Fukushima timeline | Radioactive news December 2011
- Japan Researchers Checking Cesium Carried by Cedar Pollen
Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--A group of Japanese researchers has started checking the amount of radioactive cesium carried by cedar pollen and other particles in the air, sources said Friday.
A study team of the Japan Geoscience Union, the Geochemical Society of Japan, and the Japan Society of Nuclear and Radiochemical Sciences is monitoring the amount of airborne cedar pollen and radiation levels of particles including the pollen at 11 points in Fukushima Prefecture and other places.
- Video of Inside Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 2 Containment Vessel
It's raining inside the Containment Vessel, with water droplets and radiation.
TEPCO has just released the digest version, 1 minute and 14 seconds. In the evening press conference on January 19, TEPCO's Matsumoto said the video footage that they took was about 30 minutes long, but most of it is either totally dark, or white-out as a water droplet was on the camera lens. (Or so he said.)
It took 34 workers (6 TEPCO, 28 affiliate companies) 1 hour and 10 minutes for the video.
- High levels of cesium found in ash in wood stoves of homes in Fukushima
NIHONMATSU, Fukushima -- The Ministry of the Environment announced on Jan. 19 that high levels of radioactive cesium were detected in ash found in the wood stoves of private homes in this town.
The findings resulted from a joint survey conducted by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) at the request of the Nihonmatsu Municipal Government in November last year.
Results show that pre-burned firewood was tainted with 1,157 to 4,395 becquerels of radioactive cesium per kilogram -- radiation levels exceeding standards set by the government by some 29 to 110 times -- while contamination detected in ash after the wood was burned in stoves stood at 28,660 to 43,780 becquerels per kilogram.
- TEPCO left backup power for nuclear data equipment detached for 4 months
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) left the backup power source of a reactor-monitoring device at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant disconnected for four months until the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a disaster at the plant, the company has admitted.
Failure to connect the backup source is said to have prevented data on the status of the plant being sent to the government for about two hours after the outbreak of the crisis. It is believed this may have affected the initial response to the disaster and the predictions on the spread of radioactive materials.
The device left without backup power was a media converter, which monitors the state of the plant and sends data to the government's Emergency Response Support System (ERSS). The data is also sent to the System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information (SPEEDI), which provides quick estimates on the effects of radiation in an emergency and is used in predicting the spread of radioactive materials.
- TEPCO urged to compensate for tainted building material in Fukushima
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Industry minister Yukio Edano on Friday promised the mayor of a city where crushed stone believed to be contaminated due to the Fukushima nuclear crisis were used for some buildings that he will instruct Tokyo Electric Power Co. to pay compensation for related damage.
Edano made the remark in a meeting with Keiichi Miho, mayor of Nihonmatsu city of Fukushima Prefecture, in Tokyo after the mayor called on the central government to ensure the payment of compensation for related damage and set up a radiation yardstick for building materials.
- Radioactive gravel also used in construction of private house in Fukushima
FUKUSHIMA -- Highly radioactive gravel from inside the Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuation zone that was traced to several construction projects in Fukushima Prefecture, including apartment buildings and local schools, was also used in the construction of a private house here, it has been learned.
According to Nihonmatsu Municipal Government officials, the contaminated gravel was used in the construction of a private house in the capital city Fukushima, which a local Nihonmatsu building company worked on last April.
- Island, interested in developing several heating projects in Romania by capitalizing geothermal energy
Island is interested in developing in Romania, mainly in the western region, several heating project by the use of thermal energy, a field in which this country is a worldwide leader, Foreign Affairs and External Trade Minister Össur Skarpheoinsson said in the joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart Teodor Baconschi.
In the west of Romania there are several areas - in Arad, Timisoara, Oradea - where there is potential for creating what we have done in any city in Island. That is thermal energy from the thermal waters coming from the depths of the earth. It is a great potential and it is a field where I believe we can contribute to the development of the Romanian and the European Union society, Island's minister said, adding that such a project had already been developed in Hungary.
- NISA approves results of stress tests for 2 Oi reactors
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) on Jan. 18 described as “appropriate” the results of stress tests on two reactors in Fukui Prefecture, its first appraisal since the nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture.
The administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan last July made stress tests a precondition to restart reactors that have undergone periodic inspections.
NISA’s appraisal was for the stress tests conducted by Kansai Electric Power Co. for the No. 3 and No. 4 reactors at its Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture.
- Radioactive cesium content higher in Fukushima fruits, mushrooms
Households that consumed relatively large quantities of fruits and mushrooms produced in Fukushima Prefecture tended to ingest more radioactive cesium in their food than those who did not, according to a joint study by The Asahi Shimbun and Kyoto University.
An analysis of diet samples provided by 26 households across Fukushima Prefecture, part of a wider study of intake in several areas of Japan, found that some Fukushima households ate 50-300 grams of local fruits and 30-40 grams of local mushrooms per head per day.
There appeared to be a correlation between the level of consumption of those foods and the ingestion of radioactive cesium, but the study did not clarify exactly which ingredients were to blame because it did not break down cesium content by ingredient.
- Fukushima people eating more cesium but not in danger, says study
The median daily intake of radioactive cesium from meals eaten by families in Fukushima Prefecture is more than 11 times the level in the Kanto region near Tokyo but still well within safety standards, according to a study.
The median intake from three daily meals in Fukushima Prefecture, home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, was 4.01 becquerels compared with 0.35 becquerel in the Kanto region around Tokyo, according to the joint study by The Asahi Shimbun and Kyoto University's Department of Health and Environmental Sciences.
- Japanese, Canadian and American Officials Have “Betrayed” their Citizens By Hiding Radiation … “Akin to Murder”
“Betraying” Their Own People … “Akin to Murder”
The New York Times reported last August:
The day after a giant tsunami set off the continuing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate.
Given no guidance from Tokyo, town officials led the residents north [to] a district called Tsushima …. The winds, in fact, had been blowing directly toward Tsushima — and town officials would learn two months later that a government computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases had been showing just that.
But the forecasts were left unpublicized by bureaucrats in Tokyo, operating in a culture that sought to avoid responsibility and, above all, criticism. Japan’s political leaders at first did not know about the system and later played down the data, apparently fearful of having to significantly enlarge the evacuation zone — and acknowledge the accident’s severity.
- Thyroid cancer, fracking and nuclear power
An Activist Post Special Report
Rady Ananda Activist Post
Thyroid cancer cases have more than doubled since 1997 in the United States, while deadly industrial practices that contaminate groundwater with radiation and other carcinogens are also rising.
New information released by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 56,460 people will develop thyroid cancer in 2012 and 1,780 will die from it.
That’s up from 16,000 thyroid cancer cases in 1997 – a whopping 253% increase in fifteen years, while the US population went up only 18%.
From 1980 to 1996, thyroid cancer increased nearly 300%, while the population increased by (again) 18%.
Most thyroid cancers don’t develop for 10-30 years after radiation exposure, but the monstrous spike in thyroid cancer from 1980-2012 is only partly the result of Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 (TMI).
- Tepco Cut Backup Power at Fukushima Before Crisis, Sankei Says
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) disconnected an emergency power source at its Fukushima nuclear plant four months before the earthquake and tsunami in March last year wrecked the station, the Sankei newspaper said.
The supply was cut during maintenance work in November 2010 and wasn’t reconnected, the paper reported, without citing the source of its information.
- (Update) High Levels of Radioactive Cesium Found in Fukushima Firewood Ash
Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)--High levels of radioactive cesium have been found in ash from firewood used at a home in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, the Environment Ministry said Thursday.
According to the ministry, the cesium levels stood at 43,780 becquerels per kilogram, far exceeding the 8,000-becquerel limit for waste that is allowed to be disposed of as ordinary garbage. Local authorities can ask the central government for disposal of waste tainted with radioactive substances exceeding the limit with the use of state funds.
- TEPCO Probe Fails to Find Water Surface inside Reactor Container
Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo Electric Power Co. was unable to find the surface of water inside a vessel containing a crippled nuclear reactor after a probe using an industrial endoscope Thursday.
TEPCO had believed the No. 2 reactor's containment vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant contains about 5 meters of water, but the actual water level seems to be lower.
- Global Geothermal Power Will Grow at a CAGR of 12.7% to 2020
The global geothermal power installed capacity was 11,086 MW in 2010 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.7% to reach 36,538 MW in 2020. North America is the leading market for geothermal power, with most of the existing geothermal potential in North America restricted to the US and Mexico.
The US Dominates Global Geothermal Power
The US continues to be the world leader in terms of total installed geothermal energy capacity and the generation of electric power from geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is the third largest source of renewable energy in the US, behind wind and biomass. With the introduction of federal production tax credits in 2004, the US geothermal industry began to expand. This growth in the geothermal industry in the US has led to a cumulative capacity of 3,097 MW to 2010. There is also large geothermal power potential that remains untapped. Therefore, the installed geothermal power capacity is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 14.1% during 2010-2020 to reach 11,579 MW by 2020.
- Study Finds that Childhood Leukemia Rates Double Near Nuclear Power Stations
In a report certain to cause fear and loathing in the global nuclear industry, an eminent French research institute published a study in the International Journal of Cancer, which notes increased rates of leukemia in children living close to French nuclear power plants (NPPs.)
How much greater?
The study by the Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (French Institute of Health and Medical Research, or INSERM) found a leukemia rate twice as high among children under the age of 15 living within a 3.1-mile radius of France's 19 nuclear power plants.
INSERM has carried out similar research in conjunction with the Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, or IRSN) CEPA UMRS1018, team 6 for over two decades, but has never before found a higher incidence of leukemia.
- Panel: evacuation system unreliable / Government group says SPEEDI cannot accurately predict radiation spread
A government commission evaluating guidelines on nuclear disaster management released a plan Wednesday asking authorities to refrain from using SPEEDI, a computer system that judges whether residents should evacuate based on its predictions of radioactive fallout after a nuclear accident.
The working group of the Cabinet Office's Nuclear Safety Commission said, "Predictions made by SPEEDI have a large degree of uncertainty, making it unreliable during times of emergency."
The group recommends judgments about evacuations should be made based on data collected, such as radiation levels, rather than using SPEEDI, which makes predictions of "low reliability."
- Fukushima Japan extending Nuclear reactors 20 More Years update 1/18/12
- Reactor 2 Containment Vessel Endoscopy Photos
Just released during the press conference, which you can view at this link.
At 9:13AM on January 19, the temperature inside as measured by the endoscope was 44.7 degrees Celsius.
6 TEPCO employees and 28 affiliate workers, with maximum 3.07 millisieverts radiation exposure.
The video will be uploaded tomorrow.
In the photos, white dots are gamma rays.
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