-march-japan-disaster/


2. Buckyballs Uranium UC Davis Study
http://www.enviroreporter.com/investigations/fukushima/a-radioactive-nightmare/
(this site mistakenly used tsunami map to represent the spread of radioisotopes across the Pacific)
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/1874.abstract?sid=ae203ffc-1b97-4e17-b87f-6114a5936f2
0riginal paper: Uranyl peroxide enhanced nuclear fuel corrosion in seawater


3. Multi-decadal projections of surface and interior pathways of the Fukushima Cesium-137 radioactive plume 
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096706371300112X


4. [German] Model simulations on the long-term dispersal of 137Cs released into the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034004/article and with soundt he limitations of the study are well spelled out, read the whole thing, watch their video, it is very informative.
http://brightcove.vo.llnwd.net/e1/uds/pd/105920850001/105920850001_1727324228001_abstract-video-4257289161e45e1f86c5b5c2f0b6128f-converted.mp4


5. Various agencies have done plume modeling estimates. These take weather conditions and releases and estimate where the radioactive releases went or will go.
http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?page_id=9971


6. NOAA and Navy dispersion model “”Science On a Sphere" 
http://www.sos.noaa.gov/Datasets/dataset.php?id=332
The Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model Same model used
http://www.fukuleaks.org/web/?page_id=9971


7. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collaborated with the National Atmospheric Deposition
Program in an effort to monitor North American precipitation samples for the presence of nuclear fallout in response to the Japan Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station incident that occurred on March 11, 2011.
http://nadp.sws.uiuc.edu/fukushima/


8. Radionuclides (aka radioisotopes) like Strontium will collect in ‘rivers’ or ‘streams’ of
contamination…  (SEE ALSO #10b and #11) will not ‘dilute’… Evidence of bioaccumulation in species, biomagnification- denser concentrations in the Pacific, as well as remaining in collective rivers and streams of its own making are derived from decades-long research  chemical changes interacting with the salt...  all speak to multiple, deadlier pathways
http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/05/strontium-90-spread-over-1000km-evenly-in-pacific-ocean/in this article of yours:>>>>>
1. Strontium 90 exists ~ 17-62 % cesium 134/137; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology assumed it would be 0.1 %.
2. Strontium90 evenly spreads from 170km offshore Chiba to 1000km southeast to Japan. spreads from 1m to 100m deep in the sea as well.


9. Cesium, iodine and tritium in NW Pacific waters
A comparison of the Fukushima impact with global fallout
http://www.biogeosciences.net/10/5481/2013/bg-10-5481-2013.html


10. Concentration & RESUSPENSION of Radionuclides from ocean back into atmosphere brings the fallout inland - AGAIN - and contaminates through rainfall & snowfall...


10a  In the ocean, radionuclides become concentrated Marine plankton as an indicator of low-level radionuclide contamination in the Southern Ocean
[SciTech Connect] by Marsh, K.V.; Buddemeier, R.W. 1984
in the ocean STRATIFIED about 100m ~> into the atmosphere ~> into the rainfall everywhere...
globally(from the era of atomic bomb tests in the Pacific)   [added 11.11.2013]
 http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/6802363-hfGOhq/6802363.pdf
”On May 16, 1958, the Wahoo event was detonated underwater two miles south-west of Enewetak.
Plankton sampling was begun as soon as possible, and at H + 6 hours the major part of the total
radioactivity was found in the top 25 m and about one-eighth at the thermocline, 110 m. By H + 28 hoursthe activity was distributed through the upper half of the mixed layer to about 50 m, but by H +• 48 hours it was concentrated at 100 m, the upper edge of the thermocline. At no time was the activity uniformly mixed; it was always stratified”
[The thermocline is the transition layer between the mixed layer at the surface and the deep water
layer. The definitions of these layers are based on temperature.]

10b Through the water cycle
"National Weather Service; Jetstream-Online school for Weather; The Hydrologic Cycle" [water cycle] and returns inland in rainfall
http://www.srh.weather.gov/jetstream/atmos/hydro.htm
Some Radionuclides undergoes 'RESUSPENSION‘
"The ocean is known to be a major source of atmospheric particulate [ matter]. There is considerable,evidence, however, that the chemical composition of the particles in the marine aerosol is often considerably different from that of seawater. Barker and Zeitlin found enrichment factors for transition metals in the aerosol approaching and exceeding three and four orders of magnitude relative to sodium. Cattell and Scott suggest that a biogenic agent may be responsible for the approximately 20,000-fold enrichment of copper during aerosol production in the ocean. The whole question of fractionation at the sea surface was the subject of a 1976 review article.^’
It seems possible, even likely, that the correlation we observe between radionuclides in plankton
and in the air samples is due, at least in part, to resuspension.”
Because of the ocean spray being concentrated, as well as fog, and the presence of uranium
buckyballs specific to Fukushima, (at least) and the higher likelihood of fish consumption in
coastal areas (internal contamination) -- coastal areas might experience a higher likelihood of
internal, radionuclide contamination.  [added 11.11.2013]
{this is also why Dr. Busby estimates coastal areas being more likely to have higher rates of cancer...   both resuspension and higher likelihood of fish consumption...  see his work relative to Sellafield, UK} 


11. Further understanding of the damage of the atomic age on our environment, and climate
change
11a Dr. Rosalie Bertell talks about the 5 layers of atmosphere and the “Five Rivers or
Vapours” upon which the flow of air and water – sustains us all.
This entry is solely to support the 'rivers' and 'streams' metaphor as very real, not discovered until mid-Century [and a part was quickly destroyed by an atomic bomb]   and how fast esp jetstream moves, hownthe planet has its own highways, byways, ....  circuitous routes –  types and pathways -- in the atmosphere and in the oceans and seas. 
Rosalie Bertell - Space Weapons of War - part 1 of 4 - PLANET EARTH
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaSkCZ_Dcg0


11b blog by Jan Hemmer  [update 11.11.2013]
"Nuclear Industry kills Ozone Layer and stops Oxygen production in Oceans"
July 21, 2013 by Mikkai
http://tekknorg.wordpress.com/2013/07/21/nuclear-industry-kills-ozone-layer-and-stops-oxygen-production-in-oceans/


Source : Marushka France




Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Tepco starts filling cable trench with cement as it pumps out radioactive water




Tokyo Electric Power Co. started work Tuesday to fill an underground trench at the disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant with cement while pumping up radioactive water inside at the same time.

The power company reported the beginning of the cement-pouring work for the cable trench for reactor 2 at a meeting in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, with government representatives on measures to deal with increasing radioactive water at the power station.

Tepco expects to finish the work by the end of next March. The company will begin next month pouring cement in reactor 3′s trench, hoping to complete the work also by the end of March.

The trenches for the two reactors are estimated to hold 11,000 tons of radioactive water in total. The water is believed to be causing the pollution of groundwater under the seaside section of the power plant.

On Tuesday, Tepco injected 80 cu. meters of cement in the reactor 2 trench in an operation that lasted two and a half hours from around 9:30 a.m. The trench holds radioactive water that has flowed from the reactor’s turbine building.

At first, Tepco planned to stop the flow by freezing water inside the joints between the turbine building and the trench so that it can entirely remove the radioactive water from there.

But Tepco could not fully freeze the water or block the flow. So, the firm switched to the current plan to inject cement in and remove the radioactive water from the trench simultaneously.

Source: Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/26/national/tepco-starts-filling-cable-trench-cement-pumps-radioactive-water/#.VHVI88m-mKF

Fukushima I NPP: Plan C Also Failed in Plugging Reactor 2 Trench... Now What?

November 24, 2014
Plan D of Course!

But first, recall that Plan A was to install freezing pipes at the head of the trench leading from Reactor 2 turbine building to create an ice plug so that the extremely contaminated water that had been sitting in the trench since the very beginning of the nuclear accident could be pumped out. TEPCO started the work in April this year.

That failed. The ice plug didn't quite form.

Then recall that Plan B was to dump tons (literally) of ice and dry ice in the trench near the freezing pipes to lower the temperature of the water around the freezing pipes so that the ice plug would finally form. Workers dumped ice all day and all night, in the high ambient radiation right at the trench. That was in hot August. Try to freeze the trench with ice in hot August.


That also failed. Dry ice clogged the pipe, and the ice plug didn't quite form, and TEPCO admitted there was water still coming into the trench from the turbine building. The water sitting in the turbine building comes from the reactor building after it cools the molten core somewhere in the building, and it is warm.

So TEPCO came up with Plan C.

What was Plan C? It was to fill the gap between the incomplete ice plug and the turbine building wall with fillers. TEPCO chose the combination of grout and concrete. A plug of ice, grout and concrete was formed. Sort of.

From TEPCO's document uploaded at Nuclear Regulation Authority's site on 11/21/2014, the plug - pink and light green in the diagram is grout (different types), dark green is concrete:


That failed, just as I predicted.

TEPCO finally admitted on November 17 that it was a failure after pumping out some 200 tonnes of this highly contaminated water on November 17 and seeing that the water level in the trench didn't go down as much as they had calculated. The water was still coming in from the turbine building, and the groundwater was probably seeping in.

But not to worry. TEPCO has Plan D, and it has been already approved by Nuclear Regulation Authority.

So what is Plan D? To fill the trench with cement while pumping out the water that gets displaced (in theory) by the cement.

(Do you want to bet whether that is going to fail?)

From Mainichi English (11/18/2014), from the original Japanese article on 11/17/2014:

An effort to stop contaminated water from flowing into a trench at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant failed to completely halt the flow, announced Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the plant's operator, on Nov. 17.

A TEPCO representative said, "We believe we have not completely stopped the water. Groundwater may also be entering the trench. We will closely analyze the changes in water level in the trench."

TEPCO says that when around 200 tons of contaminated water was removed from the trench, the water level in the trench should have fallen by around 80 centimeters if the point of leakage between the plant's No. 2 reactor turbine building and the trench had been fully sealed. However, the water level only fell by 21 centimeters, so TEPCO determined that the leak must be continuing.

...While the water remains in the trench, TEPCO cannot create a planned underground wall of frozen soil around the No. 1 through 4 reactor buildings to stop water leakages.

And this image from Tokyo Shinbun (11/21/2014):


and reference to Plan D:

トンネルから汚染水を少しずつ抜きながら、水中で薄く広がる特殊なセメントを流し込んでトンネルをふさぐ方法への切り替えを提案する

(TEPCO) will propose (to Nuclear Regulation Authority) a new method of plugging the trench by pouring in the special cement that spread thin and wide in the water while removing the contaminated water in the trench gradually.

Special cement?

TEPCO says in the document (page 9) they submitted to NRA that it will be a mixture of cement, fly ash and underwater-inseparable admixtures (セメント、フライアッシュおよび水中不分離混和剤などの配合調整). They will use the tremie concrete placement method.

(Do you want to bet whether that is going to fail?)

The NRA meeting on November 21, 2014 was funny without participants intending to be funny, from what I read in the tweets by people watching the meeting.

At one point, Commissioner Fuketa exasperatedly asked TEPCO representatives, "So what was the point of trying to freeze the water? Was freezing even necessary at all?"

The answer was no. TEPCO's Shirai admitted (according to the tweet by @jaikoman on 11/21/2014) that there was a talk inside TEPCO that the ice plug was not necessary.

So why did they do it, and why did NRA approve it?

No one knows and no one is held accountable, while workers had to set up freezing pipes, then to pour ice, dry ice, grout, concrete, and to pump this highly contaminated water over the past 8 months in high radiation exposure. TEPCO hasn't disclosed the radiation exposure for the workers.

Spource: EXSKF
http://ex-skf.blogspot.nl/2014/11/fukushima-i-npp-plan-c-also-failed-in.html

LDP Government in Japan on Suicide Mission

November 24, 2014

The LDP aims for collective suicide by extending Japan's nuclear reactors' life span to 60 years while pushing forward with the Oma nuclear plant, which will purportedly be the world's first 100 percent MOX facility!
Does everyone remember what Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 explosion looked like? Unit 3 was running MOX fueld. Its explosion strongly resembled a mushroom cloud and has been interpreted as involving a nuclear criticality. Plutonium from the Daiichi explosions, likely from Unit 3, was found in Lithuania.
MOX fuel is extraordinarily dangerous. Japan's earthquake activity has been increasing. At least one of Japan's volcanoes is displaying increased activity. Japan must be intent on self-destruction and will take the Pacific Ocean and North America with it, if the US, Russia, UK, or France, don't beat them to annihilating humans on Earth:

Gen Kaga, Toshio Kawada, Koji Nishimura and Tomoyoshi Otsu (2014, November 14) Nuclear operators push to open new plant, extend life of aging reactors. The Asahi Shimbun,
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201411140068
 


The government set the acceptable operational term of nuclear reactors at 40 years, in principle, after the Fukushima disaster, but it allows utilities to extend the period on a one-time basis by a maximum of 20 years....
The Oma plant will be the world’s first 100 percent MOX nuclear facility, where only mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, consisting of plutonium and uranium, is used at reactor cores for the purpose of consuming plutonium produced in processing spent nuclear fuel.
At conventional plutonium-thermal nuclear plants, MOX fuel is used at just one-fourth to one-third of their reactor cores at most, and conventional uranium fuel is used for the remaining part. Compared with uranium fuel, it is more difficult for control rods to suppress nuclear chain reactions of MOX fuel.

Although countermeasures, such as enhancing the capabilities of control rods and introducing larger tanks for boric acid water to better control atomic reactions, will be taken at the full MOX facility, those efforts are expected to be carefully examined during the safety screening by the NRA to check if they are sufficient.... “No full MOX facility has so far gone online around the world,” NRA Chairman Shunichi Tanaka said at a Nov. 12 news conference. “We will examine extremely carefully (if countermeasures are sufficient).”
Unbelievable. That is all I can think to write.

Meanwhile, emissions at Daiichi look worse this morning than they have the last week or so. Radiation readings in the US have been higher than I've seen since winter 2011. The forces of entropy reign.

Source: Majia'Blog
http://majiasblog.blogspot.jp/2014/11/ldp-government-in-japan-on-suicide.html?m=1

Work starts to fill tainted underground tunnels



Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have started pouring cement into underground tunnels filled with highly radioactive water.

The effort is aimed at replacing the water with cement. The water is believed to be leaking into the nearby sea after mixing with groundwater.

Workers on Tuesday poured into the tunnels 80 cubic meters of cement that can solidify in water. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the water did not overflow during the work.

The operator says it plans to check the effectiveness of the measure in about a month after suspending the work temporarily. It says if there are no problems, it will resume the work to finish it by March.

The firm initially planned to freeze water at the ends of the tunnels to stop inflow from reactor buildings, and remove the contaminated water. But the plan did not work. By last week, the utility had decided to adopt the new method.

Workers using the method are likely exposed to more radiation than under the original plan.
 
Source: NHK
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141125_28.html

Saturday, 22 November 2014

After failures, TEPCO to use special cement to prevent contaminated water leaks


November 22, 2014 

The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant plans to fill in trenches on the coastline in yet another attempt to prevent highly contaminated water from pouring into the sea.

Under the plan, approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Nov. 21, Tokyo Electric Power Co. will inject a special cement mixture into the seaside trenches of the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors while pumping up radioactive water accumulating in them.

The special mixture does not absorb water so it can spread more easily along the bottom of the trenches, displacing the tainted water.

The new method will allow radioactive materials to remain in the surrounding soil, but TEPCO decided to employ the technique because it puts high priority on preventing massive amounts of highly contaminated water from leaking into the ocean.

This spring, TEPCO tried to stop the water influx at the trench for the No. 2 reactor by freezing the junction of the turbine building and the trench, but the operation was tough-going.

The company then attempted to stop the water inflow with a cement mixture, but was unable to do so completely.

Source: Asahi Shimbun
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201411220029

TEPCO gives up on freezing tainted water


 
 
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is drastically changing its plan to remove highly radioactive water from underground tunnels at the facility.

The tunnels have been inundated with water from the plant's heavily contaminated reactor buildings.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, this year began work to freeze water at the ends of the tunnels to block the inflow. The firm finished the work early this month.

But TEPCO officials found that water levels in the tunnels were still changing in sync with volumes in the reactor buildings.

The officials admitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday that the tunnels hadn't been plugged.

They said they're giving up on the plan, and proposed pouring cement into the flooded tunnels while removing water from them. They said they want this done from late November.

The authority's commissioners asked whether the new method can really halt the inflow. They also spoke of the risk of cracks forming in cement.

The authority approved TEPCO's plan in the end, on condition that the procedure be halted in late December to see whether it's working.

Commenting on the change, one commissioner asked what all the trouble over the past months was for.
 
Source: NHK
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141121_36.html

Tepco fails to halt toxic water inflow at Fukushima No. 1 trenches

Nov 22, 2014

Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted failure Friday in its bid to halt the flow of toxic water into underground tunnels alongside the ocean at the Fukushima No. 1 plant and said that it will try using a specially developed cement instead.

Some 11,000 tons of highly radioactive water have accumulated in the tunnels, trenches dug to house pipes and cables that are connected to the reactor 2 and 3 turbine buildings of the wrecked facility, according to Tepco.

There are fears that this toxic buildup, which is being caused by the jury-rigged cooling system and groundwater seepage in the reactor basements, could pour into the Pacific, which is already being polluted by other radioactive leaks. Groundwater is entering the complex at 400 tons a day.

Extracting the toxic water is a critical step in Tepco’s plan to build a huge underground ice wall around the four destroyed reactors to keep groundwater out.

Initially, Tepco sought to freeze the water in a section of tunnel connected to the No. 2 reactor building. This was intended to stop the inflow and allow the accumulated water to be pumped out. The utility said it took additional measures that also failed.

On Friday, Tepco proposed a new technique for the tunnels: injection of a cement filler especially developed for the task while pumping out as much of the accumulated water as possible.

Under the new method, however, it would be difficult to drain all of this water and some of it would be left behind, endangering plant workers, Tepco acknowledged.

Nevertheless, a Nuclear Regulation Authority panel of experts green-lighted the new strategy at a recent meeting. Some of the experts argued that Tepco should stick to the original plan and draw out all of the water. Others said giving up on it may hamper the construction of the ice wall.

Source: Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/22/national/tepco-fails-to-halt-toxic-water-inflow-at-fukushima-no-1-trenches/#.VHDOesm-mKF

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Tepco unable to halt tainted water flowing into tunnels at Fukushima


Nov 18, 2014

Tokyo Electric Power Co. appears unable to stem the flow of radioactive water from the No. 2 reactor building to underground tunnels at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, officials said.

Tepco has injected cement into the joints that connect the tunnels, which are used to run cables, and the building to halt the flow of contaminated water and remove accumulations from the tunnels.

But water levels suggest the effort has remained unsuccessful so far, the officials said. The company began the cement injections after failing to create an “ice wall” over the summer by freezing water inside the joints that would have blocked the flows.

After the cement injections, Tepco pumped 200 tons of tainted water out of the tunnels Monday, causing levels inside to fall around 20 cm, the officials said.

However, if the joints were completely sealed, water levels would have fallen roughly 80 cm, the officials said, indicating the possibility that contaminated water is still flowing into the tunnels.

The officials also noted the possibility that groundwater may be flowing into the tunnels. However, recent data has shown that the amount of radioactive materials in the tunnel water was very high, an official in the Nuclear Regulation Authority said.

“Concentrations should have been lower if large amounts of groundwater are really flowing in,” the official noted.

If the cement injections end in failure, too, Tepco plans to remove radioactive water while injecting cement into the tunnel — an operation that could put plant workers at greater risk of radiation exposure.

The tunnels are believed to contain some 5,000 tons of tainted water. Some observers believe the water may be leaking into the ground and reaching the Pacific.

Source: Japan Times
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/18/national/tepco-unable-halt-tainted-water-flowing-tunnels-fukushima/#.VGuRRMm-mKF



Op-Ed: Fukushima disaster — Ignorance is bliss despite the dangers

The Sendai nuclear power plant will become the first of Japan's 48 commercial reactors to be restarted after they were all shut down since the Fukushima disaster in 2011

By Karen Graham     November 18, 2014

Little is reported in the media about the clean up after the Fukushima Power Plant disaster. After three years of cover-ups and misleading information, released to quell public fears, there is still reason to be wary. The danger is still very real. 

 The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in 2011 is still impacting lives today. Over 120,000 people from the area are living in a nuclear limbo, according to the guardian. Once close-knit families are now forced to live apart in temporary housing complexes, many of the homes hastily thrown up in an effort to get people out of radiation "hot-spots."

Japan's population has been inundated with half-truths and sometimes, outright lies, concerning the progress being made in the clean-up efforts in Fukushima. For the thousands of workers tasked with the laborious details of doing the actual work, just knowing their efforts are inadequate must be mind-numbing.

Fukushima Daiichi’s manager, Akira Ono is the man in charge of the clean up efforts, and he admitted to the Guardian that there is little cause for optimism. No matter what the workers do, there is still a huge problem with contaminated water. Over 400 tons of groundwater flow every day from the hills outside the plant and into the basements where the three stricken reactors are located.

There, the water mixes with the coolant water being pumped in to keep the melted fuel from overheating and causing another nuclear accident. TEPCO says "most of the water" is pumped out into holding tanks, but ever-increasing amounts end up seeping into maintenance trenches, and then into the ocean. This has to be depressing for Ono and the men and women walking into the facility every day.

While Americans have been sitting back and ignoring the ongoing disaster that is Fukushima, other countries have taken notice. Germany and Italy are looking at the viability of continuing to depend on nuclear power, and are opting instead for other more eco-friendly sources. And surprisingly, the news media in other countries is also paying attention to what has been going on at the Fukushima power plant.

Arnold Gunderson, a former high-level nuclear industry executive, was cited in an article written in Al-Jazeera English, entitled "Fukushima: It's much worse than you think," in June, 2011. In the story, Gunderson is quoted as saying, the Fukushima disaster was "the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind. Twenty nuclear cores have been exposed at Fukushima." Gunderson also points out that the site's many spent-fuel pools give Fukushima 20 times the radiation release potential of Chernobyl.

If people on the North American coast think they are safe from the effects of radiation from the Fukushima disaster, not only are they dreaming, but they are going to be in for a rude awakening. Yes, there were a few stories telling us the radiation levels reaching our west coast were "tiny amounts," But how many additional infants are going to die, and how many more people, children and adults are going to end up with unexplained cancers before someone wakes up to what is happening?

And the American public needs to wake up right now. We have nuclear disasters just waiting to happen in our own back yard. From the Diable Canyon power plant in California, to the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville, Nebraska that was almost inundated with floodwaters in June, 2014, the list is getting longer and longer. The Nuclear Regulatory Committee has been forced to ease up on some regulations or just ignore them when it comes to helping power plants in the U.S. to meet what officials call "unnecessarily conservative" standards. Yes, ignorance is bliss. That is scary, folks,

Source: Digital Journal
 http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/op-ed-fukushima-disaster-ignorance-is-bliss-despite-the-dangers/article/415588

Contaminated water swamps Fukushima No. 1 cleanup

The Advanced Liquid Processing System of the Fukushima No. 1 plant is seen Wednesday

Nov 16, 2014 

More than three years into the massive cleanup of the Fukushima No. 1 power plant, only a tiny fraction of the workers are focused on key tasks such as preparing for the dismantling of the wrecked reactors and removing radioactive fuel rods.
Instead, nearly all the workers at Fukushima No. 1 are devoted to a single, enormously distracting problem: coping with the vast amount of contaminated water, a mixture of groundwater running into recycled water that becomes contaminated and leaks after being pumped into the reactors to keep their melted cores from overheating.
A number of buildings housing water treatment machines and hundreds of huge blue and gray industrial storage tanks to store the excess water are rapidly taking over the grounds at the plant, which saw three of its six reactor cores suffer meltdowns from the 3/11 quake and tsunami. Workers were still building more tanks during a visit to the complex Wednesday by a group of foreign media.
“The contaminated water is a most pressing issue that we must tackle. There is no doubt about that,” said Akira Ono, head of the plant. “Our effort to mitigate the problem is at its peak now. Though I cannot say exactly when, I hope things start getting better when the measures start taking effect.”
The numbers tell the story:

6,000 workers

Every day, about 6,000 workers pass through the guarded gate of Fukushima No. 1, located on the Pacific coast, two to three times more than when it was actually generating electricity.
On a recent workday, about 100 workers were dismantling a makeshift roof over one of the reactor buildings, while about a dozen others were removing fuel rods from a cooling pool. Most of the rest were dealing with contaminated water-related work, said Tatsuhiro Yamagishi, a spokesman for plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.
The work threatens to exhaust the supply of workers for other tasks, since they must stop working when they reach annual radiation exposure limits. Experts say it is crucial to reduce the amount and radioactivity of the contaminated water to decrease the risk of exposure to workers and the environmental impact before the decommissioning work gets closer to the highly contaminated core area.

40 years

The plant has six reactors, three of which were offline when disaster struck on March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake that triggered huge tsunami that swept into the plant and knocked out its backup power and cooling systems, leading to core meltdowns in the three active reactors.
Decommissioning and dismantling all six of the reactors is a delicate, time-consuming process that includes removing the melted fuel from a highly radioactive environment as well as all the extra fuel rods, which sit in cooling pools situated at the top of the reactor buildings.
The entire job still requires finding out the exact conditions of the melted fuel debris and developing remote-controlled and radiation-resistant robotics to deal with them, and the work is expected to take at least 40 years.

500,000 tons

The main problem is an abundant inflow of groundwater into the contaminated water that doubles the volume and spreads it to vast areas of the compound. Workers have jury-rigged a pipe-and-hose system to continuously pump water into the reactors to cool the clumps of melted fuel inside.
The water becomes contaminated upon exposure to the radioactive fuel, and much of it pours into the reactor and turbine basements, and maintenance trenches that extend to the Pacific Ocean. The plant recycles some of the contaminated water as cooling water after partially treating it, but groundwater is also flowing into the damaged reactor buildings and mixing with contaminated water, creating a huge excess that needs to be pumped out.
So far, more than 500,000 tons of radioactive water have been stored in nearly 1,000 large tanks that workers have built, which now cover most of the sprawling plant premises. After a series of leaks from the storage tanks last year, they are now being replaced with costlier welded tanks.
That dwarfs the 9,000 tons of contaminated water produced during the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island in the United States. In that incident, it took 14 years for the water to evaporate, said Lake Barrett, a retired U.S. nuclear regulatory official who was part of the early mitigation team there and has visited Fukushima No. 1.
“This is a much more complex, much more difficult water management problem,” Barrett said.

¥10 trillion

An estimated ¥2 trillion will be needed just for decontamination and other mitigation of the water problem. Altogether, the entire decommissioning process, including compensation for area residents, reportedly will cost about ¥10 trillion.
All this for a plant that will never produce a kilowatt of energy again.
The work threatens to exhaust the supply of workers for other tasks, since they must stop working when they reach annual radiation exposure limits. About 500 workers are digging deep holes in preparation to build a taxpayer-funded ¥32 billion underground “frozen wall” around the four reactors and their turbine buildings to try to keep the contaminated water from seeping out.
Tepco is developing systems to try to remove most radioactive elements from the water. One, the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS), has been trouble-plagued, but utility officials hope to achieve a daily capacity of 2,000 tons when it enters full operation next month. Officials hope to be able to treat all contaminated water by the end of March, but that is far from certain.

Source: Japan Times
 http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/11/16/national/contaminated-water-swamps-fukushima-no-1-cleanup/#.VGtay8m-mKF

Friday, 14 November 2014

Nuclear evacuees seek rise in TEPCO compensation


Nov 14 2014
More than 2,800 evacuees from a village near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are seeking state arbitration for a rise in compensation from Tokyo Electric Power Company, the plant's operator.

Iitate Village is still an evacuation zone three years and eight months after the nuclear accident at the power plant. But decontamination work is proceeding across the village, which is located about 40 kilometers from the plant.

About half the village's population, or 2,837 evacuees, filed for arbitration with the Center for Settlement of Fukushima Nuclear Damage Claims on Friday.

They say their prolonged evacuation is splitting local communities and families and threatening generations of the village's history.

The evacuees are seeking increased compensation and an apology from TEPCO. They want the current monthly evacuation compensation per capita more than tripled to 350,000 yen, or roughly 3,000 dollars per month. They also call for around 172,000 dollars per evacuee in compensation for ruining their village lives.

The representative of the evacuees, Kenichi Hasegawa, explained why they filed for the class-action arbitration. He said the evacuees decided they must express their anger as their lives have not improved since the nuclear accident. He added that the evacuees want their village lives back.

TEPCO said in a statement it has yet to learn the details of the documents. But the company pledges a sincere response to the arbitration in line with settlement procedures

Source: NHK

Download Radioactive water may still be entering tunnels


Nov 13 2014
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant faces another challenge in its effort to address radioactive water at the complex.

It says highly contaminated water may still be flowing from reactor buildings into adjacent underground tunnels even after a work to stem the flow ended.

The water in the tunnels is believed to be leaking into the sea. Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to pump the tainted water out of the tunnels and fill them with cement.

To prepare for the process, the firm began work in April to stem the flow of radioactive water between the reactor buildings and the tunnels. It involved freezing some of the water as well as plugging the gaps with filler materials.

TEPCO finished the work on November 6th. But workers found that water levels in the reactor buildings and the tunnels are still linked. They note this suggests that the flow of radioactive water between them may not have been stopped.

TEPCO officials say that if the situation doesn't improve, they may start filling the tunnels with cement even before they finish removing contaminated water.

Source: NHK
http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141114_05.html

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Study: Fukushima health risks underestimated

A Greenpeace radiation monitoring team checks contamination in Fukushima City 

13 Nov 2014 
Tokyo, Japan - "Hot spots" of nuclear radiation still contaminate parts of Fukushima Prefecture, according to findings from the latest Greenpeace radiation monitoring mission near the Daiichi nuclear power plant that experienced a melt down after an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
Experts from the environmental organisation also claim that authorities have consistently underestimated the amount of contamination and the health risks involved.
Greenpeace will use these results to try to persuade local governments with nuclear power plants in their districts to resist lobbying from the central government to have them reactivated. All 50 of Japan's remaining nuclear plants were shut down following the 2011 disaster. 
Greenpeace began independently monitoring radiation in Fukushima within a few days of the nuclear accident, and it has conducted field trips each year since then. The latest such trip took place from October 24-27.
Heinz Smitai, a nuclear physicist, Greenpeace campaigner and participant in the radiation monitoring mission, told foreign journalists at an October 30 press conference in Tokyo that radiation hot spots exist as far as 60 kilometres from the site of the disaster.
For instance, one street in front of a hospital in Fukushima City "is quite contaminated", Smitai said, measuring 1.1 microsieverts of radiation per hour. Although this was one of the highest readings, Greenpeace found 70 other places in the city where the amount of radiation recorded exceeded the Ministry of Environment's long-term target of 0.23 microsieverts per hour.
A sievert is the standard unit for measuring the risk of radiation absorbed by the body. A millisievert is equal to one-thousandth of a sievert, while a microsievert is one-millionth of a sievert. A typical CT scan can deliver from 2 to 10 millisieverts of radiation, depending on the area being scanned.
Source: Al Jazeera
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2014/11/will-japan-reopen-nuclear-plants-fukushima-20141111112653560643.html

 

Nuclear cleanup at Fukushima plant stymied by water woes

 Tanks storing contaminated water are seen at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant 
in Fukushima Prefecture on Nov. 12.

November 13, 2014

OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture--More than three years into the massive cleanup of Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant, only a tiny fraction of the workers are focused on key tasks such as preparing for the dismantling of the broken reactors and removing radioactive fuel rods.
Instead, nearly all the workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant are devoted to an enormously distracting problem: a still-growing amount of contaminated water used to keep the damaged reactors from overheating. The amount has been swelled further by groundwater entering the reactor buildings.
Hundreds of huge blue and gray tanks to store the radioactive water, and buildings holding water treatment equipment are rapidly taking over the plant, where the cores of three reactors melted following a 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Workers were building more tanks during a visit to the complex on Nov. 12 by foreign media, including The Associated Press.
"The contaminated water is a most pressing issue that we must tackle. There is no doubt about that," said Akira Ono, head of the plant. "Our effort to mitigate the problem is at its peak now. Though I cannot say exactly when, I hope things start getting better when the measures start taking effect."
The numbers tell the story.


6,000 WORKERS

Every day, about 6,000 workers pass through the guarded gate of the Fukushima No. 1 plant on the Pacific coast--two to three times more than when it was actually producing electricity.
On a recent work day, about 100 workers were dismantling a makeshift roof over one of the reactor buildings, and about a dozen others were removing fuel rods from a cooling pool. Most of the rest were dealing with the contaminated water, said Tatsuhiro Yamagishi, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that owns the plant.
The work threatens to exhaust the supply of workers for other tasks, since employees must stop working when they reach annual radiation exposure limits. Experts say it is crucial to reduce the amount and radioactivity of the contaminated water to decrease the risk of exposure to workers and the environmental impact before the decommissioning work gets closer to the highly contaminated core areas.

 
40 YEARS

The plant has six reactors, three of which were offline when disaster struck on March 11, 2011. A magnitude-9.0 earthquake triggered a huge tsunami which swept into the plant and knocked out its backup power and cooling systems, leading to meltdowns at the three active reactors.
Decommissioning and dismantling all six reactors is a delicate, time-consuming process that includes removing the melted fuel from a highly radioactive environment, as well as all the extra fuel rods, which sit in cooling pools at the top of the reactor buildings. Workers must determine the exact condition of the melted fuel debris and develop remote-controlled and radiation-resistant robotics to deal with it.
Troubles and delays in preparatory stages, including the water problem and additional measures needed to address environmental and health concerns in removing highly radioactive debris from atop reactor buildings that exploded during meltdowns, have pushed back schedules on the decommissioning roadmap. Recently, officials said the government and TEPCO plan to delay the planned start of fuel removal from Units 1 and 2 by about 5 years.
The process of decommissioning the four reactors is expected to take at least 40 years.

 
500,000 TONS

The flow of underground water is doubling the amount of contaminated water and spreading it to vast areas of the compound.
Exposure to the radioactive fuel contaminates the water used to cool the melted fuel from inside, and much of it leaks and pours into the basements of the reactors and turbines, and into maintenance trenches that extend to the Pacific Ocean. Plans to freeze some of the most toxic water inside the trench near the reactors have been delayed for at least 8 months due to technical challenges.
The plant reuses some of the contaminated water for cooling after partially treating it, but the additional groundwater creates a huge excess that must be pumped out.
Currently, more than 500,000 tons of radioactive water is being stored in nearly 1,000 large tanks which now cover large areas of the sprawling plant. After a series of leaks last year, the tanks are being replaced with costlier welded ones.
That amount dwarfs the 9,000 tons of contaminated water produced during the 1979 partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in the United States. At Three Mile Island, it took 14 years for the water to evaporate, said Lake Barrett, a retired U.S. nuclear regulatory official who was part of the early mitigation team there and has visited the Fukushima plant.
"This is a much more complex, much more difficult water management problem," Barrett said.

 
10 TRILLION YEN

An estimated 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) will be needed just for decontamination and other mitigation of the water problem. Altogether, the entire decommissioning process, including compensation for area residents, reportedly will cost about 10 trillion yen, or about $90 billion.
All this for a plant that will never produce a kilowatt of energy again.
About 500 workers are digging deep holes in preparation for a taxpayer-funded 32 billion yen ($290 million) underground "frozen wall" around four reactors and their turbine buildings to try to keep the contaminated water from seeping out.
TEPCO is developing systems to try to remove most radioactive elements from the water. One, known as ALPS, has been trouble-plagued, but utility officials hope to achieve its daily capacity of 2,000 tons when they enter full operation next month following a final inspection by regulators.
Officials hope to treat all contaminated water by the end of March, but that is far from certain.

Source: Asahi Shimbun
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201411130092

Japanese doctors threatened for revealing data on how bad Fukushima-related illnesses have become

November 12th, 2014

Japanese doctors threatened for revealing data on how bad Fukushima-related illnesses have become — Gundersen: We had pregnant sisters in Tokyo deliver two dead babies and one with deformities that’s alive; Gov’t refuses to disclose miscarriages or stillbirths around Fukushima 
Excerpts from Nuclear Hotseat w/ Libbe HaLevy, Nov. 12, 2014 (at 33:15 in):
  • Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education: We have firsthand knowledge from at least a half dozen Japanese doctors… who have said they have been threatened… if they speak frankly to their patients about the health effects that they’re experiencing; or if they frankly speak in public about their fears — and, in fact, measurements — of how bad radioactive illnesses really are. So we know of at least a half a dozen doctors who are being ‘sat on’, and if 6 are, you can be certain that many more are as well. It’s a pressure that’s being applied up and down the spectrum… [You would now expect] exactly what we’re seeing — earlier cancers and thyroid nodules. Then over the next 15 to 20 years, increased organ cancers as well as muscular cancers… The fact of the matter is, we’re going to see cancers in that 4 to 30 year time span. And I still stand by what I’ve been saying now for 3 years. I think there will be a million extra cancers as a result of Fukushima Daiichi.
  • Gundersen: For Asahi Shimbun, a major newspaper, to basically call on people to [move] back home based on the [claim there's no increase in birth defects]… is absolutely absurd. The number they’re not giving us is how many stillbirths and how many miscarriages there’s been in relation to the rest of Japan — and those are radiation-induced. You’ll get a stillbirth or you’ll get a miscarriage when a fetus is deformed or it is already developing cancer… The Japanese are not reporting stillbirths and miscarriages in Fukushima… That’s a much better indicationThere are 35 million people in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area [and] their homes are contaminated… We had two women, sisters, both pregnant at the same time — one with twins, and one with a single baby. Two of the kids were stillbirths. The other was born with a deformity. They had the metallic taste in their mouth as the babies were in [the womb]. They lived in Tokyo, 130 miles from the accident. They’re people, they’re not statistics… and they’ve got no place to run…. no place to go.
 Download the full interview here:

Nuclear Hotseat #177: Fukushima Update – Arnie Gundersen

http://www.nuclearhotseat.com/2200/

Source: Enenews

Monday, 10 November 2014

Fukushima Radioactivity Detected Off West Coast

November 10, 2014

Monitoring efforts along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Canada have detected the presence of small amounts of radioactivity from the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, California. Scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) found the trace amounts of telltale radioactive compounds as part of their ongoing monitoring of natural and human sources of radioactivity in the ocean.

In the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami off Japan, the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant released cesium-134 and other radioactive elements into the ocean at unprecedented levels. Since then, the radioactive plume has traveled west across the Pacific, propelled largely by ocean currents and being diluted along the way. At their highest near the damaged nuclear power plant in 2011, radioactivity levels peaked at more than 10 million times the levels recently detected near North America.

"We detected cesium-134, a contaminant from Fukushima, off the northern California coast.  The levels are only detectable by sophisticated equipment able to discern minute quantities of radioactivity," said Ken Buesseler, a WHOI marine chemist, who is leading the monitoring effort. "Most people don't realize that there was already cesium in Pacific waters prior to Fukushima, but only the cesium-137 isotope.  Cesium-137 undergoes radioactive decay with a 30-year half-life and was introduced to the environment during atmospheric weapons testing in the 1950s and '60s.  Along with cesium-137, we detected cesium-134 – which also does not occur naturally in the environment and has a half-life of just two years. Therefore the only source of this cesium-134 in the Pacific today is from Fukushima."

The amount of cesium-134 reported in these new offshore data is less than 2 Becquerels per cubic meter (the number of decay events per second per 260 gallons of water). This Fukushima-derived cesium is far below where one might expect any measurable risk to human health or marine life, according to international health agencies.  And it is more than 1000 times lower than acceptable limits in drinking water set by US EPA.

Scientists have used models to predict when and how much cesium-134 from Fukushima would appear off shore of Alaska and the coast of Canada. They forecast that detectable amounts will move south along the coast of North America and eventually back towards Hawaii, but models differ greatly on when and how much would be found.
"We don't know exactly when the Fukushima isotopes will be detectable closer to shore because the mixing of offshore surface waters and coastal waters is hard to predict. Mixing is hindered by coastal currents and near-shore upwelling of colder deep water," said Buesseler. "We stand to learn more from samples taken this winter when there is generally less upwelling, and exchange between coastal and offshore waters maybe enhanced."

Because no U.S. federal agency is currently funding monitoring of ocean radioactivity in coastal waters, Buesseler launched a crowd-funded, citizen-science program to engage the public in gathering samples and to provide up-to-date scientific data on the levels of cesium isotopes along the west coast of North America and Hawaii. Since January 2014, when Buesseler launched the program, individuals and groups have collected more than 50 seawater samples and raised funds to have them analyzed. The results of samples collected from Alaska to San Diego and on the North Shore of Hawaii are posted on the website http://OurRadioactiveOcean.org. To date, all of the coastal samples tested in Buesseler's lab have shown no sign of cesium-134 from Fukushima (all are less than their detection limit of 0.2 Becquerel per cubic meter).

The offshore radioactivity reported this week came from water samples collected and sent to Buesseler’s lab for analysis in August by a group of volunteers on the research vessel Point Sur sailing between Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and Eureka, California. These results confirm prior data described at a scientific meeting in Honolulu in Feb. 2014 by John Smith, a scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, who found similar levels on earlier research cruises off shore of Canada. Buesseler and Smith are now working together on a new project, led by Jay Cullen at the University of Victoria, Canada, called InFORM (http://fukushimainform.wordpress.com/) that involves Canadian academic, government and NGO partners to determine and communicate the environmental risks posed by Fukushima for Canada’s Pacific and Arctic coasts and their inhabitants.
Buesseler believes the spread of radioactivity across the Pacific is an evolving situation that demands careful, consistent monitoring of the sort conducted from the Point Sur.

"Crowd-sourced funding continues to be an important way to engage the public and reveal what is going on near the coast. But ocean scientists need to do more work offshore to understand how ocean currents will be transporting cesium on shore.  The models predict cesium levels to increase over the next two to three years, but do a poor job describing how much more dilution will take place and where those waters will reach the shore line first," said Buesseler. "So we need both citizen scientists to keep up the coastal monitoring network, but also research vessels and comprehensive studies offshore like this one, that are too expensive for the average citizen to support," said Buesseler.
Buesseler will be presenting his results on Nov. 13, 2014, at the SETAC conference in Vancouver (http://meetings.setac.org/frontend.php/presentation/listForPublic ). He is also responding to questions from the public on the “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit at 1 p.m. EST on Nov. 10 (http://www.reddit.com/r/science).

Ken Buesseler is a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) who specializes in the study of natural and man-made radionuclides in the ocean. His work includes studies of fallout from atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, assessments of Chernobyl impacts on the Black Sea, and examination of radionuclide contaminants in the Pacific resulting from the Fukushima nuclear power plants. Dr. Buesseler has served as Chair of the Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department at WHOI, as Executive Scientist of the U.S. Joint Global Ocean Fluxes Planning and Data Management Office, and two years as an Associate Program Director at the U.S. National Science Foundation, Chemical Oceanography Program. In 2009, he was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and in 2011 he was noted as the top-cited ocean scientist by the Times Higher Education for the decade 2000-2010. He is currently Director of the Center for Marine and Environmental Radioactivity at WHOI. For more info, visit his lab, Café Thorium.

Funding for the citizen monitoring effort at ourradioactiveocean.org comes from close to 400 individuals and sponsoring organizations including Alaska Ocean Observing System, Alaska SeaGrant, Bamfield Marine Science Centre, Cook Inlet Keepers, David Suzuki Foundation, Deerbrook Charitable Trust, Dominical Real Estate, Fukushima Response Campaign, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Parks Canada, Humboldt State University Marine Lab, Idaho Section of the American Nuclear Society, Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) Network, International Medcom, KUSP Santa Cruz, Lush Cosmetics, Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, Nuxalk Nation, Onset Computer, Pacific Blue Foundation, Peaceroots Alliance, PFx, a Picture Farm Company, Point Blue Conservation Science, Prince William Sound Science Center, Resurrection Bay Conservation Alliance, San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace, Santa Barbara Channel Keeper, Say Yes! to Life Swims LLC, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Southwest Alaska Inventory and Monitoring Program National Park Service, St. Mary's School, The Guacamole Fund, The Institute for Building Biology and Ecology, Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, Ucluelet Aquarium, Umpqua Soil & Water Conservation District, University of California Davis Marine Pollution Studies Lab, University of Hawaii, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, independent organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean's role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit www.whoi.edu
Originally published: November 10, 2014

Source:  http://www.whoi.edu/news-release/Fukushima-detection

Fukushima: Japan has chosen to incinerate tons of radioactive waste

Three and a half years after the tragedy, most of plants and materials will be burned and the ashes stored.

 
By Marc Cherki Published 11/09/2014
Translation by D'un Renard




In Kawauchi, a small village located on both sides of of 20 kilometers division line around the Fukushima plant, many one cubic meter bags, are filled by the decontaminators with radioactive vegetal waste. Plants, grasses, lichens, shrubs that lined the road are now piled into these big bags.
Thus, the radiation received by persons traveling on this path is reduced. The plants are also removed within 20 meters around houses.
With Date and Minamisoma, Kawauchi is one of the "model villages" exemplified by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and the Japanese government.

The committed efforts are huge . In less than a year, since the nuclear accident in March 2011, projects funded by the government were already valued at 10 billion euros only for the decontamination of soils, houses and a microscopic part of the forests.

At present, the kariokiba, the temporary storage sites, are overfull of waste.
About 43 million cubic meters (43 million tons), as plastic bags of blue, black or gray colors depending on the choice of the town, are piling into a thousand temporary sites.
The bags are half filled with plants.
The others contain the contaminated soil removed from the surface of rice fields and schoolyards, materials polluted by radioactive fallout cloud or dust collected in houses gutters,


The Japanese government has pledged to deal with the waste from 1 January 2015. But nobody believes this possible in such a short time. "We're late," admits Mr Ozawa, deputy director general of the department of environmental restoration in Fukushima, under the Ministry of the Environment.
As early as our first work, which started in the summer of 2012 and mobilized 17,000 people, "local authorities told us that we were too slow," he admits.
But it is "like playing chess without having the rules. So we had to make the pieces and invent the rules. "


At the Otsube storage site in Kawauchi, Youichi Igari, 40, who works for decontamination, admits that the government should not be able to recover the waste in the time promised.
This thorny issue of waste is closely related to the return of populations. Currently, 130,000 people are still displaced, according to the Government, out of which 50,000 out of the Fukushima Prefecture. The family of Youichi Igari family is one of those who left the town of Kawauchi. "My wife is afraid to come back," admits the technician.
Compared to our own surveys made with a Geiger counter, the measuring of the radioactivity carried by the city is minimized by a third. A difference that their expert justified by "the margin of error of measurement" ... More serious over the bags covered with a green tarp, plants began to grow. Sign that the sealing is no longer guaranteed.
And if in the kariokiba visited in Date the black bags seem tight, the official measurements of radioaction that people can find on the Internet are lower than our measurements.


Divide by ten the number of bags could improve decontamination and encourage the return of the nuclear exiles.
The Japanese government is planning to burn and store its waste on two sites in Futaba and Okuma for those highly radioactive and in Tomiaka for those weakly radioactive (8,000 Bq / kg). Three towns near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
The most active ash (100,000 Bq / kg) will be trapped in concrete and stored in an intermediate site for thirty years. Then to be moved after to a final repository to be stored there for more than two centuries and a half.

For already one year the Japanese government has informed the IAEA of its intentions.
"It's good management, rather than letting the plants rot and release biogas. Burning waste is a method that we already use in France to reduce volumes.
For some of the waste, the operation in France is performed at the Centraco plant near Marcoule, a subsidiary of Socodei, which packages the ash into concrete, "says Bruno Cahen, the Andra industrial director.
This is particularly the case of technical waste containing cesium-137 which radioaction is halved every thirty years. "It is not possible to recover 100% of the fumes.
But technology can improve the collection of emissions to limit emissions into the atmosphere, "says Didier Dall'Ava, deputy director of sanitation and nuclear decommissioning at CEA.
Finally, in the case of the Japanese waste "the safety of the ashes with concrete must be confirmed from a chemical and mechanical point of view," adds François Besnus, director of waste at the IRSN (Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety ).


Still, the scale of the Japanese project is extraordinary, outside the norm.
The Marcoule site has the capacity to incinerate 3,000 tons of solid waste per year, it is quite low compared to 22 million tons of radioactive waste that the Japanese government wants to eliminate. Even if Japan opts for the best technique (rejection of one radionuclide in 100,000 to 1 million, according to Areva) this operation will lead to significant emissions into the atmosphere. As to incinerate waste will not remove the radioaction . Reconquérir le territoire reste une tâche titanesque. To reconquer that territory from radiation will remain a gigantic task.


Source : Blog de Serge Angeles
http://blog.serge-angeles.com/2014/11/09/japon-2014-fukushima324/




TEPCO removes 2nd canopy panel covering Fukushima reactor building


November 10, 2014

OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture--In preparation for clearing debris and eventually removing nuclear fuel from inside, Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Nov. 10 temporarily removed another panel from the canopy covering a damaged reactor building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Debris inside the building were visible from the opening, which is 40 meters long and 14 meters wide, equivalent to one-third the size of the entire roof.

The first of the six canopy panels was removed on Oct. 31.

The utility has been spraying the inside of the reactor building with liquid anti-scattering resin since Oct. 22 to prevent radioactive materials from being stirred up during the dismantling work. The interior of the building will be checked throughout this month.

TEPCO also plans to keep a close eye on radioactivity levels inside the plant grounds and will notify local municipalities if any abnormalities are recorded.

The removed roof panels will be reinstalled as early as within this month, and their full-scale removal is expected to begin in March 2015.

Sources:
NHK http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20141110_11.html
Asahi Shimbun http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201411100047

Sunday, 2 November 2014

NRA rebuts claim that Fukushima cleanup affected faraway rice paddies




November 01, 2014
Japan's nuclear watchdog disputed the farm ministry's assertion that radioactive substances churned up by debris removal work at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant contaminated distant rice paddies last year.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority announced at a commissioners' meeting Oct. 31 its estimate that 110 billion becquerels of radioactive materials spread as a result of cleanup at the No. 3 reactor building on Aug. 19, 2013.

This figure is lower than the 130 billion to 260 billion becquerels estimated by the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., in August.

Radiation readings rose significantly during debris removal that day, with radioactive substances found to have contaminated plant workers about 500 meters from the reactor building.

However, NRA Commissioner Toyoshi Fuketa emphasized, "The affected area of the fallout was within the nuclear plant compound."
"While it is difficult to simulate the spread of radioactive substances (outside the plant), it is unlikely that the debris cleanup caused the contamination (of the rice paddies)," Fuketa said.

The nuclear facility was ravaged by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami, triggering a triple meltdown.

The NRA arrived at the figure of 110 billion becquerels by analyzing radiation levels recorded at monitoring posts north-northwest of the plant on the day in question.

Radioactive fallout on this scale constitutes a Level 0 incident on the International Atomic Energy Agency's International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale.

Earlier, the farm ministry pointed to the possibility that radiation from the plant had spread to rice paddies in Minami-Soma more than 20 kilometers away, and called on TEPCO to take preventive measures in its debris removal work.

During the NRA meeting, some experts noted that despite the NRA's estimate, it is unlikely that factors other than debris cleanup at the plant could have caused such high levels of radioactive fallout at the rice farms.

“From a broader perspective, the Fukushima No. 1 plant is responsible for the contamination," one participant said.

Source: Asahi Shimbun
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201411010037