Fukushima & Nuclear News Roundup; June 27, 2012

High levels of tritium were found near the unit 1 section of the water discharge canal at Fukushima Daiichi. The 460,000 bq/liter reading is considerably higher than units 2 or 3. This adds to the growing evidence that unit 1 is leaking considerably and may be the larger culprit for the release to the sea than the other units.

TEPCO experienced another system failure. This time a warning system for the fuel casks being prepared for storage was going off. TEPCO determined that a software program that was not sending updates fast enough set off the warning alarm.

16,000 people in Fukushima prefecture had their radiation exposure doses improperly calculated. Most received higher dose estimates after the recalculation. It appears to have been an error in calculation classifications.

A new study shows 2.8% of the iodine 131 released by the Fukushima nuclear disaster reached Europe.
The model results suggest that 12.7% of iodine radionuclides were deposited over the USA and Canada, 4.5% over Russia and 2.8% over the EU. Approximately 50-60% was deposited locally in Japan” The study also considers the current estimates of iodine 131 releases for Fukushima to be underestimating the actual amounts.

Japan’s NRA cites a lack of staffing that will create delays in the inspections needed to consider reactor restarts. The government is refusing to allocate more funds to hire more staff while pushing for restarts as soon as possible.

The NRA was also critical of the JPARC facility for operating their particle accelerator and unfiltered exhaust fans even after radiation warnings went off. They ran the fan for 3 days after they discovered the problem with the accelerator.

 

Farmers in Fukushima are putting solar panels over their farm fields. The downside is the government has tied it to continuing to produce food crops at the same level as before the panels are installed. This could be a challenge when there is still a well justified lack of confidence in the government food screening system. The news report did not indicate if fuel crops could be grown instead.

Japan’s JCP (Japan Communist Party) gained about double the seats they previously had in the recent Tokyo elections. This is significant as they have become sort of the anti-LDP party. JCP may hold the potential to be the third way in Japan to break out of the current state of dysfunctional politics. The JCP has a liberal platform but not in the “communist” sense many in the US may assume due to the name. JCP wiki entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Communist_Party

Areva is sending two new pieces of equipment to Fukushima. One being an underwater robot that can read radiation levels below water, the other a machine that can sort radioactive soil.

Data of 12,000 employees at the US Savannah River nuclear site was stolen. The DOE insists no classified information was stolen but seem in the dark about the how and when of the hacking.

US electric utilities try to squash solar generated electricity sales.

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