This is another clearinghouse diary for the posting of additional news (with links to their source) and intelligent commentary about the ongoing nuclear disaster(s) in Japan.
THE JNI coverage is for reporting and analysis of events in Japan following the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and the meltdowns at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. It is NOT a place for editorializing or POVs on nuclear power. (boilerplate... we editorialize a LITTLE so...)
Please provide links to credible news stories.
For older information on news and a timeline of the events following the March 11 Japanese Earthquake, visit the Mothership. The Mothership provides a more extensive list of news and data sources, social media, crisis mapping and other relevant information. Although the ROV's aren't too shabby either.
If you would like to recommend this diary feel free to do so. All previous liveblogs published to the Japan Nuclear Incident group can be found here.
So says the Mainichi Shinbun reporters who must be reading the report submitted by TEPCO on May 23 and released on May 24.
Multiple 10-centimeter holes in the Reactor 2 Containment Vessel, and one 7-centimeter hole in the Reactor 1 Containment Vessel.
Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University was so right. The Containment Vessels' integrity has been long gone. TEPCO should have known all along, and all the experts, including Koide, must have known. The original Tepco data recordings from the beginning of the Fukushima crisis are here www.houseoffoust.com
And now to the news...
5/30 - Fukushima hits Chernobyl dead zone level radiation according to Bloomberg News h/t by mahakali overdrive
Radioactive soil in pockets of areas near Japan's crippled nuclear plant have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a dead zone remains 25 years after the reactor in the former Soviet Union exploded.
Soil samples in areas outside the 20-kilometer (12 miles) exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant measured more than 1.48 million becquerels a square meter, the standard used for evacuating residents after the Chernobyl accident, Tomio Kawata, a fellow at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization of Japan, said in a research report published May 24 and given to the government.
Radiation from the plant has spread over 600 square kilometers (230 square miles), according to the report. The extent of contamination shows the government must move fast to avoid the same future for the area around Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant as Chernobyl, scientists said. Technology has improved since the 1980s, meaning soil can be decontaminated with chemicals or by planting crops to absorb radioactive materials, allowing residents to return.
Also of note 5/27 -- High radiation detected 190 miles down Japan's coast"
Japan has revealed radiation up to several hundred times normal levels has been detected on the seabed off the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, a report said Saturday.
The science ministry announced late Friday highly radioactive materials were detected in a 300-kilometre (190-mile) north-south stretch from Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture to Choshi in Chiba Prefecture, the Kyodo news agency reported. The ministry warned that the contamination could affect the safety of seafood, the report said, without giving figures for the radiation levels detected.
For more on this story, see enews h/t to Adept2u
5/29 --Reactor #5 lost power
The seawater pump in the cooling system for the Fukushima power plant's No. 5 reactor broke down Saturday evening, prompting repair crews to install a backup pump on Sunday afternoon, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. The temperature of the core and the fuel pool had reached 93.6 degrees and 46 degrees, respectively, by noon Sunday compared with 68 degrees and 41 degrees at 9 p.m. Saturday. The backup pump kicked in at 12:31 p.m. Sunday, and the temperature of the core had been brought down to 83 degrees by 1 p.m., a Tepco spokeswoman said by phone later Sunday.
The temperature must stay below 100 degrees to maintain cold shutdown status.
Two months after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered a nuclear crisis in Japan, French scientists report that wildlife near the stricken power plant may have received radiation doses that far exceed safe levels for sensitive species (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es201637c).
The analysis, conducted by Jacqueline Garnier-Laplace and colleagues from the French Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, is the first assessment of the ecological consequences from the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station.
Garnier-Laplace and her colleagues reconstructed radiation doses for wildlife near the plant based on radioactivity measurements made by Japanese researchers on March 31 of three radioisotopes: cesium-134, cesium-137, and iodine-131. A radiation dose, measured in milligrays (mGy), is the amount of energy that an organism absorbs from the decay of radioactive material.
The dose that an organism can tolerate varies significantly between species, Garnier-Laplace says: In general, invertebrates can withstand radiation doses that are 100,000 times greater than most vertebrates can. In an earlier study, she and her research team used data from published field studies to determine that 0.24 mGy per day is the highest dose rate that most terrestrial and marine ecosystems can endure. Above that rate, sensitive species begin to die.
More coverage from JNI team 5/24 - 6/1
5/30 - Japan Times says the 6-9 month plan has been scrapped h/t by ricklewsive & willisnewton
Stabilizing the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant by the end of the year may be impossible, senior officials at Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday, throwing a monkey wrench into plans to let evacuees return to their homes near the plant.
The confirmation of core meltdowns hitting reactors 1 through 3, accompanied by breaches to the critical pressure vessels that hold the nuclear fuel, has led officials to believe that "there will be a major delay to work" to contain the situation, one official said.
And the other piece of great news today is (from Japan Times)
6/1 Speaking of "Fucking Boom," oil is leaking out of the reactors into the ocean h/t by mahakali overdrive
Oil was leaking into the sea from heavy oil tanks for reactors 5 and 6 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday, adding the spill may have been ongoing since the March 11 quake and tsunami. Tepco said workers at the site saw an oil slick floating on the sea at 8 a.m. Tuesday near the intakes of units 5 and 6. The oil slick is believed to be 200 to 300 meters long.
Radiation contaminated fish found over 1400 miles away in Taiwan h/t by mahakali overdrive
Greenpeace said it detected seaweed radiation levels 50 times higher than official limits, which it charged raised "serious concerns about continued long-term risks to people and the environment from contaminated seawater". It also said that tests, which it said were independently verified by French and Belgian laboratories, showed above-legal levels of radioactive iodine-131 and caesium-137 in several species of fish and shellfish.
6/1 -- Elderly Japanese to volunteer to battle Fukushima nuclear disaster h/t Lorikeet:
Yasuteru Yamada cringes at any comparison to the kamikaze, pilots who flew suicide missions during World War II. The retired engineer has rallied more than 200 aging workers who have volunteered to tackle the nuclear crises at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant. But he says, this is no suicide mission. "We don't want to die," says the 72-year old, a former engineer for Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd. "We just want to stabilize the nuclear plant, nothing more."
The team of volunteers call themselves the Skilled Veteran Corps. The group is made up of former engineers, doctors, cooks, even singers. The common thread is that they are all over the age of 60.
5/30 NYT's comprehensive explanation of how nuclear dependence was fueled in Japan h/t by ricklewsive
Experts and some residents say this dependency helps explain why, despite the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the accidents at the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear plants, Japan never faced the levels of popular opposition to nuclear power seen in the United States and Europe and is less likely than the United States to stop building new plants. Towns become enmeshed in the same circle which includes politicians, bureaucrats, judges and nuclear industry executives that has relentlessly promoted the expansion of nuclear power over safety concerns.
5/31 -- Ongoing worker safety issues at Fukushima plant, from the Daily Yomiuri:
The health ministry on Tuesday ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. and a partner firm to correct practices regarding their failure to prevent workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant from being exposed to radiation. The order, issued by the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry in connection with the firms' violation of the Labor Safety and Sanitation Law, was made retroactive to Monday. According to the ministry, TEPCO and Kandenko Co. allowed some employees to work at the plant without wearing dosimeters. The law requires operators to ensure workers wear dosimeters on the job.
and also from Reuters:
(Reuters) - Two workers at Japan's crippled nuclear power plant may have exceeded the government's radiation exposure limit, the plant operator said, adding to concerns about health risks for those fighting the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.
If confirmed, it would mark the first cases of excess radiation exposure among the hundreds of emergency workers who have struggled to bring Tokyo Electric Power Co's Fukushima Daiichi plant under control after it was wrecked by a massive earthquake and tsunami two and half months ago.
6/1 - In other news, the IAEA calls for more oversight (after a boot-on-the-ground investigation of Fukushima)
Japan's nuclear regulators need more powers to prevent a repeat of the Fukushima disaster, which was triggered by insufficient defenses against the March earthquake and tsunami, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
Nuclear regulatory systems should address extreme external events adequately, including their periodic review, and should ensure that regulatory independence and clarity of roles are preserved in all circumstances in line with IAEA safety standards, the UN agency said today in a report on the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant disaster.
The government-run Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has been criticized for not ensuring Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant's operator, heeded warnings that a tsunami could overwhelm its defenses. A reorganization of Japan's atomic regulators is unavoidable, Goshi Hosono, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, said after the IAEA released its report.
There's concern that things have become a little bit cozy and complacent, Stephen Lincoln, a professor at the University of Adelaide and a specialist in nuclear power, said by telephone today. It seems in Japan they relied very much on commercial operators to oversee the safety aspects, and if you are running a commercial operation you've got to make a profit.
5/28 -- Meanwhile, TEPCO and Japan's Government seem to be in a bit of an argument about what's really going on: h/t peraspera Doubts deepen over TEPCO's truthfulness after President's sightseeing trip uncovered
Suspicions that Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) is hiding information were heightened on May 27 with revelations that its president was not where TEPCO had said he was on the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
TEPCO had claimed that on March 11 its President Masataka Shimizu was on a trip to meet with Kansai-area business leaders. The Mainichi discovered, however, that Shimizu was in fact sightseeing in Nara -- a discrepancy that TEPCO now refuses to discuss. According to sources close to the matter and the Nara Prefectural Government, Shimizu, his wife and secretary checked into a hotel in the ancient capital on March 10 for a two-night stay. The trio had planned to go watch a traditional event at Todaiji temple the next day.
And just for good old-fashioned educational fun, do you remember Mr. Wizard? Well here's a great retro reminder about radiation:
A 5-week competition in which teams build a demo and working concept for a game which addresses disaster mitigation. Building virtual disaster games takes you through the challenges of response to prepare you for when things actually happen. Register by June 10
Burners without Borders: Ongoing Reports on their work in Japan
Today I taught a class at a rec center in Kessenuma. The children and I made animals out of kami nendo. Afterwards they showed me lots of origami and then we hopped around like kangaroos. It was a really great time and it was wonderful to see their smiles. A big thank you to Tanaka-san from the Kessenuma Volunteer Center for helping me organize this project and acting as my translator
Regularly Updated Data Sources
@Kos: A database of temperature, pressure, radiation levels, etc readings over time can be found in:
Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF)
RSOS Emergency & Disaster information Services - Japan
EPA RadNet Map View &
EPA's Radiation Air Monitoring
Japan Municipal Water Charts in Japanese Needed???
Tokyo Radiation Levels Citizen Page h/t jgnyc
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Best News Sources
Kyodo Nuclear News Feed
NHK Japan Live
Asahi on Facebook
WHO situation reports
METI Twitter Feed
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Radioactive Fukushima Water Nears Overflow by FishOutofWater
Fukushima: Crimes Against Humanity by Adept2U
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