The number of local governments that agreed to accept debris created by the Great East Japan Earthquake in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures has fallen to less than 10 percent of the number released in April, according to a survey released by the Environment Ministry on Wednesday.
The plunge is apparently due to radiation fears.
Fifty-four municipalities and federations of cities and villages that perform selective functions such as waste disposal and firefighting said they would accept debris, the ministry said.
If the 20 million tons of debris from both prefectures cannot be disposed of, reconstruction plans for the disaster-hit areas are likely to be adversely affected, observers said.
The ministry also did not release the names of municipalities that agreed to accept waste. "If we release names, some municipalities will likely receive complaints from citizens, which may hinder their ability to accept debris," a ministry official said.
"Under the current circumstances, it will be difficult to reach our goal of disposing of all debris in three years," the ministry official said.
Trade Minister Yukuo Edano censured Japan’s nuclear regulator, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, for failing to report the discovery to the prime minister’s office for hours, according to local media reports.
The jumble of material and conditions had seemed very unlikely to be able to produce sustained fission, but intermittent criticalities have long been suspected.
Junichi Matsumoto, a Tokyo Electric spokesman, acknowledged episodes of fission, telling a news conference: “There is a possibility that certain conditions came together temporarily that were conducive to re-criticality,” and that the measurements indicated a burst that occurred at a slightly higher rate than prior cases. “It’s not that we’ve had zero fission until now,” Mr. Matsumoto said.
He said detailed measurements had not yet been taken at two other severely damaged reactors on the Fukushima site, but acknowledged the possibility of episodes of fission there too.
The three reactors — together with spent fuel rods stored at a fourth damaged reactor — have been leaking radioactive material since the initial disaster, and new episodes of fission would only increase their dangers.
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it found in the facility's No.2 reactor radioactive substances that could have resulted from continuous nuclear fission.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, said on Wednesday that it detected xenon-133 and xenon-135 in gas taken from the reactor's containment vessel on the previous day. The substances were reportedly in concentrations of 6 to more than 10 parts per million becquerels per cubic centimeter.
Xenon-135 was also detected in gas samples collected on Wednesday.
Radioactive xenon is produced during nuclear fission. The half-life of xenon-133 is 5 days, and that of xenon-135 is 9 hours.
TEPCO workers poured a boric acid solution into the reactor on Wednesday to suppress nuclear fission.
Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) pumped water mixed with boric acid into the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant early on Nov. 2 after finding traces of xenon, a radioactive gas that might indicate nuclear fission has taken place.
Officials of the company said that some parts of the reactor may have reached criticality, a state of self-sustaining nuclear fission. Fuel believed to have melted in the accident triggered by the March 11 earthquake may have caused the fission. The boric acid was pumped into the reactor to suppress the reactions.
"We cannot deny the possibility of a temporary, small-scale state of criticality," said TEPCO official Junichi Matsumoto. "However, because there was no sudden increase in the temperature or pressure of the reactor core, we concluded there was no major state of criticality."
Large scale criticality will not usually occur unless, as is found in a normal reactor core, nuclear fuel is carefully positioned and surrounded by water to stimulate nuclear fission.
USGS Earthquake Hazards Program, responsible for monitoring, reporting, and researching earthquakes and earthquake hazards (@l2apier M 5.1, near the east coast of Honshu, Japan (35.9314 141.6052)Depth 21.70 KM: Tuesday, November 1, 201...)...
Along with the price, the outlet, run by Cataloghouse Ltd. in Tokyo's Shinbashi district, displays the cesium level found in the fruit or vegetable.
If the radiation detection device installed in the outlet detects radioactive iodine or cesium in any produce, the figure is displayed next to the produce. The device can detect radiation levels of at least 10 becquerels per kilogram.
The outlet has a special corner where it sells produce from Fukushima Prefecture. The area features 22 fruits and vegetables produced by J-Rap Inc., a group of farmers in Fukushima, and sells rice produced by the group from before the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Customers are provided with a list of radiation level standards established by various nations. The list includes the figures for the Ukraine, which has established standards much stricter than those in Japan following the Chernobyl accident in 1986. For example, while the radiation levels for fruits and vegetables in Japan are 500 becquerels per kilogram, in the Ukraine the levels are 40 becquerels for vegetables and 70 becquerels for fruits.
Tokyo (CNN) -- The decommissioning of four reactors at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will likely take more than 30 years to complete, according to a report by Japanese officials. The draft report, released by Japan's Atomic Energy Commission of the Cabinet Office on Friday, said the removal of debris -- or nuclear fuel -- should begin by the end of 2021. "We set a goal to start taking out the debris within a 10-year period, and it is estimated that it would take 30 years or more (after the cold shutdown) to finish decommissioning because the process at Fukushima would be complicated," the report states.
The atomic energy commission's report noted it took 10 years to remove nuclear fuel after the 1979 Three Mile Island disaster in the United States. The commission predicted removing fuel at Fukushima would require more time because the situation is more severe.
In preparation for the spring pollen season, the Forestry Agency announced that starting from late November it intends to investigate the cedar forest near the Abukuma Mountains, to check the cesium movements from the leaves of Japanese cedar.
In the MEXT survey there are over 7,000 datapoints measured that could be potentially contaminted, but experience has shown that many more undocumented locations exist. This is the first study ever on this type of contamination migration, and was in response to a series of inquiries that questioned the impact on a wide range of areas and people due to pollen flying.
In Kawamata, cesium up to 170,000 bq/kg were detected in leaves of cedar trees in the area.
Nameko produced in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, and Soma (open culture) was found contaminated. Soma tested registered 4600 Becquerel (taken August 11), leading the national government to inform the Governor to stop shipments. 1360 Becquerel were detected in Iwaki (taken Oct. 28) .
After the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident, Japan's Nuclear Power Plants were shutdown for extensive testing.
After months of inspections and scandals, the only sure thing, is that Japan's nuclear industry was not operated or regulated effectively or honestly. Tohoku, Chubu, Kyushu, three companies are falling into the red, Hokuriku, Kansai, and Okinawa are three companies whose income declined. TEPCO is also expected to announce financial results in early November.
Because these companies can not operate a nuclear power, thermal power generation has increased the proportion of high fuel costs. But instead of investing in alternative options for production, the Utilities appear to prefer using any methods necessary to restart their nuclear force, without addressing the critical issues at hand.
It is likely that the government will again yield to whichever side has the biggest stick.
So far it seems the utilities will continue to blame the government for their problems, and will push as hard as they can for immediate restarts, despite the fact that most local governments have not agreed to any resumption of operations.
Despite the fact that there is no end in sight to the Fukushima disaster, and authorities already estimate over 30 years for decomissioning, in the Utilities minds they should still be able to operate busines as usual. If the utilities do nothing to advance alternative production, then they will have more motivation to restart the nuclear reactors, rather than responsibly and faithfully following through with their promise to allow these mandatory shutdowns to continue.
FUKUSHIMA — Radioactive cesium exceeding the designated limit has been detected in shiitake grown in greenhouses at a farm in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, the prefectural government said.
The prefecture said Saturday it has asked the city of Soma and dealers to stop shipment of the mushrooms, and a local agricultural cooperative has begun recalling them after they were found to contain 850 becquerels of cesium per kilogram, exceeding the 500-becquerel limit set by the state.
The farm in question has grown the mushrooms on beds made of a mixture of wood chips and nutrients, and the wood chips used in them are suspected to have been contaminated with the radioactive substance, according to the local government.
The mushroom beds were sold by the Soma agricultural cooperative.
The farm has shipped 1,070 100-gram packages of shiitake since Oct. 24, and they are believed to have been sold at nine supermarkets in the prefecture from Tuesday.
About 100 women from Fukushima, Japan, have started a week-long sit-in at a government office in Tokyo to demand greater protection for children affected by radiation. “Many children and their families are trapped in Fukushima because they can't afford to move,” explains Ayako Oga, 38, a housewife living in the prefecture and one of the sit-in organizers. “The government has set the accepted radiation exposure rate too high." Japan's standard rate for exposure to radiation is 1 millisievert per year. For Fukushima residents alone the accepted exposure rate is up to 20 millisieverts per year. The International Commission on Radiological Protection considers this rate the top level and says it should not be exceeded over the long term.
The women are calling for two things. First, they want to protect children living in highly contaminated areas by giving them the officially sanctioned ‘right to evacuate.' This would include government compensation and support that would enable children and their families to relocate on a voluntary basis. “A lot of children are trapped in the contamination because it's so difficult [for their families] to afford leaving a mortgage or going to a place where there is no job available,” says Smith. “There are families that have done it, but under great hardship.” Secondly, they want to close down all nuclear power plants in Japan. “Fukushima women feel very strongly that there is no safe nuclear power,” says Smith “This is the lesson to be learned from Fukushima.”
A new cleanup law will not be implemented until January.
Even in their most dire assessments, some experts had not expected even bursts of re-criticality to occur, because it was unlikely that the fuel would melt in just the right way — and that another ingredient, water, would be present in just the right amounts — to allow for any nuclear reaction. If episodes of fission at Fukushima were confirmed, Mr. Koide said, “our entire understanding of nuclear safety would be turned on its head.”
“Re-criticality would produce more harmful radioactive material, and because the reactors are damaged, there would be a danger of a leak,” said Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University’s Research Reactor Institute, whose prescient warnings about nuclear safety have won him respect in Japan. Mr. Koide holds that the nuclear fuel at the three reactors probably melted through containments and into the ground, raising the possibility of contaminated groundwater. If much of the fuel was indeed in the ground early in the crisis, the “feed and bleed” strategy initially taken by Tokyo Electric — where workers pumped cooling water into the reactors, producing hundreds of tons of radioactive runoff — would have prevented fuel still in the reactor from boiling itself dry and melting, but would not have done anything to reduce danger from fuel already in the soil Tokyo Electric does not deny the possibility that the fuel may have burrowed into the ground, but its officials say that “most” of the fuel likely remains within the reactor, albeit slumped at the bottom in a molten mass. The engineer, who has worked at all three nuclear power complexes operated by Tokyo Electric, spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be identified by his former employers. He said that tiny fuel pellets could have been carried to different parts of the plant, like the spaces under the reactor during attempts to vent them in the early days. That would explain several cases of lethally high radiation readings found outside the reactor cores. “If the fuel is still inside the reactor core, that’s one thing,” he said. But if the fuel has been dispersed more widely, then we are far from any stable shutdown.”
Japan’s government lowered the maximum allowable exposure for workers at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled atomic station after radiation levels fell.
The limit for new workers at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant was lowered to 100 millisieverts from 250 millisieverts, according to an ordinance by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare that went into force today.
Staff assigned to some tasks and those who have already worked at the site are exempt from the revised limit.
Xenon gas is only found for the containment of radioactive Unit 2 reactor at TEPCO's Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, Nuclear Safety Agency, METI has two evening after analyzing the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the gas xenon 133 announced that it has been confirmed and 135.
Moriyama good anti-nuclear disaster monitoring NISA is an extraordinary news conference about the cause of the xenon, a radioactive fission themselves "spontaneous fission" said the prospect of likely occurred. However, Moriyama monitoring measures "do not deny the possibility of locally critical" that you are.
Also, for the late prime minister's report on the discovery of xenon, "because it is up to the possibility of a criticality event was to report immediately," explained,
In the nuclear accident first Fukushima TEPCO TEPCO night 2, the results were re-measured at noon the same day the gas collected from the containment vessel of Unit 2, was announced as measured at a concentration of about the same xenon radioactive substances .
However, there is the possibility of error in just over the detection limit. TEPCO has been commissioned to analyze whether the substance detected xenon Japan Atomic Energy Agency, the results that may turn out to three days.
We reevaluated the nuclide analysis results of the samples taken during October 1 - 15 from the atmosphere in the station site, seawater / marine soil around the station, seawater around the intake of Unit 1 to 4, sub-drain water around the turbine buildings, sub-drain water around the Centralized Radiation Waste Treatment Facility and seawater offshore of Ibaraki and Miyagi Prefectures. Today we reported the confirmed results to the NISA of METI and the Fukushima Prefecture.
We will also reevaluate and report nuclide analysis results on atmosphere in the station site, seawater around the station, etc. taken on and after October 16.
*the three main nuclides are Iodine-131, Cesium-134 and Cesium-137.
A Japanese official has drunk water collected from the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, after reporters challenged him to prove it was safe.
Yasuhiro Sonoda appeared nervous and his hands shook as he downed a glass during a televised news conference.
The water he drank was taken from puddles under two reactor buildings. It is decontaminated before being used for tasks such as watering plants.
Journalists have repeatedly queried the safety of the procedure.
Sonoda, a Lower House member from the ruling Democratic Party of Japan, said he drank the water after freelance journalists repeatedly prodded him during previous news conferences to "prove" the environment around the stricken plant is safe, as claimed by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Tepco has been removing radioactive cesium from contaminated water from units 5 and 6 by reducing the density of the substance to less than 50 becquerels per liter. Decontaminated water is then used within the compound for various purposes — but not for drinking.
On October 31st, the Ministry of Education released new contamination maps showing the spread of radioactive Tellurium and Silver after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster.
Large contamination areas accumulated within the 30 km zone, and 2,200 locations within 100 kilometers of Fukushima Daiichi were tested.
Of the 2,200 tested samples, 350 were found contaminated with Silver and over 800 were found contaminated with Tellurium.
The highest concentrations of Tellurium was found near Okuma, at nearly 2,660,000 bq/m3.
Radioactive Silver was found at 83,000 bq near Futaba. Both concentrations are a caution area. The area is often found contaminated with accumulated Iodine 131, and some think the clouds could have carried the contamination.
Sankei MSN reports say that the concentrations of Tellurium and Silver are very small amounts compared to the soil concentrations of radioactive cesium, but no actual amount is listed. Tellurium and cesium are diffused in gaseous form, the Tellurium levels extend to the south coastal areas, and also spread with the cesium contamination northwest of the plant.
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) has developed software to project radiation levels after cleanup operations in areas contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The software, unveiled at a Fukushima Prefecture-sponsored decontamination workshop on Oct. 31, will be will be released free of charge to local governments, and is expected to help them boost the efficiency of their cleanup operations.
Once a user inputs the necessary information for a given area -- including local geographic features and building types as well as radiation readings taken at ground level or in the air -- the program displays a map of per-hour radiation doses one meter above the ground across that area.
The user can then specify which parts of the area will be decontaminated and the "decontamination coefficient" -- a constant determined by the type of terrain, which affects the ratio of decontamination.
The software will crunch the numbers and deliver a full-color map of projected radiation levels after cleanup.
As long as the local governments know how deep the soil is at a given site and how much cleanup costs per unit of surface area, the software can help them estimate the extent of decontamination needed and how big the bill will be.
A temporary storage facility in Fukushima Prefecture will begin accepting radioactive soil and waste in phases in January 2015 from temporary yards set up in municipalities, although the location of the site will be a political hot potato.
Environment Minister Goshi Hosono said Oct. 29 the facility will store contaminated soil and waste piling up through decontamination efforts for up to 30 years until a final disposal site is built outside the prefecture.
According to the road map, the government plans to pick the location in fiscal 2012 and begin construction in fiscal 2014. But there are no prospective candidate sites.
In a meeting in Fukushima, Hosono asked for cooperation from Fukushima Governor Yuhei Sato, saying the government did its best to begin accepting radioactive soil and waste at the temporary storage facility as early as possible.
However, Sato remained noncommittal, saying only he wants to carefully study the government's road map on decontamination.
Most of the 59 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture have not been able to decide where temporary yards are to be set up.
The location of the final disposal site also remains unclear.
But mayors were generally wary about the possibility of hosting the temporary storage facility.
"To be honest, we cannot accept it," said Katsuya Endo, mayor of Tomioka, where the Fukushima No. 2 nuclear power plant is located. "It will cause serious damage to our regional development."
Keiichi Miho, mayor of Nihonmatsu, said he is not happy with the temporary storage facility being set up in Fukushima Prefecture.
"Everyone is worried that the temporary storage facility might turn out to be a final disposal site," Miho said.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster released twice as much of a radioactive substance into the atmosphere as Japanese authorities estimated, reaching 40 percent of the total from Chernobyl, a preliminary report says.
The estimate of much higher levels of radioactive cesium-137 comes from a worldwide network of sensors. Study author Andreas Stohl of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research says the Japanese government estimate came only from data in Japan, and that would have missed emissions blown out to sea.
Last summer, the Japanese government estimated that the March 11 Fukushima accident released 15,000 terabecquerels of cesium. Terabecquerels are a radiation measurement. The new report from Stohl and co-authors estimates about 36,000 terabecquerels through April 20. That’s about 42 percent of the estimated release from Chernobyl, the report says.