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FUKUSHIMA earthquake and tsunami thread and aftermath

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17326084

Japan is marking the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which struck the north-eastern coast, leaving 20,000 dead or missing.

The magnitude 9.0 quake, Japan's most powerful since records began, also triggered a serious nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Thousands of people were evacuated as radiation leaked from the plant.

There were memorial services, and a minute's silence was observed at the moment the quake hit, 14:46 local time.

One year ago today it all started.

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http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4185707/Hell-on-Earth.html

Emiko Numauchi, from Minamisoma, which is 15 miles from the power station, has been posting an internet blog about the deterioration of her health.

The 42-year-old ex-teacher used to be very fit but since last year she has been losing her hair and teeth, has a reduced appetite and suffers from dizziness and lethargy.

She wrote recently: "Went to the doctor for a blood test. Explained the condition... teeth, hair loss, blood not clotting, jaw pain and a nail fell off... all happened last month. The doctor was stunned and said, 'I've no idea why this is happening.'"

Health officials dismiss such symptoms as the result of stress.

We all know it's stress. Nothing to worry about, they need to practice relaxation techniques.

Although I know there are other possible causes for symptoms this person is suffering from.

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http://www.zerohedge.com/news/remember-fukushima-presenting-radioactive-seawater-impact-map

A few days after the one year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, nobody talks about it anymore. After all it's "fixed", and if it isn't, the Fed will fix it. Remember in the New Normal nothing bad is allowed the happen. So for those who have forgotten, here is a reminder.

From ASR, a global coastal and marine consulting firm, The Radioactive Seawater Impact Map

Radioactive%20water_0.jpg

Edited by interestrateripoff

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http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/03/20123158401893688.html

Fukushima prefecture, Japan - Within the tragedy of this country's disaster rests opportunities to study and learn from what went wrong. In the case of the earthquake, there are lessons in better construction; with the tsunami, surveys of evacuation plans and retainment walls can be fruitful.

But it is the nuclear disaster at the Daiichi plant in Fukushima - damaged and leaking radiation for a year - that offers the most unique opportunity for learning, for information on such meltdowns is hard to come by.

For one thing, because of its ties with governments and weapons programmes, the nuclear industry is rather secretive. One of the nuclear experts who spoke to Al Jazeera said that, if the laboratory for which he worked found results that negatively impacted the nuclear energy industry in Japan, those results would likely be suppressed.

Also, fortunately, accidents on the scale of the Daiichi meltdown are not common. Experts still commonly refer to data from the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb attacks in 1945, when data gathering and analytic tools were not what they are today, or they point to data from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

The trouble with the latter incident is that a series of cover-ups, coupled with a slow response left room for many questions, and estimates for deaths resulting from the massive explosion vary from 4,000 to 100,000.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2126774/Chernobyl-disaster-gave-football-star-Stiliyan-Petrov-cancer-claims-Bulgarian-doctor.html

Chernobyl disaster gave football star Stiliyan Petrov cancer, claims Bulgarian doctor

Petrov grew up 650 miles from doomed power station

Toxic cloud passed over his hometown

Communist leaders in Bulgaria 'hid threat to kids'

I suppose no one will ever really know.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18002028

The Japanese government will take a controlling stake in Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) in return for a one trillion yen ($12.5bn; £7.8bn) taxpayer bailout.

Trade Minister Yukio Edano approved the business plan on Wednesday.

Tepco faces huge clean-up and compensation costs from a disaster at one of its power plants after the earthquake and tsunami last year.

The nationalisation is to avoid a collapse of the company.

Tepco provides power to millions of people in and around Tokyo.

Reactors at its Fukushima power plant melted down in March last year, spreading radiation over a wide area.

Great news for the Japanese taxpayer. A bailout where the costs are only ever going to increase.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/9263776/Fukushima-nuclear-plant-owner-Tepco-posts-6bn-loss.html

The £6bn net loss was for the year ended March 31, Japan's biggest utility known as Tepco said on Monday. This was deeper than the consensus estimate of a 692.6bn yen loss in a survey of three analysts by Thomson Reuters.

Tepco, set to be taken over by the government, said its annual operating loss was at 272.5bn yen, more than the mean estimate of a 241.7bn yen loss by three analysts.

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"Fukushima Reactor No. 4: Human Civilization On The Brink?"

if we don't solve the problem of Fukushima reactor No. 4, which is on the verge of a catastrophic failure that could unleash enough radiation to end human civilization on our planet. The resulting releasing of radiation would turn North America into a "dead zone" for humans... mutated (and failed) crops, radioactive groundwater, skyrocketing infant mortality, an explosion in cancer and infertility... this is what could be unleashed at any moment from an earthquake in Japan. Such an event could result in the release of 85 times the Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl catastrophe, say experts (see below). And the Chernobyl catastrophe made its surrounding regions uninhabitable by humans for centuries. link

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"Fukushima Reactor No. 4: Human Civilization On The Brink?"

if we don't solve the problem of Fukushima reactor No. 4, which is on the verge of a catastrophic failure that could unleash enough radiation to end human civilization on our planet. The resulting releasing of radiation would turn North America into a "dead zone" for humans... mutated (and failed) crops, radioactive groundwater, skyrocketing infant mortality, an explosion in cancer and infertility... this is what could be unleashed at any moment from an earthquake in Japan. Such an event could result in the release of 85 times the Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl catastrophe, say experts (see below). And the Chernobyl catastrophe made its surrounding regions uninhabitable by humans for centuries. link

Interesting find.

One more example that try hard as they may the PTB cannot prevent information spreading out on the world wide web.

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http://enenews.com/tepco-email-possible-re-criticality-in-reactor-no-2

A Japanese publication has obtained an email sent from a worker in Tepco’s engineering division. Here is an excerpt of the email from a report in the June 8, 2012 edition of the Weekly Asahi via Yahoo.jp translated by Fukushima Diary:

From looking at the [Reactor No. 2] water level (60cm), it is obvious that the PCV and suppression chamber are severely damaged.

It is very likely that a new heating mass is generated from recriticality. We can not tell exactly what is happening inside of PCV. We can never deny the possibility of recriticality.

No real indication of when this email was sent is given.

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"Fukushima Reactor No. 4: Human Civilization On The Brink?"

if we don't solve the problem of Fukushima reactor No. 4, which is on the verge of a catastrophic failure that could unleash enough radiation to end human civilization on our planet. The resulting releasing of radiation would turn North America into a "dead zone" for humans... mutated (and failed) crops, radioactive groundwater, skyrocketing infant mortality, an explosion in cancer and infertility... this is what could be unleashed at any moment from an earthquake in Japan. Such an event could result in the release of 85 times the Cesium-137 released by the Chernobyl catastrophe, say experts (see below). And the Chernobyl catastrophe made its surrounding regions uninhabitable by humans for centuries. link

Indeed..

Although since the main source for that article is complaining about the suppression of water-cars, perhaps a pinch of salt is required here.

They also probably need to tell the people living in the Chernobyl exclusion zone that they are living somewhere inhabitable.

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Japan was famous for having the lowest cancer rate in the world.

Going to be interesting to see how much the cancer rate increases

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http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/World/20120518/fukushima-dai-ichi-risk-reactor-4-120519/

Worst-case scenario

There are a couple of possible outcomes, Gundersen said.

Highly radioactive cesium and strontium isotopes would likely go airborne and "volatilize" -- turning into a vapour that could move with the wind, potentially travelling thousands of kilometres from the source.

The size of those particles would determine whether they remained in Japan, or made their way to the rest of Asia and other continents.

"And here's where there's no science because no one's ever dared to attempt the experiment," Gundersen said. "If it flies far enough it goes around the world, if the particles stay a little bigger, they settle in Japan. Either is awful."

Essentially, he said, Japan is sitting on a ticking time bomb.

The damaged Reactor 4 cooling pool was reinforced by workers who went in and "jury-rigged" it after the tsunami, but the structure still contains a massive amount of fuel, Gundersen said.

Reactor 3 has less fuel inside its cooling pool, but it has not been strengthened since the disaster and poses a greater risk of failing.

"Reactor 3 has a little less consequences but a little more risk, and Reactor 4 has more consequences but…a little less risk," he said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8kN1A-eK1s

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Full transcript here.
http://fairewinds.com/content/fukushima-daiichi-truth-and-future

Arnie Gundersen: Unit 4 has always been my biggest concern. If you watched our website on the very first week of the accident I was saying that if Unit 4 were to catch fire, you would have to evacuate Tokyo. As a matter of fact the book that we wrote talks about that a lot. It is really important and it remains the biggest concern that I have about the Fukushima site. Unit 4 has more fuel in it than any of the other units in the complex, but more importantly it has the most recently used nuclear fuel. And all of that fuel is outside of the containment. So that would make it dangerous enough. Except that also, of course, Unit 4 has had a series of explosions and is weakened structurally. Before it might have withstood a 7.5 earthquake. I believe that the structural damage to Unit 4 is so great that if there is a 7.5 earthquake, it will not withstand it.
Edited by interestrateripoff

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http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/earthquake-disaster-in-japan/concerns-grow-over-stability-of-japan-nuclear-plant-1.178053

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — As the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crisis escalated in March 2011, Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan secretly requested a worst-case scenario from the chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission.

Two weeks later, Kan received a document that projected possible dire consequences for the four reactors damaged as a result of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, according to a recent investigative report by the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, an independent think tank founded to probe the causes of the plant disaster. Among the risks was a loss of cooling water in Unit 4, which houses most of the plant’s spent fuel that is not in secure dry casks. The fuel, if left exposed, would superheat and melt, releasing a massive amount of radiation.

The “worst” didn’t transpire then, but a growing chorus of activists, experts and politicians is now raising alarm about the durability of Unit 4’s cooling pool in the event of another strong earthquake.

More at the link.

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http://www.bellona.org/articles/articles_2012/poo_collapse_report?printerfriendly=yes%27

A collapse of the already tilting reactor No 4 building at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant, ¬atop which sits a spent nuclear fuel storage pool containing 1,535 fuel assemblies – including 204 unused ones – would lead to a “significant global impact,”– by far topping last year’s triple meltdown at the plant, a new report says. Charles Digges, 03/07-2012

According to the report (available for download in PDF at lower right in blue box) released by Holpchi CH, a Swiss-based industrial analytics think-tank, even a 10 percent release of the storage pool’s inventory of radioactive cesium and strontium would “represent 3 to 10 times the March 11, 2011 release amounts, substantially increasing risk levels in Japan and marine life.”

“This is an acute example that we will have to live with the threats emanating from Fukushima for years to come,” said Nils Bøhmer, Bellona’s nuclear physicist and general manager.

The spent fuel pool was singled out by Bellona early in the Fukushima crisis as a possible source of catastrophic radiation releases due to water loss, which took a back seat to the chaos of trying to restore cooling water to reactor Nos 1, 2 and 3 with fire trucks, water cannons and seawater dropped from helicopters.

..

The report states there are many ways such a catastrophe could occur, from loss of water in the pool through cracks or evaporation due to the heat of the spent fuel elements, leading to a radiological fire, fuel melts, to a complete collapse of the pool, which would shed spent fuel assemblies and irradiated water in total disarray. Each fuel assembly contains approximately 50 to 70 rods of uranium fuel.

Removal of the waste in the spent fuel storage pool is hindered by debris, high radioactivity and the fact that the equipment for removing the assemblies was destroyed in the disaster.

Media reports state that removal of the spent fuel is scheduled for removal 2013. But the Holophi CH report indicates that should continue safely only in the absence of no further damage to the pool or its contents.

But Bøhmer pointed out that the spent nuclear fuel problem was not constricted to the spent nuclear fuel pool.

“All of the reactors, including those that were devastated by the tsunami, haves spent fuel in them that must be put into safe storage and that will take decades,” he said.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18718057

The crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant was "a profoundly man-made disaster", a Japanese parliamentary panel has said in a report.

The disaster "could and should have been foreseen and prevented" and its effects "mitigated by a more effective human response", it said.

The report catalogued serious deficiencies in both the government and plant operator Tepco's response.

It also blamed cultural conventions and a reluctance to question authority.

No surprise there then.

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