Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sendai Nuclear Plant and Recent Earthquake Activity in Japan

My previous two posts addressed the earthquake in Japan with special reference to the nuclear power plants located closest to the earthquake epicenter.

I've been watching Netc today and I've not seen any evidence there of elevated radiation readings. However, there are ways of manipulating online data so I'm not entirely convinced the readings are valid.

The Sendai nuclear plant, the only nuclear site operating in Japan, has a history of operational problems:
Tadahiro Katsuta. Why was the Sendai nuclear power plant restarted? Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. August 12, 2015,
There was considerable controversy surrounding Sendai being returned to operational status, with a lawsuit filed by community members. I addressed this lawsuit and the judge's ruling in this post:

Who Decides the Level of Risk
The judge decided. Residents failed to halt resumed operations. It is my understanding that the plant was operational at the time of the earthquake.

Hopefully, conditions are truly stable. But I'm not sure how confident we can be in official pronouncements that all is well.

The Asahi Shimbun reported in March 2016 that the radiation tools installed for evacuations near the Sendai plant were "useless":
Useless radiation tools installed for evacuations near Kagoshima plant March 14, 2016   
Nearly half of the radiation monitoring posts installed for issuing evacuation orders around the Sendai nuclear plant in Kagoshima Prefecture are actually useless for that purpose, The Asahi Shimbun has learned.  In the event of a nuclear accident, evacuation orders are issued immediately when airborne radiation levels reach 500 microsieverts per hour. But 22 of the 48 monitoring posts around the Sendai plant can only measure radiation levels up to 80 microsieverts per hour, according to a survey on the equipment.

Crazy, isn't it?  Almost half of the radiation monitors cannot measure levels beyond 80 microsieverts an hour, but evacuation orders are to be issued only when levels reach 500 microsieverts per hour.

There is something very wrong here.

I hope the other 26 monitors that can detect radiation at higher levels are operational and well distributed around the plant.

I hope that the welfare of people is prioritized over the perpetuation of the nuclear industry in Japan and elsewhere.



  1. An interesting rebuke of the Asahi Shimbun for the radiation monitoring story by the NRA:

    NRA criticizes Asahi story on radiation dose monitors
    March 17, 2016 at 21:45

  2. the whole deal is a monstrous tale of how nuclear entities manipulate, hide, and lie about data. Lead plates at base of monitoring stations, denying credibility of and access to SPEEDI, making once accessible online data graphs unavailable... not keeping their English version website in line with reporting at the Japanese version... have to wonder what more data destruction they've done which we may never learn about...