Terrible as it was, the tsunami that followed led to an even more terrifying event: the crippling of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.I was appointed chief technology officer (CTO) for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), an ad hoc body reporting to the national legislature.The job gave me a unique opportunity to examine this catastrophe in detail and see its multiple causes.Looking at the long chain of errors and misjudgments behind it made me consider security and risk management.How could the risks have been generally discounted and so ineptly managed?After the disaster, my perspective had changed and I began to view the whole field of IT security through the broader lens of risk management.
A small underwater robot has captured images of what could be melted nuclear fuel deposits inside a damaged reactor at Japan's destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant.The small robot, dubbed "Little Sunfish", found large amounts of solidified, lava-like lumps of material that could contain fuel on the bottom of the primary containment vessel underneath the core of Fukushima's Unit 3 reactor, the plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said on Friday (21 July).The massive earthquake that struck near Japan in March 2011 triggered a devastating tsunami that destroyed the plant and caused one of the worst nuclear disasters since Chernobyl.Locating fuel debris in each of the plant's three damaged reactors is crucial to the costly decommissioning process that is expected to take decades.Previous attempts to find melted fuel deposits at units 1 and 2 have not been successful due to damage and extremely high radiation levels.The fuel rod assemblies were initially located inside a pressure vessel that was enclosed by the primary containment vessel of the Unit 3 reactor.
A new and unexpected source of radioactive material left over from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has been found up to 60 miles away along coastlines near the beleaguered plant.Caesium-137 is a radioactive isotope of caesium (a soft, silvery-gold metal) that’s formed by nuclear fission and potentially fatal to humans when exposed to high concentrations.The scientists who led the study, Virginie Sanial of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Seiya Nagao of Kanazawa University, say the levels of radiation “are not of primary concern” to public health, but that this new and unanticipated source “should be taken into account in the management of coastal areas where nuclear power plants are situated.”Indeed, approximately half of the 440 operational nuclear reactors in the world are situated on a coastline.After the 2011 accident, scientists monitored leaking radiation as it entered into the atmosphere or trickled into rivers, but the Fukushima plant—damaged by a devastating earthquake and tsunami—is the first major incident to happen along such a large water body, namely the Pacific Ocean.This new PNAS study is now the first to consider subterranean pathways for the storage and release of radioactive contaminants following a nuclear disaster.
Japanese residents living nearby the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant are relying on drones for the quick delivery of food.Locals of Minamisoma were evacuated in 2011 after the Fukushima meltdown and only allowed to return last year.Radiation concerns for the district, which is inside the 20km radius of the site, prohibited returning before July 2016.Although residents have returned, food and shop access within the town is scarce.Convenience chain Lawson has partnered with Rakuten to offer a six-month trial of drone-delivered food.The drones carry up to 2kg and can deliver hot food as well as groceries and household items.
dryriver writes: Japan is a country that currently has to import 90% of its fuels for energy generation, having very little in the way of oil, coal or natural gas reserves in the country.Since the Fukushima disaster, its 50-plus nuclear reactors have been mostly idle.This makes Japan one of the least self-sufficient countries in terms of energy generation in the developed world.But there is an untapped energy resource that Japan has in abundance: ice that has large quantities of methane trapped in it.These ice crystals hold a remarkable quantity of natural methane gas.It is estimated that one cubic meter of frozen gas hydrate contains 164 cubic meters of methane.
MIT’s Hermes is a bipedal robot that uses full-body teleoperation to move with greater agilityA sudden, tragic wake-up call: That’s how many roboticists view the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, caused by the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011.Disaster-response robots have made significant progress since Fukushima.With support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), we are building a telerobotic system that has two parts: a humanoid capable of nimble, dynamic behaviors, and a new kind of two-way human-machine interface that sends your motions to the robot and the robot’s motions to you.So if the robot steps on debris and starts to lose its balance, the operator feels the same instability and instinctively reacts to avoid falling.We then capture that physical response and send it back to the robot, which helps it avoid falling, too.
On March 28, 1979, almost a decade before the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island experienced a partial meltdown.On that day, a combination of malfunctions and human error unleashed radioactive gases into the environment around the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.The Three Mile Island partial meltdown was not as damaging as the nuclear crises at Chernobyl or Fukushima: Nobody died because of the accident, but 2 million people were exposed to small amounts of radiation, and 140,000 people evacuated the area.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Early on March 28, 1979, a combination of electrical and mechanical malfunctions, as well as human error, unleashed dangerous radioactive gases into the environment around the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.The plant sits on Three Mile Island in Susquehanna River.
A remark by Japanese environment minister Yoshiaki Harada about dumping wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant directly into the Pacific Ocean has sparked outrage among Japanese fishermen and environmental groups.Harada made the comments this week during a press briefing in Tokyo, reports the Japan Times.Responding to a question, Harada said Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) will soon have no other option but to drain the radioactive water “into the ocean to dilute it.” This was his “simple opinion,” said Harada, adding that the Japanese government will make a decision on the matter once it has reviewed a pending report from an expert panel commissioned by the government, according to the Japan Times.Ever since the earthquake and ensuing tsunami ravaged the plant in 2011, TEPCO has been storing the contaminated water in hundreds of giant tanks at the site.TEPCO officials have yet to comment on the ministers remarks.TEPCO has managed to remove most of the radioactive isotopes from the wastewater using an “advanced filtration process,” reports the BBC, but it doesn’t have the technology to remove the hydrogen isotope tritium.
The Tokyo District Court has acquitted three former Tokyo Electric Power Company executives charged with criminal negligence leading to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.On Thursday, the Japanese court ruled that ex-TEPCO chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, along with former vice-presidents Ichiro Takekuro and Sakae Muto, were not criminally responsible for deaths and injuries caused by the nuclear disaster, reports the Japan Times.The unprecedented triple disaster started on 11 March 2011, when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the east coast of Japan.The Associated Press reports that prosecuting attorneys were asking that each of the three TEPCO executives receive five-year prison sentences, saying they failed to predict the scale of the tsunami and for failing to implement the required countermeasures to protect the plant, such as building a seawall of sufficient height.By failing to do so, prosecutors argued, the executives were professionally negligent, leading to the disaster and the required evacuations.Katsumata, Takekuro, and Muto were also accused of being criminally responsible for the deaths of 44 elderly patients who had to be evacuated from a nearby hospital.
Plans have been announced to convert abandoned areas in Fukushima to a renewable energy hub, a scheme that will involve the construction of new solar plants, wind farms, and a power transmission grid that will feed Tokyo with electricity.It’s been eight years since an earthquake and tsunami triggered a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.The immediate area around the facility remains unsafe, but as Nikkei Asian Review reports, Japan is hatching a plan to convert the area into a haven for renewable energy.The plan calls for 11 solar plants and 10 wind farms to be built on land in the Fukushima prefecture that “cannot be cultivated anymore and mountainous areas from where population outflows continue,” according to Nikkei.Nearly 43,000 Japanese citizens remain displaced by the disaster – many of whom are understandably wary about returning home, despite the government’s assurances.And then there are Fukushima’s three Evacuation-Designed Zones to consider, which encompass 371 square kilometres (143 square miles) of space, or nearly 3 per cent of the prefecture’s total area.
(University of Helsinki) The 10 year anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident occurs in March. Work just published in the Journal 'Science of the Total Environment' documents new, large (> 300 micrometers), highly radioactive particles that were released from one of the damaged Fukushima reactors.
Ten years after its devastating nuclear accident, Japan embraces solar, hydrogen, and offshore wind
The ice wall is one way of keeping the massive amount of toxic water stored in the facility. But Japan has floated the idea of dumping it into the Pacific Ocean.
10 years to the day after Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, experts say cleaning up the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant reactors will still take another 30 years.
Robotic vehicles have been used in dangerous environments for decades, from decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear power plant or inspecting underwater energy infrastructure in the North Sea. More recently, autonomous vehicles from boats to grocery delivery carts have made the gentle transition from research centers into the real world with very few hiccups. Yet the promised arrival of self-driving cars has not progressed beyond the testing stage. And in one test drive of an Uber self-driving car in 2018, a pedestrian was killed by the vehicle. Although these accidents happen every day when humans are behind the wheel, the public holds… This story continues at The Next Web
Japan announced the decision on Tuesday. Experts say the plan is safe, but China has called the decision unilateral and "extremely irresponsible."
The mascot was pulled after just one day because people thought the cuteness of the character did not match the seriousness of the issue.
(Texas A&M University) When one of the largest modern earthquakes struck Japan on March 11, 2011, the nuclear reactors at Fukushima-Daiichi automatically shut down, as designed. The emergency systems, which would have helped maintain the necessary cooling of the core, were destroyed by the subsequent tsunami. Because the reactor could no longer cool itself, the core overheated, resulting in a severe nuclear meltdown, the likes of which haven't been seen since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.