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Mar 23, 2011

Japan radiation release lower than Chernobyl

VIENNA/OSLO (Reuters) – The release of two types of radioactive particles in the first 3-4 days of Japan’s nuclear crisis is estimated to have reached 20-50 percent of the amounts from Chernobyl in 10 days, an Austrian expert said Wednesday.

The calculations published by Austria’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics may add to growing concern in Japan and elsewhere over the contamination of food products such as milk and vegetables in areas near the Japanese reactor site.

Mar 23, 2011

Japan iodine release lower than Chernobyl-expert

VIENNA/OSLO, March 23 (Reuters) – The release of two types of
radioactive particles in the first 3-4 days of Japan’s nuclear
crisis is estimated to have reached 20-50 percent of the amounts
from Chernobyl in 10 days, an Austrian expert said on Wednesday.

The calculations published by Austria’s Central Institute
for Meteorology and Geodynamics may add to growing concern in
Japan and elsewhere over the contamination of food products such
as milk and vegetables in areas near the Japanese reactor site.

Mar 22, 2011

Tiny traces of Japan radiation spread to Iceland

VIENNA/OSLO (Reuters) – Minuscule numbers of radioactive particles believed to have come from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected as far away as Iceland, officials said on Tuesday.

Traces of iodine-131, below levels of concern for human health, were discovered in an air filter used at a radiation monitoring centre in Reykjavik at the weekend, the Icelandic Radiation Safety Authority (IRSA) said.

Mar 22, 2011

Radioactive particle traces from Japan reach Iceland

VIENNA/OSLO (Reuters) – Miniscule numbers of radioactive particles believed to have come from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant have been detected as far away as Iceland, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.

They stressed the tiny traces, measured by a network of international monitoring stations as they spread eastwards from Japan across the Pacific, North America, the Atlantic and to Europe, were far too low to cause any harm to humans.

Mar 21, 2011

Experts cautious on signs of Japan nuclear progress

LONDON/OSLO (Reuters) – Japan’s reconnection of power to its earthquake-damaged reactors is a major step in managing its nuclear crisis, experts said on Monday, but smoke from two reactors and worries about food safety showed the crisis was far from over.

“There is more than a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel,” said Robin Grimes, head of the center for nuclear engineering at Imperial College, London.

Mar 20, 2011

“Hydro-diplomacy” needed to avert Arab water wars

OSLO (Reuters) – The United Nations should promote “hydro-diplomacy” to defuse any tensions over water in regions like the Middle East and North Africa where scarce supplies have the potential to spark future conflicts, experts said on Sunday.

They said the U.N. Security Council should work out ways to bolster cooperation over water in shared lakes or rivers, from the Mekong to the Nile, that are likely to come under pressure from a rising world population and climate change.

Mar 18, 2011

Harmless Japan radiation may reach Europe soon-expert

OSLO, March 18 (Reuters) – Harmless traces of Japan’s
nuclear accident may reach Europe in a week’s time, part of a
normally ignored background of radiation whose effects include a
premium for pre-1945 steel such as in old shipwrecks.
Fallout from the 1945 U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki and nuclear tests, along with accidents such as at
Chernobyl in 1986, have spread a pervasive background of
radiation around the globe.

“We expect that maybe in seven days from now we could detect
some atoms, with very, very exact instruments here in Sweden,”
Klas Idehaag, reactor inspector at the Swedish Radiation Safety
Authority, said on Friday.

Mar 17, 2011

Analysis – Fuel rods big risk in Japan plant; power a test

LONDON/OSLO (Reuters) – Spent fuel rods and fuel ponds pose the main radiation risk at Japan’s stricken nuclear plant, European experts said Thursday.

Japanese military helicopters were dumping water on the Fukushima nuclear plant Thursday. Authorities said the pressure vessels at the core of the plant were stable for now, throwing the focus on the ponds that store spent uranium.

Mar 17, 2011

Fuel rods big risk in Japan plant; power a test

LONDON/OSLO (Reuters) – Spent fuel rods and fuel ponds pose the main radiation risk at Japan’s stricken nuclear plant, European experts said on Thursday.

Japanese military helicopters were dumping water on the Fukushima nuclear plant on Thursday. Authorities said the pressure vessels at the core of the plant were stable for now, throwing the focus on the ponds that store spent uranium.

Mar 16, 2011

Analysis – Worst case nuclear cloud seen limited to Japan

OSLO (Reuters) – In the worst case, any radioactive cloud from Japan’s damaged nuclear plant is likely to be limited to the densely populated nation — unlike the wider fallout from the Chernobyl disaster, experts say.

The 1986 blast in then-Soviet Ukraine, when the reactor exploded, contaminated large parts of Europe in the world’s worst nuclear disaster. At the Fukushima plant, the explosive potential within the six reactors is easing with time.