Posts tagged ‘Fukushima’

May 30, 2011

Germany makes no move to halt its imports of nuclear energy from France, but will stop its own nuclear energy production in 2022

[Tim Salinger, Germany Nuclear Power Contributor]

EUOBSERVER: In a politically savvy move made breathtaking by its boldness, in the wake of popular widespread opposition to nuclear energy in the country following the Fukushima disaster, the German government has announced that it will stop all its nuclear energy production by 2022.

However, its bordering neighbour, France, which meets 78% of its own energy needs via nuclear energy production and  is the world’s leader in nuclear energy production is set to export significant amounts of energy to its neighbour, Germany, as a result of the German moratorium on nuclear power.

Germany as the world’s fifth largest energy consumer imported two-thirds of its primary energy needs in 2002 of which around 12% was from France.  As Germany’s nuclear power program has slowed down, its imports of energy have steadily risen and it is expected that in by the time of Germany’s total discontinuation of nuclear energy production, it will be importing more than 25% of its energy needs from a nuclear productive France.

As France with it 59 nuclear power plants borders Germany, any nuclear disaster in France would impact the German people in the same way as any nuclear plant disaster on German soil. Therefore, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get France to stop its nuclear energy production as well?  Hmmmnnnn….

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May 26, 2011

Earthquake of magnitude 5.9 shakes Fukushima region on May 24th 2011

[Sumi Aleksander, Japan News Contributor]

USGS: On Tuesday 24th May 2011, an earthquake of 5.9 magnitude struck the Honshu region which encapsulates the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant. No tsunami, or damage reports have been made.

The Honshu region is a notoriously unstable part of Japan and practically each day earthquakes at M4 to 6 strike the area.

An anonymous source at the UN has disclosed that it is looking into the Fukushima plant disaster to decide whether Japan was negligent in building the a nuclear plant in such an unstable part of the country and in that respect whether it should be made to compensate all countries that are now affected from serious radioactive contamination from the nuclear disaster that struck the plant.

May 14, 2011

Japan’s dishonourable TEPCO admits lying and confirms that the Fukushima plant did melt down

Telegraph.co.uk photo and primary news source, nuclear meltdown at Fukushima plant

[Source: Telegraph.co.uk; Photo: TEPCO]
[Fukushima News Contributor, Kimaz de Luca]

Telegraph.co.uk’s Julian Ryal reports that  the Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) despite earlier denials, have finally admitted this week that the Fukushima plant did suffer a grave meltdown which they still don’t know how to fix.

Tepco officials went into the No.1 reactor area last week and observed at first hand that a significant number of the core’s 13ft-long fuel rods had  surfaced and had melted. This means that heavily contaminated radioactive water is continuing to leak into the environment at dangerous levels.

Greenpeace analyst say that a considerable amount of lethal radioactive material has found its way into the sea and even seaweed 40 miles away from the plant now contains dangerous levels of  radiation. Some samples taken had more than five times the safe limit of iodine 131 and in excess of 20 times the safe limit of caesium 137.

It is feared that livestock in the vicinity of the plant and further afield has been gravely affected by the contamination. Also water levels in cities as far as Tokyo are said to be seriously contaminated with radioactive materials.

The Fukushima Prefecture is in the Honshu area of Japan which is the country’s most volatile for earthquake activity. Earthquake activity is experienced in the area each day and on average one earthquake of at least magnitude 5 (serious, according the United States Geological Survey (‘USGS’) strikes the area each week.  As a result, analysts are saying that it seems clear that TEPCO had acted totally irresponsibly to have built the plants in such a dangerous area in the first place.

For example, according to the USGC, today there was an M4.6 earthquake in the Honshu area which struck 63 miles from Fukushima – details as follows:-

Magnitude 4.6
Date-Time
Location 37.535°N, 141.116°E
Depth 22.8 km (14.2 miles)
Region NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances 57 km (35 miles) NNE of Iwaki, Honshu, Japan
63 km (39 miles) ESE of Fukushima, Honshu, Japan
67 km (41 miles) ENE of Koriyama, Honshu, Japan
238 km (147 miles) NNE of TOKYO, Japan
April 25, 2011

Should we go bananas about Fukushima?

[Joshua Kimoto, Japan News Contributor]

The New York Times: Since Fukushima, many of us have become more and more concerned about radioactive elements in our food.  As a result, New York Times spoke to scientists about radiation and food safety with surprising results.

It seems that every day we take in radioactive materials from all our food – from water, milk, through to fruit.  As far as fruit is concerned, it seems that the humble banana is the most potent source of radioactive contamination for our bodies.

The banana contains the more radioactive potassium than can be found in any other fruit. This substance after ingestion, stays in our bodies more or less permanently and irradiates them constantly.  Brazil nuts too, have radium which, according to scientists, is ‘off the wall’.

But should we eat food contaminated with radioactive iodine and cesium, like that contaminated by the Fukushima plant ongoing catastrophe? Scientists are saying that we should steer clear of them although there may not be much risk from food not heavily contaminated.

So, next time you reach for your daily banana, or have the urge to munch your favourite nuts, have a Geiger counter handy and check out the ‘heat’. If the banana reads ‘hot’, you know what to do!

April 11, 2011

Fukushima deathtoll tops 28,000 as search continues for bodies

[Akito Sikomoto, Japan News Contributor]

RT.com: According to the Japanese Police Agency,the dead and missing from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan have now reached 28,000 and the figure is expected to go up.

A joint task force, involving more than 20,000 Japanese and American servicepeople, is carrying out intensive search exercises around the Fukushima and adjoining prefectures for bodies. So far 300 have been recovered.  In the meantime, however, radioactive waste from the plant continues to be dumped into the Pacific.

RT.com reports that around 8,900 tons of contaminated fluid was pumped from Fukushima yesterday with 200,000 tons more today.  Most of the disaster-affected Fukushima reactors are in a bad state and are still leaking radiation into the atmosphere and the sea. Furthermore,  in excess of 60,000 tons of radioctive waste water still needs to be pumped out from the facility before any kind of restoration work can be done on it.

To limit damage to the environment, the plant operators are planning to build a 120 meter wall into the sea to separate it from the plant. However,  analysts are saying that the plant is irrecoverable and even it was, it would not be prudent to re-commission  it in Fukushima which is a known earthquake zone.

There are also fears from the Japanese authorities that the amount of radioactive waste from the plant being dumped into the atmosphere and the Pacific will encourage countries that have been affected by the discharges to claim compensation, which could run into billions.

April 6, 2011

What the ‘Fukushima’ is going on, the Irish are saying, as fallout reaches Ireland, Scotland, France and Greece

[Patrick O’Connell, Health and Safety Contributor]

[The Journal.ie]: “Fukushima” is now officially a swear word for the Irish today as radioactive iodine was discovered in three milk samples as reported by the Irish Food Safety Authority of Ireland. This follows the discovery of radioactive fallout from Fukushima which was recently detected in the air, rainwater (and milk samples) in Scotland, France, Greece as well as Ireland.

The milk samples taken today by the country’s Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII) which is the agency in Ireland responsible for monitoring radiation in the atmosphere, showed particles of iodine-131, a radioactive isotope, in three separate tests.   However, it seems that the contamination amounts to a very small part of what is legally permitted under EU law and the authority’s chief executive Professor Alan Reilly said:  “Consumers should have absolutely no concerns in relation to this finding.  A person would have to drink some 96,000 litres of milk with Iodine-131 at current levels to exceed the annual safe limit set to protect consumers”.

The three tests recorded 0.13, 0.19 and 0.18 becquerels (Bq) per litre of milk which is considerably below the maximum of 500 Bq per kilogram of dairy produce as allowed by EU law. Prof. Reilly added: “We had expected that such traces could occur given recent weather conditions, as it was already detected in the air…. similar findings had been found in milk samples from France and Greece”.

The RPII said that the radioactive elements were entirely consistent with the type of radioactive elements being emitted from Fukushima and a test of rainwater in Dublin between March 22 and April 4 had shown radioactive contamination at 2.6 Bq per litre which was of “no concern from a public health perspective”.

Legal analysts are saying that whilst the world is sympathetic to the Japanese and their plight caused by their recent earthquake, they should be made to pay compensation to countries that are being affected by radioactive fallout from Fukushima. That is because, the plants had been negligently maintained and should never have been placed in a area like Fukushima which is an earthquake zone.

March 27, 2011

Fukushima plant radiation emission reads 10 million times higher than normal

[Justin Bridge, Japan Nuclear Disaster News Contributor]

HuffPost World: On Sunday, one of the distressed reactors at Japan‘s troubled Fukushima plant showed radiation emissions of more than 10 million times higher than normal prompting workers to flee the plant.

What is clear is that following the authorities confirmation that at least one of the cores of the reactors had been breached, far higher levels of radiation than before are now escaping into the atmosphere and environment.

This incident has done nothing to pour cold water on a concerned international community which is becoming more irritated over the failure of the Japanese government to admit the magnitude of the problem and provide it with reliable data. There is concern that the Fukushima catastrophe is dire and will make Japan practically inhabitable for many years to come and cause high radioactive fallout to affect most countries of the world.

Our News Contributor in Japan has this to say: “The situation is far, far worse than the government is prepared to admit to. It’s all about ‘saving face’ now and are worried if they admit that they messed up, people and other countries will ask them for huge compensation.  Everyone can see that they screwed up badly – the plant is out of control, cooling it is something that hopeful dreams are made up of  as meltdown is well in process. They should come clean and tell everyone what the truth is so that people can get out, or protect themselves before its too late. As for me, I will be leaving Tokyo on Monday”.

March 24, 2011

Japan radiation scare – there is a cure now for lethal irradiation

The catastrophic events at Japan‘s nuclear facility in Fukushima has affecting the whole world as a result of the high levels of radioctive elements being emitted from the plant and being carried to countries thousands of miles from the country.

As a result, all over the world now, people are rightly frightened for their cancer risks as a result of the ensuing radiation contamination.  However, there is good news on the horizon.

According to a recent report of Israel News, medication exists that can cure even a lethal dose of radiation.

The astonishing discovery was made by a group of AmericanIsraeli scientists, led by Professor Gudkov, within a US and Israel governments’ financed research project on the impact of radiation on human health.

The idea behind the discovery was to make living cells protect themselves by stopping a natural cell self-destruction mechanism programmed in our DNA, which gets activated when cells are given an external signal.

The new drug substantially lowers the activity of the special cell proteins that send the signals that instruct the cell to die. Therefore, although no matter how large the radiation dose may be, the cells can continue to exist via this intervention.

The verification tests comprised irradiating several hundreds of animals with the highest dose of radiation sustained by humans so far:  up to the lethal amount got by many Chernobyl workers  in 1986.  Seventy percent of the irradiated animals died and those who survived got sick. However, most of those injected with the ‘protein stimulant’ survived, and, all the more,  remained  completely healthy.

Tests on humans without irradiating them have shown no side-effects so far, and, if  further testing  continues in the same promising way, it is possible that in a few years’ time the drug will launched in mass production.

[Health Contributor]

March 24, 2011

Fukushima plant workers irradiated – more, or less all will get cancer

According to a recent Guardian report, the Japanese authorities have finally come out with mildly optimistic news about their nuclear situation in the wake of the Fukushima plant disaster.

The spent fuel pools at reactor 4 have been filled with water again to keep the contamination spread at bay. Additionally, the electricity supply to reactors 1 and 2 has been restored. This means that the cooling systems at the besieged plant will hopefully soon be functional. However, nice that may be, the fuel rods are still damaged and in melt-down process which will severely hamper any efforts by workers to stem the radiation pouring out from the plant.

However, for the Fukushima firefighters and plant workers, the cost of this success may well turn out to be too high as Japan news agencies report that  radiation limits for the plant workers had been increased for up to 250 milisieverts (mSv), which is a way more than a human being usually gets in a year. Furthermore, those already irradiated were sent back to work  as they had showed no immediate signs of sickness.

According to World Nuclear Association data, with a dose of 100 mSv a year the risk of cancer increases substantially, which means that those who had been working up to the same and higher limits for around a week since the plant broke down are highly likely to get cancer in forthcoming times.

[Japan News Contributor]

March 14, 2011

World catastrophe as Japan’s exploding reactors emit radioactive clouds and volcano erupts

Volcano explodes in Southern Japan on Sunday

Los Angeles Times:  Adding to Japan’s recent woes, on Sunday last, a volcano in its south erupted thowing volanic ash and rock up to 6000 feet into the air. So far, no fatalities have been reported, however, several hundred people have been rescued, or have fled the area and the authorities are urging caution.

The volcano is situated on Kyushu island which is approximately 950 miles from the center of the country’s recent earthquake. The exploding volcano broke windows many miles away and represented the biggest volcanic activity in the region for over 52 years.

Second Reactor Explosion

Huffington Post reports that a second reactor in the troubled Fukushima plant has exploded. The hydrogen blast sent huge clouds of smoke into the air and workers have been injured. Six more reactors at the plant are in danger of exploding and the authorities are worried.

Exploding Reactor’s are emitting radioactive clouds into the atmosphere

Although operators are saying that radiation limits are normal, this morning the aircraft carrier, USS Reagan crusing the Pacific near Japan reported that its crew members had received more that a month’s worth of radiation contamination when it passed through the reactor’s radioactive cloud. The US navy are reporting to be removing its fleet from areas near the stricken plant.

[Natural Disaster and Emergency Contributor]