In a startling disparity, a private think tank puts the cost of addressing the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster between 35 trillion yen and 81 trillion yen ($315 billion and $728 billion), compared with the government estimate of 22 trillion yen. The calculation, by the Tokyo-based Japan Center for Economic Research, showed that the total could soar to at least 60 percent more and up to 3.7 times more than the 2016 estimate by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. In releasing the latest estimates on March 7, the center said it is time for serious debate over the role nuclear energy should play in the nation’s mid- and long-term energy policy. Of the highest price tag of 81 trillion yen, 51 trillion yen would go toward decommissioning the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and treating and disposing of radioactive water. The ministry put the cost for these tasks at 8 trillion yen. The center calculated the compensation to victims at 10 trillion yen, while the comparable estimate by the ministry was 8 trillion yen.
Asahi Shimbun 10th March 2019 read more »
The towns around the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant are among the most perilously radioactive in the world, yet in their own strange way they have never been busier. The people who lived here fled in a rush after the meltdown of the nuclear reactors, but a new citizenry has established itself and is thriving in the unusual conditions. They squat in family groups in the wooden interiors of the traditional Japanese houses. They thrive on the fruit on the trees and the water that flows around the old rice fields. They are hairy, tusked and weigh 200lb. They are the radioactive wild boars of Fukushima. It is eight years today since the massive earthquake and tsunami that smashed into Fukushima Dai-ichi, and a good deal has changed since the terrible weeks that followed. The spewing reactors have been largely contained, although it will be a lifetime before they are fully dismantled. The radiation in the towns has been reduced and in those marginal areas where the levels are lowest people have been permitted to return. Even when gas and electricity are reconnected, their once thriving towns have few shops, schools or social services. But there is another obstacle to their return: the takeover of the evacuation zone by wild animals. In the absence of Man, nature has marched off the forested mountains and taken over his former home. Raccoons and rats, monkeys and palm civets have all taken advantage of the empty houses to find food, shelter and a convenient place to breed. But none has better adapted, or done more damage, than the wild boar.
Times 11th March 2019 read more »
Japan: 8 years after the tsunami, the Fukushima power station remains a huge construction site. The immediate risk seems to be averted, but where arduous tasks and unforeseen events continue. Here are the three main issues: Nuclear fuel Four of the six reactors at the plant were damaged. The hearts of units 1 to 3 have melted at the time of the accident and it is now known that the fuel has almost completely fallen to the bottom of the primary containment of each unit, which it even partially started. Contaminated water, waste. The site is teeming with contaminated water, “although the various measures taken have mitigated” the problem, according to Mr. Ono. The water is initially that of the tsunami that ravaged the facilities, water that had to pump, sanitize and store. It is then the one used to cool the reactors and finally the one that falls from the sky and down the mountain upstream and contaminates the way. However, an underground barrier wall and pumps make it possible to limit the amount of water contaminated by the installations. About 4 / 5,000 people work on the site every day, almost half as many as four years ago, “because large construction sites have been completed (wall of ice, laying a coating on the ground, construction of various buildings), “says Ono. On average, the exposure of workers to radiation is now less than 5 mSV per year, but this single figure masks the large disparities between individuals according to their tasks.
TV5 Monde 8th March 2019 read more »
With flowers, silent prayers and tearful tributes, Japan Monday marked the eighth anniversary of a crippling earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that devastated its northeastern coast and left some 18,500 people dead or missing. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, lawmakers and family members who lost their loved ones in the disaster bowed their heads in prayer at a ceremony in Tokyo at 2:46 pm (0546 GMT) — the exact moment the magnitude-9.0 quake struck. More than 3,700 people — most of them from Fukushima — died from illness or suicide linked to the aftermath of the tragedy, according to government data, while more than 51,000 still remain displaced. Although no-one is officially recorded as having died as a result of radiation from the accident, dozens of reactors across Japan were switched off in the aftermath. The government has lifted evacuation orders for much of the region affected by the meltdown, except for some no-go zones with high radiation levels.
Daily Mail 11th March 2019 read more »
Japan Times 11th March 2019 read more »
Tens of thousands were evacuated after the tsunami and nuclear meltdown in March 2011. Less than a quarter have returned. Some of those who did explain why.
Guardian 10th March 2019 read more »