Top news: Engineers have resumed work at Fukushima; two Fukushima workers hospitalized for radiation; bottled water in Tokyo sells out; a baby dolphin rescued; a Welsh community goes off-grid.
Engineers returned to Fukushima, after work was suspended yesterday when smoke started to rise from the reactor. Two workers were hospitalized.
#Nuclear: Engineers returned to Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, after work was suspended yesterday when smoke started to rise from the overheating reactor. TEPCO, the plant operator, said that the cause of the smoke remains unknown.
#Nuclear: Three workers were exposed to high levels of radiation, ranging from 170-180 millisieverts, while they were laying power cables in the basement of Fukushima’s reactor 3. Exposure to 100 millisieverts per year is considered the lowest level at which any increase in cancer risk is evident. Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency spokesman Hideyuki Nishiyama said: “Two [workers] were sent to hospital after they found themselves in a puddle of water. Although they wore protective clothing, the contaminated water seeped in and their legs were exposed to radiation.”
#Nuclear/Water: Following yesterday’s news of how the radioactive contamination of Tokyo’s water supply was making tap water unsafe for infants to drink, the radiation has since dropped to an acceptable level - however Reuters and MSNBC report that shops in Tokyo are now running out of bottled water. Further fears over contaminated food caused Singapore and Australia to follow the US and Hong Kong in restricting food and milk imports from Japan.
#Nuclear: The level of radioactivity emitted by Fukushima is higher than first thought, according to French and Austrian officials. Austrian experts estimate that the emission of caesium from Fukushima is 50% of the amount emitted during the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, and French experts say that the radiation of the main isotopes is 10% of the amount emitted by Chernobyl.
#Nuclear: One small piece of good news to come out of Japan today: a baby dolphin, stranded in a rice field since the tsunami on March 11, has been rescued. Ryo Taira, a pet shop owner, caught the dolphin with his bare hands, wrapped it in wet towels and set it free. According to Taira, the dolphin “appeared to perk up” when it was back in the Pacific.
#Climate: Nine families in Wales have established an off-grid community, sourcing all their food, fuel, water and electricity on-site. Using the latest innovations in environmental design and green technology, the village has become entirely self-sufficient. Watch this video to see how every aspect of their lives, from growing their own crops to dealing with their own sewage, is run in a sustainable manner.
Got any good environmental news or actions you'd like us to highlight? Let us know in the comments below.