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news nov 4

news nov 4

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Published by DeeanaF

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Published by: DeeanaF on Nov 15, 2011
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Govt to study ways to confirm lack of criticality
Japan's government plans to study ways to confirm that sustained nuclear fission has not resumed atthe Fukushima Daiichi power plant.The minister in charge of the nuclear crisis, Goshi Hosono, told this to reporters on Friday after radioactive xenon was found at the plant's No. 2 reactor this week.The presence of xenon indicates that nuclear fission occurred recently.Hosono said xenon was detected not because of new developments, but due to detailed radiationmonitoring by the Tokyo Electric Power Company.He also said he supports the utility's view that xenon was produced through spontaneous fission, notsustained fission, or criticality.Hosono said a precondition for putting the plant's reactors into a cold shutdown is ensuring that theaccident will no longer escalate. He added that an absence of criticality is one way to achieve such astate.He suggested that the government hopes to present related measures this month to coincide with amonthly review of the timetable for bringing the plant under control.Friday, November 04, 2011 16:48 +0900 (JST)
Cesium-contaminated mushrooms served in food
Radioactive cesium exceeding the government standard has been found in mushrooms grown at afacility in Yokohama City, near Tokyo. About 800 people were served food containing themushrooms from March through October.The city says high levels of radioactive cesium were found in dried shiitake mushrooms harvestedin both months. The contamination is believed to have been caused by the Fukushima nuclear accident.The contamination in March was up to 2,770 becquerels of cesium per kilogram; in October, 955 becquerels per kilogram.Each exceeded the government's standard of 500 becquerels.The facility checked the mushrooms for radioactive contamination this week after concernedcitizens inquired about possible contamination in food served there.Yokohama is around 250 kilometers from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.The mushrooms were reportedly not sold on the market.Friday, November 04, 2011 21:26 +0900 (JST)
Buried bottle determined to be radiation sourceJapan's science ministry has determined that high radiation readings taken near a supermarket inTokyo were caused by radium in a buried bottle.On Wednesday, workers removed the reagent bottle along with some contaminated undergroundsoil from the parking lot of a supermarket in Hachimanyama, Setagaya Ward.After the removal, radiation in the area dropped to 25 microsieverts per hour, which is one-1,600ththe previously observed level. The ministry says the source of the radiation was the radium 226 inthe bottle.The radioactive substance is used in cancer treatments and to make fluorescent paint.Last week, the ministry reported detecting radiation of up to 170 microsieverts per hour at a heightof 1 meter above the ground at 2 spots, one at an asphalt parking lot and the other at a sidewalk.Officials say that during a survey on Wednesday, they found 15 other spots in the same areaemitting relatively high radiation. The highest reading was 12 microsieverts per hour. They say all15 spots registered far less radiation when measured at a height of 1 meter.The science ministry decided to pile up sandbags at some of the spots to block the radiation.In the middle of last month, radiation of up to 2,707 microsieverts per hour was observed at another spot in Setagaya Ward. Officials determined that the source of the radiation was some jars in awooden box under the floor of a vacant house. An analysis indicates that the radioactive materialmay be radium 226.Friday, November 04, 2011 10:41 +0900 (JST)
Shareholders to seek money from TEPCO managers
Tokyo Electric Power Company shareholders are poised to launch court procedures and demandthat the utility's current and former management return more than 14 billion dollars to the firm.About 30 shareholders plan to file a class-action lawsuit against roughly 60 executives who workedat TEPCO over the past 2 decades.The investors say they will take legal action if the company refuses to demand that the executivesreturn the large sum of money.Observers say that if the shareholders go to court, the damages they would seek would be a recordhigh in Japan's judicial history.The shareholders claim that TEPCO executives failed to take adequate safety measures to protectthe plant from an earthquake and tsunami waves.One investor said that the executives repeatedly emphasized the safety of nuclear plants. However,the accident has caused irreparable damage.The group claims that at shareholders' meetings the executives never heeded the safety concernsdiscussed involving nuclear power generation.
TEPCO says it can't comment on the lawsuit until it knows more details.Friday, November 04, 2011 04:56 +0900 (JST)
TEPCO to post huge net loss for FY2011
Tokyo Electric Power Company will post a second straight loss for the business year through nextMarch due to costs associated with the Fukushima nuclear disaster.TEPCO estimated on Friday its net loss for fiscal 2011 will total 600 billion yen, or about 7.7 billion dollars.The utility attributed the massive loss to the cost of ongoing efforts to stabilize the damagedFukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Another factor is the expected increase in fuel costs of thermal power plants to cope with power shortages.TEPCO also estimates energy-saving efforts by households and businesses will cause consumptionto fall by up to 9 percent. As a result, annual energy sales are projected to decline by one percentfrom the previous year.The utility plans to book an extraordinary loss of about 13 billion dollars to compensate thoseaffected by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.A government-backed fund is expected to contribute about 11.5 billion dollars worth of public fundsto assist TEPCO make the payments.TEPCO president Toshio Nishizawa says the company will certainly face financial difficultieswithout the support of the fund.Friday, November 04, 2011 19:37 +0900 (JST)

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