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- - - The Year 2013 - - -

Reports about problems with TEPCO come up regularly, it seems, so NOW :
. TEPCO - since June 2013 .

and some news from the year 2014

- - - January 01

Noticeable earthquakes in Japan top 3,000 in 2012
The Japan Meteorological Agency says the number of noticeable earthquakes across the country this year topped 3,000. It says nearly 60 percent of them were aftershocks from last year's giant quake.
The agency said, as of Sunday, 3,134 quakes had been felt across Japan. That's about 1,000 more than the annual average from 2001 to 2010.
An analysis of seismic waves shows there were more than 10,000 noticeable quakes in 2011.
Agency officials say while the number of quakes decreased from last year, they continue to see frequent seismic activity.
They're asking people to be on the alert for possible strong quakes with a magnitude of at least 7 or those triggering tsunami.
(NHK world news)

Tsunami-hit city aims to be reborn - Higashi Matsushima
In a coastal city flattened by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami, a project is under way to rebuild the area as a self-sustaining community that will be in harmony with nature by making use of Danish knowhow on renewable energy.

52,000 people came to need care after disaster

More than 50,000 people in northeastern Japan have come to need care after the area was hit by the tsunami and nuclear accident in March 2011.
Municipalities in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures have designated 52,000 people who require help. The towns and villages are located along the Pacific coast or near the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
The number of people newly designated increased by about 16 percent in the area.
Local officials say they expect more people will need nursing care, since many in the region have been forced to live outside their homes.
Some of them have health problems due to stress or anxiety about their future.
52,000 people came to need care after disaster
(NHK world news)


- - - February 11

almost 2 years past . . .

CLICK for more photos !

moto ryooshi ase shite hama no gareki kaku

Former fisherman
sweating to clean the beach
still debris-piled

Shimizu Kyoko
source : www.ict.ne.jp/~basho-bp

It is painful to see the many local reports of fishermen trying to clean up, get new boats, make a catch and then trying desperately to sell the fish ...
so many have died . . .
so many have left the coastal areas to find a new existence elsewhere.
moto ryooshi - he used to be a fisherman but lost his home, boat, family members and fishermen friends, -
his former existence vanished in one moment due to the deadly tsunami

gareki - the huge mountains of debris still waiting on to be cleared on most of the beaches, a huge problem for the officials even after almost 2 years . . .
Nature has once again shown us humans that it takes its course in mighty strides . . .
We shall never forget !

new moon
half naked in the wind
the barren fields

Ella Wagemakers

two years on . . .
small children with growths
on their thyroid

Elaine Andre


- - - February 18th, 2013

Highest Yet:
Cesium levels in fish off Chiba coast exceed radiation limit for first time — 200 kilometers from Fukushima plant —
Due east of Tokyo
source : enenews.com


- - - March 02

WHO says only slightly higher cancer risk for Fukushima residents
Two years after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, an international team of experts said Thursday that residents of areas hit by the highest doses of radiation face an increased cancer risk so small it probably won’t be detectable.

In fact, experts calculated the increase at about 1 extra percentage point added to a Japanese infant’s lifetime cancer risk.

“The additional risk is quite small and will probably be hidden by the noise of other (cancer) risks like people’s lifestyle choices and statistical fluctuations,” said Richard Wakeford of the University of Manchester, one of the authors of the report. “It’s more important not to start smoking than having been in Fukushima.”

The report was issued by the World Health Organization, which asked scientists to study the health effects of the disaster in Fukushima Prefecture.

The most exposed populations were directly under the plumes of radiation after three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant suffered meltdown and spewed radiation into the surrounding air, soil and water.

In the report, the highest increases in risk are for people exposed as babies to radiation in the most heavily affected areas. Normally in Japan, the lifetime risk of developing cancer of an organ is about 41 percent for men and 29 percent for women.
source : Japan Times

Japan riled by WHO's Fukushima cancer warning
Japan on Friday insisted warnings by the World Health Organization of a rise in the risk of cancer for people in Fukushima were overblown, saying the agency was unnecessarily stoking fears.

“Their calculations were made based on the assumption that people continued living inside the evacuation zone and ate banned food.
But there are no such people,” a ministry official said.
source : www.japantoday.com


- - - March 15 - NHK news

Experts: Cesium leak may be continuing
Researchers say contaminated water from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant could still be leaking into the port. They are calling for a thorough investigation.
A team from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology has been studying data on seawater directly in front of the plant. Tests of the port water show levels of radioactive cesium of up to 100 becquerels per liter. That level exceeds the government's safety standard.
Researchers calculated the total amount of radioactive substances in water spilling from the plant over a one-year period.
According to their calculation, about 16.1 trillion becquerels of cesium 137 may have leaked into the sea in the year since June 2011. That's about 73 times the safety discharge limit imposed before the accident in March 2011.
Experts say that amount of contamination won't threaten marine creatures in the open sea. But they say those in the port could be accumulating the radioactive substance.
. . . . . TEPCO officials have conducted their own surveys. They say they don't think that radioactive substances are leaking into the sea from the plant compound. They say the reasons for high cesium levels have yet to be clarified. They say they will continue to investigate.

220,000 tons of tsunami debris to reach N.America

Japan's Environment Ministry says tons of debris swept away by the March 2011 tsunami will reach North America from April.
The ministry on Friday released the results of its third and more precise computer simulation on the debris.
The report says the main part of the drifting debris, mostly lumber and wooden materials, will start to reach North American shores in April, 4 months later than initially forecast.
105,000 tons is to arrive by June and 221,000 tons by October.
The tsunami that hit northeastern Japan on March 11th, 2011, is believed to have swept away 1.5 million tons of wreckage to the Pacific. Some has already arrived in North America and Hawaii.
Japan's government has provided 6 million dollars to the United States and Canada to help them dispose of the debris.
It also plans to provide the simulation results to the 2 countries.

. Takahashi Eikichi 高橋英吉 .
An artist from Ishinomaki town, now shown at a Sendai Museum.


- - - April 11 - NHK news

Fukushima schoolchildren clear of cesium
Schoolchildren living near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have come up clear of radioactive cesium in internal-exposure screenings.
Researchers led by the University of Tokyo examined roughly 1,400 elementary and junior high school children in Miharumachi, 50 kilometers from the crippled plant.
They carried out the tests from September to November last year.
Researchers said levels of cesium 137 in all tested children were below the detectable amount of 300 becquerels.
The same researchers implemented similar tests between November 2011 and February 2012. They found then up to 1,300 becquerels of cesium 137 in 54 children.
Researchers say the new results show that checks on food products have generally prevented children from ingesting radioactive material.
University of Tokyo professor and team member Ryugo Hayano said the researchers will continue to gather data so Fukushima residents can feel safe.
Researchers this time were able to test all schoolchildren in Miharumachi. Subjects of previous screenings took part on a voluntary basis, leading to doubts over the relevance of results.

TEPCO reports another water leak

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says more radioactive water has leaked at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The trouble occurred on Thursday during work to transfer contaminated water.
TEPCO said about 22 liters of water leaked through a pipe joint and seeped into soil covering an underground storage pool but did not flow into the nearby sea.
The firm estimated that substances with more than 6.3 billion becquerels of radioactivity leaked with the water.
Workers discovered the leak shortly after they started pumping contaminated water from a leaking pool to another pool. They immediately stopped the operation.
TEPCO said it hopes to restart the work after fixing the problem.
The pools were designed to store large amounts of contaminated water being produced constantly as a result of work to cool the plant's reactors.
TEPCO said on Wednesday after a series of leaks were found at some of the pools that it would stop using them. The firm said it would transfer the contaminated water stored there to tanks to be set up on the ground.
TEPCO was transferring the water between the 2 pools as a temporary measure until the tanks could be used.

Panel questions govt monitoring of Fukushima plant
A panel of experts from Japan's nuclear regulator has raised doubts about the government's monitoring of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. They also said the government lacked an understanding of the risks associated with reactors.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority panel met on Friday to discuss recent leaks of radioactive water from underground storage facilities in the Daiichi compound.

After the leaks were found by workers earlier this month, the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has to quickly devise a plan to figure out a way to deal with the rising volume of water.
Some panel members said TEPCO may not have adequately tested the storage facilities before they were used.
The operator said their tests showed no abnormal data but they admitted that their tests may not have been adequate.
Nuclear Regulation Authority member, Toyoshi Fuketa, said the most serious problem is that the government does not fully understand the risks and did not set the right priorities.
He indicated that the authority will assess environmental risks in order to take steps of the highest priority.
Apr. 12, 2013


- - - April 12 - Japan Times

Rat, snakes, leaks betray just how frail Fukushima No. 1 is

A rat causing a power outage by short-circuiting a temporary switchboard. Another blackout occurring as workers install antirat nets. Holes in the linings of huge sunken reservoirs leaking radioactive water.
Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has run into a string of problems the past few weeks that highlight its precarious state more than two years after three of its six reactors melted down in the wake of a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

A makeshift system of pipes, tanks and power cables meant to carry cooling water into the melted reactors and spent-fuel pools inside shattered buildings remains highly vulnerable, Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi Tanaka acknowledged Wednesday.

“Fukushima No. 1 is still in an extremely unstable condition. There is no mistake about that,” Tanaka said at a weekly meeting of the regulatory body’s leaders. “We cannot rule out the possibility that similar problems might occur again. Whenever a problem occurs, it halts the plant’s operations and delays the primary goal of decommissioning the plant.”

The problems have raised doubts about whether the plant can stay intact through a decommissioning process that could take 40 years, prompting officials to compile risk-reduction measures and revise decommissioning plans. The regulatory watchdog said Wednesday it would add a ninth on-site inspector in order to better oversee the plant.
Just over the past three weeks, there have been at least eight accidents or problems at the plant, the NRA said.
The spate of problems started March 18, when a rat got into an outdoor switchboard — which was sitting on a pickup truck — powering the jury-rigged cooling system and several other key parts of the plant, causing a short-circuit and blackout that lasted 30 hours in some areas of the plant. Four storage pools for fuel rods lost cooling during the outage, causing Tepco to acknowledge that it had added backup power only to the reactors, despite repeated concerns raised over a pool meltdown.

The cause of the outage wasn’t clear at the time, but Tepco later released a photo of the electrocuted rat, which had fallen on the bottom of the switchboard housing. The most extensive outage since the crisis started after the March 2011 disasters caused more Fukushima residents to even consider evacuation.

Two weeks later, a new water processing machine designed to remove most radioactive elements temporarily stopped after a worker pushed a wrong button. The next day, one of the fuel storage pools lost power again for several hours when part of a wire short-circuited a switchboard while an operator installed antirat nets. Tepco reported three other minor glitches on the same day, including overheating of equipment related to boron injection to the melted reactors.

Regulators acknowledge that rats and snakes are abundant at the plant, and Tepco has started to take steps to protect pipes and cables from rat gnawing. Replacement of parts and equipment to those of higher quality and long-term use is in progress.

In the latest development, three of the plant’s seven sunken reservoirs are leaking. Tepco reported the first leak early Saturday, hours after the plant’s second power outage. Within days, it was learned that three reservoirs were leaking, paralyzing the plant’s storage plans for contaminated water.

Tepco says none of the about 120 tons of radioactive water that leaked was believed to have reached the ocean. Experts suspect the radioactive water has been leaking from the plant since early on in the crisis, citing high contamination in fish caught just off the plant.
The contaminated water is a headache for the plant, and by far the most serious of the recent problems because of its potential impact on water management and the environment.

The tanks are crucial to the management of contaminated water used to cool melted fuel rods at the plant’s wrecked reactors. They have since stabilized significantly, but the melted fuel inside must be kept cool with water, which leaks out of the reactors’ holes and ruptures and flows into basement areas.

“The contaminated water situation is on the verge of collapse,” Tanaka said. But he said there was no choice but to keep adding water, while trying to seek ways to minimize the leaks and their risks.

To address local outrage over the recent problems and Tepco’s failure to detect problems earlier, company President Naomi Hirose traveled to Fukushima and apologized Wednesday for the problems. He promised to expedite the construction of steel containers and move all the water there from the sunken reservoirs, at the request of industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

The reservoirs, all built by Maeda Corp., come in different sizes, including one the size of an Olympic swimming pool and similar to an industrial waste dump.
source : www.japantimes.co.jp


- - - April 20 - NHK news

. Carl Sundberg and the Aizu-Compufarm .


- - - May 30 - NHK news

"Frozen wall" considered for nuclear plant water
The operator of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is still struggling to control the flow of groundwater into the reactor buildings 2 years after the accident.
A government panel is now proposing that a "frozen wall" be built around the buildings to prevent groundwater from seeping into the site.
The panel has been discussing measures against the groundwater since April when leaks were found in underground storage pools for contaminated water.
One measure being considered is to pump up the groundwater before it reaches the reactor site and release it into the ocean.
But the panel members say it would be difficult to contain 400 tons of groundwater per day. Fishermen also oppose the plan.
Another plan would be to bury coolant pipes and freeze the ground around the reactor buildings in order to make "frozen walls".
The panel members say the new plan comes with some technical difficulties. The operator would need to make sure that the groundwater level does not drop too much or else the contaminated water inside the site could seep out.
The panel will finalize the plan at a meeting on Thursday. It will call on the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company to urgently consider the plan.


- - - May 30 - NHK news

Nuclear authority to allow 2 reactors to run
Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority is set to allow the only 2 reactors remaining online in the country to continue operation.
Experts from the authority have been inspecting the reactors at the Ohi nuclear plant, in central Japan, to see if they can satisfy severe accident guidelines that take effect in early July.
- snip - Officials at the authority had presented the draft report for the plant last week. It says there is no immediate threat to the safety of the reactors. The experts approved that draft with the improvements.
The authority is expected to allow the reactors to continue operating through to September, when they will go down for regular maintenance. - snip -

. TEPCO - problems since 2013 - .


- - - September 12, 2014 - NHK news

Some of the inundated land remains untouched
NHK has learned that some of the land along the coastal area flooded by the 2011 tsunami remains unused.
Municipal governments in northeastern Japan that were hit by the disaster have purchased land in the inundated areas. They hope the financial assistance will help former residents move to higher ground away from the sea.
Officials of 25 municipal governments in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima prefectures told NHK that they have so far purchased a total of 2,600 hectares for about 2.1 billion dollars.
They said that 37 percent of the purchased land remains unused after the disaster because they have no idea at present how to utilize the land.
Some officials said that the pieces of land are scattered, making it difficult to put them to use.
They also said that businesses may hesitate to move into the areas that were once flooded by tsunami.


. . Bulletins from NHK WORLD . .
. . Japan Times - JT . .



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