Day 430 Uh-oh Tsuruga….

Warnings over fault below nuke reactors in Fukui were ignored

The possibility that a fault right below the nuclear reactor buildings at the Tsuruga Power Station in Fukui Prefecture may move in conjunction with nearby active faults has been repeatedly pointed out since 2008, but the government regulator and the plant’s operator failed until recently to take any measures.

The Japan Atomic Power Co. (JAPC), the operator of the Tsuruga nuclear power plant, only released its plan on May 14 this year to survey the area to examine the possibility that the fracture zones — a type of fault — right below the plant’s nuclear reactor buildings could in fact be active faults. The planned survey — scheduled to be completed by November — was approved by the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) later the same day.

If the fracture zones are recognized as active faults that had moved sometime after around 120,000 to 130,000 years ago, the Tsuruga nuclear plant is likely to be decommissioned. It has been confirmed that there are 150 to 160 fracture zones on the premises of the plant in Tsuruga. On April 24, NISA surveyed three fracture zones, including two running below the building housing the plant’s No. 2 reactor, raising the possibility that they could move in tandem with an active fault called the Urasoko Fault, located some 150 meters northeast of the No. 2 reactor.

[snip]

It was in 1991 that the presence of the Urasoko Fault came to surface. While it had initially been thought that the fault was about 3 kilometers long, several faults were later discovered to exist along its extension. Experts pointed out the risk of the faults moving together, but JAPC only acknowledged in March 2008 that they were active faults about 25 kilometers long.

Read the entire article at:

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20120515p2a00m0na010000c.html

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*WEF* Japanese Tsunami Reflections (Radiation Worries)

(h/t FukushimaDiary)

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FT: “Divisions over radiation risk have been exposed after Fukushima”

The article written by Mure Dickie and Clive Cookson for Financial Times that appeared in November last year seems to have engendered a lively discussion in the comment section regarding what is the “safe” radiation dose, if there is one.

From Financial Times (11/11/2011):

Nuclear energy: A hotter topic than ever

By Mure Dickie and Clive Cookson

Divisions over radiation risk have been exposed after Fukushima

In front of the government office in Japan’s Iitate village, the radiation monitor – a large metal box topped by warning lights – displays airborne levels in real time on a glowing digital display. A handheld dosimeter carried by local forester Toru Anzai gives more personal readings. In the nearby prefectural capital, sophisticated germanium detectors hum into the night analysing the radioactivity of local foods.

Eight months after a tsunami sent the Fukushima Daiichi atomic power station into near meltdown, data are pouring in across Japan on the scale of contamination caused by the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25 years. Yet none of these detectors or their data can tell their users just how worried they should be. For the crisis has laid bare an absence of scientific and social consensus on radiation risk, which is undermining a disaster response already weakened by fractious leadership and an often slow-moving bureaucracy.

Uncertainty about radiation danger is not a problem for Japan alone. Atomic plants around the world are ageing fast, and more are being built in developing countries where there is often limited public oversight and high levels of corruption. It would be foolish for the world to assume that this crisis will be the last.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/05/ft-divisions-over-radiation-risk-have.html

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Nuclear agency, TEPCO knew tsunami could trigger power loss in 2006

TOKYO, May 15, Kyodo

The government’s nuclear safety agency and Tokyo Electric Power Co. as of 2006 had acknowledged the risk of a tsunami-triggered power loss at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, agency officials said Tuesday.

According to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency officials, the awareness was shared at a study session that was launched in response to the 2004 Sumatra quake and tsunami in Indonesia and joined by several utilities.

A paper compiled in August 2006 suggested that participants recognized that ”there is a possibility that power equipment could lose functions if a 14-meter-high tsunami hits the Fukushima plant, with seawater flowing inside the (reactor) turbine buildings.”

Read the entire article at:

http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2012/05/158054.html

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“Black Dust” in Tokyo? With 243,000 Bq/Kg of Radioactive Cesium

Freelance journalist Rei Shiva [Shiba] writing forNikkan Spa, a daily tabloid in Japan (part; 5/15/2012):

It was this February when the super-radioactive and mysterious “black dust” found in Minami Soma City in Fukushima Prefecture was in the news.

Although 1.08 million Bq/kg was shocking, it was considered to be specific only to Minami Soma. However, I’ve been told that “black dust” exists everywhere in Tokyo.

Article continues at:

http://ex-skf.blogspot.jp/2012/05/black-dust-in-tokyo-with-243000-bqkg-of.html

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From ENENEWS at:

http://enenews.com/cesium-spike-in-tokyo-bay-is-no-immediate-threat-to-health-fukushima-contamination-increases-up-to-1200-since-august-levels-to-continue-rising-for-years

Cesium spike in Tokyo Bay is “no immediate threat to health” — Fukushima contamination increases up to 1,200% since August — Levels will continue rising for years

Cesium spikes in Tokyo Bay samples
The Japan Times
By JUN HONGO
May 15, 2012

Cesium spikes in Tokyo Bay samples
Contamination linked to Fukushima plant; no immediate threat to healthSludge samples taken at the mouths of two major rivers emptying into Tokyo Bay showed radioactive cesium contamination linked to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant crisis grew by 1.5 to 13 times since August, a researcher at Kinki University said Monday.

The contamination poses no immediate health risk […]

“Contamination is flowing into the bay from rivers, including the Edogawa River, where cities with high radiation levels like Kashiwa (in Chiba Prefecture) are located upstream,” Yamazaki told The Japan Times. […]

[…] the peak contamination concentrations should be within the next couple of years, considering that the half-life of cesium-134 is about two years, Yamazaki said.

“If the contamination were to spread to fish, it is possible that radioactive isotopes could accumulate when bigger fish feed on smaller ones,” he said. […]

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