Japan mulls pouring 1 million metric tons of radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific Ocean

November 27, 2017 by  
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Fukushima cleanup continues over six years after the 2011 disaster – and the country hasn’t yet decided what to do with one million metric tons of radioactive water currently stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 900 big tanks. Some nuclear experts advising the government have said the water should be slowly released into the Pacific Ocean . But local fishermen are afraid consumers won’t purchase fish caught in the region if that happens – and their industry is still struggling to rebuild after the tsunami. Multiple tests have shown most kinds of fish caught near Fukushima are safe to consume. But diners are still hesitant to eat it, and fishermen fear if radioactive water is released, people won’t buy the fish at all. But the radioactive water isn’t really that safe in the tanks – if another tsunami or major earthquake hit, all that water could spill. Related: Fukushima radiation levels at highest since 2011 disaster The water has been treated, and all radioactive elements but tritium have been removed. Experts say tritium is safe in small quantities, but if disaster should strike again, the spill of water would likely be uncontrolled. And the amount of radioactive water at Fukushima increases daily by 150 metric tons. Cooling water must be pumped into the reactors to prevent them from overheating, and that water picks up radioactivity. It then seeps out of damaged containment chambers and collects in the basements, where it mixes with groundwater that comes in via reactor building cracks. 210 metric tons of this water can be treated and reused as cooling water. But 150 metric tons is put in tanks. Other nuclear plants have been allowed to release radioactive tritium water, according to The Independent . But the process can take years. Last year, a government panel recommended Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which owns the Fukushima plant, dilute the water to around 50 times and release around 400 metric tons into the sea every day – that process would likely take nearly a decade. Other people have said Tepco should wait to release the radioactive water until 2023, when half the tritium present when disaster struck will have naturally disappeared. Via The Independent Images via IAEA Imagebank on Flickr ( 1 , 2 )

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Japan mulls pouring 1 million metric tons of radioactive Fukushima water into Pacific Ocean

Fukushima robot finds lava-like deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel

July 24, 2017 by  
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Six years after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, there’s still a lot of cleanup to be done. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) deployed an underwater robot to assess damage inside the Unit 3 reactor in Japan last week, and the robot obtained images of debris that might be melted nuclear fuel. In some areas, the debris was around three-feet-thick. The robot captured eerie footage of the damaged reactor at Fukushima, spotting what could be melted fuel. It found what the Associated Press described as solidified lava -like lumps and rocks inside the pedestal that rests beneath the core in the Primary Containment Vessel. In some places the fuel was mixed with broken reactor pieces, hinting at a difficult cleanup to come. The multiple-day exploration started last Wednesday and finished over the weekend. Related: Fukushima radiation levels at highest since 2011 disaster TEPCO spokesperson Takahiro Kimoto told the Associated Press they now have to analyze the debris seen in the robot-captured images before they can figure out how to remove it. According to The Guardian, the reactor can’t be decommissioned until all the nuclear fuel has been found and removed – a process that could still span decades. It hasn’t been easy to search for melted fuel at Fukushima due to high radiation levels and damage. TEPCO said the expedition would help them gain a clearer picture of conditions at the damaged reactors that will aid them in cleanup efforts. The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning developed the robot, which was inserted into the Primary Containment Vessel through what TEPCO described as a pipe designed to guard against radioactive gas escaping. Thrusters on the robot enabled it to move around through the cooling water that’s accumulated inside the structure since 2011. The robot also had front and rear cameras. Via The Guardian and TEPCO Images via International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning/TEPCO

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Fukushima robot finds lava-like deposits thought to be melted nuclear fuel

Germany expects to add 900 MW of new offshore wind capacity in 2017

July 24, 2017 by  
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Germany’s offshore wind boom is accelerating. The Federal Republic has already brought online a total of 626 megawatts (MW) of new offshore wind capacity in the first six months of 2017 and industry groups said in a recent joint statement that they expect to see total installations of 900 MW by the end of the year. If Germany hits the 900 MW mark in 2017, it would exceed the 818 MW added in 2016. At the current rate of expansion, Germany could be on track to blow past government targets of 6,500 MW for 2020, the industry groups said. The country’s installed offshore wind total is already at 4,729 MW from 1,055 turbines. Related: Germany, Denmark, and Belgium to boost offshore wind 5-fold within the next decade The industry groups said that the offshore wind industry is moving away from the era of costly subsidies to becoming more commercially viable and bringing costs down for consumers. “This paradigm shift offers the next government chances to lift expansion targets to at least 20 gigawatts (20,000 MW) up to 2030 and at least 30 GW to 2035, utilizing the economic and industrial political potential of offshore wind,” the industry groups said. Germany’s offshore wind farms delivered 8.48 terrawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity to the grid in the first six month of 2016 — producing more electricity than was generated in all of 2015 (8.29TWh). Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia 1 , 2 , 3

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Germany expects to add 900 MW of new offshore wind capacity in 2017

Studiolada used all wood materials to create this affordable open-source home anyone can build

July 24, 2017 by  
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Skillfully blending the basics of frugality and sustainability into one beautiful home design, French firm Studiolada Architects has just unveiled the Open Source House. The team took a bare bones approach to the home’s design, forgoing superfluous features such as plaster and paint in favor of local sustainable wood on the exterior as well as the interior. In order to promote responsible and affordable building practices, Studiolada  released the plans to build the home for all to use. Located in Baccarat, France, the Open Source Home – which is just over 1,200 feet and includes a separate garage – was built for a retired couple who were looking to create a home that would be as cost effective and energy-efficient as possible. Accordingly, the architects decided to take the fuss out of the home’s design, instead opting to strategically use a combination of bare basics to create a stunning design. Related: Oregon couple spends years building their net-zero ‘extreme green dream home’ Using wood panels as the principal building material reduced the project’s overall cost and footprint because the wooden beams and wall panels were cut and varnished in a nearby workshop. Prefabricated concrete was used to embed the support beams, which were then clad in wooden panels. In fact, wood covers just about everything in the home, from the walls and flooring to the ceiling and partitions. Sustainable materials such as cellulose wadding and wood fibers were even used to insulate the home. By keeping the wood panels exposed instead of covering them with plaster and paint, the design team achieved a clean, minimalist interior that is both homey and inviting. The open layout includes a living room, kitchen and mezzanine located on the first floor, and the bedrooms and bathroom are on the upper floor. The living room opens up to a spacious terrace and private yard. Large glass panels provide optimal natural light to the interior as well as connect the home to its natural surroundings. If you are inclined to create a similar home, you can check out the plans, sections, details, cost estimates and descriptions for free here . + Studiolada Architects Via Archdaily Photography by Olivier Mathiotte

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Studiolada used all wood materials to create this affordable open-source home anyone can build

Japan to Build Massive 1.5km Ice Wall in Order to Stop Radiation Leaks from Fukushima Nuclear Plant

May 26, 2014 by  
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In March, Inhabitat ran a story about how the Japanese government had pledged $470 million towards the construction of a massive ice wall that they hoped would contain the radiation from the Fukushima disaster . Now comes news that the bizarre project has actually received the green light and construction is set to begin immediately. Read the rest of Japan to Build Massive 1.5km Ice Wall in Order to Stop Radiation Leaks from Fukushima Nuclear Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Fukushima , fukushima nuclear plant , fukushima radiation , ice wall , Japan , nuclear regulation authority , radiation ice wall , TEPCO , Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO)

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New Radioactive Leak Found at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

January 21, 2014 by  
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Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) , the embattled operator of the crippled  Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant , just released a new video showing highly radioactive water inside the damaged number 3 nuclear reactor building. There were four reactor buildings crippled after the  2011 T?hoku earthquake and tsunami . The discovery of highly radioactive water on the floor of the building could mean that the water leaked from inside the reactor itself and that it was in contact with the melted-down fuel core, although Tepco says that it is unlikely that the water has leaked outside of the building. Read the rest of New Radioactive Leak Found at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Fukushima , fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant , leak , No. 3 reactor , radiation , radioactive , TEPCO , tokyo electric power company , T?hoku earthquake and tsunami , water issues        

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New Radioactive Leak Found at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

Japan’s Governing Party Says TEPCO Should Not Handle Fukushima Nuclear Plant Decommission

October 31, 2013 by  
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As the Tokyo Electric Power Company ( TEPCO ) prepares for the most dangerous phase of decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japan’s Liberal Democratic party (LDP) is calling for another agency to oversee the process. The party plans to present a proposal to Prime Minister Abe next week that asks for an entity financially independent of TEPCO to handle the delicate task. The decision comes amidst mounting political and public scrutiny of the operator’s performance. Read the rest of Japan’s Governing Party Says TEPCO Should Not Handle Fukushima Nuclear Plant Decommission Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant , Japan , ldp , liberal democratic party , nuclear decommission , nuclear regulation authority , prime minister abe , radiation leak , radioactive water , shunichi tanaka , taro aso , TEPCO , tokyo electric power company        

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Severed Pipe Exposes Fukushima Workers To Several Tonnes Of Radioactive Water

October 9, 2013 by  
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As if the situation at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant weren’t bad enough, we now have news that six clean-up workers were exposed to radioactive water when a pipe was mistakenly disconnected. According to the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power ( Tepco ), several tonnes of radioactive water gushed out of the pipe, putting at least six of the workers at extreme risk for physical contamination. Although they were wearing protective clothing and masks, the workers will undergo extensive tests to determine if there was any internal or external exposure. Read the rest of Severed Pipe Exposes Fukushima Workers To Several Tonnes Of Radioactive Water Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Fukushima , Japan , nuclear disaster , nuclear fallout , nuclear power , nuclear power plant , pacific ocean , radioactive , TEPCO , Tepco workers exposed to radioactive water , Tepco workers tested for radioactive exposure        

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Severed Pipe Exposes Fukushima Workers To Several Tonnes Of Radioactive Water

Radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant 18 Times Higher Than Thought

September 2, 2013 by  
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Radiation levels at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan are 18 times higher than previously thought. The operator of the Japanese nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) , said that the radiation, which measures 1,800 millisieverts an hour, is high enough to kill a person exposed to it for four hours. Tepco is still trying to determine the cause of the radiation spike, but claim in their most recent report that levels inside the tank remain unchanged – which means there has been no leak. Read the rest of Radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant 18 Times Higher Than Thought Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: environmental disaster Japan , environmental disasters , fukushima daiichi disaster , fukushima daiichi power plant , japan tepco , nuclear disaster Japan 2011 , nuclear power plants , TEPCO , Tepco nuclear power plant , tsunami disaster Japan 2011 , water leak Daiichi        

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Radiation at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant 18 Times Higher Than Thought

Japanese Government Will Help TEPCO Build a Wall of Frozen Soil to Contain Radioactive Water Leakage

August 8, 2013 by  
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© IAEA ImageBank According to Japan’s  Natural Resources and Energy Agency , Fukushima Daiichi , a nuclear plant just 130 miles northeast of Tokyo is leaking roughly 300 tones of  highly radioactive water  into the Pacific per day (enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool in one week). Authorities have recently classified the water leakage situation as “an emergency,” and Japan’s  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered the government to step-in and help clean-up. The current plans is build a one mile long wall of frozen soil around the reactor buildings to act as a barrier to prevent more groundwater from becoming radioactive. Read the rest of Japanese Government Will Help TEPCO Build a Wall of Frozen Soil to Contain Radioactive Water Leakage Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cesium , fukushima daiichi , fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant , Japan Natural Resources and Energy Agency , japanese government , nuclear regulation authority , ocean , Prime Minister Shinzo Abe , strontium-90 , TEPCO , TEPCO barrier wall , thyroid cancer , tritium        

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