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Japan Technology

Fukushima Photo Essay: a Drone's Eye View 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the eye-in-the-sky dept.
Hallie Siegel (2973169) writes "Here's stunning photos and incredible interactive aerial maps of the devastation, cleanup and reconstruction effort in the region around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Adam Klaptocz of Drone Adventures in collaboration with Taichi Furuhashi, researcher at the Center for Spatial Information Science at the University of Tokyo show the current state of the region."
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Fukushima Photo Essay: a Drone's Eye View

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  • The Long Road Home (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Imagine telling a child that he or she can never return home to Tomioka because it has been turned into a storage facility for radioactive soil from other regions. Imagine the psychological devastation. It is time that we close the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in California, which sits above multiple faults capable of producing the type of quake that destroyed Fukushima Daichi. What do you do with a parking lot full of radioactive topsoil?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:05AM (#46646965) Journal
      Well, park my Ford Nucleon [wikipedia.org] and enjoy a refreshing Nuka-Cola, obviously!
      • and enjoy a refreshing Nuka-Cola

        Does it contain real sugar? If so, count me in! I also bet that due to the contents of radioisotopes, they don't need chemical preservatives.

        • You might be surprised. I can't find non-paywalled versions (fuck you, Elsevier); but don't [doi.org] underestimate [doi.org] what even eukaryotes can survive, and select extremophilic bacteria are even tougher.
    • You barium!

    • by Jack Griffin (3459907) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:23AM (#46647007)

      Imagine telling a child that he or she can never return home to Tomioka because it has been turned into a storage facility for radioactive soil from other regions. Imagine the psychological devastation.

      How is that different from any other of the numerous locations that no longer exist either due to economic collapse, or development? I lived in a few places as a kid, none of which exist today. One suburb is now a shopping centre, another demolished to make a forest, and yet another a derelict small town with no economy, soon to be wiped off the map.

      What do you do with a parking lot full of radioactive topsoil?

      Move it to secure long term storage with lots of signs warning of danger. None of your FUD is really any great concern. Since 7 million people died this year from air pollution mainly from coal power stations, we'll probably do the same thing we do about that, ie not much, but certainly not get all scared about it.

      • There's a band called the Bee Gees - some of the older slashdotters may have heard of them, but if not they were mostly responsible for the music in "Grease".
        Anyway, they flew into Brisbane where a couple of them grew up. "How's it feel to be home" asked a journalist. "Home is this airport - home is buried under the end of that runway" answered one of the band. The entire suburb where he grew up was demolished for the airport.
        As the saying goes, the past is a foreign country.

        BTW - the "parking lot" bit
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 03, 2014 @05:06AM (#46647109)

      Imagine telling a child that he or she can never return home to Tomioka because it has been turned into a storage facility for radioactive soil from other regions. Imagine the psychological devastation.

      This is a great example of a knee-jerk reaction and "think of the children".

      The child generally has less attachment to the old home than the adult. That kind of attachment comes with nostalgia.
      Compare the psychological devastation between "There was a disaster so we are going to move and you and your friends are going to school in another part of town." compared to "I have a new job in another town so we have to move and leave all your friends behind."

      Yep, that just happened, you brought up an example where a parent getting a new job is worse than a nuclear disaster.

    • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @06:36AM (#46647393) Journal

      Imagine telling a child that he or she can never return home to Tomioka because

      Because what? It's one of:
      * A nucler storage facility
      * A windfarm
      * A biomass farm
      * Over a massive underground coal fire
      * Astonishingly contaminated from mine tailings
      * Buried under a massive slide of mine tailings which killed the child
      * Overrun by an ash mudslide
      * Dug up to get at tar sands
      * etc

      Energy usage is big, really big. This means that large areas of land will get put completely out of use. The end.

      Magic nukular doesn't make it any more scary, but please WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN????!11!111omg!11onelevenONE11! OMG!!!

      Nuclear is basically no worse than anything else for putting land out of action.

      If you really want to think of the children, think how bad it will be for them to lose a parent. If you atually cared for the children rather than pushing your own agenda, you'd choose the power generation method least likely to render them parentless. That's nuclear which is better than all others in this regard by about an order of magnitude.

    • by Mr D from 63 (3395377) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @07:47AM (#46647647)

      Imagine telling a child that he or she can never return home to Tomioka because it has been turned into a storage facility for radioactive soil from other regions. Imagine the psychological devastation.

      Kids are a lot more resilient than that. My house burned down when I was a kid. We were left with nothing. Yeah, it sucked, but it was a life lesson. I can look back and see that life goes on.

      It is time that we close the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in California, which sits above multiple faults capable of producing the type of quake that destroyed Fukushima Daichi.

      Wrong. The Tsunami caused the plant to fail, not the quake. In the case of Diablo, if there is no credible chance of a Tsunami inundating the plant, then it is fine. I can assure you it can well withstand a major quake.

  • Stunning? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:18AM (#46646997)

    Perhaps you'd care to mention which photos you believe are stunning? They all look distinctly average to me.

  • Just to be clear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:29AM (#46647021) Homepage

    Just to be clear here: the devastation is all due to the tsunami, not to the reactor failure. Foreign media seem to often forget or ignore that the disaster was the earthquake and tsunami. That's what killed almost 20k people dead and destroyed the homes of many hundreds of thousands of people.

    • Re:Just to be clear (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @04:50AM (#46647081)

      Just to be clear here: the devastation is all due to the tsunami, not to the reactor failure. Foreign media seem to often forget or ignore that the disaster was the earthquake and tsunami. That's what killed almost 20k people dead and destroyed the homes of many hundreds of thousands of people.

      It seems to me that the root of the Fukushima disaster was the decision to build a nuclear power plant in a place where there was even the remotest chance of Tsunami damage. The government of a country whose history is littered with Tsunami disasters [wikipedia.org] should have known better. The design basis for tsunamis at Fukushima was 5.7 meters, it should have been: "Don't build a nuclear plant within 20-30km of the coast and even then put it on high ground" and keep in mind that this restriction does not account for earthquakes although the Fukushima plant survived a magnitude 7.7 quake rather well so at least in that regard it was better designed..

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It seems to me that the root of the Fukushima disaster was the decision to build a nuclear power plant in a place where there was even the remotest chance of Tsunami damage.

        No, the tsunami would have happened anyway and killed just as many people and caused complete devastation.
        The big difference is that it wouldn't have gotten any media attention then. Just another tsunami in a country far far away.

      • It seems to me that the root of the Fukushima disaster was the decision to build a nuclear power plant in a place where there was even the remotest chance of Tsunami damage.

        Yes, this is the fundamental mistake. Alternatively, it might better be described as, 'don't put a nuclear plant where a tsunami can affect it unless it is designed to handle it." In the case of Fukushima, you have a plant that was essentially under water, but not designed to operate under water. The result is quite easy to predict.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Actually it has now emerged that the fatal damage was due to the earthquake, not the tsunami. They had equipment to cool the reactors and prevent a meltdown / hydrogen explosions, but it didn't work because the plumbing and monitoring systems were broken buy the quake.

          Fukushima, like all Japanese nuclear plants, was only designed to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake. It appears that no current or proposed design could cope with a magnitude 9 quake. This is why there is so much concern over newly discover

          • Actually it has now emerged that the fatal damage was due to the earthquake, not the tsunami.

            Sorry but this is completely fabricated. The safety systems in place were operable after the quake. The tsunami took out all backup power, leaving those safety systems useless.

            There is a lot of margin in the seismic design. In reality, plants can handle a much higher seismic even than they are "rated for".

            • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

              NHK produced some good documentaries on this subject, you should watch them. The earthquake caused damage to some of the plumbing and the monitoring systems for some of the valves. Crucially a valve that water pumped in by fire engine pumps to cool the reactors was in the wrong position and they later discovered most of the water in a run-off tank. Had that valve been in the right position disaster could have been averted.

              • Don't believe everything you see, or at least don't assume it gives you the whole picture. Safety systems have multiple backups. Simple failures as you described are not enough to disable the plants' ability to shutdown safely. Fire pumps are a last resort, they are not credited safety systems for shutting down a plant under any design accident scenarios, and therefore not necessarily designed to meet seismic requirements. They are their for fires. If you are down to your fire pumps for cooling, you've alre
      • by tp1024 (2409684)

        It seems to me that the root of the Tohoku Tsunami disaster was the decision to build cities in a places where there was even the remotest chance of Tsunami damage. The government of a country whose history is littered with Tsunami disasters [wikipedia.org] should have known better. The design basis for tsunamis at cities along the Tohoku coast was about 5.7 meters, it should have been: "Don't build a city plant within 20-30km of the coast and even then put it on high ground"

        You know, it's just people. Peop

        • by nojayuk (567177)

          Actually the tsunami defences along the Tohoku coast were a lot lower than the 5-metre high seawalls at Fukushima Daiichi, where defences existed at all of course. Lots of towns still don't have that much in the way of sea walls in place, Itami for instance.

          Onomichi, a little seaside town in Japan I visit regularly has tsunami defence walls about a metre high with access gates through them to the piers and quays oceanside. The only change I've seen there since the 2011 tsunami are notices telling people not

          • by tp1024 (2409684)

            Why is it that everytime I think I'm being unfair to the Japanese I find out that I'm actually not?

            Seriously, why do the Japanese put up with that shit? Whole cities are being destroyed left and right, thousands die - not just in the Tohoku earthquake, but also the Kanto, the Great Hanshin and the dozen or so large earthquakes in the last century? If they are so serious about their fear for the lives as they seem to be regarding radiation, then why not about earthquakes, which isn't a risk, but merely the n

            • by nojayuk (567177)

              How well would, say, California today cope with a large tsunami with peak heights of up to 15 metres? What are its sea defences like, are folks willing to pay billions or trillions of dollars to pay for installing and upgrading precautions against a once-in-a-millenium event?

              Japan gets earthquakes like the Mississippi valley gets tornadoes, they plan for them, their building codes are written around them and as a result few people die even in a large earthquake. Tokyo experienced the equivalent of a Richter

      • by Solandri (704621)

        It seems to me that the root of the Fukushima disaster was the decision to build a nuclear power plant in a place where there was even the remotest chance of Tsunami damage.

        Actually, the nuclear plant survived the earthquake and tsunami with relatively little damage. The root of the disaster was failure to design the backup power sources for the cooling systems to also survive such events. They put the generators and fuel source for backup power in a location where they could all be wiped out by a single

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Thursday April 03, 2014 @07:04AM (#46647483) Homepage

      Much of the damage is due to the fact that no-one has been living there to maintain the environment for a few years and nature has started to take over again. Plant roots and branches, blocked drains, storm damage etc.

    • by severn2j (209810)

      Just to be clear here: the devastation is all due to the tsunami, not to the reactor failure. Foreign media seem to often forget or ignore that the disaster was the earthquake and tsunami. That's what killed almost 20k people dead and destroyed the homes of many hundreds of thousands of people.

      Seems like TFA forgot that too.

      Quote - "Tomioka is the closest thing we have ever seen to a nuclear wasteland."

      Except it isnt, its an earthquake and tsunami wasteland..

    • Foreign media seem to often forget or ignore that the disaster was the earthquake and tsunami

      Please be serious - EVERYONE knows about the tsunami and it was in ALL of the media. The only difference here is the nuclear aspect is a new story that the press is talking about for a lot longer than than this tsunami or any of the others.
      I really do not get why you are pretending the tsunami was not big news that everyone heard about. Pretending we are all idiots to push some "don't pick on the nukes" barrow is

  • Welcome to http://halo-mart.com/ [halo-mart.com]
  • Run bus tours in the Fukushima district like they do through Pripyat.
  • I can't help but think of the old Kidd of Speed hoax. The long awaited season 2 brings you......Japan!
  • by Oceanplexian (807998) on Thursday April 03, 2014 @11:52AM (#46649941) Homepage
    That's not a drone.

    It's a small EPP foam toy flying wing. You can build one for about $150 in parts. I'm astounded that people put the same label to these things and small multicopters that they do to a Predator Drone, for example.
    • by sysrammer (446839)
      "These are not the drones you're looking for"
    • by dbIII (701233)
      Any RC control model plane is a "drone" these days just as fine powder in your toothpaste or sunscreen is "nanotechnology".

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