Radioactive Ocean Floor: 1.74 Microsievert/ hr off Fukushima 
Nov. 27, 2011

Leben in der Todeszone–Life in the Deathzone. Documentary by the German WDR (in German) about how people in the Fukushima prefecture are coping with the reality of living in an irradiated environment.

A New Urgency to the Problem of Storing Nuclear Waste
By KATE GALBRAITH, The New York Times, November 27, 2011

AUSTIN, Tex. — “The nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, earlier this year caused many countries to rethink their appetite for nuclear power. It is also, in subtler ways, altering the fraught discussion of what to do with nuclear plants’ wastes.

A prime example is Germany, which decided to shut down all its nuclear power plants by 2022 after the partial reactor meltdowns at Fukushima. That decision is making it easier for Germans to have a calm and focused discussion about a permanent disposal site for the plants’ wastes, analysts say. […]

Meanwhile, every aspect of nuclear power in Japan — including waste storage — has been turned upside down by the Fukushima disaster in March, which followed a giant earthquake and tsunami. As a result of the accident, Japan has “doubled or tripled” the amount of non-spent fuel and high-level waste, according to Murray Jennex, a nuclear expert at San Diego State University. Even things like the building that houses the turbine are contaminated, he noted.

“So that’s really increased their demand for storage, and I’m not sure what they’re going to do with it,” Dr. Jennex said.

Japan is also considering what to do with the contaminated soil in the area affected by the plant.” […]

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New International Report Shreds Japan’s Carefully Constructed Fukushima Scenario
Written by John Daly,, 02 November 2011

“Japan’s six reactor Fukushima Daichi nuclear complex has inadvertently become the world’s bell-weather poster child for the inherent risks of nuclear power ever since the 11 March Tohoku offshore earthquake, measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale, triggered a devastating tsunami that effectively destroyed the complex.

Ever since, specialists have wrangled about how damaging the consequences of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami actually were, not only for the facility but the rest of the world.

The Fukushima Daichi complex was one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations in the world and the Fukushima I reactor was the first GE designed nuclear plant to be constructed and run entirely by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO.

Needless to say, in the aftermath of the disaster, both TEPCO and the Japanese government were at pains to minimize the disaster’s consequences, hardly surprising given the country’s densely populated regions.

But now, an independent study has effectively demolished TEPCO and the Japanese government’s carefully constructed minimalist scenario. Mainichi news agency reported that France’s l’Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, or IRSN) has issued a recent report stating that the amount of radioactive cesium-137 that entered the Pacific after 11 March was probably nearly 30 times the amount stated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. in May.

According to IRSN, the amount of the radioactive isotope cesium-137 that flowed into the ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant between March 21 and mid-July reached an estimated 27.1 quadrillion becquerels.

Why should this matter? Aren’t the Japanese authorities on top of the issue?”[…]

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