Why Technical English

Once more about Fukushima accident | April 15, 2013

Composed by Galina Vitkova

Some facts about the NPP

Two years ago, on 11 March 2011, in Japan the strongest earthquake accompanying by tsunami occurred. The earthquake and tsunami waves (the maximum wave height made 40.5 metre) caused widespread devastation across a large part of Japan. More than 14,000 lives lost. In addition to this, at least 10,000 people remain missing. Many more inhabitants were displaced from their homes because towns and villages were destroyed or swept away.

The tsunami caused the serious accident at the Nuclear Power Plant Fukushima-1(or NPP Fukushima Daiichi).

The NPP Fukushima-1 is located near Okum city in Fukushima prefecture. The NPP was built in 1960–1970 and is operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO). The NPP is equipped with six nuclear units of total capacity 4.7 GW.

Earthquake and accident

The accident at the NPP Fukushima-1 occurred practically immediately after the earthquake and tsunami. The reactors in operation were shutdown. After that the external electricity feed disappeared too. The wave submerged reserve diesel generators, as a result of it the reactor cooling systems of Units 1, 2, 3 failed to function. Active zones of these reactors were melted.

In the wake of the reaction between zirconium and water vapour the hydrogen formed. It leads to a series of explosions and demolition of buildings, where the reactors are installed.

Units 5 and 6 were not destroyed as their diesel generator kept intacted. With the help of it two reactors and two spent nuclear fuel pools were managed to be cooled.

The accident impact and radioactive pollution

As a consequence of the NPP accident radioactive substances, among them iodine 131 (with very short half-life period) and ceasium 137 (with 30 years long half-life period), were emitted into the atmosphere and the see. On the site a few of plutonium was also found out. The radioactive contamination of the marine environment occurred by aerial deposition and by continuing discharges and outflow of water with a various level of radioactivity from the four damaged reactors at the NPP.

Total quantity of radioactive releases made 20 % of emissions after the Chernobyl disaster. In order to reduce the external exposure to the population beyond a distance of 30 km from the Fukushima-1 inhabitants were evacuated from this area . The contaminated land area, which should be deactivated, makes 3 % of the Japan territory.

Radioactive substances were revealed in drinking water and food not only in Fukushima prefecture, but in the other regions of Japan, too. Many countries including Russia banned to export of Japanese products. Following the accident at the Fukushima NPP on 11 march 2011, the European Union approved the Implementing Regulation of 26 October 2012. The Regulation imposed special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan .The controls performed at import show that these special conditions are correctly implemented by the Japanese authorities. A next review of the Regulations is foreseen to be available by 31 March 2014.

For the first time after the Chernobyl accident in April 1986 the reputation of nuclear power was damaged so seriously. The world put on considering cap if nuclear power could be safe. Many countries blocked projects in this industry. Germany declared that by 2022 it will shut down the last NPP and will develop renewable sources of electricity production.

Removal of the accident impact

In compliance with the government of Japan intentions the full removal of the consequences of the accident at the NPP Fukushima-1 will take 30 to 40 years. In December 2011 cool shutdown of reactors was completed. After that the work on extracting of spent nuclear fuel from the spent nuclear fuel pools commenced. Then the nuclear fuel from entire reactors is supposed to be extracted. After that the complete demolition and decommission of the NPP technological equipment should be performed.

New accident

On 18 March 2013 in the evening a new accident caused by failure of cooling systems of spent nuclear fuel pools of Units 1, 3, 4 occurred. It happened after power outage at the NPP Fukushima-1. On 19 March the company ТЕРСО managed to put into run the cooling system of Unit 1. Nevertheless, troubles and problems in the cooling systems of Units 3, 4 and in the common pool continue till now.


  • Nuclear power produces about 14 % electricity production in the world.

  • In Japan the production of electricity in the year 2007 before Fukushima accident made 264 TWh with the installed capacity of 49 GW (i.e. 23,5 % of total Japanese NPP installed capacity).

  • In Germany electricity produced with NPP installed capacity of 20 GW (23,5 % of total German installed capacity) in the year 2007 amounted to 141 TWh. You can see changes in Germany energy policy after the Fukushima accident in Energy policy of Germany after Fukushima,and in Германия после Фукусимы.

  • You can find more details about about world producers of electricity in
    Statistics on nuclear power.

If you are tired by studying figures, take a rest and fix your eyes on the picture below. Enjoj!



NPP – Nuclear Power Plant
ТЕРСО – Tokyo Electric Power Company
TWh – terawatt hour
GW – gigawatt


http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:299:0031:0041:EN:PDF , Official Journal of the European Union
http://www.aif.ru/society/,March 2013, Аргументы и Факты, март 2013

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  1. concerning emmissions,, ian fairlie covered the iaeas version (via richard wakeford) .. this gave a higher release by far of xenon 133 to that of chernobyl.. the cesiums and iodine releases were about 20 percent if you believe the statistical figures given..

    ian fairlies video presentation and presentation pack (with pictures 🙂 ) can be seen/downloaded from helen caldicotts NY symposium …

    Click on presenter names to go directly to any individual presentation. Click on Documents to access available power points. Please share widely, but remember to give proper attribution to the speakers and their colleagues if that has been requested.

    i think ian failie is day 2, i think..

    this means you have to “attribute” richard wakeford too! ahhhhhh! 🙂


    Comment by arclight2011 — April 15, 2013 @ 10:22 am

  2. oh and i believe strontium 90 is about 10 percent of the cesium 137 and other isotopes were measured by ACRO france fukushima (google those terms and there is data charts with childrens urine, food products and soil measurements (not Sr90 though and not raioadtive silver etc)

    there is also some question of a huge radon release that polluted filters in tokyo with radioactive lead from what the nuclear agency would call NORM, even when it is NORM thats made by man made nuclear processes..

    NORM pollution incidents are ususaly covered up imo! heres an example…


    and a link here to a UN report concerning airborne pollution being one of the biggest killers
    got some evidence of sellafield polluting the UK and have posted the pics (3 short videos)


    Comment by arclight2011 — April 15, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  3. scary thing about japanese exports.. they hardly dropped…. food was imported but the export was not increased nor reduced much.. 40 percent of exports went to food processing etc in the usa direct and another 40 percent went to NAFTA (usa, mexico and canada) .. the emergency levels allowed in the usa mexico and canada meant they could actually import the contaminated produce, especially if it was mixed down (like horsemeat lasagne in europe) to a “reasonable” (undefined) level..


    “Which governmental agency is doing the tests (..of the produce)?”

    “It is not the government, it is unfortunate that the government is not wiling to test all the products in Japan. The testing started as a voluntry move by the farmers…”

    So, if the farmer volunteers information that is incorrect the goverment will allow that product to be sold?

    “yes, if it is declared under the government limits..”


    the TPP and NAFTA are bad news for the good food buisness imo.. contamiants from around the world… you can imagine! :/

    last post..

    Comment by arclight2011 — April 15, 2013 @ 10:44 am

  4. […] IN, ON in technical texts. The sentences of this exercise are excerpted from the technical text Once more about Fukushima accident at the blog Why Technical English .Your task is to put AT, IN, ON into appropiate gaps using above […]

    Pingback by Revise Prepositions AT, IN, ON and Simple Past tense | Train Technical English — May 2, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

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