Nuclear Plant Updates

  • Radiation Monitoring Sites: Ibaraki Prefecture (in nanoSv), Fukushima Prefecture (in microSv), Tochigi Prefecture (in microSv), and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (in microSv, research institute in Tsukuba). These sites are in Japanese, but are currently showing radiation levels that are not of concern. (Updated March 15, 2011 at 18:08)
  • According to the press conference that was held by Prime Minister Kan and Chief Cabinet Secretary Edano at 11am on Tuesday, March 15:
    1. Reactors #1, “2, and “3 are currently being cooled.
    2. There is a fire in #4.
    3. The fire is not radioactive fuel buring.
    4. As soon as they get the fire under control, they will continue to try to cool the core.
    5. People within 20 km of the reactors must evacuate.
    6. People within 20km to 30km must stay inside, take laundry inside, don’t use vents or air conditioners. [NOTE: Tsukuba is around 170km from Futaba in Fukushima, the district where the nuclear plant is.]
    7. As you get further away from the site, the radiations levels go down.
    8. People outside the 30km radius do not need to do anything.
    9. The radiation levels at the plant were as follows as of 10:22 this morning.
      • Between #2 and #3 – 30 milli sv/h
      • At #3 – 400 milli sv/h
      • At #4 – 100 milli sv/h
    10. ‎The above levels are definitely too high. That is why people are being evacuated from the area.
    11. As you get further away from the plants, the levels decrease.

    (Updated March 15, 2011 at 11:48)

  • According to the press conference by TEPCO officials at around midnight, a valve was blocking the water from entering the reactor. The the rods are completely exposed. They need to find a way to either cool them or reduce the pressure. They mentioned the idea of opening the safety valves. Radioactivity levels have increased around the plants. (Updated March 15, 2011 at 02:24)
  • According to the press release by Edano that was aired right now, water pumping into Plant #1 and #3 is going as planned. With Plant #2, there was a problem with getting fuel to the machinery and about 80 cm of core was exposed. Most likely the whole core was exposed. Internal pressure was released as steam at 20:27. Parts of the core have broken as radioactivity has been detected around the building. However, cooling has been re-started and if all goes well, it should cool the cores. (Updated March 14, 2011 at 21:15)
  • Please read this post by Dr. Josef Oehmen, a research scientist in mechanical engineering and engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. regarding the situation with the nuclear plants in Fukushima. It is very reassuring. Consider forwarding it to your friends and family so they won’t worry about you so much. (MIT has taken over the editing of this article.) (Updated March 14, 2011 at 13:58)
  • According to the press release by Edano that was aired right now, the nuclear reactor poses low risk for Tsukuba at present. The core is still intact and the possibility of radioactive material release is low. Data for the core is being sent directly to Tokyo so they are monitoring the pressure and water levels in the core. So far everything is normal. (Updated March 14, 2011 at 11:53)
  • There has been a report of a hydrogen explosion at the 3rd reactor in Fukushima. Source: NHK News. Please stay inside for now. We are waiting for more news. (Updated March 14, 2011 at 11:32)
  • Video address by International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano (Updated March 13, 2011 at 15:48)
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8 Responses to Nuclear Plant Updates

  1. ginni-North Coast California says:

    Dearest Avi, All in Tsukuba, All in Japan ~
    We are watching you day & night from here in the U.S., hoping with every passing moment that you are safe and mostly well. My heart is breaking for all your suffering and loss; your fears must be great indeed.
    We are, of course, extremely concerned for your safety, and especially about the power plants. It sounds as if Tsukuba is not far from some of those locations. [?]
    Please know that you are receiving the greatest compassion from all of us here – our prayers are with you constantly.

  2. Shaney says:

    Hi Ginni,

    We are not really very close to the nuclear power plants in Fukushima, so please don’t worry!

  3. Avi Landau says:

    I have just received this email from a friend who is monitoring the radiation in Tsukuba ( that is his speciality).

    Here it is:

    The radiation detector at KEK shows 0.5 micro Sv at pm1:30
    It means there are small amount of radio activity from the plant.
    If this situation continues 3 months, it will be over 1 mSv, which is
    acceptable dose within the limits of the law.
    If this situation continues 40 years, it might affect our health

  4. Adam Lebowitz says:

    The U of Tsukuba has an isotope measuring device.
    According to the homepage, as of 13:00, there has been no measurable change in this locality’s atmosphere.

  5. Pingback: Current Status | News for Tsukuba Residents

  6. Kike says:

    Thank you for giving that information, I can imagine how hard it has to be for all of you. I have a girlfriend living there right now I am so worried.

    I really hope everything gets better and better.

  7. Adam Lebowitz says:

    Let me correct myself, quite belatedly:
    There HAS been a change in the readings, but there is no (according to parameters) “health risk”.
    It’s best to check the reports on the prefectural web sites.

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