Fukushima timeline | Radioactive news December 2011

Terahertz pulse increases electron density 1,000-fold


  • Terahertz pulse increases electron density 1,000-fold

    Researchers at Kyoto University have announced a breakthrough with broad implications for semiconductor-based devices. The findings, announced in the December 20 issue of the journal Nature Communications, may lead to the development of ultra-high-speed transistors and high-efficiency photovoltaic cells.

    Working with standard semiconductor material (gallium arsenide, GaAs), the team observed that exposing the sample to a terahertz (1,000 gigahertz) range electric field pulse caused an avalanche of electron-hole pairs (excitons) to burst forth. This single-cycle pulse, lasting merely a picosecond (10-12 s), resulted in a 1,000-fold increase in exciton density compared with the initial state of the sample.

    "The terahertz pulse exposes the sample to an intense 1 MV/cm2 electric field," explains Hideki Hirori, team leader and Assistant Professor at Kyoto University's Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS). "The resulting exciton avalanche can be confirmed by a bright, near-infrared luminescence, demonstrating a three-order of magnitude increase in the number of carriers."

    Source: physorg.com


 

Japan to take over two thirds stake in Tepco: report


  • Japan to take over two thirds stake in Tepco: report

    TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese government plans to take a stake of more than two-thirds in Tokyo Electric Power Co (9501.T) in a de facto nationalization of the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Yomiuri newspaper said on Wednesday.

    Sources said this month that the government may inject about $13 billion into Asia's biggest utility as early as next summer in a de facto nationalization.

    The Yomiuri also reported that the government is looking at injecting 1 trillion yen ($12.7 billion), and added that banks will be asked to provide 1 trillion yen in loans, citing sources familiar with the matter.

    Source: old.news.yahoo.com


 

An Unexpected Mortality Increase in the US Follows Arrival of Radioactive Plume from Fukushima, Is there a Correlation?


  • An Unexpected Mortality Increase in the US Follows Arrival of Radioactive Plume from Fukushima, Is there a Correlation?

    The multiple nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima plants beginning on March 11, 2011, are releasing large amounts of airborne radioactivity that has spread throughout Japan and to other nations; thus, studies of contamination and health hazards are merited. In the United States, Fukushima fallout arrived just six days after the earthquake, tsunami, and meltdowns. Some samples of radioactivity in precipitation, air, water, and milk, taken by the U.S. government, showed levels hundreds of times above normal; however, the small number of samples prohibits any credible analysis of temporal trends and spatial comparisons.

    U.S. health officials report weekly deaths by age in 122 cities, about 25 to 35 percent of the national total. Deaths rose 4.46 percent from 2010 to 2011 in the 14 weeks after the arrival of Japanese fallout, compared with a 2.34 percent increase in the prior 14 weeks. The number of infant deaths after Fukushima rose 1.80 percent, compared with a previous 8.37 percent decrease. Projecting these figures for the entire United States yields 13,983 total deaths and 822 infant deaths in excess of the expected.

    These preliminary data need to be followed up, especially in the light of similar preliminary U.S. mortality findings for the four months after Chernobyl fallout arrived in 1986, which approximated final figures. We recently reported on an unusual rise in infant deaths in the northwestern United States for the 10-week period following the arrival of the airborne radioactive plume from the meltdowns at the Fukushima plants in northern Japan. This result suggested that radiation from Japan may have harmed Americans, thus meriting more research.

    webmasters comment:

    Link to full study, 18 pages PDF at source.

    Source: globalresearch.ca


 

Google invests $94 mn in solar energy


  • Google invests $94 mn in solar energy

    Houston: Online search and advertising giant Google is making a USD 94 million investment in four solar energy farms near Sacramento in California in partnership with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, bringing the company's portfolio of clean energy projects to almost USD 1 billion.

    Google, on its Green Blog, said that it will spend USD 94 million on the projects.

    They also will receive equity from SunTap Energy RE LLC, a venture formed by KKR to invest in US solar projects.

    The projects are expected to provide electricity to power more than 13,000 average US homes.

    webmasters comment:

    corporations realized quite quickly that it doesn't make sense to pay higher costs of electricity from the grid, when you can generate your own. This trend is set to continue.

    Source: zeenews.india.com


 

South Korean Nuclear Power Glitches Unsettle Government


  • South Korean Nuclear Power Glitches Unsettle Government

    South Korea currently has 21 nuclear power plants (NPPs). According to government statistics, atomic power produces about 40 percent of the country’s total electricity supply, roughly 18.5 gigawatts.

    South Korea’s first NPP in Kori, South Gyeongsang province, came online in 1972 and the government is proud of announcing that its NPPs have not had any “major” accidents in the past four decades.

    Recently however South Korea’s NPPs have had more than a few “hiccups,” as the Korea Herald recently put it.

    On the morning of 14 December the Kori NPP suffered a ‘hiccup” when a temporary surge of electricity caused the facility’s safety mechanisms to shut the complex down.

    The incident was preceded 12 hours earlier by an industrial accident at the 1 million kilowatt Uljin NNP complex, about 200 miles southeast of the capital Seoul, which also went offline following a momentary failure of a steam turbine condenser. Two months ago, another mishap at another reactor in the Uljin NNP facility resulted in the reactor’s shutting down because of a malfunction of a coolant pump.

    Source: oilprice.com


 

Paul Gunter - Thom Hartmann - officials declare cold shutdown at Fukushima



 

Austria protests reopening of Slovakian nuclear plant


  • Austria protests reopening of Slovakian nuclear plant

    Vienna - The Austrian government protested Sunday Bratislava's decision to reopen the Bohunice nuclear power plant complex, which was prompted by the Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute that has left Slovakia without energy reserves.

    "Recommissioning the unsafe Bohunice reactor cannot be accepted," Environment Minister Nikolaus Berlakovich said of the decision to power up the reactor that had been closed at the end of last year.

    "Contracts must hold within a community. Shutting off the plant was one of the fundamental conditions for (Slovakia's) entry (into the European Union) , and it cannot simply be cancelled now," Berlakovich said in a statement.

    Source: topnews.in


 

Japan Releases 40-Years Nuke Cleanup Plan


  • Japan Releases 40-Years Nuke Cleanup Plan

    ...After that is completed, TEPCO will start removing the melted fuel, most of which is believed to have fallen through the bottom of the core or even down to the bottom of the larger, beaker-shaped containment vessel, a process that is expected to be completed 25 years from now. The location and conditions of the molten fuel is not exactly known.

    Completely decommissioning the plant would require five to 10 more years after the fuel debris removal, making the entire process up to 40 years, according to the roadmap.

    Source: time.com


 

Nuclear plant opponents get meetings to voice views


  • Nuclear plant opponents get meetings to voice views

    Critics of Progress Energy’s proposed Levy County nuclear plant will have another chance to voice their opposition to the facility that some say will hurt the area’s environment and damage the local aquifer.

    The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (ASLB) will hold two public meetings Jan. 12 to hear additional comments about the proposed facility. The plant would include two 1,100-megwatt Westinghouse reactors, each capable of generating enough power for nearly 900,000 homes.

    webmasters comment:

    U.S. anti-nuclear organizations should integrate in common cause with 1 strong anti nuclear campaign across the country, then focus on each state separatly with combined force. Right now anti-nuclear efforts, altough our voices are getting louder are similar to attacking a fortress with a knife.

    Source: gainesville.com


 

Fire burns ceiling of Tokai village nuclear reactor building


  • Fire burns ceiling of Tokai village nuclear reactor building

    MITO, Japan (Kyodo) -- A fire partially burned the ceiling of a building housing a nuclear reactor at the village of Tokai, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Tuesday, the prefectural government and the reactor's operator said.

    The fire broke out at around 9:30 a.m. and was extinguished two hours later, they said, adding the blaze at the research reactor facility did not result in any leakage of radiation into the environment. No one was injured.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


 

Small fire at Japan nuclear lab; no radiation leak


  • Small fire at Japan nuclear lab; no radiation leak

    A building housing an experimental nuclear reactor in Japan caught fire today, but there was no leak of radioactive materials, officials said, amid nervousness over Japan's atomic industry.

    The quasi-public Japan Atomic Energy Agency said sound insulation on the ceiling of a building housing a reactor in central Ibaraki prefecture caught fire around 9:30 am (local time).

    Source: asianage.com


 

North tests missile on same day it announces leader's passing: report


  • North tests missile on same day it announces leader's passing: report

    SEOUL -- North Korea conducted at least one short-range missile test Monday, the same day it announced the death of leader Kim Jong Il, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

    Two South Korean military officials said they couldn't immediately confirm the report, saying to do so would breach a policy of not commenting on intelligence matters.

    Both said any firing would be part of a routine drill and have little relation to Kim Jong Il's death. They both spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

    webmasters comment:

    hum, well, as much as there was "bad press" about the late ol Kim, fact is that Asian stocks tumbled on the news of his death, neighbours are on alert and even U.S. is "urging calm" in the region. With him they knew what to expect, now they are facing a wildcard...  a heir to the throne and nuclear weapons.

    Source: chinapost.com.tw


 

Nuclear crisis far from resolved


  • Nuclear crisis far from resolved

    Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Dec. 16 declared that the stricken reactors at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have entered the state of "cold shutdown" and that it has been confirmed that the nuclear crisis has "been resolved"(Shusoku ni itatta.) As far as Tepco and the goverment are concerned, "Step 2" of their "road map" to bring the nuclear crisis under control has been accomplished one month earlier than originally scheduled. After the completion of Step 2, work that will eventually lead to removal of molten nuclear fuel and decommissioning of the stricken reactors is supposed to start. But the prime minister's declaration that the crisis has been resolved will not be accepted by many people, especially those in Fukushima Prefecture.

    Source: japantimes.co.jp


 

German village generates 321 percent more renewable energy than it needs, earns millions selling it back to national power grid


  • German village generates 321 percent more renewable energy than it needs, earns millions selling it back to national power grid

    (NaturalNews) Developing a renewable energy system that creates energy independence and even a considerable new source of revenue is not some sort of sci-fi pipe dream. BioCycle reports that the German village of Wildpoldsried, population 2,600, has had such incredible success in building its renewable energy system. Wildpoldsried generates 321 percent more renewable energy than it uses, and it now sells the excess back to the national power grid for roughly $5.7 million in additional revenue every single year.

    By utilizing a unique combination of solar panels, "biogas" generators, natural wastewater treatment plants, and wind turbines, Wildpoldsried has effectively eliminated its need to be attached to a centralized power grid, and created a thriving renewable energy sector in the town that is self-sustaining and abundantly beneficial for the local economy, the environment, and the public.

    webmasters comment:

    Pics at source.

    * 4 member household would get approx $8700/year if the income would be evenly distributed. Add some permaculture farming to the mix with biofuels (according to the same permaculture principles) and  you ve got self sufficiency.

    Source: naturalnews.com


 

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 16th –December 19th, 2011


  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for December 16th –December 19th, 2011

    In spite of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s announcement that the nuclear crisis is under control and TEPCO has achieved so-called “cold shutdown conditions” at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, some experts are skeptical that Noda’s statement was simply a symbolic political milestone designed to allay fears about the nation’s safety, but not grounded in reality. Even some members of the Prime Minister’s own Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have called the declaration a “fiction,” and Japanese distrust of the government and Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) is growing. Critics expressed concern this week about the unknown status of melted fuel, continuing leaks of radioactive water, and worker safety. Fukushima governor Yuhei Sato said, “The accident has not been brought under control.”

    A government panel studying Japan’s energy policy has endorsed new estimates of nuclear power costs, which reveal that they may be 50% greater than previously determined in 2004. The new figures reflect the possibility of a Fukushima-like accident, which has been assessed at a minimum of six trillion yen ($77 billion), and raise the cost of each kilowatt-hour. Experts expect that the new estimates will affect the revised energy policy, due out this summer.

    Source: greenpeace.org

 

#Fukushima I Nuke Plant "Cold Shutdown" Effect (2): No More Joint Press Conference on the Fukushima Accident


  • #Fukushima I Nuke Plant "Cold Shutdown" Effect (2): No More Joint Press Conference on the Fukushima Accident

    where the reporters get to ask questions to TEPCO and the relevant government ministries and agencies that deal with the accident, all in one room. The joint press conference, which has at least helped keep some politicians and bureaucrats honest or hold them accountable, is not only over for the month of December but over for good.

    Why? Because the accident is declared by the prime minister of Japan to have been over, and the members of the Press Club has had enough, according to Ryusaku Tanaka, an independent journalist who's been covering the Fukushima accident from the beginning.

    webmasters comment:

    anticipated. I gues by this time major media news outlets received another cashload to slowly cut the number of weekly articles covering Fukushima.

    Source: ex-skf.blogspot.com


 

Redefining “Cold shutdown” doesn’t hide the truth about Fukushima


  • Redefining “Cold shutdown” doesn’t hide the truth about Fukushima

    At first glance, the declaration last Friday that the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors are now in a state of “cold shutdown” and “stable” sounds like some rare good news from the disaster zone. Not at all. As we all know, first impressions can be deceptive.

    The industry definition of “cold shutdown” means that the temperature inside a nuclear reactor has stabilized below 95℃ from the hellish temperatures of the nuclear fission process. In the case of Fukushima, this suggests the crisis is over. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    In fact, the Japanese authorities have cheated by redefining “cold shutdown” to suit the situation at Fukushima. Only operating nuclear reactors can be put into a state of “cold shutdown”. Reactors that have suffered meltdowns – like those at Fukushima – cannot be. The 260 tons of nuclear fuel inside the Fukushima reactors melted and burned through the steel floors of the containment vessels and into the thick concrete under pads. The melted fuel is far from under control. This means the temperature inside the reactor can’t be regulated by conventional means. Nobody at Fukushima actually knows what state this highly radioactive molten fuel is in or what temperature it is at because it’s obviously far too dangerous to go in and find out.

    Source: greenpeace.org


 

Japan's New Nuclear Safety Agency to Have 500 Staff


  • Japan's New Nuclear Safety Agency to Have 500 Staff

    Tokyo, Dec. 20 (Jiji Press)--A new nuclear safety agency to be set up in April will have 500 workers, about 100 more than those at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency it will replace, nuclear disaster management minister Goshi Hosono said Tuesday.

    webmasters comment:

    An actor, turned anti-nuclear activist claims 1/10 of previous income only, while the failed government is only taking the disaster as an excuse for plundering on behalf of the nuclear village.

    Source: jen.jiji.com


 

Actor Yamamoto cries foul over nuclear power, raps trespassing complaint


  • Actor Yamamoto cries foul over nuclear power, raps trespassing complaint

    Despite a dwindling income due to his antinuclear activities, actor Taro Yamamoto remains defiant against unrelenting pressure from the "nuclear village" establishment in Japan and is determined to protect children and others from nuclear radiation caused by the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

    "I feel a great sense of pride. I have done nothing wrong," he said on Dec. 20 regarding prosecutors' questioning the previous day in his lawyer's office in Tokyo over a complaint filed against him for trying to deliver a petition to the Saga Prefectural Government to protest the restart of the Genkai Nuclear Power Plant.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


 

Fukushima probe to avoid assessing quake damage


  • Fukushima probe to avoid assessing quake damage

    A government panel investigating the triple-meltdown crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant will not provide in its interim report any in-depth analysis on how badly the March 11 earthquake damaged key facilities before the tsunami arrived, sources said Monday.

    The decision leaves open the possibility that facilities key to securing the plant's safety were seriously damaged by the 9-magnitude temblor.

    Source: japantimes.co.jp


 

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