from: Dr. William Burke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
date: Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 7:26 AM
subject line: AQMD to post daily updates regarding radiation levels in Southern California
You have probably heard news reports about harmful radiation escaping from damaged nuclear power plants in Japan following the recent tsunami. Some have even voiced concern that this radiation could travel across the ocean and impact California. There is no increased risk of harmful levels of radiation exposure in the United States, based on the situation to date and a review of actual monitored levels by AQMD as well as other public health officials and technical experts.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District, your local air pollution agency, has operated radiation monitors for several years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AQMD monitors radiation levels at three sites in Southern California and sends the radiation measurements every hour to EPA. The California Department of Public Health also operates an additional radiation monitor in Southern California.
Starting today, you can get a daily update regarding levels of radiation in Southern California at AQMD’s website at www.aqmd.gov. Monitors operated by AQMD/EPA will detect any change in outdoor radiation levels.
Further general information on EPA’s radiation monitoring network can be found at http://www.epa.gov/narel/radnet/. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s response to the situation can be found at http://www.nrc.gov/.
Monitoring radiation is a very small part of the many activities AQMD does to protect public health and clean the air that we breathe. For more information on how you can help clean the air, go to www.cleanairconnections.org .
William A. Burke, Ed.D., Chairman
South Coast Air Quality Management District
23.36 Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) asked the Japanese government earlier this week to permit a full withdrawal of its employees from the Fukushima plant, a Japanese daily newspaper has said. TEPCO had first concluded that it would be "difficult" for its workers to continue to restore the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant, where high levels of radiation have been monitored, the Mainichi Shimbun said.
But Prime Minister Naoto Kan turned down the request, telling TEPCO: "Withdrawal is impossible. It's not a matter of whether TEPCO collapses. It's a matter of whether Japan goes wrong," according to Mainichi. An unnamed official related to TEPCO, however, was quoted by Mainichi as saying:
If withdrawal is unacceptable, it's as if (Kan) said 'Do it until you are exposed to radiation and die.
Reuters: Nuclear safety agency says aiming to get electricity restored to reactors No. 1 and 2 Friday
BBC: 0057: The restoration of electricity at Fukushima's reactors 3 and 4 is expected on Sunday - Kyodo.
I just started #fukushima-ot on irc.slashnet.org if you're really dying for some speculation or not-directly-relevant discussion and can't find an appropriate venue. Join #mefi while you're there.
posted by polyhedron at 1:37 on March 17 [1 favorite +] [!]
Ah, ok. Yes, the Soviets set an incredibly low mark for candidness. I'd also say TEPCO and the Japanese government have held information back. Possibly in order to prevent panic, I don't know. -- zippy
I'm having trouble believing that an entity like the US Army can storm Baghdad and storm an entire country with thousands and thousands of ground vehicles and tens of thousands of troops in less time than it takes to get more than a few dozen vehicles and 50-100 response workers on a site.--loquatious
There's not enough trained response workers? There's not enough response vehicles? Yeah, sounds like a profits before safety issue. Fuck. All. Of. That, and fuck you, TEPCO. Fuck you very much.--loquatious
"250 mSv/hour one hundred feet above the plant"
Total mSv/year at reported rate: 250 per hour(365 x 24) = 2,190,000 mSv/year.
Lowest clearly carcinogenic level: 100 mSv/year
Does that mean the radiation levels reported 100 feet above the plant were 21,900 times the amount minimally known to cause carcinogenic effects? Or are radioactive effects non-linear? Or is this insufficient information to say?-- saulgoodman
Thanks for the repost, BungaDunga. If you look at the Youtube version , you can see a very clear view of the entire cooling pool at secs 39-40 -- again, watch the top of the open but intact-frame panel, and you will see the whole pool slide by. It does look fairly clear of debris and lit up with Cherenkov, so there must be at least some water at the point the video was taken. Though that doesn't eliminate the possibility that the tops of some racks are exposed.-- tavella
A German member of another messageboard I read says that German state TV channel ARD reported that the "Fukushima Fifty" may actually be made up of about 10 engineers and 40 temporary workers -- former drug addicts, homeless people, and prostitutes whom TEPCO has a policy of hiring for short manual labor stints to help them get back on their feet. The job pays well and when they hit their limit for radiation exposure, TEPCO fires them.--Asparagirl (this thread)
2) I've been watching NHK and they seem to be hinting that the firetrucks have done some water spraying, but the complete lack of video, or results, or details about that leave me wondering whether they mean the trucks are actually absolutely spraying, or whether they just intend to. They said one truck wasn't powerful enough, but another trucks were on the way. That was over 20 hours ago though. Anyone know if the trucks are actually there spraying?
"Mr. Edano：Some foreign governments have asked their citizens within 80 km radius of the nuclear power plant to evacuate as a precaution. Such a more conservative approach in protecting the lives of their nationals is understandable. JPN would do so if it were in their shoes. But, JPN is taking appropriate measures so far based on monitoring results."
We're deep into the decay curve & things are less chaotic. Things are slowing down.
My understanding is that liquid nitrogen wouldn't be as effective. It would just boil off too fast.
On CNN, the plant's engineers are saying that the generators are working again.
"If the entire core of a reactor had been unloaded into the spent fuel pool only a few days after shutdown, the time [to boil off] could be as short as a day."
Unit 4 was taken down for maintenance on November 30 2010 (source: IAEA, specifically the March 15th 1800 UTC update). The entire core was unloaded at that time-- how long does it take to unload and store an entire core? Anyone?
So, basically, we're looking at November 30th/ December 1st to the day the quake hit as far as the storage period.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 4:09 PM on March 17 [+] [!]
Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage, a report from the NRC in 2006:
[Normal] Pool heat loads can be quite high, as exemplified by a "typical" boiling water reactor (BWR)... [An imagined case study by the NRC, a storage pool which has 3000 assemblies stored in a pool that's 35'x40'x39' with a water capacity of almost 400,000 gallons] the total decay heat in the spent fuel pool is 3.9 megawatts ten days after a one-third core offload. The vast majority of this heat is from decay in the newly discharged spent fuel. Heat loads would be substantially higher in spent fuel pools that contained a full-core offload.[...]
In some reactor designs [such as the ones at Fukushima] the spent fuel pools are contained within the reactor building, which is typically constructed of about 2 feet of reinforced concrete.[...]
The typical spent fuel pool is 40 feet (12 meters) deep and can be 40 or more feet in each horizontal dimension. The pool walls are constructed of reinforced concrete typically having a thickness between 4 and 8 feet (1.2 to 2.4 meters). The pools contain a 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 to 13 mm) thick stainless steel liner, which is attached to the walls with studs embedded in the concrete. The pools also contain vertical storage racks for holding spent and fresh fuel assemblies, and some pools have a gated compartment to hold a spent fuel storage cask while it is being loaded and sealed.
The storage racks are about 13 feet (4 meters) in height and are installed near the bottom of the spent fuel pool. The racks have feet to provide space between their bottoms and the pool floor. There is also space between the sides of the racks and the steel pool liners to allow for circulation of water. There are about 26 feet (8meters) of water above the top of the spent fuel racks. [...]
[...]nearly all pools contain high-density spent fuel racks. These racks allow approximately five times as many assemblies to be stored in the pool as would have been possible with the original racks, which had open lateral channels between the fuel assemblies to enhance water circulation.
Alvarez and his co-authors concluded that [a complete loss of water in the spent fuel storage pool] would lead to the rapid heat-up of spent fuel in a dense-packed pool to temperatures at which the zirconium alloy cladding would catch fire and release many of the fuel’s fission products, particularly cesium-137. They suggested that the fire could spread to the older spent fuel, resulting in long-term contamination consequences that were worse than those from the Chemobyl accident. Citing two reports by Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL, 1987, 1997), they estimated that between 10 and 100 percent of the cesium-137 could be mobilized in the plume from the burning spent fuel pool, which could cause tens of thousands of excess cancer deaths, loss of tens of thousands of square kilometers of land, and economic losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The excess cancer estimates were revised downward to between 2000 and 6000 cancer deaths in a subsequent paper (Beyea et at., 2004) that more accurately accounted for average population densities around U.S. power plants.
There are two ways in which an attack on a spent fuel pool could spread radioactive contamination: mechanical dispersion and zirconium cladding fires. An explosion or high-energy impact directly on the spent fuel could mechanically pulverize and loft fuel out of the pool. This would contaminate the plant and surrounding site with pieces of spent fuel. Large-scale offsite releases of the radioactive constituents would not occur, however, unless they were mobilized by a zirconium cladding fire that melted the fuel pellets and released some of their radionuclide inventory. Such fires would create thermal plumes that could potentially transport radioactive aerosols hundreds of miles downwind under appropriate atmospheric conditions. [...]
[How fast the cladding catches fire depends on how the fuel is stacked, especially on where the "younger"/hotter fuel is in the array; it also depends on whether there's room for air convection around the stacked fuel; the air convection can be blocked by a low level of water at the bottom of the pool, but if there is no water the air convection will have an easier time cooling the fuel]
[Regarding the suggestion of installing basically a sprinkler system:] The committee carried out a simple aggregate calculation suggesting that a water spray of about 50 to 60 gallons (about 190 to 225 liters) per minute for the whole pool would likely be adequate to prevent a zirconium cladding fire in a loss-of-pool-coolant event. [...]
[footnote] ENTERGY staff mentioned the possible use of a specially equipped fire engine to provide spray cooling. The committee does not know whether this would deliver sufficient spray cooling where it is needed or would provide sufficient protection if terrorists are attempting to prevent emergency response, but the strategy is worth further examination.
Ain't nothing wrong with inflammatory rhetoric that gets universally stronger nuclear regulations passed by E.U. that'll push all Europeans away from nuclear power and establishes a model that prevents it's adoption in Africa and the Middle East.
C O N F I D E N T I A L TOKYO 002993
DEPT FOR EAP/J, ISN/CTR, ISN/MNSA, ISN/NESS DOE FOR KBAKER, NA-20
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/24/2018
TAGS: PARM, ENRG, TRGY, NRR, MNUC, PUNE, JA">JA">JA
SUBJECT: MP CRITICIZES JAPANESE NUCLEAR PLANS
REF: STATE 107836
Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer; reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
1. (C) Summary: Lower House Diet Member Taro Kono voiced his strong opposition to the nuclear industry in Japan, especially nuclear reprocessing, based on issues of cost, safety, and security during a dinner with a visiting staffdel, Energy Attache and Economic Officer October 21. Kono also criticized the Japanese bureaucracy and power companies for continuing an outdated nuclear energy strategy, suppressing development of alternative energy, and keeping information from Diet members and the public. He also expressed dissatisfaction with the current election campaign law. End Summary.
I'm curious about this, too. We just saw one major ocean impacted by a severe environmental calamity. We've been seeing signs of breakdown in the ocean's food chain and widespread species die-offs for years now already. How much more abuse can the oceans stand?
" ... in a column called 'A Glowing Report On Radiation,' Coulter said that many scientists have been studying the effects of radiation and have found that, as she put it, 'at some level--much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government--radiation is good for you,' and actually reduced the risk of cancer."
Much of our knowledge about the risks from radiation is based on studies of more than 100,000 survivors of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of people receiving large doses of medical radiation. In these studies, scientists observed health effects across a wide range of radiation doses, including single doses comparable to an average person’s lifetime dose from naturally-occurring background radiation (about 20,000 millirem). We learned many things from these studies.
The most important are:
The more radiation dose a person receives, the greater the chance of developing cancer.
It is the chance of cancer occurring, not the severity of cancer, that increases as the radiation dose increases.
Radiation induced cancers do not appear until years after the radiation dose is received.
The risk from radiation exposure will vary among individuals.
Current evidence suggests that any exposure to radiation poses some risk, however, risks at very low exposure levels have not been definitively demonstrated. While experts disagree over the definition of “low dose,” radiation protection measures are based on an assumption that even small amounts of radiation exposure may pose some small risk. Factoring in the entire dose of natural background radiation accumulated over a lifetime, the risk of developing cancer as a result of this exposure is estimated to be roughly 1 in 100. The additional contribution from all man-made sources of radiation is much smaller. It should be noted that all of the long-term health effects associated with exposure to radiation can also occur in people due to other causes.
Health and nuclear experts emphasize that radiation in the plume will be diluted as it travels and, at worst, would have extremely minor health consequences in the United States, even if hints of it are ultimately detectable. In a similar way, radiation from the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 spread around the globe and reached the West Coast of the United States in 10 days, its levels measurable but minuscule.
Now, for the real question: why are people so quick to trust the scientists that the radiation is coming this way, but so insistent that science is wrong about the amount of radiation, that evolution is real, or that vaccines don't cause autism? If scientists are lying about the health risks, why didn't they just lie and say that the radiation can't make it here?
"In one particularly shocking incident, Japan's self-defence force discovered 128 elderly people abandoned by medical staff at a hospital six miles from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. Most of them were comatose and 14 died shortly afterwards. Eleven others were reported dead at a retirement home in Kesennuma because of freezing temperatures, six days after 47 of their fellow residents were killed in the tsunami....
Although the people from the hospital near Fukushima were moved by the self-defence forces to a gymnasium in Iwaki, there were reports that conditions were not much better there.... 'The condition at the gymnasium was horrible,' said Cheui Inamura. 'No running water, no medicine and very, very little food. We simply did not have means to provide good care.'"
1950: Statement from the Fukushima station operator (Tepco): "Tepco has connected the external transmission line with the receiving point of the plant and confirmed that electricity can be supplied."
1927: Much has been made of the power cables being laid to restart water pumps that cool the reactors but a worrying report in the LA Times notes that some engineers believe the cooling pumps were irretrievably damaged by the initial hydrogen explosions.
Even the country's totally badass Kamisu offshore wind farm, with its giant 2 MW turbines with blades big as the wings on a jumbo jet, and only 186 miles from the epicenter of the largest quake ever recorded in Japan, survived without a hiccup thanks to its "battle proof design."
Burnup increase results in:
An increase in fuel rod internal pressure at the end of the service life; More zirconium alloy cladding corrosionduetolonger in-service residence time; An increase in the cladding hydrogen concentration resulting from the increased Zircaloy corrosion.
Development of Under Water Remote Welding System for Pool-Lining
Chief Scientist: Toru Onishi Company: PNC Contract no. No.7024
If leakage of water would take place at the stainless steel pool-lining offuel storage
pool because of the unforeseen accident, under water remote welding system to repair the pool-lining is required. However, such a system is not available now. PNC planned to develop the under water remote welding system for repairing pool-lining of fuel storage pool of Tokai Reprocessing Plant.
Or, to be specific, there is increased radiation, something like 1 micro (milli?)severt, but to put that in perspective, when you get an x-ray at the doctors' office, that's five hundred micro(milli?)severts.
Then the NIMBY effect would whittle away the more dangerous and dirty energy tech, since most people, given the choice between installing a small fossil fuel burning power plant, a nuclear reactor, a wind turbine, or a solar array in their backyards would probably tend to choose the less dangerous and dirty tech alternatives available, even if it meant having to limit their consumption a little more than they might otherwise.
Other Plowshare shots included one in Colorado which was intended to increase the flow rate out of oil/gas wells
Yeah, there's plenty of wildlife - but don't take that as a sign you'd want to live there [in the Chernobyl exclusion zone] or raise a family there or that it's marginally safe to live there.
"One hour later the plant [Fukushima Daini] was inundated by a tsunami said to be seven metres in height, compared to design basis surge of 6.51 metres."
Monitor D is detecting 2.4 times the radiation level at monitor A, which is within 1.5km. The discrepancy remains irrespective of wind direction, and all readings are higher when wind speed is lower. If radiation in Tokai was being blown 125km from Fukushima, the effect on all four monitors would be consistent and wind direction would influence readings. This morning’s rate was six times the ICRP recommended civilian exposure and eighteen times the normal background radiation level currently observed at Tepco’s west-coast Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant*. Something is wrong in Tokai village, and it’s receiving no scrutiny.
Tokai Dai-Ni was shut down automatically on Friday 11th March 2011. But operators Japan Atomic Power Company later submitted a report to local government advising that one of the two pumps used to cool water in the suppression pool had stopped working, and that two of three diesel generators used to power the cooling system during power failures were out of order. Restoring Tokai Dai-Ni to operation could mitigate Tokyo’s rolling black-outs, but at time of writing output is still flat-lining.
Tokai village was also the setting for a “flash criticality” in 1999 that was – like Fukushima Dai-Ichi** – rated severity four on the IAEA’s seven point scale. Three inadequately trained and supervised engineers mixed over six times the permitted dose of uranium oxides using steel buckets while preparing high grade fuel for an experimental fast-breeder reactor. The self-sustaining reaction continued for twenty hours, ultimately killing two workers and exposing 175 people to radiation exceeding the recommended annual limit.
Bedford [Massachusetts] robotics company iRobot is donating its military robots — as well as its employees — to recovery efforts at earthquake-damaged nuclear power plants in Japan.
The company, known for its Roomba vacuum for the consumer market, shipped a pair of 60-pound, haz-mat sensor-equipped PackBot scouting robots, two heavier-duty, 350-pound Warrior robots, and six employee volunteers yesterday to aid the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
That adds up to about $500,000 to $1 million worth of machine and manpower dedicated to the humanitarian mission, according to Tim Trainer, iRobot’s vice president of operations.
The company hasn’t been told exactly how the robots will be used, but its engineers worked through the night to customize a firehose-holding rig for the Warrior’s arm, which could be used for fighting fires or for cooling purposes, Trainer said. The robots are expected to be operated from a shielded vehicle nearby.
“The focus of this mission appears to be on the nuclear mitigation issue,” Trainer said.
The PackBot and Warrior robots are all about doing jobs too dangerous for humans, but the nightmarish conditions in Japan may be too dangerous even for the machines. Robots entering hazardous zones near the nuclear sites will likely not be coming out, Trainer said. The company is looking into decontamination methods for the robots, but doesn’t think they’ll be recoverable.
“That’s not our going-in expectation,” Trainer said.
The iRobot employees will be making on-site adjustments to the robots and training Japanese military personnel to control them. The company doesn’t know how long the robots and employees would be in Japan, Trainer said, but expects it would be at least a couple of weeks.
The Japan Self-Defense Forces requested the use of the robots through iRobot’s Japanese distributor after trying them out at a trade show in Singapore earlier this week, Trainer said.
“They got about 75 minutes of driving them around,” he said.
IRobot employees on both coasts — in Bedford and San Luis-Obispo, Calif. — worked from about 3 p.m. Thursday to mid-morning yesterday getting the robots and personnel ready to ship out. They customized the robots, procured spare parts and prepared U.S. Customs paperwork.
“The pizza boxes were piling up on the desks down there,” Trainer said.
Because of the March 3, 2011 earthquake, the reactor shut off automatically. Normal electricity was also cut off, and 3 emergency diesel motors were turned on to maintain necessary electricity, but because the tsunami damage a seawater pump, the two remaining diesel motors maintained necessary electricity for cooling. Later, external power lines were restored, and on the 15th it was confirmed that the reactor was in cold shutdown at under 100 degrees.
1 292 - same
2 587 - same
3 514 - same
4 783 - VERY DIFFERENT, =td='s source says 1331
5 946 - not shown above
6 876 - not shown above
The paper suffers from excessive conservatisms throughout its cost benefit evaluation. Therefore, the recommendation for an accelerated program of complex and costly measures does not have a sound technical basis. In the United States, spent fuel, in both wet and dry
configurations, is safe and measures are in place to adequately protect the public.
Failure behavior of Zircaloy-4 cladding after oxidation and water quench
The results showed that Zircaloy-4 cladding failed during thermal shock when the ECR (equivalent cladding reacted) value exceeded 20%. Lower boundary of brittle failure at thermal shock corresponds to 20% of ECR line calculated by the Baker–Just equation regardless of test temperature.
Status of studies on high-temperature oxidation and quench behaviour of Zircaloy-4 and E110 cladding alloys
Spent Fuel Sabotage Test Program, Surrogate and Fission Product Aerosol Results
We summarize some of the significant findings on aerosol results and observations from the recently completed Phase 2 surrogate material tests using cerium oxide ceramic pellets in test rodlets plus non-radioactive fission product dopants.
Japan Earthquake Update (20 March, 21:00 UTC)
All fuel from Unit 4 had been removed from the reactor core for routine maintenance before the earthquake and placed into the spent fuel pool. The building’s outer shell was damaged on 14 March, and there have been two reported fires - possibly including one in the area of the spent fuel pool on 15 March — that were extinguished spontaneously.
Authorities remain concerned about the condition of the spent fuel pool, and Japanese Self Defence Forces began spraying water into the building on 20 March.
On 18 March, Japan assigned an INES rating of 3 to this site.
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accidents.
From my perspective as a scholar of Japan at a major American university―one who was also in Japan when the quake hit (I left one day later than scheduled on the 13th)―I must say that the coverage was, with some exceptions, largely substandard: full of factual errors, misconceptions, and bent towards sensationalism and alarmism. It is very unfortunate that this poor coverage will probably result in many Americans having false conceptions of Japan for years to come.
It's a shame that going online to watch videos from NHK, BBC and Al Jazeera English was far and away the best option for Americans.
Special Report: Fuel storage, safety issues vexed Japan plant
Critics, including the lawmaker Kono, said the hire [of former METI Director General Toru Ishida by TEPCO] illustrates the deep-seated problems in a system that has made METI both nuclear power's biggest backer and home to the safety agency in charge of its regulation.
METI has guided Tokyo Electric's investment in nuclear power and provided an implicit backstop and financing. At the same time, the utility has provided jobs for some senior METI officials like Ishida and a network of sympathetic politicians, Kono said.
"If this is a national policy, then the government has to be responsible entirely," he said. "If this is private enterprise, then we have to think about how to de-cartel this industry."
There are results to this irresponsible journalism. Many foreigners in Japan who do not have the language capabilities to access Japanese media or who are used to foreign media are in a state of panic, when around them Japanese are largely calm. People in California start searching for iodide pills on the internet and there are already people voicing worries about whether Japanese cars are now all going to be radioactive. But worst of all, the inordinate and sensationalist attention given to the reactors by American and other media has taken attention away from where it should be: on the likely nearly 20,000 people who died in the quake and tsunamis, on the nearly 400,000 homeless people, and on the immense suffering this has caused for Japan as a whole. I cannot but think that the low amounts of donations given by Americans to relief efforts is not at least partially the result of this warped coverage.
Decay Heat Generation in Fission Reactors
Safety Analysis of Nuclear Reactor Systems
Fukushima Earthquake and Tsunami Station Blackout Accident,
The probabilistic and possibilistic consideration of earthquakes and tsunami events as common mode failure events may have been underestimated by their consideration as independent events.
common mode failure
Since the quake, [independent journalist] Uesugi had been demanding that the government provide more information on the threat of radiation and allow reporters from a wider group of news organizations to attend official press conferences and pose more probing questions, instead of restricting attendance to representatives of the largest Japanese media. In an early television interview, he raised the prospect of a meltdown, an unwelcome subject, and was told he wouldn’t be invited back on the air. When I spoke with him, he said the public was “brainwashed.” “They can’t judge for themselves,” he said. “Everyone thinks that what the government says is right. Everyone thinks that what the government officials say is the truth. But they don’t believe independent journalists, or what’s on the Internet, or what’s on Twitter.” I mentioned that the Web is hardly a filter for the truth, which might be volatile during a nuclear crisis. “It’s not about staying calm,” he said. “The Japanese public has become accustomed to receiving no information.”
Japan Nuclear Crisis: The Experts Weigh In
Upon inquiring about a core meltdown of Reactor 3, which uses uranium and plutonium and therefore produces more toxic radioactivity, two of our five remaining experts asked if maybe they could leave and go to the bar down the block for an hour or two before resuming. One expert asked to be reminded exactly how much he would be compensated for his time, and another expert retreated to the corner of the room and began rocking back and forth, quietly mumbling, "It's all over. We're toast."
Tokyo Electric Power will be made to compensate farmers near its radiation-leaking nuclear power station for losses related to a widening ban on the sale of agricultural products from the area, Japan’s government has said.
In the first direct reference by a high-ranking government official to reparations by Tepco for victims of the world’s worst nuclear accident in a quarter of a century, Yukio Edano, chief cabinet secretary, said the state would “have Tepco take responsibility”.
But he added that if the company is unable to compensate people adequately, “then by law the government will step in and guarantee the claims”.
Media institutions here in Japan are controlled by a media law that requires balance in the way reporting is done. It’s defined by bureaucrats and the government, and if you say something that the government doesn't like it can affect your ability to continue to do reporting. So they are deferential not as a cultural matter but because there is a - a legal requirement.
A Journal analysis of Japanese regulatory documents shows that the Daiichi plant was already one of Japan's most troubled nuclear facilities, even before it was severely damaged by this month's quake and tsunami. In the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, the latest data available, Daiichi had the highest accident rate of any big Japanese nuclear plant, according to data collected by the Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, a mostly government-funded group that monitors safety and conducts inspections. Daiichi's workers were exposed to more radiation than their peers at most other plants, the data show.
Gov't, Tokyo Electric start to gauge nuke crisis' impact on seawater
The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. faced the additional challenge of seawater contamination Tuesday as abnormally high levels of radioactive materials have been detected in the sea near the crisis-hit nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
The radiation levels in seawater do not pose an immediate risk to human health, government officials said. But they are well above normal levels, fanning concern over the effects on fishery products as radioactive substances have also been detected in some vegetables grown in the vicinity of the plant.
Interactions Of Radionuclides In Water, Particulates, And Oysters In The Discharge Canal Of A Nuclear Power Plant
Closed-Cycle Cooling Systems
They're not running seawater through the reactor core and then back out into the ocean, right? They've put seawater into the inner, closed system to try and increase coolant levels inside the reactor core, but that's separate from any seawater used to cool the heat-exchanger that must be the way they draw the heat back out of the core coolant, right? Right?!
I’ve been reported from the Nuclear Safety Commission about the results of thyroid dose from intake of radioactive iodine estimated based on radiation levels in the air and the past weather conditions.
・Based on the results, we see that some places of the areas outside 30 kilometers range from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plants exceed the legal radiation dose level of 100 mSv/h. However, this does not indicate that those who live in those areas are forced to evacuate or stay indoors immediately.
・We recommend that those who live in the leeway side of the nuclear power stations in Fukushima should stay inside and close windows as a precautionary measure.
・The results submitted by the Nuclear Safety Commission are one of the reference data estimated under the assumption that a person stays outside for an entire day. The relevant authorities will further collect and analyze actual data of radioactive substances in the air. We will continue to disclose relevant information properly.