Disaster (Radioactive) Debris Burning: Now It’s Labor Union’s Turn to Say “Yes, Let’s!”
There is always “the first”.
It’s not just the mayor of a small city in Shizuoka who happens to own a waste processing business, or large cement companies eager to accept and burn at their plants in Saitama Prefecture. Please welcome the labor union in Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku, Rengo Ehime with 50,000 members, as the latest entity to strongly support burning the debris in their prefecture to help Iwate and Miyagi Prefectures “recover”.
From Nankai Broadcasting Company (2/17/2012):
Rengo Ehime [Labor Union Ehime] has decided to submit a request to the Ehime prefectural government to come up with the plan to move forward in accepting the disaster debris from the March 11, 2011 earthquake/tsunami in Ehime.
This was decided on February 17 at the steering committee of Rengo Ehime. Tokyo and Yamagata have already started accepting the disaster debris, but most municipalities are reluctant to accept because of the effect of radioactive materials [on the debris] from the nuclear accident. The request states that the disaster debris piling up in the temporary storage yards in the disaster affected areas is the impediment to the recovery and renewal, and that the prefectural government should come up with the plan to facilitate the acceptance of the disaster debris into Ehime as soon as possible. Rengo Ehime plans to submit the request early next week.
Tokyo Shinbun reports (in print version only) that there is hardly any sign of the disaster debris in the disaster-affected areas being perceived as the impediment to recovery by people in the disaster-affected areas themselves. The facts are apparently none of the concern for the labor union in Ehime; it’s the idea that matters, or what the labor union thinks it must be. In that, the union is not alone, either.
Ehime Prefecture takes up the northwest quadrant of the island of Shikoku, facing the Setonaikai, the Inland Sea of Japan. Temperate climate, famous for Ehime mandarin oranges (called “satsumas” in the US, as the orange originated in Satsuma, today’s Kagoshima Prefecture). The prefecture has a nuclear power plant at Ikata, on Sadamisaki Peninsula, the narrowest peninsula in Japan jutting out toward the island of Kyushu.
By the way, the entire peninsula is sitting right along the largest fault in Japan, the Median Tectonic Line. If the prefecture is that bold to build a nuclear power plant by the largest fault in the country, I suppose burning a bit of radioactive debris is nothing.
(From Wiki, the MTL in Japan, in red; Sadamisaki Peninsula in black circle)
M5.1 quake jolts Ibaraki Pref., vicinity
TOKYO (Kyodo) — An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.1 jolted Ibaraki Prefecture and its vicinity Sunday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said, but no tsunami warning was issued.
The 2:54 p.m. quake, which occurred in northern Ibaraki, measured lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Ibaraki’s Hitachi city, and 4 elsewhere in the prefecture.
The temblor did not affect the operations of Japan Atomic Power Co.’s Tokai No. 2 nuclear power plant in Ibaraki or Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s two nuclear plants in Fukushima Prefecture, and did not disrupt services on East Japan Railway Co.’s Tohoku Shinkansen Line, the companies said.
(Mainichi Japan) February 19, 2012
Cesium fallout spiked to 349 Million Bq/km2 in one day at Fukushima City 60km from meltdowns — Near 40-fold increase from previous 24-hour period
Title: Results of monitoring the environmental radioactivity level of fallout (preliminary) (No. 51 )
Date: Feb 17, 2012
- Cs-134 @ 4.15 MBq/km2
- Cs-137 @ 4.83 MBq/km2
- Total Cs @ 8.98 MBq/km2
- Cs-134 @ 150 MBq/km2
- Cs-137 @ 199 MBq/km2
- Total Cs @ 349 MBq/km2
8.98 to 349 is an increase of 38.86 times.
h/t Fukushima Diary
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FYI – today’s reading from someone in Aichi Prefecture, near Nagoya:
Looks like it’s a tiny bit up – very tiny. There was a reading in January that showed 0.75 cpm with a range of between 0.07 to 0.02 uSv/h. According to MEXT, most places in Aichi have less than 0.1uSv/h.
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Now, if you want to compare this teeny tiny bit with what they saw in Tokyo on Jan 22-23, go have a look at the Safecast site. A few of the good folks there went outside and took some readings.
Measuring Radiation in Snow
Nuke crisis caused by Japan, not quake: Kan
Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan has admitted that Japan was woefully unprepared for last year’s nuclear disaster and suggested that the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant should not have been built so close to a tsunami-prone coastline.
In an exclusive interview, Kan acknowledged flaws in the authorities’ handling of the crisis, including poor communication and coordination among nuclear regulators, Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s management and the government Kan was heading at the time.
But he said the disaster — the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986 — laid bare a host of even bigger vulnerabilities in the nuclear power industry and its regulations, ranging from inadequate safety guidelines to crisis management, all of which he said need to be overhauled.
“Before 3/11, we were totally unprepared,” he said. “Not only in terms of the hardware, but our system and the organization were not prepared. That was the biggest problem.”
Kan said the disaster made him realize that Japan needs to dramatically reduce its dependence on nuclear power, which accounted for 30 percent of the country’s electricity supply before the crisis, and has turned him into a believer in renewable energy.
He also acknowledged that information was sometimes slowly disclosed and at other times erroneous, particularly in the days immediately after the crisis started. He blamed a lack of reliable data at the time and denied the government ever hid any information from the public.
Kan said the very location of the Fukushima plant was problematic.
“If they had thought about it, they wouldn’t have intentionally built it at such a low location,” Kan said. “The plant was built on the assumption that there was no need to anticipate a major tsunami, and that was the actual start of the problem.
“We should have taken more adequate safety steps, and we failed to do so,” he added. “It was a big mistake and I must admit that (the accident) was due to human error.”
Early on in the crisis, Kan said he had considered the possibility of a worst-case scenario in which all six of the plant’s reactors and rods in their spent-fuel pools would have melted down completely out of control. That probably would have resulted in radioactive fallout spreading over a wider area, requiring the evacuation of millions of people, including possibly the population of Tokyo.
But Kan said he never instructed officials to produce a blueprint for evacuating the 30 million people living in the greater Tokyo area, although an internal report submitted March 25 by the head of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission warned of such a possibility if the disaster deteriorated. Fearing panic, the report was buried and kept a secret.
“My mission was to stop (such an evacuation) from happening and to think how to do it,” Kan said. “We were lucky to manage to get the crisis under control before things worsened.”
He said the crisis was at its most dire stage around the time a third hydrogen explosion was detected at the Fukushima plant in mid-March. “Up until around March 15, we were losing ground to the invisible enemy,” he said.
Fukushima I Nuke Plant Reactor 2: TEPCO Changes to a Different Thermocouple for Cold Shutdown Assessment, Says No Problem at 30 Degrees Celsius
Kyodo News (2/18/2012):
Regarding the thermocouple that exhibited abnormal temperatures at the bottom of the Reactor 2 Pressure Vessel at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, TEPCO announced on February 18 that the company had decided to pick another thermocouple at the same height as representing the temperature at the RPV bottom. The official RPV bottom temperature was now about 30 degrees Celsius, the company said.
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