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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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Sunday
Jun122011

May photos by Daisuke Tsuda show latest images of devastation at Fukushima Daiichi 

"Reactor 3," by Daisuke Tsuda, May 2011May 2011 photos, posted June 12th by Lucas Whitefield Hixson, by Japanese photographer Daisuke Tsuda show what the reactor units and surrounding facilities look like after the triple assault of earthquake and tsunami on March 11th, followed by nuclear catastrophe for the past three months. Note how Unit 3's secondary containment reactor building is largely rubble-ized, at least on the upper floors, where, for one thing, the high-level radioactive waste storage pool is (was?!) located. Note also how Unit 4's entire secondary containment reactor building -- especially at the top -- is leaning, risking complete loss of the high-level radioactive waste storage pool if the building actually collapses.

Friday
Jun102011

Earless "mutant" rabbit born near Fukushima

The baby bunny has raised concerns about birth defects after massive amounts of radiation were released around the failed Fukushima reactors.

Wednesday
May252011

French nuclear safety agency calls for wider Japan evacuation

From the Times of India:  "Seventy thousand people living beyond the 20-kilometre no-go zone around Fukushima should be evacuated because of radioactivity deposited by the crippled nuclear plant, a watchdog said. Updating its assessment of the March 11 disaster, France's Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) highlighted an area northwest of the plant that lies beyond the 20-km (12 mile) zone whose inhabitants have already been evacuated. Radioactivity levels in this area range from several hundred becquerels per square metre to thousands or even several million bequerels per square metre, the IRSN report, issued late Monday, said.

Tuesday
May242011

Tepco has no more room to store radioactive water from Fukushima Daiichi cooling operations

NHK public broadcasting has reported that Tokyo Electric Power Company's (Tepco) desperate efforts to cool melting down reactor cores at Fukushima Daiichi Units 1, 2, and 3, as well as to cool overheating high-level radioactive waste storage pools at the multi-unit complex, have generated so much radioactively contaminated cooling water, that storage capacity for its retention is drawing to a close. Tepco admitted the leakage of radioactively contaminated water into groundwater and the ocean -- to the tune of tens of thousands of tons -- in both March and April.

Tuesday
May242011

We're all nuclear workers now?

NHK public broadcasting has reported that certain businesses in the evacuated village of Iitate, downwind of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant catastrophe, are being allowed by the Japanese federal government to continue operations, provided they monitor the radiation exposure suffered by their workers. Whether these non-nuclear workers are to be treated as members of the public, or as nuclear power plant workers, in terms of how much radioactivity per year they are allowed to be exposed to (100 mRem/yr for members of the public, 5,000 mRem/yr for nuclear workers under normal circumstances, 25,000 mRem/year for nuclear workers in the face of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe) is not reported. Controversially, the Japanese federal Ministry of Education has deemed 2,000 mRem/yr an "acceptable" radiation dose to school children in Fukushima Prefecture's outdoor school yards. 2,000 mRem/yr is the "allowable" dose the German federal government permits for adult nuclear power plant workers. The 2,000 mRem/yr dose to school children in Fukushima does not account for internal radioactive contamination the children are likely also being exposed to.