Fukushima timeline | Radioactive news December 2011

Building contamination spreads / Radioactive materials used to repair road and waterway in Fukushima


  • Building contamination spreads / Radioactive materials used to repair road and waterway in Fukushima

    Contaminated crushed stone pieces taken from a quarry in the government's expanded evacuation zone following the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have been used to repair an irrigation channel and a road outside a school in Nihonmatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture.

    The discovery was made after authorities began tracking down the whereabouts of 5,280 tons of the material that was quarried from Namie Town, in the same prefecture, after the stones were used in the construction of a condominium building in Nihonmatsu City, which was later found to contain high levels of radiation. The material is proving difficult to track because it has been sold to more than 100 construction companies throughout the prefecture.

    Source: yomiuri.co.jp


 

Anger spreads as radioactive gravel traced to schools, public road


  • Anger spreads as radioactive gravel traced to schools, public road

    NIHONMATSU, Fukushima -- Anger and anxiety are spreading here after highly radioactive gravel from inside the Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuation zone was traced on Jan. 17 to several construction projects in the city, including at local schools.

    The contaminated gravel, quarried in the town of Namie, was first discovered in the concrete at a new apartment block. Since then the material has been traced to repairs to a new school route road, a public pool in a neighboring town and a golf course in the prefecture, among other locations. According to the Nihonmatsu Municipal Board of Education, the stone was used in earthquake-proofing projects at the city's elementary and junior high schools.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


 

Designated nuclear inspection body has board members from nuclear industry


  • Designated nuclear inspection body has board members from nuclear industry

    Nearly half of the board members of the Nuclear Material Control Center (NMCC), the government-designated body to inspect nuclear materials to prevent sensitive materials from being used for military purposes, come from utility and other companies that are subject to its scrutiny and it has received cash contributions worth tens of millions of yen annually from the companies, it has been learned.

    The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, which overseas the NMCC, said, "Problems with something like conducting inspections tolerantly have not occurred." But the NMCC is likely to come under fire for having people from companies in the nuclear industry as its executive officers.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


 

Radiation-tainted stones used in paths near housing in Fukushima town


  • Radiation-tainted stones used in paths near housing in Fukushima town

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Kyodo) -- Radiation-contaminated gravel and stones shipped from a quarry in the evacuation zone near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been used in roads and pathways around houses in a town in Fukushima Prefecture, sources with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.

    The gravel was used for approach lanes to two houses in the town of Kawamata in the prefecture, and asphalt-paved roads owned by the Kawamata municipal government, the sources said.

    The gravel using stones in neighboring Namie had been shipped from a quarry company sometime between the occurrence of the nuclear plant crisis, triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and the governmental designation of the evacuation zone on April 22, they said.

    Source: mdn.mainichi.jp


 

The Different Ways in Which Solar Energy can Power the World


  • The Different Ways in Which Solar Energy can Power the World

    Who hasn’t enjoyed heat from the sun? Doing so represents a direct energetic transfer—via radiation—from the sun’s hot surface to your skin. One square meter can catch about 1000 W, which is comparable to the output of a portable space heater. A dark surface can capture the energy at nearly 100% efficiency, beating (heating?) the pants off of solar photovoltaic (PV) capture efficiency, for instance. We have already seen that solar PV qualifies as a super-abundant resource, requiring panels covering only about 0.5% of land to meet our entire energy demand (still huge, granted). So direct thermal energy from the sun, gathered more efficiently than what PV can do, is automatically in the abundant club. Let’s evaluate some of the practical issues surrounding solar thermal: either for home heating or for the production of electricity.

    Source: oilprice.com


   

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for January 13th – January 16th, 2012


  • Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Update for January 13th – January 16th, 2012

    Here’s the latest of our news bulletins from the ongoing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    State of Nuclear Politics in Japan

    The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), a bi-partisan independent panel of experts appointed to investigate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, met this week for the first time. The panel, which is led by Kiyoshi Kurokawa, plans to explore the impact of the 9.0 earthquake that struck before the tsunami. Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has insisted that the earthquake caused no damage; however, panel member Mitsuhiko Tanaka, a former nuclear engineer who worked on the design of the Fukushima reactors, said that a quake of that magnitude would likely result in reactor damage leading to meltdowns, even without a tsunami. Discovering seismic damage at the plant would have a profound impact on all of Japan’s reactors, which are built across many fault lines.

    Source: greenpeace.org


 

Fukushima Radiation Spreads Worldwide


  • Fukushima Radiation Spreads Worldwide

    California, Finland, Canada, Australia Hit By Radiation

    The University of California at Berkeley detected cesium levels in San Francisco area milk above over EPA limits … and even higher than they were 6 months ago.

    Finnish public television says that cesium from Fukushima has been detected in lichens, fungi and elk and reindeer meat in Finland.

    The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency confirmed a radiation cloud over the East Coast of Australia.

    The West Coast of Canada is getting hit by debris from Japan … and at least some of it is likely radioactive.

    The authors of the controversial study claiming 14,000 deaths in the U.S. so far from Fukushima are now upping their figure to 20,000. I spoke with nuclear health expert Chris Busby about their study, and he said that mortality figures fluctuate pretty substantially in the normal course, and so it is hard to know at this point one way or the other whether their figures are accurate.

    Source: globalresearch.ca


 

Russia asks whether US radar ruined space probe


  • Russia asks whether US radar ruined space probe

    MOSCOW -- Russian media say space experts will look into the possibility that a U.S. radar station may have inadvertently interfered with the failed Mars moon probe that later plummeted to Earth.

    The newspaper Kommersant on Tuesday cited unnamed experts as saying radiation from a U.S. station in the Marshall Islands could have knocked out the probe's electronic systems soon after its launch in November. The probe became stuck in Earth orbit for two months.

    Source: chinapost.com.tw


 

Power trouble shuts cooling systems at Fukushima nuke plants


  • Power trouble shuts cooling systems at Fukushima nuke plants

    TOKYO, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Power transmission trouble temporarily halted the operation of the cooling systems for the spent nuclear fuel storage facilities at both Fukushima Daiichi and Fukushima Daini nuclear power plants Tuesday, local media cited their operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) as saying.

    The trouble also disrupted contaminated water treatment systems at the plants, according to TEPCO.

    Source: english.cntv.cn


 

Mitsubishi: Nuclear reactors in Japan could restart by spring


  • Mitsubishi: Nuclear reactors in Japan could restart by spring

    The head of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said he expects idled nuclear reactors in Japan to restart this spring.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Mitsubishi’s President and Chief Executive Hideaki Omiya said he is confident the reactors will restart.

    “My sense is that this process will be completed by spring, and from spring to summer this year, there will be a resumption of operation at some power plants,” Omiya was quoted as saying.

    Source: power-eng.com


 

Nuclear Agency To Approve Stress Test Results For 2 Reactors In Fukui



 

Japan reactor lifespan up to 60 years: government


  • Japan reactor lifespan up to 60 years: government

    TOKYO - Nuclear reactors in Japan could still be operating up to 60 years after they were built, the government said Wednesday as it unveiled plans to boost their maximum lifespan by 50 percent.

    The announcement comes as all but five of the country's 54 reactors are out of action, with the public demanding safety checks following the disaster at the Fukushima plant.

    "The extension will be exceptionally approved when the safety of a plant is ensured," Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters. "But there is no change to the basic 40-year limit."

    Source: globalenergywatch.com


 

Lack of backup systems evident at Fukushima nuclear plants


  • Lack of backup systems evident at Fukushima nuclear plants

    A momentary voltage drop on Jan. 17 stopped the cooling equipment for storage pools containing spent fuel at the Fukushima No. 1 and No. 2 nuclear power plants, Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials said.

    While cooling equipment for the reactors of the two nuclear plants continued to operate, the stoppage showed that no backup system was in place to continue operations even with a momentary drop in voltage.

    A malfunction in electricity transmission equipment in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, led to the momentary voltage drop over a wide area, but TEPCO officials said they did not immediately know the reason for the glitch.

    Source: ajw.asahi.com


 

Japan's Nuclear Supervisory Panel to Get Investigative Power


  • Japan's Nuclear Supervisory Panel to Get Investigative Power

    Tokyo, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Tuesday that a council to supervise a planned new nuclear safety agency will have the power to conduct investigations in the case of nuclear accidents.

    The plan was included in an outline of planned legislation aimed at overhauling nuclear safety regulations in the country.

    Source: jen.jiji.com


 

Another Decontamination Worker Dies in Fukushima


  • Another Decontamination Worker Dies in Fukushima

    Fukushima, Jan. 17 (Jiji Press)--A 59-year-old man died during radiation decontamination work in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on Tuesday, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency said.

    The possibility that his death was caused by radiation exposure is very low, the agency said.

    Source: jen.jiji.com


 

Germany's EnBW Dealt Legal Blow Over Nuclear Fuel Tax


  • Germany's EnBW Dealt Legal Blow Over Nuclear Fuel Tax

    Dealing a severe blow to nuclear energy provider EnBW, a regional finance court in the German state of Baden-Württemberg has recently ruled that there are “no serious doubts” as to the constitutionality of the coalition government’s controversial nuclear fuel tax law (Kernbrennstoffsteuergesetz – KernbrStG).

    In stark contrast to rulings last year by regional finance courts in Hamburg and Munich, the court in Stuttgart deemed that the nuclear levy is indeed in accordance with both the country’s constitution and with European law.

    In its decisions, the Stuttgart court ruled that constitutional violations, such as to the right of ownership, were not recognized, and rejected claims that the levy violates European law.

    Source: lowtax.net


 

HyperSolar Technology Turns Wastewater into Renewable Hydrogen and Natural Gas


  • HyperSolar Technology Turns Wastewater into Renewable Hydrogen and Natural Gas

    Company's Breakthrough Technology Produces Energy and Could Be Key to Addressing the High Cost of Wastewater Treatment

    SANTA BARBARA, CA - HyperSolar, the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using water and solar power, today commented that its technology can help mitigate the high costs of wastewater treatment, while turning a liability into an opportunity.

    Effective treatment of wastewater is of particular importance in maintaining public health and protecting the environment. According to the EPA, drinking water and wastewater systems account for approximately 3-4 percent of energy use in the United States, emitting over 45 million tons of greenhouse gases annually. Further, drinking water and wastewater plants are typically the largest energy consumers of municipal governments, accounting for 30-40 percent of total energy consumed.

    "Instead of using pure water to produce renewable hydrogen, a very expensive starting point, we are optimizing our technology to work with municipal and industrial wastewater, which contains organic molecules of all kinds," said Tim Young, HyperSolar CEO. "Billions of dollars are spent on energy to clean wastewater for reuse. Our process uses free sunlight to photo-oxidize (detoxify) wastewater to simultaneously produce molecular hydrogen and clean water. This zero-carbon hydrogen can then be used to power the wastewater treatment plant or turned into natural gas by combining it with CO2 for distribution using the existing natural gas infrastructure."

    Source: globalenergywatch.com


 

Proposed Indian Nuclear Power Plant in Zone Subject to Earthquakes


  • Proposed Indian Nuclear Power Plant in Zone Subject to Earthquakes

    Like many energy poor countries with rapidly rising economies, India’s government sees the development of a nuclear power industry as a potential godsend to meeting soaring demands for electricity.

    But the country’s proposed nuclear program has run into increasing resistance, following the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that on 11 March 2011 devastated Japan’s Daichi nuclear power plant complex, taking all six Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) reactors offline. Public opinion in India is concerned because the country is subject to both of the natural phenomena, and authorities are declining to release relevant materials.

    The issue is not insignificant, as nuclear power is now the fourth-largest source of electricity in India, exceeded only by thermal, hydro and wind power, with its 19 online nuclear power plants (NPPs) generating 4,560 megawatts of electricity.

    Source: oilprice.com


 

Report: DoD bases potential hotbeds for solar development


  • Report: DoD bases potential hotbeds for solar development

    Military bases in the Western United States could be hidden harnessers of the sun's power — providing thousands of megawatts of solar power and leading to millions of dollars in revenue and reduced energy bills for the government.

    The Defense Department's Office of Installations and the Environment, in a new study, estimates there's enough vacant land on seven military bases, stretching from California to Nevada, to generate 7,000 megawatts of solar energy — the same as seven nuclear power plants.

    Source: federalnewsradio.com


 

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