Japan Moves To Freeze Fukushima Nuclear Plant

NOAA Image Map of Radiation Fallout from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
NOAA Image Map of Radiation Fallout from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
NOAA Image Map of Radiation Fallout from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
NOAA Image Map of Radiation Fallout from Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Ice Wall Planned 

English: Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. Nort...
Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant. North is to the right. Reactors 4, 3, 2 and 1, reading left to right, appear at the left (South). Reactor 5 and the construction site for reactor 6 appear to the right of centre of the image. 日本語: 福島第一原子力発電所。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

TOKYO – On Wednesday Japan’s nuclear regulation authority reported that radiation readings at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant increased to a new high. Emissions above the ground near one group of the plant’s storage tanks were as high as 2,200 millisieverts [mSv] per hour.

Stability at Fukushima Nuclear Plant Challenge

Japan’s Prime Minister says, “Stability of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station is also a challenge. Especially the issue of contaminated water is a matter of high interest of Japanese people and a matter of urgency to be tackled”.

“The government will play a responsible role in taking countermeasures without leaving to TEPCO,” added Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “I expect that the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry will fully instruct TEPCO and take multilayered measures swiftly and firmly with a sense of speed. I expect the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority to make full efforts on the investigation of causes and taking effective measures for securing safety from the viewpoint of a regulatory authority”.

Twenty Percent Increase in Fukushima Nuclear Plant Radiation Leak

That represents a twenty percent increase from the former high rate of radiation emission.

The Government of Japan is taking action, however the government is seemingly underplaying potential danger. There is growing concern over the impact of radiation and the impact on the Pacific Ocean from the release of radioactive water from the Fukushima reactor. Japan has shut down their nuclear power facilities and are promising to fix the problems.

Downplaying the Risk?

However the impact of the waters released from the explosion of the Fukushima reactor have many people concerned over eating Pacific Ocean fish. The Japanese Government states that the influence of the contamination from the latest leak is very small.

1. Influence of contaminated water
  • Influence of contaminated water is limited in the port of Fukushima Daiichi NPS, whose area is smaller than 0.3 km2 .
  • The results of monitoring of sea water in Japan are constantly below the standard of 10 Bq/L (“Guidelines for Radioactive Substances in Bathing Areas” released by Ministry of Environment gives an instruction regarding the water quality for municipalities to open bathing areas as follows; the concentration of radioactive Cs (Cs-134 and Cs-137) is lower than or equal to 10 Bq/L. 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has, after weeks of deliberation by the government announced a $470 million plan which is hoped will contain the leaking radioactive water. 

The plan is to build a giant wall of ice underground at the nuclear power plant.

The overall concern for Japan, a country with limited natural resources is that without nuclear energy to supply the country’s massive power demands, there could be serious economic impact. 

Four Japanese power utilities have applied for permission to restart 12 of the country’s shut down reactors. The NRA expects to take about six months to process the application of Hokkaido’s Tomari Unit 3, Shikoku’s Ikata Unit 3 and units 1 and 2 of Kyushu’s Sendai power plant. The best outcome that can be expected by the operators is that there units could be back online by the end of 2013.

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