Guardian: “The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has radiation leaks strong enough to deliver a fatal dose within hours, Japanese authorities have revealed, as the government prepares to step in to help contain leaks of highly toxic water at the site.” Read more
Guardian: “Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has told workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that “the future of Japan” depends on their ongoing struggle to contain leaks of highly radioactive water at the site.” Read more
FT: Kansei Electric’s 1,180-megawatt No 4 reactor at the Ohi plant in Osaka will be idled from Sunday for safety inspections, and the total freeze will last until January at the earliest, exceeding a two-month hiatus last year. Read more
Guardian: “The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said radiation near the bottom of the tank measured 1,800 millisieverts an hour – high enough to kill an exposed person in four hours. Tepco said water levels inside the tank had not changed, indicating there had not been a leak. But the company said it had yet to discover the cause of the radiation spike.”
Guardian: “Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an “emergency” that the operator is struggling to contain, according to the country’s nuclear watchdog.” Read more
FT: Government officials and local fishermen are furious with Tepco after it admitted the existence of the leak for the first time, weeks after regulators spotted the problem and days after the utility’s own analysis confirmed it.
FT: “Japan’s nuclear regulator says radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima power plant is probably leaking into the Pacific Ocean, a problem long suspected by experts but denied by the plant’s operator.” Read more
Guardian: “Yoshizawa and several Tepco colleagues decided they had no choice but to return to Fukushima Daiichi. As they left the crisis headquarters, firefighters, police officers, soldiers and nuclear officials lined up to salute them.” Read more
Guardian: “Almost two years after the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi power plant sent shockwaves around the world, Japan‘s government is attempting to resell the nuclear dream to a traumatised public.” Read more
Guardian: “The move to close all 50 of the country’s functioning reactors by around 2040 marks a dramatic change of course by a country that had previously championed atomic energy, putting Japan alongside Germany and Switzerland, which also turned away from nuclear power following the disaster. Japan, the world’s third biggest user of nuclear power before the disaster, had planned to increase nuclear’s share of the energy mix to 50% by 2030.”
Guardian: “Last year’s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was a manmade disaster caused by poor regulation and collusion between the government, the operator and the industry’s watchdog, a report has said.” Read more
Radiation leaks from the three reactor meltdowns have forced more than 100,000 people to abandon homes and polluted some 3 per cent of Japan’s land mass to levels requiring decontamination.
So writes Sylvia Pfeifer in the FT. More than 500 reactors planned or proposed, a market worth thousands of billions of dollars, are at risk from the Fukushima fallout, the dire progress in Finland, and the collapse in public trust.
The FT describes how far the ward of the state is from returning to its $65 bn monopoly business as usual. Japan has retreated from a pre-disaster target of lifting nuclear in the mix to 50%, and many mayors and governors are refusing to let reactors start up again.
Eight months on, the first journalists allowed inside the plant report chaotic scenes. They are allowed nowhere near the reactors,, and are told by the environment minister that it may take 30 years to decommission the plant.
The reactor, in Kyushu, had been shut down after a cooling incident.
Six countries have notified the IAEA that they abandoned plans as a result of the disaster. The UK looks like being the largest western market in the decade ahead.
Naoto Kan, former PM, in the Guardian: “Withdrawing from the plant was out of the question. If that had happened, Tokyo would be deserted by now. It was a critical moment for Japan’s survival. It could have been a led to leaks of dozens of times more radiation than Chernobyl.” He also says Tepco were not telling him the true situation.