TEPCO - 2014


TEPCO - January 2014

Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (東京電力株式会社, Tōkyō Denryoku Kabushiki-gaisha, TYO: 9501), also known as Toden (東電, Tōden) or TEPCO, is a Japanese electric utilities servicing Japan's Kantō region, Yamanashi Prefecture, and the eastern portion of Shizuoka Prefecture.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. TEPCO - Problems since June 2013 .

With the Tokyo Olympics, Tokyo 2020
now even more in the limelight !

Please read the daily news at NHK here
Since November 2013, NHK has a new feature, "Nuclear Watch" !
source : www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english

. Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and Fukushima
東京オリンピック 2020 .

updates on this BLOG

特定秘密保護法案 Tokutei himitsu hogo hōan
The new secrecy bill. secrecy law is dangerous because Japan already has a lot of non-disclosable information and several related laws.
What will happen to the freedom of information, especially with respect to the problems of Fukushima?
- reference -

Geheimhaltungsgesetz, “Schutzgesetz” in Japan
vier Bereiche: Verteidigung, Diplomatie, Spionageabwehr und Terrorismusbekämpfung


- January 01, 2014 -

Nuclear plants unlikely to resume operations soon - NHK
Officials with the Nuclear Regulation Authority in Japan say no nuclear plants are likely to resume operations in the near future.
They set new safety standards last July following the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi. The guidelines call on operators to prepare for severe accidents and to reinforce facilities to make them earthquake-resistant.
Seven utilities have applied for safety screenings for 9 plants so they can restart operations.


- January 08, 2014 -

Decontamination system stops working - NHK
Tokyo Electric Power Company on Wednesday stopped using its systems to decontaminate radioactive water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
It has used the Advanced Liquid Processing System, or ALPS, to remove radioactive substances from contaminated water stored at the site.
TEPCO officials say the crane to remove the container from the ALPS stopped working on Tuesday.
The container which stores radioactive substances has to be replaced when it gets full.
On Wednesday TEPCO stopped operating all 3 ALPS systems. It says it may take long time to restart.
The company intends to decontaminate all radioactive water stored in the tanks by March 2015.


- January 18, 2014 -

Water leak found inside Fukushima reactor building - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has found water pouring into a drain inside the number 3 reactor building.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it is yet to determine where the water comes from, or how much radioactive material it contains.
The company said that the water leak was spotted on the first floor of the reactor building on Saturday by a camera installed on a remote-controlled robot used for removing rubbles. It said that the water flow was about 30-centimeters wide and constant.
TEPCO added that the water is likely flowing toward the building's basement where a large amount of radioactive water has accumulated.
TEPCO says that inside the reactor building there is water for cooling melted fuel and water in the spent fuel storage pool. It says rain water may have entered the damaged building.
TEPCO is trying to find out the source of the leaking water by analyzing footage taken by the camera, as radiation levels are too high for workers to approach the site.


- January 19, 2014 -

Radioactive water leaking at Fukushima Daiichi
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says water leaking in the number 3 reactor building is most likely to have come from the containment vessel.
Tokyo Electric Power Company discovered the water flow on the first floor of the reactor building on Saturday.
The stream is about 30 centimeters wide and continuously pours into a drain.
An investigation showed the water contains nearly as high a level of radioactive materials as the contaminated water accumulating in the building's basement.
TEPCO says it detected 24 million becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting radioactive substances, including strontium, as well as 1.7 million becquerels per liter of Cesium 137. . . .


- January 23, 2014 -

Iwate Prefecture files petition against TEPCO - NHK
Prefectural and municipal governments in Iwate, northeastern Japan, have filed a petition with a state arbitrator to demand that the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant pay nearly 14 million dollars in damages.
The claim is the first by a prefectural government against Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, since the nuclear accident at the facility in 2011.
Iwate Prefecture's government and municipalities, along with other organizations, had demanded that TEPCO pay 73.8 million dollars in decontamination and labor costs. The firm refused to pay about one fifth of the amount. . . . Ichinoseki City Mayor Osamu Katsube said radiation hot spots in southern parts of Iwate have affected local agriculture and livestock industries.
Katsube said TEPCO should fully acknowledge its responsibility and compensate as soon as possible.


- February 13, 2014 -

Record cesium level in Fukushima plant groundwater
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant says water samples taken from a newly-dug well contained the highest levels of radioactive cesium detected so far in groundwater at the site.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says the record levels suggest that the leakage point could be near the well.
The utility on Thursday said it had detected 54,000 becquerels per liter of cesium 137 and 22,000 becquerels per liter of cesium 134 in water samples.
The samples were taken on Wednesday from a new observation well located 50 meters from the ocean near the Number 2 reactor.
The level of cesium 137 is 600 times the government standard for radioactive wastewater that can be released into the sea.
It is more than 30,000 times the level of cesium 137 found in water samples taken from another observation well to the north last week.
TEPCO officials believe radioactive water is leaking from an underground tunnel that extends from the reactor buildings towards the ocean. They have been taking measures to prevent the tainted water from reaching the sea, but have yet to determine where the leak originates.
TEPCO suspects the leakage point is near the new well because radioactive cesium is easily absorbed into soil and is unlikely to be carried over a wide area in groundwater.


- February 16, 2014 -

Water leaks from barrier found at Fukushima plant - NHK
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says officials have found water leaks at 7 locations in a barrier that surrounds tanks holding contaminated water.
Tokyo Electric Power Company officials said they confirmed on Sunday that water had leaked from the barrier near the Number 4 reactor. It's one of 30 barriers in the compound.
The officials said the amount of the leak was about 19.2 tons, which they believe seeped into the ground.
They detected 23 becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium 90 in water still inside the barrier.
The level is below the national standard for the discharge of contaminated water into the sea, but is 2.3 times the standard for discharging from the barriers.
Heavy rains last October caused the barriers to overflow. That prompted the utility to raise the height of the barriers.
The officials said the leaks occurred at connections between steel plates used to raise the height of the barrier and from where piping was installed in plates.
They said they are investigating why the leaks are concentrated at the barrier.


- February 19, / 20 2014 -

Thermometer out of order at Fukushima No.2 reactor - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says there is just one working thermometer monitoring the temperature of melted nuclear fuel in the plant's No.2 reactor.
Officials of Tokyo Electric Power Company say they have discovered a fault in one of the 2 thermometers used to monitor the lower part of the reactor's container vessel.
They say the problem was found this week after workers accidently caused a short circuit by delivering 250 volts of electricity instead of 100 volts during checks on the thermometers.
The company continues to pour water into the No.2 reactor to cool the melted fuel at the bottom.
A series of problems left just one of 9 thermometers working at the lower part of the pressure vessel by September 2012. The newly malfunctioning thermometer was installed later that year.
The utility's announcement came more than 24 hours after the abnormality was found on Tuesday.
Officials say they failed to immediately notice the problem since the faulty thermometer was showing a similar reading - about 20 degrees Celsius -- as the working one.
The officials say replacing the gauge is likely to take time because of high radiation levels in and around the reactor. They say a new thermometer will have to be inserted through a pipe.

Highly radioactive water leaks at Fukushima plant - NHK
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says water containing extremely high levels of radioactive substances has leaked from a storage tank.
Tokyo Electric Power Company officials said the leak was found on Wednesday night in one of the many tanks being stored on the mountain side of the reactor buildings.
They say the leaked water contained 230-million becquerels per liter of beta-ray emitting substances. The amount far exceeds government limits.
They say the water leaked from a seam near the top of the tank. It traveled along a rainwater pipe and flowed outside the barrier that surrounds the tank.
Officials say they have taken measures to stop the leakage. TEPCO estimates that about 100 tons of water had leaked.
The utility say the water should not have flowed into the ocean because there are no spillways near the tank that lead to the sea. Officials say their investigation is still underway.

Water leak may be due to workers' mistake - NHK, Feb. 21
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the latest spill of radioactive water from a mountainside tank may have been caused by worker error.
... TEPCO had said that one of the 3 valves that connects to the tank may have been out of order. But the utility officials have found from a photo taken on Wednesday that the valve is not broken.
... The utility is also reviewing ways to supervise engineers who handle valves and monitor water levels in a tank.
This is because the water level was not monitored properly at the time the valves were operated. And tools for closing and opening the valves were not stored properly.


- February 25, 2014 -

Fukushima No.4 reactor pool's cooling fan halts - NHK
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says a cooling fan for the spent fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor has stopped working.
Tokyo Electric Power Company announced on Tuesday that a warning alarm for an electrical problem went off at 9:40 AM.
The firm says work to remove spent fuel from the pool has been suspended. But it says there are 2 cooling systems, so it will switch to the second one and cooling should resume by around 1 PM.
The pool temperature is now 13 degrees Celsius. TEPCO estimates that it will rise by about 0.3 degrees per hour.
The operator says a nearby electrical cable may have been damaged in excavation work. The company is looking into the cause of the fan failure.

Reactor pool cooling system stopped - NHK
The operator of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the cooling system for the spent fuel pool at the No.4 reactor stopped temporarily due to an accident.
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says a short-circuit alarm went off at around 9:40 AM on Tuesday, and a part of the reactor pool cooling system lost power.
TEPCO says drilling work on a road south of the reactor damaged a power cable. Cooling resumed around 4 and half hours later after personnel switched the system to another power source.
The spent fuel pool was 13 degrees Celsius when the cooling system stopped. The utility says the temperature rose only slightly, and did not surpass the company's safety limit of 65 degrees.
Workers suspended removing spent nuclear fuel from the No.4 reactor pool due the power outage, but resumed shortly after 2:30 PM.


. TEPCO - Problems since June 2013 .

. - - - Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 - and Fukushima - - -
東京オリンピック 2020 .


- quote
Cancer And Death by Radiation? Not From Fukushima
t’s always amazing when a United Nations report that has global ramifications comes out with little fanfare. The latest one states that no one will get cancer or die from radiation released from Fukushima, but the fear and overreaction is harming people (UNIS; UNSCEAR Fukushima; UNSCEAR A-68-46). This is what we’ve been saying for almost three years but it’s nice to see it officially acknowledged.

According to the report, drafted last year but only recently finalized by the U.N., “The doses to the general public, both those incurred during the first year and estimated for their lifetimes, are generally low or very low. No discernible increased incidence of radiation-related health effects are expected among exposed members of the public or their descendants. The most important health effect is on mental and social well-being, related to the enormous impact of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident, and the fear and stigma related to the perceived risk of exposure to ionizing radiation. Effects such as depression and post-traumatic stress symptoms have already been reported.”

In addition, the report states,
“Increased rates of detection of [thyroid] nodules, cysts and cancers have been observed during the first round of screening; however, these are to be expected in view of the high detection efficiency [using modern high-efficiency ultrasonography]. Data from similar screening protocols in areas not affected by the accident imply that the apparent increased rates of detection among children in Fukushima Prefecture are unrelated to radiation exposure.”
- source : www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca



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  1. Anonymous1/06/2014

    Love and Prayers for Fukushima

    I will also be posting articles and news items as they become available, so please do the same and send your comments, poems, stories and thoughts for others to share and comment upon.

    Odilia Galván Rodríguez


  2. Anonymous1/07/2014

    Information hacked from Monju reactor control room

    The operator of the Monju fast-breeder reactor on the Sea of Japan coast says computer hackers may have stolen data on internal e-mails and training records.

    The Japan Atomic Energy Agency says it found that one of the 8 computers in the central control room had been illegally accessed more than 30 times from a South Korean website after an employee updated free software on the PC last Thursday.

    Agency officials say about 42,000 inter-office e-mails and staff training reports were stored in the computer.

    They say part of the data may have been stolen, because they found indications of out-bound transmissions.
    The officials suspect that the computer was infected during the software updating procedure.

    But they say they have confirmed no illegal accesses to the other computers at the reactor complex, and that information important to the plant's safety was not leaked.

    Last November, the plant operator was warned by the Nuclear Regulation Authority that its anti-terrorism measures were insufficient.

    Jan 6

  3. Anonymous1/07/2014

    Nuclear waste incinerator to be built in Ibaraki

    Workers at an accident-hit nuclear processing plant northeast of Tokyo are preparing to conduct an operation to treat nuclear waste.

    The personnel of JCO, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining, began constructing an incinerator to dispose of low-level radioactive substances at its plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Monday.

    The firm lost its business license for such processing after 2 workers died of radiation poisoning during the disposal process in September, 1999. More than 660 others in and around the plant, including residents, were exposed to radiation.

    JCO has been allowed to conduct work to store nuclear waste that was produced from processing procedures before the firm lost the permit.

    The firm is hoping to begin using the incinerator in November to burn low-level radioactive materials such as waste oil. Used work clothes and documents are among the item to be treated.

    The materials the company plans to destroy amount to about 700 metallic barrels, each with a capacity of 200 liters. The firm's officials say the facility's air-filtering system will prevent any radioactive substances from leaking outside.

    The plant's head, Hirokazu Miyauchi, said the workers will make safety the top priority when they operate the incinerator.

    Jan. 6, 2014

  4. Anonymous1/25/2014

    Aizu Electric Power Company Established to Achieve Electricity Self-Sufficiency in Fukushima within Ten Years

    Aizu Electric Power Company was established in August 2013 to create a system to meet Fukushima Prefecture's electricity demands with renewable energy alone.

    The company plans to implement an electric power generation project in three phases using renewable energy sources. In the first phase, the company will establish multiple photovoltaic power generation facilities with a combined output of 2.0 to 2.2 megawatts in Fukushima's Aizu region by August 2014. Of these facilities, the largest will be those in Kitakata City with an output of 1 megawatt, and the project cost of 300 million to 350 million yen (about US$3 million to 3.5 million) will be covered by loans from local financial institutions and other organizations, citizens' funds and other investment.

    In addition to photovoltaic power generation, Aizu Electric Power Company plans to promote research on micro-hydro power and woody-biomass power, as well as on the use of geothermal energy, wind and snow for power generation, as it hopes to expand its service areas from Aizu to the whole of Fukushima Prefecture and to contribute to the energy supply in the rest of Japan.


  5. Anonymous2/01/2014

    Abe: Govt. aims to cut dependence on nuclear power

    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his government will try to reduce Japan's dependence on nuclear power by diversifying energy sources.

    Abe was answering a question from an opposition lawmaker in a Lower House committee on Friday.
    The question was whether the government wants to keep using nuclear power or eventually end its use.

    Abe said the government should draw up a responsible energy policy to help people and the economy.

    He also said his government's basic policy is to minimize dependence on nuclear power by introducing renewable energy sources and power-saving measures. Abe said it's irresponsible to say Japan will end using nuclear power because it assumes such a thing is possible.


  6. Anonymous2/08/2014

    TEPCO to review eroneous radiation data

    The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has decided to review radiation data after finding the initial readings may be much lower than actual figures.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says it has detected a record high 5 million becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium in groundwater collected last July from one of wells close to the ocean.

    That's more than 160,000 times the state standard for radioactive wastewater normally released into the sea.

    Based on the result, levels of radioactive substances that emit beta particles are estimated to be 10 million becquerels per liter, which is more than 10 times the initial reading.
    TEPCO initially said it had detected 900,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting substances.

    The utility attributes the error to the improper measuring method that had been used until last October. It says the readings of radioactivity can be measured as being lower than they actually are in the highly contaminated water.

    TEPCO plans to review other data measured with the improper method, including the radiation level of around 300 tons of waste water that leaked from a storage tank in August.

    An initial test of the leaked water found it contained up to 80-million becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting substances, including strontium.

    Feb. 7, 2014 - NHK news

  7. Anonymous2/12/2014

    Disaster-hit city to raise health insurance tax

    Municipalities in northeastern Japan devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami are increasingly facing fiscal difficulties due to an exodus of their populations.

    Higashi-Matsuyama City plans to deal with a revenue shortfall by raising a tax. Mayor Hideo Abe said on Monday that he will seek the city assembly's approval for his plan to raise the national health insurance system tax by 18 percent.

    About 30 percent of citizens, including the self-employed, are enrolled in the system. A household will have to pay an average of 300 dollars more in a year if the assembly agrees to the hike.

    The insurance system's finances are rapidly worsening due to falling revenue and rising medical costs brought on by an aging population.
    For the first time ever, the city is facing an insurance system deficit this year of about 2-million dollars.

    Mayor Abe said that he is reluctant to raise the tax while reconstruction efforts are still under way. But he adds that cannot delay the decision any longer.

    He said he will explain his plan to residents in an attempt to gain their understanding.

    Feb. 11, 2014

  8. Anonymous2/18/2014

    Fukushima people want better information flow - NHK

    Officials from the public and private sectors in Fukushima Prefecture want the central government to do a better job of sharing information about the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The industry ministry on Monday convened a conference comprising heads of municipalities near the plant, educators, business leaders and other representatives.

    People attending the meeting said announcements by the government and the plant's operator contain many technical terms that the general public find hard to understand.

    They also said much of the information concerns problems concerning the facility, and this discourages evacuated residents from returning to their homes.

    Fukushima Prefecture Vice Governor Masao Uchibori said progress in dealing with the stricken plant should be measured in shorter periods of time.

    He said that it is now measured in decades, making it impossible to determine whether work is proceeding smoothly. Uchibori said that also makes it hard for residents who have left the area to decide whether they should return.

    An industry ministry official replied that the government will study what it can do before the next review of the situation at the plant.

    Feb. 18, 2014

  9. Anonymous2/21/2014

    Measures fail to stop Fukushima plant leaks - NHK

    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi plant has been coming up with countermeasures to deal with repeated leaks from tanks of contaminated water.

    But despite the measures, 100 tons of radioactive water leaked on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Last August, more than 300 tons of highly radioactive wastewater leaked from one of the plant's storage tanks.

    The estimated volume of the leaked radioactive materials caused Japan's nuclear regulator to rank the leak a level-3 serious accident. The international scale of nuclear and radiological events ranges from zero to 7.

    In October, another leak of highly contaminated water occurred, this time from a different tank on the site.
    Tokyo Electric Power Company said the leak resulted from overfilling the tank.

    In the wake of repeated leaks, the utility installed water-level gauges in the tanks and alarms to prevent overfilling. It also stepped up patrols of the compound so abnormalities could be detected as soon as possible.

    This time the water again overflowed out of a tank and leaked outside the barrier around the tank, running along a rainwater pipe.

    But workers first determined that the alarm and information from the gauges were malfunctions, as they found no abnormalities around the tank, at least when the alarm went off.

    The utility says they will seek additional measures to address these new problems.

  10. Anonymous3/01/2014

    High radioactive materials detected in fish

    Fishermen in Fukushima say high levels of radioactive materials have been detected in fish caught off the prefecture.

    The prefectural fisheries association said on Thursday that 110 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive materials was detected in scorpion fish caught in test-fishing off Iwaki City.
    The government safety limit is 100 becquerels. This is the first time radiation levels have exceeded the limit in the test-fishing program.

    The association halted regular commercial fishing in March of 2011 due to the Fukushima nuclear accident. Test-fishing began in June of 2012.

    Catches are now limited to 32 marine products, and sample tests are conducted to check radiation levels.
    Marine products are marketed only if their radiation levels are less than 50 becquerels, as set by the association.

    The association said the 13.2 kilograms of scorpion fish will not be marketed. It also said it will recall the 2.5 kilograms sold on the previous day, although their radiation levels were below the association's safety limit.

    The association will exclude scorpion fish from test fishing for the time being, but will continue to catch other marine products.

    Feb. 28, 2014 - NHK news

  11. Anonymous3/01/2014

    TEPCO to prepare for radioactive water leaks

    The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has decided to dig observation wells to prepare for the possibility of highly radioactive water seeping into groundwater.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company has come under criticism after more than 100 tons of water containing record-high levels of radioactive substances overflowed from a storage tank last month.

    The utility says the leakage occurred when valves that should have been closed were left open, allowing tainted water to enter the tank that overflowed.

    But company officials have yet to pinpoint the exact reasons for the oversight.

    TEPCO is using pumps to recover about half of the contaminated water, as well as removing soil tainted by the water. But there are concerns that the water may seep into groundwater and spread radiation.

    TEPCO officials say they will dig observation wells in 3 locations near the leakage site facing the ocean to monitor groundwater contamination.

    They also plan to dig a well that can pump water out once it's found to be contaminated.

    Last August, the leakage of 300 tons of contaminated water resulted in a rise in the density of radioactive substances in wells nearby.

    TEPCO officials say they are hoping they can learn a lesson from that past incident and prevent the further spread of contamination.

    Feb. 28, 2014 - NHK news

  12. Anonymous4/19/2014

    NHK news
    Radiation exposure estimate for returnees released

    The Japanese government on Friday issued estimates of how much radiation residents would be exposed if they return to their homes near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The cabinet office asked experts to make annual radiation exposure projections for Tamura City's Miyakoji district, Kawauchi Village and Iitate Village.

    The experts made estimates for each area in 30 categories based on an individual's job and other lifestyle patterns.

    Forestry workers would be subject to the highest level of radiation. The estimates are 17 millisieverts per year in Iitate; 5.5 millisieverts in Kawauchi and 2.3 millisieverts in Miyakoji. An evacuation order for Miyakoji was lifted on April 1.

    The projected exposure for school officials, who spend long hours indoors, is 11.2 millisieverts in Iitate. The figure is 1.8 millisieverts in Kawauchi and 0.7 millisievert in Miyakoji.

    In all 30 cases, exposure is under 20 millisieverts. When levels fall below this level, the government begins considering lifting evacuation orders.

    But in 25 cases, estimates are higher than one millisievert. This is the long-term goal the government wants to achieve by removing radioactive materials from soil, the exterior surfaces of buildings and other areas.

    The Cabinet Office says it hopes to collect more data in order to make more accurate estimates.

    The cabinet office said it would have been helpful if they had issued the estimates before it lifted the evacuation order for Miyakoji. But it says the main aim was to establish a method for creating estimates and releasing the data used when considering whether to allow residents to return home.


  13. Anonymous4/21/2014

    - Japan Times -
    Fukushima No. 1 boss admits water woes out of control
    Abe told an Olympic Committee meet situation was under control

    The manager of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant admits to embarrassment that repeated efforts have failed to bring under control the problem of radioactive water, eight months after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the world the matter had been resolved.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, has been fighting a daily battle against contaminated water since Fukushima was wrecked by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

    Abe’s government pledged half a billion dollars last year to tackle the issue, but progress has been limited.

    “It’s embarrassing to admit, but there are certain parts of the site where we don’t have full control,” Akira Ono told reporters touring the plant last week.

    He was referring to the latest blunder at the plant: channeling contaminated water into the wrong building.

    Ono also acknowledged that many difficulties may have been rooted in Tepco’s focus on speed since the 2011 disaster.
    ... “We need to improve the quality of the tanks and other facilities so that they can survive for the next 30 to 40 years of our decommission period,” Ono said, a stark acknowledgement that the problem is long-term.
    ... But things keep going wrong.

    Last week, Tepco said it had directed 203 tons of highly radioactive water to the wrong building, flooding its basement. Tepco is also investigating a leak into the ground a few days earlier from a plastic container used to store rainwater.

    In February, a tank sprouted a 100-ton leak of radioactive water, the most serious incident since leaks sparked international alarm last year.

    A hangar-like structure houses Toshiba Corp’s ALPS system, able to remove all nuclides except for less noxious tritium, found at most nuclear power stations, its planners say.

    It sat idle for 19 months after a series of glitches. The latest miscue occurred on Wednesday, when a ton of radioactive water overflowed from a tank.

    “The ultimate purpose is to prevent contaminated water from going out to the ocean, and in this regard, I believe it is under control,” Ono said. But the incidents, he said, obliged officials to “find better ways to handle the water problem.”

  14. Anonymous5/07/2014

    NHK news

    More than 3,000 evacuees die since 3/11 disaster

    An NHK survey has found that the number of evacuees who have died from poor health since the 2011 disaster has topped 3,000.

    NHK asked local authorities about the deaths of evacuees as of the end of March. Most victims are believed to have died due to poor health brought on by the fatigue and stress of moving to temporary shelters.

    The survey found that 3,076 people have died in 10 prefectures. The number rose by 388 from last year's figure.
    More than a half of all the victims are from Fukushima Prefecture. The number of people who died from poor health was 88 more than those killed by the quake and tsunami.

    Many of the Fukushima victims are from municipalities near the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    May 6, 2014

  15. Anonymous5/08/2014

    NHK news
    Former PMs launch group for renewable energy

    Former Japanese prime ministers Morihiro Hosokawa and Junichiro Koizumi have launched an organization dedicated to ending Japan's reliance on nuclear power.

    Hosokawa ran for Tokyo governor in February pledging to work for that goal, but finished third. Koizumi supported his campaign.

    The two, along with other founders, held an inaugural meeting of the association in Tokyo on Wednesday.
    The group will promote the use of renewable energy sources to end nuclear power generation in Japan.
    Group representative Hosokawa referred to an energy plan the government approved last month. Under the plan, nuclear plants will be allowed to resume operation if they meet new safety standards.

    Hosokawa denounced the plan, saying the government had not reflected on the 2011 nuclear disaster at all.

    May 7, 2014

  16. Anonymous6/07/2014

    TEPCO: Contaminated water may have leaked

    The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says more than 3 tons of radioactive water may have leaked from barriers surrounding storage tanks.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company made the announcement on Friday following the discovery of water leaking around 2 of its storage tanks on the hillside earlier this week.

    The tanks contain rainwater with radiation levels above government-set standards.

    TEPCO found that regular patrols have not been conducted in the area near the tanks since March, and that the leakage may have begun then.

    The company also determined that a drain valve for barriers surrounding the tanks had accidentally been left open.

    It detected higher levels of radiation around the area than at other locations in the complex.

    TEPCO has concluded that up to 3.4 tons of contaminated water may have leaked outside the barriers since March. The company continues to collect soil samples in the area.

    TEPCO officials say regular patrols did not cover the area where only smaller tanks for rainwater are located. They add that they will thoroughly check for other facilities that may have been left unattended.

    Jun. 6, 2014

  17. Anonymous6/17/2014

    TEPCO finds water in tunnels not yet frozen
    NHK news

    Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant say their effort to freeze radioactive water in underground tunnels hasn't gone as planned.

    In April, they began pouring chemical solutions into tunnels at the No.2 reactor. They hoped to freeze the water to stop it flowing out to the sea.

    But tests show the water remains above freezing temperature.
    Operator Tokyo Electric Power Company believes objects in the tunnels are preventing the coolant from spreading evenly. They also said running wastewater is slowing the process.
    They say they are planning to find ways to control the water currents and add pipes to pour in more coolant.

    They say they may not be able to complete the frozen barrier by the end of the month, and dry up the tunnel next month, as scheduled.
    They are trying the same process in a tunnel around the No.3 reactor. About 11,000 tons of wastewater is believed to be in tunnels at the two reactors.

    TEPCO hopes to remove wastewater from tunnels around all reactors in fiscal 2014.
    The utility also has to deal with groundwater flowing into the plant from nearby hillsides and mixing with contaminated materials. Workers have been creating a 1.5-kilometer underground wall of frozen soil surrounding all four damaged reactors.


  18. Anonymous7/26/2014

    NHK News
    Agency: Nuclear waste can be directly disposed of

    The Japan Atomic Energy Agency is reported to be looking at the direct disposal of spent nuclear fuel instead of reprocessing it.

    NHK has obtained a draft report compiled by the agency which analyzed the environmental impact of disposing of spent nuclear fuel.

    The conclusion of the analysis is expected to touch off controversy, because the government has long maintained the policy of reprocessing all spent nuclear fuel. It has conducted few studies about disposing of it as waste.

    Spent nuclear fuel is known to have higher radiation levels than high-level radioactive waste.
    But the agency's draft report says it is technically possible to directly dispose of spent nuclear fuel at a low radiation level.
    ... Professor Tatsujiro Suzuki at Nagasaki University says the conclusion that direct disposal is possible is a very important step forward. Suzuki is a former member of the government's Atomic Energy Commission.

    Jul. 25, 2014 - Updated 11:06 UTC

  19. Anonymous7/31/2014

    Ice put into utility tunnels at Fukushima plant
    NHK news
    Jul. 30, 2014 -

    The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun putting ice into underground utility tunnels to help freeze radiation-contaminated wastewater.

    The Tokyo Electric Power Company began work in April to create a wall of ice between the basement of the No. 2 reactor building and its utility tunnel.

    TEPCO initially planned to freeze radioactive wastewater that's been flowing into underground utility tunnels at the plant. It hoped the measure would prevent the wastewater from mixing with groundwater and flowing out to sea.

    But 3 months into the project, the water hasn't frozen as planned.

    Workers began putting ice into the water on an experimental basis this month. They say they found that 2 tons of ice reduced the water temperature by more than 4 degrees by the next day.

    On Wednesday, workers increased the daily input of ice to 15 tons.

    Utility tunnels between the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors and the sea are estimated to hold a total of 11,000 tons of radiation-contaminated wastewater.

  20. Meltdown at Fukushima reactor 3 worse than thought
    NHK news - Aug. 6, 2014 -

    The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says the damage to nuclear fuel in one of its reactors may be worse than previously thought.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company engineers have been working to size up damage at the plant from the March 2011 accident and start the process of decommission.

    Officials with the utility now say most of the nuclear fuel in the No. 3 reactor melted through the reactor core and is now resting at the bottom of the containment vessel.
    They had previously said some of the fuel was still inside the reactor. Their latest assessment suggests decommissioning the No. 3 reactor could be more challenging than previously thought.

    A government panel investigating the meltdown had said an improper shutdown of an emergency cooling system called "HPCI" had contributed to the accident.
    But the utility's latest analysis states the cooling system was already dysfunctional before workers shut it down. It says a meltdown in the No. 3 reactor started at 5.30 AM on March 13th. That's about 5 hours earlier than previously estimated.
    It says most of the fuel melted through the reactor core and had dropped into the containment vessel by the following morning.

    It says most of the fuel melted through the reactor core and had dropped into the containment vessel by the following morning.

  21. Anonymous8/16/2014

    TEPCO to scrap Areva system at Fukushima
    Aug. 12, 2014 - Updated 08:08 - NHK news

    The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has decided to scrap a French-made decontamination system that's been out of operation for nearly 3 years.

    Tokyo Electric Power Company installed the system made by the French nuclear energy firm Areva 3 months after the nuclear accident at the plant. TEPCO used it to deal with accumulated radioactive water.

    The system uses chemical agents to remove radioactive material, including cesium, from water.

    TEPCO said 76,000 tons of tainted water was treated during the first 3 months of use. But the system was soon marred by pump malfunctions and other problems.

    The machine has been unused for nearly 3 years, while another system was introduced to take over the task.
    TEPCO said the device now has high levels of radiation after processing water with highly radioactive substances.

    The company says there is a high risk of radiation exposure to workers during monthly maintenance and regular operation of the system.

    It is planning to file an application to scrap system with the Nuclear Regulation Authority.
    TEPCO says the device was helpful in the early stage of decontamination. It also says it will not disclose its price and maintenance fees, as that would affect company management.

  22. Anonymous9/23/2014

    NHK news

    Japan to step up Fukushima contractors oversight
    Sep. 22, 2014 - Updated 20:29 UTC+9

    Japan's labor minister says he's ready to strengthen government monitoring of companies that are dispatching workers to decommission the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    Yasuhisa Shiozaki visited a labor standards inspection office in Iwaki City on Monday. The office oversees areas surrounding the Fukushima plant.
    His visit follows nearly 130 complaints from April to August alone of unpaid wages and inadequate safety measures for workers employed to decommission the Fukushima plant.

    Contractors and subcontractors are also accused of not handing over promised danger pay allocated for workers that undertake the cleanup work.

    Shiozaki told reporters that decommissioning and decontamination work requires the support of subcontractors far removed from the plant operator.
    He stressed that no violations of labor laws can be tolerated in the securing of a workforce to shut down the plant.

    The labor minister hinted that if the problem is not dealt with, it will have a negative impact on the ongoing project to decommission Fukushima Daiichi plant.

  23. Anonymous10/02/2014

    NHK news

    Nuclear risk center chief urges change in mindset
    Oct. 1, 2014 -

    The head of Japan's newly established Nuclear Risk Research Center has urged everyone involved with nuclear energy to change their mindset.

    The center opened on Wednesday as part of the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, which is run jointly by Japanese power companies.

    Center chief George Apostolakis served on the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission until June. He specializes in analyzing risks at nuclear plants.

    The center's aim is to pinpoint such risks, including those at plants that have met government requirements to restart, and to help power companies fix the problems.

    Apostolakis said Japan has been slow to introduce risk analysis, perhaps because most people think everything that meets government requirements is safe. He added that such attitudes must change, to ensure safety.

  24. Anonymous10/13/2014

    Tritium up tenfold in Fukushima groundwater after Typhoon Phanfone (18)

    Fukushima No. 1’s radioactive water woes worsen after the tritium concentration in a groundwater sample was found to have surged more than tenfold.
    Japan Times Ocotber 13 2014

  25. Anonymous10/13/2014

    One-third of safety cameras at Monju reactor broken

    During a recent safety inspection, about one-third of the 180 monitoring cameras installed at the experimental Monju fast-breeder reactor were found to be broken.

    Japan Times Ocotber 13 2014

  26. - Japan Times -
    Local government gives OK to restart Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture

    The municipal assembly in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, approves the restart of the local nuclear power station.

  27. - Japan Times -
    Japan’s 3/11 tsunami evacuees caught in $30 billion money trap

    ISHINOMAKI, MIYAGI PREF. – Some ¥3.28 trillion in funding for roads, bridges and thousands of new homes in areas devastated by the tsunami in Tohoku 3½ years ago is still languishing unspent in the bank. That means Keiko Abe is heading into a fourth winter of subzero temperatures in a cramped, temporary dwelling that is succumbing to the elements.
    - snip -
    The equivalent of some $30 billion in government funds budgeted for reconstruction and transferred to local governments are stuck in banks across the tsunami-ravaged northeast, a Reuters review of budget and bank deposit data and interviews with bank officials reveals.

    The central government has paid out more than ¥5.46 trillion directly to local governments in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, the areas hardest hit by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. But about 60 percent of that money remains on deposit in the region’s banks.

    Ishinomaki, where more than 3,700 people died in the tsunami, the most casualties of any city on the northeast coast, has been deeply affected by the funding paralysis. The port city, where 56,000 buildings were damaged, has been showered with money for reconstruction, about ¥448 billion in the three years after it was hit.

    But almost 60 percent of the money, or ¥251 billion, remains in bank deposits. And fewer than 5 percent of the planned new homes for the city’s nearly 25,000 evacuees have been completed.}.
    Closed funding loop

    Much of the reconstruction cash has ended up on the ledger of 77 Bank in Sendai, 50 km west of Ishinomaki. Government deposits at 77 Bank, the largest lender in the Tohoku region, have jumped four-fold to almost ¥1.85 trillion in the past three years as reconstruction money flooded in, the bank said.