Message from Editor-in-Chief
Hidekazu Yoshikawa Ph.D.
The heavily damaged four boiling water reactors of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan have not been still under control to stabilize in cold state after they were all hit by big earthquake followed by high tsunami in March 11, 2011. The “thinkable” faults of risk governance by TEPCO as well as by Japanese government at the initial stage of accident might aggravate the reactor state to develop into complete core meltdown, although the scale of earthquake and tsunami of March 11 was “unthinkably” so larger than the design standard set by Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan that the plant had lost all electric power sources and heat sinks needed to manage the plants over much more time than “eight hours” within which Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan thought electric power source would be recovered even in the worst nuclear reactor accident.
The official report on Fukushima Daiichi accident by Japanese Government was published in June 7 for submission to IAEA to summarize the event and status at the Fukushima Daiichi station and the protective actions taken for all other nuclear power plants in Japan. In parallel, the official investigation committee on Fukushima Daiichi accident was set up and started to work for the intermediate report until the end of this year. As of June 29, 2011, a Cabinet minister Tsuyoshi Hosono for Nuclear Disaster Management was newly appointed by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, to direct recovering the damaged reactor site so that the evacuated people from Fukushima can go home town from the middle of July. The destroyed Fukushima Daiichi plants themselves have been in the process of establishing a new reactor coolant loop what is called “stable water recirculation injection system”. This is to inject pure water into the damaged reactor vessel first. The contaminated water running through the reactor vessel and stored in the bottom of reactor containment is pumped to a special water treating system to filter salty sea water and dirty stuff, absorb radioactive element in a special chemical so that the outlet water could be decontaminated and purified enough. Thus purified decontaminated water is again fed into the reactor vessel.
However, the Fukushima Daiichi accident of level 7 by INES scale has triggered the anti-nuclear sentiment and campaign internationally and of course in Japan, and it is destroying the wind of nuclear renaissance which had been blowing around the world for these several years after the long stagnant period of nuclear from 1980-90’s. The current political movement in Japan will go the discussion on re-organizing national energy policy toward less dependency on nuclear power. We the editorial members of IJNS at Symbio Community Forum would candidly accept the blames raised by the nuclear colleagues outside of Japan and apologize for the misconduct of Japanese nuclear colleagues.
To deal with 3/11 in our IJNS, we the editorial of IJNS invite a non-nuclear energy expert in Japan as a guest contributor to write a time log report on Fukushima Daiichi accident from this June issue of IJNS. His name is Yu Shibutani who has been working as a specialist on international energy problem by his long carrier on international trade of energy resources. We expect Yu Shibutani will trace the social happening in Japan and then analyze the issues from many aspects in order to offer readers of IJNS how to see the Fukushima Daiichi accident deeply from the third party’s eye. The IJNS editorial member Yasuhiko Ohsuga also cooperates with Yu Shibutani to supplement his article by adding Figures, Tables, Photos, etc., from the reliable sources.