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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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.

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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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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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Resilience in the SDGs: Developing an Indicator for Target 1.5 that is Fit for Purpose

                            

odi.org - Aditya Bahadur, Emma Lovell, Emily Wilkinson, Thomas Tanner - August 2015

CLICK HERE - Resilience in the SDGs - Developing an indicator for Target 1.5 that is fit for purpose (7 page .PDF file)

We outline a comprehensive approach for developing a cross-sectoral, multi-dimensional and dynamic understanding of resilience. This underpins the core message of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that development is multi-faceted and the achievement of many of the individual development goals is dependent on the accomplishment of other goals. It also acknowledges that shocks and stresses can reverse years of development gains and efforts to eradicate poverty by 2030. Crucially, this approach to understanding resilience draws on data that countries will collect for the SDGs anyway and entails only a small additional burden in this regard.

(CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION)

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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.

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Readability of Ebola Information on Websites of Public Health Agencies, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Europe

CDC IED JOURNAL  by    Enrique Castro-Sánchez , Elpiniki Spanoudakis, and Alison H. Holmes    Volume 21, Number 7- July 2015                                          

 Public involvement in efforts to control the current Ebola virus disease epidemic requires understandable information. We reviewed the readability of Ebola information from public health agencies in non–Ebola-affected areas. A substantial proportion of citizens would have difficulty understanding existing information, which would potentially hinder effective health-seeking behaviors....

Several factors, including readability of information provided (8), can help reduce health literacy deficits...It is recommended that health information materials should be written at a level typically understandable by an 11-year-old person ... anxiety or panic attributed to a highly virulent infection, such as Ebola, might hinder comprehension of related information (11).

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Favipiravir—a prophylactic treatment for Ebola contacts?

THE LANCET byMichel Van Herp, Hilde Declerck and Tom Decroo June 13, 2015

.. the efficacy of candidate Ebola vaccines for primary prevention has not been proven.2 Furthermore, in communities in which Ebola transmission might be ongoing, an important question is: how will such a vaccination be perceived if a vaccinated person develops Ebola? Such a scenario is possible in people who contract Ebola virus before vaccination. If a person is infected with Ebola virus before vaccination, the vaccine might have a post-exposure prophylactic effect. However, how effective this prophylaxis might be is unknown.2 Moreover, if someone is infected more than 48 h before vaccination, the post-exposure prophylactic effect is likely to be insufficient, leading to possible development of Ebola after vaccination. This scenario is likely to result in serious issues relating to community trust and acceptance of an Ebola vaccine.3 How to exclude Ebola among people presenting with post-vaccination fever is also an issue.2

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Dire Prospects Seen When the Full Nepal Earthquake Death Toll is Tallied

NEW YORK TIMES OPINON PAGE by Andrew Revkin                                       April 29, 2015

Yesterday, I received word of a chillingly high projection of the eventual death count in the Nepal earthquake, made by a longtime and respected analyst of seismic hazards, Max Wyss, who was on the faculties of the Universities of Colorado and Alaska and is now affiliated with the International Center for Earth Simulationin Geneva, Switzerland.

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Nepal Asks Foreign Rescuers to Leave as Hopes Fade

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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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Nowhere to run: North Korea, citing Ebola concerns, bars foreigners from Pyongyang marathon

ASSOCIATED PRESS  By ERIC TALMADGE                                                                                   Feb. 23, 2015

TOKYO  — Further restricting travel to the already isolated country, North Korea barred foreigners from one of its most popular tourist events — the annual Pyongyang marathon — because of concerns over the Ebola virus, travel agencies said Monday.

While no cases of Ebola have been reported anywhere near North Korea, the country shut out foreign tourists in October with some of the strictest Ebola regulations in the world. North Korean media have suggested Ebola was created by the U.S. military as a biological weapon.

Nick Bonner, co-founder of Beijing-based Koryo Tours, said he did not think the decision reflected any deeper problems in the North's secretive and often enigmatic government, though the news comes amid reports leader Kim Jong Un has called for increased combat readiness and, at a meeting of senior party and military leaders, described tensions on the peninsula as graver than ever before.

Read complete story.

http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/02/23/north-korea-bars-foreigners-from-pyongyang-marathon

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