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Japan

Until the Fukushima accident, Japan had 55 operating nuclear reactors as well as enrichment and reprocessing plants which had suffered a series of deadly accidents at its nuclear facilities resulting in the deaths of workers and releases of radioactivity into the environment and surrounding communities. Since the Fukushima disaster, there is growing opposition against re-opening those reactors closed for maintenance.

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Thursday
Mar192015

TEPCO admits Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 core completely melted down

News sources report that Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has concluded --as already widely  speculated-- that the entire reactor core for Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1 completely melted down following Japan's March 11, 2011 nuclear catastrophe. TEPCO is using “muon” detectors for the imaging of cosmic rays coming from outer space as they pass matter like the concrete and steel of Fukushima and absorbed in high-density molecular materials like uranium in an effort to locate the destroyed radioactive reactor cores.  Muon imaging for Units 2 and 3 is still underway.

SimplyInfo reports that the x-ray like imagery indicates that the center portion of the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel appears to be missing and that the melted reactor core material has exited and relocated outside of the reactor vessel.

The exact location of the destroyed reactor cores for Fukushima Daiichi Unit 1, Unit 2 and 3 remain unknown.  The muon technique is not useful for melted nuclear fuel at the base of the containment or beyond which cannot be imaged as the cosmic particles are not coming from below the reactors. TEPCO is attempting to probe beneath the wreckage for missing reactor core material with advanced robotics.

Friday
Mar132015

"Fukushima...Yet Another Radioactive Leak!"

Thom Hartmann, host of "The Big Picture"On March 12, Thom Hartmann hosted Beyond Nuclear's Radioactive Waste Watchdog, Kevin Kamps, on "The Big Picture" to discuss a massive leak of 750 tons (200,000 gallons) of highly radioactive rainwater at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan. Ironically, the leak was revealed by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on March 10th, the eve of the fourth annual commemoration of the beginning of the nuclear catastrophe.

On March 11th itself, Thom also hosted Kevin on his radio show, to give status updates about "4 Years of Fukushima Fallout." (Despite being a radio show, the clip includes a video recording of the interview as well.)

Thursday
Mar122015

"Fukushima four years later..."

Chiho Kaneko, Fairewinds Energy Education board member, along with Alfred Meyer of PSR's national board, and Beyond Nuclear's Kevin Kamps, in the Carbon-Free/Nuclear-Free contingent at the People's Climate March in New York City, Sept. 2014.On March 12, Margaret Prescod hosted Fairewinds Energy Education board member, Chiho Kaneko (photo, left) on Pacifica Radio's "Sojourner Truth," to discuss the status at Fukushima, four years on (listen to the top audio clip).

Wednesday
Mar112015

CCNE: "The State of Affairs and Ongoing Challenges of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: A Civil Society Response Towards Recovery"

A new report from Citizens' Commission on Nuclear Energy (CCNE), "The State of Affairs and Ongoing Challenges of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: a Civil Society Response Towards Recovery," was launched on the occasion of the 4th anniversary of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and also on the occasion of the United Nation's 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), held in Sendai, Japan, not very far from Fukushima.

The report intends to answer questions such as:

-  What have been the impacts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster?
-  What is the current condition of the victims of the nuclear disaster?
-  What is going on at the nuclear plant site and what risks still exist?
-  What mistakes did authorities make in response to the nuclear disaster?
-  What countermeasures are now necessary to cope with the situation?

Wednesday
Mar112015

Letters delivered to Japanese embassies on "Fukushima Day"

Letters were hand-delivered to Japanese embassies and consulates around the world on March 11, 2015, marking the fourth anniversary of the start of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Beyond Nuclear participated in these actions by hand-delivering a letter from its staff to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC (pictured). The letter, addressed to Japan Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and Ambassador to the U.S., Kenichiro Sasae, listed a number of environmental, safety and health concerns about the handling of the Fukushima disaster and its on-going impacts. It also urged the Japanese government to renounce plans to re-open its nuclear power plants. As a highly technologically advanced country, "Japan could lead the world in renewable energy and energy efficiency as an economic development strategy," the letter said. Read the full letter here.