NHK: TEPCO to cover reactor with polyester sheets"
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will begin to cover the No.1 reactor building with polyester sheets this month to prevent the dispersal of radioactive substances.
The buildings of the No.1, 3, and 4 reactors were severely damaged by explosions and radioactive elements are still being released into the atmosphere. There are fears that heavy rain may hamper the workers' activities and that the rainwater may become contaminated with radioactive materials.
To prevent these situations, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, plans to enclose the reactor buildings with polyester sheets. The covering of the No.1 reactor building will begin later this month.
The roughly one-millimeter-thick sheets will be attached to the steel frames of the 54-meter-high building.
...The utility plans to carry out similar work at the No.3 and 4 reactor buildings.
HARVEY WASSERMAN: IS THIS THE END NUCLEAR ENERGY?
"...The corporate media has attempted to induce a coma over Fukushima by simply refusing the cover the on-going disaster.
"But the worsening realities are as utterly relentless as they are terrifying. In the age of the internet, there is simply no way to totally suppress the horror of what is happening to our Earth, especially at its lethal, festering wound at Fukushima.
"But what truly sets this moment apart is not just the radioactive nightmare. There have been others. There will certainly be more.
"What’s unique about now is the Solartopian flip side. It is the irrepressible fact that we have finally reached the green-powered tipping point.
"For the first time in history, the financial, industrial and trade journals are filled with pithy, number-laden reports declaring the moment has come—and this can not be overemphasized—that solar power is definitively cheaper than nuclear.
"It is an epic moment that future economic and technological historians will note as a true turning point..."
Traces of radiation found in 2 whales off Japan MARI YAMAGUCHI
June 15, 2011
TOKYO — Japanese whalers caught two animals along the northern coast that had traces of radiation, presumably from leaks at a damaged nuclear power plant, officials said Wednesday.
Two of 17 minke whales caught off the Pacific coast of Hokkaido showed traces of radioactive cesium, both about one-twentieth of the legal limit, fisheries officials said.
They are the first whales thought to have been affected by radiation leaked from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant since it was hit by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
"The levels are far below the limit, and the meat from the catch is safe for consumption," Fisheries Agency official Kosei Takekoshi said.
One of the minkes had a cesium reading of 31 becquerels per kilogram, and the other 24.3 becquerels, compared to the legal limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram for highly migratory marine products.
The 17 whales were caught off the shores of Kushiro city – a main coastal whaling hub – during an April 25-June 10 expedition.