The Fukushima cleanup will take generations
nippon.com -- Mar 08
Five years after the Tōhoku tsunami triggered the second-worst nuclear accident in history, the cleanup team at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has yet to stem the buildup of contaminated water at the site or determine the precise location of much of the reactor fuel.

The cleanup team is still struggling to halt the buildup of contaminated water, and the techniques and equipment needed to locate, extract, and dispose of the melted fuel have yet to be developed. Given these challenges, many experts are convinced that the decommissioning process will take far longer than the official 40-year timetable-perhaps as long as a century.

One of the first things a visitor will notice upon entering the site is row upon row of massive cylindrical water tanks. Built to store some 800,000 tons of radioactive water, these 1,100 or so tanks bear witness to the epic battle that has absorbed the energies of the cleanup team for the past five years, as it struggled to contain and decontaminate radioactive water and halt its accumulation.

Rainwater and groundwater have continued to pour into the damaged basements of Units 1-4, where it mixes with the highly radioactive cooling water already inside the buildings. To stem the buildup of this contaminated water and prevent it from flowing into the ocean, TEPCO has devised a complicated patchwork of strategies aimed at solving the problem by 2020. The pillars of TEPCO's water management efforts to date are two systems for channeling groundwater away from the contaminated basements and releasing it into the ocean relatively free of radioactive contaminants. One, the groundwater bypass system, collects water in wells dug between the reactor buildings and the hills to the west. The water is pumped up from the wells, tested, and eventually released into the ocean. The other, called the subdrain system, uses wells dug around the perimeter of the reactor buildings. So far, TEPCO has discharged some 230,000 tons of water into the ocean using these two methods combined. Even so, groundwater continues to pour into the buildings' basements at the rate of about 150 tons a day.

News source: nippon.com
Sep 27
Eighteen mistranslated parts have been found in the official Japanese translation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership documents, it was learned on Monday. (Japan Times)
Sep 27
An online ad featuring a swimsuit-clad teenage girl who turns into an eel was pulled Monday after Japanese internet users complained it was sexist. (Japan Today)
Sep 27
The number of foreign residents of Japan has reached a record high of more than 2 million. (NHK)
Sep 27
Japan's agriculture ministry is planning to import another 4,000 tons of butter, as raw milk production may fall in some areas of the country. (NHK)
Sep 27
The "Yuzushio Ramen" noodle soup of Tochigi Prefecture, eastern Japan, has won the top prize in the country's first popularity contest of local foods sold at "michi no eki" roadside stations serving as rest areas and commercial facilities. (Jiji Press)
Sep 27
Bronze coins that were dug up at the Katsuren Castle Remains in the city of Uruma in Okinawa Prefecture have been identified as those of the Roman Empire, the city's education board said Monday. (Jiji Press)
Sep 27
The government adopted at a cabinet meeting Monday a bill to enable a government-affiliated institution to provide loans to finance part of the construction of Central Japan Railway Co.'s magnetic levitation Shinkansen high-speed train line.

(the-japan-news.com)

Sep 27
Long-term Japanese government bond yields are sinking gradually following the Bank of Japan's recent announcement of a new policy framework. (Jiji Press)
Sep 26
Another patient who died at a hospital in Yokohama, near Tokyo, is now suspected to have been poisoned. (NHK)
Sep 26
A rogue ratsnake brought a Shinkansen bullet train to a halt on Monday after a passenger spotted it wrapped around a window-side armrest. (Tokyo Reporter)