Archive for the ‘Radioactivity’ Tag

Fukushima Solar Fire   21 comments

 

Japan’s Renewable Energy Village

Fukushima Farmers Solar Rays of Hope in a Dark Land

renewable_energy_wno.org

 

Deserted Minamisoma_City_Office_wikimedia creative commons licenseDeserted_Lawson_Haramachikitahara_Shop_wikimedia creative commons licenseContaminated and deserted_Fukushima Prefecture_March 2011

Radio-active farmland in the Japanese prefecture of Minamisoma, a coastal city contaminated by nuclear fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi N-Plant in March 2011, is now leading the way in building a blueprint for modern Renewable Energy Villages.

Construction has already begun on this community run project to build the foundations of its Renewable Energy Village.

solar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine

Roughly two-thirds of the Minamisoma farmland is located inside of Fukushima’s radio-active exclusion zone.

Hi level contamination Minam.outskirts_greenpeace.org

  • To date the Renewable Energy Village (REV) prides itself on 120 photovoltaic panels, generating 30 kilowatts of power which is sold to a local utility.
  • Locating wind turbines on some of the land is another innovative idea currently in the planning stages.
  • Recreational and educational facilities as well as an astronomical observatory are also being aspired to depending on the availability of further funding.

Solar-SharingFukushima Farmers Solar Rays of Hope

renewable-energy-world_nuclear-news.netThe basis of this project is known in Japan as "solar sharing"growing crops beneath raised solar panels. Most other large-scale solar parks in Japan whether already operational or still in the planning stages have/will have solar panels resting on the ground itself, which makes growing crops impossible.

Solar sharing_bellona.ru

The largest solar park to be built in Japan of this nature will also be located in Minamisoma causing Project Leader Ryozo Hakozaki for the Renewable Energy Village (REV) some concerns; "If farmers decide to sell up their land, entire communities will be wiped off the map." However Sohei Takahashi, Project Chairman believes the Renewable Energy Village project offers a workable solution to this problem. "Through the project we can protect farmland and communities, and with two parallel revenues create increased prosperity compared with before the disasters."

 

Rapseed_anagarden.seTakahashi also plans to conduct research into crops that can tolerate radioactive contamination. One crop, rapeseed, has already been planted, as its oil is contaminants-free, although the actual plants do absorb a percentage of radioisotopes such as those of caesium. The project is supported by generous ‘feed-in tariffs’ the government set and which were introduced in mid-2012.

solar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine_rapeseed field

All proceeds from the crops and energy will go back into the REV project, the hope and aspiration is that the model will inspire and be copied by farmers whose livelihoods were decimated by the nuclear disaster. "People evacuated from areas closer to the plant have given up ever farming their fields again. There might be an amusement park feel to the project, but we’re trying to show them what the future could hold." Project leader Ryozo Hakozaksolar-energy-panels-and-wind-turbine

Source: New Scientist

Radioactive Material Dumped Dumped In Rivers   54 comments

Radioactive Material Is Being Dumped in Japan’s Rivers…

 

Japan Inside The Exclusion Zone_Credit_ tumblerThe Japanese newspaper the Asahi Shimbun has recently reported that radioactive water used to wash down contaminated buildings of the settlements close to the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor, which should have been sent through a stringent purification procedure was in fact being drained away into rivers rather than undergoing the intended strict disposal methods along with collected radioactive top soil and leaf debris which should have been securely and meticulously stored. This disposal method was seen to be standard procedure at 13 locations in Naraha, Iitate and Tamura. The allegation, supported by photographs

Many of the N-plant workers, fully aware of the breaching of rules and procedures set in place for the decontamination work claimed they were simply following orders from those above them on the basis that following nuclear waste disposal rules to the letter meant they would never complete the decontamination work. They also claimed that they were ordered as regarded the sites that monitor radiation, to merely sweep up around them and that was to be all they should do.

Fukushima-radiation-could-be-ocean-riskThe government has committed 650 billion yen ($7.4 billion) to clean up the surroundings in contaminated towns and villages. The Environment Ministry engaged Japans most prominent contractors, the Taisei Corp who have a 7.72 billion yen contract in Iitate, and the Maeda Corp who have a contract in Naraha to the value of 18.82 billion yen. Infrastructures, highways and farm land will have radioactive substance sited within 65 feet of their location stripped away, if the objective is realised.

The Japanese government now plans to take tough action on the corrupt practice alleged to be currently in place around the Fukushima nuclear plant, and residents in surrounding areas have secured an apology from Senior Vice Environment Minister Shinji Inoue.

 

Cleaning Radioactive Water With Graphene

The Rice University of Houston and the Lomonosov Moscow State University has generated exciting new research that suggests that there may be a way to use graphene, to reverse the disastrous environmental impact at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant.

**Graphene is a substance made of pure carbon. Its atoms are arranged in a similar way to graphite, but in a very light sheet only one-atom in density. It’sgraphene_from_gases_for_new_bendable_electronics_ been suggested that Graphene could also be a highly significant factor in increasing the efficiency of the desalinization process, in flexible semi-conductors, and the improvement of electronics. Processes based on graphene could also be useful in the cleaning up of the natural gas industry, and if this report proves successful, it could play a very important role in the nuclear waste clean-up.

The researchers involved say that when graphene oxide flakes are introduced to contaminated water, the result is the condensing into clusters of the offending radionuclides. They can then be split away and securely disposed of.

"Graphene oxide introduced to simulated wastes coagulated within minutes, quickly clumping the worst toxins," Chemist Stepan Kalmykov.

"It’s too hot. Companies have to ship contaminated water to repository sites around the country at very large expense. The ability to quickly filter out contaminants on-site would save a great deal of money." ~ Chemist James Tour

Thousands of Japanese residents have been forced into homeless and it could take decades to clear all the contamination and complete the clean-up. Even then some towns and villages may have to be abandoned forever.


Graphite

** Graphene is made by chemically processing graphite — also found in the ‘lead’ of pencils. A sheet of graphene is just a single layer of carbon atoms- one of the most abundant materials on Earth, an individual layer of crystalline graphene_Costas Galiotis_FORTH ICE-HT and Dept Materials Science Uni of  Patrasgraphite -locked together in a strongly-bonded honeycomb pattern.

Flexible, translucent and the most ultrathin material ever made Graphene is also the strongest substance known to mankind — 100-300 times stronger than steel and several times tougher than diamond. The best heat conductor known to man and better at conducting electricity than silicon, with its unique optical properties. Graphene has caused a dramatic surge in research and potential applications for the material.

An inherently sustainable and economical technology, Graphene could lead to roll up behind the ear mobile phones , paper thin HD televisions, and fold away into a tiny square, bendy electronic newspapers. It could transform the medications we use, and replace silicon which is currently used in the creation of the chips in our computers. It is also possible that Graphene being such a bendy substance could replace existing touch-screens materials for devices such as tablets making the likes of the i-pad as out-dated as anything else in ancient history!


Sources:

  • alienscientist.com
  • NEWS 24
  • EarthTechling; Beth Buczynski
  • The Lede; Robert Mackey