Fukushima Nuke News
Trying to aggregate broad coverage of the responses and not individual situation updates. Cultural differences in risk perception are also important Mar 18
A damaged reactor building at the Fukushima power plant where an electricity failure has left spent nuclear fuel rods without fresh cooling water. Photograph: Tepco/EPA Four fuel storage pools at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant have been without fresh cooling water for more than 15 hours due to a power outage. The plant's operator has said it is trying to repair or replace a broken switchboard that might be the problem. The 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant's power and cooling systems, causing three reactor cores to melt and fuel storage pools to overheat. Fukushima loses cooling power | Environment
Record levels of radiation found in fish near Japan's Fukushima plant
Noriko Hayashi for The Washington Post via Getty Images Seafood from the seas around the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant is still not considered safe to eat. Radioactivity is persisting in the ocean waters close to Japan's ruined nuclear power plant at Fukushima Daiichi. New data presented at a conference held on 12–13 November at the University of Tokyo show that levels of radioactivity in the sea around the plant remain stable, rather than falling as expected. Ocean still suffering from Fukushima fallout
I remember going to bed one night when I was 11, seriously afraid I would not be alive in the morning. It was October, 1962, and the frightening cold war between the U.S. and Soviet Union, constantly in the news but mostly abstract to me as a kid, had becoming terrifyingly real. I had watched a stern President Kennedy on TV revealing that Soviet missiles were being installed in Cuba and ordering a blockade of Soviet ships. There were pictures of the missile sites, and video of confrontations at sea. The Rise of Nuclear Fear–How We Learned to Fear the Radiation | Guest Blog
TOKYO (AP) — One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and much less water to cool it than officials had estimated, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant's stability. A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor's containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The data collected Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster is so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades. The other two reactors that had meltdowns could be in even worse shape. The No. 2 reactor is the only one officials have been able to closely examine so far. Very high radiation, little water in Japan reactor
One Year Later: A Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Timeline
1 Year Later, What Does Fukushima Mean for Nuclear Research? | Guest Blog Map of nuclear power reactors in the USA (image from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission - http://www.nrc.gov) How does a Canadian-American professor of uranium mineralogy living in the unassuming American Midwest respond to the one-year anniversary of Fukushima?
The crisis that unfolded at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after Japan's megaquake and tsunami is rewriting the nuclear safety guide. The European Union, for instance, has ordered a risk assessment of all nuclear power plants in its member states. These assessments are supposed to consider each plant's ability to withstand a full range of potential hazards – from earthquakes and floods to plane crashes and terrorist attacks. The Japanese disaster did bring some positive news. The reactors along Japan's Pacific coast suffered no serious damage from the earthquake, even though its magnitude exceeded the worst-case scenarios assumed in their designs. That bodes well for the ability of reactors worldwide to withstand major earthquakes. Fukushima's fate inspires nuclear safety rethink - tech - 09 March 2012
Fukushima's dirty inheritance - opinion - 09 March 2012 A YEAR on, the world is still feeling the effects of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated eastern Japan. The dual catastrophe is estimated to have killed almost 20,000 people. Yet it is the consequences of the subsequent partial meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which has so far killed no one, that have reached furthest.
Japan's Post-Fukushima Earthquake Health Woes Go Beyond Radiation Effects After the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, worry about the unfolding nuclear accident quickly commandeered international headlines. Even after the situation was brought under relative control over subsequent days and weeks, public concern hung on the threat of radiation almost more than it did than on the tsunami and earthquake themselves, which had killed more than 15,850 people and displaced at least 340,000 more. A year out, public health experts agree that the radiation fears were overblown. Compared with the effects of the radiation exposure from Fukushima, "the number of expected fatalities are never going to be that large," says Thomas McKone, of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. And some, including Richard Garfield, a professor of Clinical and International Nursing at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, go a step further.
Japan too slow in Fukushima health checks-rights group By Yoko Kubota TOKYO, March 6 (Reuters) - A year after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, Japan's government is still too slow in providing health checks and information to residents, leaving them confused and suspicious of authorities, Human Rights Watch said on Tuesday. "A year on, we are really not seeing basic health services being offered in an accessible way and we are not seeing accurate, consistent, non-contradictory information being disclosed to people on a regular basis," Jane Cohen, a researcher at the New York-based rights group, told Reuters. "People have to at least be equipped with accurate information so that they are evaluating their situation based on real facts."
Associated PressMonitoring radiation at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant this week. Health impacts from the radioactive materials released in the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns will probably be too small to be easily measured, according to experts assembled by the Health Physics Society for a panel discussion on Thursday. And the area cordoned off by the Japanese government as uninhabitable is probably far too large, the experts said. The panel discussion, at the National Press Club in Washington, is one in a series of events timed to the first anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident at the nuclear plant in March 2011. Sizing Up Health Impacts a Year After Fukushima
Patterns of tsunami damage in areas such as Kesennuma, northeast of Fukushima, reveal wave behaviour that could be used to improve defences. The tsunami that crippled Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant almost a year ago was as formidable as initial estimates suggested, according to the first scientific assessment of its impact on the locale. Surveys along 2,000 kilometres of coast have already generated the largest tsunami data set in the world. But no verified data have been obtained from the 20-kilometre-radius restricted zone around the shattered nuclear plant, where scientific fieldwork had previously been barred. On 6 February, however, a seven-strong team set out on a two-day mission to determine the height and inland penetration of the waves that hammered the area less than an hour after a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of northeastern Japan. Scientists report back from Fukushima exclusion zone
Radioactive caesium found in milk powder Updated Wed 7 Dec 2011, 6:42am AEDT Radioactive caesium believed to have come from the Fukushima nuclear plant has been found in a brand of Japanese baby formula. Caesium levels of up to 31 becquerels per kilogram have been found in baby formula made by the Meiji Corporation. While it is below the government-set allowable limit of 200 becquerels per kilogram, there are concerns that babies are more susceptible to the harmful effects of radiation.
The fallout from the radiation leak at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan may be less severe than predicted. Radiology researcher Ikuo Kashiwakura of Hirosaki University, Japan, and colleagues responded immediately to the disaster, travelling south to Fukushima prefecture to measure radiation levels in more than 5000 people there between 15 March and 20 June. They found just 10 people with unusually high levels of radiation, but those levels were still below the threshold at which acute radiation syndrome sets in and destroys the gastrointestinal tract. Geiger-counter readings categorised all others in the area at a "no contamination level". How did the population of Fukushima prefecture dodge the radioactivity? Radiation levels in Fukushima are lower than predicted - health - 16 November 2011
Directly comparing Fukushima to Chernobyl This Sunday (11 September) marks the six-month anniversary of the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The accident has slipped from the headlines, but new data are coming out all the time. Some of the most recent findings are allowing the best comparison yet of Fukushima with Chernobyl. A lot of media outlets (ourselves included) first made the Fukushima-Chernobyl comparison back in April, when the Japanese revised their estimate of the Fukushima accident—rating it a seven on the seven-point international INES scale. The conclusion most reached at the time was that, although the rating was the same, Fukushima was a much smaller accident.
Fukushima investigation reveals failings | World news Japan's response to the nuclear crisis that followed the tsunami in March was confused and riddled with problems , a report has revealed. The disturbing picture of harried workers and government officials scrambling to respond to the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was depicted in the report, detailing a government investigation. The 507-page interim report, compiled by interviewing more than 400 people, including utility workers and government officials, found that authorities had grossly underestimated tsunami risks, assuming the highest wave would be six metres (20ft).
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