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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Japan 6.1 earthquake near Fukushima nuclear plant

Japan was plunged into fresh panic April 20 as a 6.1 magnitude tremor hit the northern coast – the third major earthquake within a week. The tremors struck near the northern island on Honshu around 60 miles southeast on Sendai. 

No tsunami warnings have been issued on this occasion.

To the dismay of rattled survivors, the latest quake happened close to the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster – which saw 15,000 killed in March 2011.

Kumamoto earthquake locator map

The quake struck 60 miles southeast of Sendai 
View Interactive Map

View another map that shows every nuclear explosion in history

There have been 2,624 nuclear explosions since the technology was developed

The tremor comes after at least 48 people were killed when two cataclysmic earthquakes ripped through the island of Kyushu.

TOKYO, March 3, Kyodo
Two volcanologists involved in judging whether restarted nuclear reactors should be halted due to nearby volcanic activity received 8.1 million yen ($71,000) in donations from utility-linked companies in the past, documents showed Thursday.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority appointed the two, both from Kagoshima University, as part of a six-member panel to check for signs of a major volcanic eruption near Kyushu Electric Power Co.'s Sendai plant, which is located in a volcanically active region in southwestern Japan.
The revelation that the two -- professor emeritus Tetsuo Kobayashi and professor Hiroki Miyamachi -- received funds from affiliates of nuclear power plant operators, including Kyushu Electric, may raise suspicions about the panel's decisions, critics said.

TEPCO to create frozen wall soon
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is expected to soon get approval to start underground freezing around its reactors. The measure is aimed at creating a frozen soil wall to cut the amount of groundwater flowing into reactor buildings.

Panel: Fault below Shika reactor may be active
A panel of scientists at Japan's nuclear regulator says a fault under a reactor at the Shika power plant in central Japan could slip in the future.

3,400 survivors of 2011 disaster have since died
The Japanese government says more than 3,400 survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have subsequently died due to health problems caused by prolonged upheaval.
The Reconstruction Agency compiles data every 6 months on deaths related to the disaster and the ensuing nuclear accident in northeastern Japan.
Agency officials say that by the end of last September, 4-and-a-half years after the disaster, they had documented 3,407 deaths.
The largest number was in Fukushima Prefecture, where the damaged nuclear plant is based -- 1,979 residents, representing 58 percent of the total.
The officials say 1,876 people or 55 percent died within 3 months of the disaster.
Since March 2014, 156 people have died, most of them in Fukushima Prefecture.
The officials say that as of February 12th, as many as 174,471 people are still in temporary housing or living in relatives' homes. The figure is down 50,706 from last March.
156,234 people are living in prefabricated housing or apartments rented by central and local governments. 18,237 people live with their relatives and acquaintances, down 316 from last year.
43,139 people originally from Fukushima Prefecture are living different prefectures.
Local governments have completed only half the planned public housing for people affected by the disaster, and just 30 percent of residential developments on land lots in higher locations.
Some communities continue to suffer from declining populations.
In Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, 12 communities have reported population declines of more than 10 percent. More than half said their numbers are down by 20 percent or greater.

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Two days before this event- Did the government speak too soon? Are the really dangerous Earthquakes over yet?

Only two days before, the Japanese government said they' would not shut down Fukushima unless...

April 18, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)

Nuclear regulator sees no need to halt reactors despite quake concerns

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority said Monday the safety watchdog has no plan to halt operating nuclear reactors in southwestern Japan despite concerns about a recent wave of earthquakes hitting the neighboring region, as there have been no signs of safety problems at the facility.
"We will not make such a judgment (to halt the reactors) unless there is a scientifically convincing basis," Shunichi Tanaka said about the Sendai nuclear complex in Kagoshima Prefecture, at a press conference after a special meeting of the NRA earlier in the day.

The NRA held the meeting after a string of earthquakes on the southwestern Japan island of Kyushu killed more than 40 people and injured over 1,000 people since the first major quake with a magnitude of 6.5 hit Kumamoto Prefecture in central Kyushu on Thursday night.

The nuclear watchdog confirmed at the meeting there are no abnormalities at four nuclear power plants located relatively near the quake-stricken area, including the two reactors at the Sendai facility operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co., the only two commercial power reactors currently operating in Japan.

The other three nuclear facilities are the Genkai plant in Saga Prefecture, the Ikata complex in Ehime Prefecture and the Shimane facility in Shimane Prefecture, run by Kyushu Electric, Shikoku Electric Power Co. and Chugoku Electric Power Co., respectively. They are all offline with their spent fuel rods stored in pools.

The levels of earthquake acceleration recorded at the four plants were all below those that trigger automatic shutdowns, with the biggest acceleration of 20.3 gals registered at the Genkai nuclear power station in northwestern Kyushu, according to the NRA.

One gal equals a change in the rate of motion of 1 centimeter per second squared. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was hit by a jolt of 675 gals when an earthquake and tsunami triggered meltdowns at the complex in 2011.

Tanaka added that the regulator will continue to closely monitor the situation as earthquakes continue to rock the Kyushu area.

The NRA approved the restart of Sendai's two reactors in 2014 after safety measures were implemented that assume a magnitude-8.1 quake could occur on the fault zone which moved to cause a magnitude-7.3 quake early Saturday.

The nuclear watchdog said that the potential impact of jolts caused by that fault zone on the safety of the Sendai plant is limited as the complex is located about 90 kilometers from the fault zone.

Contributing sources:

Japan Nuclear Plant

Japan faces fresh earthquake panic as 6.1 magnitude tremor hits coast near Fukushima nuclear plant - Mirror Online:

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