web analytics

Meltdown at Fukushima

Written By: - Date published: 8:39 am, March 31st, 2011 - 35 comments
Categories: disaster - Tags: ,

Efforts to cool the nuclear fuel rods in Fukushima’s No 2 reactor have failed. The rods have become molten and it appears some have melted through the steel reactor core into a concrete layer. Two dangers now arise: radioactive chemicals created by the concrete reacting with the nuclear fuel and the nuclear fuel pooling enough to go critical.

This is what ended up happening to the nuclear fuel in Chernobyl’s No 4 reactor. Lava-like ‘corium‘, which is just a fancy name for ‘substance made from the molten core of a nuclear reactor’, melted through the steel liner and solidified in what was called the ‘elephants foot’ on the concrete basement floor*. The fuel melted through several metres of concrete, creating hydrogen gas and other volatile substances.

Ironically, the water they’re desperately trying to get into the reactors at Fukushima to carry away the heat actually helps to sustain nuclear reactions by slowing down (moderating) the neutrons emitted when an atom decays making them more likely to collide with other unstable atoms. Without the water and with all the reactions with concrete the melting ends. The corium gradually solidifies into what becomes a flaky and still highly radioactive material.

We’re still told that there won’t be a major radiation release from Fukushima as there was from Chernobyl. During that disaster, a graphite fire and multiple explosions after the core was breached sent corium and other irradiated materials high into the atmosphere to be distributed over a wide area. There’s not meant to be any more explosions at Fukushima. They say they are confident they can cool the corium as it comes out.

But a hell of a lot of stuff that wasn’t meant to happen has happened. If the corium is reacting with the concrete creating large amounts of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, then explosions are a real possibility. If the corium comes out all as one glob it could go critical, recreating the self-sustaining chain reaction that powers a nuclear reactor when it’s in action. That’s a hell of a lot more energy then is currently being emitted by the background decay of the fuel rods, which has been enough to cause all these problems. The one bright side is there’s no way it can go supercritical and explode like a nuclear bomb.

It’s not just No 2 reactor. Plutonium has been detected around reactor No 3. This reactor uses MOX fuel, containing plutonium, which is really dangerous stuff. The fact that plutonium seems to be leaking from the reactor suggests a breach in its core too.

With radiation levels rising, it is becoming both evermore vital and evermore difficult for workers to get close to the reactors to try to solve the problems.

I hope they’re drawing up plans for a sarcophagus, and not one like Chernobyl’s that started leaking after a few years.

35 comments on “Meltdown at Fukushima ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    🙁

    Damn none of that sounds good.

    There is an economic fear as well – that if this whole scenario drags on for months, which it might, business interests will start to bypass Japan altogether. Find alternative suppliers, find alternative ports, offshore operations etc.

  2. Morrissey 3

    But just over a week ago I saw Air New Zealand boss Rob Fyfe on television, and he was adamant: the fuss over so-called nuclear leaks was a beat-up, and there was nothing to worry about. He advised us to do as he did, which was to accept the word of the Japanese government’s PR people, and not to trust the word of so-called “experts”.

    Here’s a picture of the great man, characteristically deep in thought…
    http://www.iata.org/iata/sites/agm/2009/file/agm2009-02.jpg

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      He was, and remains, correct.

      There is no danger to aircraft flying to Tokyo, and funnily enough the pilots are actually smart enough to fly around the contaminated area as well.

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        “…no danger to aircraft flying to Tokyo…”
        Could you advise us of the source from which you obtained this highly interesting piece of technical information? (Note: Mr Rob Fyfe is not a credible or respected source.)

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          The thing is, unless you are flying directly over a concentrated gamma ray source, you will be fine at 32,000 feet. In fact at that altitude you could have a 100kT warhead go off a few miles away and still be relatively fine.

          The main issue to me is not whether people can still fly in and out of Tokyo. It will be whether or not they want to.

  3. Lanthanide 4

    As usual, the media reporting on the plutonium that was detected isn’t very detailed, and so it appears much worse without the detail included:

    “Vienna. Japan Confirms Plutonium in Soil Samples at Fukushima Daiichi. After taking soil samples at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Japanese authorities today confirmed finding traces of plutonium that most likely resulted from the nuclear accident there. The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency told the IAEA that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) had found concentrations of plutonium in two of five soil samples.

    Traces of plutonium are not uncommon in soil because they were deposited worldwide during the atmospheric nuclear testing era. However, the isotopic composition of the plutonium found at Fukushima Daiichi suggests the material came from the reactor site, according to TEPCO officials. Still, the quantity of plutonium found does not exceed background levels tracked by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology over the past 30 years.”

    In other words they found very minute traces of plutonium. Also, plutonium is dangerous to human health because it’s a very toxic material (like arsenic or other heavy metals), rather than because it’s radioactive.

    Plutonium fission products are found in all of the spent fuel rods as a result of fission in the reactor. It’s minute amounts, however. The MOX fuel in reactor 3 is being overplayed – there are something like 700-800 rods active in there at any one time, and only a couple of dozen actually have MOX fuel (which again is only 5% plutonium) and the rest are regular uranium.

    • Morrissey 4.1

      Lanthanide, these figures of yours are meant to reassure or comfort? How, exactly?

      • Rich 4.1.1

        Maybe you should just take the Lewis Page approach:
        – Fukushima isn’t a disaster. Chernobyl wasn’t a disaster. The backup safety systems have worked as designed. Look, there are no people dying in the streets of Tokyo from acute radiation sickness – things are as designed.

        (And BTW, Plutonium isn’t dangerous because its a toxic heavy metal, but because it’s an alpha-emitter that accumulates in the body. Arsenic (which isn’t a heavy metal, or indeed a metal of any kind) doesn’t do that).

        • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1

          Reading about plutonium on wikipedia, it looks like you’re correct, the danger is more from radiation than specifically from toxicity, although it appears the danger is generally overstated:

          “A commonly cited quote by Ralph Nader, states that a pound of plutonium dust spread into the atmosphere would be enough to kill 8 billion people. However, the math shows that only up to 2 million people can be killed by inhaling plutonium. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas.”

          “There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during the 1940’s; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them.”

          As for arsenic:
          “Arsenic is a metalloid. It can exist in various allotropes, although only the grey form is industrially important. The main use of metallic arsenic is for strengthening alloys of copper and especially lead (for example, in automotive batteries).”

          But no, it’s not a “heavy metal”, so I was wrong on that.

          • Rich 4.1.1.1.1

            I was under the impression that you Knew About All Things, and now I hear you just repeat Wikipedia and the PR department of a japanese airport?

            • ianmac 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Unworthy of you Rich.

              • Rich

                I’m fed up with this attitude that nuclear power is a safe answer to all our problems and that anyone who opposes it is a luddite scientific ignoramus.

                I understand the pathology. People in the geek community read and watch far too much scifi. Scifi as an artform was developed in 1950’s America, where technology was going to lead us to a bright new future with flying cars and synthetic clothing. So when we have a problem (such as peak oil/climate change) a “technical” solution must arise. Nuclear power is that technical solution, and must be made to succeed.

                Hence, actual problems that prevent nuclear power being deployed get magicked away. Safety limits get questioned – hey look, 25 people got a big dose of Pu and didn’t die – that means it’s safe, right? New technology gets pulled out of a hat that will never, ever have the problems of Fukushima (as Fukushima wouldn’t have the problems of Chernobyl, and Chernobyl wouldn’t have the problems of Windscale Pile I).

                So if people who claim to have scientific evidence for the safety of nuclear energy make schoolboy errors (we did the classification of elements in 5th form), I’m going to call them on it. Sorry, and that.

                • Colonial Viper

                  No, nuclear power is not some kind of SF solution to all energy needs. But it’s been around as a working concept since the days of the Korean War.

                  There is no doubt that when nuclear power goes bad, it can go very bad.

                  And both regulators and private enterprise seem keen to cut corners which should not be cut.

                  But there are very simple steps which can be taken to limit the damage and probabilities of even a worst case scenario.

                  TEPCO should not have been allowed to store such huge amounts of spent fuel on site, at the densities which were there. A higher sea wall and diesel generators/back up power systems capable of surviving a drowning would both have been extraordinarily helpful. Not having 6 reactors at one site.

                  At the end of the day a lot of important corners were cut, usually in the name of reduced cost and increased efficiency.

                  • mcflock

                    Agreed, CV. And to me, that’s the real danger of nuclear power – complacency.

                    It’s all very well saying that modern designs are safe now, but what about in 60 years when the workforce has been whittled down in quality or quantity by HR cost-cutting, emergency plans have atrophied, bypass repairs have been left as the norm, waste has built up beyond spec (sorry, “according to re-evaluated and expanded specifications”), etc etc etc? In many accidents/mishaps, it’s not when something is new and shiney that the problem occurs – it’s when a routine job being performed by junior staff at 3am goes kaput that the clusterfuck begins.

        • toad 4.1.1.2

          Technically, arsenic is a metalloid, being to the left of the amphoteric line in the periodic table. As such, it displays some of the properties of metals, but it is certainly not a heavy metal.

          And you are right, Rich, about the difference between the toxicity mechanisms of plutonium and arsenic. While they are both bio-accumulative, plutonium’s high toxicity is because of the carcinogenic effect of the alpha-particles it emits in radioactive decay. Arsenic’s toxicity arises from its interference with metabolism through disrupting ATP production.

          • NickS 4.1.1.2.1

            Not entirely, if memory serves me right, elements like plutonium and uranium when in soluble forms will form ionic bonds (aka co-ordination chemistry) to a wide variety of biomolecules, disrupting metabolic and cell functions depending on what they bond to. Although it appears from accidental inhalation and ingestion that Pu is very considerably less toxic the U-238, but it’s also, despite it’s sort half-life, does not appear to increase cancer risks.

            Still not something you’d want to inhale/ingest, but compared to it’s decay products, it’s far less biological and radiologically dangerous.

            And yeah, arsenic is toxic due to being very electrochemically similar to phosphate, allowing for it to replace it in key phosphorylated biomolecules, where unlike phosphate it ends up binding far more strongly in the active sites of enzymes in the Krebs Cycle.

  4. The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 5

    For anyone interested in how bad things are becoming at Fukushima, I can heartily recommend the IAEA’s nuclear accident update log – good information, no commentary from “experts” – or worse, interpretation from journalists who don’t seem qualified to interpret nuclear meltdowns. It does mean you need to draw your own conclusions about the future direction of the reactors, but I have to say that I’m concerned that most of the worst-case scenarios do seem to have eventuated.

    • ianmac 5.1

      Thanks EISG. Thank goodness that the information therein seems credible and nearly understood by a Bear with very Little Brain. Still worthwhile to grapple with the discussion above.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      I have seen videos of ‘experts’ on you tube saying they got data from the IAEA. But that data isn’t publicly available on their website. One video I saw was talking about radiation rates observed the area north-west of Japan, which has since been made publicly available only in the last couple of days or so.

      So while the IAEA is one of the best sources to go to, it seems that they aren’t publishing everything, and that some experts and other agencies may actually have an ‘inside run’ on the latest developments.

      • The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 5.2.1

        I’ve noticed that the data appearing on the IAEA site is slower to come out than in the mainstream media – so I don’t think they’re withholding anything, but their turnaround cycle on the website is definitely slower than in the general media. I’m tending to read the MSM reports with a degree of skepticism until the IAEA provides a more accurate view a day or two later. YMMV.

        • Bright Red 5.2.1.1

          “The International Atomic Energy Agency said safe limits had been exceeded at Iitate village, 40km northwest of Fukushima, well outside the government-imposed 20km exclusion zone and the 30km “stay indoors” zone.

          “The first assessment indicates that one of the IAEA operational criteria for evacuation is exceeded in Iitate village,” the IAEA’s head of nuclear safety and security, Denis Flory, told reporters.”

  5. freedom 6

    The USO said about 200,000 U.S. personnel are being evacuated from Japan to U.S. West Coast cities including San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle/JBLM.

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/27248974/detail.html

    http://uncensored.co.nz/2011/03/25/stuxnet-japan-division/

    As always there is more to the stories than the scraps we are fed yet 200,000 personnel is most definitely news and most definitely is not being reported in the msm

    as a comparison, it would be like announcing the withdrawl of all military servicemen and private contractors out of Iraq

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      The Americans are always over-cautious and paranoid about this sort of thing, though. Look at all the fear whipped up by three mile island.

      I also wonder about the numbers in the first article. At the start it talks about 15,000, and says that 6,700 and 8,000 have arrived at specific basis. At the bottom out of nowhere it suddenly says 200,000. I wonder if that’s a typo or something and it really should be 20,000?

      I also think if 200,000 people had moved out of Japan, we’d know about it. The sheer number of flights and ships required to move that many people within the course of a month is mind-boggling. This article was posted 10 days ago and yet nothing more has been mentioned anywhere about it. Doesn’t add up.

      I checked the http://www.usopsa.org website mentioned in the article. There’s no mention of this evacuation on the site, and the press releases haven’t been updated since 2010.

      As for the stuxnet thing, that’s pretty much tin-foil hat territory. Evidence for stuxnet points firmly at US and Israeli government agents writing viruses specifically to target the equipment used in Iranian centrifuges and fuel enrichment centres. I read an article a couple of months ago that said new evidence indicates that the stuxnet virus was disrupting Iran’s nuclear programme about a full year before it became public knowledge.

      The nuclear power plants in Japan that are currently having issues are far removed from the equipment used to enrich nuclear fuel in Iran, and probably aren’t even made by the same manufacturer. Stuxnet was also a deliberate attack on Iran, it seems unlikely it could make its way to Japan through any other than deliberate means, which again is unlikely.

      • freedom 6.1.1

        i posted the uso story to see if anyone else had heard or knew of any other data as i was having trouble finding confirmation, ( which in itself these days is hardly a reason to disbelieve anything.)

        the stuxnet issue is a little more interesting as the plant uses Siemens gear and there are reports of stuxnet affecting many machines outside of Iran. The growing theory is not that the stuxnet caused the fault because as we all know it was the Tsunami that damaged the plant, what is being suggested is that the Siemens/Stuxnet problems the plant was already experiencing may have affected the plant’s ability to function properly

  6. joe90 8

    News that an actual meltdown may be under way and the president of TEPCO playing where’s Wally, worrying.

  7. joe90 9

    Dr. A. Gopalakrishnan, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board in India speaks about the ongoing problems with the Fukushima reactors

  8. Draco T Bastard 10

    Dangerous Levels of Radioactive Isotope Found 25 Miles From Nuclear Plant

    The isotope, cesium 137, was measured in one village by the International Atomic Energy Agency at a level exceeding the standard that the Soviet Union used as a gauge to recommend abandoning land surrounding the Chernobyl reactor, and at another location not precisely identified by the agency at more than double the Soviet standard.

    The measurements, reported Wednesday, would not be high enough to cause acute radiation illness, but far exceed standards for the general public designed to cut the risks of cancer.

    Seems to be getting even worse as time goes by.

  9. Peter 11

    FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR RADIATION IS FOREVER.

    http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/03/27/18675697.php

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article27229.html

    Japan downplaying the Ionizing Radiation for so many days is scandalous and
    tantamount to global genocide.

  10. RedLogix 12

    The crucial point no-one wants to face up to is that everyone of the 450 odd BWR or PWR reactors currently operating in the world are vulnerable to exactly the same failure mode, loss of power to the cooling pumps for a period long enough to compromise fuel integrity.

    Which depending on the exact operating conditions at the time, can be a remarkably short period.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government funding to fight infectious diseases
    $36 million for research into Covid-19 and other infectious diseases The investment will improve our readiness for future pandemics Research will focus on prevention, control, and management of infectious diseases The Government’s investing in a new Infectious Diseases Research Platform to boost Aotearoa New Zealand’s Covid-19 response and preparedness for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Quarantine-free travel with Australia to remain suspended for a further 8 weeks
    Suspension to be reviewed again mid to late November Decision brought forward to enable access from Australia to first tranche of around 3000 rooms in MIQ Air New Zealand working at pace to put on more flights from Australia from October    The suspension of quarantine-free travel (QFT) with Australia has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Extra support for Ethnic Communities to share vaccination information
    Extra support is being made available to Ethnic Communities to help them share COVID-19 vaccination information within their communities, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan said. “We know we need to get every eligible person in New Zealand vaccinated. A fund being launched today will allow for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School holidays remain unchanged for Auckland region
    School holidays in Auckland will continue to be held at the same time as the rest of the country, starting from Saturday, 2 October, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “I’ve carefully considered advice on the implications of shifting the dates and concluded that on balance, maintaining the status quo ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government continues crackdown on gangs and organised crime
    Operation Tauwhiro extended until March 2022 Since it was launched in February, Operation Tauwhiro has resulted in:   987 firearms seized $4.99 million in cash seized 865 people charged with a firearms-related offence Gangs and organised crime groups will continue to be relentlessly targeted with the extension of Police’s successful ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to Body Positive 'HIV Treatments Update Seminar 2021'
    E ngā mana E ngā reo E ngā iwi Tēnā koutou katoa Ka huri ki ngā mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēnā koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I te kaupapa o te rā. Nō reira tēnā koutou katoa Acknowledgements It’s a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy’s strong momentum will support rebound from Delta outbreak; COVID fund replenished
    The economy showed strong momentum in the period leading up to the recent Delta COVID-19 outbreak, which bodes well for a solid economic rebound, Grant Robertson said. GDP rose 2.8 percent in the June quarter, following on from a 1.4 percent increase in the previous March quarter. This was a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Projects create benefits into the future
    Making a well-known lake swimmable and helping to halt the decline of the endangered hoiho/yellow-eyed penguins are among a suite of new projects being supported by the Government’s Jobs for Nature programme across the southern South Island, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “It’s no secret that many of our most ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Opening statement for Whāriki Indigenous Small Business Roundtable
      Kei ngā tōpito e wha o te āo e rere ana te mihi maioha ki a koutou nō tawhiti, nō tata mai e tāpiri ana ki tēnei taumata kōrero mo te ao hokohoko arā mā ngā pākihi mo ngā iwi taketake Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa – Pai Mārire.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New members appointed to Kāpuia
    The Government is adding four additional members to Kāpuia, the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch mosques. “I’m looking forward to having Pamela MacNeill, Huia Bramley, Melani Anae and Katherine Dedo  join Kāpuia and contribute to this group’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Timeline confirmed for Emissions Reductions Plan
    Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today. “Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pay parity pathway for early learning teachers confirmed
    Pay parity conditions and higher funding rates for education and care services will come into force on 1 January, 2022, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government signalled this work in Budget 2021. “From 1 January, 2022, centres opting into the scheme will receive government funding and be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Nurses Organisation Conference 2021
    Kia Ora tatau katoa.   Ka tuku mihi ki nga nēhi, He pou Hauora o Aotearoa, E ora ai tatou.   Whakatau mai  I runga i te kaupapa o te ra Te NZNO conference.   Tena koutou tena koutou Tena tatou katoa   Good morning, and thank you inviting me ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government investment in farmer-led catchment groups sweeps past 150 mark
    171 catchment groups have now been invested in by the Government 31 catchment groups in the Lower North Island are receiving new support More than 5,000 farmers are focussed on restoring freshwater within a generation through involvement in catchment groups  Government investment in on-the-ground efforts by farmers to improve land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Fight to protect kauri on track
    The Government is pitching in to help vital work to protect nationally significant kauri forests in Auckland, Minister of Conservation Kiri Allan says. “Ensuring the survival of these iconic trees for future generations means doing everything we can to prevent the potential spread of kauri dieback disease,” Kiri Allan said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement of Mr Bernard Monk; Hon Andrew Little, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry,...
    [Note: The Parties have agreed on terms to fully and finally settle the proceeding and will jointly issue the below statement.] At the heart of this litigation are the lives of the 29 men tragically lost at the Pike River mine on 19 November 2010 and to whom we pay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More financial support for businesses
    Today’s decision to keep Auckland in a higher COVID Alert Level triggers a third round of the Wage Subsidy Scheme which will open for applications at 9am this Friday. “The revenue test period for this payment will be the 14th to the 27th of September. A reminder that this is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand provides further humanitarian support for Afghanistan
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing a further $3 million in humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  “There is significant humanitarian need in Afghanistan, with the crisis disproportionately affecting women and girls,” said Nanaia Mahuta. The UN has estimated that 80% of the quarter of a million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Innovative te reo prediction tool announced in Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori
    A new Māori language prediction tool will play a key role in tracking our te reo Māori revitalisation efforts, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. He Ara Poutama mō te reo Māori (He Ara Poutama) can forecast the number of conversational and fluent speakers of te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further Government support for people to access food and essential items
    The Government is responding to need for support in Auckland and has committed a further $10 million to help people access ongoing food and other essential items, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced today. This latest tranche is targeted at the Auckland region, helping providers and organisations to distribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Half a million Pfizer vaccines from Denmark
    The Government has secured an extra half a million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines from Denmark that will start arriving in New Zealand within days, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “This is the second and larger agreement the Government has entered into to purchase additional vaccines to meet the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Inland Revenue providing essential COVID support for businesses
    Inland Revenue is seeing increased demand for Resurgence Support Payments and other assistance schemes that it administers, but is processing applications quickly, Revenue Minister David Parker said today. David Parker said the Resurgence Support Payment, the Small Business Cashflow (loan) Scheme and the Wage Subsidy are available at the same ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand marks 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
    New Zealand is expressing unity with all victims, families and loved ones affected by the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks, and all terrorist attacks around the world since, including in New Zealand. “Saturday marks twenty years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which killed nearly 3,000 people ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to SPREP Environment Ministers
    Talofa Honourable Ulu of Tokelau Faipule Kelihiano Kalolo Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings from Aotearoa to your excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. The new science released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 8 August paints an alarming picture of the projected impacts of climate change on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Resurgence Support Payments to support business
    Businesses affected by higher Alert Levels will be able to apply for further Resurgence Support Payments (RSP). “The Government’s RSP was initially intended as a one-off payment to help businesses with their fixed costs, such as rent. Ministers have agreed to provide additional payments to recognise the effects of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More Dawn Raids scholarships announced
    Details of the ‘Manaaki New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships’, a goodwill gesture that follows the Government’s apology for the Dawn Raids of the 1970s, were released today by Pacific Peoples Minister Aupito William Sio. “These scholarships that are targeted to the Pacific will support the kaupapa of the Dawn Raids’ ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • One-way quarantine-free travel for RSE workers starting in October
      One-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu starts in October New requirement for RSE workers to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt boosts Pacific suicide prevention support
    Applications have opened for the Pacific Suicide Prevention Community Fund as the Government acts to boost support amid the COVID delta outbreak. “We know strong and connected families and communities are the most important protective factor against suicide and this $900,000 fund will help to support this work,” Health Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt parks the expiry of licenses, WoFs and regos
    As a result of the Delta outbreak, driver licences, Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs), vehicle licences (‘regos’) and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will be valid until 30 November 2021, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today. “While this extension won’t officially ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls
    Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19. “We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Next phase of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response announced
    A further NZ$12 million of support for Fiji’s COVID-19 response has been announced by Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today. The package builds on previous tranches of assistance Aotearoa New Zealand has provided to Fiji, totalling over NZ$50 million. “Fiji remains in a very challenging position in their response to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Robotic asparagus harvester aimed at addressing industry challenges
    The Government is backing a $5 million project to develop a commercial-scale autonomous robotic asparagus harvester, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) is contributing $2.6 million to the project. Project partner Robotics Plus Limited (RPL) will build on a prototype asparagus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional Pfizer vaccines to arrive tomorrow
    More than a quarter of a million additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine are on their way from Spain to New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The additional doses will arrive in Auckland on Friday morning to help meet the current surge in demand for vaccination. “It’s been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Young people to have their voices heard in Youth Parliament 2022
    The dates and details for Youth Parliament 2022 have been announced today by Minister for Youth Priyanca Radhakrishnan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Youth Parliament is an opportunity for 141 young people from across Aotearoa New Zealand to experience the political process and learn how government works. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Boosting support for tertiary students affected by COVID-19
    Students facing a hard time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions will continue to be supported,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. The Government is putting a further $20 million into the Hardship Fund for Learners, which will help around 15,000 students to stay connected to their studies and learning. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Immediate relief available for Māori and iwi organisations
    The Government has reprioritised up to $5 million to provide immediate relief to vulnerable whānau Māori and communities during the current COVID-19 outbreak Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The COVID-19 2021 Whānau Recovery Fund will support community-driven, local responses to gaps in access and provision of critical ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New beef genetics programme to deliver cows with smaller environmental hoof-print
    The Government is backing a genetics programme to lower the beef sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by delivering cows with a smaller environmental hoof-print, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Informing New Zealand Beef is a seven-year partnership with Beef + Lamb New Zealand that is expected to result in more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins today announced new appointments to the board of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Former Associate Minister of Education, Hon Tracey Martin, has been appointed as the new Chair for NZQA, replacing the outgoing Acting and Deputy Chair Professor Neil Quigley after an 11-year tenure on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt supports residential house building by allowing manufacture of building supplies
    The Government has agreed to allow some building product manufacturing to take place in Auckland during Covid lockdown to support continued residential construction activity across New Zealand. “There are supply chain issues that arise from Alert Level 4 as building products that are manufactured domestically are mostly manufactured in Auckland. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government invests in scientific research to boost economy, address climate change and enhance wellb...
    Research, Science and Innovation Minister Hon Dr Megan Woods has today announced the recipients of this year’s Endeavour Fund to help tackle the big issues that New Zealanders care about, like boosting economic performance, climate change, transport infrastructure and wellbeing. In total, 69 new scientific research projects were awarded over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago