Tag Archives: Nuclear Energy

Japan Nuclear Disaster Update 32: “Biggest Industrial Catastrophe in History”

Posted on: July 28, 2011 8:21 PM, by Analiese Miller and Greg Laden

In the old days this was easy. The power plants were melting down but no one knew what was going on inside them; Water was being poured in and cooking off as steam, and every now and then the way they were getting the water in or the way they were powering the pumps would change, or one of the containment buildings would blow up, or whatever. If you’ve been reading the last few Fukushima Updates, however, you’ll know that things related to the crippled nuclear power plant have gotten more, not less complicated, which at first is counter-intuitive, but on reflection, expected. After all, engineers have more access to the inside of the plants now, though that is still limited. Pumping water into a big concrete box that blows up now and then is not as complicated as assembling a functiniong cooling system from parts that have been mauled by floods and earthquakes and that are highly radioactive. And the secondary but very important ramifications of an out of control set of multiple meltdowns at a large nuclear power plant are developing around the world as entire countries swear off nuclear power while at the same time major, influential industry entities revert to pretending that this is pretty much what we expected and everything is fine. The patterns and problems associated with contamination are starting to emerge and sink in; The fact that the industry expected this sort of meltdown to occur has been revealed.

Article continues here: scienceblogs.com

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Radiation Concerns For Japan’s Beef Supply

TOKYO — Concerns about radiation-tainted beef intensified Sunday in Japan as officials struggled to determine the scope of the problem and prevent further contamination of the meat supply.

The government prepared to suspend cattle shipments from Fukushima amid a growing tally of cows that fed on rice straw containing high levels of radioactive cesium. The development underscores the widespread and still-unfolding impact of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant.

The straw was harvested from rice paddies in the prefecture after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged cooling systems and triggered the release of radiation from the plant. The region’s agricultural sector was among the hardest-hit as radiation seeped into water, affecting spinach and other leafy vegetables.

Distributors nationwide bought meat from the exposed cows, and some has already reached consumers.

Major supermarket chain operator Aeon Co. says more than 703 pounds (319 kilograms) of that meat ended up at 14 of its outlets in Tokyo and nearby prefectures. Between late April and mid-June, customers at those stores bought beef that came from a farm in Asakawa, Fukushima where cattle ate radiation-trained straw, according to the company.

Aeon says it will protect consumers by strengthening its radiation testing systems for beef.

Senior Vice Health Minister Kohei Otsuka said Sunday that the government may consider expanding the expected cattle restriction beyond Fukushima.

“We may need to increase our response by checking the distribution of contaminated straw,” he said on a national television talk show.

His comments came a day after Fukushima’s government said 84 head of cattle shipped from five farms had been fed contaminated straw.

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It also released results of tests conducted on remaining straw, which revealed cesium levels as high as 500,000 becquerels per kilogram at one farm in Koriyama City. That translates to roughly 378 times the legal limit.

The new revelation brings the number of exposed cows so far to 143, according to Kyodo News agency calculations.

The issue first gained attention on July 8, when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it had detected radiation in beef originating from a farm in Minami Soma, located about 16 miles (25 kilometers) north of the crippled nuclear plant. Its sample indicated 2,300 becquerels per kilogram.

Affected cattle growers have said they were unaware that the national government had issued a warning on March 19 that feed stored outdoors should not be given to their animals. A Fukushima government official acknowledged that the prefecture did not adequately pass along the instruction to farmers.

Local and national government officials say they are working to trace the location of the suspected meat and will improve safety checks.

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Radiation Concerns For Japan’s Beef Supply

TOKYO — Concerns about radiation-tainted beef intensified Sunday in Japan as officials struggled to determine the scope of the problem and prevent further contamination of the meat supply.

The government prepared to suspend cattle shipments from Fukushima amid a growing tally of cows that fed on rice straw containing high levels of radioactive cesium. The development underscores the widespread and still-unfolding impact of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant.

The straw was harvested from rice paddies in the prefecture after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged cooling systems and triggered the release of radiation from the plant. The region’s agricultural sector was among the hardest-hit as radiation seeped into water, affecting spinach and other leafy vegetables.

Distributors nationwide bought meat from the exposed cows, and some has already reached consumers.

Major supermarket chain operator Aeon Co. says more than 703 pounds (319 kilograms) of that meat ended up at 14 of its outlets in Tokyo and nearby prefectures. Between late April and mid-June, customers at those stores bought beef that came from a farm in Asakawa, Fukushima where cattle ate radiation-trained straw, according to the company.

Aeon says it will protect consumers by strengthening its radiation testing systems for beef.

Senior Vice Health Minister Kohei Otsuka said Sunday that the government may consider expanding the expected cattle restriction beyond Fukushima.

“We may need to increase our response by checking the distribution of contaminated straw,” he said on a national television talk show.

His comments came a day after Fukushima’s government said 84 head of cattle shipped from five farms had been fed contaminated straw.

Story continues below

Advertisement

It also released results of tests conducted on remaining straw, which revealed cesium levels as high as 500,000 becquerels per kilogram at one farm in Koriyama City. That translates to roughly 378 times the legal limit.

The new revelation brings the number of exposed cows so far to 143, according to Kyodo News agency calculations.

The issue first gained attention on July 8, when the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said it had detected radiation in beef originating from a farm in Minami Soma, located about 16 miles (25 kilometers) north of the crippled nuclear plant. Its sample indicated 2,300 becquerels per kilogram.

Affected cattle growers have said they were unaware that the national government had issued a warning on March 19 that feed stored outdoors should not be given to their animals. A Fukushima government official acknowledged that the prefecture did not adequately pass along the instruction to farmers.

Local and national government officials say they are working to trace the location of the suspected meat and will improve safety checks.

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Marine life soaking up radiation along Fukushima coast | Greenpeace International

Left to right: Giorgia Monti of Greenpeace Italy (far left of pic), Sakyo Noda of Greenpeace Japan, Tuomas Heikkila (driving boat), Jacob Namminga (at rear of boat). Crew from the Rainbow Warrior collect sea water and seaweed samples to monitor for radiation contamination levels as the Greenpeace ship sails up the eastern coast of Japan, in the vicinity of Fukushima.Two week’s ago we released preliminary results from our marine radiation monitoring work off the coast of Japan, near the melted-down and leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. These results showed worrying levels of radioactive contamination in seaweed – a staple of the Japanese diet.

After having difficulties finding a lab in Japan to do detailed analysis, we sent samples of seaweed, fish, and shellfish collected by our radiation monitoring teams both onshore and on the Rainbow to professional labs in France and Belgium. The results of the details analysis are back – and we can say that the situation in the ocean along the Fukushima coast is worse than we originally thought.

The new data shows that some seaweed contamination levels are not only 50 times higher than safety limits – far higher than our initial measurements showed – but also that the contamination is spreading over a wide area, and accumulating in sea life, rather than simply dispersing like the Japanese authorities originally claimed would happen.

Read more at greenpeace.org

Japan Considering Solar Power for Every Single Building by 2030



Sam Biddle

Japan Considering Solar Power for Every Single Building by 2030

Both because they’re a country dedicated to teeny tiny carbon footprints, and because they’re likely not too hot on nuclear power at the moment, Japan is expected to kick off a universal solar panel initiative. Every building, twenty years.

The plan, making mandatory solar panels for all residential and commercial buildings, is likely to debut at the impending G8 summit, and would put Japan at the fore of the global alternate energy push. They’ve probably got what it takes to pull it off—we hope it switches over from plan to reality. [PhysOrg]

Photo by CoCreatr

Japan: Anime Explains Current Nuclear Crisis #EMCampNM

Nuclear power: Too hot to handle

Aside from the timely topic there are some great graphics in here (hat tip Chart Porn).

Nuclear reactors

The nuclear world: interactive map

On Energy Source: an interactive map with the location and details of every reactor in the world

Ever since the earthquake and tsunami struck the eastern seaboard of Japan last Friday, the eyes of the world have been on the Fukushima Daiichi power station. For the nuclear industry, there are reasons to watch that go beyond simple human sympathy.

Although it is still too soon to know how the crisis at Fukushima will end, already the harrowing scenes from the site are provoking a widespread re-examination of nuclear safety that will, at the very least, lead to significant delays in new investments, an inevitable rise in cost and probably more rapid closures of existing plants. China, the world’s biggest builder of nuclear reactors, on Wednesday froze applications for new plants pending a review of safety.

Unless the stricken reactors are brought quickly under control, the industry could enter another two-decade global freeze like the one that followed the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. The consequences would include faster long-term growth in demand for fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, leading to tighter supplies and higher prices. It would also mean a further rise in the emissions of greenhouse gases created by burning those fuels – and further undermine climate policies around the world.

via ft.com