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The nuclear cattle of Fukushima

Inspiring story. The Japanese people have very deep connections to the land, which farmers have maintained. This is the greatest tragedy of the Fukushima disaster — the disruption of the thousands of years old relationship, and the dislocation of an ancient people from their ancestral lands.

From CNN

Some families have at least one relative who’s either odd or eccentric. Others boast family members of a more unusual kind.

That’s what one filmmaker discovered in 2011 when he heard of a group of former farmers in Fukushima‘s nuclear exclusion zone, fighting to keep their radiation-affected cows alive, though they brought them no profit.
“The farmers think of these cows as family. They know that these cows can’t be sold, but they don’t want to kill them just because they’re not worth anything,” Tamotsu Matsubara, who made a film called ‘Nuclear Cattle’ (Hibaku Ushi) on their plight, told CNN.
It costs around 2,000 dollars to maintain each cow for a year. The farmers featured in Matsubara’s film are among those who refused to obey the Japanese government’s initial requests to euthanize cows in the exclusion zone.
“[These farmers] really want them to serve a greater purpose for humans and for science,” explained Matsubara.

Nuclear Cattle — chart on CNN website of location of farms in relation to the disaster

On March 11 2011, a 15-meter tsunami triggered by a 8.9-magnitude earthquake, disabled the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, causing a nuclear accident.
Residents within a 20 km radius of the facility were forced to evacuate their homes and leave behind their livelihoods and possessions.
Before leaving, some farmers released their cows so they could roam free and survive in the nuclear fallout-affected area. 1,400, however, died from starvation, while the government euthanized 1,500 more.
Since 2011, Matsubara has documented both the relationship six farmers have with their surviving herds as well as an ongoing study examining the effects radiation has on large mammals.
The farmers — who return two or three times a week to their former farms — initially kept their cows alive just out of love. But since 2013, Keiji Okada, an animal science expert at Iwate University, has been carrying out tests on them.
Okada established the Society for Animal Refugee & Environment post-Nuclear Disaster, a non-profit with researchers from Kitazato, Tohoku and Tokyo university. The researchers are funded through their universities, and say their project is the first to look into the effects of radiation on large animals.
“Large mammals are different to bugs and small birds, the genes affected by radiation exposure can repair more easily that it’s hard to see the effects of radiation,” Okada, told CNN.
“We really need to know what levels of radiation have a dangerous effect on large mammals and what levels don’t,” he added.
So far, the cows living within the exclusion zone haven’t shown signs of leukemia or cancer — two diseases usually associated with high levels of radiation exposure. Some, however, have white spots on their hides. Their human minders suspect that these are the side-effects of radiation exposure.
As Japan continues to confront its nuclear past, present and future, Okada said his group’s study would keep the country prepared in the event of another disaster.
“We need to know what levels of radiation are safe and dangerous for large mammals, and have that data ready so that the euthanization of livestock can be kept to the minimum,” added Okada.

The ‘cows of hope’

Elderly farmers feeds their radiation-affected cows in the exclusion zone.

Since 2011, the Japanese government has taken measures to decontaminate radiation-affected zones within Fukushima by stripping surface soil from contaminated zones and by cleansing asphalt roads and playgrounds.
Evacuation notices have also lifted on some towns in Fukushima. Taichi Goto, a spokesperson from the Ministry of the Environment’s Office for Decontamination told CNN that Namie, a town currently in the exclusion zone, was scheduled to be decontaminated by March 2017. Yet critics point that the state’s measures still aren’t enough.
Matsubara acknowledged the government’s decontamination work but asserted that it was impossible for them to clear the mountainous areas west of the exclusion zone.
While some farmers have slowly started to rebuild their lives by starting new businesses in decontaminated areas in Fukushima, the campaign to keep alive irradiated cows within the exclusion zone continues.
“These cows are the witnesses of the nuclear accident,” Masami Yoshikawa, who lives in Namie town in the heart of the exclusion zone, states in Nuclear Cattle.
“They’re the cows of hope.”
More photos on website.
Posted under Fair Use Rules.

— France’s nuclear power stations ‘at risk of catastrophic failure’ — Sizewell B and 27 other EDF nuclear plants

Global Research, October 01, 2016
The Ecologist 29 September 2016

A new review of the safety of France’s nuclear power stations has found that at least 18 of EDF’s units are are ”operating at risk of major accident due to carbon anomalies.”

The review was carried out at the request of Greenpeace France following the discovery of serious metallurgical flaws by French regulators in a reactor vessel at Flamanville, where an EPR plant is under construction.

The problem is that parts of the vessel and its cap contain high levels of carbon, making the metal brittle and potentially subject to catastrophic failure. These key components were provided by French nuclear engineering firm Areva, and forged at its Le Creusot.

“The nature of the flaw in the steel, an excess of carbon, reduces steel toughness and renders the components vulnerable to fast fracture and catastrophic failure putting the NPP at risk of a major radioactive release to the environment”, says nuclear safety expert John Large, whose consultancy Large Associates (LA) carried out the Review.

His report examines how the defects in the Flamanville EPR reactor pressure vessel came about during the manufacturing process, and escaped detection for years after forging. It then goes on to investigate what other safety-critical nuclear components might be suffering from the same defects.

Steam generators at 28 EDF nuclear sites at risk

After several months of investigation LA found that critical components of a further 28 nuclear plants were forged by Le Creusot using the same process. These are found in the steam generators – large, pod-like boilers – that have been installed at operational EDF nuclear power stations across France.

The conclusion is based on documents provided by IRSN (the independent French Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire) that reject assurances given by both EDF and Areva that there is no safety risk from steam generators containing the excess carbon flaw.

In August 2016, IRSN warned the French nuclear safety regulator Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire (ASN) that:

  • EdF’s submission was incomplete;
  • there is a risk of abrupt rupture which could lead to a reactor core fuel melt; and
  • immediate “compensatory” measures need to be put in place to safeguard the operational NPPs involved.

“As a result of Areva’s failures, a significant share of the French nuclear reactor fleet is at increased risk of severe radiological accident, including fuel core meltdown”, said Large. ”However, there is no simple or quick fix to this problem.

“The testing and inspection regime currently underway by Areva and EDF is incapable of detecting the extent and severity of the carbon problem and, moreover, it cannot ensure against the risk of rapid component failure. It is most certain that the IRSN finding will equally applies to replacement steam generators exported by Areva to overseas nuclear power plants around the world.”

EDF reactors face protracted closure, credit rating falls

EDF stated yesterday that it will carry out further tests on 12 nuclear reactors during their planned outages in the coming months – and that extended periods of outage are to be expected. “There are outages that could take longer than planned”, an EDF spokesman told Reuters.

“In 2015, we discovered the phenomenon of carbon segregation in the Flammanville EPR reactor. We decided to verify other equipments in the French nuclear park to make sure that other components are not impacted by the phenomenon.”

In anticipation of the nuclear closures, year-ahead electricity prices rose in the French wholesale power market, forcing power rises across Europe up to a one-year high.

Meanwhile Moody’s has downgraded EDF credit ratings across a spectrum of credit instruments. EDF’s long-term issuer and senior unsecured ratings fell from A2 to A3 while perpetual junior subordinated debt ratings fell to Baa3 from Baa2. Moody’s also  downgraded the group’s short-term ratings to Prime-2 from Prime-1.

According to Moody’s,

“the rating downgrade reflects its view that the action plan announced by EDF in April 2016, which includes government support, will not be sufficient to fully offset the adverse impact of the incremental risks associated the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project on the group’s credit profile.

“Moody’s believes that the significant scale and complexity of the HPC project will affect the group’s business and financial risk profiles. This is because the HPC project will expose EDF and its partner China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN, A3 negative) to significant construction risk as the plant will use the same European Pressurised reactor (EPR) technology that has been linked with material cost overruns and delays at Flamanville in France and Olkiluoto 3 in Finland. In addition, none of the four plants using the EPR technology currently constructed globally is operational yet.”

Once rating agencies have had time to evaluate the seriousness of EDF’s current problems with reactors packed with unsafe crirical components, further downgrades may follow. “The ratings could be downgraded if (1) credit metrics fall below Moody’s guidance for the A3 rating; or (2) EDF were to be significantly exposed to AREVA NP’s liabilities”, the agency warns.

Flamanville EPR heading for the scrapheap

The Review also shows that the reactor pressure vessel of the Flamanville EPR, which is already installed, does not have a Certificate of Conformity issued by ASN. This means that it does not comply with the European Directive on Pressure Equipment, nor does it meet the mandatory requirement of the ASN, which since 2008, stipulates that any new nuclear reactor coolant circuit component has to have a Certificate of Conformity before its production commences.

“Without a Certificate of Conformity the reactor pressure vessel and steam generators currently installed in Flamanville 3 will almost certainly have to be scrapped”, said Roger Spautz, responsible for nuclear campaign at Greenpeace France.

The review, he added, ”reveals evidence that at the Creusot Forge plant, Areva did not have the technical qualifications required to meet exacting nuclear safety standards. The plant was not under effective control and therefore had not mastered the necessary procedures for maintaining the exacting standards for quality control in the manufacture of safety-critical nuclear components.”

Areva has now acknowledged that ineffective quality controls at le Creusot Forge were mainly responsible not only for the flaws in the Flamanvile 3 EPR, but across other operational nuclear power plans – and that the technical failures date back to 1965.

Moreover, ASN has indicated that in the nuclear components supply chain three examples of Counterfeit, Fraudulent and Substandard Items (CFSI) have occurred in the year ending 2015.

The recent ASN publication (24th September 2016) of a list of the NPPs affected by the AREVA anomalies and irregularities demonstrates that the phenomenon not only has reached alarming proportions but is continuing to grow under scrutiny.

The number of components affected by irregularities and installed in NPPs in operation increased by 50 in April 2016 from 33 to 83 by 24th September this year. Irregularities affecting the Flamanville EPR increased from two to 20 over the same period.

Also at risk: Sizewell B, Hinkley C finance, Taishan EPRs

LA’s Review also relates these developments in France to the UK, specifically: the currently operating Sizewell B NPP in Suffolk; and the now contracted construction programme for the Hinkley Point C NPP.

Sizewell B which includes a number of components sourced from Le Creusot which need urgent examination and / or replacement in order to prevent unsafe operation. The fact that this could escape the UK’s nuclear regulators also indicates, says Large, that “the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) did not delve deep enough into the situation as now revealed by ASN.”

As for For Hinkley Point C, it now appears inevitable that the Flamanville reactor will not be completeted by its target date of the end of 2020, indeed it may very well never be completed at all. Under the terms of agreement for the plant’s construction accepted by the European Commission, this would render the UK government unable to extend promised credit guarantees to HPC’s financial backers.

“Now that ASN has deprioritized efforts on the under-construction Flamanville 3 NPP because of its pressing urgency to evaluate the risk situation for the operating NPPs”, says Large, ”there is a greater likelihood that Flamanville 3 will not reach the deadline for operation and validation of its technology by the UK Credit Guarantee cut-off date of December 2020.”

Also at risk are the two EPRs that Areva and EDF are currently constructing at Taishan in China. These are now at the most advanced stage of any EPR projects in the world, however there are increasing fears that they contain faulty components.

The vessels and domes at Taishan were also supplied by Areva, and manufactured by the same process as that utilised by Le Creusot. It is suspected that Chinese nuclear regulators may have decided to overlook this problem and hope for the best. However if they discover that the steam generators, which along with the reactor vessels have already been installed, are also at risk of catastrophic failure, that might prove a risk too far – even for China.

The danger for EDF and Areva is that the massive commercial liabilities they may be accruing for faulty reactors supplied to third parties, together with the tens of billions of euros of capital write-downs for projects they have to abandon, and the loss of generation revenues due to plant outages, could easily exceed their entire market capitalisation.

In other words: for EDF, Areva, their shareholders and the entire French nuclear industry, the end really could be nigh.

Oliver Tickell is contributing editor at The Ecologist.

Project Censored: No end in sight for Fukushima disaster

Project Censored’s yearly book of under-reported and unreported news is now out, and Fukushima is #7 of their 25 top stories for the year. Books can be purchased as well as donations made to continue this important work at http://www.projectcensored.org

7. No End in Sight for Fukushima Disaster

Five years after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the nuclear power plant at Fukushima, Dahr Jamail reported that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) officials in charge of the plant continue to release large quantities of radioactive waste water into the Pacific Ocean. Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, called Fukushima “the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of humankind.” As Jamail reported, experts such as Gundersen continue warning officials and the public that this problem is not going away. As Gundersen told Jamail, “With Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, and now with Fukushima, you can pinpoint the exact day and time they started…but they never end.” Another expert quoted in Jamail’sTruthout article, M.V. Ramana, a physicist and lecturer at Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security and the Nuclear Futures Laboratory, explained, “March 2011 was just the beginning of the disaster, which is still unfolding.”

Although the Fukushima plant has been offline since the disaster, uncontrolled fission continues to generate heat and require cooling. The cooling process has produced “hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of tons” of highly radioactive water, Jamail reported. TEPCO has no backup safety systems or proactive plan for dealing with the accumulation of contaminated water, so much of it is released into the Pacific Ocean. Drawing on reports from the Asahi Shimbun and Agence France-Presse, Common Dreams reported that, on September 14, 2015, “Despite the objections of environmentalists and after overcoming local opposition from fishermen, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) pumped more than 850 tons of groundwater from below the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.” Each day, according to these reports, TEPCO was pumping approximately 300 tons of groundwater to the surface for treatment before placing it in storage. Officially no water is released into the ocean until it is tested for radioactive content, but many experts are skeptical of this claim. As Jamail reported, “The company has repeatedly come under fire for periodically dumping large amounts of radioactive water.”

According to Helen Caldicott, the antinuclear advocate and author, once it is released, “There is no way to prevent radioactive water [from] reaching the western shores of the North American continent and then circulating around the rest of the Pacific Ocean … At the moment, it seems like this is going to occur for the rest of time.” Radioactive water affects ocean life through a process described by Caldicott as “biological magnification.” The effect of radiation expands each step up the food chain—from algae, to crustaceans and small fish, up to the ocean’s largest creatures.

While biological magnification may ultimately impact human health, a December 2015 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution study showed a 50 percent increase in seawater radiation levels 1,600 miles west of San Francisco. That report indicated that these levels are far below what the US government considers dangerous, but Caldicott and other experts question the standards that the US government and other official agencies use to determine safe levels of radiation exposure.

Meanwhile, Linda Pentz Gunter, writing for the Ecologist, reported that the Japanese government has kept its citizens “in the dark” from the start of the disaster about high radiation levels and dangers to health. “In order to proclaim the Fukushima area ‘safe’,” Gunter wrote, “the Government increased exposure limits to twenty times the international norm,” a determination preliminary to Prime Minister Shinzō Abe’s stated goal of lifting evacuation orders and forcing displaced Fukushima refugees to return home by March 2017. Government policy is now to “‘normaliz[e]’ radiation standards,” Gunter wrote, and to tell the Japanese people that everything is all right, despite medical or scientific evidence to the contrary.

At a conference in February 2016, prefectural governors urged young people to return to Fukushima. Doing so would facilitate the region’s reconstruction and “help you lead a meaningful life,” said Fukushima’s governor, Masao Uchibori. However, as Gunter reported, young people appear not to be cooperating. Instead, most of the returning evacuees are senior citizens, with stronger traditional ties to the land and their ancestral burial grounds. This creates a further dilemma for local authorities, according to Gunter: Local tax revenues are levied on both individuals and corporations, with nearly a quarter of the taxes collected by local prefectures and municipalities coming from individuals. “The onus is on governors and mayors,” she wrote, “to lure as many working people as possible back to their towns and regions in order to effectively finance local public services.” Retired senior citizens do not contribute to income tax.

Gunter reported the public remarks of Tetsunari Iida, the founder and executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) in Japan: Prime Minister Shinzō Abe “says ‘everything is under control’… Yes—under the control of the media!” While Iida directed his critique to Japan’s press, it could easily apply to US corporate media coverage of Fukushima and its aftermath, as documented by sociologist Celine-Marie Pascale of American University. Pascale conducted a content analysis of more than 2,100 articles, editorials, and letters to the editor on Fukushima, published by theWashington Post, the New York Times, Politico, and the Huffington Post between March 11, 2011 and March 11, 2013. Her analysis focused on two basic questions, “Risk for whom?” and “Risk from what?” Pascale found that just 6 percent of the articles reported on risk to the general public. “This in itself,” she reported, “is a significant finding about the focus of news media during one of the largest nuclear disasters in history.”

More specifically, Pascale found that the great majority of news coverage that focused on risks to the public significantly discounted those risks. Sixty-five of the 129 articles that focused on risk to the general population characterized it as being “quite low on the basis of comparisons to other risks or claims of no evidence.” (For example, Pascale wrote, “Media practices encouraged publics to understand the largest nuclear disaster in history as no more significant than the radiation produced by the sun.”) An additional forty-four articles characterized risk as low on the basis of uncertain evidence. In other words, assessments of uncertain risk were interpreted by news media as low risk. Over two years, the four major US news outlets that Pascale studied reported just seventeen articles that characterized the disaster as having even “potentially high risk to the general population.” Pascale concluded: “The largest and longest lasting nuclear disaster of our time was routinely and consistently reported as being of little consequence to people, food supplies, or environments. Impressively this was done systematically across The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, and The Huffington Post. In short, the media coverage was premised on misinformation, the minimization of public health risks, and the exacerbation of uncertainties.”

A flurry of corporate media coverage around the fifth anniversary of the disaster for the most part reproduced the pattern identified by Pascale. For example, as CNBC’s anniversary report acknowledged, “Elevated [radiation] levels off the coast of Japan show that the situation is not yet under control, and that the facility is still leaking radiation.” But, the report continued, “the levels observed near the United States are below—very far below—those set by health and safety standards, and are also far outstripped by naturally occurring radiation.”

In February 2016, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported that three TEPCO executives, including Tsunehisa Katsumata, TEPCO’s chairman at the time of the earthquake and tsunami, were formally charged with negligence in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Dahr Jamail, “Radioactive Water from Fukushima is Leaking into the Pacific,” Truthout, January 27, 2016, http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34565-radioactive-water-from-fukushima-is-leaking-into-the-pacific.

Linda Pentz Gunter, “No Bliss in This Ignorance: The Great Fukushima Nuclear Cover-Up,” Ecologist, February 20, 2016,http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987222/no_bliss_in_this_ignorance_the_great_fukushima_nuclear_coverup.html.

Celine-Marie Pascale, “Vernacular Epistemologies of Risk: The Crisis in Fukushima,”Current Sociology, March 3, 2016,http://csi.sagepub.com/content/early/2016/03/03/0011392115627284.abstract.

Student Researcher: Harrison Hartman (Sonoma State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)

7. No End in Sight for Fukushima Disaster

The great Fukushima nuclear cover-up

From the Ecologist

No bliss in this ignorance: the great Fukushima nuclear cover-up
Linda Pentz Gunther
February 20, 2016

The Japanese were kept in the dark from the start of the Fukushima disaster about high radiation levels and their dangers to health, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. In order to proclaim the Fukushima area ‘safe’, the Government increased exposure limits to twenty times the international norm. Soon, many Fukushima refugees will be forced to return home to endure damaging levels of radiation.

Once you enter a radiation controlled area, you aren’t supposed to drink water, let alone eat anything. The idea that somebody is living in a place like that is unimaginable.

Dr. Tetsunari Iida is the founder and executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) in Japan.

As such, one might have expected a recent presentation he gave in the UK within the hallowed halls of the House of Commons, to have focused on Japan’s capacity to replace the electricity once generated by its now mainly shuttered nuclear power plants, with renewable energy.

But Dr lida’s passionate polemic was not about the power of the sun, but the power of propaganda. March 11, 2011 might have been the day the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. But it was also the beginning of the Great Japan Cover-Up.

On the ISEP website, Iida extols the coming of the Fourth Revolution, following on from those in agriculture, industry and IT. “This fourth revolution will be an energy revolution, a green industrial revolution, and a decentralized network revolution”, he writes.

But in person, Iida was most interested in conveying the extent to which the Japanese people were lied to before, during and after the devastating nuclear disaster at Fukushima-Daiichi, precipitated on that same fateful day and by the deadly duo of earthquake and tsunami.

“Shinzo Abe says ‘everything is under control'”, said Iida, speaking at an event hosted by Nuclear Free Local Authorities, Green Cross, and Nuclear Consulting Group in late January. It was headlined by the former Japan Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, who was at the helm when the triple disasters struck. “Yes – under the control of the media!”

A trial for Tepco like post-war Tokyo Trials

The media may have played the willing government handmaiden in reassuring the public with falsehoods, but in July 2012, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission concluded that the disaster was really no accident but man-made. It came about, the researchers said, as a result of “collusion” between the government, regulators and the nuclear industry, in this case, Tepco.

“There should be a Tepco trial like the post-war Tokyo Trials”, Iida said, referring to the post World War II war crimes trial in which 28 Japanese were tried, seven of whom were subsequently executed by hanging.

Hope for such accountability – without advocating hanging – is fleeting at best. In 2011, while addressing a conference in Berlin hosted by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, I suggested the Tepco officials should be sent to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, (a body the US still conveniently refuses to recognize) to answer for what clearly amounts to crimes against humanity.

The remark caused a bit of a stir and earnest questions about the mechanism by which Tepco could be brought there. Needless to say, nothing of the kind ever happened, or is likely to.

Instead, the Abe’s government’s preferred tactic is to go full out to restart reactors and move everybody back home as soon as possible, as if nothing serious had happened. Just scoop off a little topsoil, cart it away somewhere else and, Abracadabra! Everything is clean and safe again!

Normalizing radiation, a policy and now a practice

Of course radiological decontamination is not that easy. Nor is it reliable. It is more likepushing contamination from one spot to the next”, as independent nuclear expert, Mycle Schneider describes it. And radiation does not remain obediently in one place, either.

“The mountains and forests that cannot even be vaguely decontaminated, will serve as a permanent source of new contamination, each rainfall washing out radiation and bringing it down from the mountains to the flat lands”, Schneider explained. Birds move around. Animals eat and excrete radioactive plant life. Radiation gets swept out to sea. It is a cycle with no end.

Next in the ‘normalization’ process came the decision to raise allowable radiation exposure standards to 20 millisieverts of radiation a year, up from the prior level of 2 mSv a year. The globally-accepted limit for radiation absorption is 1 mSv a year.

This meant that children were potentially being exposed to the same levels of radiation that are permitted for adult nuclear power plant workers in Europe. Some officials even argued that zones where rates were as high as 100 mSv a year should be considered ‘safe’. Writing on his blog, anti-pollution New Orleans-based attorney, Stuart Smith,observed wryly:

“Instead of taking corrective measures to protect its people, Japan has simply increased internationally recognized exposure limits. It seems that the priority – as we’ve seen in so many other industrial disasters in so many other countries – is to protect industry and limit its liability rather than to ensure the long-term health and well being of the masses. Go figure.”

For the entire article:


— 960 Bq/kg of Cs-134/137 detected from wild boar in Fukushima

Fukushima Diary

July 24, 2016

According to MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), 960 Bq/Kg of Cesium-134/137 was measured from the meat of wild boar in Fukushima.

The sampling date was 6/11/2016. This reading is over 9 times much as food safety limit.

Cs-134 density was 154 Bq/Kg to prove it is contaminated from Fukushima accident.

From this report MHLW released on 7/19/2016, significant density of Cs-134/137 was detected from all of 33 wild boar samples and it exceeded the food safety limit (100 Bq/Kg) in 2/3 samples.

MHLW reports none of these wild boar meat was distributed for sale.



— TEPCO: 5 Billion Bq of Strontium-90 flows to the sea every single day

From Fukushima Diary

5 Billion Bq of Strontium-90 flows to the Pacific on the daily basis in 2014. Tepco announced in the press conference of 8/25/2014.

This is due to the contaminated water overflowing from the seaside of Reactor 1 ~ 4 to Fukushima plant port.

They also announced 2 Billion Bq of Cesium-137 and 1 Billion Bq of Tritium flow to the sea every single day as well.

Fukushima plant port is not separated from the Pacific. Discharged nuclide naturally spreads to the sea.


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— 10,000 tons of toxic water pools in Fukushima nuclear plant trenches

From the Mainichi

August 23, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Around 10,000 tons of contaminated water have pooled in underground trenches around the Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, according to the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

Tokyo Electric has no immediate plan to remove the water in the trenches where cables run for the nuclear power complex devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster.

Water that flew into the trenches in the wake of the huge tsunami is believed to have been mixed with highly radioactive water leaking from the basements of reactor buildings and contaminated rainwater.

“Compared with around 70,000 tons of highly contaminated water that remain in the basements of the reactor buildings, (the water in the trenches) has a low level of concentration and thus poses little threat in terms of radiation exposure and the environment,” said an official of the utility known as TEPCO.

TEPCO said in a report issued in July — based on research conducted in fiscal 2015 — that it has found around 8,000 tons of toxic water in 17 locations in the trenches that connect with reactor buildings where highly radioactive water accumulates, as well as around 3,000 tons of toxic water at 11 locations in trenches that do not connect with reactor buildings.

Of the water in the trenches around the Nos. 1 to 4 reactor buildings, a removal procedure was completed by June for around 500 tons of water in a pipe that measured the highest level of radioactive cesium at 500,000 becquerels per liter.

The level of radioactive cesium in water at other locations in the trenches was mostly measured at several thousands becquerels or below.

The level in toxic water in the basements of reactor buildings has been measured at around dozens of millions becquerels at maximum.

TEPCO has said it will continue to monitor and measure the level of contamination in water in the trenches regularly and consider taking measures to remove the water in the future. But no concrete plan has been created yet.

The electricity firm has so far removed a total of around 10,000 tons of highly radioactive water at three locations in the trenches running in the seaside of the complex and completed the procedure to fill locations concerned with cement to prevent water leaks.

Still, the level of radioactive cesium remains unchecked at 40 locations in the trenches due to high radioactive levels as well as debris and other objects blocking the research operation

Editor: This is after 5 years.


Posted under Fair Use Rules.