Daily News Roundup – Sunday Edition – July 24, 2011

First, the technical. The mini copter will be back at Fukushima Daiichi to attempt to take radiation readings above the reactor buildings.  On the 23rd there was an extended power outage at Fukushima Daiichi as workers tried to repair some electrical equipment. This caused the common pool and unit 3’s spent fuel pool to go without cooling for an extended time. The common pool was seen releasing considerable amounts of steam soon after power was restored, indicating a significant increase in the pool temp during the outage. 

It is now thought the the reactor at Genkai may not be structurally sound anymore raising questions about its continued operation. It appears that METI knew before the Fukushima nuclear disaster that it was very likely that the reactors would completely melt through. We also found this IAEA document showing extensive degradation at US BWR reactors similar to Fukushima. These issues of rusting, degraded metal and leaks of radioactive water dated as far back as 20 years or more. Many of these reactors have been now given 20 year extensions to operate in the US.  Japan is working on a deal to send their spent fuel to Mongolia. TEPCO claims they will now try to prevent gangs from working on the plant decommissioning.

The Japanese government has said they will begin dealing with radioactive contamination issues outside Fukushima.  A testing program will be started in Fukushima to track thyroid cancers in children. The program doesn’t have a prevention or treatment aspect. It also requires the children to continue to reside in the area in order to be tested. This program will be headed by Shunichi Yamashita, who has come under fire recently. His recent comments downplaying radiation exposure risks have now resulted in a lawsuit.

The local government and citizen in Fukushima are testing ways to decontaminate homes and large areas. The US and Japan are also working on a joint project to test decontamination strategies for large areas.  A test decontamination in Iitate was conducted to give an idea how to proceed. Fukushima City has become the 2nd city to declare they will attempt to decontaminate the entire city. A government sponsored consumer group scolded consumers for not wanting to eat radioactive beef.

Toky0 has decided to build their own power plant. A man who has been protesting Fukushia Daiichi for 18 years has become an evacuee. A petition has been started to mandate school lunch safety measures in Japan.

70% of the donations to Japan’s LDP party come from power companies.  The New York Times has an article about the flaws and ongoing denial of the risks in the current US commercial nuclear power system.

Survivors of the atomic bombings in Japan talk about their thoughts as Japan turned to nuclear power generation.  An online gallery documents the nuclear protest posters that have popped up in Japan.  September 5-16, 2011 Cornell University (NYC) will host the exhibit “Nuke York, New York“. The exhibit looks at the aspects around the potential for New York City to become a nuclear target.

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