Unprecedented volcano warning near Japan’s only restarted nuke plant: ‘Extremely high risk of major eruption’
The Independent, Aug 16, 2015 (emphasis added): Japan’s weather agency issued a warning… that the likelihood of the eruption of [Sakurajima] was extremely high… after it detected a spike in seismic activity… They have warned an evacuation of the city of just over 600,000 people may be necessary. [JMA] said: “The possibility for a large-scale eruption has become extremely high for Sakurajima.”… It comes as a nuclear reactor 50 kilometres (31 miles) away was switched back on.
Mainichi, Aug 17, 2015: On Aug. 15 alone, there were 1,023 volcanic earthquakes… the JMA has pointed out that crustal changes that indicate mountain swell as a result of a magma rise are still continuing… Kazuya Kokubo [with JMA said] “underground pressure hasn’t been relieved. An eruption could occur at any time.”
Asahi Shimbun, Aug 16, 2015: … the mountain [is] expanding… [officials] estimate that a large volume of magma continues to accumulate.
Reuters/Kyodo, Aug 15, 2015: The agency also said it had raised the warning level … to an unprecedented 4.
Jiji Press, Aug 17, 2015: [Japan] remained alert for signs of a major eruption… [An official] called on the public to act calmly… a major eruption could be imminent. Level 4 is the highest ever for Sakurajima… “I have lived in Sakurajima for more than 50 years but have not imagined we would have to evacuate,” said Emiko Miyashita, 80… crustal movement was also observed [and there’s] signs indicating magma has risen to near the volcanic vent… “It would be no surprise if it were to erupt at any moment,” an agency official said.
Wall St Journal, Aug 17, 2015: [Japan] remained on high alert for a major eruption at Mount Sakurajima… Seismic activity began increasing dramatically Saturday morning and data showed swelling of the mountain, the agency said.
Asahi Shimbun, Aug 15, 2015: [JMA] said a major eruption of volcanic Mount Sakurajima could be imminent… signs of sudden crustal movement were also observed… Agency officials said there were indications a much larger eruption was in the offing.
Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug 15, 2015: A major eruption is highly likely to occur, the agency said… There is a possibility that magma has risen to the shallow part of the volcano…
Jiji Press, Aug 12, 2015: [NRA, Japan’s nuclear regulator,] decided there is little chance of a major volcanic eruption in the next several decades.
NHK, Aug. 15, 2015: Officials say they are not taking any particular precautions because they think a possible eruption would not affect the plant.
Bloomberg, Aug 15, 2015: Volcanic rock and ash could cut off transport routes and prompt workers at Sendai to flee the nuclear site in the event of an eruption… engineering consultant John Large wrote.
The Times, Aug 11, 2015: Environmentalists complain that the company has paid insufficient attention to the effect of heavy ash fall on the plant’s machinery.
Jiji Press, Aug 12, 2015: Sendai nuclear power plant… has not designated a site for relocating nuclear fuel in the event of a massive volcanic eruption, claiming that warning signs would give Kepco enough time to prepare and transfer the fuel… In the event of a major eruption, however, pyroclastic flows could reach the plant and disable cooling functions… which could trigger massive radioactive emissions… The sheer volume [of spent fuel] makes it hard to find a relocation site big enough to take them… Toshitsugu Fujii, a member of the panel [advising the gov’t] said that the panel’s opinion is not necessarily consistent with that of the NRA.