The international Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has commenced its meeting in Vienna on Monday; the meeting is regarded as the largest nuclear safety meeting ever to be convened. The meeting was intended to review the nuclear disaster in Japan and possible draw a lesson out of that. The nuclear disaster in Japan is the worst to happen to the world for the past 25 years.
The IAEA reported that the world was disturbed by the Japan disaster adding that the people’s confidence in the security of the nuclear system is shaken. The head of the energy agency Amano disclosed to journalists that despite the mishap in Japan many countries in the world would still rely on nuclear power for their energy sources. He acknowledged that there is the need to strengthen the standards for the establishment of the nuclear power plants.
The meeting is expected to last from Monday to Friday and member countries of IAEA will send ministers and other powerful delegates to review the Japan nuclear mishap and brainstorm on the way to avert similar development in the future.
Already there are proposals already put forward by experts on how best to stop similar incident from happening in the future. One of the suggestions to be reviewed includes the recommendation for the expansion of the role of IAEA in nuclear programs.
The prime minister of Japan Mr. Naoto Kan has offered to resign as the prime minister of the country.
This is coming after he has managed to survive a no confidence vote tabled by the opposition against his government. If that happens then Japan would made history of having six prime ministers in five years.
Although the prime minister has not said the exact time he will quit but it will put end to the plan by the opposition to force an early election in the country.
If he quits as the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan the party would elect a new leader who will become the next prime minister of the country. The no confidence vote would have plunged the country into political turmoil. There is unease in the country over the poor manner the government of Kan managed the nuclear disaster in the country.
If the no confidence vote had sailed through the parliament a new election would have been forced to the country. Already key members of the Democratic Party of Japan are jostling for the prom job.
The former foreign minister of the country katsuya Okada and Yukio Edano are positioning themselves to emerge as the leader of the Democratic Party and form the next government when the prime minister resigns.
There is uncertainties surrounding the plan by the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Naoto Kan to rescue the Tokyo Electric Power Company (9501.TO). the Japanese government after a cabinet meeting approved a plan to rescue the company but the plan seems to be generating interesting controversies within the ruling party. The ruling party appeared divided over the issue and many of them would want the company to be penalized.
The party is also worried over the costs of rescuing the company and wondered who would pay for such massive cost.
Another decision reached by the government was funding of the worst nuclear disaster that was ever witnessed by the country since the history of its existence. The cost is said to be about Y2.5trillion. Japan had its worst nuclear disaster recently there was an outcry in the world over the safety of the world in view of the nuclear plants that are established in many parts of the world. Similar disaster occurred in the old USSR.
The disagreement within the government of japan is a show of disapproval over the incompetence of the electricity company. They blamed the company for the problem that has befallen the power sector of the country and most of them wanted the company to be punished heavily.
Japan has made the whole world sleepless by revealing that it would take months to control the radioactive leakage in the nuclear plant. So far this has been first time that the authorities of a nation have confessed possibilities of dangers of mismanaging nuclear energy. The leakage of radioactive radiations from the Daiichi plant in Japan has put the entire global community in shock.
Tokyo Electric Power Coo that is handling the temperature controlling systems at nuclear plants in Japan stated that, the disaster may overburden its budget and also cause many civil damages.
The Japanese government predicted so far the material damage after tsunami and earthquake around $300 billion; however Japan’s total lost is increasing day by day as it is losing commercial activities with many foreign firms pulling back due to radiation fiasco.
The compensation asked by the Tokyo Electric Power Co are to be considered in the wake of Japan’s 1961 Act on Compensation for Nuclear Damage According to US financial experts it the company may ask for around $130 billion or more.
Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) and the Japanese government both will bear the expences incurred as the operator may get exempted citing the incident as natural disaster of exceptional nature. However the companies will remain liable to around 40% of the costs incurred due to damges and further loss.
Fight against Radiation roughens in Japan
Japan is trying hard to control the unprecedented temperature at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. The radioactive water is probably leaking from the reactors.
Despite the leakage, the scientists and the workers are still trying to stabilize the hot rods of spent fuel that was lying in the pool and is now under radioactive water. The harmful effects of leakage are ignored in order to control the radiation spread which is considered much more devastating and wide spread.
The workers at the reactor are trying to measure ways to prevent radiation come out into atmosphere however it can not stop it entirely. So, the efforts are concentrated on how to minimize the level, stated a nuclear engineering expert Elmer Lewis, who is a professor at Northwestern University.
The fears of radiation crisis have intensified now with the leakage of radioactive water. Three workers from the nuclear plant have been hospitalized for treatment of radiation burns.
Reports are also revealing that the effect of radiation exposure over skin might reach up to 2000 to 6000 millisieverts. However, the exposure to gamma radiation even for an hour will be deadlier. The current effects are due to shorter-range beta radiation which cause minor skin burns only.
Yukiya Amano, Chief of the U.N.’s nuclear energy agency reveals that Japan is trying its best to cool the nuclear reactors after its cooling systems failed following devastating earthquake and tsunami in the country. The nuk chief stated this after observing the situation in Tokyo and a talk with the Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
The UN diplomat says that the accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant was more serious that what he predicted. The Japanese authorities are still trying to cool the reactor, whereas the unprecedented rise in temperature at reactors is exposing the spent fuel rods that are lying in empty pool in the reactor.
Japan has been offered assistance for assessing the dangers of Fukushima by the United States. It has also recommended a 50-mile evacuation zone for precautionary measure to avoid effects of harmful nuclear radiations from the plant, revealed the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jazcko. To regain control over the plant, a new power line is being laid to the plant to restore cooling system for the reactors, however its operators, Tokyo Electric Power Co. has already missed the deadline it set to complete the restoration work.
The Group of Seven industrialized nations has also offered to help Japan in this need of crisis and reinstall all infrastructure that has been devastated by the Friday earthquake.
However this effort would be focused on intervention on the currency market to weaken Japanese Yen and help Japan to gain from its exports.
U.S. stocks fall down over panic on Japan radiation, Libya conflict
The havoc of Japanese Nuclear radiation has put U.S. stocks market in a drain. Falling for the second week, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has received its biggest jerk in last few months since August. The reasons behind continuous drop in the index are cited Japan’s nuclear crisis as well as unrest and violence in the Middle East.
Fearing that nuclear radiations from Japanese plants might reach US Coast and mainland, people drew back money from the share market leading to continuous drop in the regional stocks. The global economy is already trumping down due to continuous surge of unrest and political crisis subsequently in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and in Saudi Arabia.
Federal Reserve’s statement over strength of US banks to boost dividend had led some optimism and stocks have gained recently. Ceasefire in Libya also boosted the minute surge however it again slumped down and General Electric Co. (GE) lost 5.5 percent, this led to further decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Utilities jumped down by 4.3 percent, meanwhile the Japanese firm Tokyo Electric Power Co. continued struggling to control over the looming radiation crisis in nuclear plants.
Experts call it a dramatic week in the Stocks world. They estimate further meltdown of Japanese market. Probability of war in Libya, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are going to bring another tsunami in world but this time certainly in the investment world.
Japanese emperor calls on people to keep hope
Following the devastating earthquake and Tsunami Japanese Emperor Akihito urges people not to give up their hopes.
The emperor, who rarely appears in public called on Japanese people to stay calm and united at this time of crisis when Tsunami and earthquake has devastated Japan and people are fearing nuclear catastrophe following failure of cooling systems at two nuclear plants of the country due to quake.
The 77-year-old emperor usually gives televised speech at the time of war or extreme crisis.
He supported Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s statement that this was worst crisis for Japan ever since the Second World War.
He assured Japanese people of international community’s support in this crisis and appreciated them for staying calm.
King’s speech was televised on the same day when Fukushima Daiichi’s nuclear plant was damaged and white smoke and fire coming from the reactors panicked people. More than 15000 people have been evacuated from the areas adjacent to nuclear plants to avoid radiation aftermath though experts are still denying possibility of any radiation catastrophe.
The reactor No. 4 was found with flames on Wednesday morning that raised concerns of dangerous radiation as spent fuel rods were lying in an uncovered pool inside.
Radiation level is being monitored at the plant and the area has been evacuated as a precautionary measure as the radiation level has been found fluctuating.
China Assists Japan Following Friday Earthquake, Tsunami
Many Chinese nationals are stranded in Japan’s worst affected areas by Friday earthquake. China has taken initiative to evacuate its citizens from the quake areas.
China’s embassy in Japan revealed that they would evacuate Chinese nationals from the areas that might be affected by the damages in nuclear reactors and other surrounding areas.
However, the embassy clearly denied the chances of any radiation being emitted by the nuclear reactors due to damage of cooling system following the quake and tsunami. Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection is continuously supervising the developments at Fuushima Number One Plant, where the cooling system failed after Tsunami.
So far on Tuesday morning the Chinese nuclear safety agency has not detected any abnormal radiation from the reactors.
There was a fear that radiation might spread through winds over the Pacific Ocean and China May remain on the safer side, stated Chinese Meteorological Administration.
There was a slight increase in radiation level in Russia on Tuesday; however it stayed under normal levels, stated Russian authorities.
South Korea also stated that the radiations have remained under normal level so far; however it is taking precautionary measures by keeping vigil over incoming passengers at Incheon airport.
South Korean authorities added that according to the weather forecast, westerly and north-westerly winds were expected to blow to Japan very soon.
China has taken immediate initiative by sending rescuers and aid assistance to Japan after the devastating earthquake of magnitude 8.5 at Rictor scale and tsunami last Friday. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao expressed deep concerns and sympathy to Japan despite unfriendly relations with Beijing.
Friday earthquake devastated Japan
Following the Fierce earthquake on Friday, Japan declares states of emergency for five nuclear reactors.
The aftermath of earthquake resulted in loss of cooling abilities at two power plants. Thousands of workers and residents have been evacuated from the adjacent areas.
At the Fukushima Daiichi plant’s Unit 1, workers struggled hard to control melting and decrease temperature and pressure in the reactors. The Friday earthquake that had a 8.9 magnitude and following tsunami led to power cuts and disabled all emergency generators, which failed the entire cooling system of reactors.
Around 3,000 people living within a sphere of two miles were evacuated initially however the sphere of evacuation was raised to 10 kilometers when experts feared that radion level might spread more.
It is first time ever in Japan’s history that the government has declared a state of emergency at a nuclear plant. Initially only the Daiichi unit — was declared in emergency zone but after few hours, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., lost its cooling ability. It operates 6 reactors at Daiichi in Northeast Japan.
Therefore now more than 14000 people have been evacuated living near these two plants. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency diesel generators are dysfunctional due to flooding by tsunami; this is why the cooling systems have failed.