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05 Dec 2011 11:30


World: Radioactive water leaks from Fukushima nuclear site

  • 45 metric tons of radioactive water got loose from Fukushima source
  • » How bad was it? The water leak was found Sunday on a device used to purify the seawater used to cool off damaged reactors. They stopped the leak by stacking sandbags against the concrete barrier surrounding the device. The water itself, authorities say, contained higher-than-usual levels of cesium 137, a radioactive substance. It’s not clear that any of this water made it to the Pacific Ocean. The reactor was greatly damaged during the March earthquake.

07 Sep 2011 11:05


World: Ex-Japan PM Naoto Kan imagined uninhabitable Tokyo post-Fukushima

  • Deserted scenes of Tokyo without a single man around came across my mind. It really was a spine-chilling thought.
  • Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan • Offering a truly harrowing vision of a post-Fukushima future for Tokyo. The vision for the 20-million-strong city helped push Kan towards encouraging renewable energy during his final months as Prime Minister, when he was dealing with the march earthquake. We’re with him. That’s a scary thought and it’s understandable why he changed his track as a result. source

02 Aug 2011 10:18


World: Fukushima radiation: What deadly radiation “hot spots” look like

  • See the red spots? You know, the ones surrounded by blue and green? Those represent 10 sieverts per hour of radiation. That is extremely high and could lead to death within seconds. And at the Fukushima site, that’s what they’re apparently still dealing with … mind you, five months after the fact. “Radiation leakage at the plant may have been contained or slowed but it has not been sealed off completely,” noted Osaka University professor and nuclear engineering expert Kenji Sumita. “The utility is likely to continue finding these spots of high radiation.” To put this in perspective, add three zeros to the number 10, to make it 10,000 millisieverts per hour (mSv). Then, take a look at this graphic. Yeah. Scary as hell, right? We’ll say. source

19 Jun 2011 11:35


World: Fukushima: Complications mar plant cleanup process

  • We’re at a point where merely opening a door can cause a radiation leak of some kind. That’s what plant operators had to deal with today, as they opened the doors to Fukushima’s No. 2 plant to cool things off and let some air inside. They hope to install a cooling system to prevent an explosion in the plant. Meanwhile, they hope to restart the cleanup process quickly, which was recently stalled. To give you an idea of what they need to clean up, let’s put it this way: 110,000 tons of highly-radioactive water, enough to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools which absolutely nobody should swim in. Officials fear that things could get really bad — think water overflowing all over the place — if they don’t act soon to deal with the water. source

05 May 2011 11:08


World: Workers reenter Fukushima’s damaged No. 1 reactor for first time

  • Things were so dangerous after a blast at Fukushima Daiichi reactor No. 1 that workers didn’t enter the building at all afterwards. Until today. Nearly two months after the hydrogen explosion that greatly damaged the plant on March 11th, NHK reports that workers re-entered the building housing the reactor for the first time since the initial blast. The workers plan to install an air purifier in the plant, reportedly “aimed at preventing workers from suffering internal radiation exposure when they work on setting up a new cooling system at the No. 1 reactor.” That must be a really good air purifier. (Above: A pic of a robot working in the plant, via TEPCO) source

17 Apr 2011 11:30


World: Hillary Clinton visits Japan in show of post-quake support

Here she is with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. Hillary does a great job keeping that presidential poise even as Secretary of State, doesn’t she? source

15 Apr 2011 22:11


World: TEPCO: Paying displaced residents … but cutting our workforce

  • 50k the number of households near Fukushima eligible for payments from TEPCO
  • ¥1M the amount that could be offered to each household — roughy $12,000 total
  • ¥50B the amount that would be offered based on that assessment —around $600 million source
  • » Raising money by cutting jobs? While Company President Masataka Shimizu didn’t speculate on what the final amount might be, he did point out a possible way to pay for said payments to local residents. They’re looking at cutting jobs to streamline operations and pay the people affected by the accident. “We must pursue rationalization that regards nothing as sacred,” he said. “We will make utmost efforts to raise funds.” Now, maybe we’re wrong here, but doesn’t it seem weird to cut employees after a massive disaster that had at least some root in safety issues?

12 Apr 2011 20:52


World: Experts: Forget the scale. Fukushima isn’t as bad as Chernobyl.

  • Fukushima was not as bad as Chernobyl. If Fukushima is a level 7 accident, maybe we need to go back and recalibrate the scale and add a level 8 or 9.
  • University of Southern California Prof. Najmedin Meshkati • Expressing frustration that Fukushima was rated on the same level as Chernobyl, a 7 on the nuclear accident scale. Japan’s own Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says it’s only 10 percent as bad as Chernobyl. On top of that, nobody has died from the post-quakeaccident and 21 workers have gotten minor illnesses from radiation. At Chernobyl, a number of people died — dozens immediately and many more from cancer years later. If we’re somehow putting Chernobyl on the same level as Fukushima, something’s wrong about the levels.  source

28 Mar 2011 09:53


World: TEPCO spokesperson: Highly-radioactive water found in trench

  • The trench is located outside the building and the water contains radioactive materials. There is normally no water found in this area so it is difficult to compare this to normal levels.
  • TEPCO spokesperson Hiro Hasegawa • Discussing the finding of highly-radioactive water inside of a trench, outside of the Fukushima No. 2 reactor. The level matches the 1,000 millisievert level found inside the No. 2 reactor yesterday. “But we do not believe it is leaking into the ocean,” Hasegawa continued. “We are now working out where the cause of the leak is and finding ways to remove the water as soon as possible.”  source

27 Mar 2011 21:17


U.S.: Don’t freak out: Increased radiation found in Massachusetts rainwater

  • The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation.
  • Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner John Auerbach • Discussing the “OMG OMG WE GONNA DIE” revelation that there is radiation in some Massachusetts rainwater resulting from the Fukushima crisis. Friends, this is not Chernobyl. Ain’t nothing to be afraid of. Auerbach knows the deal. source