Fire Earth

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Japan Nuclear Disaster Update – Apr 1

Posted by feww on April 1, 2011

Radioactive material probably leaking continuously from Fukushima NPP: NISA

Japan’s nuclear and industrial safety agency (NISA) has warned that radioactive substances from the stricken nuclear power plant may be continuously leaking into the sea.

Frame grab from a video released by TEPCO showing the state of one of the reactors.

An act of sheer folly

“I am prepared for a long-term battle over the Fukushima nuclear plant and to win this battle,” Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan said in a national telecast today.

Battle? What battle? Battle against the ultimate act of human folly? Building a nuclear power plant in an earthquake zone and hoping that the worst won’t happen?

“We cannot say that the plant has been sufficiently stabilized. But we are preparing for all kinds of situations and I am convinced that the plant can be stabilized,” Kan added.

WE keep our fingers crossed. But what about the other nuclear power plants in Japan? Aren’t they equally vulnerable to geophysical phenomena?

“We are focusing on stabilizing the conditions there using every bit of expertise available,” he said. “I am convinced we will be able to achieve it. I do not know for now how long this will take.”

Perhaps, as long as Chernobyl!

The French Connection

The French president has called for new global nuclear rules and offered to host a global conference in France. His concern amid the deepening nuclear disaster at Fukushima NPP indicates that:

  1. “Old global nuclear rules” don’t work!
  2. France, the most nuclear-dependent country, is also one of the worst nuclear-accident prone countries. [Why ales wold they need “new rules”?]
  3. Mr Sarcozy is very afraid that further deepening of Fukushima nuclear disaster may mobilize the French against [at least the expansion of] nuclear industry in France, thus upsetting the nuclear mafia.

Note: France relies on nuclear power for about 80 percent of its electricity and is a major exporter of nuclear technology.

Summary of other developments at Fukushima

  • The level of radioactive iodine-131 detected in seawater near the plant on Thursday was 4,385 times the safety limit.
  • Radiation level detected in a tunnel outside reactor 2 was higher than 10,000 times the normal levels, NHK reported.
  • Up to 75,000 people have been evacuated from the 20-km exclusion zone around the plant and about 140,000 others who live in a 10-km zone beyond that have been advised to leave or to stay indoors.
  • The ban on the shipment of foodstuffs from the prefectures affected by radiation contamination has been widened to include beef, Japan’s health ministry said.
  • More handheld Gieger counters have been sold in/shipped to Japan in the past three weeks than in the previous 25 years.
  • TEPCO has reported a shortage of radiation monitors for workers. They have assigned one per group of workers, instead of one for each worker.
  • The recovery of many bodies within the 20-km exclusion zone has been delayed because of the contamination risks.

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