By Jeremy Bloom With cleanup barely begun four years after the Fukushima disaster, a new study looking at the run-up to the worst nuclear meltdown in history says it could have easily been prevented. While most studies have focused on the response to the accident, we’ve found that there were design problems that led to the disaster […]
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By Jeremy Bloom The Wall Street Journal reports that scientists investigating the Fukushima power plant have confirmed a third of its reactors had a serious meltdown when the 2011 earthquake and tsunami destroyed the plant. Part of the problem: The plant is such a disaster that the only way they can tell what the hell happened, […]
By Jeremy Bloom In the wake of the Fukushima meltdown, Japan shut down ALL its nuclear plants. It just seemed like a damn good idea. Now, four years later – and in the shadow of the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki nuclear bombings that ended World War II – Japan is restarting those nuclear plants. […]
How safe are American nuclear power plants?
Today’s DC earthquake was dangerously close to the design limit for a nearby power plant… and one out of four backup generators failed. That’s really not good enough…
The next time an American company pushing nuclear power tells you “We have safeguards in place! We know what we’re doing! We can handle emergencies!” … keep this in mind:
It’s four months in to the Fukushima disaster, and some of the best engineers in the world have things “nearly under control” – which means the temperature is down to the boiling point of water, it’s not leaking too much, and it’s not going to explode (probably).
It’s madness. But even as Japan’s Prime Minister says that after Fukushima, it’s time to prepare for a society that does not rely on nuclear power – his strongest statement yet about ending Japan’s nuclear program – it’s full speed ahead in the US Senate. The Senate Energy Committee is set to vote tomorrow on three bills that […]
From the lips of Japan’s Prime Minister: It will take decades to clean up the meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Meanwhile, our worst fears are being realized as reports come in of radioactive cesium contaminating beef raised downwind of the plant.
As they try to clean up what may be the worst nuclear disaster in history at Fukushima, they continue to make things worse.
“In the last three weeks, everything we knew about the accident has been turned upside down. We were told three partial meldowns, don’t worry about it. Now we know it was 100 percent core melt in all three reactors. Radiation – ‘miminal’ that was released. Now we know it was comparable to the radiation at Chernobyl….”
More bad news from Japan – in the wake of last week’s revelation that 3 of the 4 reactors had gone into meltdown and beyond, we now learn that high levels of radioactivity – in particular, particles of strontium 89 and 90 – are being found in groundwater and sea water around the facility, and even further than 60 miles away.
If a techincally-advanced country like Japan with a reputation for exactitude can suffer from one of the worst nuclear disasters in history, should we be a litttle more worried about places where security and infrastructure are poor to non-existent and corruption is rampant?
That’s the theme of a special report compiled for Reuters, based on diplomatic cables assembled from the Wikileaks treasure trove. And it’s kinda scary.
In the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster – in which both Japanese and American authorities have consistently downplayed the dangers – it’s worth taking a look at where we have come from.
For the past 60 years, our government has over and over again insisted that there was nothing to worry about, that radiation levels were too low to cause any harm, and there was no cause for alarm.
Years later, often after battles in the courts, it has turned out that they were lying through their teeth. Their priority wasn’t public health and well-being – it was to preserve their atomic program at all consts and to prevent panic – justifiable panic, as it turns out.
Considering that the Fukushima nuclear reactor complex is still leaking high levels of radiation nearly three months after the disaster and meltdowns, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to learn that Japan was totally unprepared to deal with it.
But it’s encouraging that, after months of downplaying the dangers and offering uberoptimistic assessments of progress, the Japanese government is finally admitting the truth:
It’s been three months since the crisis began at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor complex, and they’re no closer to cleaning up the radioactive mess. In fact, things may be getting worse.
Japan’s NHK TV broadcast a hellish image of radioactive steam billowing out of cracks in the reactor floor. They also reported high levels of radiation.
Tokyo Electric Power Company inspected the inside of the No.1 reactor building on Friday with a remote-controlled robot.
TEPCO said it found that steam was rising from a crevice in the floor, and that extremely high radiation of 3,000 to 4,000 millisieverts per hour was measured around the area. The radiation is believed to be the highest detected in the air at the plant.
As the crippled reactors in Japan continue to emit radiation into the environment, the risk grows that it will appear in our food. Radiation has already been detected in trace amounts in milk across the U.S., and in strawberries, kale and other vegetables in California.