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01 Apr 2011 These high-resolution aerial photographs of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were taken on March 20 and 24, 2011 by a small unmanned drone operated by Air Photo Service , a company based in Niigata prefecture. Click [Enlarge] under each image for the full version. [ Enlarge ] Unit 3 (left) and Unit 4 (right) - March 24 [ Enlarge ] Left to right: Unit 4, Unit 3, Unit 2 and Unit 1 - March 20
Well, I guess this will all serve as a spur for Japan to invest even more money in alternatives like geothermal, wind and solar--which actually they've been heavily investing in for many decades now. I don't think Japan will ever be able to totally abandon nuclear energy despite the current outcrys in the country to do just that. Given the long history of earthquakes and vulcanism in Japan, there really aren't that many totally stable places to build new reactors.
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News Reporters and Tepco workers at Reactor No. 4 at Fukushima Daiichi, which the environment and nuclear minister visited Saturday. Fourteen months after the accident, a pool brimming with used fuel rods and filled with vast quantities of radioactive cesium still sits on the top floor of a heavily damaged reactor building, covered only with plastic. The public’s fears about the pool have grown in recent months as some scientists have warned that it has the most potential for setting off a new catastrophe, now that the three nuclear reactors that suffered meltdowns are in a more stable state, and as frequent quakes continue to rattle the region.
The operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the meltdowns it believes took place at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant released about 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances into the air during March 2011. The accident, which followed an earthquake and a tsunami, occurred on March 11. The latest estimate was based on measurements suggesting the amount of iodine-131 released by the nuclear accident was much larger than previous estimates, the utility said in the report.
Dismissed as a “nobody” by Japan ’s nuclear industry, seismologist Katsuhiko Ishibashi spent two decades watching his predictions of disaster come true: First in the 1995 Kobe earthquake and then at Fukushima. He says the government still doesn’t get it. The 67-year-old scientist recalled in an interview how his boss marched him to the Construction Ministry to apologize for writing a 1994 book suggesting Japan’s building codes put its cities at risk. Five months later, thousands were killed when a quake devastated Kobe city.
Japan's nuclear meltdown in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011 earthquake inspired the creation of a grassroots radiation sensor network and a homemade Geiger counter for ordinary citizens. The DIY Geiger counter has since gone on presale for a limited time before the more expensive official version hits store shelves. Anyone can buy the half-price $400 version of the new Geiger counter through the Kickstarter project organized by the global "Safecast" project — the grassroots organization founded in the wake of Japan's disaster in March 2011. The smartphone-size device is being advertised as a "Swiss army knife of Geiger counters," because it can measure beta and alpha particles as well as gamma radiation. Most Geiger counters can only measure far-traveling gamma radiation, but the detection of beta and alpha particles allows people to pinpoint local contaminated surfaces.