Fukushima Disaster “a Profoundly Man-Made Disaster”: Investigative Commission

submitted by Luis Kun

Homeland Security News Wire - July 5, 2012

Executive Summary - Slideshare

Executive Summary - (88 page .PDF file)

NAIIC Report

The commission investigating the Fukushima disaster of March 2011 concluded that although the combination of the tsunami and earthquake was unprecedented in its ferocity, the disaster was largely man-made because it was amplified by what came before it and what followed it. The disaster itself, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission, said was sandwiched by practices and conduct which were the result of government-industry collusion and the worst conformist conventions of Japanese culture.

Japan's Latest Nuclear Crisis: Getting Rid of the Radioactive Debris

submitted by Eric Myers

      

Protestors clash with police while trying to prevent trucks, carrying possibly radioactive debris, from entering the Hiagari incineration facility at Kita Kyushu City.  Nonoko Kameyama

theatlantic.com - by Michael McAteer - June 4, 2012

A plan to disperse the waste to incineration facilities across the country, meant to instill national unity, is doing the opposite, and further delaying Japan's ability to move beyond Fukushima.

KITA KYUSHU, Japan -- Disposing the more than 20 million tons of rubble caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami is proving to be a difficult problem for Japan, not least because much of the rubble has been irradiated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The government's plan -- to destroy 4 million tons of potentially radioactive earthquake debris in garbage incinerators around the country -- is dividing the nation and further delaying the country's ability to put Fukushima behind it.

Sandia Labs Technology Used to Clean Up Fukushima After Disaster

submitted by Luis Kun

Homeland Security News Wire - May 30, 2012

A Sandia Lab-developed technology — crystalline silico-titanate, or CST — is a molecular sieve that can separate highly volatile elements from radioactive wastewater; the technology has been used to remove radioactive material from more than forty-three million gallons of contaminated wastewater at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

A Sandia National Laboratories technology has been used to remove radioactive material from more than forty-three million gallons of contaminated wastewater at Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Sandia researchers had worked around the clock following the March 2011 disaster to show the technology worked in seawater, which was pumped in to cool the plant’s towers.

“It’s the kind of thing that sends a chill,” said Mark Rigali, manager of the geochemistry group at Sandia.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Soundness Verification of Unit 4 Reactor Building at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station - May 16, 2012

      

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) - May 16, 2012

1. Purpose of Soundness Inspection

In response to the concern that Unit 4 spent fuel pool may collapse,
we have provided the explanations below to prove its soundness.
We will continue our regular inspection 4 times a year to ensure
soundness until the fuel is removed.

  • 1. We have confirmed that the building has not tilted by measuring the distance
    between the water surface of the spent fuel pool and the floor surface of the
    building.
  • 2. Our analysis result shows that the reactor building including the spent fuel
    pool will not collapse even if an earthquake equivalent to the Tohoku-Pacific
    Ocean Earthquake (seismic intensity 6) occurs in the area.
  • 3. The seismic safety margin has improved by more than 20% by reinforcing
    the bottom of the spent fuel pool.
  • 4. Regular inspection (4 times a year) is done to confirm the soundness of the
    reactor building and the spent fuel pool.

(READ COMPLETE REPORT - 9 page.PDF file)

Three Reasons Japan’s Economic Pain Is Getting Worse

submitted by Samuel Bendett

bloomberg.com - by Jared Diamond - April 25, 2012

Japan’s economic problems are serious and getting worse. Foremost among them is the crushing burden of government debt.

Japan’s ratio of government debt to gross domestic product, currently about 2.28, is by far the highest in the industrial world, almost double that of even Greece and Italy, and steadily growing. Already, the combined costs of interest on that debt and social security are approximately equal to total government tax revenue.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Fukushima Reactor Water Level Shallower Than Thought

yomiuri.co.jp - March 28, 2012

The water level in the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is only about 60 centimeters deep, far shallower than previously assumed levels of about four meters, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co.

The lower-than-expected water level was discovered for the first time when the power utility used an industrial endoscope to check the crippled reactor's interior on Monday, TEPCO said.

According to some experts, it is possible that nuclear fuel that melted through the reactor's pressure vessel and accumulated on the bottom of the containment vessel in the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami may not be completely covered in the water.

TEPCO said the water temperature in the vessel remained relatively low within a range of 48.5 C to 50 C. The discovery of the unexpectedly shallow water level will not affect TEPCO's judgment that the reactor is in a state of "cold shutdown."

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T120327006202.htm

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Tighter Regulation of Industry’s Disaster Preparedness Required

submitted by Samuel Bendett

Homeland Security News Wire - March 13, 2012

Before 11 March 2011, Japan was held up as a paragon for preparedness; they had a national readiness plan, regular disaster drills, and strong civic engagement; the Fukushima disaster exposed a disturbing reality: search and rescue efforts were delayed, shelters ill-equipped, and supply chains broken; worst of all, there was confusion about who was managing the nuclear accident — the power company TEPCO or the Japanese government; information, when forthcoming, was sometimes contradictory

Sunday marked the 1-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, and experts at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University took stock of disaster response, nuclear fears, and lessons learned.

Before 11 March 2011, Japan was held up as a paragon for preparedness. They had a national readiness plan, regular disaster drills, and strong civic engagement. In the face of an unprecedented 9.0 earthquake, massive tsunami, and a nuclear accident at the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant, however, the country experienced a host of challenges — many that continue to be felt.

Fukushima Lesson: Be Ready for Unanticipated Nuclear Accidents

submitted by Samuel Bendett

Homeland Security News Wire - March 12, 2012

A year after the Fukushima disaster all but two of Japan’s fifty-four nuclear reactors remain shut down, in a country where nuclear power once supplied nearly 30 percent of the electricity; the Japanese government is awarding an initial $13 billion in contracts to begin decontamination and rehabilitation of the more than 8,000-square-mile region most exposed to radioactive fallout

A year after the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers remain largely in the dark when it comes to fundamental knowledge about how nuclear fuels behave under extreme conditions, according to a University of Michigan nuclear waste expert and his colleagues.

In a review article in this week’s edition of the journal Science, U-M’s Rodney Ewing and two colleagues call for an ambitious, long-term national research program to study how nuclear fuels behave under the extreme conditions present during core-melt events like those that occurred at Fukushima following the 11 March, 2011, magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

One Year After Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Country Marks Anniversary of Natural and Nuclear Disasters with Bells, Prayers

      

A woman prays in front of a relative's grave, who was killed during last year's earthquake and tsunami, in Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, on Saturday.

msnbc.com - March 10, 2012

With a minute of silence, tolling bells and prayers, Japan will on Sunday mark the first anniversary of an earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a nuclear crisis that shattered public trust in atomic power and the nation's leaders.

A year after the magnitude 9 earthquake unleashed a wall of water that hit Japan's northeastern coast, killing nearly 16,000 and leaving nearly 3,300 unaccounted for, the country is still grappling with the human, economic and political costs.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

For Japanese Farmers, Lessons From Chernobyl

Local spinach on sale at a farmers cooperative in Nihonmatsu, Fukushima prefecture, where many still shun regional produce, March 7, 2012.

submitted by Samuel Bendett

voanews.com - by Steve Herman - March 9, 2012

Scientists from the former Soviet Union have arrived in Japan's Fukushima prefecture to advise locals on farmland decontamination.

One of Japan's most valued agricultural regions, the area was irradiated when three nuclear power plant reactors melted down in the wake of last year's earthquake and tsunami on the country's northeastern coast.

According to Japanese officials, 81,000 hectares of farmland are contaminated at a level above 5,000 becquerels per kilogram, the limit at which rice, by government decrees, cannot be planted.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Fukushima, One Year After

submitted by Luis Kun

      

by Steven Cherry - spectrum.ieee.org - March 6, 2012

On the somber first anniversary, Japan still has a lot of work ahead.

This is part of IEEE Spectrum's ongoing coverage of Japan's earthquake and nuclear emergency. For more details on how Fukushima Dai-1's nuclear reactors work and what has gone wrong so far, see our explainer and our timeline.

Steven Cherry: Hi, this is Steven Cherry for IEEE Spectrum’s “Techwise Conversations.”

After Fukushima: Managing the Consequences of a Radiological Release - Final Report - March 2012

submitted by Robert G. Ross

Center for Biosecurity of UPMC

“Outside the Fence” of a Nuclear Power Plant Accident

Offsite Planning to Reduce the Public’s Exposure to Radiation

MARCH 7, 2012—Baltimore, MD—In a report released today, researchers at the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC assess offsite policies and plans that can be put in place to reduce the exposure of the public to radiation in the event of a nuclear power plant accident.

Even amidst the devastation following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year that killed more than 20,000 people, it was the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that led the country’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, to fear for “the very existence of the Japanese nation.”

While such low-probability, high-consequence releases have been rare in the history of existing nuclear power plants, the growing number of plants worldwide increases the likelihood that such releases will occur in the future. Accidents far smaller in scale than the one in Fukushima could have major societal consequences.

Health Uncertainties Torment Japanese in Nuke Zone

submitted by Samuel Bendett

      

Alarms at Japanese Nuclear Power Plant and Processing Facility After Magnitude 5 Earthquake

Tokai No2 Power Station

by Lucas W. Hixson - enformable.com - February 29, 2012

At 7:30 am local time March 1st, a magnitude 5 earthquake hit 68 miles from TOKYO, Japan.  After the earthquake, alarms sounded from the nuclear fuel processing plants and Tokai 2 nuclear power plant in Tokai-mura, Ibaraki Prefecture.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Nuclear and Industrial Safety announced that so far, the damage has not been confirmed in any of the facilities.  The alarm in the reprocessing facility was located within the building housing nuclear waste.

The alarms at the plant were reported to have stemmed from sensors in the reactor pool that measure the movement of water from earthquakes.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

Reframing Resilience

 


First, there is great value in a systems approach as a heuristic for understanding interlocked social-ecological-technological processes, and in analysis across multiple scales. Yet we need to move beyond both systems as portrayed in resilience thinking, and the focus on actors in work on vulnerability, to analyse networks and relationships, as well as to attend to the diverse framings, narratives, imaginations and discourses that different actors bring to bear.

 

For More:

http://resilienturbanism.tumblr.com/post/7573475902/reframing-resilience

Country / Region Tags: 
General Topic Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Pages

Subscribe to Japan RSS
howdy folks