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Published: 22 Jun Fukushima diary, part two: overwhelming kindness and a new home. Published: 8 Jun Fukushima diary, part one: 'I'm finally home'. Published: 1 Jun Fukushima: removal of nuclear fuel rods from damaged reactor building begins.
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Published: 15 Apr Fukushima disaster: first residents return to town next to nuclear plant. Published: 10 Apr Fukushima grapples with toxic soil that no one wants.
Eight years after the triple disaster, not a single location will take the millions of cubic metres of radioactive soil that remain. Published: 11 Mar Observer dispatch Eight years after Fukushima, what has made evacuees come home? Published: 10 Mar The temperature at the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel, a container that is supposed to hold the fuel, stood at about Tepco expected the reading to rise by up to 4 C following the seven-hour test.
Hit by a magnitude 9. The condition of the reactors is now kept relatively stable through recovery efforts, but a massive amount of contaminated water has accumulated at the plant as a result. Click to enlarge. This stack stands meters tall and is at risk of collapse because of fractures in its pillars. It was also heavily contaminated by the venting of radioactive gases during the accident.
So the stack must come down, and the operation to deconstruct it must be done remotely from the stack itself to avoid exposing workers to dangerous radiation. According to the Tokyo Electric Power Company TEPCO , the operation was supposed to be simple: cut down the top of the tower using special remote-controlled equipment, slicing pieces from the top of the chimney one by one and guiding them down by crane. Originally, the operation was supposed to start in March , but TEPCO deployed an operation tower that was about three meters too short for the task, meaning it needed to rebuild the tower before starting.
The cutting operation began on August 1 , but the project has already faced numerous additional delays because of technical difficulties that include malfunctions of the crane, the camera on the cutting machine which is needed to monitor the operation , the saws of the cutting machine, and both the main generator and sub-generators.
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The operation was supposed to finish by the end of but will now drag on until at least March The second technical problem, which is much more serious than the first, is the management of contaminated water. The water is continuously injected into the reactors to cool the fuel debris, and then treated to remove most—though not all—of the radioactive materials. A subcommittee of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry recommended that the treated water, which still contains tritium, should be released into the sea once the radioactive concentration is below the standard agreed beforehand.
An additional condition of release, however, is that all other radioactive substances besides tritium must be removed below a detectable limit or in line with regulatory standards. Unfortunately, in August news outlets reported that some radioactive materials such as iodine were not completely removed and that their concentration levels were above the regulatory standards.
Fixing Fukushima - CNET
Most recently, the super typhoon Hagibis hit the eastern part of Japan, which includes Fukushima prefecture and the area affected by the nuclear accident. TEPCO reported irregular readings from sensors monitoring water at the Fukushima Daiichi plant but did not confirm whether any radioactive water leaked into the sea. In addition, according to the Tamura city government, some bulk bags filled with soil collected from decontamination operations were swept into a river during the typhoon on October The bags were among 2, that have been temporarily stored at a site in the city.
The Ministry of the Environment later confirmed that total of 11 bags were swept away and found downstream. Thankfully, there was no evidence that any of the contaminated soil leaked out. In September , several hundred bags were swept downstream during flooding caused by tropical storm Etau.
The recurring close calls reveal the ongoing vulnerabilities of the Fukushima and associated sites. The contaminated soil will need to be stored for at least 30 years , and the risk of possible leakage remains if a larger and stronger typhoon, or a tsunami, hits the region again. Economic challenges.
According to the legal scheme established by the ministry, TEPCO and other nuclear utilities will pay about 20 trillion yen of the total accident costs.