"[305][306] Responses to Monbiot noted his "false calculation that [nuclear powered electricity] is needed, that it can work economically, and that it can solve its horrific waste, decommissioning and proliferation-security pitfalls ... [along with human] safety, health and indeed human psychology issues. [375] The Conservative Government of the United Kingdom is planning a major nuclear expansion despite some public objection. [199][200][201], On 10 September 2015, floodwaters driven by Typhoon Etau prompted mass evacuations in Japan and overwhelmed the drainage pumps at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. Séisme, tsunami, puis fusion de trois réacteurs nucléaires : le Japon reste meurtri par l'enchaînement de catastrophes de mars 2011. conducted a study cross-comparing thyroid cancer patients from Fukushima prefecture evacuees with rates of Thyroid cancer in from those outside of the evacuation zone. A magnitude 7.4 earthquake has struck off the coast of Fukushima – the site of 2011’s devastating 9.0 quake and resulting tsunami – at Tuesday … The report stated that the Japanese government was slow to accept assistance from U.S. nuclear experts. [20] An ongoing intensive cleanup program to both decontaminate affected areas and decommission the plant will take 30 to 40 years, plant management estimated. [131], A 2012 report in The Economist said: "The operating company was poorly regulated and did not know what was going on. The earthquake design basis for all units ranged from 0.42 g (4.12 m/s2, 13.5 ft/s2) to 0.46 g (4.52 m/s2, 14.8 ft/s2). It's a key step in the decadeslong process, complicated by high radiation and other risks. For unknown reasons, Unit 1's IC was operated only intermittently during the emergency. [14], In the days after the accident, radiation released to the atmosphere forced the government to declare an ever-larger evacuation zone around the plant, culminating in an evacuation zone with a 20 km radius. [56] On 16 March 2011, TEPCO estimated that 70% of the fuel in Unit 1 had melted and 33% in Unit 2, and that Unit 3's core might also be damaged. The only MOX fuel was currently loaded in the Unit 3 reactor. This is an aerial view of damage to Sukuiso, Japan, a week after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated the area in March, 2011. The data recorded 125 microsieverts per hour of radiation as far as 25 km (15.5 mi) northwest of the plant. [218][219] In particular, the 2013 WHO report predicts that for evacuated infant girls, their 0.75% pre-accident lifetime risk of developing thyroid cancer is calculated to be increased to 1.25% by being exposed to radioiodine, with the increase being slightly less for males. [114], Many of the internal components and fuel assembly cladding are made from zircaloy because it does not absorb neutrons. [309] In December 2014, an open letter from 75 climate and energy scientists on the website of Australian pro-nuclear advocate Barry Brook asserted "nuclear power has lowest impact on wildlife and ecosystems – which is what we need given the dire state of the world’s biodiversity. [102] Units 2 and 3 had steam turbine-driven emergency core cooling systems that could be directly operated by steam produced by decay heat and that could inject water directly into the reactor. [13] The resultant loss of reactor core cooling led to three nuclear meltdowns, three hydrogen explosions, and the release of radioactive contamination in Units 1, 2 and 3 between 12 and 15 March. The explosion, along with a fire touched off by rising temperatures in spent fuel rods stored in reactor 4, led to the release of higher levels of radiation from the plant. [11], TEPCO admitted for the first time on 12 October 2012 that it had failed to take stronger measures to prevent disasters for fear of inviting lawsuits or protests against its nuclear plants. At that time the explosion was thought to have damaged the containment vessel housing the fuel rods. Futaba (双葉町, Futaba-machi) is a town in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.As of 1 April 2020, the town had an actual population of zero, although as of 2017, the official registered population was 6,093 in 2,301 households. A combination of amateur videos of the tragic events of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. As of October 2019, the total amount of tritium in the water was about 856 terabecquerels, and the average tritium concentration was about 0.73 megabecquerels per liter. "It was a profoundly man-made disaster – that could and should have been foreseen and prevented. [242][243] The report indicated that for those infants in the most affected areas, lifetime cancer risk would increase by about 1%. [195] Ultimately the contaminated water, after treatment to remove radionuclides other than tritium, may have to be dumped into the Pacific. In July 2011, Kan said, "Japan should reduce and eventually eliminate its dependence on nuclear energy". Japan, like the rest of the Pacific Rim, is in an active seismic zone, prone to earthquakes. The tsunami also caused the accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. For the incidents at Fukushima Daini, see, "2011 Japanese nuclear accidents" redirects here. The survey also showed that 34.7% of the evacuees have suffered salary cuts of 50% or more since the outbreak of the nuclear disaster. Contrairement aux précédents accidents nucléaires majeurs de Tchnernobyl et de Three Mile Island, celui de Fukushima Daiichi n’est pas à l’origine dû à un dysfonctionnement « nucléaire » mais à une protection insuffisante contre cette catastrophe naturelle. The risks from a number of additional radiation-induced cancers are also expected to be elevated due to exposure caused by the other low boiling point fission products that were released by the safety failures. [209][212], 500 PBq of iodine-131 was released,[211] compared to approximately 1,760 PBq at Chernobyl. [41] All AC power was lost to units 1–4. "[391] "Governments, regulatory authorities and Tokyo Electric Power [TEPCO] lacked a sense of responsibility to protect people's lives and society," the Commission said. thus conclude that "In any case, the individual prognosis cannot be accurately determined at the time of FNAC at present. The event began with a powerful earthquake off the coast of Honshu, Japan’s main island, which initiated a series of large … A TEPCO spokesperson said that hundreds of metric tons of radioactive water entered the ocean as a result. [276], Radiation deaths at Chernobyl were also statistically undetectable. It was designed to withstand an earthquake with a peak grou… Fukushima accident, disaster that occurred in 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi (‘Number One’) nuclear power plant on the Pacific coast of northern Japan, which was caused by a severe earthquake and powerful series of tsunami waves and was the second worst nuclear power accident in history. [380] This brief has led to ongoing research and development of Accident Tolerant Fuels, which are specifically designed to withstand the loss of cooling for an extended period, increase time to failure, and increase fuel efficiency. [87] Fukushima I's storage area contains 6375 fuel assemblies. [41] All three of the generators added in the late 1990s were operational after the tsunami. [12][149], The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission warned of a risk of losing emergency power in 1991 (NUREG-1150) and NISA referred to that report in 2004, but took no action to mitigate the risk. 249–92/. The tsunami disabled cooling at three Fukushima reactors, and the cores melted within 72 hours. For other 2011 Japanese nuclear accidents/incidents, see. Those efforts met with some success, which temporarily slowed the release of radiation; however, they were suspended several times after rising steam or smoke signaled an increased risk of radiation exposure. [159], Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Underwater Technology Research Center towed detectors behind boats to map hot spots on the ocean floor off Fukushima. A 2012 analysis of the intermediate and long-lived radioactivity released found about 10–20% of that released from the Chernobyl disaster. As Japanese health and radiation specialist Shunichi Yamashita noted:[280], We know from Chernobyl that the psychological consequences are enormous. [12] However, the earthquake had also generated a 14 m high tsunami that arrived shortly afterwards and swept over the plant's seawall and then flooded the lower parts of reactors 1–4. [230] By 2019, the ice wall had reduced the inflow of groundwater from 440 cubic meters per day in 2014 to 100 cubic meters per day, while contaminated water generation decreased from 540 cubic meters per day in 2014 to 170 cubic meters per day. Ressentie jusqu’à Tokyo, la secousse est survenue au large de Fukushima, théâtre en 2011 d’une terrible catastrophe nucléaire causée par un tsunami meurtrier. The event was caused by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. The accident was started by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on Friday, 11 March 2011. [249][250][251] However, radiation epidemiologist Roy Shore countered that estimating health effects from the LNT model "is not wise because of the uncertainties. As workers continued their attempts to cool the reactors, the appearance of increased levels of radiation in some local food and water supplies prompted Japanese and international officials to issue warnings about their consumption. [209][210] Approximately 15 PBq of caesium-137 was released,[211] compared with approximately 85 PBq of caesium-137 at Chernobyl,[212] indicating the release of 26.5 kilograms (58 lb) of caesium-137. [198], As of October 2019, 1.17 million cubic meters of contaminated water was stored in the plant area. [60][61][64] These estimates were based on a simulation, which indicated that Reactor 3's melted core penetrated through 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) of the PCV's concrete base, and came close to 26–68 cm (10–27 in) of the PCV's steel wall. [208] This scale runs from 0, indicating an abnormal situation with no safety consequences, to 7, indicating an accident causing widespread contamination with serious health and environmental effects. He described the screening results to be "20 times to 50 times what would be normally expected. [221] As of August 2013, there have been more than 40 children newly diagnosed with thyroid cancer and other cancers in Fukushima prefecture as a whole. [394][395] It was supported by public prosecutors and government experts. "[384][385] A New York Times report alleged that the Japanese nuclear regulatory system consistently sided with, and promoted, the nuclear industry based on the concept of amakudari ('descent from heaven'), in which senior regulators accepted high paying jobs at companies they once oversaw. As of late 2011 measurements of both the seawater and the coastal sediments suggested that the consequences for marine life would be minor. evaluated the first and the second screening rounds separately as well as combined covering 184 confirmed cancer cases in 1.080 million observed person years subject to additional radiation exposure due to the nuclear accidents. Moreover, the information Japanese people receive about nuclear energy and its alternatives has long been tightly controlled by both TEPCO and the government. Sixty percent of respondents stated that their health and the health of their families had deteriorated after evacuating, while 39.9% reported feeling more irritated compared to before the disaster. All DC power was lost on Units 1 and 2 due to flooding, while some DC power from batteries remained available on Unit 3. [249], Many political activists have called for a phase-out of nuclear power in Japan, including Amory Lovins, who claimed, "Japan is poor in fuels, but is the richest of all major industrial countries in renewable energy that can meet the entire long-term energy needs of an energy-efficient Japan, at lower cost and risk than current plans. It was not until the middle of December 2011 that Japanese Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko declared the facility stable, after the cold shutdown of the reactors was completed. [62], TEPCO released further estimates of the state and location of the fuel in a November 2011 report. [220] The estimated cancer risk to children and adults was lower than it was to infants.[246]. [71], In February 2017, TEPCO released images taken inside Reactor 2 by a remote-controlled camera that show a 2 m (6.5 ft) wide hole[72] in the metal grating under the pressure vessel in the reactor's primary containment vessel,[73] which could have been caused by fuel escaping the pressure vessel, indicating a meltdown/melt-through had occurred, through this layer of containment. The total amounts released between 11 March and 5 April were revised downwards to 130 PBq (petabecquerels, 3.5 megacuries) for iodine-131 and 11 PBq for caesium-137, which is about 11% of Chernobyl emissions. [needs update] The report further suggested that "there is a range in the evaluation results" from "all fuel in the RPV (none fuel fallen to the PCV)" in Unit 2 and Unit 3, to "most fuel in the RPV (some fuel in PCV)". On 29 December 2011, TEPCO admitted all these facts: its report mentioned that the room was flooded through a door and some holes for cables, but the power supply was not cut off by the flooding, and the reactor was stopped for one day. The authors concluded "A significant association between the external effective dose-rate and the thyroid cancer detection rate exists: detection rate ratio (DRR) per μSv/h 1.065 (1.013, 1.119). Si, sur le moment, l'essentiel des victimes et des dégâts matériels ont été dus à la vague d'eau, les conséquences humaines et économiques de la faillite de la sécurité à la centrale de Fukushima seront profondes et durables. [158] However, the Fukushima coast has some of the world's strongest currents and these transported the contaminated waters far into the Pacific Ocean, thus causing great dispersion of the radioactive elements. Although all three of the reactors that were operating were successfully shut down, the loss of power caused cooling systems to fail in each of them within the first few days of the disaster. Survivors, including some who lost homes, villages, and family members, were found likely to face mental health and physical challenges. [172], On 24 August 2011, the Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) of Japan published the results of its recalculation of the total amount of radioactive materials released into the air during the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. [112] Seawater pumps for cooling were protected from flooding, and although 3 of 4 initially failed, they were restored to operation. [347][348][349][350] Authorities allegedly[dubious – discuss] wanted to "limit the size of costly and disruptive evacuations in land-scarce Japan and to avoid public questioning of the politically powerful nuclear industry". 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