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. - 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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Japan Nuclear Body Says Radioactive Water at Fukushima an Emergency


This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters.

Countermeasures planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co are only a temporary solution, he said.

Tepco's "sense of crisis is weak," Kinjo said. "This is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone" to grapple with the ongoing disaster.

"Right now, we have an emergency," he said.


How to Prevent Another Fukushima Explosion

Scientific American - David Biello - July 28, 2013

A new material for protecting nuclear fuel could cut down on the risk of explosions like the one at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Traditionally, a zirconium alloy cladding is used to encase the uranium fuel rods; however, this alloy, when heated past design specifications, splits water molecules to produce hydrogen gas.

M.I.T. researchers have come up with a new cladding made out of silicon carbide which would hopefully drastically reduce the risk of hydrogen explosions at nuclear power plants.

- Read Complete Article -

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.


IAEA to Designate Capacity Building Centre in Fukushima for Emergency Preparedness and Response


22 May 2013 | The IAEA, supported by the Government of Japan, will designate a new Response and Assistance Network (RANET) Capacity Building Centre in the city of Fukushima next week.

The Centre will be home to several IAEA activities aimed at enhancing emergency preparedness and response capacity, both in Japan and worldwide, in light of the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.



What Is the Greatest Threat to Japan's Health? - May 6th, 2013 - Kenji Shibuya

It all started 20 years ago when I was doing my residency in a rural hospital in Chiba prefecture. During my post in the emergency room, I was shocked by a report I happened to read titled "World Development Report 1993: Investing in Health" by the World Bank.

The report examined the development of a rapidly-aging population and changes in disease trends across the world, based on a global health indicator analysis, the "Global Burden of Disease Study" (GBD).


FAS - Regulating Japanese Nuclear Power in the Wake of the Fukushima Daiichi Accident

Federation of American Scientists - - by Katie Colten
May 13, 2013

The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was preventable. The Great East Japan earthquake and the tsunami that followed it were unprecedented events in recent history, but they were not altogether unforeseeable. Stronger regulation across the nuclear power industry could have prevented many of the worst outcomes at Fukushima Daiichi and will be needed to prevent future accidents.

In a new FAS issue brief, Dr. Charles Ferguson and Mr. Mark Jansson review some of the major problems leading up to the accident including the lack of regulation of the nuclear power industry and slow updates to safety requirements, such as using probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) methods to  improve accident management plans.

OCHA - Japan: An Earthquake, a Tsunami – and a Handwritten Newspaper


A rescue worker uses a two-way radio transceiver during heavy snowfall at a factory area devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, northern Japan, 16 March 2011. Credit: REUTERS/KIM KYUNG-HOON - March 15, 2013

When one of the most technologically sophisticated countries in the world is hit by a triple emergency, should we count on web platforms and social media to deliver lifesaving information? Not necessarily, according to a new report by Internews into the communications aspects of the 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan.

. . . instead of their usual high-tech operation, local newspaper reporters went back a few decades in time and produced a handwritten newspaper.


Internews Report - Connecting the Last Mile: The Role of Communications in the Great East Japan Earthquake

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 - 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.


Wind Surpasses Nuclear in China

Graph of wind- vs nuclear-generated electricity in China. Image: Graph of wind- vs nuclear-generated electricity in China. - February 19th, 2013 - J. Matthew Roney

Wind has overtaken nuclear as an electricity source in China. In 2012, wind farms generated 2 percent more electricity than nuclear power plants did, a gap that will likely widen dramatically over the next few years as wind surges ahead. Since 2007, nuclear power generation has risen by 10 percent annually, compared with wind’s explosive growth of 80 percent per year.


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.

Billions for Japan tsunami recovery went elsewhere, reports find

A crane this month sorts out rubble from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the collection site in northeastern  Japan. Some reports suggest the country's reconstruction efforts are set back by spending on unrelated projects. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press

Image: A crane this month sorts out rubble from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami at the collection site in northeastern  Japan. Some reports suggest the country's reconstruction efforts are set back by spending on unrelated projects. Credit: Koji Sasahara / Associated Press - October 31st, 2012 - Emily Alpert

Billions of dollars meant to help Japan recover from its devastating tsunami went to government projects that had little or nothing to do with the disaster, a new spending review shows.

Radiation still leaking into nearby Japanese waters 18 months after quake, tsunami - October 25th, 2012 - Eryn Brown

More than 18 months after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, 40-foot tsunami and nuclear power plant woes that struck Japan starting March 11, 2011, levels of radioactive cesium 134 and cesium 137 originating from the crippled Fukushima-Daiichi plant remain elevated in some fish and seafood in nearby waters.

That suggests that radiation from the plant is still being released into the ocean, wrote Ken Buesseler, a marine of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Mass., in a perspective article in Friday's edition of the journal Nature.

Buesseler reviewed data on radionuclides in fish and other seafood that have been compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries since March 23, 2011.


100 Million Will Die by 2030 if World Fails to Tackle Climate Change: Report - Reuters
September 26, 2012


LONDON: More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.

As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organisation DARA.


Japan's Omotenashi House to Promote a Self-Sufficient Lifestyle at 2012 Solar Decathlon Europe

A render of the low-carbon Omotenashi House.

Image: A render of the low-carbon Omotenashi House.

submitted by Samuel Bendett - September 5th, 2012 - Peter Leah

Later this month the Madrid Solar Decathlon will welcome the only Japanese entrant, the Omotenashi House designed by students from Chiba University. The house has been designed for two people to lead a self-sufficient lifestyle, incorporating modern technology with inspiration from—and respect for—traditional Japanese architectural practices. Following the earthquake and subsequent Fukushima disaster, Japan has been looking for inspiration to create a low-carbon future.



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