Posts Tagged ‘Kyodo’

Mainichi Shimbun reported further issues at Genkai Nuclear Power Plant in Kyushu. The water leaks follow those at Mihama and Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant last week and a fire yesterday at Tsuruga Nuclear Power Plant (read about it in Fire And Water At Japanese Nuclear Power Plants on Survival Japan). Previous update is available here. It mentioned that there hadn’t been any radioactive material leak, which of course was inexact (although KEPCO tries hard to prove there is no causal link between the leaks and the radiation surge) – incidentally JAPC declared the same regarding Tsuruga today.

About Genkai, claims by the local government that radiation levels ″sometimes rises under natural conditions such as rain″ might be half-truths as radioactive rains are not natural conditions, but it is irrelevant nonetheless in the current nuclear power plant leak context. Besides, ″the usual range of 433 to 472 cpm″ is not harmless – it is about 10 times readings I measured elsewhere in Japan (Cf. Geiger Counter Case Study: Inspector Alert on SurvivalJapan – although results in the post are given in uS/h, in fact 40 cpm was a typical value).

Nuclear power plants in “normal operation” in the US leak a ″little″ amount of radioactivity which operators must report to the NRC. Japanese nuclear power plants are similar although I am not aware of any such reporting in Japan.

Mainichi Shimbun – Radiation rose slightly afterwater leak at Genkai plant

SAGA, Japan (Kyodo) — A radiation reading at Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s Genkai nuclear power plant in Saga Prefecture rose slightly above the usual range after coolant water leaked there Friday, the prefectural government said Sunday.

The reading at an outlet for seawater cooling the No. 3 reactor’s secondary cooling system was 473 counts per minute at 3 p.m. Friday, against the usual range of 433 to 472 cpm, not high enough to immediately impact human health, it said.

On Friday morning, 1.8 tons of primary coolant water containing radioactive materials leaked within the reactor’s purification system. The utility claimed the radiation reading is unrelated to that leak and said it will investigate the cause.

Water used in treating low-level radioactive waste is sometimes discharged from the outlet, but that was not the case Friday, the local government said, adding the reading sometimes rises under natural conditions such as rain.

(Mainichi Japan) December 12, 2011

Original article may still be available at this link.

Further updates with “not so slight levels” or such as “Yukio Edano ordered the last Genkai reactor to shut down” for instance are foreseeable.

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The only reporter I could spot at the Osaka protest (Cf. Protest Against Radioactive Waste In Osaka in SurvivalJapan) was from the Mainichi Shimbun. Yomiuri Shimbun is a pro-nuclear news and powerful lobby with links to the CIA since the 1950, with its head Matsutaro Shoriki, to promote and sustain nuclear energy (and possibly weapon technology?) in Japan so their coverage is less and more biased unfortunately. Asahi Shimbun reported about a petition signature campaign in both Tokyo and Osaka on the same day for a referendum to take place, as per their article reproduced below: (more…)

Kyodo News reported today that a Genkai nuclear power plant reactor in Saga prefecture, Kyushu, was stopped due to an “abnormality”.

This coincides with a post on Fukushima Diary blog where radioiodine level in dehydrated sludge of Nagasaki city central sewage treatment plant (中部下水処理場) was reported much higher than in no man’s land Miyagi last month :

1) in Miyagi

  • 42 Bq/kg – 8/9/2011
  • 41 Bq/kg – 9/6/2011

2) In Nagasaki

  • 563 Bq/kg – 8/4/2011
  • 151 Bq/kg – 8/11/2011
  • 44 Bq/kg – 8/22/2011

Radioiodine disappears quickly so this comes from “fresh” nuclear reactions (half-life is about 8 days).

Of course, Kyushu Electric Power denied any radiation leak in the Kyodo article.

Genkai nuclear power plant is located near an island named Fukushima (sic) and the readings for Nagasaki city above are from about 60 km away as can be seen on the map of Kyushu below (Kyushu is the large southern island in our monitored land). The letter ‘A’ marker in purple locates Genkai and the red one Nagasaki city. (more…)

Since Fukushima plant is so close to the sea and its basement is leaking, and since the amount of processed nuclear waste stocked there is already not manageable without any visibility on a future solution, it is quite a possibility that most of the “decontaminated water” just flows into the Ocean. Indeed, if, as TEPCO stated, 500,000 liters of “groundwater” leaked in the plant everyday, there is little doubt that this “groundwater” leaks back out into the Ocean, after being contaminated to some extent (after all, the plant is not flooded).

According to Mainichi Shimbun mainstream newspaper :

Professor Akio Koyama at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute says, “The density of high-level decontaminated water is believed to be a maximum 10 billion becquerels per liter, but if it is condensed to polluted sludge and zeolites, its density sometimes increases by 10,000 times. The density cannot be dealt with through conventional systems.” [End of Mainichi Shimbun quote]

This leads us to the following back-of-the-envelope computation :

10 billion Becquerels per litter x 500,000 liters per day x 200 days = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 Becquerels or 1000 peta-Becquerels

This is already much higher than the 15 peta-Becquerels reported by TEPCO for March only. Even if we considered their figure over 6.5 months, it would still be 10 times less than the result above. TEPCO unethical methods have largely been documented enough to consider this as a serious possibility.

Besides, Kyodo news agency reported that :

Researchers at the Meteorological Research Institute and the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry estimated that the amount of radioactive cesium-137 that was directly released into the sea came to 3,500 terabecquerels from March to the end of May, while estimating that roughly 10,000 terabecquerels fell into the ocean after it was released into the air. [End of Kyodo quote]

10,000 tera-Becquerels is the same as 10 peta-Becquerels. We know that Fukushima continues to diffuse radioactivity in the atmosphere so 6.5 months later, this amount of atmospheric Ocean contamination could be linearly extrapolated to 25 peta-Becquerels.

So we can add this atmospheric ocean pollution to our hypothetical direct flow computed above and reach the figure of 1025 peta-Becquerels – or roughly 1 exa-Becquerels – or, if you prefer, a quintillion Becquerels (the atmospheric radioactive source being a minor contributor in the end).

At this rate of 2 exa-Becquerels per year dumped into the Ocean, it would take 500 years to reach the next prefix, i.e. zetta-Becquerels, which is out of our life timeframe. Hence, I think that the new unit for nuclear disasters should be the exa-Becquerel – and we maybe just have reached it for the Pacific Ocean.

The Mainichi Shimbun article with Pr. Koyama’s quote is reproduced below :

Radioactive waste piles up at Fukushima nuclear plant as disposal method remains in limbo

Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant stand around the radioactive water decontamination system

Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant stand around the radioactive water decontamination system “Sally” in this photo provided by TEPCO.

Three months after the start of full-scale water circulation system operations at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, high-level radioactive waste has kept piling up amid no clear indications of its final disposal destination.

As of Sept. 27, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) had accumulated about 4,700 drums of radioactive waste after three months of cesium decontamination operations initially using U.S. and French equipment which was later joined by Toshiba Corp.’s “Sally” system in August.

Since the start of October, TEPCO has conducted the plant’s water circulation operations using the Sally system alone while relegating its U.S. and French counterparts built by Kurion Inc. and Areva SA, respectively, to backups.

The Kurion and Sally systems are designed to purify decontaminated water through an absorption unit called a “vessel” that contains zeolites. The vessel is changed every few days and the used vessels become radioactive waste.

Areva’s water treatment system filters contaminated water by having sand absorb radioactive materials and precipitate with the help of chemicals. But the treatment produces highly polluted sludge.

According to TEPCO, radioactive waste as of Sept. 27 included 210 Kurion-made vessels (a total of about 307 cubic meters) with each vessel measuring 0.9 meters in diameter and 2.3 meters in height and 581 cubic meters of sludge via the Areva unit.

In this June 1, 2011 file photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), workers inspect equipment inside the cesium absorption tower, part of the radioactive water processing facilities at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. (AP Photo/TEPCO)

In this June 1, 2011 file photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), workers inspect equipment inside the cesium absorption tower, part of the radioactive water processing facilities at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture. (AP Photo/TEPCO)

The radioactive waste has been kept at a temporary storage site on the premises of the Fukushima plant, which was heavily damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and subsequent hydrogen explosions and meltdowns. But TEPCO has been unable to fully grasp the details such as the types and the concentration of nuclear materials.

Professor Akio Koyama at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute says, “The density of high-level decontaminated water is believed to be a maximum 10 billion becquerels per liter, but if it is condensed to polluted sludge and zeolites, its density sometimes increases by 10,000 times. The density cannot be dealt with through conventional systems.”

Click here for the original Japanese story

Level of radiation dump by TEPCO in the Pacific Ocean is so mind-boggling that a new unit may be needed for nuclear disasters (15 peta-Becquerels just for March 2011). Fish and seafood is contaminated and even the Ocean cannot dilute such a radioactivity source.

An article published 2 weeks ago in Japan Times states that cesium would be back in Japan after 20 to 30 years, promoting a false immediate sense of security. Yet sea radiation maps show the area of dispersion: radiation is here to stay, all along the coast and far reaching – the issue is not the round trip, even if it happens. After more than 90 years, there would still be about 10% of cesium – not to mention all the other radionucleides.

Here is a screenshot of a 3D map of the extent of the radiation in the Pacific Ocean from 2011 July 15. Two months and a half later, it is easy to extrapolate the reach to all of Japan eastern coast save Okinawa and hence absolutely no fish nor seafood from Japan should be eaten at all.

A private consulting firm called ASR also allows viewing it with Google Earth on their site. (more…)