The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Essay add: 22-10-2015, 20:34   /   Views: 575

On the 11th march 2011 an earthquake occurred about 130 km off the Pacific coast of Japans main island Honshu, which caused a tsunami. The resulting loss of electric power at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant (FD-NPP) developed into a disaster causing massive release of radioactivity into the atmosphere. This study identifies to us a lot of things about fukushima whether the disaster was neutrally or made by humans and it describes the industrial process and operation of fukushima. There are impacts of the disaster to the Japanese society, ecology, sociology and health of people.

It also describes what did Tokyo electrical and the government does in such a situation and how they will improve the safety in the company with caused the disaster.Introduction:20110311-221224586176159.jpg04d7dff2a83265.jpgThis report tells an overview and timeline for the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. On the 11th of March 2011, a severe earthquake measuring 9.0 on the Richter scale occurred 112 miles (180 km) off the coast of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The earthquake was the largest Japan has ever experienced and it caused all of the operating units (units 1, 2, and 3) to automatically scram on seismic reactor protection system trips. The earthquake damaged breakers and distribution towers, causing a loss of all off-site electrical power sources to the site. So the emergency diesel generators automatically started and provided AC power to emergency systems.

3 minutes after the earthquake, the Japan Meteorological Association issued a major tsunami warning, indicating the potential for a tsunami at least 3 meters high. Station workers were notified of the warning and evacuated to higher ground, 41 minutes after the earthquake, the first tsunamis arrived. The Fukushima nuclear disaster has shown that nuclear reactors are fundamentally dangerous. None of the world's 435 nuclear reactors are immune to human errors, natural disasters, or any of the many other serious incidents that could cause an accident. Millions of people who live near nuclear reactors are at high risk.Identify whether the fukushima nuclear disaster was caused naturally or was man made.

Clearly explain your justification.The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission challenged some of the main story lines that the government and the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant have put forward. The report stated the plant's crucial cooling systems might have been damaged in the earthquake on March 11, 2011. That possibility raises doubts about the safety of all the quake-prone country's nuclear plants just as they begin after a pause ordered in the wake of the Fukushima crisis. The tragedy cried out for a rapid policy response, and the government failed to meet this challenge.

The authorities' incompetence is chronicled in the report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Commission. As a conclusion is that this was not a natural disaster but a profoundly manmade disaster that could and should have been foreseen and prevented and its effects could have been lessening by a more effective human response.One of the most important issues of Fukushima is the fact that placing massive amounts of highly radioactive waste in pools outside the containment structure poses high risks to the general public and coastal zones has weakened natural defenses leaving the zones open to destruction that would have otherwise been avoided like for instance indigenous mangrove swamps or coral leaf has not been clear to allow for tourist installations or prawn farming.

Also settlements, town and even cities have been built in estuaries and deltas whose natural defense mechanisms, that once protected the regions against such severe natural hazards, have been weakened or totally removed. Dams are built upstream from these settling hampering. The natural depositing of sediment and silt in the estuaries leaving them open to erosion by the sea.Describe the industrial process and operation of the fukushima nuclear planetThe plant comprises 6 separate boiling water reactors originally designed by General Electric, and maintained by the Tokyo Electric Power Company. At the time of the quake, Reactor 4 had been de-fueled while 5 and 6 were in cold shutdown for planned maintenance. Immediately after the earthquake, the remaining reactors 1-3 shut down automatically, and emergency generators came online to control electronics and coolant systems.

However the tsunami following the earthquake quickly flooded the low-lying rooms in which the emergency generators were housed. The flooded generators failed, cutting power to the critical pumps that must continuously circulate coolant water through a nuclear reactor to keep it from melting down. As the pumps stopped, the reactors overheated due to the high radioactive decay heat that normally continues for hours or days after a nuclear reactor shuts down.At this point, only prompt flooding of the reactors with seawater could have cooled the reactors quickly enough to prevent meltdown. Salt water flooding was delayed because it would ruin the costly reactors permanently.

Flooding with seawater was finally commenced only after the government ordered that seawater be used, and at this point it was already too late to prevent meltdown.As the water boiled away and levels in the fuel rods pools dropped, they began to overheat severely, and to melt down. In the hours and days that followed, Reactors 1, 2 and 3 experienced full meltdown. In the intense heat and pressure of the melting reactors, a reaction between the nuclear fuel metal cladding and the remaining water surrounding them produced explosive hydrogen gas. As workers struggled to cool and shut down the reactors, several hydrogen-air chemical explosions occurred.Concerns about the repeated small explosions, the atmospheric venting of radioactive gasses, and the possibility of larger explosions led to a 20 km radius evacuation around the plant.

During the early days of the accident workers were temporarily evacuated at various times for radiation safety reasons. At the same time, sea water that had been exposed to the melting rods was returned to the sea heated and radioactive in large volumes for several months until recirculating units could be put in place to repeatedly cool and reuse a limited quantity of water for cooling. The earthquake damage and flooding in the wake of the tsunami block external assistance. Electrical power was slowly restored for some of the reactors, allowing for automated cooling.Evaluate the impact of the fukushima nuclear disaster to the Japanese society, ecology, sociology and health of its people.SocietyAfter the accident in northern Japan, the surrounding area suffered radiological contamination that resulted in the relocation of more than 100,000 people.

Economic losses sequence through the Japanese and global economies as Japan shut down all of its nuclear generating stations.The triple disaster of the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear station meltdown in March 2011.Those people who have lived in, and have had family ties with Japan, an overriding question remains how the disaster affected these communities. The triple disaster has highlighted and combined such as falling birth rates, the fragmenting of the family unit, and the shrinking of local communities. During the five years before the disaster, birth rates had been steadily falling in Japan.

The now daily concerns about radiation levels, safe food and water have left many young couples unwilling to take on the aware risky task of raising children in a dangerous environment.The March disaster divided families. Mothers and children were forced to move to towns and cities, sometimes 200 - 300 miles away, where securing basic day-to-day services is easier than in their earthquake-stricken communities. Fathers, many bound by loyalty to their families , by the need to meet financial commitments.

Survivors of the disaster have spent on average five months in government-provided temporary shelters. Temporary accommodation was allocated in a lottery deemed the fairest way of distributing accommodation.In Japan reliance on government leadership and guidance has always been great. Since the disaster there has been a loss of faith in information received from the government, and in its ability to respond satisfactorily. Criticism has driven groups of people to take the lead in problem solving. How long families and communities will continue living in temporary accommodation is still unclear.

Most worrying are the long-term effects, especially the loss of regional traditions and cultures. Though, despite the many challenges facing villages affected by the earthquake, there have been inspirational stories of how local communities are being brought together again.EcologyNatural disasters are often frightening and difficult for us to understand, because we have no control over when and where they happen. What we can control is how prepared we are as communities and governments to deal with the dangers that natural disasters bring.In March 2011, Japanese officials announced that "radioactive iodine-131 exceeding safety limits for infants had been detected at 18 water-purification plants in Tokyo and five other prefectures".

As of July 2011, the Japanese government has been unable to control the spread of radioactive material into the nation's food. Radioactive material has been detected in a range of produce, including spinach, tea leaves, milk, fish and beef, up to 200 miles from the nuclear plant. Inside the 12-mile evacuation zone around the plant, all farming has been abandoned.Concerns about the safety and security of nuclear energy are coupled with serious concerns about energy supply security when global energy demand is rising while reducing CO2 emissions to address climate change. The nuclear phase-out decision has been said by some to be a bad move from an environmental perspective, with claims that it will lead to an increase of CO2.

12 percent of pale grass blue butterflies, Zizeeria maha (Lepidoptera, Lycaenidae), who suffered exposure during the larval stage to radiation in the weeks after the atomic disaster suffered genetic mutations that caused physical deformities, such as smaller, deformed wings and damaged eyes. Although the pale grass blue butterfly is familiar in Japan, these results do not bode well for populations surrounding the blast zone.SociologyAddressing the Fukushima disaster seems, from the outset, to be a problem perhaps better suited to the natural sciences. For example, physicists who can measure radiation and engineers who can design a new plan for TEPCO. Focusing on rebuilding energy infrastructures is clearly a preeminent concern to Japan. Clearly there are wider social ramifications that sociologists and other social scientists can address and some have already began doing so.

The trauma and patterns of suicide I've discussed require critical attention. Additionally, as Japan continues to  struggle with a national plan to rebuild the communities that have been torn apart by the earthquake, tsunami and Fukuyami disasters, sociologists can assist in evaluating refugee programs. Moreover, as Hasegawa notes, sociologists have an important contribution to make with respect to sustainable planning.Disaster forecasting, resilience measures, community development programs and natural disaster planning all require applied sociological knowledge about how different communities are organised in different locations; how people react in times of crisis; how to swiftly and effectively address social stigma, social exclusion and social alienation of survivors; and how to  gather social action to rebuild communities. Social policies that address rebuilding Japan's energy future would be greatly enhanced by sociological input.

It is scientifically difficult to fully predict when the next disaster will hit, but if it's of the same magnitude or greater than what Japan has experienced this year, the social costs can be better addressed through a collective, interdisciplinary effort that includes natural scientists, sociologist and other social scientists working together on environmental and disaster planning.Health of its peopleJapan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster may eventually cause anywhere from 15 to 1,300 deaths and from 24 to 2,500 cases of cancer, mostly in Japan, Stanford researchers has calculated. This accident has the effect of short term and long term are harmful to humans. Health impacts, economic, social and psychological can happen to people affected.Actually the human body defense mechanism to protect themselves from cell damage from radiation and other harmful chemicals.

But at a certain amount of radiation cannot be forgiven by the body's defense mechanism. Ionization process in the cells of the body because the radiation can damage cells and organs of the body that cause various manifestations. Harshness of the health effects of nuclear radiation depends on several factors. These factors include the number of cumulative radiation exposure, the distance to the source of radiation and duration of exposure to radiation. High radiation can directly trigger a direct impact moment can be known, while radiation can trigger unconscious long-term effects are usually even more dangerous.

Impact shortly or immediately after exposure to high radiation exposure in the vicinity of nuclear reactors, among others, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and fever.Fortunately, there were no human deaths from radiation sickness from the Fukushima disaster. Because of the evacuation and disaster response, the overall number of cancer deaths related to the accident are expected to be in the range of 100 to 1,000 over the next several decades. While the medium term impact or a few days after exposure are dizziness, eye dizzy.

Determine the direction of disorientation or confusion, weakness, fatigue and seemed lethargic, vomiting blood or blood stools, hair loss and baldness, low blood pressure, blood vessel disorders and wounds difficult to heal.Outline the action taken by Tokyo electric power company (TEPCO), government and the regulatory body during the occurrence of the fukushima nuclear disaster.Immediately after the Fukushima Daiichi accident and the start of the release of radioactive substances from the power plant, the Japanese government recommended the evacuation of the 78 000 people living within 20 km of the plant. It also recommended the sheltering of approximately 62 000 people living between 20 and 30 km from the plant, and the evacuation of a further 10 000 people living further to the north-east of the plant which was determined to be the most contaminated area.

Because of these rapid government measures, health-significant exposure to radiation was avoided.There has been considerable criticism to the way the plant operator TEPCO has handled the crisis. TEPCO was ordered to take actions such as opening steam valves with little response from the utility. Three weeks after the beginning of the disaster in Fukushima, it was reported how "helpless and casual" TEPCO has been in its improvised efforts to cope with the accident.

The company hasn't put forward a strategy to regain control over the situation in the reactors. There are roughly 400 workers onsite risking their lives to prevent the situation from deteriorating even further, who sleep in a building on the plant grounds. Each man has been given a blanket and they lie on the floor in hallways, in stairwells and even in front of the clogged toilets.Starting at 22 March 2011 TEPCO compiled a radiation map of the surroundings of the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant.

At 150 spots around the buildings the radiation was monitored. This map, the governmental data provided by SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information) and the data of the Japan Meteorological Agency's were shared the same day to the United States and other international institutes. On 23 March, a day later, NISA was informed.

The information was kept secret for the Japanese public until 24 April 2011, only after the media reported details of the map on 23 April 2011, a day earlier.Japan plans to put TEPCO under effective state control so it can meet its compensation payments to people affected by radiation leaking from its Fukushima I plant. Tokyo will set aside several trillion yen in public funds that TEPCO can dip into if it runs short for payouts to people affected.Propose what effective preventive action is needed to improve the safety at the Tokyo electrical power company (TEPCO) nuclear plant.Following the accident, every country with operating nuclear power plants conducted initial assessments of the continued safe operation of its plants. More thorough evaluations of the accident and its impact on safety were also undertaken. These have been called safety assessments or "stress tests".The stress tests evaluate the responses of a nuclear power plant to severe external events.

They consider the initiating events, the consequential loss of safety functions and the management of a severe accident.The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident has demonstrated a need for nuclear regulators to improve power plant designs to prevent an accident, but also to lighten an accident if it occurs. The potential safety improvements identified have therefore been technical in nature, but also organizational.The NEA Committee on Nuclear Regulatory Activities (CNRA) has established the Senior-level Task Group on Impacts of the Fukushima Accident.

The importance of plant location and also onsite equipment location (i.e. the positioning or height of emergency equipment so as to avoid the possibility of flooding or damage to back-up generators); the "defiance-in-depth" of a power plant, including the loss of safety functions, the robustness of electrical systems and the prolonged loss of ultimate heat sink; the ability of power plant operators to cope with or manage onsite accidents, which involves human and organizational performance, transition between procedures, and co-ordination between emergency response onsite and offsite.TEPCO recognizes that it is its social obligation as a party to this accident to identify its causes and reflect the lessons learned in business administration policies to prevent recurrence of a similar accident. Last June, the company set up an internal Fukushima Nuclear Accident Investigation Committee and has since been moving ahead to impartially and thoroughly investigate and examine the accident.

Since the accident, TEPCO has been deeply indebted to the government, various related agencies, vendors and many individuals and organizations, both domestic and international, for their meaningful support and cooperation.ConclusionThe nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Station (NPS) on March 11, 2011 was caused by an extremely massive earthquake and tsunami rarely seen in history, and resulted in an unprecedented serious accident that extended over multiple reactors simultaneously. Japan is extending its utmost efforts to confront and overcome this difficult accident. In light of the lessons learned from the accident, Japan has recognized that a fundamental revision of its nuclear safety preparedness and response is unavoidable. As a part of this effort, Japan will promote the "Plan to Enhance the Research on Nuclear Safety Infrastructure" while watching the status of the process of settling the situation.

This plan is meant to promote, among other things, research to grow preparedness and response against serious accidents through international cooperation, and to work to lead the results achieved for the improvement of global nuclear safety.

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