IRSN publishes a study on social consequences of the 3/11 nuclear accident in Fukushima prefecture. Result of the French-Japanese research project Shinrai, the report “The 3/11 accident and its social consequences – Case studies in Fukushima prefecture” analyses post accidental policy in Fukushima prefecture, particularly the questions linked to return or non-return to evacuated towns and villages. The report also compares the concrete experience of the inhabitants and the decision-makers with a number of principles that underlies international post accidental policy and recommendations.
IRSN 11th March 2019 read more »
Radioactive Glass Beads May Tell the Terrible Tale of How the Fukushima Meltdown Unfolded. On March 14 and 15, 2011, explosions unleashed invisible radioactive plumes from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, crippled three days earlier when the strongest recorded earthquake in Japan’s history triggered a massive tsunami. As the plumes drifted over the neighboring countryside, their contents—including radioactive cesium, a by-product of the plant’s fission reactions—fell to the ground and over the ocean. What no one knew or expected was the fallout also contained bacteria-size glassy beads, with concentrations of radioactive cesium that were far higher than those in similar-size motes of tainted dust or dirt. Since these particles were discovered in 2013, scientists have plucked them from soil samples and air filters throughout the contamination zone, including filters as far away as Tokyo. The beads could pose an under-recognized heath risk, researchers say, because they are tiny enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs—and their glassy makeup means they may not easily dissolve or erode. They also present an opportunity to conduct what one researcher called “nuclear forensics”: By analyzing the particles’ composition, scientists can piece together a clearer image of what happened during the white-hot violence inside the plant itself, and of the current condition of the debris in the three reactors that experienced meltdowns. This could help inform the strategy for cleaning up the ruins of the plant.
Scientific American 11th March 2019 read more »
After “so much pain and sorrow” – a call to end nuclear power.
Beyond Nuclear 1th March 2019 read more »
Fukushima grapples with toxic soil that no one wants. Eight years after the disaster, not a single location will take the millions of cubic metres of radioactive soil that remain. Not even the icy wind blowing in from the coast seems to bother the men in protective masks, helmets and gloves, playing their part in the world’s biggest nuclear cleanup. Away from the public gaze, they remove the latest of the more than 1,000 black sacks filled with radioactive soil and unload their contents into giant sieves. A covered conveyor belt carries the soil to the lip of a huge pit where it is flattened in preparation for the next load. And there it will remain, untouched, for almost three decades. It is repetitive, painstaking work but there is no quick way of addressing arguably the most controversial physical legacy of the triple meltdown that occurred eight years ago at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In the years after the disaster, about 70,000 workers removed topsoil, tree branches, grass and other contaminated material from areas near homes, schools and public buildings in a unprecedented ¥2.9tn (£21bn) drive to reduce radiation to levels that would enable tens of thousands of evacuees to return home. The decontamination operation cleaned generated millions of cubic metres of radioactive soil, packed into bags that carpet large swaths of Fukushima prefecture. Japan’s government has pledged that the soil will moved to the interim storage facility and then, by 2045, to a permanent site outside of Fukushima prefecture as part of a deal with local residents who do not want their communities turned into a nuclear dumping ground. But the government’s blueprint for the soil is unravelling: so far, not a single location has agreed to accommodate the toxic waste. A Greenpeace investigation revealed high levels of radiation in areas that had been declared safe, and accused the government of misleading the international community about the risks faced by returning evacuees and decontamination workers. “Some areas still have significantly high levels of radiation,” said Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist at Greenpeace Germany who is based in Japan. “They are much higher than background radiation before the accident.” Minoru Ikeda, who took part in the decontamination effort, said workers cut corners to meet strict deadlines. “There were times when we were told to leave the contaminated topsoil and just remove the leaves so we could get everything done on schedule,” he said. “Sometimes we would look at each other as if to say: ‘What on earth are we doing here?’” He was sceptical of official claims that a permanent home would be found the for soil. “I don’t believe for a minute that they will be able to move all that soil out of Fukushima,” he said. “The government has to come up with a plan B.”
Guardian 11th March 2019 read more »
Shutting down Fukushima nuclear plant could cost €648 billion, experts say.
France24 11th March 2019 read more »
The Fukushima nuclear disaster started on March 11, 2011, and since then is still now ongoing unsolved. The Fukushima nuclear disaster after 8 years is maybe a cold news, but its 3 reactors are still hot and will be still hot for decades and even more, for a very long time, as the technology to stop the fusion of a meltdown corium does not exist, has not been yet invented. Even those specially-made expensive robots cannot handle it, getting rapidly fried after few hours or a couple of days.
Dunrenard 10th March 2019 read more »
Eight years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the Japanese government ensures that residents do not incur any risk by returning to live in areas where the evacuation order has been lifted, but several NGOs denounce the endangerment of the population.
La Libre 11th March 2019 read more »