Japan crisis1

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  • 1. FACTS ABOUT THE NATURAL CALAMITY THAT ROCKED JAPAN LAST WEEKABOUT JAPANJapan is the worlds third-largest economy, the USs most important military allyand Australias closest diplomatic partner, in Asia. It plays a central role in theglobal order and a critical role in the Asia-Pacific region☻Japan has the worlds third-largest economy by nominal GDP and bypurchasing power parity☻worlds fourth largest exporter and fifth largest importer.☻it maintains an extensive modern military force in self-defense andpeacekeeping roles☻After Singapore, Japan has the lowest homicide (including attemptedhomicide) rate in the world.☻According to both UN and WHO estimates, Japan has the highest lifeexpectancy of any country in the world☻According to the UN, it has the third lowest infant mortality rate.☻Japan is the second-largest producer of automobiles in the world☻Japan is one of the most seismically active countries in the world,accounting for about 20% of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 orgreater.WHAT IS TSUNAMI ?A section of seabed is thrust up or driven down by movement of the Earths crust.The rift displaces vast quantities of water that move as waves, able to spanenormous distances and sometimes with the speed of a jet plane.The word "tsunami" comes from the Japanese words for "harbour" and "wave".When tsunamis approach a coastline, the shelving of the sea floor causes themto slow down, but also gain in height.To those on the shore, the first sign of something amiss is an eerie retreat of thesea, which is followed by the arrival of exceptional waves. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 2. The day – 11-3-2011 / FridayThe event: - A series of massive earthquakes have struck north-east Japan,unleashing a 10-metre tsunami that swept buildings, vehicles, crops and debrisacross swaths of farmlandNo. of people died so far : 6,548 SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 3. Sendai Airport is surrounded by waters in Miyagi prefecture, Japan, after aferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever· recorded slammed Japans eastern coast Friday, March 11, 2011.The worst effects of Tsunami :The quake hit at 2.46pm (5.45am GMT), about 6 miles below sea level and 78miles off the east coast. It was swiftly followed by five powerful aftershocks of upto 7.1 magnitude.The quake and tsunami crippled air and rail services across large parts of thecountry.The death toll from Japans 9.0 earthquake and tsunami last Friday continues torise, thousands of people remain unaccounted for, making it likely that large gapsexist between official and unofficial counts.Around 90,000 rescue workers, including police officers and self-defence forcespersonnel, have reached 26,000 survivors so far.Delivery of relief goods contributed from around the nation to evacuees andsurvivors still remains difficult due to shortages of fuel and transport vehicles. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 4. Around 380,000 people across Japan are staying in shelters while temperaturesin the quake-hit areas remain at mid-winter levels.Fuel scarcity forced the Miyagi prefectural government to allow burial of victimswithout cremation.Around 4.4 million homes were without power in northern Japan, media said. Ahotel collapsed in the city of Sendai and people were feared buried in the rubble.A ship carrying 100 people had been swept away by the tsunami, Kyodo newsagency added.Electronics giant Sony Corp , one of the countrys biggest exporters, shut sixfactories, as air force jets raced toward the northeast coast to determine theextent of the damage.· Sendai Airport is swept by a tsunami after an earthquake, in northeastern JapanThe Bank of Japan, which has been struggling to boost the anaemic economy,said it would do its utmost to ensure financial market stability as the yen andJapanese shares fell.There were several strong aftershocks. In Tokyo, there was widespread panic.An oil refinery near the city was on fire, with dozens of storage tanks underthreat. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 5. The quake was the biggest since records began 140 years ago, according to theJapan Meteorological Agency. It surpasses the Great Kanto quake of Sept. 1,1923, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in theTokyo area.The U.S. Geological Survey earlier verified a magnitude of 7.9 at a depth of 15.1miles and located the quake 81 miles east of Sendai, on the main island ofHonshu. It later upgraded it to 8.9.Nuclear Radiation what went wrong?The effects of the earthquake led to cooling problems in reactors 1,2 and 3.Others were under scheduled maintenance at the time of the earthquake. Japan’nuclear safety agency rated the incident as level 4 on the International NuclearEvent Scale-The 40-year-old Fukushima plant is one of the 25 largest in the world, its sixreactors supplying 4.7 gigawatts, making it a vital component in the electricitynetwork. Replacing it will be no easy task as designing, constructing andcommissioning power stations takes years. MAR 15th: Cooling failure, partial melting of core, vapor vented,Reactor 1 hydrogen explosion, seawater pumped in MARCH 15th: Cooling failure, seawater pumped in, fuel rods fullyReactor 2 exposed temporarily, vapor vented, damage to containment system, potential meltdown feared. MARCH 15th: Cooling failure, partial melting of core feared, vapor vented, seawater pumped in, hydrogen explosion, high-level radiation measured nearbyReactor 3 MARCH 16th: smoke appeared-cause unclear, pressure of core vessel stable; Updated! severe damage to containment vessel unlikely, no water poured in to cool spent-fuel storage pool. March 17th: Water being poured over reactor from helicpoters MAR 15th: Under maintenance when quake struck, fire caused possibly by hydrogen explosion at pool holding spent fuel rods, pool water level feared receding.Reactor 4 MARCH 16th: Fire at core broke out again because first fire not put out completely. RADIATION still high may be due to the boiling storage pool for spent fuel rods. Updated! No water poured in to cool pool, spraying of boric acid being considered.Reactor 5 MAR 15th: Under maintenance when quake struck, temperature SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 6. slightly rising at spent fuel pool. MAR 18th: Temperature still slightly rising, now @ 65° C MAR 15th: Under maintenance when quake struck, temperatureReactor 6 slightly rising at spent fuel pool.Thousands of residents have been evacuated as workers struggled to getnuclear reactors under control at two nuclear power plants to prevent meltdowns.Japan declared states of emergency -- the first in its history -- for five reactors attwo plants after the units lost cooling ability following Fridays powerfulearthquake.Operators at Fukushima Daiichi plants Unit 1 scrambled to tamp down heat andpressure inside the reactor, according to the AP. The site lost electricity andemergency generators were disabled, knocking out the main cooling system.Few Interesting queries answered by BBC News:Has there been a leakage of radioactive material?Yes. Local government officials in Fukushima say 190 people have beenexposed to some radiation. An American warship, the USS Ronald Reagan, hasdetected low levels of radiation at a distance of 100 miles (161km) from theFukushima plant.How much radioactive material has escaped?The Japanese authorities say only low levels of radiation have been detectedoutside the plant. The International Atomic Energy Agency has described it as alevel four event on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale(INES), which is used for an accident "with local consequences". No abnormallevels of radiation have beendetected in Russia.What type of radioactive material has escaped?There are reports of radioactive isotopes of caesium and iodine in the vicinity ofthe plant. Experts say it would be natural for radioactive isotopes of nitrogen andargon to have escaped as well. There is no evidence that any uranium orplutonium has escaped.What harm do these radioactive materials cause? SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 7. Radioactive iodine could be harmful to young people living near the plant. Afterthe 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster there were some cases of thyroid cancer asa result. However, people who were promptly issued with iodine tablets ought tobe safe. Radioactive caesium accumulates in soft tissue, while plutoniumaccumulates in the bone and liver. Radioactive nitrogen decays within seconds ofits release, and argon poses no threat to health.How did the radioactive materials escape?There have been problems with cooling systems, causing the reactors tooverheat. Production of steam has caused pressure to build up inside thereactor, so small amounts of steam have been deliberately released. OnTuesday another reactor exploded, possibly causing a crack in its suppressionchamber. This would allow steam to escape continuously, but the situation isunclear. Experts say that the presence in the steam of caesium and iodine –which are among the by-products of nuclear fission - suggests that the metalcasing of some of the fuel rods has melted or broken. But the uranium fuel itselfhas a very high melting point so it is less likely to have melted, let alonevapourised.Could radioactive materials have escaped by any other means?The authorities have pumped sea water into three reactors. This water will becontaminated by its passage through the reactor, but it is currently unclearwhether any of it has been released into the environment.How long will any contamination last?Radioactive iodine decays quite quickly. Most will have disappeared within amonth. Radioactive caesium does not last long in the body - most has gonewithin a year. However, it lingers in the environment and can continue to presenta problem for many years.Has there been a meltdown?The term "meltdown" is used in a variety of ways. As noted above, the reporteddetection of radioactive caesium and iodine may indicate that some of the metalcasing enclosing the reactors uranium fuel has melted (a "fuel-rod meltdown").However, there is as yet no indication that the uranium fuel itself has melted. Stillless is there anyindication of a "China Syndrome" where the fuel melts, gathers below the reactorand resumes a chain reaction, that enables it to melt everything in its way, andbore a path deep into the earth. If there were to be a serious meltdown, the SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 8. Japanese reactor is supposed to be able to handle it, preventing the ChinaSyndrome from taking place. Reports suggest that underneath the reactor, withinthe outer containment vessel, there is a concrete basin designed to capture anddisperse any molten fuel.Could there be a Chernobyl-like disaster?Experts say this is highly unlikely. The chain reaction at all Fukushima reactorshas ceased. The explosions that have occurred have taken place outside thesteel and concrete containment vessels enclosing the reactors. At Chernobyl anexplosion exposed the core of the reactor to the air, and a fire raged for dayssending its contents in a plume up into the atmosphere. At Fukushima theexplosions - caused by hydrogen and oxygen vented from the reactor – havedamaged only the roof and walls erected around the containment vessels.Could there be a nuclear explosion?No. A nuclear bomb and a nuclear reactor are different things.What caused the hydrogen release from the reactor?At high temperatures, steam can separate into hydrogen and oxygen in thepresence of zirconium, the metal used for encasing the reactor fuel. This mixtureis highly explosive.How do iodine tablets work?If the body has all the iodine it needs, it will not absorb further iodine from theatmosphere. The tablets fill the body up with non-radioactive iodine, whichprevent it absorbing the radioactive iodine.What kind of radiation levels have been recorded at Fukushima?The Kyodo news agency reports that a radiation level of 1,557 microsieverts perhour was registered on Sunday. At this level, one hours exposure is roughlyequivalent to one chest X-ray. Later measurements included 750 microsievertsper hour at 0200 on Monday, and 20 microsieverts per hour at 1145. On a long-haul flight, passengersare exposed to about five microsieverts per hour. However, after Tuesdaysexplosion, readings at the site rose again beyone safe limits - 400 millisievertsper hour and people living within 20 miles (32km) of the plant were told to stayindoors. Moving away from the source of radiation, measurements quickly tail off,and in Tokyo they were reported to have been higher than normal, but officialssaid there were no health dangers. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 9. Is any level of exposure to radiation safe?In some parts of the world, natural background radiation is significantly higherthan others - for example in Cornwall, in south-west England. And yet people livein Cornwall, and many others gladly visit the area. Similarly, every internationalair flight exposes passengers to higher than normal levels of radiation - and yetpeople still fly, and cabin crews spend large amounts of time exposed to thisradiation. Patients in hospitals regularly undergo X-rays. Scientists disputewhether any level of exposure to radiation is entirely safe, but exposure to somelevel of radiation - whether at normal background levels or higher - is a fact oflife.How do Fukushimas problems affect the rest of the world?It depends on how much radiation is released. At present, the IAEA says theeffects are of a "local" nature.A factory building has collapsed in Sukagawa city, Fukushima prefecture, innorthern Japan on March 11, 2011 SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 10. • A massive tsunami sweeps in to engulf a residential area after a powerfulearthquake in Natori • A pedestrian road has collapsed in the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Urayasu city, Chiba prefecture on March 11, 2011 SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 11. • * People at a book store react as the stores ceiling falls in Sendai, northern JapanFriday, March 11, 2011. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 12. • A chimney falls onto its factory in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, after one ofthe largest earthquakes on record slammed Japans eastern coasts Friday, March11, 2011• Buildings burn after an earthquake near Sendai Airport, northeastern Japan SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 13. • Cars and airplanes swept by a tsunami are pictured among debris at Sendai Airport, northeastern JapanHouses are swept by water following a tsunami and earthquake inNatori City SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 14. • Fishing boats and vehicles are carried by a tsunami wave atOnahama port in Iwaki city, in Fukushima prefecture, northern Japanon March 11, 2011. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 15. • Natural gas storage tanks burn at a facility in Chiba Prefecture, nearTokyo. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61
  • 16. • Vehicles are crushed by a collapsed wall at a carpark in Mito city inIbaraki prefecture on March 11, 2011 after a massive earthquakerocked Japan. SEED express its deepest condolence and pray the god to look after the families of died and injured people in the above disasters. SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR DEVELOPMENT SEED www.seedforsafety.org Accident 61