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Dying Robots and Failing Hope: Fukushima Clean-Up Falters Six Years After Tsunami

           

Cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is expected to take 30 to 40 years. Photograph: AP

Exploration work inside the nuclear plant’s failed reactors has barely begun, with the scale of the task described as ‘almost beyond comprehension’

theguardian.com - by Justin McCurry - March 8, 2017

 . . . As the 60cm-long Toshiba robot, equipped with a pair of cameras and sensors to gauge radiation levels was left to its fate last month, the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), attempted to play down the failure of yet another reconnaissance mission to determine the exact location and condition of the melted fuel . . .

 . . . The Scorpion mishap, two hours into an exploration that was supposed to last 10 hours, underlined the scale and difficulty of decommissioning Fukushima Daiichi – an unprecedented undertaking one expert has described as “almost beyond comprehension”.

Cleaning up the plant, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl after it was struck by a magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami on the afternoon of 11 March 2011, is expected to take 30 to 40 years, at a cost Japan’s trade and industry ministry recently estimated at 21.5tr yen ($189bn).

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Highest Radiation Reading Since 3/11 Detected at Fukushima No. 1 Reactor

           

Based on image analysis, a two-meter hole has been found in the metal grate under a pressure vessel in reactor No. 2's containment vessels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. | TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY HOLDINGS INC. / VIA KYODO

japantimes.co.jp - KYODO, STAFF REPORT

The radiation level in the containment vessel of reactor 2 at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, the highest since the triple core meltdown in March 2011, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. said.

Tepco said on Thursday that the blazing radiation reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core.

The high figure indicates that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.

At 530 sieverts, a person could die from even brief exposure, highlighting the difficulties ahead as the government and Tepco grope their way toward dismantling all three reactors crippled by the March 2011 disaster.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Japan: Fukushima Clean-Up May Take Up To 40 years, Plant's Operator Says

          

A TEPCO employee walks in front of the No. 1 reactor building.  REUTERS/Toru Hanai

cnn.com - by Yoko Wakatsuki and Elaine Yu - February 11, 2016

Cleaning up Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, which suffered catastrophic meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami hit in 2011, may take up to 40 years.

The crippled nuclear reactor is now stable but the decommissioning process is making slow progress, says the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Co, better known as TEPCO. . . .

. . . The biggest obstacle to closing down the plant permanently is removing all the melted nuclear fuel debris from three reactors, Ono told reporters after a press tour of the plant this week.

But TEPCO says it is in the dark about the current state of the debris.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

 

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Disaster Preparedness Tokyo

Photo of the disaster guide from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.Image: Photo of the disaster guide from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

metro.tokyo.jp

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has compiled a manual called “Disaster Preparedness Tokyo” (Tokyo Bousai*) to help households get fully prepared for an earthquake directly hitting Tokyo and other various disasters.

“Disaster Preparedness Tokyo” is tailored to the various local features of Tokyo, its urban structure, and the lifestyles of its residents, and contains easy-to-understand information on how to prepare for and respond to a disaster.This information will be useful now and in the event of an emergency.

(VIEW SITE)*

*Guide PDFs are available for download on the site.

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Japan: Evacuation warning as Sakurajima Volcano near nuclear reactor ready to erupt

Sakurajima erupting, as seen from Higashikorimoto, Japan, on 18 August 2013(Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory)

Image: Sakurajima erupting, as seen from Higashikorimoto, Japan, on 18 August 2013(Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory)

ibtimes.co.uk - August 16th, 2015

People living near Sakurajima Volcano, 31 miles from Sendai nuclear plant, have been told to evacuate the area after a government alert was raised to the second highest level. More than 800 tremors have been detected from the volcano, according to the Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory.

Around 77 residents were advised to evacuate the area, and 24 had done so by 3.50pm (local time) on 15 August, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said in a statement.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Volcanic activity slows at Sakurajima but alert remains in force

Volcanic fumes rise from a crater near Minamidake peak on Mount Sakurajima at 4:57 p.m. on Saturday. | KYODO

Image: Volcanic fumes rise from a crater near Minamidake peak on Mount Sakurajima at 4:57 p.m. on Saturday. | KYODO

japantimes.co.jp - August 17th, 2015

Volcanic activity at Mount Sakurajima in Kagoshima Prefecture has quieted down after intensifying Saturday morning, but the Meteorological Agency said Monday it will remain on alert for signs of a major eruption.

Tectonic movements indicating swelling of the mountain has also slowed, the agency said. It believes the rise of magma from an underground chamber has subsided for now.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Japanese Ebola test gives results in 11 minutes: researcher

AFP     April  9, 2015

Tokyo  A Japanese research team said on Thursday it had developed a field test for Ebola that gives results in just over 11 minutes -- down from the 90-minute test used now.

The breakthrough by Nagasaki University's Institute of Tropical Medicine will allow medics to move much more quickly in treating people with the haemorrhagic fever, Professor Jiro Yasuda told AFP.

"The result time was unexpectedly short," said Yasuda of the trial conducted in Guinea last month on 100 samples, of which 47 proved positive.

The Guinean government has now asked the institute and its collaboration partner Toshiba to supply equipment to roll out the test, he added.

Read complete story.
http://news.yahoo.com/japanese-ebola-test-gives-results-11-minutes-researcher-064839139.html

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Nearly All Fuel in Fukushima Reactor Has Melted, Says TEPCO

tepco.co.jp - AFP - yahoo.com
March 19, 2015

CLICK HERE - Reactor imaging technology for fuel debris detection by cosmic ray muon
(13 page .PDF report)
Measurement status report in Unit-1
March 19, 2015
Tokyo Electric Power Company

CLICK HERE - TEPCO - Handouts at press conference

New tests show almost all of the fuel inside one of the Fukushima plant's reactors has melted, its operator said Thursday, the latest step in the clean up after Japan's worst ever nuclear crisis.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said the technology, which uses elementary particles called "muon" to create x-ray style images, gave the most concrete evidence yet the fuel had dropped to the bottom of the first reactor.

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After four months, North Korea’s Ebola quarantine comes to an end

WASHINGTON POST  BY 

TOKYO — North Korea has lifted its four-month-long Ebola quarantine, bringing an end to a period of isolation that was notable even by the Hermit Kingdom’s standards.

Embassies and international aid agencies in Pyongyang received a "note verbale" from North Korea's State Emergency Anti-Epidemic Committee informing them that the quarantine was now over for all visitors except for those arriving from a handful of west African countries. Tour operators have also been informed by their North Korean partners and the state airline that the borders are being re-opened.

With no cases of the virus east of Africa, the strictly-enforced 21 day quarantine for everyone entering North Korea — locals and foreigners alike — was puzzling and inevitably sparked theories about what the ban could really be about.

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Fujifilm says tests results on Avigan as Ebola drug by end-2014

REUTERS                                                 Nov. 11, 2014
By Ayai Tomisawa and Reiji Murai

TOKYO--Fujifilm Holdings Corp said it expects its influenza drug Avigan to be approved by international government bodies to treat Ebola after it receives clinical test results as early as the end of the year.

Tablets of Avigan (generic name : Favipiravir), a drug approved as an anti-influenza drug in Japan and developed by drug maker Toyama Chemical Co, a subsidiary of Fujifilm Holdings Co. are displayed during a photo opportunity at Fujifilm's headquarters in Tokyo October 22, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

Fujifilm has been growing its pharmaceutical division through a series of mergers and acquisitions as its photography business wanes. In 2008, it bought Toyama Chemical Co, whose drug Avigan has been drafted to the global fight against Ebola.

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