A team of journalists who observed the decontamination work in the region last month added: “Water sprayed on contaminated buildings has been allowed to drain back into the environment. And supervisors have instructed workers to ignore rules on proper collection and disposal of the radioactive waste.”
[Editor's note: Earlier this year, it was reported researchers from Stanford University found cesium levels 10 times higher than those found in bluefin tuna from the years before the disaster.]
The mainstream media is finished with Fukushima, but it seems Fukushima isn’t finished with us. A couple of irradiated fish captured near the inoperative nuclear plant showed 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo—258 times the level determined ‘safe’ by the government.
The plant ceased operations following a meltdown involving three reactors after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in March of 2011.
Radiation Spike in Fish
Since June, officials have allowed fishing outside a 31-mile radius from the plant while being purportedly stunned by the record radiation levels of the fish. Until the recently captured pair of greenlings, record radiation levels had been at 18,700 becquerels per kilo as found in cherry salmons. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is intent on capturing more of and researching the fish, their food sources, as well as their habitats to explain the 7,100 becquerels jump.
Of course there is no ‘safe’ level of radiation, and food contaminated with high amounts of radiation can be especially dangerous. Not too long ago, it was found that radioactive food (food contaminated with radiation from Fukushima or others sources), is actually comparable to receiving hundreds of X-rays.
Radiation’s Wide Effects
Radiation cast an even wider net, however, than for fish alone. Butterflies with disfigured eyes, legs, and antennae and stunted wings have caught the eye of scientists and put fear in the hearts of locals. The Sixth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey has declared that 36 percent of Fukushima children have malformed thyroid growths and may develop cancer. Infants and young people are most endangered by radiation’s effects, according to the World Health Organization, because cellular division occurs faster.
Fukushima plant operators have already admitted that the Fukushima radiation levels emitted from the disaster exceeds almost two and a half times the initial ‘estimate’ produced by Japanese safety regulators. Researchers have also stated that the amount of radioactive isotope caesium-137 released at the height of the crisis was equivalent to 42% of that from Chernobyl. This is cause for concern, and prompts a serious need for protection.
For now, it’s best to avoid certain varieties of fish from particular areas. Keep in mind that somecontaminated tuna have been found off the California coast.
Remember that no dose of radiation is safe and there are variables to consider when protecting yourself from it.
Not much information comes out of Japan about Fukushima anymore, and the American MSM seems to have forgotten what watered down reporting they had done earlier. But the human suffering has begun in Japan, and even the Japanese government is trying to pretend it’s not happening.
The Fukushima reactors were designed by General Electric, and 23 reactors of the USA’s 104 operating reactors are very similar to Fukushima’s. Lately, awareness of nuclear power’s pitfalls is growing and casting a shadow on nuclear power’s illegitimate claim of sustainability and unlimited power.
The suffering has already begun
Thousands of Japanese children from Fukushima and the nearby areas have been diagnosed with cysts and nodules on their thyroid glands. So far, 41.1 percent of 57,000 tested have shown these early warnings of potential thyroid cancer.
Even worse, four out of five Fukushima evacuees have been observed with developing thyroid abnormalities. It’s not just iodide isotopes with their relatively short radioactive half-lives that can penetrate thyroid glands, cesium-37 isotopes with longer half-lives can too. Here’s the shocking truth about radioactive half-life. (http://www.lbl.gov/abc/Basic.html#Half)
However, the official medical line from the head of this research is that maybe they’ve eaten too much seafood or taken too much iodine. It’s also an official decree that the testing be stopped before it begins in other areas of Japan.
Even in Tokyo, doctors are reporting dramatically increased incidents of incurable diarrhea, non-stop nose bleeds, and flu-like symptoms. Some parents are becoming activists in Japan to get at the truth and get their childrentreated properly. Children are more easily affected by radiation poisoning.
A Japanese pediatrician even put out a YouTube video asking for outside help since the Japanese government is not helping as they should. (http://enenews.com)
Dr. Christopher Busby, visiting professor at the University of Ulster’s School of Biomedical Sciences and Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Risk put out this video about Fukushima. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdvfsBsXNS4)
He’s been attacked. But as a saying goes: “You know you’re getting close to the target when you’re getting flack.” Here’s Busby’s counter attack: http://fukushimaupdate.com
Nuclear power is dangerous no matter how it’s used
Even with flawless operation, the growing problem of where to put power plants’ spent fuel rods, which are actually still very radioactive for centuries, is becoming an issue that’s swept under the rug. Using DU (depleted uranium) for ammunition has been one outlet for nuclear waste.
Depleted uranium is a misleading term. Depleted means it’s not suitable for nuclear reactor use. But it’s still highly radioactive. Uranium metal is extremely hard, and DU is used to on projectiles and bullets in modern warfare because of DU’s ability to penetrate even armor.
When the projectiles hit targets, they explode and a radioactive mist is released into the immediate environment. Even before that, those projectiles tend to ignite and release radioactive materials. These local radioactive mists get into the area’s water and soil and remain for thousands of years.
This has begun in Iraq and elsewhere. These mists can also be carried far away from the immediate areas as radioactive measurements in the UK have demonstrated. In effect, nuclear war has been practiced for decades by the U.S. and its allies by using DU ammunition, which the UN had earlier declared illegal.
A massive underground radioactive waste “tomb” is under construction in Finland. It’s known as Onkalo, and it’s featured in a documentary entitled Into Eternity. Onkalo is only for Finland’s nuclear waste. Sweden and France may follow soon. Will others follow, or is it already too late?
Fukushima plant operators are now admitting that the Fukushima radiation levels emitted from the disaster exceeds almost two and a half times the initial ‘estimate’ produced by Japanese safety regulators. The announcement comes after independent researchers exposed the true amount of radiation leaked from the plant back in October of 2011. The study revealed that significantly more radioactive caesium was released into the atmosphere as a result of the Fukushima explosion than many nuclear experts previously told the public.
Fukushima Radiation Levels: A Cause for Concern
The researchers from this study went against the official explanations (now confirmed as bogus by the operators themselves), and stated that the amount of radioactive isotope caesium-137 released at the height of the crisis was equivalent to 42% of that from Chernobyl. And that’s just the amount released at the height of the event. Many experts have actually labeled the Fukushima event to be even more catastrophic than the Chernobyl incident. Scientists who challenged the official report published their findings online in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, and authors state that Fukushima radiation levels truly began flooding the environment between being struck by the magnitude-9 earthquake on March 11th and being hit with a tsunami 45 minutes later.
Maxim Shingarkin, an expert in nuclear and radiation security, commented on the situation in Fukushima:
“In fact, this statement came with a big delay. The operating company deliberately concealed this information. The explanation is simple – the company is afraid that any checking by competent experts would reveal its inability to save the situation. Only recently, foreign experts founded a consultative body for the clean-up of the accident’s consequences. Moreover, the company is concealing the information about the amount of pollution of the environment.”
The plant now states that the meltdowns which took place at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant released about 900,000 terabecquerels of radioactive substances into the air. But what happened to the majority of the radioactive contamination? According to the earlier report, 20% of the caesium-137 fell on Japanese land, and about 2% ended up on land outside the country. The remainder came down in the Pacific Ocean. Is it any wonder that ‘hidden’ deaths are now being reported by scientific research?
Health and radiation experts are now admitting that radiation stemming from the Fukushima disaster is leading to an unknown number of deaths as a result of increasing cancer rates around the globe. They are also stating that these deaths will be ‘hidden’ from the public eye due to a lack of accurate identification when it comes to targeting Fukushima-related cancer deaths.
It seems that Japanese government officials and plant higher-ups are now being forced to reveal certain details of the Fukushima disaster. From concealing integral information from the public to ignoring the real threat to public health, there is sincere lack of honesty and communication between many worldwide health officials and the citizens of the world. As information continues to surface, more and more truths will be expelled from the mainstream media and ‘health’ officials alike regarding the troubling event.
Fukushima Daiichi Reactor building 4 with its exposed fuel pool.
Chris Canine – who has 15 years experience as a health physics technician, chemist and radiation safety instructor – told Energy News that if number 4 reactor fuel pool at Fukushima collapses, Japan will be evacuated.
He did not elaborate on how such a logistical nightmare would be accomplished.
Canine worked at Fukushima in the late 1970s and has also worked at over twenty nuclear plants in the United States, Japan and Mexico.
There are several reasons why I believe the country will be evacuated if the #4 SFP collapses. The amount of radioactive material in the fuel pool dwarfs the total amount at Chernobyl by a factor of 5 to 10. Chernobyl’s core was still mostly contained in a building (although heavily damaged), and most of the radioactive material melted downward and became lava like. If #4 SFP collapses it will be lying on the completely open ground, probably going critical on and off in portions of the pile for years. The dose rate from this pile will make dropping sand or anything from the air much more lethal than anything at Chernobyl. And probably impossible. The entire site at Fukushima will be uninhabitable and unworkable because of the dose rate coming from this pile of fuel. That means there will be no control of the other fuel pools, and we could lose control of them.
Nuclear experts will soft sell the ramifications because that is how the industry works. When the experts “have concerns” about the situation at #4 that means they are pooping their pants. My experience at Fukushima was 30 years ago. I worked in the industry for about 15 years as a health physics technician. I was also referred to as a “nuclear gypsy” because I traveled from plant to plant working outages. That meant I was always in the middle of the hottest jobs in the heart of the plant. The engineers will talk about this part or that part of a plant, but I have been all those places wearing full gear.
In late February of this year it was reported that the Japanese government considered evacuating the country’s most populous city, Tokyo.
A number of experts have called for evacuating areas of the country due to high radiation levels. Australian physician and anti-nuclear activist Dr. Helen Caldicott said in August that response by the Japanese government to the radiation danger posed by the destroyed plant has not been sufficient.
“The number of people evacuated is nothing compared to the total number of people at risk in Fukushima, which has a population of around two million or so in the prefecture,” Caldicott said.
She called for the immediate evacuation of the area northwest of Fukushima where people have been exposed to massive amounts of radiation. “The levels at which the Russians evacuated Chernobyl was at 500,000 becquerels,” she explained, “they have measured in these areas levels of between 3.5 and 14.5 million becquerels.”
Earlier this month, the Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported that TEPCO, the plant operator, had requested government permission to abandon the stricken facility following hydrogen explosions at the number 1 and 3 reactors and this “may very well have meant evacuating all of eastern Japan.”
The Troop Support branch of the Defense Logistics Agency has decided to replenish its stockpiles of anti-radiation pills, citing the ongoing crisis at Fukushima and the potential for nuclear fallout as a primary reason behind the bulk purchase.
According to a solicitation on the FedBizOpps.gov website, the DLA is looking to finalize the purchase of almost $400,000 dollars worth of potassium iodide pills, which work by helping the the body’s thyroid gland block cancer-causing radioiodines.
The posting states that the DLA requires 75,000 blister packs of pills, each of which contain 14 potassium iodide tablets, enough to last 2 weeks for one adult. The solicitation specifies the need to “ensure that critical operational forces are protected in the event of nuclear fallout,” as the reason behind the purchase, adding that, “The recent earthquake in Japan in March of 2011 and the resultant nuclear crisis has renewed interest in this item.”
Despite the mainstream media’s disinterest in the ongoing Fukushima crisis, now into its 14th month, experts have warned that the situation at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant is at its most critical phase.
As we reported last week, according to insiders the Japanese government has drawn up contingency plans for the potential evacuation of Greater Tokyo’s 39 million residents due to the threat posed by the potential meltdown of Fukushima’s reactor number 4, which holds 75% as much nuclear fuel as the entire Chernobyl complex did prior to its meltdown.
“The worse-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but the disintegration of spent fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. If this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate,” according to a Mainichi Daily News editorial by senior writer Takao Yamada which cited defense insiders.
Diplomat Akio Matsumura went further, warning that the collapse of reactor number 4 would “certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced,” adding that the 11,138 spent fuel assemblies stored at the Fukushima plant contain “134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident.”
Matsumura chillingly cautioned that should the worst case scenario unfold, the resulting radioactive fallout “would destroy the world environment and our civilization.”
Radiation from the Fukushima plant was recently detected on the west coast of the United States by marine biologists who found giant kelp collected along the coast from Laguna Beach to as far north as Santa Cruz to be contaminated with radiation as high as samples found in British Columbia, Canada, and northern Washington State in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
In the immediate aftermath of the beginning of the Fukushima nuclear crisis, there was a run on potassium iodide pills as panic buying exhausted stocks, prompting some retailers to demand up to $300 dollars for packs of the medication which would normally sell for just $15 dollars.
The U.S. Army is seemingly treating the threat of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear plant with much more seriousness than health authorities in Fukushima itself. As we highlighted recently, almost a quarter of residents who attempt to receive treatment for radiation poisoning are instead being treated for “psychiatric disorders,” with fear of contamination being characterized by as a mental illness.
As the Business Insider website points out, the DLA purchase could also be related to an upcoming attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities which threatens to disperse radiation over a wide area.
“Destroying one of the most likely Iranian targets, the 1000-megawatt Bushehr nuclear plant, would create just such a concern,” write Eloise Lee and Robert Johnson. “When Israel destroyed Iraq’s Osiris 70-megawatt nuclear reactor in a bold 1981 attack, the plant hadn’t yet been stocked with nuclear fuel so there was no risk of radiation.
But an attack on Iran’s Bushehr plant, which has been stocked with radioactive fuel rods since 2010, would be an incalculable mess.”
Kelp off California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state’s coastline, according to a new scientific study.
Scientists from CSU Long Beach tested giant kelp collected off Orange County, Santa Cruz and other locations after the March 2011 accident and detected radioactive iodine, which was released from the damaged nuclear reactor.
The largest concentration was about 250 times higher than levels found in kelp before the accident.
Diplomat Akio Matsumura is warning that the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan may ultimately turn into an event capable of extinguishing all life on Earth.
Matsumura posted a startling entry on his blog following a statement made by Japan’s former ambassador to Switzerland, Mitsuhei Murata, on the situation at Fukushima.
Speaking at a public hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, Murata warned that “if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 – with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground – collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4,” writes Matsumura.
In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries. Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421.
Matsumura then asked Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy, about the the impact of such an additional catastrophe at Fukushima.
Containing radiation at the crippled facility will be not small feat, Alvarez explained. “Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks,” Alvarez told Matsumura.
He then said the 11,138 spent fuel assemblies stored at the Fukushima plant contain “134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection.”
“It is important for the public to understand that reactors that have been operating for decades, such as those at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet,” he concluded.
Matsumura admits this is an astounding number and one difficult to comprehend. He wrote that 85 times more Cesium-137 than released at Chernobyl “would destroy the world environment and our civilization. This is not rocket science, nor does it connect to the pugilistic debate over nuclear power plants. This is an issue of human survival.”
Akio Matsumura sent a letter United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on NO.4 reactor. This is confirmed by most reliable experts like Dr. Arnie Gundersen or Dr. Fumiaki Koide,” he wrote to Ki-Moon. “The world has been made so fragile and vulnerable. The role of the United Nations is increasingly vital. I wish you the best of luck in your noble mission.”
No word yet if this situation even registers on the United Nations’ radar screen.
Despite the fact that it long since disappeared from major news headlines, an editorial in one of Japan’s leading newspapers warns that the Fukushima crisis is still at a critical stage and that the Japanese government has drawn up contingency plans for the potential evacuation of Greater Tokyo’s 39 million residents.
Fukushima’s reactor number 4, which holds 75% as much nuclear fuel as the entire Chernobyl complex did prior to its meltdown, 460 tons in total, is at risk of collapse. With the roof of the complex blown away, if the storage pool for the spent fuel, which is housed on the 3rd and 4th floors of the building, were to fracture then the nuclear fuel would overheat and explode, spreading radioactive fallout over a wide area.
Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and French nuclear energy company Areva have warned that reactor number 4 is the “weakest link” out of the entire Fukushima complex. The Tokyo Electric Power Company has resisted calls to bury the spent fuel rods in concrete, citing the cost, but an editorial in Japan’s Mainichi Daily News quotes government insiders who warn that the potential collapse of the reactor is “a grave concern.”
“Because sea water was being pumped into the reactor, the soundness of the structure (concrete corrosion and deterioration) was questionable. There also were doubts about the calculations made on earthquake resistance as well,” said one government source familiar with what took place at the time. “It’s been suggested that the building would be reinforced, and spent fuel rods would be removed from the pool under those conditions. But fuel rod removal will take three years. Will the structure remain standing for that long?”
As part of contingency planning for the collapse of reactor number 4, the Japanese government has drawn up a blueprint for forcibly evacuating 39 million residents out of the Tokyo metropolitan area.
“The worse-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but the disintegration of spent fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. If this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate,” according to the editorial by senior writer Takao Yamada.
The radiation exposure Tokyo residents are already receiving as a result of the disaster are certain to cause devastating health effects for decades to come.
Last week TEPCO announced that, “it has found that the cooling water in one of the damaged reactors (number 2) at Fukushima is only 60 centimeters deep, far lower than previously thought.” Radioactive material from the stricken nuclear plant has been found in sea creatures and ocean water some 600 km off the coast of Japan.
“There was a chance early on that a storage pool collapse could be prevented, but according to the report Tokyo Electric Power Co. refused to take the necessary steps as a cost-cutting measure,” writes Mac Slavo.
“If storage pools in the No. 4 reactor collapse and disintegrate as the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has warned could happen, we will see a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented scale as millions of refugees will have no choice but to flee Tokyo. They’ll have no possessions, no money, no food, no water, no shelter, and a very fragile safety net.”
As we highlighted last week, while residents in Fukushima and surrounding areas continue to express justified concern over radiation poisoning, almost a quarter of them are instead being treated for “psychiatric disorders,” with fear of contamination being characterized by health authorities as a mental illness.
One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant’s stability.
A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The probe done in January failed to find the water surface and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity.
Nuclear fuel pool at Fukushima prior to earthquake.
The corporate media is again ignoring a major and potentially catastrophic development at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
Kyodo News reported on March 15 that “that the clarity of water inside the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 unit may have deteriorated based on a survey conducted by a camera,” according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator.
TEPCO said “visibility in the pool is only about 1 meter, far less than the approximately 7 meters needed to work at removing nuclear fuel from the pool as part of the process of scrapping the four reactors severely damaged by last year’s nuclear accident.”
One month ago, TEPCO was able to see approximately five meters into the spent fuel pool water.
The spent fuel rods pose considerable hazard. In order to reduce “decay heat,” the rods must remain submerged in circulating water. If exposed to air, they combust and release large amounts of radioactive cesium-137.
Following the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima plant last year, the Japanese government underestimated the amount of radiation released into the environment, including cessium-137 from the fuel pool at reactor 4.
The Fukushima crisis continues to worsen by the day, with nuclear experts around the world finally realizing and admitting we’ve all been lied to. “I think maybe the situation is much more serious than we were led to believe,” said Najmedin Meshkati of the University of Southern California, in a Reuters report (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011…). That same article revealed that recent radiation readings at Fukushima show “contamination 100,000 times normal in water at reactor No. 2 and 1,850 times normal in the nearby sea.”
Massachusetts rainwater has also been found to be contaminated with low levels of radiation from Fukushima, indicating just how widespread the radioactive fallout has become. It’s not just the West Coast of North America that’s vulnerable, in other words: even the East Coast could receive dangerous levels of fallout if Fukushima suffers a larger release of radioactive material into the air.
Rolling blackouts are now continuing throughout Japan due to the drop in power production from Fukushima diminishing Japan’s electricity generating capacity (http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/20…). The only reason Japan isn’t experiencing widespread power blackouts right now is because so many factories were damaged or swept away from the tsunami itself. Once a serious rebuilding effort gets underway, Japan is going to find itself critically short of electrical power.
The radiation leaking from Reactor No. 2 is now measured at 1,000 millisieverts an hour — more than enough to cause someone’s hair to fall out from a single exposure event. Radiation sickness can begin at just 100 millisieverts. The extremely high levels of radiation are, in fact, making it nearly impossible for workers to continue working at the reactor. “You’d have a lot of difficulty putting anyone in there,” said Richard Wakeford, a radiation epidemiology expert at the Dalton Nuclear Institute in Manchester. “They’re finding quite high levels of radiation fields, which is impeding their progress dealing with the situation.” (http://www.businessweek.com/news/20…)
The worsening Fukushima situation is also starting to spook nearby nations such as Taiwan, which also depends on nuclear power. The DPP opposition party there announced today that it wanted to see nuclear power phased out by 2025. Taiwan is a relatively small island nation, and a Fukushima-like catastrophe would leave most of the island residents with nowhere to go. And like Japan, Taiwan is also vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis (as well as hurricanes).
A d v e r t i s e m e n t
In Germany, massive demonstrations (200,000 people in four large cities) have brought the nuclear safety issue to the forefront, contributing heavily to the defeat of Merkel and the rise to power of the Green Party in southwestern Germany (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/w…). Germans tend to have very strong opposition to nuclear power, in much the same way that most Europeans despise genetically modified foods.
The truth is that many nations are rethinking nuclear power right now, thanks to the corruption, cover-ups and outright deceptions that we’re now finding out were behind the Fukushima power plant catastrophe. The nuclear industry, it turns out, is one big profit incest fest where the regulators are deeply in bed with the very industry they’re supposed to regulate (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100…).
Then again, what rich, powerful industry isn’t in bed with its regulators? It’s true with Big Pharma and the FDA just as much as it is with the nuclear power industry and its corrupt regulators. Every government-run regulator eventually becomes a marketing extension of the industry it was supposed to regulate.
That’s why Big Government never really works: Most of the regulators who are supposed to protect the people inevitably end up operating as industry whores. This entire Fukushima incident is a direct result of that deep-rooted corruption coming back to haunt humanity.
Watch for more reporting on this incident here at NaturalNews.com, and subscribe to our daily email alerts to be kept up to date on the situation: http://www.naturalnews.com/ReaderRe…
The Fukushima situation is nowhere near over. Now regulators are saying this might take not just weeks or months to sort out, but even years to fully rectify.
The half life of plutonium, it turns out, is a whole lot longer than the entire history of human civilization (24,000 years) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium). We would be wise to remember what we’re playing with when we attempt to harness the power of fission.
Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether seals are being killed by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s arctic coastline since July either injured or killed by a mysterious disease which biologists first thought was a virus.
But the bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the seals’ fur coats may have been caused by radiation from the stricken nuclear plant. Three reactors at the nuclear plant went into meltdown following the catastrophic tsunami caused by an 9.0-magnitude earthquake off Japan’s north-east coast in March.
Now animals several thousands miles away in Barrow, Alaska, are washing up with injuries thought to have been caused by the fallout from the nuclear meltdown.
A former nuclear engineer with three decades of experience at a major engineering firm … who has worked at all three nuclear power complexes operated by Tokyo Electric [said] “If the fuel is still inside the reactor core, that’s one thing” …. But if the fuel has been dispersed more widely, then we are far from any stable shutdown.”
Indeed, if the center of the reactors are in fact relatively “cold”, it may be because most of the hot radioactive fuel has leaked out of the containment vessels and escaped into areas where it can do damage to the environment.
After drilling a hole in the containment vessel of Fukushima reactor 2, Tepco cannot find the fuel. As AP notes:
The steam-blurred photos taken by remote control Thursday found none of the reactor’s melted fuel ….
The photos also showed inner wall of the container heavily deteriorated after 10 months of exposure to high temperature and humidity, Matsumoto said.
TEPCO workers inserted the endoscope — an industrial version of the kind of endoscope doctors use — through a hole in the beaker-shaped container at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant’s No. 2 reactor ….
The probe failed to find the water surface, which indicate the water sits at lower-than-expected levels inside the primary containment vessel and questions the accuracy of the current water monitors, Matsumoto said.
And while cold shutdown means that the water inside the reactors is below the boiling point, CNN reports:
Massive steam and water drops made it difficult to get a clear vision….
Given that steam forms when water boils, this is an indication that the reactor is not in cold shutdown.
Mainchi points out that reactors 1 and 3 are probably in no better shape:
The fuel inside the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors is believed to have melted through the pressure vessels and been accumulating in the outer primary containers after the Fukushima plant lost its key functions to cool the reactors in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is far from over, as new reports explains that water samples taken nearly 400 miles off the coast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean are showing radiation levels of up to 1,000 times higher than previous readings. Presenting their findings at the recent Ocean Sciences Meeting in Salt Lake City, Ut., scientists continued to claim these severely elevated radiation levels are not a significant health or environmental threat.
Back in June 2011, a ship carrying scientists traveled off the eastern coast of Japan collecting water samples at distances of roughly 20 miles to 400 miles from the coast. Upon analysis, these samples were found to contain elevated levels of cesium-137 at ten to 1,000 times higher than levels detected before the Fukushima disaster, which is highly alarming.
Included in the detections was the presence of radioactive silver, which is an obvious product of melted control rods at the nuclear facility. The mainstream media is claiming that this silver is simply a result of nuclear fission, but the reality of the situation is that this silver is evidence of a complete core meltdown at the facility, which is obviously having widespread repercussions.
Meanwhile, Hartmut Nies, an official from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), insists that all this radiation is not that big of a deal. He even went so far at the recent meeting to claim that “if it was not seawater, you could drink it without any problems,” a completely absurd position that has no grounding in science.
As part of their misinformation campaign, IAEA officials and others compared the radioactive cesium and silver to the naturally-occurring, elemental potassium-40 found in seawater. This natural potassium, of course, is much different than the radioactive elements being emitted from Fukushima, as sea creatures have developed a natural tolerance for potassium-40.
Even those falsely claiming that all this radiation is completely harmless to humans are at least admitting that the findings are indicative that the Fukushima nuclear facility is still leaking radiation into the environment. Marine chemist Ken Buesseler, for instance, who recently said radioactive seafood is safe and that he would eat it, toldFish Info & Servicesthat the reactor “still seems to be leaking,” and that it “hasn’t shut off completely.”
TEPCO reported today that more than eight tons of radioactive water has leaked from the number four reactor at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant after a frozen pipe burst. The electric company said none of the water reached outside of the stricken reactor containment building.
Fukushima reactor number 4 containment building.
TEPCO failed to winterize the reactor’s cooling system and this oversight led to fractures in pipes due to frozen water inside, according to reports.
“I wouldn’t say this is a positive development. But it isn’t something that would further stoke safety concerns over other nuclear plants,” Kenji Sumita, honorary professor at Osaka University, told Reuters. “If it hadn’t been for the Fukushima disaster, an incident like this could have gone unreported.”
Soon after the earthquake and tsunami that overwhelmed and damaged the Fukushima nuclear plant last year, a long history of covering up mismanagement, accidents, and disasters by TEPCO and its transnational business partner General Electric was revealed.
Most of the cover-ups involved safety violations related to earthquakes. In addition, TEPCO has repeatedly endangered the lives of employees. In 1999, a serious accident at Tokaimura exposed hundreds of people to radiation and resulted in the evacuation of thousands.
“Behind Japan’s escalating nuclear crisis sits a scandal-ridden energy industry in a comfy relationship with government regulators often willing to overlook safety lapses,” Public Intelligence wrote last March. “Leaks of radioactive steam and workers contaminated with radiation are just part of the disturbing catalog of accidents that have occurred over the years and been belatedly reported to the public, if at all.”
In early January, it was reported by a number of sources that radiation from Fukushima has spread worldwide. 20,000 premature deaths in the United States have been attributed to the increased level of radiation, up from an estimated 14,000 in December. Meanwhile, a sudden rise in thyroid cancer has stumped the medical establishment.
In December, a report was released indicating that levels of radioactive cesium had reached 50 million times normal levels in the ocean water off the coast of the Fukushima Dai-ichi facility. Following the report, TEPCO finally admitted that the disaster was ongoing and alarming quantities of radioactive strontium have leaked into the ocean.
Considering TEPCO’s history of habitual lies and cover-ups, its latest claim that more than eight tons of radioactive water from the number four reactor is not a threat to public health should not be accepted at face value.
Very low levels of radioactive iodine-131 have been detected throughout Europe, but the particles are not believed to pose a public health risk, the U.N.nuclear agency said on Friday.
NASA have released images of 2,400 stars, known as the Tarantula Nebula, that are producing intense radiation and powerful winds, believed to be the cause for the detection in the atmosphere
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based U.N. watchdog, said it did not believe the radioactive particles were from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant after its emergency in March.
Professor Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics at Britain’s Royal Berkshire Hospital, said any link with Fukushima was extremely unlikely. ’It is far more likely that the iodine may be as a result of excretion by patients undergoing medical treatment.
Just 48 hours after the onset of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the British government devised a propaganda campaign to downplay the severity of the crisis, a talking point that was hastily parroted by leading global warming alarmist George Monbiot.
“Internal emails seen by the Guardian show how the business and energy departments worked closely behind the scenes with the multinational companies EDF Energy, Areva and Westinghouse to try to ensure the accident did not derail their plans for a new generation of nuclear stations in the UK,” reports Rob Edwards.
“We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear,” wrote one official at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith labeled the complicity between the government and the nuclear industry in downplaying the crisis “appalling,” while Greenpeace’s Louise Hutchins said the emails provided evidence of “scandalous collusion”.
“Anti-nuclear people across Europe have wasted no time blurring this all into Chernobyl and the works,” said the BIS official in another email. “We need to quash any stories trying to compare this to Chernobyl.”
While this PR blitz was being coordinated, we now know that the Japanese government was deliberately lying about the severity of the radiation release from Fukushima in an effort to conceal the fact that the crisis was already on a par with Chernobyl.
Within just two weeks of the earthquake and tsunami that crippled the nuclear plant, the amount of radiation released from Fukushima already rivaled that of Chernobyl, the worst nuclear disaster up until that point.
The government’s public relations campaign to downplay the severity of the crisis was enthusiastically parroted by many quarters of the man-made global warming crowd, eager as they were to not let focus slip away from the deadly threat posed by the life-giving gas carbon dioxide, to the point where people like George Monbiot almost went so far as to characterize radiation as harmless and nutritious.
In the days and weeks after Fukushima, Monbiot, perhaps Britain’s foremost global warming alarmist, wrote a series of articles for the Guardian in which he made accusations that others had “wildly exaggerated the dangers of radioactive pollution”.
“As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the technology,” wrote Monbiot.
Monbiot’s rhetoric, in addition to the British government’s efforts to downplay the crisis, serve as a stark reminder that many leading environmentalists don’t give a damn about real threats to the environment, preferring instead to spend all their time obsessing about carbon dioxide emissions and thinking up new ways to exploit global warming fearmongering as a means of controlling every aspect of our lives.
This is an agenda enthusiastically pushed by the British government, which routinely works in consort with big think tanks to promote PR campaigns aimed at rescuing the anthropogenic climate change myth, about which Brits are becoming increasingly skeptical.
Recent readings taken roughly 19 miles out to sea from the Fukushima nuclear power facility in Japan have revealed radioisotope levels ten times higher than those measured in the Baltic and Black Seas after the massive Chernobyl disaster. Because Fukushima is much closer to water than the Chernobyl plant is, the ongoing fallout there is shaping up to be far worse than Chernobyl, at least as far as the world’s oceans are concerned, and time will tell just how devastating this massive disaster will be on the entire world as radiation continues to circulate around the globe.
“Given that the Fukushima nuclear power plant is on the ocean, and with leaks and runoff directly to the ocean, the impacts on the ocean will exceed those of Chernobyl, which was hundreds of miles from any sea,” said Ken Buessler, Senior Scientist in Marine Chemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, several months back. Since that time, it has been revealed that Fukushima reactors 1, 2, and 3 have all experienced “melt-throughs,” which are considered to be the worst possible outcome in a nuclear disaster (http://www.naturalnews.com/032657_F…).
Various atomic experts are now in agreement that the unfolding situation in Japan truly is “as serious as it gets in a nuclear disaster.” Even the Japanese government itself is now admitting the grave reality of the situation, having recently announced it will submit a report to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) explaining the details of the melt-throughs, which basically mean that radioactive fuel appears to have burned through the outer containment vessels of the reactors and have gone directly into bare earth.
“Dangerous levels of radioactive iodine and cesium have already contaminated the sea, the soil, groundwater, and the air,” said reporter Mark Willacy of the Australian Broadcast Corporation in a recent Lateline interview (http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/cont…). “This week plutonium was detected for the first time outside the stricken plant, and Strontium-90, known as a bone seeker because it can cause bone cancer and Leukemia, has now been found as far away as 60 kilometers (37+ miles) from the facility.”
Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant experienced full meltdowns at three reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami in March, the country’s Nuclear Emergency Response Headquarters said Monday.
The nuclear group’s new evaluation, released Monday, goes further than previous statements in describing the extent of the damage caused by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
The announcement will not change plans for how to stabilize the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the agency said.
According to the Japan Times, The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) reported that radiation levels in the air around Reactor 1 were at 4000 millisieverts per hour, an exposure level equivalent to approximately 40,000 chest x-rays. TEPCO says it has no plans to send workers into the area because of its dangerously high radioactivity.
On Friday, a spokesman for TEPCO announced that steam was rising from underneath the reactor building. That afternoon, Japanese national television carried blurry footage of smoke rising from an opening in the floor.
Underneath the reactor, an estimated 40,000 tons of “highly contaminated” radioactive water have collected in what is known as the pressure suppression containment vessel, and it’s this water that is believed to be producing the steam. TEPCO officials warn that the water will begin to overflow from the storage vessel by June 20 as it reaches its maximum capacity, sooner if there are heavy rains.
A French independent radioactivity watchdog has found radiation in Fukushima Prefecture 60 times higher than the annual reference level for ordinary people recommended by an international commission.
Bruno Chareyron, director of the research institute CRIIRAD, briefed reporters in Tokyo on Wednesday on the results of its survey of the air in Fukushima Prefecture.
The measurements and calculations found an annualized amount of 60 millisieverts at a farm in Iitate Village in the prefecture.
The level is 60 times higher than the annual limit for ordinary people, except for radiation workers, of 1 millisievert, recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection.
The researchers also found high radiation levels in Fukushima City. At some places in the city, the levels of radioactivity were 7 to 9 millisieverts a year.
Chareyron urged Japan to increase the number of monitoring spots so that it can provide the public with detailed information on the negative effects of the radiation caused by the troubled Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The one-week survey from May 24th was conducted in cooperation with a Japanese nongovernmental organization.
On Saturday, before Songda degraded into a tropical storm, TEPCO said some reactor buildings were uncovered and radiation would spread due to the storm. “We have made utmost efforts, but we have not completed covering the damaged reactor buildings,” said an official at that time.
During the ongoing crisis, the Japanese government has continually demonstrated its capacity for understatement. In response to TEPCO’s ineptitude, a special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan criticized the large utility corporation, saying that the current safety measures “cannot be said to be appropriate.”
TEPCO has been pouring synthetic resins over the facility to stop radioactive material from being swept away, but the job is far from complete, news reports indicate.
The threat of further radioactive contamination comes as the United Nation’s nuclear monitoring group, the International Atomic Energy Agency, visits the crippled plant.
On Saturday, Bloomberg reported that academics warned TEPCO failed to disclose the scale of radiation leaks and now faces a “massive problem” with contaminated water.
“Contaminated water is increasing and this is a massive problem,” said Tetsuo Iguchi, a specialist in isotope analysis and radiation detection at Nagoya University. “They need to find a place to store the contaminated water and they need to guarantee it won’t go into the soil.
Aaron Sheldrick and Tsuyoshi Inajima Bloomberg
May 28, 2011
Typhoon Songda strengthened to a supertyphoon after battering the Philippines and headed for Japan on a track that may pass over the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant by May 30, a U.S. monitoring center said.
Songda’s winds increased to 241 kilometers (150 miles) per hour from 213 kph yesterday, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center said on its website. The storm’s eye was about 240 kilometers east of Aparri in the Philippines at 8 a.m. today, the center said. Songda was moving northwest at 19 kph and is forecast to turn to the northeast and cross the island of Okinawa by 9 p.m. local time tomorrow before heading for Honshu.
Professor Christopher Busby, who sits on the European Committee on Radiation Risks, told RT yesterday that the reactors at Fukushima are a raging nuclear inferno and he believes at least one of the reactors is now outside its containment structure and emitting vast amounts of radiation into the atmosphere.
The Japanese newspaper Asahi reports today that data reveals meltdowns occurred at the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors. Goshi Hosono, special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, acknowledged the likelihood of meltdowns. “We have to assume that meltdowns have taken place,” Hosono said at a news conference May 16.
Infowars.com and other alternative news sources reported the probability of a nuclear meltdown at the plant, but this was virtually ignored by the corporate media.
Soon after an earthquake and tsunami crippled the plant, nuclear experts said meltdowns occurred at all three reactors. TEPCO and the corporate media downplayed the possibility of nuclear meltdown. On April 17, TEPCO released a schedule to reach a cold shutdown at the Fukushima plant within six to nine months, but eventually had to revise the schedule.
Nuclear experts indicate more than a decade will be required to remove the melted fuel, eliminate the contamination, and dismantle the reactors.
Public release of data on the situation at the plant, which had been kept at the central control room, was delayed because it took time to restore power and remove radioactive materials attached to the papers, according to TEPCO. According to the data, the pressure in the pressure vessel of the No. 2 reactor dropped at 6:43 p.m. on March 15. A similar drop in pressure also took place at the No. 3 reactor at 11:50 p.m. on March 16.
“We have yet to be able to grasp the entire situation at the plant,” a TEPCO official said on May 16.
Radioactive technetium was discovered in water in the No. 3 reactor building. The discovery raised speculation that the melted nuclear fuel has breached the pressure vessel and landed in the containment vessel. Technetium is produced when nuclear fuel rods are damaged.
The Japanese Business Press reported on May 14 that a rice field more than 50 kilometers away from the Fukushima nuclear plant has tested for high levels of deadly plutonium. A “certain food manufacturing company” conducted the independent test that reported data different from data the Japanese government released, according to a translation of the news article.
The corporate media outside of Japan did not mention the test or the increased radiation affecting the staple crop.
Since the start of the disaster, the corporate media has parroted statements from TEPCO and the Japanese government in its coverage of the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl.
In addition, the corporate media has all but ignored extremely high levels of nuclear radioactive contamination recently detected in Japan. “The latest joint US and Japan survey shows extremely high levels of nuclear radioactive contamination, with radiation levels higher than Chernobyl evacuation limits, now span over 800 kilometers in Japan,” writes Alexander Higgins.
“The total area contaminated with radiation from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is estimated at about 800 square kilometers, or about 40 percent the size of Tokyo, according to a radiation map created by the science ministry and U.S. Department of Energy,” reports Asahi. “The report uses the same level of contamination (555,000 becquerels or higher of cesium-137) that was used to issue compulsory evacuation orders in the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986.”
It is not likely the corporate media missed the news. Asahi has alliances with the International Herald Tribune, which is owned by the New York Times.
According to the map above, about 800 square kilometers are contaminated with accumulated cesium-137 of 600,000 becquerels or higher per square meter.
You just can’t make this up: proving that Japan can outdo even the Russians when it comes to nuclear crisis “response”, Dow Jones reports that the latest scheme to come out of TEPCO is to cover Fukushima with a giant tent. It is unclear if it will have a circus coloration yet. From DJ: “Giant polyester covers will soon be placed around the damaged reactor buildings at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear complex to help contain the release of radioactive substances into the atmosphere, the plant operator said Friday. Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will install the first cover at the No. 1 reactor, the focus of recent stabilization efforts, starting next month.” This probably means that Japan looked long and hard at the concrete shell option and realized it was impossible, which is true. The problem is that by now the melted cores are not in the complex, but deep beneath it and the radioactivity is actively seeping directly into the soil. And since the polyester tent idea is doomed to failure, it is only a matter of time before the Simpsons dome is firmly in place over a ragion with a radius of about 20 kilometers. Impossible you say? Just wait.
Workers will erect a steel framework and place a giant polyester tent-like cover around the reactor building. Similar covers will be placed around units No. 3 and 4. The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
A series of hydrogen explosions blew off the roofs and upper walls of the three reactors in the days after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out their cooling systems, triggering the overheating of the reactors.
The explosions scattered a large amount of radioactive debris in the area around the reactors. Workers will have to clear the debris near the No. 1 unit so that cranes and other heavy equipment can approach the reactor. TEPCO said it began shifting debris from the area around the unit Friday.
The damaged buildings have come to symbolize the severity of the nuclear crisis at the plant, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986.
The loss of the roofs and filters above the reactors has led to the steady release of radioactive substances from the complex, prompting calls for measures to contain contamination in the surrounding areas.
Artist’s impression of this latest Japanese venture:
Despite the bombshell revelation that fuel rods at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant have been fully exposed since the early days of the disaster, that reactor number 1 is officially in meltdown, along with news that reactor 4 is on the verge of collapse, the corporate media is largely disinterested in the story amidst continued fearmongering about terror attacks and endless coverage of the Bin Laden carnival act.
Bloomberg, One of the few mainstream news outlets to give the story the attention it deserves, reports, “Tokyo Electric Power Co. said one of the reactor cores at its stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant is more seriously damaged than previously thought, setting back the utility’s plan to resolve the crisis.”
“Fuel rods in the core of the No. 1 reactor are fully exposed, with the water level 1 meter (3.3 feet) below the base of the fuel assembly, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the utility known as Tepco, told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo. Melted fuel has dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is still being cooled, Matsumoto said.”
In other words, officials have been forced to admit for the first time that reactor 1 suffered a nuclear meltdown, leading to concerns that “radioactive fuel may have burned a hole through the bottom of the containment vessel, causing water to leak.”
TEPCO has consistently underplayed and outright lied about the severity of the crisis in the two months since it began, claiming all along that fuel rods were only ever exposed for a limited period of time, when in fact they have been fully exposed since the very beginning.
Those who maintained that TEPCO was deliberately lying about the severity of the situation, labeled alarmist by many quarters of the media, have now been vindicated. But the corporate press has only offered a collective shrug to today’s shocking developments, burying the story under a mountain of propaganda about Bin Laden’s alleged personal diary as the establishment continues to keep people obsessed and fearful of terror attacks.
TEPCO’s proven deception has prompted a top official with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue a statement today that implies the Japanese have been lying about levels of radiation released from Fukushima, in addition to other measurements, since the very start of the crisis.
“The reliability of instrumentation complicates our understanding of the exact plant conditions at any given time,” Bill Borchardt, the commission’s executive director of operations, said Thursday.
That’s diplomatic talk for ‘they’ve been lying to us all along’.
The exposed fuel rods have been spewing radiation that has largely been unaccounted for by authorities in their official measurements, but despite the fact that there is a 20km exclusion zone around the site, evacuees were put at risk after they were allowed to return to their homes earlier this week to collect belongings.
Although the scale of the Fukushima disaster has been put on a par with Chernobyl and latest developments suggest the crisis is only getting worse, the mass media has collectively decided to virtually ignore the story altogether, proving once again that Americans are being fed on a diet of bread and circuses that leaves them dangerously ignorant of what really matters in the world.
Michio Nakayama and Tsuyoshi Inajima Bloomberg
May 12, 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said fuel rods are fully exposed in the No. 1 reactor at its stricken Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, setting back the utility’s plan to resolve the crisis.
The water level is 1 meter (3.3 feet) below the base of the fuel assembly, Junichi Matsumoto, a general manager at the utility known as Tepco, told reporters at a briefing in Tokyo. Melted fuel has dropped to the bottom of the pressure vessel and is still being cooled, Matsumoto said. The company doesn’t know how long the rods have been exposed, he said.
Tepco is trying to contain the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl after a quake and tsunami two months ago knocked out power and cooling systems at the Fukushima station. The utility planned to flood the No. 1 containment chamber, which surrounds the reactor vessel, in a procedure known as water entombment to prevent fuel from overheating.
“I’ve been saying from the beginning the water tomb plan won’t work,” said Tadashi Narabayashi, a professor of nuclear engineering at Hokkaido University. “Tepco must work on a water circulation cooling system as soon as possible. They’ve been going round and round in circles and now realize this is what they need to do.”
Image captures of video footage from the Fukushima nuclear plant appear to show a fire. According to Alexander Higgins and other bloggers, the Japanese shut down the webcam after the images below appeared on the internet. Lucas White Field Hixson posted the images last night, according to Higgins. There is also an animation of the images posted on YouTube.
Fukushima is now almost entirely off the corporate media radar screen. If the photos below are accurate, the situation at the plant is out of control and still emitting dangerous levels of radiation.
During an emotional and teary news conference, Toshiso Kosako, a professor at the University of Tokyo, announced his resignation as senior nuclear adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan.
Kosako said he could not stay on while the government set inappropriate radiation limits for elementary schools near the plant. “I cannot allow this as a scholar,” he said, adding that he is also opposed the government raising the limit for radiation exposure for workers at the plant, according to the CBC.
Japanese authorities have set a 20-millisievert limit for radiation exposure as safe. Kosako said that is 20 times too high, especially for children, who are more vulnerable to radiation than adults.
On Saturday, Tokyo Electric Power Co., the corruption plagued utility that runs Fukushima Daiichi, revealed that the radiation exposures for two workers at the tsunami stricken plant have been found to have reached the limit of 250 millisieverts.
“I cannot help but to think [the government and other agencies] are only taking stopgap measures,” Kosako said during the news conference.
On Friday, Michio Ishikawa, the former head of the Japan Nuclear Technology Institute and a leading proponent of nuclear energy, appeared on a Japanese television program. Ishikawa said spent nuclear fuel rods at the Fukushima plant have melted down. “Right now, it’s [a] war with radiation. TEPCO’s response is horrendous,” he said, according to a translated transcript posted on a Japanese blog last week.
Ishikawa’s comments went unreported in the West.
The Fukushima story has all but fallen off the corporate media radar screen as it concentrates on the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton and other far less significant news stories.
British scientist Christopher Busby, a researcher on the negative health effects of ionizing radiation, told Russia Today that one of the explosions at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan was a nuclear explosion, not a hydrogen explosion as widely reported in the media.
Busby said the explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 was also a nuclear explosion. The Chernobyl nuclear accident dispersed large quantities of radioactive fuel and core materials into the atmosphere. Busby told RT the crisis at Fukushima is far worse than Chernobyl.
He said the explosion did not originate in the reactor core, but the tanks where spent plutonium MOX fuel rods are stored. MOX fuel contains plutonium blended with natural uranium, reprocessed uranium, or depleted uranium. The explosion vaporized the plutonium rods and ejected a large amount of radiation into the atmosphere.
Takeshi Tokuda, a member of the Lower House of the Japanese Diet, also believes the first explosion at Fukushima was nuclear. Tokuda talked with a doctor Oikawa of the Minami Soma City General Hospital. Oikawa told the government representative that materials ejected from the plant after the explosion registered high radiation levels.
“When the hospital checked the radiation level on the people who escaped from around the nuke plant after the explosion, there were more than 10 people whose radiation level exceeded 100,000 cpm [counts per minute], beyond what could be measured by the geiger counter the hospital had,” Tokuda wrote. “100,000 cpm is the new level that the Japanese government set that requires decontamination. Before the Fukushima accident, the level was 6,000 cpm.”
The EPA has attempted to downplay the fact that plutonium is now bombarding the United States and much of the Northern Hemisphere. According to Lucas Hixton Whitefield, an EPA RADNet report shows increased levels of plutonium in the atmosphere. Whitefield found information on the plutonium in a RADnet dataset.
The Associated Press reports today that radiation has spiked in a water tank in Unit 2. Robots also report that radiation is so high elsewhere at the stricken plant that it is too dangerous for workers to be sent in.
Robot footage of the destroyed plant.
“Even I had expected high radioactivity in those areas. I’m sure (plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.) and other experts have factored in those figures when they compiled the roadmap,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.
“The robots can only do so much. Eventually, people will have to enter the buildings,” said Takeshi Makigami, a TEPCO official.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan took it on the nose. “You should be bowing your head in apology. You clearly have no leadership at all,” Masashi Waki, a lawmaker from the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, shouted at Kan.
“I am sincerely apologizing for what has happened,” Kan said.
TEPCO’s president, Masataka Shimizu, also took abuse from lawmakers.
A poll taken by the Nikkei business newspaper revealed that nearly 70% of respondents said Kan should be replaced. A similar percentage said his government had botched the nuclear crisis.
Mike Adams, reporting for Natural News, writes that TEPCO has announced that radiation will continue to leak from the reactors for at least three months, possibly longer. “This is basically a blatant admission that the radiation leaks are going to continue way beyond 90 days,” Adams writes.
TEPCO says the Fukushima facility should be in “cold shutdown” within nine months, at which an effort effort to entomb the reactors will be launched.
The first step of the plan to be accomplished within three months concentrates on cooling the reactors and spent fuel pools that will reduce radiation leaks and decontaminating water that has become radioactive. The second step on a timeline of six to nine months is to bring the release of radioactive materials fully under control, achieve a cold shutdown of the reactors and cover the buildings, possibly with a form of industrial cloth, USA Today reported over the weekend.
“If I were a gambler, I’d be willing to wager a lot of money that TEPCO’s current wish list of having all this done by the end of the year is no more likely to happen than a household cat sprouting a new tail on its back end so that it has TWO tails to play with. Then again, with all the radiation in the air these days, that sort of mutation might become more common than we’d like,” writes Adams.
Considering TEPCO’s ineptness and the fact little has changed for the better at the plant, it is entirely possible the disaster – now many times worse than Chernobyl – may go on indefinitely.
The radiation risk from Fukushima is “no longer negligable,” says CRIIRAD, the French research authority on radioactivity. It is now warning expectant mothers and young children to avoid drinking milk or rainwater. They should also avoid certain types of vegetables and cheese due to the dangerously high levels of radiation they may contain thanks to the radioactive fallout spreading across the globe (http://www.euractiv.com/en/health/r…).
CRIIRAD now says that eating these items qualifies as “risky behavior.” And yet, in practically the same sentence, the organization claims there is “absolutely no need” for anyone to take iodine tablets.
That’s right: There’s so much radiation in the food that you probably shouldn’t eat it. But all that radiation is so harmless that you don’t need to protect yourself from it with iodine. It’s amazing how these people think they can have it both ways.
The institute goes on to say that drinkingrainwater might be dangerous, but standing in the rain is perfectly safe. There’s actually some sense to this, as ingestingradioactive water is indeed far more dangerous than merely being drenched in it. But U.S. nuclear authorities make no such distinction, by the way.
Despite these warnings, the real issue that few are willing to acknowledge so far is that Fukushima fallout will continue for many more months. And during this fallout, there will be a cumulative load of radiation raining down upon the grasses, fruits and vegetables that make up the global food supply. How high those levels get is anyone’s guess, and those animals that feed upon those grasses — such as cattle, goats and sheep — will tend to further concentrate the radioactivity, producing milk and meat products that are far more radioactive than the grasses upon which they fed.
This is a very sad circumstance, of course, because it means that the corn-fed, factory-farmed cattle will probably be LESS radioactive than the open-range grass-fed cattle whose beef products are usually far better for you. Although I’m not personally someone who consumes beef, I’m a big supporter of those who choose grass-fed beef over the corn-fed factory farmed beef.
Bring your Geiger counter to the fresh produce section
What I’m beginning to wonder in all this, however, is how high the radioactivity of the entire food supply is going to become. Are we looking toward a day when we have to being Geiger counters to the grocery store?
Will we soon have two bins of apples at the store called “Pre-Fukushima” and “Post-Fukushima?”
And for all those people who have already stored food, good for you! All the food you stored before Fukushima is obviously not radioactive, and there may come a day when non-radioactive food commands a huge price premium.
For those still looking to acquire and store non-radioactive healthy foods, check out www.StorableOrganics.com where you can find organic foods and superfoods sealed in steel cans for long-term emergency preparedness. The entire inventory there is “Pre-Fukushima,” by the way.
For those who haven’t stored any food, you might start thinking about what you’re going to eat if Fukushima suffers yet another explosion and a massive cloud of radioactive isotopes gets dropped onto the food production lands of the world. This situation will only get worse before it gets better.
And sadly, even growing your own food is no solution to all this, because your own gardens are just as susceptible to radiation fallout as commercial crop lands. Only those who grow food in greenhouses will be largely protected from the fallout. Maybe it’s a good time to buy some sprouting seeds, too, because you can sprout seeds in your own kitchen and grow them free of radiation. In just 3 days, you can turn a pile of seeds into a nutritious sprout salad. Add some avocado and balsamic vinegar and you have a delicious lunch!
April 13, 2011
“The troubled nuclear plant… is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable,” according to a confidential NRC assessment.
Japan said it is considering expanding the area covered by a compulsory evacuation order, with no immediate end in sight to the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. At this point we should all sit up and take notice of what is happening and what could all so easily happen.
“The core at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel,” Rep. Edward Markey told a House hearing on the disaster. “I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the core has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel.” America’s NRC said that some of the core of a stricken Japanese reactor had probably leaked from its steel pressure vessel into the bottom of the containment structure, implying that the damage was even worse than previously thought.
Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian that at least part of the molten core, which includes melted fuel rods and zirconium alloy cladding, seemed to have sunk through the steel “lower head” of the pressure vessel around reactor no. 2. “The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell,” Lahey said.
On April 5, Times writers James Glanz and William Broad headlined, “U.S. Sees Array of New Threats at Japan’s Nuclear Plant,” saying: American engineers warned “that the troubled nuclear plant… is facing a wide array of fresh threats that could persist indefinitely, and that in some cases are expected to increase as a result of the very measures being taken to keep the plant stable,” according to a confidential NRC assessment.
According to former GE reactor designer Margaret Harding, “Exposed/unprotected spent fuel rods in Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 pose extreme dangers. Moreover, explosions blew nuclear material ‘up to one mile from the units’ into the atmosphere, indicating much greater damage than previously disclosed. As a result, David Lochbaum from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) believes, “This paints a very different picture, and suggests that things are a lot worse. They could still have more damage in a big way if some of these things don’t work out for them… They’ve got a lot of nasty things to (handle), and one missed step could make the situation much, much worse.”
On March 29, Dr. Chris Busby said, “In fact, Fukushima already way exceeds Chernobyl and Three Mile Island and will get increasingly worse ahead as radiation releases continue and spread. I believe that (the array of) phony experts are criminally irresponsible, since their advice will lead to millions of deaths… I hope they are sent to jail where they can have plenty of time to read the scientific proofs (showing) their advice was based on the mathematical analysis of thin air.”
Dr. Busby cited John Gofman, a senior U.S. Atomic Energy Commission expert who resigned, saying: “The nuclear industry is waging a war against humanity.” Busby calls it “the greatest public health scandal in human history,” which can be witnessed in the present as the government and press continue to mislead the public.
As radioactive iodine and cesium-137 continue to spread across the northern hemisphere in higher and higher amounts, and is now reported in France, not a word is mentioned about the population’s iodine deficiencies and how that will guarantee that almost everyone’s thyroids will be ever so thirsty sponges for radioactive iodine. Criminal, mass murder and crimes against humanity are all words that come to mind thinking of this. Medical officials are either totally dumb or the meanest rats that ever walked this earth. They are obviously too stupid to realize that the public’s mineral deficiencies are a major factor in calculating vulnerabilities to exposures to radiation.
We have no choice but to prepare our hearts that this catastrophe will go to level seven and beyond releasing unsupportable radiation onto the nation of Japan and into the northern hemisphere—especially North America. And in fact this morning we find the Japanese doing just that, raising the nuclear catastrophe to level 7.
It is more than pathetic though that in the announcement about going to level 7 that the same article mentions Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano telling reporters there was no “direct health damage” so far from the crisis. “The accident itself is really serious, but we have set our priority so as not to cause health damage.” Seems like Japanese ministers are playing God now in their frustration over events that are simply overwhelming them.
Hironobu Unesaki, a nuclear physicist at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute, said the revision was not a cause for worry that it had to do with the overall release of radiation and was not directly linked to health dangers. Incredible the press would even print such garbage. Sounds like these gentlemen are like men standing on the shoreline telling the tide not to come in.
The really bad news has yet to fall on Tokyo, one of the richest and largest metropolitan areas in the world. Will it succumb to the expanding radiation and become the first major center of civilization to fall?
Evacuation orders are currently issued when residents are at risk of receiving radiation of at least 50 millisieverts (with no time rate mentioned in the report), but the government said that arrangement assumed only brief exposure. Chronic and persistent exposures need to be calculated into the far future meaning people are going to have to be removed from wider and wider areas. “The standard does not take into account the effects of accumulative exposure,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. “We are discussing what standards to use for accumulative radiation.” You would think that governments in conjunction with the nuclear industry would have had this all figured out by now but they remain in complete denial of the dangerous of radiation at low levels of chronic exposure.
The disaster is hitting the Japanese were it really hurts by destroying their crops and now fish. “Japan now has to contemplate having to change thousand-year-old eating habits. For an archipelago that has lived off the ocean since prehistoric times, radioactive fish is a worst-case scenario with possibly economy-wide implications.”
It is really scary to think about the situation worsening. So far most Japanese reportedly have not been directly affected by the calamity, but the realization that radioactive material has been found in seafood has made many of the nation’s 126 million people nervous, as it should. And those rolling blackouts are certainly having their effects on the population and the industries that have made Japan the great nation it has become.
Japan was also the scene of one of the worst public health disasters ever with thousands crippled by mercury poisoning of seafood caused when toxic chemicals were released into the sea in the 1950s and 1960s. Mercury is another invisible poison and has become a disaster running in the background that everyone seems to continue to ignore. This admission in the mainstream of the mercury mishap in Japan opens Pandora’s box—the one where heavy metals, toxic chemicals and radiation mix to create a truly poisoned world.
The high priests of this kind of world tell us not to worry as they raise the limits of what is considered “safe” as they did in Japan—the water is now “safe” to drink in Tokyo because they moved the goal posts and raised the limits of what is “safe.” The EPA reportedly also raised the “safe” limits.
Meanwhile doctors continue to expose their patients to higher and higher levels of radiation but this is going to finally have to stop. Soaring numbers of kids are getting CT scans in emergency rooms. The number of ER visits nationwide in which children were given CT scans surged from about 330,000 in 1995 to 1.65 million in 2008—a five-fold increase.
The number of kids’ ER visits didn’t increase measurably during the study, but the percentage of visits involving CT scans climbed from about one percent to almost six percent. Increases in CT scan use have also been found in adults and the cancer industry is desperately fighting to make sure women still get their mammograms even though they too expose women to dangerous radiation, the last thing they need in an increasingly radioactive world.
What medical officials, then doctors, will have to discover after they have been hit over the head several times with nuclear two-by-fours, is that every toxic exposure will increase people’s vulnerability to succumb to radiation sickness. Toxic accumulation, whether from heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides, food additives and preservatives, etc. will each take their toll, weakening our resistance or ability to clear radioactive particles from our bodies.
Japan has admitted the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster is on par with the one at Chernobyl. At the same time, Japan’s science and technology ministry reports strontium, a heavy radioactive metal that is a catalyst for leukemia, has been detected around the crippled reactors. In addition to leukemia, strontium causes cancers of the bone, nose, lung, and skin.
Other deadly radioactive elements released included iodine, cesium and plutonium. The alpha emitter plutonium is especially deadly. Plutonium 239 has a high half-life of around 24,000 years. Plutonium transforms into americium and enters the water table. It can contaminate a water supply for centuries. The half life of americium is 433 years.
Like calcium, strontium enters the human body through plant and animal products and is mainly deposited in teeth and bones. New blood is formed in the bone marrow. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood.
Strontium is much more mobile and soluble in water than cesium. Following the Chernobyl nuclear accident, strontium was detected in the ground. Experts believe that 80 percent of the strontium released by the stricken Chernobyl reactor entered the food cycle.
The corporate media is basically ignoring the news that strontium is now being introduced into the environment. This is part of a larger pattern by the media to play down what will certainly be the worst nuclear disaster in history.
Zero Hedge predicted from the very beginning that unfortunately Fukushima would end up being an as serious, if not more so (just consider the extremely high concentration of human and other capital in proximity to Fukushima: unlike the USSR there is little to none displacement capacity) catastrophe than Chernobyl. Yesterday’s final hike in the incident severity level, which started at 4 and hit the highest , 7, is simply yet another confirmation of this although in absolute terms Fukushima still has a ways to go before surpassing the Soviet accident:
Choernobyl leaked a total of 5.2 million terabecquerels of radioactivity, Fukushima has so far leaked 500,000 terabecquerels. In the meantime what little progress is being made is promptly shadowed by all the incremental bad news that keep being disclosed (the most recent debacle is the discovery of extremely radioactive strontium just off the plant). Yet to be sure, there are differences between the two situation. Courtesy of Reuters, here are the key comparisons and differences between the two.
Here are the main points of how the two accidents differ.
ARE THE TWO DESIGNS THE SAME?
Unit 4 at Chernobyl was a water-cooled and graphite-moderated reactor — a combination that can and did yield a runaway chain reaction. A series of gross errors and misjudgment by operators resulted in an explosion and fire that catapulted radioactivity into the upper atmosphere.
The resulting release of radiation has been compared to 10 times that released by the 1945 U.S. nuclear bomb attack on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
The boiling water reactors at Fukushima do not have a combustible graphite core. The nuclear fuel in reactors No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 was allowed to melt at least partially, but operators have since succeeded in cooling both the reactors and the spent fuel pools and no chain reaction is happening now.
As long as cooling operations continue and Japan can prepare tanks fast enough to store the contamination overflow, Japan can still hope to buy time to figure out how to bring the reactors to a cold shutdown.
HOW DO THE CONTAINMENT STRUCTURES DIFFER?
Chernobyl had no containment structure and nothing stopped the trajectory of radioactive materials into the air.
Fukushima’s reactors are built on granite foundations and are surrounded by steel and concrete structures. The reactor vessels and containment structures, as well as some of the pipes leading from the reactors, are likely to have been damaged by the March 11 tsunami and recurring earthquakes. But with radiation levels now down to a sliver of what they were at the peak, experts say that the structures are still holding.
Chernobyl contaminated an area as far as 500 km (300 miles) from the plant, and an area spanning 30 km (18 miles) around the plant is still an exclusion zone and uninhabited.
HAVE THERE BEEN FALLOUT-LINKED DEATHS IN JAPAN?
At Fukushima, there have been no deaths so far due to radiation. Eight people have been injured. More deadly have been the 9.0 magnitude quake that hit on March 11 and the aftershocks that have rocked the site while workers tried to bring the plant under control. Two have died and three have been critically injured.
At Chernobyl, the initial explosion resulted in the death of two workers. Twenty-eight of the firemen and emergency clean-up workers died in the first three months after the explosion from acute radiation sickness and one died of cardiac arrest.
FLOW OF INFORMATION VERSUS COVER UP
Bungling, yes. Disorganised, incoherent and sometimes contradictory, yes. But it is difficult to accuse Japanese officials or TEPCO of intentionally covering up information, with round-the-clock updates and a steady stream of data.
Chernobyl was initially covered up by the secretive Soviet state, which remained silent for two days. But authorities, obliged by huge radiation releases throughout Europe, gradually disclosed details of the accident, showing unprecedented Soviet-era openness.
DOES FUKUSHIMA POSE A GREATER RISK IF IT ALL GOES WRONG?
It’s not over yet. One month since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, workers still have to inject water into the reactors, creating more contaminated water that is hampering the restoration of power to pumps to cool the reactors and bring them to a cold shutdown.
The situation led a frustrated and demoralised TEPCO spokesman to say that the total fallout could exceed that of Chernobyl. Fukushima involves loss of control at four reactors and potentially more radioactive material, that could continue to seep, leak or burst into the environment.
Officials have said that if power cannot be restored to the cooling pumps, there are other measures, such as air cooling, and that in a worst-case scenario, they could try water entombment in the reactors whose containment structures are sound.
And another key difference: with Chernobyl, even under utmost secrecy, the government moved fast, sacrificing many people, but only to prevent a far greater damage in the long run. In other words, the polar opposite of TEPCO (at least so far). And as this report from Yomiuri confirms, it was TEPCO’s “tardiness” that has been the primary reason for much of the escalation.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s blood must have run cold around 10 p.m. on March 11, the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake, when he received the first report on the terrible situation at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The report from the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry predicted reactor cores at the nuclear power plant–where power and all functions to cool the reactors were lost in the quake and tsunami–would be exposed to air, and that extreme heat generated by fuel rods would damage their encasing tubes later that night.
Fuel rods would melt down, and the following morning the pressure inside the reactors’ containment vessels would reach the maximum allowed for by the facilities’ designers, the report predicted.
Kan and everyone at the Prime Minister’s Office understood the seriousness of the situation described by the report.
There were only two options that might prevent a meltdown of the reactors–either restore the plant’s power supply and cooling functions immediately, or pour water directly into the reactors. If neither course of action could be taken, the pressure inside the reactors would become so great that they would be destroyed.
The report concluded that valves in the containment vessels would have to be opened, to release radioactive steam and reduce the pressure inside.
However, opening the valves was considered a last resort. Although it could prevent the reactors from breaking apart, it would release steam with high levels of radioactive materials into the atmosphere.
Such a step had never been taken at a nuclear power plant in Japan.
Countdown to power loss
The Prime Minister’s Office, the nuclear safety agency and even Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima plant, were filled with relief immediately after the earthquake. They had been told backup diesel generators would provide sufficient support to stabilize the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors, which were in operation when the quake hit.
However, subsequent tsunami destroyed 12 of the 13 emergency generators.
“Round up all the power-supply cars and send them to the plant right now!” shouted a TEPCO supervisor at the utility’s head office in Tokyo.
Nuclear reactors have emergency cooling systems that channel water into the reactor, using a turbine that can be powered by residual heat. However, the systems rely on emergency batteries to power the water intake valves.
The emergency batteries at the Fukushima plant were expected to run out of power around midnight.
TEPCO dispatched power-supply vehicles from various power stations around the country to the crippled nuclear plant. However, the vehicles had to travel very slowly because of damage to roads in northeastern Japan. The first power-supply car did not reach the plant until 9 p.m. on March 11.
Once at the site, the lack of preparation became apparent. Cables needed to connect the vehicles’ high-voltage electricity to plant facilities were not long enough. TEPCO immediately ordered additional cables, but precious time had been wasted. Power would not be restored at the plant by midnight.
The pressure inside the containment vessels rose above the maximum allowed for by the facilities’ design, and radiation levels at the plant increased sharply. No option was left but to open the valves.
Anger rose as TEPCO dithered
TEPCO began preparations for opening the valves around 7 p.m. on March 11. Pressure inside the No. 1 reactor was particularly high.
“Soon, the reactor won’t be able to withstand the pressure,” said an official of the accident headquarters at the plant, which was keeping in touch with TEPCO’s head office via video phone. “We have to vent the pressure immediately.”
“Pressure inside the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor has gone up dramatically,” the agency told Banri Kaieda, economy, trade and industry minister, at 12:45 a.m. on March 12. In fact, it had reached 1.5 times the designed maximum, meaning the condition of the reactor was critical.
“To get things under control, we have to pour water into the reactors and then vent the steam that is generated,” Haruki Madarame, chairman of the Cabinet Office’s Nuclear Safety Commission, told Kaieda.
At 1:30 a.m. on March 12, Kan, Kaieda and Madarame gathered at the crisis management center in the basement of the Prime Minister’s Office.
The three urged TEPCO officials to vent the steam as soon as possible. But TEPCO officials said there was no way of opening the valves because there was no power supply.
Exasperated, Kaieda called the utility’s head office in Tokyo and the accident headquarters at the plant every hour, pressuring them to open the valves immediately.
TEPCO workers tried to open the valves by manually overriding the automatic system, but struggled to make progress because they had to work in darkness.
At dawn, pressure inside the No. 1 reactor was more than twice the designed maximum.
Eventually, at 6:50 a.m., the government ordered the utility to open the valves under the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law.
When Kan visited the accident site shortly after 7 a.m. and found TEPCO had not opened the valves yet, he reprimanded company officials. The officials replied they would like to have another hour to make a decision on what to do.
Kan blew his stack.
“Now’s not the time to make such lackadaisical comments!” the prime minister told the TEPCO officials.
Yet even still, the utility spent three more hours discussing the matter before finally opening the valves at 10:17 a.m.
Five hours after that, a hydrogen explosion occurred at the No. 1 reactor, blowing apart its outer building.
Fukushima Gov. Yuhei Sato has expressed anger at the central government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., saying both “betrayed” the people of Fukushima Prefecture with repeated assurances about the safety of nuclear power plants.
“We feel we were betrayed [by the central government and TEPCO,” Sato said during an interview with The Yomiuri Shimbun on Thursday, nearly a month after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami and the outbreak of a series of accidents at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant.
“The central government and TEPCO repeatedly told us, ‘Nuclear power plants are safe because they’ve got multiple protection systems,’ and, ‘Earthquake-proof measures have been taken,’” Sato said.
“TEPCO used the term ‘beyond our expectations’ [to describe the natural disaster], but they can’t establish effective policies for nuclear energy safety unless they take into account things that are beyond their expectations,” Sato said.
Radiation from Japan has been detected in drinking water in 13 more American cities, and cesium-137 has been found in American milk—in Montpelier, Vermont—for the first time since the Japan nuclear disaster began, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency late Friday.
Milk samples from Phoenix and Los Angeles contained iodine-131 at levels roughly equal to the maximum contaminant level permitted by EPA, the data shows. The Phoenix sample contained 3.2 picoCuries per liter of iodine-131. The Los Angeles sample contained 2.9. The EPA maximum contaminant level is 3.0, but this is a conservative standard designed to minimize exposure over a lifetime, so EPA does not consider these levels to pose a health threat.
The cesium-137 found in milk in Vermont is the first cesium detected in milk since the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear accident occurred last month. The sample contained 1.9 picoCuries per liter of cesium-137, which falls under the same 3.0 standard.
Radioactive isotopes accumulate in milk after they spread through the atmosphere, fall to earth in rain or dust, and settle on vegetation, where they are ingested by grazing cattle. Iodine-131 is known to accumulate in the thyroid gland, where it can cause cancer and other thyroid diseases. Cesium-137 accumulates in the body’s soft tissues, where it increases risk of cancer, according to EPA.
Shinichi Saoshiro and Yoko Kubota, Reuters
April 9, 2011
Japan will pump radioactive water into the sea from a crippled nuclear plant until Sunday, a day later than previously planned, its nuclear safety agency said.
The announcement came a day after China expressed concern at the discharge of contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi plant smashed by last month’s earthquake, reflecting growing international unease over the month-long nuclear crisis.
“We are working on releasing water … we are likely to finish this tomorrow,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, a deputy director- general at Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, told reporters today.
Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said earlier it expected to stop pumping tainted water into the sea on Saturday, but work was interrupted by a powerful aftershock on Thursday.
And see these studies on the health effects cumulative doses of radioactive cesium. (As I noted on March 29th, the radioactive cesium fallout from Japan already rivals Chernobyl. And the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl).
Admittedly, the damage from huge single doses may be greater than the same cumulative dose from many small exposures. But the smaller doses can still add up.
Many studies have shown that repeated exposures to low levels of ionizing radiation from CT scans and x-rays can cause cancer. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
Remember, the radiation from CT scans and x-rays are external emitters – the radiation emanates from outside the body. In contract, internal emitters keep emitting their radiation inside the body. Therefore, the cumulative effect of multiple small doses of radiation from internal emitters could be even more dramatic, depending on the half life, metabolic pathways and other properties of the particular radioactive particle.
As the European Committee on Radiation Risk notes:
Cumulative impacts of chronic irradiation in low doses are … important for the comprehension, assessment and prognosis of the late effects of irradiation on human beings …
One of the World’s Leading Experts on Radiation – Karl Morgan – Warned of Cumulative Low-Dose Exposures
American reporter Dahr Jamail reports today for Al Jazeera:
“The U.S. Department of Energy has testified that there is no level of radiation that is so low that it is without health risks,” Jacqueline Cabasso, the Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, told Al Jazeera.
Her foundation monitors and analyzes U.S. nuclear weapons programs and policies and related high technology energy, with a focus on the national nuclear weapons laboratories.
Cabasso explained that natural background radiation exists, “But more than 2,000 nuclear tests have enhanced this background radiation level, so we are already living in an artificially radiated environment due to all the nuclear tests.”
“Karl Morgan, who worked on the Manhattan project, later came out against the nuclear industry when he understood the danger of low levels of ionizing radiation-and he said there is no safe dose of radiation exposure,” Cabasso continued, “That means all this talk about what a worker or the public can withstand on a yearly basis is bogus. There is no safe level of radiation exposure. These so-called safe levels are coming from within the nuclear establishment.”
Karl Morgan was an American physicist who was a founder of the field of radiation health physics. After a long career in the Manhattan Project and at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he became a critic of nuclear power and weapons. Morgan, who died in 1999, began to offer court testimony for people who said they had been harmed by the nuclear power industry.
“Nobody is talking about the fact that there is no safe dose of radiation,” Cabasso added, “One of the reasons Morgan said this is because doses are cumulative in the body.”
Indeed, Karl Morgan believed that the officially-defined “permissible levels” of radiation – which he helped to create on behalf of the government – are much higher than they should be.
As the Guardian wrote in Morgan’s obituary in 1999:
Karl Morgan … was a pioneer of health physics – the science of the effect of exposure to radiation on health. He was a member of the research group which laid the foundations for the Manhattan project and produced the first atomic bomb. However, after 30 years in the inner cabinet of the nuclear establishment, Morgan changed sides and testified in key radiation cases on behalf of those who claimed they had been harmed by nuclear weapons and the nuclear power industry.
The first signs of his change of view came in 1968, when he became an influential campaigner in obtaining a US law that required the medical profession to control excessive doses of radiation during X-rays.
After retirement in 1972 he became more active in drawing attention to the limitations of radiation protection measures.
He began his career as a physics professor but in 1943 was recruited to become a senior scientist in health physics to the top secret, atomic bomb project codenamed Manhattan Engineer District.
The following year, Morgan went to the newly-formed Oak Ridge national laboratory in Tennessee, where he became director of health physics from 1944 until his retirement. When told he would be in the health physics group, he was shocked and said it was a terrible mistake because he had never heard of health physics. The leaders of the research project said they had been in the same position. But they realised that since their attempts to build the first atomic pile, now known as a reactor, would create a source of intense radiation, they needed to understand how to protect people.
He wrote in his autobiography, The Angry Genie: One Man’s Walk Through The Nuclear Age, that he did not believe they had ever determined that it was safe. “We determined what we considered was acceptable.”
The Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients wrote in 2002:
One of the original five ‘health physicists’ to set radiation safety standards was Karl Z. Morgan. Dr. Morgan served on the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), which set up most radiation standards. He also directed the Health Physics Division at Oak Ridge from 1944 until his retirement in 1972. In recent years, Dr. Morgan has publicly criticized the ICRP for failing to protect human health. In a 1994 article for the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Dr. Morgan wrote: “The period of atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and the USSR is a sad page in the history of civilized man. Without question, it was the cause of hundreds of thousands of cancer deaths. Yet there was complete silence on the part of the ICRP. During these years (1960-1965), most members of the ICRP either worked directly with the nuclear weapons industry or indirectly received most of their funding for their research from this industry.”
The ICRP’s alliance with the nuclear industry includes ties to the International Congress of Radiology. In his 1999 autobiography, The Angry Genie: One Man’s Walk Through the Nuclear Age (ISBN 0-8061-3122-5 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0-8061-3122-5end_of_the_skype_highlighting), Dr. Morgan related his concern about the ICRP’s refusal to address the danger of excessive X-ray exposure during diagnostic procedures and dentistry. Until the passage of the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968, some X-ray equipment used in the 1950s and 1960s delivered 2 to 3 rem per X-ray. X-ray doses as low as 1.6 rem increase a woman’s chance of developing cancer, according to a 1974 study by Baruch Modan [Lancet (Feb. 23,1974), pp 277-279]. The Act did not address the cumulative effect of multiple, routine, and often unnecessary X-rays.
Other Top Radiation Experts Agree
By any measure, Dr. John Gofman was one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. Gofman earned his doctorate in nuclear and physical chemistry, and was also a medical doctor. He worked on the Manhattan Project, co-discovered uranium-232 and -233 and proved their fissionability, helped discover how to extract plutonium and led the team that discovered and characterized lipoproteins in the causation of heart disease.
Dr. Arthur R. Tamplin was a doctor of biophysics, who was tasked – as a group leader in the Biomedical Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories – with predicting the ultimate distribution within the biosphere and in humans of each radionuclide produced in the explosion of a nuclear device.
In 1963 the Atomic Energy Commission asked Gofman and Tamplin to undertake a series of long range studies on potential dangers that might arise from the “peaceful uses of the atom.” They told the truth, and the AEC launched a campaign of harassment in response.
What did they say, and why was the AEC so hostile?
Gofman and Tamplin documented that low levels of radiation can cause cancer and other diseases, and they argued that federal safety guidelines for low-level exposures should be reduced by 90 percent.
Ernest Sternglass (Emeritus Professor of Radiological Physics in the Department of Radiology, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicin), Dr. Alice Stewart (head of the Department of Preventive Medicine of Oxford University) and many other top scientists have also shown that low level radiation can cause cancer.
Military Commanders Told that Low-Level Radiation Increases the Risk of Cancer
A military briefing written by the U.S. Army for commanders in Iraq states:
Hazards from low level radiation are long-term, not acute effects… Every exposure increases risk of cancer.
(Military briefings for commanders often contain less propaganda than literature aimed at civilians, as the commanders have to know the basic facts to be able to assess risk to their soldiers.)
The briefing states that doses are cumulative, citing the following military studies and reports:
ACE Directive 80-63, ACE Policy for Defensive Measures against Low Level Radiological Hazards during Military Operations, 2 AUG 96
AR 11-9, The Army Radiation Program, 28 MAY 99
FM 4-02.283, Treatment of Nuclear and Radiological Casualties, 20 DEC 01
JP 3-11, Joint Doctrine for Operations in NBC Environments, 11 JUL 00
NATO STANAG 2473, Command Guidance on Low Level Radiation Exposure in Military Operations, 3 MAY 00
USACHPPM TG 244, The NBC Battle Book, AUG 02
Why was the military advising commanders on radiation in Iraq? Presumably because the American military used depleted uranium in Iraq (see this, this, this, this, this and this).
Det han inte nämner här är att det fanns 600 000 använda bränsle stavar åvan reaktorerna. (100 000 i varje reaktor om vi delar upp det)
Det har rapporterats att man hittat "bitar" från dem använda bränslestavarna runt fukushima.
Nu till USA. För i USA så har dem hittat en lösning på problemet med farlig mängd strålning!
Här är lösningen: Vi höjer dosen för vad som kan anses som en skadlig mängd strålning.
Ungifär som TEPCO gjorde dem första dagarna under fukushima krisen. jag tror det var från 100 till 200 men efter det gick dem tillbacka till 100 men sa också att: alla som arbetar här kommer att dö i förtid.
For those wondering just why TEPCO and Japan in general have been in such as scramble to cover up as much of the reactor in a concrete sarcophagus, after up until now the utility had been perfectly happy to come up with one after another useless idea of delaying the inevitable moment of sarcophagation, here is Arnie Gunderson from Fairewinds and Associates explaining that now there is definitive proof, courtesy of Tellurium 129 and a order of magnitude higher concentration of Iodine 131 in Reactor 1, that the reactor is now undergoing sporadic events of recriticality: in other words, the fission reaction is recommencing on its own, and without any supervision, emitting undetectable neutron beams which are irradiating any and all personnel still on location. For the time being these recritical events are isolated, although courtesy of the whole premise behind a nuclear power plant, all it takes is for some form of critical threshold to be reached, and for a full blown self-sustaining chain reaction to result in Chernobyl part 2. If nothing else, we now know why the authorities are desperate to bury everything literally under the sand. Because at least a few thousands tons of concrete will provide a modest buffer for unprecedented amount of radiation before these hit the surrounding environment. Lastly, all those hoping that natural rod cooling is sufficient, and if the plant is left along long enough on its own, things will get better, are now proven wrong. We can only hope the outcome this time will be a tad more favorable than all the previously disastrously aborted attempts at restoring order.
The impact of the radioactive material on sea life could be catastrophic as over 11, 500 tons of contaminated water is now being intentionally released into the Pacific ocean by workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in a last ditch desperate effort to clean out the area.
Meanwhile, local officials have roundly condemned the Japanese government’s response to the crisis as workers have been scrambling to plug cracks in a reactor pit using anything they can find, including bits of shredded newspaper, sawdust and super glue.
Highly radioactive water is flowing from the pit into the ocean, with the latest figures confirming radiation levels of contaminated seawater at 4,000 times above the safety limit.
Yesterday, TEPCO, the company running the plant released the above image of the toxic water pouring into the ocean.
After efforts to fill the crack with concrete failed, workers resorted to more desperate measures, as reported in the London Telegraph:
“From the afternoon, the workers began pouring polymeric powder, sawdust, newspaper – things we could think of to clog up the holes,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency.
“So far, there has not been any clear indication that the volume of leaking water has been reduced.” he added.
AP reports that workers “went farther up the system and injected sawdust, three garbage bags of shredded newspaper and a polymer — similar to one used to absorb liquid in diapers”
You could not make this stuff up.
The company says it needs to release the toxic water already leaking into the sea to create room to store even more highly contaminated water building up under complex.
If the crack in the pit is not fixed, this material will presumably also leak outside the plant.
Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s top spokesman, Yukio Edano, said in a televised press conference: “We have no choice but to release water tainted with radioactive materials into the ocean as a safety measure.”
As a result of the massive water dumping operations, “highly radioactive waste water has accumulated at turbine buildings at Fukushima Daiichi, especially at the reactor unit two,” said another TEPCO official.
“There is a need to release already stored water in order to accept the additional waste water” totaling 10,000 tons, as well as 1,500 tons of water from pits under reactor units five and six, he said.
TEPCO also announced early yesterday that the level of radiation in the air in the pit at reactor two was 1000 mSv/hour. This is an astonishing amount given that, according to the IAEA, the limit for public radiation exposure is just 1 mSv peryear:
The dose limits for practices are intended to ensure that no individual is committed to unacceptable risk due to radiation exposure. For the public the limit is 1 mSv in a year, or in special circumstances up to 5 mSv in a single year provided that the average does over five consecutive years does not exceed 1 mSv per year.
Essentially, the level in the pit where the water is running into the sea is one thousand times higher per hour than an entire year of safe exposure.
While workers on a suicide mission armed only with trash and super glue scramble to do what they can, still the Japanese government maintains there is no risk to public health because the material will “dissipate”.
The governor of Fukushima has slammed Japan’s nuclear agency for failing to provide accurate and timely radiation data.
Fukushima Gov Yuhei Sato expressed anger at the central government’s nuclear safety agency on Sunday for its late release of radioactivity data related to local farm produce, shipments of which have been partly restricted amid the ongoing nuclear crisis.
It takes a few days for the results of each test to be released, according to Sato.
‘‘Can’t you increase the number of examiners? The lives of farmers are at stake. It’s a matter of whether they can live tomorrow,’’ the governor said during a meeting of the prefectural disaster relief task force attended by an official of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
Sato said the results should be released in about a day and criticized the central government for being late in lifting restrictions, saying, ‘‘I wonder if our sense of urgency is being conveyed to the government…It is irritating.’‘
In addition, the mayor of Minami Soma, a city some 25 kilometers from the nuclear plant, issued an SOS message to the world, pleading for help in the wake of a near total lack of aid or information from the Japanese government.
The mayor noted that the situation is one of complete lockdown and said the city was “as if under starvation tactics” at the mercy of the government:
Federal officials have still not published any official data on nuclear fallout from Japan disaster
… Radiation from Japan rained on Berkeley during recent storms at levels that exceeded drinking water standards by 181 times and has been detected in multiple milk samples…
Radiation falling with rain can cover grass that is eaten by cows and other animals. It can also fall on food crops or accumulate in reservoirs that are used for irrigation or drinking water. Seafood can also be affected. …
A rooftop water monitoring program managed by UC Berkeley’s Department of Nuclear Engineering detected substantial spikes in rain-borne iodine-131 during torrential downpours a week ago. …
The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, by as much as 181 times. …
Patty Lovera, assistant director at the nonprofit Food and Water Watch:
“The official mantra from a lot of folks in government is, ‘Oh, it’s OK in low levels.’”
“But low levels add up. We would like to see a more coherent strategy for monitoring air and water in agricultural areas and then using that data to come up with a plan, if you need one, to go look at the food system.”
Noting that the press has largely turned its resources off of the Fukushima complex, and needing up-to-date information on the status of the damage control efforts there, we secured the most up-to-date satellite photo from DigitalGlobe (dated March 31st), which we analyze below. This is the first photo of the damaged reactor site at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility made available to the public in over a week. That means you, our readers, are the first public eyes anywhere to see this photo.
Drawing upon the expertise of our resident nuclear engineer and Ann Stringer, imaging expert, we conclude that the situation at Fukushima is not stabilized: things are not yet at a place of steady progress in the containment and clean-up efforts. It’s still a dance, forwards and backwards, with the workers making gains here and there and the situation forcing them to react defensively.
In this report, we will tell you what we know for sure, what we are nearly certain of, and what we remain forced to speculate about.
Here is a portion of a much larger image (covering 25 square kilometers in total) showing the reactor complex as of March 31, at roughly mid-day:
Photo Credit, 2011, DigitalGlobe
What We Can See
Here’s what we can directly observe in the larger satellite image:
Steam is still rising from reactors #2, #3 (circled in green) and #4.
Of the four reactor buildings, three are nearly or totally destroyed, while the outside (at least) of the fourth is in relatively better shape.
We can count 7 fire trucks ‘on site’ with another 7 just to the north, all with water lines strung out across the ground.
There is only one ship/vessel to be seen, located inside of the breakwater and nearly as far to the north as it can go inside that boundary.
A significant number of the vehicles that can be seen at the core of the site have not moved since the first released photos on March 12.
There is a parking lot slightly to the north and west with approximately 250 passenger vehicles in it and a side lot with 30 large green tanks neatly arranged in rows.
The rest of the area is one, two, and four lane roads (no traffic at all), worked farmland, residential and commercial areas, mostly empty parking lots, and two baseball diamonds.
Here’s what we don’t see
Nowhere in the 25 km area in the main photo can we find anything that looks like a staging area with a large collection of assets such as tanker trucks, pumpers, cement trucks, piles of pre-staged materials, ambulances, and fire trucks.
The cement pumper truck seen a week ago has been apparently replaced by the boom at reactor #4.
There’s no obvious barge delivering fresh water for the rector cooling efforts as recently reported (it may have come and gone?).
Any obvious changes to the roofs of any of the reactors.
Any people outside the plants working.
Things we can logically conclude
The steam that is venting is a mixed blessing. It implies that cooling water is getting to some hot material, which is a good thing, but it also means that something is hot enough to vaporize water and the continued release of radioactivity into the surrounding environment.
This means that the lack of steam coming from reactor #1 is either a very good sign, or a very bad sign. Good because it could mean that the containment vessels are intact and cooling water is circulating. Bad because it could imply that no water is getting to it and it is a very hot mass right now. According to TEPCO, reactor #1 has had seawater, and now freshwater, circulating through the reactor vessel – and since both containment vessels are intact, we’ll conclude the lack of steam is a good sign.
The situation at Fukushima is going to drag on for years. First there’s the matter of stabilizing the situation which has not yet been fully achieved. Recent surprises in terms of the amounts and locations of radioactivity are one sign that the situation is not fully stabilized. Still, nothing has blown up in quite a while, the steam venting appears consistent, and the major surprises seem to be over for now. While the TEPCO workers are still reacting to things as they arise, these are smaller things than last week, which is another hopeful sign.
The detected presence of neutron beams, I-134, and radioactive chlorine are all strongly supportive of the idea that criticality has resumed. Our best guess is that these are localized pockets, probably of short duration, and do not involve the entire core mass of any particular reactor conflagrating in some gigantic, greenish blob of uncontrolled fission. The geometries of the fuel in relation to neutron moderators requires precise conditions to support sustained fission and so it is rather unlikely to be occurring in anything other than localized pockets. If the entire reactor in its fully operational state was capable of supporting what we might scale to 100% fission, the amount of fission happening after a partial (or complete) meltdown will be a far lesser percentage. Still, any amount of fission is unwelcome at this point because it is adding to the heat and radiation removal difficulties.
The constantly rising levels of radioactivity found in the seawater are a further unwelcome development, but without a proper isotope analysis we cannot conclude anything about the potential resumption of fission from their gross amounts alone. It’s always possible that the leftover fission products are now being washed in larger amounts into the sea for some reason.
Additional Drone Photos
These are the most detailed photos yet to emerge into the public space (released yesterday, March 31, as far as I know), and they are purported to come from a drone flyover on March 20 and 24th. They are really quite good, and worth viewing in their entirety here.
Beginning with reactor 3, one thing we can say is, this thing is a right proper mess:
There’s a significant hole to the left of center that goes deep into the sub-structure (with a strange greenish cast that we’ve not been able to resolve after much conjecture) and it’s clear that this building alone will take a long time to resolve.
Interestingly, we get our clearest image yet of the hole in turbine building #3 that was created by something ejected into the air during the reactor #3 explosion.
Looking like one of those cartoon cutouts that happens when the coyote hits the ground, we get the impression that whatever it was happened to be quite heavy and possibly shaped like an Apollo capsule. It has been my suspicion, which contradicts the official story, that the concrete containment vessel was what actually blew up in reactor #3 and I have been looking for evidence of in the form of large, heavy chunks of concrete (especially the refueling plug) lying about. I don’t know what made this hole in the roof of the turbine building, but it was heavy.
Reactor #4 provides us with proof that serious damage can result from the effects of an overheated spent fuel storage pool:
Here the watering boom can be clearly seen. A camera was recently attached to the boom and it took some interior shots which were suggestive of the idea that the spent fuel pool is damaged and largely drained of water. Spraying water into this pool, then, is probably a balancing act with the desire to spray enough water on the rods to keep them cool being offset by the risk of having radioactive water drain away for parts unknown.
Almost certainly this same balancing act defines the efforts for reactors #2 and #3 as well.
The efforts at Fukushima are probably weeks away from even basic stabilization and we are years away from any sort of a final resolution. This crisis is going to be with all of us for a very long time. Radiation will continue to escape from the complex into the environment for weeks at best, months or years at worst.
The chief concern here is that things might still take a turn for the worse whereby radiation spikes to levels that prevent humans from getting close enough to perform meaningful operations and work on the site. If the radiation spikes high enough it will force an evacuation from the vicinity complicating every part of what has to happen next from monitoring to remediation.
The general lack of staged materials anywhere in the vicinity indicates that authorities have not yet decided on a plan of action, feeding our assessment that they are still in ‘react mode’ and that we are weeks away from nominal stabilization.
On Thursday we learned from the Wall Street Journal that TEPCO only had one stretcher, a satellite phone, 50 protective suits, and only enough dosimeters to give a single one to each worker group. Given this woeful level of preparation it is not surprising to see that regular fire trucks, cement trucks, and a lack of staged materials comprise much of the current damage control mix.
We don’t yet know enough to conclude how much fission has spontaneously re-occurred, but we have strong suspicions that the number is higher than zero. Here we make our call for the release of more complete and timely radiation readouts and sampling results by TEPCO and Japan so that we can assess what the true risks are. The situation remains fluid and quite a lot depends now on chance and which way the wind blows.
And as I detailed in the Alert report I issued soonafter the tragic events of the Japan earthquake and tsunami on March 10th, the impact of Japan’s tribulations on the global economy will be large and vast. World markets are simply unpreapared for the third-largest economy to suddenly and violently downshift. The persisting crisis at Fukushima simply worsens the picture.
Reporter Alex Kerr says it is “absolutely baffling” that the Japanese governemnt has not expanded the evacuation zone around Fukushima, adding that he can only assume they are “unwilling to accept reality” and are attempting to save face.
While the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has workers on the ground at the facility taking readings, some of whom are thought to only now have hours to live due to radiation exposure, the NISA still maintains that the levels of radiation are too high and that there must be some “mistake”.
TEPCO announced late yesterday that levels of radiation had been recorded in groundwater at TEN THOUSAND times higher than standard safety limits.
The findings have raised fears that underground waterways and drinking water supplies could become contaminated.
Earlier this week, the company also recorded dangerously high levels of radiation in seawater, soil and air concentrations.
Elevated levels of radiation have also now been found in beef, as well as vegetables, milk and other food stuffs in the vicinity of the plant.
Despite the findings, officials maintain that there is little risk to public health, repeating ad infinitum that the radiation will “dissipate”.
“We have suspected their isotope analysis, and we will wait for the new results,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Japanese safety agency, adding that the agency thinks TEPCO’s numbers may be too high.
In response TEPCO has said that it is possible that there may be an error in the computer program used to analyze the data, however the company also says it is equally possible that their readings are indeed accurate.
TEPCO has been routinely pressured to downgrade it’s findings since the crisis began on March 11.
Last Sunday officials retracted an announcement that radiation levels in the containment building of reactor number 2 had soared to 10 million times above normal.
The retraction came hours after the initial announcement, however, and was corrected to 100,000 times over normal.
It was not made clear what the error was, with TEPCO reporting on its website there was a “mistake in the assessment of the measurement of iodine-134.”
With the discovery of three different types of plutonium in the soil this week, some experts believe that reactor 3 has been in full meltdown ever since it was hit with a massive explosion on March 14th, and that the Japanese authorities are withholding details of the true extent of the crisis.
The unfolding of the Fukushima catastrophe continues to worsen. Here are today’s most important developments:
• A nuclear expert is now warning that it will take 50 to 100 years before the spent nuclear rods at Fukushima will cool enough to be removed from the site. In the mean time, Japan must keep pouring water on the fuel, and that creates highly radioactive water that’s being flushed directly into the ocean. So now we’re looking at the possibility of a century-long radiation leak (http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/…).
• The groundwater underneath the Fukushima nuclear power facility is now showing 10,000 times the level of radiation normally allowed by government authorities. This is from iodine-131 measured at 15 meters below one of the reactors. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011…)
• You’ve probably already heard that there have been efforts to use robots to help solve the Fukushima crisis, but those efforts have failed. Then again, who needs robots when you can just pay humans to do the same deadly work? Reuters is now reporting that a U.S. recruiting company is signing up U.S. workers to go to Fukushima and work on-site there as part of the crew that’s trying to save the reactors (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/exclusive-…). Why would anyone agree to do such a thing? Because they’re being promised extra pay, if you can believe that.
You gotta wonder, of course, how these people think they’re going to be able to spend all that extra money if they’re half-dead from radiation poisoning. But hey, if they get paid one dollar for every millirem of radiation they absorb, they could soon be Fukushima’s new millionaires!
• The world’s largest concrete pumping truck is headed to Japan as part of a plan that can only be the beginning of the total surrender of Fukushima (http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest…). The only reason you need to pump that much concrete is if you’re building a giant Chernobyl-like entombment of the Fukushima facility. But who’s going to keep spraying the spent nuclear fuel rods with water in the mean time? (Nobody knows…)
• Due to the failure of Fukushima, Tokyo will be experiencing rolling blackouts all summer long. Tokyo’s power has been reduced by roughly 20 percent due to the Fukushima catastrophe (http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/a…).
• Fukushima workers who have been desperately trying to bring the reactors back under control have said they expect to die due to their repeated exposure to extremely high levels of radiation. Oh, but the Fukushima deniers claim radiation is safe and that no one has even been harmed by it! (Seriously…) (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor…)
• Remember, health authorities have been screaming for decades that sunlight exposure is potentially deadly because of the radiation exposure. But Fukushima fallout, we’re now told, is perfectly safe for you! I guess only the sun is dangerous, not nuclear fuel rod meltdowns. How’s that for public health policy?
The radiation level in the ocean near the Fukushima nuclear plant keeps rising. It is now 4,385 times above what is considered normal. This is a significant increase from the yesterday’s report that the I-131 isotope found in the water was 3,355 times the regulatory limit.
Japanese officialdom does not consider this a problem. They explain that the isotope loses half its radiation every eight days and should dilute over time. Trace amounts of radioactive cesium-137 have been found in anchovies as far away as Chiba, near Tokyo.
In addition to the alarming level of radiation in sea water, the Japanese report high levels of radiation in soil outside of the evacuation zone. “As a ratio, it was about two times higher” than levels at which the agency recommends evacuations,” International Atomic Energy Agency bureaucrat Elena Buglova said at a news conference.
The IAEA said cesium 137 was measured in one village at a level exceeding the standard that the Soviet Union used as a gauge to recommend abandoning land surrounding the Chernobyl reactor. At another location not precisely identified by the agency it was more than double the Soviet standard, according to the New York Times.
The latest measurements were made between March 18 and March 26.
Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said it was looking into the IAEA report. Officials say they believe there is no reason to enlarge the evacuation zone and move more people away from the expanding threat.
“One sample is over the limit, so we have to continue monitoring the situation,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, deputy director general of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
The presence of radiation may prevent the Japanese from farming in the area. Radiation has entered the food chain and has been detected in milk and vegetables, prompting the government to release an extensive list of banned food products. It is also in tap water. Almost a hundred individually tested foods, including spinach, milk, cabbage and celery, are contaminated with radioactivity.
Reactor number two at the Fukushima Daiichi has gone into full meltdown, although this is not being reported by the corporate media. The core has melted through the floor of the containment building and is now releasing large amounts of radiation.
Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian on Tuesday workers at the site appeared to have “lost the race” to save the reactor.
“The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell,” Lahey said. “I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards.”
On March 29, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said his government is in a state of maximum alert over high-level radiation leaked from the plant.
Also on Tuesday, it was reported that deadly plutonium had leaked from reactor number two. Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency insisted the leak was not harmful to human life.
Sakae Muto, Tokyo Electric vice-president, said the amount of plutonium-238, 239 and 240 released into the atmosphere was on par with past nuclear tests. “I apologize for making people worried,” he said.
Record-high readings of contaminated sea water were found near the plant, Bloomberg reports. Radioactive iodine in seawater rose to 3,355 times the regulated safety limit yesterday afternoon from 2,572 times earlier in the day, agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama said. Nishiyama said the radiation is not a threat because there is no fishing in the area.
Experts say a reactor in meltdown will stop at or before the underlying soil of the containment structure, but will release massive amount of radiation into the atmosphere and ground causing extensive damage to plant and animal life. This process is now underway at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
Meanwhile, there appears to be problems with a second nuclear plant. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said smoke was reported coming from the turbine building of reactor No. 1 at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant earlier today. The Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant is about 6 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has reported that radiation level in the containment building of reactor number 2 at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant is an astounding 10 million times above normal.
Officialdom soon backtracked and said those radiation readings were not accurate and that new tests had been ordered. “The number is not credible,” said TEPCO.
“The subsequent retraction underscored the pressures Japanese officials and Tepco executives face in reporting information to the public. Government authorities and the company have been criticized for not providing information in a timely fashion to the public,” notes the LA Times.
Last week, Japan’s nuclear agency said levels of radioactive iodine in sea near the plant had risen to 1,850 times the usual level. It claims one-half a liter of the water contains the same amount of radiation that a person can safely be exposed to in a year.
The United Nations’ nuclear agency has warned the crisis could go on for months.
The UN’s IAEA is only interested in looking out for its own interests.
It now appears the crisis will go on indefinitely. TEPCO said on Sunday it is not working to resolve the crisis. “We are examining the cause of this, but no work is being done there because of the high level of radiation,” said a TEPCO spokesman. “High levels of caesium and other substances are being detected, which usually should not be found in reactor water. There is a high possibility that fuel rods are being damaged,” he added.
Appearing on Sunday talk shows, cabinet secretary Yukio Edano said radioactive water is “almost certainly” seeping from a reactor core.
TEPCO and the Japanese government have consistently covered-up the real nature of the threat and have lied to the public about radiation danger. In addition to avoiding safety inspections at the plant, TEPCO falsified safety and repair reports, according to documents released by Wikileaks. GE, the builder of the reactors, and TEPCO knew early on the plant was a disaster waiting to happen.
In addition to the high radiation levels at reactor number two, reactor number three is leaking. It runs on MOX or Mixed Oxide fuel, a mixture of plutonium and uranium, and is far more dangerous than the other reactors at the tsunami-crippled plant. MOX is two million times more deadly than normal enriched uranium.
10 Miljoner gånger högre! Och det är i reaktor 2. Den reaktorn som bara hade en liten explosion. Dock hörde jag att det gällde vattnet innuti byggnaden, det är tydligen någon ledning i reaktor byggnaden/reaktorn som läker.
On Saturday, Yukiya Amano, the director of the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency, said the Japanese nuclear crisis could go on for weeks, if not for months.
Test conducted Friday showed iodine 131 levels in seawater 30 km (19 miles) from the coastal Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had spiked 1,250 times higher than normal. Japanese officialdom insisted this unusual level does not pose a threat to marine life or food safety, according to Reuters.
“Ocean currents will disperse radiation particles and so it will be very diluted by the time it gets consumed by fish and seaweed,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior agency official.
A number of countries have banned milk and produce from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, while others have been monitoring Japanese seafood.
Amano told the media the Japanese have no idea if the reactor cores and spent fuel were covered with the water needed to cool them and prevent the release of radiation. “More efforts should be done to put an end to the accident,” he said and was carefully not to criticize Japan’s lackadaisical response.
An official from plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) told a Sunday news conference experts still are not certain where to put the contaminated water.
Scientists quoted by the corporate media continue to insist that radioactive particles crossing the Pacific are far too diluted to cause any harm.
In fact, scientists are complaining that the Japanese have not fowarded sufficient information on the nuclear meltdown. They say the quality and quantity of information coming out of Japan has left gaping holes in their understanding of the disaster nearly two weeks after it began.
Independent researchers, however, dispute claims that the radiation now lofting over the northern hemisphere is not dangerous. The Weather Online website has posted a number animated models showing dangerous concentrations of iodine 131 and caesium 137 entering the United States with prevailing weather and the jet stream.
The site notes that since the continuous release rate is very uncertain, the calculations have to be interpreted qualitatively.
Here is a video posted earlier today showing the animations:
The latest news out of Fukushima confirms fears that irradiated water containment at the radioactive plant has been complete breached, after Radioactive iodine-131 at a concentration 1,250.8 times the legal limit was detected Friday morning in a seawater sample taken around 330 meters south of the plant, near the drainage outlets of the four troubled reactors, the government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Saturday. As Kyodo updates: “The level rose to its highest so far in the survey begun this week, after remaining around levels about 100 times the legal limit. It is highly likely that radioactive water in the plant has found its way into the sea, TEPCO said.” It’s all good though: the government has a prepared strawman for this unprecedented surge in radioactivity as well.”Radioactive materials ”will be significantly diluted” by the time they are consumed by marine species, the agency said, adding it would not have a significant impact on fishery products as fishing is not being conducted in the area within 20 kilometers of the plant because the government has issued a directive for residents in the zone to evacuate.” But none of this matter as we get the latest confirmation that no news coming out of the stricken plant can be trusted: “TEPCO’s Fukushima office acknowledged Saturday that it had known earlier that the radiation in the underground level of the turbine building of one of the reactors was extremely high, but had not made the information available to pertinent parties.”
Mike Adams: Fukushima Reactor No. 3 Now Leaking Water at 10,000 Times Normal
From Reuters: ” Officials said iodine 131 levels in seawater 30 km (19 miles) from the coastal nuclear complex were within acceptable limits established by regulations and the contamination posed little risk to aquatic life. “Ocean currents will disperse radiation particles and so it will be very diluted by the time it gets consumed by fish and seaweed,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a senior official from Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. Despite that reassurance, the disclosure may well heighten international concern over Japanese seafood exports. Several countries have already banned milk and produce from areas around the Fukushima Daiichi plant, while others have been monitoring Japanese seafood.” So fear not – instead of having 10 fins, that yummy piece of toro you are injesting will sport only a substantially “diluted” 5. Also, expect to see Kan eating seaweed and sashimi, and washing it down with radioactive tap water on TV any minute to prove just how safe everything really is.
More from Kyodo:
The level rose to its highest so far in the survey begun this week, after remaining around levels about 100 times the legal limit. It is highly likely that radioactive water in the plant has found its way into the sea, TEPCO said.
Radioactive materials ”will be significantly diluted” by the time they are consumed by marine species, the agency said, adding it would not have a significant impact on fishery products as fishing is not being conducted in the area within 20 kilometers of the plant because the government has issued a directive for residents in the zone to evacuate.
TEPCO is planning to inject fresh water into pools storing the spent nuclear fuel at the plant to prevent crystallized salt from seawater already injected from hampering the smooth circulation of water and thus diminishing the cooling effect. It has begun injecting fresh water into the reactor containers of the No. 1 and No. 3 as well as No. 2 reactors.
At the same time, the company is trying to remove the pools of water containing highly concentrated radioactive substances that may have seeped from either the reactor cores or the spent fuel pools.
On Thursday, three workers were exposed to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level at the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor building.
On Friday, a pool of water with a similarly high concentration of radioactive materials was found in the No. 1 reactor’s turbine building, causing some restoration work to be suspended.
Similar pools of water were also found in the turbine buildings of the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors, measuring up to 1 meter and 80 centimeters deep, respectively. Those near the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors were up to 40 cm and 1.5 meters deep, respectively.
And the most dramatic example of strategic idiocy: all the hoopla about dumping tons of water on the reactors will now have to be undone:
While analyzing the radioactivity levels of the pools from the water found in the No. 2 and No. 4 reactors, TEPCO will remove the water in all four reactor units to reduce the risk of more workers being exposed to radioactive substances, it said.
The risk would hinder efforts to restore the plant’s crippled cooling functions, which are crucial to overcoming the crisis, the government’s nuclear safety agency said.
But the most infuriating development is the latest disclosure from TEPCO that once again it covered up critical data.
TEPCO’s Fukushima office acknowledged Saturday that it had known earlier that the radiation in the underground level of the turbine building of one of the reactors was extremely high, but had not made the information available to pertinent parties.
Edano criticized the utility’s handling of the data, saying unless it reports necessary information to authorities in a timely manner, ”the government will not be able to give appropriate instructions and (TEPCO) will make workers, and eventually the public, distrustful” of the firm.
So aside from the constant lies and misinformation, the public can be assued that all is well.
Editor’s note: It was reported last night that radiation from iodine 131 in seawater offshore from the plant is 1,250 times higher than normal. Japanese officialdom proclaimed this within acceptable limits established by regulations and the contamination posed little risk to aquatic life. Once again, another fine example demonstrating that government is a fatal threat to human life
Just as with the Gulf oil spill – where BP, government spokesmen and mainstream talking heads spewed happy talk about how “benign” the dispersants were and how all the oil had disappeared – there is now an avalanche of statements that the radiation is at “safe” doses for everyone outside of the immediate vicinity of Fukushima.
For example, Japanese government call-in advice lines are telling people to simply rinse off any produce covered with radioactive dust.
EPA officials, however, refused to answer questions or make staff members available to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California.
So what levels of radiation are being released at Fukushima?
New Scientist reports that the radioactive fallout from Japan is approaching Chernobyl levels:
Japan’s damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima has been emitting radioactive iodine and caesium at levels approaching those seen in the aftermath of the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Austrian researchers have used a worldwide network of radiation detectors – designed to spot clandestine nuclear bomb tests – to show that iodine-131 is being released at daily levels 73 per cent of those seen after the 1986 disaster. The daily amount of caesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi is around 60 per cent of the amount released from Chernobyl.
Tyler Durden points out that – when you consider the fact that the amount of Caesium-137 released at Fukushima in the first 3-4 days of the crisis amounted to 50% that released by Chernobyl over 10 days – the real run rate of the radiation released at Fukushima is now about 120-150% the figure released by the Chernobyl explosion.
There are other signs of high levels radiation. See this and this. And it is important to remember that the amount of radioactive fuel at Fukushima dwarfs Chernobyl.
This Could Continue for a While
Many experts say that it could take months to contain Fukushima. See this and this. And therefore, high radiation levels might continue to be released for some time.
Evidence for the fact that a quick fix is unlikely is widespread. For example, reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4 were all leaking steam yesterday.
There was some indication that reactors 5 and 6 are leaking as well. As Kyodo News reports:
The firm [Tokyo Electric Power Company] also said it found both iodine-131 and cesium-137 in a sample taken from near the drain outlets of the plant’s No. 5 and No. 6 reactors that stabilized Sunday in so-called ”cold shutdown.”
Authorities in Japan raised the prospect Friday of a likely breach in the all-important containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a potentially ominous development in the race to prevent a large-scale release of radiation.
A senior nuclear executive who insisted on anonymity but has broad contacts in Japan said that there was a long vertical crack running down the side of the reactor vessel itself. The crack runs down below the water level in the reactor and has been leaking fluids and gases, he said.
“There is a definite, definite crack in the vessel — it’s up and down and it’s large,” he said. “The problem with cracks is they do not get smaller.”
This is not to say that there will be a full meltdown which sends radioactive plumes high into the stratosphere. I am assuming that will not happen. But the release of radioactivity is severe and ongoing.
But Low Doses of Radiation Are Safe … Aren’t They?
While most would dismiss as crackpot ramblings Coulter’s claim that radiation is good for you, what about the pervasive claims that the amount of radiation which has been released is so low that it is “safe” for people outside of the immediate vicinity of Fukushima?
According to the National Academy of Sciences, there are no safe doses of radiation. Decades of research show clearly that any dose of radiation increases an individual’s risk for the development of cancer.
“There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period,” said Jeff Patterson, DO, immediate past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility. “Exposure to radionuclides, such as iodine-131 and cesium-137, increases the incidence of cancer. For this reason, every effort must be taken to minimize the radionuclide content in food and water.”
“Consuming food containing radionuclides is particularly dangerous. If an individual ingests or inhales a radioactive particle, it continues to irradiate the body as long as it remains radioactive and stays in the body,”said Alan H. Lockwood, MD, a member of the Board of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Radiation can be concentrated many times in the food chain and any consumption adds to the cumulative risk of cancer and other diseases.
The National Council on Radiation Protection says, “… every increment of radiation exposure produces an incremental increase in the risk of cancer.” The Environmental Protection Agency says, “… any exposure to radiation poses some risk, i.e. there is no level below which we can say an exposure poses no risk.” The Department of Energy says about “low levels of radiation” that “… the major effect is a very slight increase in cancer risk.” The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says, “any amount of radiation may pose some risk for causing cancer … any increase in dose, no matter how small, results in an incremental increase in risk.” The National Academy of Sciences, in its “Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation VII,” says, “… it is unlikely that a threshold exists for the induction of cancers ….”
Long story short, “One can no longer speak of a ‘safe’ dose level,” as Dr. Ian Fairlie and Dr. Marvin Resnikoff said in their report “No dose too low,” in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
Administration spokespeople continuously claim “no threat” from the radiation reaching the US from Japan, just as they did with oil hemorrhaging into the Gulf. Perhaps we should all whistle “Don’t worry, be happy” in unison. A thorough review of the science, however, begs a second opinion.
That the radiation is being released 5,000 miles away isn’t as comforting as it seems…. Every day, the jet stream carries pollution from Asian smoke stacks and dust from the Gobi Desert to our West Coast, contributing 10 to 60 percent of the total pollution breathed by Californians, depending on the time of year. Mercury is probably the second most toxic substance known after plutonium. Half the mercury in the atmosphere over the entire US originates in China. It, too, is 5,000 miles away. A week after a nuclear weapons test in China, iodine 131 could be detected in the thyroid glands of deer in Colorado, although it could not be detected in the air or in nearby vegetation.
The idea that a threshold exists or there is a safe level of radiation for human exposure began unraveling in the 1950s when research showed one pelvic x-ray in a pregnant woman could double the rate of childhood leukemia in an exposed baby. Furthermore, the risk was ten times higher if it occurred in the first three months of pregnancy than near the end. This became the stepping-stone to the understanding that the timing of exposure was even more critical than the dose. The earlier in embryonic development it occurred, the greater the risk.
A new medical concept has emerged, increasingly supported by the latest research, called “fetal origins of disease,” that centers on the evidence that a multitude of chronic diseases, including cancer, often have their origins in the first few weeks after conception by environmental insults disturbing normal embryonic development. It is now established medical advice that pregnant women should avoid any exposure to x-rays, medicines or chemicals when not absolutely necessary, no matter how small the dose, especially in the first three months.
“Epigenetics” is a term integral to fetal origins of disease, referring to chemical attachments to genes that turn them on or off inappropriately and have impacts functionally similar to broken genetic bonds. Epigenetic changes can be caused by unimaginably small doses – parts per trillion – be it chemicals, air pollution, cigarette smoke or radiation. Furthermore, these epigenetic changes can occur within minutes after exposure and may be passed on to subsequent generations.
The Endocrine Society, 14,000 researchers and medical specialists in more than 100 countries, warned that “even infinitesimally low levels of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, indeed, any level of exposure at all, may cause endocrine or reproductive abnormalities, particularly if exposure occurs during a critical developmental window. Surprisingly, low doses may even exert more potent effects than higher doses.” If hormone-mimicking chemicals at any level are not safe for a fetus, then the concept is likely to be equally true of the even more intensely toxic radioactive elements drifting over from Japan, some of which may also act as endocrine disruptors.
Many epidemiologic studies show that extremely low doses of radiation increase the incidence of childhood cancers, low birth-weight babies, premature births, infant mortality, birth defects and even diminished intelligence. Just two abdominal x-rays delivered to a male can slightly increase the chance of his future children developing leukemia. By damaging proteins anywhere in a living cell, radiation can accelerate the aging process and diminish the function of any organ. Cells can repair themselves, but the rapidly growing cells in a fetus may divide before repair can occur, negating the body’s defense mechanism and replicating the damage.
Comforting statements about the safety of low radiation are not even accurate for adults. Small increases in risk per individual have immense consequences in the aggregate. When low risk is accepted for billions of people, there will still be millions of victims. New research on risks of x-rays illustrate the point.
Radiation from CT coronary scans is considered low, but, statistically, it causes cancer in one of every 270 40-year-old women who receive the scan. Twenty year olds will have double that rate. Annually, 29,000 cancers are caused by the 70 million CT scans done in the US. Common, low-dose dental x-rays more than double the rate of thyroid cancer. Those exposed to repeated dental x-rays have an even higher risk of thyroid cancer.
Beginning with Madam Curie, the story of nuclear power is one where key players have consistently miscalculated or misrepresented the risks of radiation. The victims include many of those who worked on the original Manhattan Project, the 200,000 soldiers who were assigned to eye witness our nuclear tests, the residents of the Western US who absorbed the lion’s share of fallout from our nuclear testing in Nevada, the thousands of forgotten victims of Three Mile Island or the likely hundreds of thousands of casualties of Chernobyl. This could be the latest chapter in that long and tragic story when, once again, we were told not to worry.
Note: People who rationally discuss the hazards from nuclear accidents are dismissed as “anti-nuclear”. However, that is like saying that people who are against pilots drinking tequila during flights are anti-flying. As Bloomberg points out, the operator of the Fukushima reactors faked safety tests and results and cut every corner in the books for decades, just as BP cut every safety corner prior to the Gulf oil spill. Moreover, the Fukushima reactors were not designed to withstand an earthquake or a tsunami, and their peculiar design makes the spent fuel rods an even greater danger than the reactors themselves.
Demanding a safer design – e.g. thorium reactors – and ongoing maintenance and safety tests doesn’t mean one is anti-nuclear.
While the mass media has all but dropped its interest in the Fukushima crisis to focus on Libya and meaningless side-issues like the death of Elizabeth Taylor, the nuclear nightmare only worsens, as Japanese authorities admit that reactor number 3, which is the only reactor to contain MOX plutonium, is now leaking.
“Japan’s nuclear regulator said one reactor core at the quake-damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant may be cracked and leaking radiation,” reports Bloomberg.
“It’s very possible that there has been some kind of leak at the No. 3 reactor,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman at the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said in Tokyo today. While radioactive water at the unit most likely escaped from the reactor core, it also could have originated from spent fuel pools stored atop the reactor, he said.”
The water now leaking from reactor number 3 has radiation levels 10,000 times above the level of normal reactor water. Yesterday, two Fukushima technicians received instant radioactive burns when they stepped in the puddle of water, as it burned right through their boots.
The leakage of plutonium and uranium from reactor number 3 is the nightmare scenario that many experts predicted would turn the situation at Fukushima from a crisis to a catastrophe.
The dire consequences of any major leak in reactor number 3 are exemplified by the fact that 4,000 tons of water have been dumped on the reactor, five times more than any of the other five units.
Reactor number 3 runs on MOX or Mixed Oxide fuel, a mixture of plutonium and uranium. Plutonium is the most deadly radioactive isotope known to man, and MOX is two million times more deadly than normal enriched uranium. The Half-life of Plutonium-239 in MOX is 24,000 years and just a few milligrams of P-239 escaping in a smoke plume will contaminate soil for tens of thousands of years.
On March 14, reactor number 3 was hit with a massive explosion that sent debris hurtling hundreds of feet into the air in an orange fireball. Authorities claimed that the explosion was caused by a build up of hydrogen pressure and that the blast did not damage the reactor containment unit. Is the damage to the reactor only recent, or have the Japanese been covering up the leak for almost two weeks since the explosion?
According to the Nuclear Information Resource Center (NIRS), “In the event of such accidents (involving the accidental release of MOX), if the ICRP (International Commission on Radiological Protection) recommendations for general public exposure were adhered to, only about one mg of plutonium may be released from a MOX facility to the environment. As a comparison, in [sic] uranium fabrication facility, 2kg (2,000,000 mg) of uranium could be released in the same radiation exposure.”
In the case of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the vast majority of the plutonium was not released during the explosion and subsequent fire.
As part of the bizarre sweeping apathy that the mass media has cultivated over the last week surrounding the Fukushima crisis, the threat of MOX plutonium has been completely downplayed.
Radiation emitted by the Fukushima reactors is already approaching Chernobyl levels.
“Iodine-131 is being released at daily levels 73 per cent of those seen after the 1986 disaster. The daily amount of caesium-137 released from Fukushima Daiichi is around 60 per cent of the amount released from Chernobyl,” reports the New Scientist.
According to a new study by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Nearly 25 years after the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, exposure to radioactive iodine-131(I-131, a radioactive isotope) from fallout may be responsible for thyroid cancers that are still occurring among people who lived in the Chernobyl area and were children or adolescents at the time of the accident.”
Despite UN and World Health Organization studies that claim Chernobyl led to a maximum of 9,000 deaths and 200,000 cases of radiation sickness, more contemporary studies have shown that nearly a million people have been killed from cancers caused by the disaster over the course of the last 25 years.
Radioactive yellow rain that fell in Tokyo and surrounding areas last night caused panic amongst Japanese citizens and prompted a flood of phone calls to Japan’s Meteorological Agency this morning, with people concerned that they were being fed the same lies as victims of Chernobyl, who were told that yellow rain which fell over Russia and surrounding countries after the 1986 disaster was merely pollen, the same explanation now being offered by Japanese authorities.
“After two days of rain in Tokyo I woke up to a thick coating of this yellow stuff all over my car. What looks like a glare between the glass and the body of the car is actually pollen. My first thought was ewe! Radioactive sludge from Fukushima, but no,” states the comment associated with this You Tube clip.
“The (Japan Meteorological) agency received more than 200 inquiries Thursday morning about yellowish residue left on roofs and elsewhere by the rain, stirring concerns that radioactive substances had fallen after accidents caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami at a nuclear power plant around 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo,” reports Japan Today.
Officials later suggested the discoloration was caused by air-borne pollen falling with the rain. “The JMA believes the yellow patches are pollen, but has yet to confirm this,” reports the Wall Street Journal, adding that the JMA received over 280 calls after residents in the Kanto region discovered yellow powder on the ground.
“A health official at the Tokyo metropolitan government also said there is a possibility that the rain contained radioactivity but not at a level to have had adverse effects on people’s health,” adds the Japan Today report.
Given the fact that Japanese authorities have been habitually deceptive about the Fukushima crisis from start to finish, assurances that the yellow powder was merely a result of air-borne pollen particles are dubious at best. With people living in Tokyo already being told that tap water is unsafe to drink, along with contaminated vegetables and milk from certain areas near Fukushima, the fact that they were panicked by yellow rain is unsurprising.
Although pollen can turn rain a yellow color, the fact that the phenomenon occurred a couple of hundred kilometers south of the radiation-spewing Fukushima nuclear plant has stoked alarm, and understandably so given the fact that victims of Chernobyl nuclear fallout in 1986 were also told by authorities that yellow rain was harmless pollen, when in fact it was deadly radioactive contamination.
A University of California Daily Bruin article entitled “Remembering Chernobyl,” documents how children in Belarus happily splashed around in puddles of yellow rain having been assured by Russian authorities that it was merely pollen, when in fact it was a toxic mixture of radioactivity that had been blasted from the Chernobyl plant 80 miles away.
Thinking back to 20 years ago, it’s the splashing in yellow rainwater that Antonina Sergieff vividly recalls.
“We all jumped in the puddles with the yellow stuff. … You don’t see (it in) the air, it doesn’t materialize. But when you see the yellow dust, you see radiation,” Sergieff said.
When these elements first reached Sergieff 20 years ago, they came in the form of yellow rain.
It was not long after that residents in her hometown knew it wasn’t simply “pollen” – which is what government officials assured them, she said.
The effects of this “pollen” soon confirmed that those puddles of yellow rain contained something far more sinister, namely iodine-131, caesium-137, strontium-90 and plutonium-239.
“Soon, people started losing their hair, pictures of deformed animals sprouted up in independent newspapers, and incidences of cancer in Belarus skyrocketed, Sergieff said. According to the U.N. brief, cases of breast cancer in Belarus doubled between 1988 and 1999, among other increases.”
As we have highlighted, despite UN and World Health Organization studies that claim Chernobyl led to a maximum of 9,000 deaths and 200,000 cases of radiation sickness, more contemporary studies have shown that nearly a million people have been killed from cancers caused by the disaster over the course of the last 25 years.
Men vad ni ska tänka på när ni läser artikeln är: Godzila är naturen.
Den refererar till att atombomber väcker godzila, vilket är rätt sant. Det fanns ett gammalt tsunami program av USA och FN som gick ut på att detonera atombomber på botten av havet och skapa en tsunami. Vilket man skulle göra först med atombomben "litle boy" men man bestämde sig istället för att släppa den i hiroshima.
Hoppas bara jag fick all min fakta rätt.. inte lätt att komma ihåg saker man läst för ~1 år sedan.
Despite the fact that Fukushima nuclear reactor is still spewing black radioactive smoke as the crisis shows little sign of abating and Japanese authorities refuse to give accurate radiation readings, U.S. health authorities have gone from ambivalently telling Americans not to worry about the situation, to actively discouraging them from obtaining potassium iodide at all.
After it was confirmed that traces of radioactivity had reached Colorado, Dr. Chris Urbina, chief medical officer and executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a statement today, “There is no need for people to seek potassium iodide,” before going on to list numerous side-effects as a way of actively discouraging Americans from taking the drug.
“Using potassium iodide when it is unnecessary could cause intestinal upset (vomiting, nausea and diarrhea), rashes, allergic reactions, soreness of teeth and gums, and inflammation of the salivary glands. Pregnant women and the developing fetus are particularly sensitive to the health risks of taking potassium iodide,” said Urbina.
Urbina’s statement is baffling because it leaves Americans open to developing thyroid cancer should levels of radiation being emitted from Fukushima worsen, which is a distinct possibility given reports yesterday about how deadly radioactive spent fuel rods were “boiling” the water they are contained in having already reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees celsius.
The statement also completely fails to explain the fact that potassium iodide has innumerable health benefits when taken in smaller doses, such as the weaker liquid form, potassium iodine, or in the form of Kelp vitamin tablets.
A decrease in iodine intake has caused, “an epidemic of iodine deficiency in America,” according to Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD, who notes that incidences of breast cancer in Japan, where diets are rich in iodine, are amongst the lowest in the world, whereas they are the highest in America. Studies show that iodine helps protect against developing numerous types of cancer.
Merely having a small amount of potassium iodide pills on standby in a country that has a number of almost identical nuclear plants to the one at Fukushima makes perfect sense, so why is a government that constantly lectures Americans about preparing for imaginary terror attacks now telling them not to prepare at all when a real threat arises?
A report commissioned by Congress “recommended that everyone under 40 near a nuclear power plant should have the pills on hand,” and yet health authorities are now openly badmouthing something that even the FDA said was “effective in reducing the risk of thyroid cancer in individuals or populations at risk for inhalation or ingestion of radioiodines.”
World Health Organization spokesman Gregory Hartl made similar remarks to Urbina when he warned people that potassium iodide could cause “substantial health damage,” again failing to make the distinction between high grade potassium iodide pills and weaker potassium iodide supplements.
The U.S. government has taken a stance that seems to go beyond containing panic to actively preventing Americans from obtaining potassium iodide.
As we reported last week, anecdotal evidence suggests that doctors are being told by the CDC to withhold potassium iodide from patients who try to get it on prescription as a way to circumvent exhausted supplies caused by panic buying.
The U.S. government has refused to stockpile supplies of the drug despite numerous experts warning that Fukushima could represent a crisis worse than Chernobyl.
“The federal government has never purchased enough to meet that standard,” reports CNN. “There is currently only enough of the medication available for populations living within 10 miles of nuclear reactors in the United States, according to U.S. officials.”
As Mike Adams writes, “If you leave the fate of your own health up to a bunch of state bureaucrats, you’re a fool. Everybody needs to have some potassium iodide on hand to protect themselves from radiation poisoning caused by nuclear accidents or nuclear terrorism.”
Japanese authorities were forced to admit their mistake earlier this week in not distributing potassium iodide pills to the public until days after the Fukushima plant started spewing radiation into the atmosphere.
President Barack Obama encapsulated the official policy to badmouth the drug last week when he all but insulted Americans for preparing themselves for fallout by purchasing potassium iodide pills.
It was also what ground zero workers heard in the days after 9/11, that the air was “safe to breathe,” a contrived cover-up on behalf of the EPA and the White House that led to thousands of crippling illnesses and deaths of firefighters, police and first responders.
The Kyodo News Agency reports that radiation around the hobbled Fukushima nuclear plant is 1,600 times the normal level. The astounding figure was released to the media by the International Atomic Energy Agency officials on Monday.
Data collected by an IAEA team show that radiation levels of 161 microsievert per hour have been detected in the town of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, the officials said, according to a report posted by House of Japan.
Tests carried out by IAEA technicians in numerous locations around the plant revealed radiation levels ranging between 2 and 160 microsievert per hour, while the normal level for the area should not exceed 0.1 microsievert per hour, the Russian newsite RIA Novosti reports.
A CBS affiliate in Wisconsin also reported on the high radiation levels that will ultimately be dispersed around the world and will undoubtedly result in unprecedented health problems and premature death from cancer. Most of the corporate media, however, did not bother to report the story.
Reuters reported that there is currently 500 millisieverts per hour of radiation at the site but does not explain what this means. It did not mention the 1,600 number.
Earlier in the week, nuclear energy critic and author Hirose Takashi wrote about the media effort to obfuscate the truth about Fukushima:
Around Fukushima Daiichi Station they measured 400 millisieverts – that’s per hour. With this measurement (Chief Cabinet Secretary) Edano admitted for the first time that there was a danger to health, but he didn’t explain what this means. All of the information media are at fault here I think. They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space. But that’s one millisievert per year. A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760. Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose. You call that safe? And what media have reported this?
The corporate media as the complaisant handmaiden of the elite are obliged to cover up the truth. In the end, all of us – especially our children – will pay for it.
Hirose Takashi has written a whole shelf full of books, mostly on the nuclear power industry and the military-industrial complex. Probably his best known book is Nuclear Power Plants for Tokyo in which he took the logic of the nuke promoters to its logical conclusion: if you are so sure that they’re safe, why not build them in the center of the city, instead of hundreds of miles away where you lose half the electricity in the wires?
He did the TV interview that is partly translated below somewhat against his present impulses. I talked to him on the telephone today (March 22 , 2011) and he told me that while it made sense to oppose nuclear power back then, now that the disaster has begun he would just as soon remain silent, but the lies they are telling on the radio and TV are so gross that he cannot remain silent.
I have translated only about the first third of the interview (you can see the whole thing in Japanese on you-tube), the part that pertains particularly to what is happening at the Fukushima plants. In the latter part he talked about how dangerous radiation is in general, and also about the continuing danger of earthquakes.
After reading his account, you will wonder, why do they keep on sprinkling water on the reactors, rather than accept the sarcophagus solution [ie., entombing the reactors in concrete. Editors.] I think there are a couple of answers. One, those reactors were expensive, and they just can’t bear the idea of that huge a financial loss. But more importantly, accepting the sarcophagus solution means admitting that they were wrong, and that they couldn’t fix the things. On the one hand that’s too much guilt for a human being to bear. On the other, it means the defeat of the nuclear energy idea, an idea they hold to with almost religious devotion. And it means not just the loss of those six (or ten) reactors, it means shutting down all the others as well, a financial catastrophe. If they can only get them cooled down and running again they can say, See, nuclear power isn’t so dangerous after all. Fukushima is a drama with the whole world watching, that can end in the defeat or (in their frail, I think groundless, hope) victory for the nuclear industry. Hirose’s account can help us to understand what the drama is about. Douglas Lummis
Hirose Takashi: The Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Accident and the State of the Media
Broadcast by Asahi NewStar, 17 March, 20:00
Interviewers: Yo and Maeda Mari
Yo: Today many people saw water being sprayed on the reactors from the air and from the ground, but is this effective?
Hirose: . . . If you want to cool a reactor down with water, you have to circulate the water inside and carry the heat away, otherwise it has no meaning. So the only solution is to reconnect the electricity. Otherwise it’s like pouring water on lava.
Yo: Reconnect the electricity – that’s to restart the cooling system?
Hirose: Yes. The accident was caused by the fact that the tsunami flooded the emergency generators and carried away their fuel tanks. If that isn’t fixed, there’s no way to recover from this accident.
Yo: Tepco [Tokyo Electric Power Company, owner/operator of the nuclear plants] says they expect to bring in a high voltage line this evening.
Hirose: Yes, there’s a little bit of hope there. But what’s worrisome is that a nuclear reactor is not like what the schematic pictures show (shows a graphic picture of a reactor, like those used on TV). This is just a cartoon. Here’s what it looks like underneath a reactor container (shows a photograph). This is the butt end of the reactor. Take a look. It’s a forest of switch levers and wires and pipes. On television these pseudo-scholars come on and give us simple explanations, but they know nothing, those college professors. Only the engineers know. This is where water has been poured in. This maze of pipes is enough to make you dizzy. Its structure is too wildly complex for us to understand. For a week now they have been pouring water through there. And it’s salt water, right? You pour salt water on a hot kiln and what do you think happens? You get salt. The salt will get into all these valves and cause them to freeze. They won’t move. This will be happening everywhere. So I can’t believe that it’s just a simple matter of you reconnecting the electricity and the water will begin to circulate. I think any engineer with a little imagination can understand this. You take a system as unbelievably complex as this and then actually dump water on it from a helicopter – maybe they have some idea of how this could work, but I can’t understand it.
Yo: It will take 1300 tons of water to fill the pools that contain the spent fuel rods in reactors 3 and 4. This morning 30 tons. Then the Self Defense Forces are to hose in another 30 tons from five trucks. That’s nowhere near enough, they have to keep it up. Is this squirting of water from hoses going to change the situation?
Hirose: In principle, it can’t. Because even when a reactor is in good shape, it requires constant control to keep the temperature down to where it is barely safe. Now it’s a complete mess inside, and when I think of the 50 remaining operators, it brings tears to my eyes. I assume they have been exposed to very large amounts of radiation, and that they have accepted that they face death by staying there. And how long can they last? I mean, physically. That’s what the situation has come to now. When I see these accounts on television, I want to tell them, “If that’s what you say, then go there and do it yourself!” Really, they talk this nonsense, trying to reassure everyone, trying to avoid panic. What we need now is a proper panic. Because the situation has come to the point where the danger is real.
If I were Prime Minister Kan, I would order them to do what the Soviet Union did when the Chernobyl reactor blew up, the sarcophagus solution, bury the whole thing under cement, put every cement company in Japan to work, and dump cement over it from the sky. Because you have to assume the worst case. Why? Because in Fukushima there is the Daiichi Plant with six reactors and the Daini Plant with four for a total of ten reactors. If even one of them develops the worst case, then the workers there must either evacuate the site or stay on and collapse. So if, for example, one of the reactors at Daiichi goes down, the other five are only a matter of time. We can’t know in what order they will go, but certainly all of them will go. And if that happens, Daini isn’t so far away, so probably the reactors there will also go down. Because I assume that workers will not be able to stay there.
I’m speaking of the worst case, but the probability is not low. This is the danger that the world is watching. Only in Japan is it being hidden. As you know, of the six reactors at Daiichi, four are in a crisis state. So even if at one everything goes well and water circulation is restored, the other three could still go down. Four are in crisis, and for all four to be 100 per cent repaired, I hate to say it, but I am pessimistic. If so, then to save the people, we have to think about some way to reduce the radiation leakage to the lowest level possible. Not by spraying water from hoses, like sprinkling water on a desert. We have to think of all six going down, and the possibility of that happening is not low. Everyone knows how long it takes a typhoon to pass over Japan; it generally takes about a week. That is, with a wind speed of two meters per second, it could take about five days for all of Japan to be covered with radiation. We’re not talking about distances of 20 kilometers or 30 kilometers or 100 kilometers. It means of course Tokyo, Osaka. That’s how fast a radioactive cloud could spread. Of course it would depend on the weather; we can’t know in advance how the radiation would be distributed. It would be nice if the wind would blow toward the sea, but it doesn’t always do that. Two days ago, on the 15th, it was blowing toward Tokyo. That’s how it is...
Yo: Every day the local government is measuring the radioactivity. All the television stations are saying that while radiation is rising, it is still not high enough to be a danger to health. They compare it to a stomach x-ray, or if it goes up, to a CT scan. What is the truth of the matter?
Hirose: For example, yesterday. Around Fukushima Daiichi Station they measured 400 millisieverts – that’s per hour. With this measurement (Chief Cabinet Secretary) Edano admitted for the first time that there was a danger to health, but he didn’t explain what this means. All of the information media are at fault here I think. They are saying stupid things like, why, we are exposed to radiation all the time in our daily life, we get radiation from outer space. But that’s one millisievert per year. A year has 365 days, a day has 24 hours; multiply 365 by 24, you get 8760. Multiply the 400 millisieverts by that, you get 3,500,000 the normal dose. You call that safe? And what media have reported this? None. They compare it to a CT scan, which is over in an instant; that has nothing to do with it. The reason radioactivity can be measured is that radioactive material is escaping. What is dangerous is when that material enters your body and irradiates it from inside. These industry-mouthpiece scholars come on TV and what to they say? They say as you move away the radiation is reduced in inverse ratio to the square of the distance. I want to say the reverse. Internal irradiation happens when radioactive material is ingested into the body. What happens? Say there is a nuclear particle one meter away from you. You breathe it in, it sticks inside your body; the distance between you and it is now at the micron level. One meter is 1000 millimeters, one micron is one thousandth of a millimeter. That’s a thousand times a thousand squared. That’s the real meaning of “inverse ratio of the square of the distance.” Radiation exposure is increased by a factor of a trillion. Inhaling even the tiniest particle, that’s the danger.
Yo: So making comparisons with X-rays and CT scans has no meaning. Because you can breathe in radioactive material.
Hirose: That’s right. When it enters your body, there’s no telling where it will go. The biggest danger is women, especially pregnant women, and little children. Now they’re talking about iodine and cesium, but that’s only part of it, they’re not using the proper detection instruments. What they call monitoring means only measuring the amount of radiation in the air. Their instruments don’t eat. What they measure has no connection with the amount of radioactive material. . . .
Yo: So damage from radioactive rays and damage from radioactive material are not the same.
Hirose: If you ask, are any radioactive rays from the Fukushima Nuclear Station here in this studio, the answer will be no. But radioactive particles are carried here by the air. When the core begins to melt down, elements inside like iodine turn to gas. It rises to the top, so if there is any crevice it escapes outside.
Yo: Is there any way to detect this?
Hirose: I was told by a newspaper reporter that now Tepco is not in shape even to do regular monitoring. They just take an occasional measurement, and that becomes the basis of Edano’s statements. You have to take constant measurements, but they are not able to do that. And you need to investigate just what is escaping, and how much. That requires very sophisticated measuring instruments. You can’t do it just by keeping a monitoring post. It’s no good just to measure the level of radiation in the air. Whiz in by car, take a measurement, it’s high, it’s low – that’s not the point. We need to know what kind of radioactive materials are escaping, and where they are going – they don’t have a system in place for doing that now.
It looks like the Japanese and Obama will try to cover-up the out of control reactors and exposed fuel rods at Fukushima the same way the U.S. government covered-up the Gulf oil disaster.
Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan has proclaimed he can see “light at the end of the tunnel” and that progress has been made at the number one and two reactors at the plant.
It was also reported that a power cable was connected to the number 3 and 4 reactors.
Obama’s bureaucrats were obliged to chime in. “With each passing hour, each passing day, things are more under control,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on the Fox News Sunday program. “Step by step, they are making very good progress.”
Chu said the Obama administration believes the worst of the crisis is behind us. Unit two, where TEPCO connected a 1.5-kilometer power cable March 18, was the main source of concern, Chu said on CNN’s State of the Union program.
Meanwhile, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said he had “no doubt that this crisis will be effectively overcome.”
On March 21, Zero Hedge posted thermal photos of the site. “Thermal images from Fukushima have just been released. One is based on data from Die Welt, the other one comes straight from NHK,” the site notes.
The Die Welt photo shows a temperature at 128 Celsius, well above the boiling point of water. Zero Hedge speculates the area in question is the pool containing spent nuclear fuel rods. If the water is boiling, the rods are more than likely exposed and radiation is being emitted. Water boils at 100 Celsisu.
So much for Chu’s optimism.
Related: Latest Radiation charts
In the video below, we see an animation based on the radiation readings released by the German Meteorological Agency on March 21. Note the increase in radiation levels.
Last week faux conservative and shameless self-promoter Ann Coulter went on the Bill O’Reilly Show and said “radiation is good for you” in response to questions about the Fukushima nuclear reactors (see video below).
She claimed that a growing body of evidence shows exposure to high levels of harmful radiation actually reduces cancer.
On her website, Coulter wrote an article entitled A glowing report on radiation, in which she wrote: “With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer.”
She declared “excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine.”
On his nationally syndicated radio show today, Alex Jones offered to foot the bill and send Ms. Coulter to Fukushima where she might deliver a speech on the benefits of radiation.
Men varför tror ni Fukushima har problem med sina reaktorer? Svaret är självklart.
Dem hade ju en reaktor som exploderade! Masterna på bilden är ~1000 meter kan ni se explosionen? Man kan se tryckvågen nå över masten! Så antagligen så tog de andrareaktorena "lite" skada.
Fukushima 1 har 3-6 reaktorer om jag fick nyheterna rätt.