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Environment and Public Health

The mission of the Environment and Public Health Working Group is to minimize negative health impacts from the Tohoku earthquake,tsunami, safety problems with Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant and cascading effects on Japanese society.

Working Group email address:  ***@***.***

Members

Jason Jackson Kathy Gilbeaux Katie Rast mdmcdonald Patrick Young Yuki Karakawa

Email address for group

environment-and-public-health@m.resiliencesystem.org

Fukushima: Robot Images Show Massive Deposits Thought to be Melted Nuclear Fuel

           

An underwater robot found solidified lava-like rocks at Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant. Photograph: Supplied/AFP/Getty Images

Robot spots suspected debris of melted fuel for first time since 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant

theguardian.com - Associated Press - July 22, 2017

Images captured by an underwater robot on Saturday showed massive deposits believed to be melted nuclear fuel covering the floor of a damaged reactor at Japan’s destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant.

The robot found large amounts of solidified lava-like rocks and lumps in layers as thick as 1m on the bottom inside a main structure called the pedestal that sits underneath the core inside the primary containment vessel of Fukushima’s Unit 3 reactor, said the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co.

On Friday, the robot spotted suspected debris of melted fuel for the first time since the 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused multiple meltdowns and destroyed the plant. 

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TEPCO Chair: Nuclear Plant Must Release Contaminated Water

           

Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s new Chairman Takashi Kawamura speaks during an interview at the TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Kawamura said the utility needs to stop dragging its feet on plans to dump massive amounts of treated but contaminated water into the sea and make more money if it’s ever going to succeed in cleaning up the mess left by meltdowns more than six years ago at the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

abcnews.go.com - by Mari Yamaguchi - July 13, 2017

. . . Takashi Kawamura, an engineer-turned-business leader who previously headed Hitachi's transformation into a global conglomerate, is in charge of reviving TEPCO and leading the cleanup at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant. In an interview Thursday with selected media including The Associated Press, Kawamura said despite the massive costs of the cleanup and meeting tighter safety requirements, nuclear power is still vital for Japan's national security.

Below are highlights from the interview, where Kawamura spoke in Japanese:

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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.

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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.

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IAEA Expert Remediation Mission to Japan Issues Preliminary Report

                                          

21 October 2013 | Tokyo -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s international expert mission to review remediation efforts in areas affected by the Fukushima Daiichi accident concluded today with the presentation of a Preliminary Summary Report to Japan's Senior Vice-Minister of the Environment, Shinji Inoue.

The Follow-up IAEA International Mission on Remediation of Large Contaminated Areas Off-site the Fukushima Daiichi NPS recognised the huge effort and enormous resources that Japan is devoting to its remediation strategies and activities, with the aim of improving living conditions for people affected by the nuclear accident and enabling evacuees to return home.

The Mission Team highlighted important progress since the first IAEA remediation mission in October 2011, noted that Japan had made good use of advice from that earlier Mission, and offered fresh advice in a number of areas where it is still possible to further improve current practices, taking into account both international standards and the experience of remediation programmes in other countries.

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Latest Radioactive Leak at Fukushima: How Is It Different?

      

An aerial view shows the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its storage tanks for contaminated water (bottom) August 20. Leakage from a temporary storage tank has raised new concerns about the ongoing problems at the plant.  Photograph by Kyodo/Reuters

The latest leakage at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant comes from a different, more contaminated water source and raises new questions about TEPCO's ability to manage the crisis.

nationalgeographic.com - by Patrick J. Kiger - August 21, 2013

In the latest crisis to strike the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has discovered that 300 tons (nearly 72,000 gallons) of highly radioactive water has leaked from a holding tank into the ground over the past month.

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Sea Water Contamination Feared At Fukushima Plant

07/10/13 06:05 AM ET EDT AP

TOKYO -- Japan's nuclear watchdog says the crippled Fukushima plant is likely leaking contaminated water into sea, a problem long suspected by experts.

Watchdog commissioners instructed operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Wednesday to find where the water may be leaking from.

The plant was ravaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and has since struggled with leaks of water used to cool the reactors, hampering decommissioning efforts.

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Radioactive Fish Found In California: Contamination From Fukushima Disaster Still Lingers

           

A fisherman displays his haul of Bluefin Tuna.

CLICK HERE: STUDY - Radiocesium in Pacific Bluefin Tuna Thunnus orientalis in 2012 Validates New Tracer Technique

huffingtonpost.com - by Aaron Sankin - February 22, 2013

Nearly two years after a powerful earthquake triggered a leak at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, the effects of that disaster are still being felt on the other side of the planet.

A report released earlier this month by researchers at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station found that bluefin tuna caught just off the California coast tested positive for radiation stemming from the incident.

The study looked at the levels of radiocesium, one of the most common results of nuclear fission reactions, in Pacific Bluefun Tuna--largely as way to track the species' migratory patterns as the fish make their cross-oceanic journey in search of prey.

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Cleanup Crews Near Fukushima Plant Dump Waste in Rivers, Newspaper Reports

By ROBERT MACKEY According to Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, cleanup crews working near the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, “dumped soil and leaves contaminated with radioactive fallout into rivers.”

The allegation, supported by photographs, was made in the three-part report “Crooked Cleanup,” published on Friday on the Japanese newspaper’s English-language site, Asia and Japan Watch.

Mutant Butterflies Found After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster In Japan

huffingtonpost.com - August 16, 2012

Researchers in Japan say they have found evidence that radiation from the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident has caused the mutation of dozens of butterflies.

Though this news is perhaps disturbing enough, what researchers say is even more alarming is that these mutations are spreading rapidly through subsequent generations.

Moreover, six months after the first collection, researchers found that butterflies from the Fukushima area showed a mutation rate "more than double" that of those found two months after the accident.

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