- A new earthquake stuck central Japan last night, epicentered about 150 km. north of Tokyo, with a 6.6 rating on the Richter scale. This resulted in losing external power to Fukushima Daiichi for about 50 minutes before it was restored. As a result, cooling water flows to all three reactors of concern were interrupted, but resumed immediately upon restoration of power. Fukushima Daiichi is about 70 km. from the earthquake’s epicenter. There is no word on whether or not the new earthquake is connected to the March 11 quake.
- TEPCO reports their intentional, low-activity waste water discharge is completed. Also, the discharge of ~1400 tons of water from Unit 5 & 6 is completed. Before they begin turbine basement water transfers to the waste tank, TEPCO will verify if the tank is really empty. They need every last bit of storage volume they can get.
- A massive barge/tanker will be shipped via sea from southern Japan to Fukushima Daiichi, later this week. This ultra-modern barge is bigger than the combined capacity of both US Navy barges supplying freshwater replenishment to the power complex. It will be used for storage of turbine basement waters, along with the tanks and condensers inside the plant.
- TEPCO analyses of the off shore sampling points reveals that all I-131 contamination levels have dropped considerably at the four near-shore locations, since the last report two days ago. The six 15 km. sampling locations also reveal a considerable decrease, with three of the locations now at or below the 0.04 bq/cc health standard. The sealing of the infamous power cabling pit crack has certainly contributed to the decreases, but the efforts to contain the outflow of contamination by erecting barricades between the port/docking area and the sea have also been helpful.
- MEXT’s sampling locations 30 km. from the shore have shown also shown decreases in I-131 concentrations, but now 4 of the surface locations north and northeast of Fukushima Daiichi no longer show any I-131. In addition, eight of the 10 deep water samples are totally clean, but the two due south of Fukushima Daiichi continue to show I-131 levels above the health standard.
- Even with the 50 minute interruption of cooling flows, the temperature and pressure readouts of Unit 1, 2 & 3 reactors have dropped since yesterday, except for Unit #3 feedwater nozzle temperature, which is unchanged.
- TEPCO has acknowledged the NISA reprimand for Health Physics air and water sampling mistakes, made April 1. TEPCO has made all upgrades in sample gathering and analytical techniques. This is yet another example of the advantages of a self-regulating nuclear community. It should be noted that while NISA is a government-funded agency, it operates in a realm of relative independence from political machinations within the government itself.
- In typical Japanese gestures of abeyance, the president of TEPCO and NISA have issued formal apologies to the people of Japan for the nuclear emergency at Fukushima Daiichi.
- Asahi Shimbun today reports good news for some of the Fukushima evacuees. Since last Sunday, 14 chefs from such big-name eateries in Tokyo and Osaka as La Tour d’Argent and L’osier, have taken turns, in pairs, to serve french cuisine to those who have left the evacuation zone. But don’t let me tell you about it, click on the link for yourself…
- Finally, MIT published a brief explanation of how regulatory standards are set by the government. This report is based entirely on the Linear, No Threshold model used by the government. Radiation hormesis is thus not mentioned, I assume because the American government (and all other world governments) refuse to acknowledge it. Regardless, the report shows the ultra conservatism used in setting radiation and contamination standards…
http://mitnse.com/ (April 7 report)
Why don’t the governments of the world use radiation hormesis to set the standards? Politics! As said here before, political decisions are predicated on what the politicos perceive as the beliefs of the majority. Since TMI, the world’s public has been conditioned to believe there is no absolutely safe level of radiation exposure. Radiation hormesis entirely contradicts this belief, thus the politicians have no interest in changing anything. If they did, the perceived public uproar would be politically deafening. Counter-intuitive realities have a way of doing that. Until the actuality of radiation hormesis becomes public knowledge, governments of the world will continue to needlessly frighten their citizens with no-safe-level-based standards.