Resilience Alliance

There are many definitions of resilience from simple deterministic views of resilience anchored in Newtonian mechanics to far more dynamic views of resilience from a systems perspective, including insights from quantum mechanics and the sciences of complexity.  One baseline perspective of resilience sees it in terms of the viability of socio-ecological systems as the foundation for sustainability.  For those that are ready to look beyond resilience as the ability to return to the "normal state" before a disaster, take a look at:

http://www.resalliance.org/

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Video - Inside Fukushima Plant

Press Conference - Former Fukushima Plant Worker

(Raw video from inside the Fukushima plant near the end of the video.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llO7pq70Vsc

Japan Chair Platform: Reflections on Health Reconstruction in Japan after 3-11

submitted by Linton Wells

By J. Stephen Morrison

Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)

Dec 7, 2011

 

 

Reactor Core Melted Fully, Japan Says

Reactors Monitor - (Click on image)

by Mitsuru Obe and Tom Fowler - The Wall Street Journal November 30, 2011

Fuel Breached Vessel Floor, Operator Says, In Its Gravest Fukushima Status Report

TOKYO—Japan's tsunami-stricken nuclear-power complex came closer to a catastrophic meltdown than previously indicated by its operator—who on Wednesday described how one reactor's molten nuclear core likely burned through its primary containment chamber and then ate as far as three-quarters of the way through the concrete in a secondary vessel.

The assessment—offered by Japan's government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex—marked Japan's most sobering reckoning to date of the nuclear disaster sparked by the country's March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

APEC: Joint efforts to reduce disaster risks

Sunday, Nov 13, 2011

The public and private sectors signed a joint statement of intent at Apec to strengthen regional disaster risk reduction and resilience, following US Secretary of State's High-Level Policy Dialogue on Disaster Resiliency yesterday.

The Asia-Pacific Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilient Collaboration joint statement, which was signed by nine organisations at the Sheraton Waikiki, intends to use public private partnership as means to help save lives, ensure economic vitality, and enhance human well-being across the region.

The members also urged more organisations from Apec members to get on-board with their effort to reduce disaster risks and increase resilience in the the Asia-Pacific region.

IAEA Fukushima Daiichi Status Report - Full Update - November 4, 2011

                                        

The IAEA has received new information regarding the detection of xenon-133 and xenon-135 gases on 1 November inside the Primary Containment Vessel (PCV) of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2.

Based on further analysis, Japanese authorities have concluded that the xenon concentrations are not due to a criticality event but rather from the spontaneous fission of curium-242 and 244. (Spontaneous fission is a form of radioactive decay that does not involve chain reactions and is characteristic of very heavy isotopes. Spontaneous fission occurs in low levels in all nuclear reactors.)

This conclusion is based on three key factors outlined and discussed in the report:

Xenon Means Recent Fission in Reactor 2

 

            

Graphic by The Asahi Shimbun

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By KAZUAKI NAGATA and MIZUHO AOKI - The Japan Times - November 3, 2011

Tepco claims level in gas too small to affect shutdown effort

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday that some of the melted fuel in reactor 2 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant may have triggered a brief criticality event.

Although the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said there have been no drastic changes in the reactor's temperature and pressure level, and the reactor itself is stable overall, the discovery may mean the goal of Tepco and the government to achieve cold shutdown of all three crippled reactors by the end of the year may not be possible.

Suggesting that criticality, or a sustained nuclear chain reaction, may have occurred temporarily, or partially, Tepco said one hundred thousandth of a becquerel per cubic centimeter of xenon-133 and xenon-135 was detected in gas samples.

New fission suspected at Fukushima nuclear plant National

Nov. 02, 2011 - 03:00PM JST ( 38 ) TOKYO — The operator of Japan’s tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant said Wednesday it feared nuclear fission had resumed inside one of the reactors. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it had begun injecting water and boric acid into No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, which began leaking radiation after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. “We cannot rule out the possibility of a small nuclear fission reaction,” TEPCO spokesman Hiroki Kawamata said, adding that the injection was a precautionary measure. He said there was no fresh danger at the plant, as the reactor’s temperature and pressure, as well as radiation levels at monitoring posts, showed no substantial changes. Fission is the process by which an operating nuclear reactor produces power. The reactor automatically shut down in the wake of the disaster but nuclear fuel is believed to have melted through its container onto the bottom of the outer vessel when the tsunami knocked out the plant’s cooling systems. The injection was ordered after preliminary analysis of gas samples from the reactor building showed the possible presence of xenon 133 and xenon 135, byproducts of a nuclear reaction. The two substances have short half-lives—five days for xenon 133 and just nine hours for xenon 135—indicating that any nuclear fission was a recent phenomenon.

New Trouble Reported at Japan Nuclear Plant

by Eric Talmadge - Associated Press (AP) - msnbc.com - November 1, 2011      

      


An aerial photo taken by a small unmanned drone and released by AIR PHOTO SERVICE, damaged Unit 3, left, and Unit 4 of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are seen in Okuma, Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan on March 24, 2011. (AP / AIR PHOTO SERVICE)

Officials detected a radioactive gas associated with nuclear fission at Japan's tsunami-damaged atomic power plant Wednesday, indicating there could be a new problem at one of its reactors. They injected a substance that neutralizes nuclear reactions as a precaution.

Gas from inside the reactor indicated the presence of radioactive xenon, which could be the byproduct of unexpected nuclear fission. Boric acid was being injected through a cooling pipe as a countermeasure because it can counteract nuclear reactions.

Does Adaptive Management of Natural Resources Enhance Resilience to Climate Change?

Emerging insights from adaptive and community-based resource management suggest that building resilience into both human and ecological systems is an effective way to cope with environmental change characterized by future surprises or unknowable risks. In this paper, originally published in Ecology and Society, authors Emma Tompkins argue that these emerging insights have implications for policies and strategies for responding to climate change. The authors review perspectives on collective action for natural resource management to inform understanding of climate response capacity. They demonstrate the importance of social learning, specifically in relation to the acceptance of strategies that build social and ecological resilience. Societies and communities dependent on natural resources need to enhance their capacity to adapt to the impacts of future climate change, particularly when such impacts could lie outside their experienced coping range. This argument is illustrated by an example of present-day collective action for community-based coastal management in Trinidad and Tobago.

Citizens’ Testing Finds 20 Hot Spots Around Tokyo

By Hiroko Tabuchi - The New York Times - October 14, 2011

      

Toshiyuki Hattori, who runs a sewage plant in Tokyo, surrounded by sacks of radioactive sludge.  Kazuhiro Yokozeki for The New York Times

TOKYO — Takeo Hayashida signed on with a citizens’ group to test for radiation near his son’s baseball field in Tokyo after government officials told him they had no plans to check for fallout from the devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Like Japan’s central government, local officials said there was nothing to fear in the capital, 160 miles from the disaster zone.

Then came the test result: the level of radioactive cesium in a patch of dirt just yards from where his 11-year-old son, Koshiro, played baseball was equal to those in some contaminated areas around Chernobyl.

The patch of ground was one of more than 20 spots in and around the nation’s capital that the citizens’ group, and the respected nuclear research center they worked with, found were contaminated with potentially harmful levels of radioactive cesium.

The Economist: human costs of Japan's nuclear disaster

Radiation in Japan

 "Recently the government said it needed to clear about 2,419 square kilometres of contaminated soil—an area larger than greater Tokyo—that received an annual radiation dose of at least five millisieverts, or over 0.5 microsieverts an hour. That covered an area far beyond the official 30km restriction zone."

Hot spots and blind spots: The mounting human costs of Japan’s nuclear disaster

CREST the hill into the village of Iitate, and the reading on a radiation dosimeter surges eightfold—even with the car windows shut. “Don’t worry, I’ve been coming here for months and I’m still alive,” chuckles Chohei Sato, chief of the village council, as he rolls down the window and inhales cheerfully. He pulls off the road, gets out of the car and buries the dosimeter in the grass. The reading doubles again.

Residents Near Fukushima Mountains Face Nuclear Recontamination Every Rainfall

The Mainichi Daily News - October 12, 2011        

      

Workers decontaminate radiation from the roof of Yasawa Kindergarten in Minami-Soma, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) away from the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility, in Fukushima prefecture, northeastern Japan, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011.  Photo - Associated Press (AP)

As the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Plant drags on, worries are growing particularly among Fukushima Prefecture residents over drawn-out and in some cases apparently futile nuclear decontamination operations.

The unease is especially strong in areas in and around mountains that must be repeatedly decontaminated, as every rainfall brings a new batch of radioactive substance-contaminated leaves and soil washing down from the hills. Since some 70 percent of Fukushima Prefecture is mountainous, such instances of regular recontamination could occur over a broad area, while the same effect has also been observed in some undeveloped areas of cities.

IAEA Team in Japan; Fukushima Starts Thyroid Tests

by Eric Talmadge - Associated Press - boston.com - October 9, 2011

A boy is taken by his mother to Fukushima Medical University Hospital for a thyroid test in Fukushima, northern Japan, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. Local doctors began a long-term survey of children for thyroid abnormalities, a problem associated with radiation exposure. Officials hope to test some 360,000 people who were under the age of 18 when the nuclear crisis began in March, and then provide follow-ups throughout their lifetimes. Japanese on the board reads: a thyroid test entrance. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)

TOKYO—Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in the Japanese city of Fukushima on Sunday to observe the massive decontamination effort following the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Local doctors also began a long-term survey of children for thyroid abnormalities, a problem associated with radiation exposure. Officials hope to test some 360,000 people who were under the age of 18 when the nuclear crisis began in March, and then provide follow-ups throughout their lifetimes.

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