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Japan:Radioactive cesium detected in Fukushima shiitake – Related News

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Laaska News  July 16,2011
Radioactive cesium exceeding the government standard has been detected in shiitake mushrooms grown indoors in 2 cities in Fukushima Prefecture, about 60 kilometers from the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. This is the first detection of radioactive cesium exceeding the standard in produce grown in greenhouses in the prefecture since the nuclear accident.

The Fukushima prefectural government says 1,770 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was detected in mushrooms grown in Date City. The level is more than 3 times the provisional government limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram.

560 becquerels of radioactive cesium was detected in mushrooms from Motomiya City.

At least 157 kilograms of shiitake mushrooms from the 2 cities were shipped from early July through Friday to Tokyo, a supermarket in Fukushima City, and a local farmers’ market.

Fukushima officials are to ask the farmers to recall their produce and refrain from making new shipments while determining the cause.

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Kansai Electric to shut down reactor

Kansai Electric Power Company says it will temporarily shut down a reactor at its nuclear power plant in Fukui Prefecture due to trouble in an emergency cooling system. The reactor is one of 19 currently operating in Japan.

Kansai Electric said pressure dropped inside a tank in a system that injects water into a reactor in the event of an emergency at around 11PM on Friday at the Ohi nuclear plant.

This made it impossible to inject water properly into the No.1 reactor.

The company said it will manually shut down the reactor to look into the cause of the problem, although pressure returned to normal in about one hour.

The utility plans to suspend the reactor’s operation at around 9 PM on Saturday.

It says the trouble caused no leak of radioactive substances to the outside.

Kansai Electric has 11 nuclear reactors, of which 4 are now offline due to regular inspections. 2 more reactors will start undergoing regular inspections next week.

The firm says stoppage of the No.1 reactor would make this summer’s limited power situation even tighter.

 

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Fukushima reactors 1-3 stabilized

 

The Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company say they have stabilized the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

But problems continue with the system for purifying contaminated water.

In a joint assessment, the government and TEPCO say they have completed the first step of a plan outlined in mid-April for a complete cold shutdown of the reactors. They say they completed the first step within the original 3-month deadline.

The assessment adds that reactors 1, 2 and 3 have been stably cooled down, and that nitrogen has been injected into their containment vessels to prevent hydrogen explosions.

Pools of spent nuclear fuel are also stable.

The government and TEPCO say radiation levels in the surrounding air and seawater have been declining, and the goal of reducing the amount of radiation leaking outside the plant has been achieved.

But the crisis is far from over. The assessment admits that contaminated water has leaked out of storage tanks, and that water level settings at its water purification facilities were incorrect.

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TEPCO checking for gas leak from No. 3 reactor

The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is checking for gas leaks in the No. 3 reactor, into which nitrogen is being injected to prevent a hydrogen explosion.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has injected more than 200 cubic meters of nitrogen into the reactor’s containment vessel since Thursday evening. But it says the interior air pressure has increased very little.

TEPCO says gas may be leaking from a damaged part of the container.

Also on Friday, TEPCO restarted a system for decontaminating highly radioactive water after a 9-hour stoppage to vent air from a pipe that was slowing down operations.

But it says the system’s capability is still more than 20 percent lower than the target figure.

Nitrogen injection and the operation of the water decontamination system are essential for TEPCO to complete the first step of its plan to bring the plant under control.

The utility is still suffering 1 problem after another, with just 2 days left before the first target date of July 17th.

 

NHK.

 

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