Fukushima

Top Gear goes to Fukushima. 100,000 people gone in one day.

BBC (about 29.00) 11th March 2018 read more »

Fukushima nuclear disaster: did the evacuation raise the death toll? More than 60,000 residents were displaced, with half yet to return. But some say moving out was more dangerous than the radiation itself. There were 2,202 disaster-related deaths in Fukushima, according to the government’s Reconstruction Agency, from evacuation stress, interruption to medical care and suicide; so far, there has not been a single case of cancer linked to radiation from the plant. That is prompting a shocking reassessment among some scholars: that the evacuation was an error. The human cost would have been far smaller had people stayed where they were, they argue. The wider death toll from the quake was 15,895, according to the National Police Agency. Zero evacuation may be implausible. At the height of the crisis there were fears of much worse contamination. The question is rather whether people should have been kept away for weeks, not years. “With hindsight, we can say the evacuation was a mistake,” says Philip Thomas, a professor of risk management at the University of Bristol and leader of a recent research project on nuclear accidents. “We would have recommended that nobody be evacuated.”

FT 11th March 2018 read more »

Legal fallout from the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station continues, as dozens of lawsuits and injunctions make their way through Japan’s judicial system. The final rulings could have a profound impact on the government’s energy policy and approach to risk mitigation. Court cases stemming from the meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi can be divided broadly into two categories. In the first are efforts to assign responsibility for the accident, including one high-profile criminal case and numerous civil suits by victims seeking damages from the government and owner-operator Tokyo Electric Power Company. The second group consists of lawsuits and injunctions aimed at blocking or shutting down operations at plants other than Fukushima Daiichi (whose reactors have been decommissioned) on the grounds that they pose a grave safety threat. In the following, we briefly survey these cases and their implications.

Nippon 12th March 2018 read more »

Seven years after the Fukushima, Japan nuclear disaster began, forcing evacuations of at least 160,000 people, research has uncovered significant health impacts affecting monkeys living in the area and exposed to the radiological contamination of their habitat. Shin-ichi Hayama, a wild animal veterinarian, has been studying the Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata), or snow monkey, since before the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Now, his research has shown that monkeys in Fukushima have significantly low white and red blood cell counts as well as a reduced growth rate for body weight and smaller head sizes. Hayama, who began his macaque research in 2008, had access to monkeys culled by Fukushima City as a crop protection measure. He continued his work after the Fukushima nuclear explosions. As a result, he is uniquely positioned to discover how low, chronic radiation exposure can affect generations of monkeys.

Beyond Nuclear International 11th March 2018 read more »

As the 7th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster passes, NFLA notes much remains to be resolved in NE Japan at a time when renewable energy continues to break generating records.

NFLA 12th March 2018 read more »

A COSTLY “ice wall” is failing to keep groundwater from seeping into the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, data from operator Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said, preventing it from removing radioactive melted fuel at the site seven years after the disaster. When the ice wall was announced in 2013, Tepco assured sceptics that it would limit the flow of groundwater into the plant’s basements, where it mixes with highly-radioactive debris from the site’s reactors, to “nearly nothing”. However, since the ice wall became fully operational at the end of August, an average of 141 metric tonnes a day of water has seeped into the reactor and turbine areas, more than the average of 132 metric tonnes a day during the prior nine months, a Reuters analysis of the Tepco data showed.

Irish Independent 9th March 2018 read more »

Seven years on, troubling questions about the plant’s condition remain, and addressing them will mean decontaminating an area almost as big as Hawaii without unleashing yet more radiation into the environment. As this year’s anniversary approached, Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, which owns the plant, reported that that the reactors at Fukushima are now stable, but many are having trouble believing that. Since the beginning of the disaster, Tepco delayed and obfuscated reports on the state the plant, costing critical evacuation days, and the company is now struggling to overcome a lack of public trust as it forges forth in the cleanup. And while Tepco. The sheer vastness of the cleanup operation seems nearly impossible to bring to heel. At the plant alone, it’s estimated to take another 50 years before decontamination and clean-up is complete. Tepco, estimates it will finish the job by 2050. Others in the government admit the cleanup could go on far beyond that.

Bellona 12th March 2018 read more »

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Published: 13 March 2018