FUKUSHIMA, Japan — The day after a giant tsunami set off the continuing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, thousands of residents at the nearby town of Namie gathered to evacuate.
Given no guidance from Tokyo, town officials led the residents north, believing that winter winds would be blowing south and carrying away any radioactive emissions. For three nights, while hydrogen explosions at four of the reactors spewed radiation into the air, they stayed in a district called Tsushima where the children played outside and some parents used water from a mountain stream to prepare rice.
The winds, in fact, had been blowing directly toward Tsushima — and town officials would learn two months later that a government computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases had been showing just that.... Read more »
After Japan’s Fukushima catastrophe, Canadian government officials reassured jittery Canadians that the radioactive plume billowing from the destroyed nuclear reactors posed zero health risks in this country.
In fact, there was reason to worry. Health Canada detected massive amounts of radioactive material from Fukushima in Canadian air in March and April at monitoring stations across the country.
The level of radioactive iodine spiked above the federal maximum allowed limit in the air at four of the five sites where Health Canada monitors levels of specific radioisotopes.
On March 18, seven days after an earthquake and tsunami triggered eventual nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, the first radioactive material wafted over the Victoria suburb of Sidney on Vancouver Island.... Read more »
Record levels of radiation have been recorded at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant reactor, just months after the nuclear accident resulting from the earthquake and tsunami in March.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported that Geiger counters - a hand-held device used to measure radiation - registered their highest possible reading at the site on Monday.
TEPCO said that radiation exceeding 10 sieverts [10,000 millisieverts] per hour was found at the bottom of a ventilation stack standing between two reactors.
Al Jazeera's Aela Callan, reporting from Japan's Ibaraki prefecture, said the level recorded was "fatal to humans" but that it was contained just to the plant's site. However, scientists are planning to carry out more tests on Tuesday.... Read more »
Don't you wish you could have bought Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) from the federal government? Had you been the buyer, you would have pocketed $60 million from the transaction. Sound like a strange deal? It is, but it's the kind of deal that is normal in the weird world of nuclear energy.
SNC-Lavalin, which recently bought AECL from the federal government, put up $15 million for the company and then received $75 million in federal supports for research and development. For that, SNC gets most of AECL's $1.1 billion in assets.... Read more »
What will your electricity bill look like in the next 5-10 years? How much more will you be paying? The answer to these questions comes in a recent report by our friends at the Pembina Institute. Higher costs are almost inevitable, but “investing in renewable energy today is likely to save Ontario ratepayers money within the next 15 years, as natural gas becomes more expensive and as the cost of renewable energy technology continues to decrease.”... Read more »