collapse

Author Topic: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant  (Read 3903 times)

Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« on: September 05, 2012, 01:49:35 AM »
Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant


Removing fuel rods could take years (Image: Tokyo Electric Power Company)

Quote
Operations commenced this week to remove nuclear fuel rods from a storage pool at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, some 16 months after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl occurred at the Japanese site.

Plant operator TEPCO requested media outlets to refrain from filming the delicate and dangerous operations, but aerial images aired on TV and online showed cranes lifting two of the 1535 fuel units from the No 4 reactor building.

The procedure marked the first stage of a programme to remove unused and used fuel from the reactor to counter the risk of further radiation leakage. The process could take years.

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education has long argued that structural weaknesses in the reactor building, which was severely damaged by an explosion in March 2011, could cause a large-scale catastrophe should another large quake strike the area.

Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University's department of reactor safety management says that the biggest concern remains the sheer volume of fuel in the storage pools, which, if exposed to the air, would release vast amounts of radiation.

"The amount of caesium-137 in the fuel in the pools is equivalent to 5000 times the amount that was spread by the Hiroshima atomic bomb," says Koide. "The government has said that the amount of radioactivity released by the three affected reactors following [last year's disaster] was 168 times that of Hiroshima, so it is clear that we would be looking at a considerably worse outcome should the [reactor number 4] structure be compromised."

Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant

So what EXACILY are they doing in that photo? Looks like a photo op! And these cmments are disturbing..

Quote
The first fuel units to be removed are among some 204 that had yet to be used. TEPCO says that these units pose little danger because unused fuel emits low levels of radiation. Operations to remove the 1331 more dangerous used fuel units will not be attempted until a much larger crane has been installed. This will be used to manoeuvre the 100-tonne metal casks that will be required to house the spent fuel units to ensure they are not exposed to the air, says Koide.

So they aren't even trying to get the leaking ones yet...

When will they start that?  Well...

Quote
TEPCO, which declined to comment on the latest operations due to their "sensitive" nature, estimates that such operations will commence in December 2013, though Koide believes that is ambitious. "It's a process that carries with it an immense amount of danger," he says.

Not till MAYBE December 2013? Wow Dangerous? Ya think? But  its okay to leave it lying around a few more years?

Quote
In other developments, a second nuclear reactor was taken back online at the Oi nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture. At the beginning of the month, another reactor at the Oi site became the first to be reactivated since the Fukushima disaster.

The Japanese government justified the move in the name of supplying sufficient energy in the steamy summer months. An estimated 170,000 people took to the streets of Tokyo to voice their disapproval of the move.

Well at least the Japanese people are finally starting to wake up.  >:(




Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 02:04:15 AM »
Japan’s largest anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo draws over 170,000



Quote
Despite the scorching heat on Monday, July 16th, more than 170,000 protesters marched through Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park to demand the government bring an end to Japan’s use of nuclear power. As anti-nuclear protests have been occurring nearly every week since the end of March, this easily marks the largest in the series, as well as one of the largest demonstrations in Japan’s history. Recalling the Fukushima nuclear crisis from March 2011, demonstrators shouted in chorus to stop the return to nuclear power, and for Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to quit his position.

Leading participants at the rally included Kenzaburo Oe, a winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, a renown Japanese musician and composer. One 71 year old evacuee from Fukushima stated his anger at the lack of progress in compensating the victims who have had to abandon their homes, as well as little being done in the decontamination efforts. He added that the people of Japan will not accept a return to nuclear power until the Fukushima case has been completely resolved. Today’s protest comes shortly after the first restarted nuclear reactor at the Oi, Fukui Prefecture plant returned to full operation last week, and just before the second reactor begins its activation process later this week.

The nuclear reactor restart was the first since the Fukushima plant was hit by the March 11th tsunami, and it also brought an end to Japan’s two-month hiatus on nuclear power. Prime Minister Noda gave his approval to restart the Oi facility, regardless of the rapidly increasing anti-nuclear sentiment among the Japanese people, as well as the independent parliamentary review that determined the Fukushima disaster was essentially man-made and could have been prevented. Yasunari Fujimoto, one of the demonstration’s organizers, says that they will continue to protest until the Japanese government understands it is going against the wishes of the people.

Japan’s largest anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo draws over 170,000



Japan’s largest anti-nuclear rally in Tokyo draws over 170,000


by euronews-en
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 02:26:50 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 02:12:43 AM »
Radioactivity: Japan's invisible enemy within

"Before March 11, 2011, procuring food for an average Japanese household was a pretty straight-forward affair."


Radiation fears have affected food shipments

Quote
Following long-established traditions, a housewife—it is, still, almost always a woman in charge—did her best to ensure that every product brought to the table could be traced to Japanese soil or waters.

This, it was widely held, was the best way to avoid eating fish, meat or produce tainted with dangerous contaminants. Chinese imports were to be avoided whenever possible.

The accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, unleashed by a devastating earthquake and tsunami, shattered this age-old faith in the purity of Japanese produce.

Even the country’s most cherished and emblematic staple, rice, has been tainted in a way that was unimaginable before March 11.

The very products—many of them cultural icons—that had always been deeply reassuring precisely because of their native origins, were suddenly perceived as potentially poisonous, transformed overnight from sources of comfort to objects of fear.

Nuclear radiation is scary stuff. A quarter century after Chernobyl, and more than 65 years after atomic bombs laid waste to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, fatally sickening thousands not killed outright, even unfounded fears of radioactive contamination can spark panic.

Japan’s catastrophe emptied pharmacies in North America and Europe of anti-radiation pills despite reassurances from all manner of experts that the danger was nil.

By contrast, there are any number of agents—cancer, AIDS and auto accidents, to name three—that claim millions of victims every year but do not inspire that same kind of terror. People still smoke, practise unsafe sex and climb into their cars every day.

So why is nuclear radiation so fearsome, and what determines how we react when faced with a threat, imagined or real?

The answer is complex and laced with contradictions, starting with the fact that most people don’t even think twice about absorbing radiation doses delivered through medical X-rays or scans.

But put the words “nuclear” and “accident” together, and suddenly the idea that sub-atomic particles can slip through our skin to damage inner tissue, or seep into the food we eat and the air we breathe, sets spines shuddering.

“Anything that can penetrate inside our bodies fills us with apprehension, and triggers an ancestral or ancient fear,” said Herve Chneiweiss, a neurologist at the Centre for Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Universite Paris Descartes.

When the culprit is invisible, odorless, tasteless—beyond, in other words, the reach of perception—that angst is magnified even more.

The partial meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant released caesium particles and other radioactive elements into the air, soil and sea.

Unlike harmful iodine 131, which disappears in matter of days, caesium 137 has a “half-life” of 30 years and lingers even longer.

Radioactive discharge from the crippled power station fell directly on crops and vegetables, and worked its way into the food chain when fish or animals in affected areas consumed contaminated plants.

Even as the reactors continued to spew nuclear detritus, health officials began to monitor radiation levels of food products around the country and essentially quarantined a large swath of agricultural land and fishing grounds around the plant, located some 250 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.

But spot checks in areas well beyond Fukushima—including around the capital—showed that potentially harmful radiation had been carried far afield by the wind and ocean currents.

Official statements on what did or did not constitute dangerous levels of contamination varied, adding to the confusion and concern.

To allay their fears, many Japanese consumers took matters into their own hands. Some didn’t hesitate, for example, to shell out thousands of yen to have their supermarket purchases examined for traces of radioactivity on their way out of the store, a service offered by several municipalities.

Private companies such as Bekumiru—literally meaning “see the becquerels,” in reference to the unit used to measure the amount of radiation emitted by a source—rent out self-service detectors.

In Kashiwa, a city near Tokyo that at various times has shown abnormally high levels of radiation, the company’s offices are never empty and the phones never stop ringing.

“The people who live here are especially worried,” notes the site manager, Motohiro Takamatsu.

“Clients come with their vegetables, a bowl of rice, water or any other food stuff,” he explains. “They do the measuring themselves—it’s more reassuring that way.”

A user guide next to the machines, which take about 20 minutes to complete an analysis, lists the legal safety limits for each food type in becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg).

“I grow veggies in the courtyard of the kindergarten where I work, and since the children eat them I come here regularly to reassure the parents,” said Ryotaka Iwasaki.

“I don’t know what I’d do if this service didn’t exist, because it would cost too much to have specialists come to the school.”

For Mitsue Suzuki, in her sixties, Bekumiru is a way to be sure that she isn’t poisoning her customers. “I came to test the rice I grow. It has already been approved for sale, but I wanted to verify myself.”

One large supermarket group, Aeon, has set up its own testing regimen to regain the confidence of consumers.

Setting a “safety threshold” for radioactive contamination, as has done the government, is not good enough, argues the chain’s deputy general director, Yashide Chikazawa: “Only products that have undetectable levels of radiation can compete with imported products now.”

Aeon’s “zero tolerance” policy was at first met with howls of protest by suppliers in affected areas, but they came around to the idea that it was the only way to reassure a nervous public, he said.

They have reason to be skeptical. After the accident, the government raised the tolerable limit of contamination to 500 Bq of caesium per kilo, following international emergency guidelines.

But consumers did not fail to see that products that previously would have been tossed in the rubbish as potentially toxic were now on the grocery shelf.

As of April 1, the threshold has returned to pre-accident levels: 100 Bq/kg for most products, 10 Bq/kg for a litre of water, and 50 Bq/kg for food consumed by infants.

But the temporary relaxing of standards nourished the widely-held idea that the government was more concerned about producers than the public.

The recent and unexpected detection of elevated radioactivity—up to several dozen millisieverts (mSv) per hour compared to 0.2 mSv before the nuclear meltdown—in cities relatively distant from Fukushima feeds into these suspicions.

“The wind and rain transported radioactive elements,” explained scientist Tatsuhiko Kodama, an expert on the impacts of radioactivity.

The government had defined the large zones of contamination......

Source: Scoop It

Original Source: Japan Today
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 02:16:06 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 02:21:57 AM »
Japan to make more plutonium despite big stockpile

"Last year’s tsunami disaster in Japan clouded the nation’s nuclear future, idled its reactors and rendered its huge stockpile of plutonium useless for now. So, the industry’s plan to produce even more has raised a red flag."


Last year's tsunami disaster in Japan clouded the nation's nuclear future, idled its reactors and rendered its huge stockpile of plutonium useless for now. So, the industry's plan to produce even more has raised a red flag. (Source: Associated Press) -

Quote
Nuclear industry officials say they hope to start producing a half-ton of plutonium within months, in addition to the more than 35 tons Japan already has stored around the world. That’s even though all the reactors that might use it are either inoperable or offline while the country rethinks its nuclear policy after the tsunami-generated Fukushima crisis.

“It’s crazy,” said Princeton University professor Frank von Hippel, a leading authority on nonproliferation issues and a former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology. “There is absolutely no reason to do that.”

Japan’s nuclear industry produces plutonium—which is strictly regulated globally because it also is used for nuclear weapons—by reprocessing spent, uranium-based fuel in a procedure aimed at decreasing radioactive waste that otherwise would require long-term storage.

The industry wants to reprocess more to build up reserves in anticipation of when it has a network of reactors that run on a next-generation fuel that includes plutonium and that can be reused in a self-contained cycle—but that much-delayed day is still far off.

Japanese officials argue that, once those plans are in place, the reactors will draw down the stockpile and use up most of it by 2030.

“There is no excess plutonium in this country,” said Koichi Imafuku, an official at the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy. “It’s not just lying around without purpose.”

In the meantime, the country’s post-Fukushima review of nuclear policy is pitting a growing number of critics who want to turn away from plutonium altogether against an entrenched nuclear industry that wants to push forward with it.

Other countries, including the United States, have scaled back the separation of plutonium because it is a proliferation concern and is more expensive than other alternatives, including long-term storage of spent fuel.

Fuel reprocessing remains unreliable and it is questionable whether it is a viable way of reducing Japan’s massive amounts of spent fuel rods, said Takeo Kikkawa, a Hitotsubashi University professor specializing in energy issues.

“Japan should abandon the program altogether,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of a respected anti-nuclear Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. “Then we can also contribute to the global effort for nuclear non-proliferation.”

Von Hippel stressed that only two other countries reprocess on a large scale: France and Britain, and Britain has decided to stop. Japan’s civilian-use plutonium stockpile is already the fifth-largest in the world, and it has enough plutonium to make about 5,000 simple nuclear warheads, although it does not manufacture them.

Because of inherent dangers of plutonium stockpiles, government regulations require industry representatives to announce by March 31 how much plutonium they intend to produce in the year ahead and explain how they will use it.

But, for the second year in a row, the industry has failed to do so. They blame the government for failing to come up with a long-term policy after Fukushima, but say they nevertheless want to make more plutonium if they can get a reprocessing plant going by October.

Kimitake Yoshida, a spokesman for the Federation of Electric Power Companies, said the plutonium would be converted into MOX—a mixture of plutonium and uranium—which can be loaded back into reactors and reused in a cycle. But technical glitches, cost overruns and local opposition have kept Japan from actually putting the moving parts of that plan into action.

In the meantime, Japan’s plutonium stockpile—most of which is stored in France and Britain—has swelled despite Tokyo’s promise to international regulators not to produce a plutonium surplus.

Its plutonium holdings have increased fivefold from about 7 tons in 1993 to 37 tons at the end of 2010. Japan initially said the stockpile would shrink rapidly in early 2000s as its fuel cycle kicked in, but that hasn’t happened.

Critics argue that since no additional spent fuel is being created, and there are questions about how the plutonium would be used, this is not a good time start producing more. They also say it makes no sense for Japan to minimize its plutonium glut by calling it a “stockpile” rather than a “surplus.”

“It’s a simple accounting trick,” said Edwin Lyman, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “It’s laughable. And it sends the wrong signal all around the world.”

Officials stress that, like other plutonium-holding nations, Japan files a yearly report detailing its stockpile with the International Atomic Energy Agency. But it has repeatedly failed to live up to its own schedules for how the plutonium will be used.

From 2006 until three years ago, the nuclear industry said the plutonium-consuming MOX fuel would be used in 16-18 conventional reactors “in or after” 2010. In fact, only two reactors used MOX that year. By the time of the earthquake and tsunami last year, the number was still just three—including one at the Fukushima plant.

In response to the delays, the industry has simply revised its plans farther off into the future. It is now shooting for the end of fiscal 2015.

“There really is a credibility problem here,” said Princeton’s von Hippel, who also is a member of the independent International Panel on Fissile Materials. “They keep making up these schedules which are never realized. I think the ship is sinking beneath them.”

Japan to make more plutonium despite big stockpile

Original Source: Japan Today
« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 02:25:23 AM by zorgon »

Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 02:23:34 AM »
Plutonium found 40km from Fukushima plant



Quote
Small amounts of plutonium believed to have escaped from Japan’s tsunami-crippled nuclear plant have been detected in soil more than 40km away, say government researchers, a finding that will fuel already widespread fears about radiation risk.

The discovery came as authorities lifted evacuation advisories on other towns near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power station in the north-east prefecture of Fukushima, saying radiation readings showed they were safe for residents.

Government officials played down the health implications of the discovery of the first traces of plutonium from Fukushima Daiichi to be found outside the plant’s immediate environs, saying clean-up efforts should still concentrate on the far greater amounts of radioactive caesium contaminating the area.

The plutonium was found at six sites – including one in Iitate around 40km from the plant – all of which are subject to evacuation orders. However, plutonium’s long half-life and the potential for even small amounts to pose a health hazard if ingested is likely to make it a focus of popular concern.

Japanese authorities, who significantly underestimated radiation releases from the plant in the early days of the crisis, havesince struggled to convince the public that they are able effectively to guard against radiation health threats.

Fierce debate among experts on the point at which radiation becomes dangerous enough to warrant evacuation is adding to the government’s difficulty in coming up with a coherent policy.

The failure of Fukushima Daiichi’s cooling systems, which prompted the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years, has thrown Japan’s atomic energy sector into doubt.

Yoshihiko Noda, Japan’s new prime minister, on Friday reiterated that it would be “difficult” to build any new reactors in the country. Mr Noda has said he aims to restart nuclear plants currently closed for maintenance or repair once their safety can be assured, but their future remains uncertain.

Kyodo news agency quoted the science ministry as saying on Friday that it had decided to postpone a trial run of a troubled fast-breeder reactor in Fukui Prefecture because of public fears.

The Monju prototype reactor, which burns plutonium refined from the spent fuel of conventional reactors, was shut down in 1995 following a coolant leak and efforts to put it into full operation have been repeatedly delayed.

Seiji Maehara, an influential member of the ruling Democratic party who is now its policy chief, told the Financial Times in July that the 280-megawatt plant should be scrapped.

The government’s failure to ensure that the Fukushima Daiichi plant was protected against a tsunami has undermined claims that reactors elsewhere are safe, a problem exacerbated by revelations that even regulators used underhand methods to drown out anti-nuclear critics.

An independent panel set up to investigate the backstage manipulation of public seminars and community gatherings found that the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency had repeatedly asked power companies to organise participants to express pro-nuclear views.

“The close relationships between the agencies and power companies were behind this improper behaviour,” Jiji news agency quoted the panel as saying.

Plutonium found 40km from Fukushima plant

Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 02:36:45 AM »
More Problems in the Wake of the Disaster

Releasing 70,000 Psychiatric Patients Shows Japan Debt Task and Homeless Risk



Quote
In the hallway of St. Pierre Psychiatric Hospital north of Tokyo, an elderly woman sits on the floor next to a bulging brown duffle bag, her arms wrapped around her knees, mumbling about being taken home.

She has packed her things many times since she was admitted for schizophrenia more than 20 years ago, in the belief someone is coming to fetch her, said psychiatrist Manabu Yamazaki, the hospital’s owner.

Her hope mirrors that of the government, which wants to empty 70,000 beds to reduce the highest rate of psychiatric hospitalization among developed nations, lowering its 1.8 trillion yen $23.5 billion annual mental-health payments. Facing the world’s largest public debt and the fastest aging society, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is trying to curtail growth in the country’s 34.8 trillion yen-a-year health bill.

via Releasing 70,000 Psychiatric Patients Shows Japan Debt Task.

Releasing 70,000 Psychiatric Patients Shows Japan Debt Task and Homeless Risk

Sexual Violence Common At Japanese Shelters After Earthquake



Quote
(Reporting from Yokohama)

Sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape are some of the atrocities being committed at shelters across the affected area of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, according to gender equality advocates. The victims are often too frightened to report the crimes to the authorities, which is further complicated by a culture and belief system which expects their members to conform to their circumstances.

Yuka Suzuki is an advocate with a woman’s organization in Saitama Prefecture, just outside Tokyo. Her name has been changed to protect her from possible retaliation. Suzuki’s group has been trying to raise awareness of the problems women in the Tohoku and Fukushima region are facing. She has reached out to the press, government officials, and anyone who would listen, but to little or no avail. “It’s would bring too much shame,” Suzuki told the News Junkie Post. “The Japanese media is ignoring it.”

According to Suzuki, her group has knowledge of over 100 cases of women who have been victims of sexual violence at the shelters. She believes that there are a lot more cases, but that the women don’t want to come forth. Still, through group awareness campaigns, more women are beginning to call the helpline. “The calls have been increasing,” she said. “People are beginning to talk about their stories and experiences.”

There were 470,000 people who were displaced from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The death toll remains at 15,859 dead and 3,021 are still missing, according to government reports. There are hundreds of shelters that have been set up across the Tohoku and Fukushima regions, many of them are at schools and gymnasiums.


“The management at those shelters is all men,” Suzuki said. “Women don’t feel safe there. There is no privacy and they can’t really talk to anyone.”

Japan ranks a really low #98 in the World Economic Forum’s list of countries with the biggest gender gaps. Countries with narrower gender gaps include, Iceland (#1) and Norway (#2). The U.S. ranks (#17). Japan is just one place above Kenya (#99) in the list.

The Japanese government has been wrestling for years with the inequality and treatment of women in the workplace and society overall, but policies aiming at improving the problem have been mostly unsuccessful. Domestic violence is also a big problem which remains all but taboo in this industrialized nation.

In the Tohoku and Fukushima region, where the earthquake and tsunami did the most damage, Japanese women are subjected to the dominance of their husbands and their in-laws. “Many of the women want to leave the disaster areas because they are afraid of the radiation, but their husbands and in-laws don’t let them,” Suzuki said. “The families think that they won’t be able to find work elsewhere, so they stay.”

Indeed, jobs in the affected regions are high, but they are mostly in the construction sector which prefers men. “The men are stronger and so they get the jobs,” Suzuki said. Ironically, many men are refusing to work and have chosen instead to rely on the government’s monthly aid of 300,000 yen, which is the equivalent of $3,350. That is the average financial aid for a family of four. “The men go out at night and spend all the money and the women can’t do anything,” Suzuki said.

Discrimination against women and sexual violence was also reported after the Kobe Earthquake in 1997. Many groups have over time been trying to make the “embarrassing” issue public, but the media which is often controlled by the government through “press clubs” has seldom taken interest in these type of stories. Suzuki hopes that foreign journalist will be the last resort to shinning light on this terrible problem. She hopes that international pressure, especially from Japan’s biggest ally, the U.S. will make the Japanese government take action to remedy the problems at the shelters.

Several counseling hotlines and centers have been set up for women across the affected regions, but they can’t do much to attract the women who are too afraid to speak up or be seen going in for help. “The husbands and in-laws won’t let them go. They have to sneak in without being seen,” Suzuki said.

Suzuki believes that as time goes by and the news cycle forgets about the March 11 tragedy in Japan, the women will be doomed to living in fear for many more months or years to come. “I talked to a friend in Morioka yesterday, she told me ‘please don’t forget us,’” Suzuki said tearfully. “I can’t forget them.”

Sexual Violence Common At Japanese Shelters After Earthquake


Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 02:38:35 AM »
Report: Japan nuclear workers told to hide radiation levels
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 23, 2012 -- Updated 0040 GMT (0840 HKT)



An image released by TEPCO on September 10, 2011 shows Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Unit 1 reactor building

Quote
okyo (CNN) -- Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare is investigating a report that workers at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were told to use lead covers in order to hide unsafe radiation levels, an official said.

The alleged incident happened December 1, nine months after a major earthquake and tsunami ravaged northern Japan and damaged the plant.

"We'll firmly deal with the matter once the practice is confirmed to constitute a violation of any law," said the ministry official, who could not be named in line with policy.

An official with the plant's operator, TEPCO, said the company received a report of the alleged incident Thursday from subcontractor Tokyo Energy & Systems. The report said a second subcontractor, Build-Up, created the lead covers and ordered workers to use them over their dosimeters, pocket-size devices used to detect high radiation levels.
The fight for nuclear energy in Japan
Report: Fukushima disaster man-made

The TEPCO official could also not be named in line with policy.

Tokyo Energy & Systems said in its report that the workers never used the covers, the TEPCO official said. Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper, however, reported Saturday that while some workers refused the orders to use the lead covers, nine others did use them for several hours.

The newspaper's report cited plant workers, who described the lead covers as fitting snugly over the dosimeters inside the breast pockets of the workers' protection suits.

TEPCO told CNN it ordered Tokyo Energy & Systems Inc. to conduct an investigation and is awaiting a reply.

Report: Japan nuclear workers told to hide radiation levels
By the CNN Wire Staff

Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 02:44:08 AM »
TEPCO ignored nuclear accident risks, gov't report says

"A government-appointed inquiry into the Fukushima nuclear crisis raised doubts on Monday about whether other nuclear plants were prepared for massive disasters despite new safety rules, and delivered a damning assessment of the regulators and the station’s operator."


Tepco officials at a press conference  answer questions about the plutonium leakage at Fukushima. Photograph: Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA

Quote
The report, the second this month about the disaster, could be seized upon by Japan’s increasingly vociferous anti-nuclear movement after the restart of two reactors, and as the government readies a new energy policy due out next month.

“The fundamental problem lies in the fact that utilities, including TEPCO, and the government have failed to see the danger as reality as they were bound by a myth of nuclear safety and the notion that severe accidents do not happen at nuclear plants in our country, said the 450-page report.

The panel suggested post-Fukushima safety steps taken at other nuclear plants may not be enough to cope with a big, complex catastrophe caused by both human error and natural causes in a “disaster-prone nation” like Japan, which suffers from earthquakes, tsunami and volcanoes.

“We understand that immediate safety measures are being further detailed and will materialize in the future. But we strongly urge the people concerned to make continued efforts to take really effective steps,” said the panel, chaired by University of Tokyo engineering professor Yotaro Hatamura.

TEPCO, the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant, and regulators failed to plan for a massive natural disaster, the panel said, blaming them for being lulled by the same “safety myth” blasted by a parliament-appointed team of experts earlier this month.

“Both the government and companies should establish a new philosophy of disaster prevention that requires safety and disaster measures against any massive accident and disaster ... regardless of event probability,” the report said.

But the inquiry stopped short of accusing the regulators and TEPCO of “collusion,” a charge included in a strongly-worded report by a parliamentary panel earlier in July.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s decision to restart Kansai Electric Power Co’s two reactors this month has energized the country’s growing anti-nuclear movement, with more than 100,000 taking to the streets in Tokyo a week ago.

All of Japan’s 50 working reactors were shut down for safety checks after Fukushima. Critics say the two restarted reactors do not meet all the government’s safety criteria announced this April.

The panel called on the government to immediately take additional steps, including ensuring that off-site nuclear accident management centers are protected against the kind of massive radiation leaks that made the one at Fukushima useless.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant, 240 km north of Tokyo, was hit on March 11 last year by an earthquake and tsunami that knocked out power supply and swamped its backup power and cooling systems, resulting in meltdowns of three of its six reactors. Some 150,000 people were forced to flee as radioactive materials spewed, some never to return.

The government-appointed panel said there was no proof the earthquake was a key factor in the disaster but added that some impact could not be ruled out, contradicting TEPCO’s own findings, which put the blame solely on the tsunami.

The panel called on TEPCO to review data presented to the panel because it believes they contain errors, echoing other criticism of the operator, and urged the utility to carry out further investigations into the causes of the disaster.

The report also blamed Japan’s nuclear regulators for not paying sufficient heed to improvements in nuclear safety standards recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The panel, consisting of 10 independent experts in fields including radiation protection, medicine and law, also said TEPCO has yet to address problems within its own culture that contributed to its failings in the crisis — including employees “not fully trained to think for themselves.”

“We still don’t perceive much enthusiasm in the accident investigation from” the company, the report said. “TEPCO must take our findings sincerely and resolve the problems to achieve a higher level of safety culture across the company.”

Source: Scoop It

Original Source: Japan Today

Offline zorgon

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 19909
  • Gold 879
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 02:46:55 AM »
Japan prepares relocation of capital if devastating quake hits Tokyo
By Adam Westlake  /   July 17, 2012



Tokyo. Shibuya at night. Credits: Guwashi999/Flickr

Quote
The Japanese government is making preparations to relocate Tokyo’s functions should the capital city be hit by a devastating earthquake or tsunami. The Central Disaster Prevention Council recommends that things like central government offices, the Bank of Japan, and other economic necessities for the country be moved in the case of a natural disaster. The two largest cities after Tokyo, being Osaka and Nagoya, have been named as candidates, along with the major cities of Sapporo, Sendai, and Fukuoka also identified as auxiliaries.

The Council says that Japan’s future could easily be affected by a damaged Tokyo and a lack of political, administrative, and economic functions. Tokyo’s western Tachikawa district is currently designated to serve as the backup for the prime minister’s office and other necessary government functions in the event of an emergency, however, it is only located about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the city’s center, and thus would also be damaged in the event of a natural disaster. Other highly recommended measures include the creation of temporary shelters in the event of stranded commuters, and the preparation of backup copies of disaster-related information to be used at any relocated headquarters.

The five major cities were selected on the basis that they already have large offices of government and branches for Bank of Japan, as well as their ability to quickly takeover the responsibilities of managing the country. The disaster prevention panel still has to complete their evaluations, but their final report on preparations is due for presentation by next spring.

Japan prepares relocation of capital if devastating quake hits Tokyo

Offline Shasta56

  • The Roundtable
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1389
  • Gold 137
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 04:09:42 AM »
I'm familiar with the idea of procrastination due to not knowing where to start.  The two junk drawers in my kitchen aren't likely to wreak global havoc.  I doubt that the same can be said for leaking feul rods.

The sexual predation in shelters is shameful.  I'm not well-versed in Japanese culture, but I have the impression that it's male oriented.  It's past time for the men of Japan, and the media, to realize that real men don't need to use force.  Respect is much more effective.

Shasta
Daughter of Sekhmet

Fruitbat

  • Guest
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2012, 08:42:29 AM »

I'm even more familiar with the procrastination that can happen despite knowing when to start and how urgent the task!

I have also had three first hand descriptions of unreported sexual abuse that has happened to women who I know personally, and am frankly not proud of the way my sex conducts itself in sexual matters. Time for change. (I'm OK, for once, it's the other blokes who need to learn to be more like me! :c)

Anyway, I seem to have "switched" on today as the British Army like to say in books and in real life, so I am going to go and use that ability...

FB!

Offline Littleenki

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4007
  • Gold 202
Re: Nuclear fuel rods removed from Japan's Fukushima plant
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2012, 08:57:16 AM »
Shasta it is a sad state of affairs for women in Japan, very misogynistic as in many countries...here in the US it is a problem too..but some always blame the women..thats BS.

Yes Fruitbat, Im sometimes ashamed of my manly ancestors..hopefully men like you and I can return the Earth to the Mother based place it was when it was a beautiful place to be for all.

And, yes, Ive noticed you are ON today amigo!
Go get em!
:-)

Cheers!
Hermetically sealed, for your protection

 


Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC
affiliate_link
Free Click Tracking
Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

* Recent Posts

Re: 411 by ArMaP
[Today at 07:13:36 PM]


Re: 411 by robomont
[Today at 06:41:34 PM]


Re: Penney for your thoughts by Sgt.Rocknroll
[Today at 03:08:49 PM]


Re: Penney for your thoughts by Smilingtree
[Today at 01:36:32 PM]


Re: Penney for your thoughts by Smilingtree
[Today at 01:35:42 PM]


Re: Fake Casino Hides Massive Underground Construction of Super Secret Subway... by robomont
[January 17, 2018, 07:52:07 PM]


Re: More Jobs Down the Drain Sam's Club Closed 63 Stores today by Littleenki
[January 17, 2018, 12:58:13 PM]


Re: 411 by Gigas
[January 17, 2018, 12:40:19 PM]


Re: More Jobs Down the Drain Sam's Club Closed 63 Stores today by Gigas
[January 17, 2018, 12:14:07 PM]


Re: Fake Casino Hides Massive Underground Construction of Super Secret Subway... by Gigas
[January 17, 2018, 11:53:15 AM]


Re: Penney for your thoughts by The Seeker
[January 17, 2018, 11:34:56 AM]


Re: Penney for your thoughts by micjer
[January 17, 2018, 11:07:32 AM]


Penney for your thoughts by Sgt.Rocknroll
[January 17, 2018, 04:26:12 AM]


Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sarge by Sgt.Rocknroll
[January 17, 2018, 03:43:49 AM]


Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sarge by Smilingtree
[January 16, 2018, 06:56:20 PM]


Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sarge by thorfourwinds
[January 16, 2018, 05:48:49 PM]


Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sarge by Sgt.Rocknroll
[January 16, 2018, 04:26:41 PM]


Re: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sarge by ArMaP
[January 16, 2018, 07:07:50 AM]


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sarge by The Seeker
[January 16, 2018, 05:40:14 AM]


Re: Music You Love by ArMaP
[January 15, 2018, 02:13:35 PM]