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Fukushima Daiichi Power Station, Japan
Fukushima, Japan
WHY? :
The 2011 Thoku Earthquake and Tsunami
HOW? :
Giant tsunami with waves peaking
11th March 2011
WHO? :
Japanese, plant workers and residences


What? : Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Japan
An explosion in reactor No. 1 caused one of the buildings to crumble to the ground. The
cooling system at the reactor failed shortly after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. By
Tuesday, March 15, two more explosions and a fire had officials and workers at the plant
struggling to regain control of four reactors. The fire, which happened at reactor No. 4, was
contained by noon on Tuesday, but not before the incident released radioactivity directly into the
The catastrophic triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011
was "a warning to the world" about the hazards of nuclear power and contained lessons for the
British government as it plans a new generation of nuclear power stations, the man with overall
responsibility for the operation in Japan has told the Guardian.
Where? : Fukushima, Japan
This disaster happened in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant which located at
the Fukushima, Japan. Fukushima nuclear power plant divided into two plants, Daiichi and
Daini. The Daiichi (first) and Daini (second). Fukushima plants are sited about 11 km apart on
the coast, Daini to the south. Figure 1 showed the map for location of Fukushima Daiichi.

Figure 1: Location of Fukushima


Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant consists of 6 reactors. During the accident
reactor 4,5 and 6 were not operating at the time, but were affected. The main problem initially
centred on Fukushima Daiichi units 1-3. Unit 4 became a problem on day five. Reactor 1 was
damaged due to tsunami effect. Figure 2 showed Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that
had been damaged.

Figure 2: Fukushima Daiichi plant

Why? : The 2011 Thoku Earthquake and Tsunami
On 11 March 2011, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred in the international waters of
the western Pacific and induced a huge tsunami. These natural disasters hit the northeastern
part of Japan and caused heavy casualties, enormous property losses, and a severe nuclear
crisis with regional and global long-term impact. On April 1, the Japanese government officially
named the disaster The 2011 Thoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The main earthquake disaster
hit Japan at 14:46 Tokyo time on 11 March 2011. The epicenter was estimated at 38.322N and
142.369E (Figure 1), merely 77 km (47.9 miles) off the eastern coast of Japans Honshu island,
129 km from Sendai, 177 km from Fukushima, and 373 km from Tokyo. The hypocenter was at
an underwater depth of 32 km (19.9 miles).
According to the Japan Meteorological Agency (2011), the magnitude estimate of this
quake was initially 7.9, then revised to 8.4, 8.8, 8.9, back to 8.8, and finally set at 9.0. The data
released by the United States Geological Survey was 8.8, but revised to 8.9 the same day. On
March 14, it was finally set at 9.0. This 9.0 magnitude earthquake is the third highest ever

recorded in the world, after the 9.5 magnitude quake that hit Chile in1960 and the 9.2 magnitude
quake that hit Alaska in 1964. A number of foreshocks and aftershocks occurred before and
after the main quake. Several thousand quakes were recorded by April 11. Relatively severe
foreshocks and aftershocks included a magnitude 7.2 foreshock on March 9, and magnitude
7.0, 7.4, and 7.2 aftershocks at 15:06 Japan Standard Time (JST), 15:15 JST, and 15:26 JST
on March 11. On April 7 and 11, magnitude 7.4 (revised to 7.1) and 7.1 aftershocks occurred.
The main quake triggered a massive, destructive tsunami. It reached the eastern coast
of Honshu, Japan within a couple of minutes after the quake, and spilled into the interior to a
maximum distance of 10 km. It was estimated that the tsunami wave was up to 38 m high
(Kyodo News 2011), while field observation suggested that the record was 24 m, according to
the figure released by the Port and Airport Research Institute (2011) on March 23. Based on the
analysis of the Japan Meteorological Research Institute (JMRI 2011), the wave source zone of
the tsunami covered about 550 km from north to south and about 200 km from east to west,
setting a record for the most extensive wave source zone around the Japan Sea. Retrieved from
Okado et.al,2011,The 2011 Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Disaster: Overview and
Among hundreds of aftershocks, an earthquake with magnitude 7.1, closer to Fukushima
than the 11 March one, was experienced on 7 April, but without further damage to the plant. On
11 April a magnitude 7.1 earthquake and on 12 April a magnitude 6.3 earthquake, both with
epicenter at Fukushima-Hamadori, caused no further problems. It appears that no serious
damage was done to the reactors by the earthquake, and the operating units 1-3 were
automatically shut down in response to it, as designed. At the same time all six external power
supply sources were lost due to earthquake damage, so the emergency diesel generators
located in the basements of the turbine buildings started up. Initially cooling would have been
maintained through the main steam circuit bypassing the turbine and going through the
Then 41 minutes later the first tsunami wave hit, followed by a second 8 minutes later.
These submerged and damaged the seawater pumps for both the main condenser circuits and
the auxiliary cooling circuits, notably the Residual Heat Removal (RHR) cooling system. They
also drowned the diesel generators and inundated the electrical switchgear and batteries, all
located in the basements of the turbine buildings (the one surviving air-cooled generator was
serving units 5 & 6). So there was a station blackout, and the reactors were isolated from their

ultimate heat sink. The tsunamis also damaged and obstructed roads, making outside access
All this put those reactors 1-3 in a dire situation and led the authorities to order, and
subsequently extend, an evacuation while engineers worked to restore power and cooling. The
125-volt DC batteries for units 1 & 2 were flooded and failed, leaving them without
instrumentation, control or lighting. Unit 3 had battery power for about 30 hours. At 7.03 pm
Friday 11 March a Nuclear Emergency was declared, and at 8.50pm the Fukushima Prefecture
issued an evacuation order for people within 2 km of the plant. At 9.23 pm the Prime Minister
extended this to 3 km, and at 5.44 am on 12th he extended it to 10 km. He visited the plant soon
after. On Saturday 12th he extended the evacuation zone to 20 km.

How? : Giant tsunami with waves peaking at 17 metres high
Tepco's Fukushima Daiichi facility on the coast about 124 miles (200km) north-east of
Tokyo, comprising six nuclear reactors, was hit by a giant tsunami with waves peaking at 17
metres high caused by the Great East Japan earthquake on 11 March 2011. In what quickly
became one of the world's worst nuclear disasters, operators lost control of the plant when the
power supply, including emergency back-up, failed amid massive flooding. As cooling systems
malfunctioned, reactors 1, 2 and 3 suffered meltdowns.
A new attenuation relation for peak horizontal acceleration applicable to the near source
region in Japan is developed. The data base consists of 1372 horizontal components of peak
ground acceleration from 28 earthquakes in Japan and 15 earthquakes in the United States and
other countries. Coefficients describing the decrease in acceleration with increasing distance
found by most previous studies of Japanese data are significantly smaller than those found by
analyzing individual earthquakes. This phenomenon is examined and found to result from use of
general no stratified multiple regression analyses. The present analysis uses a two-step
stratified regression procedure and an attenuation model that accounts for geometrical
spreading and anelastic attenuation but has magnitude-independent shape at very short
distances. The resulting relation in Japan is


where A is the mean of the peak acceleration from two horizontal components at each site
(cm/sec2), R the shortest distance between site and fault rupture (km), and M the surface-wave
magnitude. The median estimate of peak horizontal acceleration at the source region is 620
cm/sec2, independent of earthquake magnitude. Effects of four different ground condition (rock,
hard-, medium- and soft-soils) on the attenuation relation are also examined. Average peak
horizontal accelerations for the rock and the soft-soil sites are 60 and 140 per cent respectively
of the value predicted from the equation.

When? : 11th March 2011
As we know that Jepun had nuclear reactor energy. On 11th March 2011, following a
major earthquake, a 15-m3tre tsunami disabled the power supply and cooling of three
Fukushima Daiichi reactors, causes the three cores largely melted in the first three days. The
accident was rated on the Ines scale, due to high radioactive releases over days 4 to 6
eventually a total of some 940. After two weeks the three reactors were stable with water
addition but no proper heat sink for removal of decay heat from fuel. BY July they were being
cooled with recycled water from the new treatment plant. Reactor temperatures had fallen to
below 800 C at the end of October, and official cold shutdown condition was announced in mid-
December. Apart from cooling, the basic ongoing task was to prevent release of radiaoactive
materials, particularly in contaminated water leaked from the three units. This task became
newsworthy in Augusty 2013. The Great East Japan Earthquake of magnitude 9.0 at 2.46 pm
on Friday 11 march 2011 did considerable damage in the region, and the large tsunami it
created caused very much more. Eleven reactors at four nuclear power plants in the region
were operating at the time and all shut down automatically quake hit. Subsequent inspection
showed no significant to any from the earthquake. The operating units were Tokyo Electric
Power Plant Companys (Tepco) Fukushima Daichii 1,2 3 and Fukushima Daichii 1,2, 3, 4 to
Onagawa 1,2,3 and Japcos Tokai, total 9377 MWe.


Who? : Japanese, plant workers and residences
There have been no deaths or cases of radiation sickness from the nuclear accident, but
over 100,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes to ensure this. Government
nervousness delays their return. By 31 December 2011, Tepco had checked the radiation
exposure of 19,594 people who had worked on the site since 11 March, for many of these
considering both external dose and internal doses (measured with whole-body counters). It
reported that 167 workers had received doses over 100 mSv (mili Sievert). Of these 135 had
received 100 to 150 mSv (mili Sievert), 23 150-200 mSv(mili Sievert), three more 200-250 mSv,
and six had received over 250 mSv (309 to 678 mSv) apparently due to inhaling iodine-131
fume early on. The latter included the two unit 3-4 control room operators in the first two days
who had not been wearing breathing apparatus.
There were up to 200 workers on site each day. Recovery workers are wearing personal
monitors, with breathing apparatus and protective clothing which protect against alpha and beta
radiation. So far over 3500 of some 3700 workers at the damaged Daiichi plant have received
internal check-ups for radiation exposure, giving whole body count estimates. The level of 250
mSv was the allowable maximum short-term dose for Fukushima accident clean-up workers
through to December 2011, 500 mSv is the international allowable short-term dose "for
emergency workers taking life-saving actions".
Since January 2012 the allowable maximum has reverted to 50 mSv/year. No radiation
casualties (acute radiation syndrome) occurred, and few other injuries, though higher than
normal doses were being accumulated by several hundred workers on site. Monitoring of
seawater, soil and atmosphere is at 25 locations on the plant site, 12 locations on the boundary,
and others further afield.
The Government and IAEA monitoring of air and seawater is ongoing, with high but not
health-threatening levels of iodine-131 being found in March. With an eight-day half-life, most I-
131 had gone by the end of April 2011. A radiation survey map of the site made in March 2013
revealed substantial progress: the highest dose rate of the site was 0.15 mSv/h near units 3 and
4. The majority of the power plant area was at less than 0.01 mSv/h. Media reports have
referred to "nuclear gypsies" that is casual workers employed by subcontractors on a short-
term basis, and allegedly prone to receiving higher and unsupervised radiation doses.


This transient workforce has been part of the nuclear scene for at least four decades,
and at Fukushima, their doses are very rigorously monitored. If they reach certain levels, such
as 30 mSv but varying according to circumstance, they are reassigned to lower-exposure areas.
In this figure below we can see the evacuation area of Fukushima Daichi power plant that
involves the workers.

Figure 3: The evolutions of evacuation area around Fukushima


Effect of nuclear radiation
Population of Japanese
1. Japanese had to move to another area.
2. Populations living around the Fukushima nuclear power plant are 70% higher relative
risk of developing thyroid cancer for females.
3. The Japanese has higher relative of risk of leukemia in males which is at 7%.
4. Females have higher relative risk of breast cancer which is at 6%.
5. Increase of developing cancers, as the lifetime absolute baseline chance of developing
thyroid cancer in females is 0.75%.
6. Radiation-induced cancer chance predicted to increase from 0.75% to 1.25%.
Economy of Japan
1. Direct production damages on crops and livestock products due to the radiation Contamination.
2. The government sale bans farmers from a large territory had to dump millions of liters of milk,
and tons of ripe vegetables and fruits.
3. Decreased income due to production and/or shipment restrictions and low market demands for
local products and services.
4. Government restricted planting of rice and other crops in soil with more than 5,000 Bq/kg of
5. Ban or delays of shipment of beef and other major produces.
6. Declined consumer demands, reduction in the number of local population (evacuation and/or
outmigration) and tourists, and harmful humors many farmers and business lost significant
markets and income after the accident.
7. Popular agriculture and rural tourism and other related businesses and services in affected areas
have been badly damaged after the disaster.
8. Increased production, transportation and transaction costs in the agri-food chain.
1. Air dose rate decreased gradually. Currently it reaches a steady rate after the accident in
all measuring points.
2. Relatively high level of radiation has been monitored in the area north east of of
radiation has been monitored.

3. The Government decided to introduce was originally designated as no-entry zone or
evacuation area into 3 categories by ambient radioactivity. These 3 categories are
Preparatory area for lifting evacuation order, Residency restriction area and Difficult
to return area. As of June 21, the order of no-entry for Kawauchi village, Tam
Minamisoma city was lifted in time of revising praedial classification in terms of
evacuation and residency restriction.
4. The river at the Japan,MOE has been checking regularly radiation in rivers in
Fukushima since 2011. The result of analysis of sand and mud samples taken from
rivers reveals trend toward an increase in level of radioactive Cesium in river bed at
many spots. MOE who think that highly contaminated Soil would have flown out by rain
decided to continue this monitoring

1. Nuclear power plants in Japan have multiple safety measures, which are designed on
the assumption that they must ensure the safety of the neighboring communities so that
there will be no adverse impacts on their health.

2. Nuclear power plants are designed to prevent abnormal incidents from occurring. Even if
abnormal incidents do occur, nuclear plants are also designed to prevent the potential
spreading of abnormal incidents and leakage of radioactive materials around plants,
which may cause adverse impacts on the surrounding environment.

3. Japanese power plants utilize redundant safety measures to keep residential
communities around them safe at all times. Measures to be put into action in order to
ensure safety during unusual events can be summarized in the following three points:
To shut down operating reactors
To cool down reactors so as to remove heat from nuclear fuel
To contain radioactive materials


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America. Retrieved: http://www.bssaonline.org/content/80/4/757.short

2. Fukushima Accident, November 2013, http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-

3. Safety measure at nuclear power plant, Federation of Electric Power Companies of
Japan, http://www.fepc.or.jp/english/nuclear/power_generation/safety_measures/

4. http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Safety-and-Security/Safety-of-Plants/Fukushima-

5. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/19/uk-government-new-plant-

6. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/15/world/asia/daiichi-graphic.html?_r=1&

7. http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/29/five-alarming-developments-



Figure 4: Official checked for sign of radiations

Figure 5: view of power plant Fukushima

Figure 6: Fukushima Daiichi Reactor

Figure 7: Amount of element release during accident of Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant

Figure 8: The Fukushima Site