Posts Tagged ‘Fukushima Daiichi’

Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Update for April 4, 2011

Monday, April 4th, 2011

A few more bits of new on Sendai tsunami/earthquake aftermath:

  • The latest official death toll is 11,828, with more than 15,500 still missing.
  • Some high-resolution photos of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility
  • Another good source of information on the Fukushima Daiichi reactors.
  • During the tsunami, Waves reportedly hit 100 feet high in Ofunato City.
  • And speaking of Ofunato City, here is footage of the tsunami coming in there:

    Someone has put up a series of videos called “people trying to escape from the tsunami,” some of which I’ve never seen before, and all of which look entirely too close for comfort.

    Here’s entirely-too-close footage of the tsunami coming in, including large tugboats and a van trying to escape, right before the cameraman decided he really needed to get to higher ground:

    A video from Kamaishi in Iwate:

    Tagajo City:

    Finally, some much-needed happy news:

    (This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.)

    Japan Mini Update on Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor for March 29

    Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

    Slashdot posted a story linking a highly speculative piece in The Guardian saying that high levels of radiation might be a sign that molten fuel has leaked through the reactor vessel (not the containment vessel, as the Slashdot summary breathlessly announces). I have not seen any confirmation of this speculation, or indeed seen this speculation repeated outside Slashdot and a few other newspapers in the UK, and it is not confirmed by the most recent IAEA report.

    Here’s the official (and comprehensive) report on the current state of the six nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daiichi from the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum.

    Things are plenty bad at Fukushima, but (with the caveat that I am not even remotely a nuclear engineer) I see no solid evidence to suggest that there has been even a partial meltdown, much less that the core has melted through the reactor pressure vessel, much less that the containment vessel has been breached. Indeed this statement from the IAEA report would suggest a better cause for the radioactivity spike recently observed: “The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan suggests that higher activity in the water discovered in the Unit 2 turbine building is supposed to be caused by the water, which has been in contact with molten fuel rods for a time and directly released into the turbine building via some, as yet unidentified path.”

    Japan suffered a real tragedy, with over 11,000 confirmed dead from the earthquake and tsunami, and Western journalists and bloggers seem unnaturally fixated on a serious but limited nuclear accident that hasn’t claimed any lives yet.

    (This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.)

    Japan Tsunami/Earthquake Update for Monday, March 21

    Monday, March 21st, 2011

    One more brief update on the aftermath of the Sendai earthquake/tsunami:

  • Death toll at 8,000, with 13,000 missing.
  • All six of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant appear to be under control, though there appears to be damage to the reactor cores of reactors 1-3. Those reactors have been given an International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) rating of 5, which would put it on par with Three Mile Island, but well below the 7 assigned to Chernobyl.
  • Foot shortages in Tokyo appear to be easing.
  • Sendai port is open and receiving emergency fuel shipments.
  • Tsunami video from Miyako City in Iwate Prefecture:

    This and all previous posts on the Sendai earthquake and tsunami can be found here.

    Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Update for Sunday, March 13

    Sunday, March 13th, 2011

    A few more quick updates on the aftermath of the Sendai earthquake/tsunami:

  • Current estimates for the death toll is that it will top 10,000 in Miyagi prefecture (which includes Sendai) alone.
  • The magnitude of the earthquake has been shifted upward to a 9.0.
  • The quake appears to have moved Japan’s coast by about eight feet.
  • It also shifted the position of Earth’s axis about 4-7 inches.
  • Conflicting reports as to whether the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor has melted down, has partially melted down, will meltdown, won’t meltdown.
  • One 60-year old man was found on the roof of his floating house ten miles out to sea.
  • Finally, expressing the lightning-quick reflexes they’ve long been known for, the State Department issued a travel warning for Japan.
  • More dramatic footage of the tsunami coming in. There’s one building that the water goes up against, and then through, and then, in a matter of about 10 seconds since the wave hit, the building is gone.

    Includes some of the above, and a lot more besides, off Japanese TV:

    Before and After aerial footage:

    Helicopter rescue footage:

    The tsunami even caught the Japanese Air Force unaware, which a number of (I think) F-16s picked up and carried into buildings or soaked with mud:

    Interesting video from 2010 explaining Japanese preparation for earthquakes and tsunamis:

    Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Update for Saturday Morning, March 12, 2011

    Saturday, March 12th, 2011

    Some quick Sendai earthquake/tsunami updates:

  • Current death toll estimate is 1,700. By way of comparison, remember that the 2010 Haiti earthquake killed 316,000 and the 2004 Indonesian tsunami killed 230,210. First world infrastructure, building codes and warning systems matter a lot.
  • Stratfor is reporting that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant “appears” to have melted down. I have not seen confirmation of this elsewhere. Even if true, it does not mean there has been a core breach, much less a containment breach. And the Christian Science Monitor is saying otherwise.
  • Little electricity and no water in Sendai.
  • The Washington Post has a live update blog.
  • Up-close footage of the tsunami coming into the city I haven’t seen before:

    Close footage of the tsunami surge moving into a city:

    More close tsunami footage:

    More Sendai aftermath footage:

    Some cognitive dissonance in this Russia Today video: The footage is mainly the burning natural gas plant, while the voiceover discusses the nuclear plant failsafe issues:

    More burning natural gas footage, along with a discussion of other nation’s tsunami preparations:

    For other videos I’ve put up from the earthquake/tsunami, start here or just go scrolling back through the videos I’ve put up the last couple of days.

    Howard Waldrop and I have to review Battle: Los Angeles for Locus Online, so between that and my usual Saturday obligations, I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do too many more updates today.