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"We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves."
5:18 pm, February 28, 2017
The Japan NewsA
powerful quake with an estimated magnitude of 5.6 and an epicenter off
Fukushima Prefecture occurred at around 4:49 p.m. Tuesday.
Its focus was about 50 kilometers below the surface of the ground.
lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 was felt in
Iwanuma, Miyagi Prefecture; and in Naraha, Futaba, Soma and Minamisoma,
all in Fukushima Prefecture.
No tsunami warning has been issued.
February 27, 2017 (Mainichi Japan)
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has failed to grasp the entire
picture of melted fuel possibly accumulating inside the container vessel
of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. The
radiation levels inside the vessel are extremely high, to the extent a
human could be killed in less than a minute, and even a robot designed
to conduct a probe inside went down quickly.
On the early morning of Dec. 24, 2016, a group of 26 workers
assembled at a building housing the No. 2 reactor when it was still dark
outside. The workers were from heavy machinery giant IHI Corp. and
other companies engaged in disaster recovery work. On top of their
protective Tyvek suits, they were wearing special protective ponchos.
They also had four-layer gloves on, with plastic tape wrapped around
their wrists. The outfit made them sweat though it was the middle of
In order for TEPCO to move ahead with decommissioning work on the
No. 1 through No. 3 reactors at the plant, the utility needs to find out
how much melted nuclear fuel lies inside the facilities, and where, in
the aftermath of the meltdown of 1,496 fuel rods. The 26 workers were
tasked with drilling a hole measuring 11.5 centimeters in diameter in
the No. 2 reactor's container vessel to open the way for the probe
robot, using a remotely controlled machine.
Ryosuke Ishida, 28, an employee of a related company in Hokkaido,
was in charge of removing the machinery that was used in the drilling
work. In order to ward off the severely high radiation, he was wearing a
lead jacket weighing 10 kilograms on top of his already tightly sealed
protective gear. Each worker was allowed only five minutes for their
task to keep their radiation exposure doses to no more than 3
millisieverts a day. The dosimeters they were carrying with them were
set to beep when the radiation level reached 1.5 to 2 millisieverts,
with an additional alarm set to go off when radiation doses hit every
one-fifth of those levels.
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
February 19, 2017 at 18:15 JST
The Asahi Shimbun
A robot was expected to solidify ways to clean up the No. 2 reactor
at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, but its short-lived mission raised
puzzling questions that could derail existing decommissioning plans.
The robot, Sasori, was abandoned in the melted-down reactor after it
became stuck in deposits and other debris that are believed to have
interfered with its drive system.
But it did take radiation measurements that indicate Tokyo Electric
Power Co., operator of the plant, was too optimistic about the state and
location of the melted fuel within the reactor. The melted fuel, in
fact, may be spread out all over the reactor’s containment vessel.
Scientists had believed the melted nuclear fuel fell through the
reactor’s pressure vessel and landed on metal grating and the floor of
the containment vessel.
The results of Sasori’s investigation, coupled with previous data
taken from possible images of the melted fuel, show the situation within
the reactor is much worse than expected. And a fresh investigation into
the reactor is now nowhere in sight.
A remote-controlled video camera inserted into the reactor on Jan. 30
took what are believed to be the first images of melted fuel at the
plant, which suffered a triple meltdown after the March 2011 Great East
Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Based on the images, TEPCO estimated 530 sieverts per hour at a point
almost halfway between the metal grating directly beneath the pressure
vessel and the wall of the containment vessel. Black lumps on the
grating are believed to be melted fuel.
A different robot sent in on Feb. 9 to take pictures and prepare for
Sasori’s mission estimated 650 sieverts per hour near the same spot.
Both 530 and 650 sieverts per hour can kill a person within a minute.
Sasori, equipped with a dosimeter and two cameras, on Feb. 16
recorded a reading of 210 sieverts per hour near the same location, the
highest figure measured with instruments in the aftermath of the