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 »
Reuters 8th March 2018 read more »
The Japanese government has announced that it had accepted all four recommendations made at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on the rights of evacuees from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The decision is a victory for the human rights of tens of thousands of evacuees, and civil society that have been working at the UNHRC and demanding that Japan accept and comply with UN principles. The decision means that the Japanese government must immediately change its unacceptable policies, said Greenpeace. The announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was made in a formal submission to the UNHRC. Japan is to give its formal decision on 16 March at the UNHRC Universal Periodic Review session in Geneva to recommendations made by Austria, Portugal and Mexico on the need to respect the rights of Fukushima, particularly women and children, and from Germany, which called on Japan to protect citizens from harmful radiation by dramatically reducing permitted radiation exposure. At an event held in Tokyo today, where two evacuee mothers, a leading lawyer representing Fukushima citizens, Human Rights Now, and Greenpeace, explained the crisis facing many survivors and the multiple violations of their rights by the government of Shinzo Abe and the implications of its decision to accept all the four UNHRC recommendations.
Greenpeace 8th March 2018 read more »
Nuclear Decommissioning Authority funds have helped two UK businesses develop a small drone to measure radiation levels in the damaged reactor building of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. The lightweight drone uses lasers to self-navigate deep inside hazardous facilities where GPS signals cannot reach, and has already been used successfully at Sellafield. The drone, called Remote Intelligence Survey Equipment for Radiation or Riser, carries a sophisticated radiation detection and mapping system which has been collecting vital information about conditions in the remaining Windscale Pile chimney. More than 60 years after the 1957 fire, the chimney remains highly contaminated.
In Cumbria 9th March 2018 read more »
NHK has learned that only 35 percent of workers who responded to the March 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi plant have been checked for long-term effects of radiation. A Japanese government-affiliated research organization began conducting the radiation-exposure screenings 4 years ago. Some 20,000 workers who entered the plant within 9 months of the accident are to undergo life-long monitoring that includes blood tests and thyroid exams. During the nuclear crisis, many plant workers were exposed to radiation beyond the government limit of 100 millisieverts. The government then temporarily raised the limit to 250 millisieverts so that work could continue. The Radiation Effects Research Foundation aims to conduct regular screenings on at least 80 percent of those workers. But it says that as of January this year, it has only been able to check about 7,000 people. Of the workers who remain untested, 35 percent have ignored calls to take a screening, 17 percent have refused to comply, and 8.5 percent cannot be reached.
NHK 6th March 2018 read more »
Back in 2011, soon after the 3/11 disaster, Safecast was born. Today, the global volunteer-centered citizen science organization is home to the world’s largest open data set of radiation measurements. Safecast was a response to the lack of publicly available, accurate and trustworthy radiation information. The group initially set out to collect radiation measurements from many sources and put them on a single website. What the volunteers quickly realized was that there was simply not enough official data available. Soon after the disaster, members attached a homemade Geiger counter to the side of their car and drove around Fukushima taking measurements. They quickly noticed that radiation levels were radically different even between streets, and that the government-issued city averages were far from sufficient as data that could be used by citizens to determine the safety of their areas.
Japan Times 9th March 2018 read more »