Fukushima; the evolution of a crisis

Fukushima; the Evolution of a crisis
Here is a selection of newspaper stories and videos, dating from the first anniversary as a resource to illustrate how the crisis at Fukkushima has evolved to what is happening now.


2011

Helen Caldicott on Fukushima

This video, although it seems it was filmed about a month ago has just been released onto the internet.

It is a talk by Australian physician and anti-nuclear campaigner Dr. Helen Caldicott and gives the clearest account I have heard so far both of what is happening at Fukushima and the consequences for humanity.

It is a MUST SEE video.




Just as the world's media continues to keep silent on events at Fukushima, RT has again done an interview indicating that all is not well.




Record numbers dying from heatstroke in Japan

ABC
North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy
Updated July 15, 2011 10:22:18




Cases of heatstroke in Japan have hit record levels as people switch off air conditioners in the summer heat to save power after the nuclear crisis.

At least 26 people have died this month alone.

The average temperature in Japan this summer is nearly 4 degrees Celsius higher than usual, with some centres sweltering in near 40C heat.

With power supplies cut because of the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, people are being urged to save power, including turning down air conditioners.

But the country's disaster management agency says that since the start of this month more than 13,000 people have been rushed to hospital because of heatstroke.

More than half of those needing care were over 65 years old.


Japan groups alarmed by radioactive soil

The latest from Japan...

"The radiation in the soil 60 km, (40 miles) away from Fukushima -- outside the evac area -- is  around 460% above Japan's legal limits for Cesium. It is much higher than the levels used as a baseline for evacuation after Chernobyl. The radiation is spreading... and children are playing in the soil."









TOKYO — Soil radiation in a city 60 kilometres (40 miles) from Japan's stricken nuclear plant is above levels that prompted resettlement after the Chernobyl disaster, citizens' groups said Tuesday.

The survey of four locations in Fukushima city, outside the nuclear evacuation zone, showed that all soil samples contained caesium exceeding Japan's legal limit of 10,000 becquerels per kilogram (4,500 per pound), they said.

The highest level was 46,540 becquerels per kilogram, and the three other readings were between 16,290 and 19,220 becquerels per kilogram, they said.

The citizens' groups -- the Fukushima Network for Saving Children from Radiation and five other non-governmental organisations -- have called for the evacuation of pregnant women and children from the town.

The highest reading in the city of 290,000 people far exceeded the level that triggered compulsory resettlement ordered by Soviet authorities following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, they said.

Kobe University radiation expert professor Tomoya Yamauchi conducted the survey on June 26 following a request from the groups.

"Soil contamination is spreading in the city," Yamauchi said in a statement. "Children are playing with the soil, meaning they are playing with high levels of radioactive substances. Evacuation must be conducted as soon as possible."

The coastal Fukushima Daiichi plant has been spewing radiation since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami knocked out its cooling systems.



More from Japan

Here are a couple of articles that point to Japan's predicament: reduced energy output as a result of Fukushima affecting industry and GDP.  Now Japan is in the grips of record high temperatures.





Japan imposes energy limits amid power crunch




Japan began imposing energy restrictions on companies, shopping malls and other major electricity users Friday to cope with power shortages caused by the loss of a tsunami-hit nuclear power plant.

Big factories, office buildings, universities and department stores in the Tokyo area must use 15% less electricity than a year ago. Electricity is in short supply due to the shutdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant hit by the massive March 11 earthquake and tsunami.


Japan braces itself for hottest summer on record


The country is on course to surpass the historic heatwave of last year when more than 54,000 people were admitted to hospitals.

Soaring temperatures are compounded by concerns over power shortages caused by the loss of power from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Temperatures reached 96.4 degrees (35.8 Celsius) in Tokyo on Wednesday and claimed four lives. In the city of Koshu, it reached 101.3F (38.5C).

In total, authorities say that eight people have died from heatstroke since the end of May.

Tepco workers speak out


This report from al-Jazeera 





Why the Fukushima disaster is worse than Chernobyl
Japan has been slow to admit the scale of the meltdown. But now the truth is coming out. David McNeill reports from Soma City


Monday, 29 August 2011
Yoshio Ichida is recalling the worst day of his 53 years: 11 March, when the sea swallowed up his home and killed his friends. The Fukushima fisherman was in the bath when the huge quake hit and barely made it to the open sea in his boat in the 40 minutes before the 15-metre tsunami that followed. When he got back to port, his neighbourhood and nearly everything else was gone. "Nobody can remember anything like this," he says.

Now living in a refugee centre in the ruined coastal city of Soma, Mr Ichida has mourned the 100 local fishermen killed in the disaster and is trying to rebuild his life with his colleagues. Every morning, they arrive at the ruined fisheries co-operative building in Soma port and prepare for work. Then they stare out at the irradiated sea, and wait. "Some day we know we'll be allowed to fish again. We all want to believe that."

This nation has recovered from worse natural – and manmade – catastrophes. But it is the triple meltdown and its aftermath at the Fukushima nuclear power plant 40km down the coast from Soma that has elevated Japan into unknown, and unknowable, terrain. Across the northeast, millions of people are living with its consequences and searching for a consensus on a safe radiation level that does not exist. Experts give bewilderingly different assessments of its dangers.

Some scientists say Fukushima is worse than the 1986 Chernobyl accident, with which it shares a maximum level-7 rating on the sliding scale of nuclear disasters. One of the most prominent of them is Dr Helen Caldicott, an Australian physician and long time anti-nuclear activist who warns of "horrors to come" in Fukushima.

Chris Busby, a professor at the University of Ulster known for his alarmist views, generated controversy during a Japan visit last month when he said the disaster would result in more than 1 million deaths. "Fukushima is still boiling its radionuclides all over Japan," he said. "Chernobyl went up in one go. So Fukushima is worse."

On the other side of the nuclear fence are the industry friendly scientists who insist that the crisis is under control and radiation levels are mostly safe. "I believe the government and Tokyo Electric Power [Tepco, the plant's operator] are doing their best," said Naoto Sekimura, vice-dean of the Graduate School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo. Mr Sekimura initially advised residents near the plant that a radioactive disaster was "unlikely" and that they should stay "calm", an assessment he has since had to reverse.

Slowly, steadily, and often well behind the curve, the government has worsened its prognosis of the disaster. Last Friday, scientists affiliated with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said the plant had released 15,000 terabecquerels of cancer-causing Cesium, equivalent to about 168 times the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the event that ushered in the nuclear age. (Professor Busby says the release is at least 72,000 times worse than Hiroshima).

Caught in a blizzard of often conflicting information, many Japanese instinctively grope for the beacons they know. Mr Ichida and his colleagues say they no longer trust the nuclear industry or the officials who assured them the Fukushima plant was safe. But they have faith in government radiation testing and believe they will soon be allowed back to sea.

That's a mistake, say sceptics, who note a consistent pattern of official lying, foot-dragging and concealment. Last week, officials finally admitted something long argued by its critics: that thousands of people with homes near the crippled nuclear plant may not be able to return for a generation or more. "We can't rule out the possibility that there will be some areas where it will be hard for residents to return to their homes for a long time," said Yukio Edano, the government's top government spokesman. "We are very sorry."

Last Friday, hundreds of former residents from Futaba and Okuma, the towns nearest the plant, were allowed to visit their homes – perhaps for the last time – to pick up belongings. Wearing masks and radiation suits, they drove through the 20km contaminated zone around the plant, where hundreds of animals have died and rotted in the sun, to find kitchens and living rooms partly reclaimed by nature. "It's hard to believe we ever lived here," one former resident told NHK.

Several other areas northwest of the plant have become atomic ghost towns after being ordered to evacuate – too late, say many residents, who believe they absorbed dangerous quantities of radiation in the weeks after the accident. "We've no idea when we can come back," says Katsuzo Shoji, who farmed rice and cabbages and kept a small herd of cattle near Iitate, a picturesque village about 40km from the plant.

Although it is outside the exclusion zone, the village's mountainous topography meant radiation, carried by wind and rain, lingered, poisoning crops, water and school playgrounds.

The young, the wealthy, mothers and pregnant women left for Tokyo or elsewhere. Most of the remaining 6000 people have since evacuated, after the government accepted that safe radiation limits had been exceeded.

Mr Shoji, 75, went from shock to rage, then despair when the government told him he would have to destroy his vegetables, kill his six cows and move with his wife Fumi, 73, to an apartment in Koriyama, about 20km away. "We've heard five, maybe 10 years but some say that's far too optimistic," he says, crying. "Maybe I'll be able to come home to die." He was given initial compensation of one million yen (£7,900) by Tepco, topped up with 350,000 yen from the government.

It is the fate of people outside the evacuation zones, however, that causes the most bitter controversy. Parents in Fukushima City, 63km from the plant, have banded together to demand that the government do more to protect about 100,000 children. Schools have banned soccer and other outdoor sports. Windows are kept closed. "We've just been left to fend for ourselves," says Machiko Sato, a grandmother who lives in the city. "It makes me so angry."

Many parents have already sent their children to live with relatives or friends hundreds of kilometres away. Some want the government to evacuate the entire two million population of Fukushima Prefecture. "They're demanding the right to be able to evacuate," says anti-nuclear activist Aileen Mioko Smith, who works with the parents. "In other words, if they evacuate they want the government to support them."

So far, at least, the authorities say that is not necessary. The official line is that the accident at the plant is winding down and radiation levels outside of the exclusion zone and designated "hot spots" are safe.

But many experts warn that the crisis is just beginning. Professor Tim Mousseau, a biological scientist who has spent more than a decade researching the genetic impact of radiation around Chernobyl, says he worries that many people in Fukushima are "burying their heads in the sand." His Chernobyl research concluded that biodiversity and the numbers of insects and spiders had shrunk inside the irradiated zone, and the bird population showed evidence of genetic defects, including smaller brain sizes.

"The truth is that we don't have sufficient data to provide accurate information on the long-term impact," he says. "What we can say, though, is that there are very likely to be very significant long-term health impact from prolonged exposure."

In Soma, Mr Ichida says all the talk about radiation is confusing. "All we want to do is get back to work. There are many different ways to die, and having nothing to do is one of them."

Economic cost
Fukushima: Japan has estimated it will cost as much as £188bn to rebuild following the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.
Chernobyl There are a number of estimates of the economic impact, but thetotal cost is thought to be about £144bn.

Safety
Fukushima: workers are allowed to operate in the crippled plant up to a dose of 250mSv (millisieverts). 
Chernobyl: People exposed to 350mSv were relocated. In most countries the maximum annual dosage for a worker is 20mSv. The allowed dose for someone living close to a nuclear plant is 1mSv a year.

Death toll
Fukushima: Two workers died inside the plant. Some scientists predict that one million lives will be lost to cancer.
Chernobyl: It is difficult to say how many people died on the day of the disaster because of state security, but Greenpeace estimates that 200,000 have died from radiation-linked cancers in the 25 years since the accident.

Exclusion zone
Fukushima: Tokyo initially ordered a 20km radius exclusion zone around the plant
Chernobyl: The initial radius of the Chernobyl zone was set at 30km – 25 years later it is still largely in place.

Compensation
Fukushima: Tepco's share price has collapsed since the disaster largely because of the amount it will need to pay out, about £10,000 a person
Chernobyl: Not a lot. It has been reported that Armenian victims of the disaster were offered about £6 each in 1986

Aid
Fukushima: The UN's Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported bilateral aid worth $95m
Chernobyl: 12 years after the disaster, the then Ukrainian president, Leonid Kuchma, complained that his country was still waiting for international help.




New Data Supports Previous Fairewinds Analysis, as Contamination Spreads in Japan and Worldwide


New Data Supports Previous Fairewinds Analysis, as Contamination Spreads in Japan and Worldwide from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.



Another voice from Japan -




“Stray family from Japan”




Today someone asked me to look for a family, group, or any kinds of organization to accept evacuated families from Japan.

She is a mother with 5 years old boy.

On 3/11, she was at her home in Kamakura.

Hearing that Fukushima plants lost its cooling system,she ran for the west.

On the way, she heard the news that Fukushima plants blasted,so she decided to fly to Okinawa.

She was staying there for a month,but to know contamination has spread to all over the north hemisphere; she went to NZ and stayed there for 3 months.and she moved to AU and spent 10 days there.

Now she is looking for a job in Asia.

I totally admire her courage and love to protect her own children.

However, I really am sorry for her having to get through all the hard long way.

We share the point of view, government is not trustworthy at all.

And wherever you go in Japan,you end up having contaminated food.

We think evacuation is the only way to survive.

She says, millions of the family need shelter out of Japan.

Taking it into consideration that their children are still little, they hope to stay in one place for long.

I’m looking for a way to get out of Japan myself, so I really know the problems are
1) Job
2) Secured home

However, there are a lot of the families to want to evacuate from Japan for whatever the cost is. If you are able to help us,I would love you to take a contact with me.

You can leave a message below,or I’m @Angama_Market on Twitter. Message me please.

I was thinking of leaving Japan, but mothers and kids are much higher priority.

I’m not important.Please help them first.

Sincerely.



Confirmation from an "official" source of what we have been saying

Large Zone Near Japanese Reactors to Be Off Limits




TOKYO — Broad areas around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels, several major media outlets said Monday.

The formal announcement, expected from the government in coming days, would be the first official recognition that the March accident could force the long-term depopulation of communities near the plant, an eventuality that scientists and some officials have been warning about for months. Lawmakers said over the weekend — and major newspapers reported Monday — that Prime Minister Naoto Kan was planning to visit Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is, as early as Saturday to break the news directly to residents. The affected communities are all within 12 miles of the plant, an area that was evacuated immediately after the accident.

The government is expected to tell many of these residents that they will not be permitted to return to their homes for an indefinite period. It will also begin drawing up plans for compensating them by, among other things, renting their now uninhabitable land. While it is unclear if the government would specify how long these living restrictions would remain in place, news reports indicated it could be decades. That has been the case for areas around the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine after its 1986 accident.

Since the Fukushima accident, evacuations have been a sensitive topic for the government, which has been criticized for being slow to admit the extent of the disaster and trying to limit the size of the areas affected, despite possible risks to public health. Until now, Tokyo had been saying it would lift the current evacuation orders for most areas around the plant early next year, when workers are expected to stabilize Fukushima Daiichi’s damaged nuclear reactors.

The government was apparently forced to alter its plans after the survey by the Ministry of Science and Education, released over the weekend, which showed even higher than expected radiation levels within the 12-mile evacuation zone around the plant. The most heavily contaminated spot was in the town of Okuma about two miles southwest of the plant, where someone living for a year would be exposed to 508.1 millisieverts of radiation — far above the level of 20 millesieverts per year that the government considers safe.

The survey found radiation above the safe level at three dozen spots up to 12 miles from the plant. That has called into question how many residents will actually be able to return to their homes even after the plant is stabilized.

Some 80,000 people were evacuated from communities around the plant, which was crippled by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and towering tsunami on March 11. Many of those residents now live in temporary housing or makeshift refugee shelters, and are allowed back to their homes only for brief, tightly supervised visits in which they must wear protective clothing.

This blog highlights how things really are for people in Japan


Breaking News: Black Rain

Posted by Mochizuki on August 19th, 2011


Storm brought fallout to the Kanto area on 8/19/2011.

Since it started to rain,around 11:30AM ,radiation level spiked up around in Tokyo.

Like in Kanagawa,it was 0.055 uSv/h before the rain but it jumped up to 0.095 uSv/h.

This is almost the highest level since April.

This rain is highly likely to contain cesium,which caused the spike up.
0.095 uSv/h isn’t the problem.Hot particles coming out of the rain water when it’s dry matters when we breathe it to our lung.

In Kanto area,nobody should touch the rain either. Especially cesium is absorbed from hair too.

The night before the day,8/18/2011 22:00~23:00,massive steam splashed from Fukushima plants too.

and the wind blew from north on 8/19. It is rational to think the steam came to Tokyo.

On the internet,our grass rooted community had a consensus that the account called “Happy”is a whistle-blower of Tepco.but we are starting to suspect it recently since he has been commenting the “steam” is a harmful rumor.

Now the steam and smoke is observed even on the Fukuichi camera.

Probably,radioactive steam is splashing out of the cracks in the ground actually.

Fallout will affect our tap water in 2~3 days from now.

Can’t we escape from the endless hell..


More on the situation at Fukushima - from Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds





Nuclear Expert: Radioactive Rain-Outs Will Continue For a Year – Even In Western U.S. and Canada – Because Japanese Are Burning Radioactive Materials





Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says in a new interview that the Japanese are burning radioactive materials. The radioactivity originated from Fukushima, but various prefectures are burning radioactive materials in their terroritories.

Gundersen says that this radioactivity ends up not only in neighboring prefectures, but in Hawaii, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington and California.

He notes that radioactive rain-outs were documented recently in British Columbia and Oklahoma with geiger counters.

Gundersen says that well see another year of radioactive rain-outs, as the Japanese continue to burn radioactive materials.

Cover Up By American and Canadian Governments

Gundersen has a high-level contact in the State Department who says that the U.S. government has decided – within various agencies, including the State Department, FDA, and other agencies – to downplay the dangers from Fukushima. Because of this policy decision, the government is not really testing for radiation.

Gundersen is working with scientists who will publish a paper in the near future definitively debunking Canadian and American health officials’ claims that only harmless levels of radiation are being released



For interview GO HERE


Experts estimate the radiation leaked from Fukushima nuclear plant will exceed that of Chernobyl.

From al-Jazeera

At least one billion becquerels of radiation continue to leak from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant each day even though it is now more than five months after the March earthquake and tsunami that damaged the facility.

Experts say that the total radiation leaked will eventually exceed the amounts released from the Chernobyl disaster that the Ukraine in April 1986. This amount would make Fukushima the worst nuclear disaster in history.

Al Jazeera correspondent Steve Chao reports from Tokyo.





Head of nuclear watchdog criticizes TEPCO over blacked-out documents



18 September, 2011

The head of a government nuclear watchdog has criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) for not being transparent enough, after it submitted documents earlier this month that were mostly blacked out.

"Why don't they release all the information? There are problems with TEPCO's attitude toward providing information," Hiroyuki Fukano, 54, head of the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), told the Mainichi in an interview on Sept. 16.

The documents in question include an operation manual for responding to nuclear accidents.



For article GO HERE


Interview: Local says ‘unlisted’ Fukushima radiation workers held captive until they die, then marked as ‘missing’

25 October, 2011

Journalist: Iwakami Yasumi

Man being interviewed: Mr. Sakuma, a Fukushima citizen who runs motorcycle shop. He has 30 million yen bank loan, which forced him to come back to Fukushima.

Date filmed: Oct. 21, 2011


- A 21 years old Fukushima worker died of cardiac trouble. It is not reported and police don’t perform an autopsy. He worked at the Fukushima plant from March to July.

- In the most contaminated areas, “unlisted” workers are forced to work. One of his friends had to go into Reactor No. 3. When the person saw the area, it was full of debris and the counter showed about 1~2 Sv/hr.  The next morning, the area was perfectly clean. Because it needs sensitive work, it must have been done by humans. They say those disposable workers were forced to work in those situations, held captive until they die, and then marked as “missing”.

- Police that guard within the 20km evacuation zone are not informed of the radiation level (about 100 microSv/h when Mr. Sakuma and his friend visited) and a lot of police are dead, but it is not reported either.


Related Posts








Corbett Report - Fukushima Update 10-28-2011

In today's Fukushima Update we take a look at some potentially worrying news from Fukushima, we note how the mainstream media is just now noting the study of how much Xenon and Cesium were really released (a study we noted three days ago), and we examine a new editorial about complacency with nuclear power called "The Day Before Fukushima."







Fukushima nuclear plant could take 30 years to clean up
Removal of fuel rods and decommissioning of reactors could take decades, warns Japan's atomic commission



Experts in Japan have warned it could take more than 30 years to clean up the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

A panel set up by the country's nuclear energy commission said the severity of the accident meant it would take decades to remove melted fuel rods and decommission the plant, located 150 miles north of Tokyo.

The commission called on the facility's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), to begin removing the fuel rods within 10 years. The damage to Fukushima is more difficult to repair than that sustained at Three Mile Island, where fuel removal began six years after an accident in 1979.

Work to decommission four of Fukushima's six reactors could start this year if Tepco brings the plant to a safe state known as cold shutdown.

The utility will begin by removing spent fuel from storage pools within three years of making the reactors safe, before beginning the more difficult task of removing melted fuel from the three reactors that suffered meltdown.

While radiation emissions have dropped significantly since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami, workers continue to operate in highly dangerous conditions.

Towns near Fukushima have responded cautiously to plans to build temporary storage sites for massive quantities of radioactive debris generated by the accident.

Almost eight months after the start of the crisis the government says the facilities will not be ready for at least another three years. In the meantime, towns will have to store the contaminated waste locally, despite health concerns.

To reach its target of halving radiation levels within two years the government will have to remove large quantities of soil. Scraping 4cm of topsoil from contaminated farmland in Fukushima prefecture would create more than 3m tonnes of waste, says the agriculture ministry, enough to fill 20 football stadiums.

Once completed, the storage facilities would hold soil and other contaminated waste for up to 30 years, local reports said.

"We have been aiming to start cleaning up as soon as possible," Toshiaki Kusano, an official in Fukushima city, told Reuters. "To do so we need to talk about where to store the waste, but we have not been able to answer the question residents are asking: how long it was going to stay there?"

Fukushima city, 35 miles from the nuclear plant, contained enough radioactive waste to fill 10 baseball stadiums, he said.

The government has so far earmarked 220bn yen (£1.75bn) for decontamination work, with an additional 460bn yen requested for next year. But according to one estimate the operation could end up costing 1.5tn yen.

Much of the early decontamination work has been performed by local authorities and volunteers, although neither has found a satisfactory means of storing the waste. The central government is not expected to take control of the cleanup operation until a decontamination law is passed in January.

The decommissioning report was released as another government panel set up to determine the cause of the accident said it would invite opinions from three overseas experts early next year.

The panel has already come under fire after it emerged that of the 340 people it has interviewed so far, not one was a politician involved in the handling of the crisis.


Nuclear Industry Covers Up Massive Fukushima Radiation
Spread Professor Chris Busby's message about Japan and the nuclear industry's intentional coverup of Fukushima radioactive problem, how Japan is trucking tons of radioactive waste to south Japan, etc. Prof. Busby has been working on making supplements that block some of the radioactive nucleotides from attaching themselves to the DNA.





Japan Discovers Plutonium Far From Crippled Reactor

This appeared on Radio New Zealand.  The report said plutonium could casue ‘some’ damage if ingested - and then went on to say that plutonium has a half-life of 22,000 years!


2 October, 2011

TOKYO—Trace amounts of plutonium were found as far as 28 miles from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant, the first time that the dangerous element released from the accident was found outside the immediate area of the plant.

The science ministry report issued Friday comes just as the government lifted one of its evacuation advisories, underscoring the difficulty of restoring normalcy and assuring the safety of residents around the crippled plant.

The government also reported a rare detection of strontium, another highly dangerous element, far from the crippled reactor, in one spot as far away as 50 miles. Most of the radioactive material discovered to date in the communities surrounding Fukushima Daiichi has been cesium or iodine.

The report said that the radiation from plutonium and strontium was "extremely low" compared to the high concentration of cesium, advising that the government maintain its focus on measuring and clearing the areas of cesium.

Still, the latest discovery is a potentially disturbing turn, as it shows that people relatively far from the plant could be exposed to more dangerous elements than had been previously disclosed.

While neither plutonium nor strontium emit powerful gamma rays like cesium and iodine, both deposit in the body—strontium in the bones, plutonium in the bones and lungs—and can cause cancer of leukemia once inhaled or ingested.

Both isotopes also have long half lives: it takes about 29 years for some forms of strontium to reduce by half, while plutonium isotopes have half-lives ranging from 88 years to over 24,000 years.

That makes them highly toxic in the body as they continue to emit alpha rays, and immensely difficult to get rid of in the environment.

The half-life of one of the most common iodine formations is eight days, while that for much of the cesium released is 30 years.

Specifically, Plutonium-238 believed to have been emitted from the damaged Fukushima reactors was found in soil samples from six separate locations, ranging from 0.55 to 4.0 becquerels per square meter. Samples from Iitate, a village located 28 miles from the power plant, registered 0.82 becquerels of Plutonium-238 and 2.5 becquerels of Plutonium-239 and -240. Iitate was evacuated earlier this year.

The finding comes from the science ministry's analysis of 100 soil samples taken within a 50-mile zone from the damaged plant between June and July.

Plutonium had previously been detected in Japan after atmospheric nuclear tests, sometimes at higher levels than were found from the June-July samples, a science ministry official said. However, the ministry cites higher-than-usual level of Plutonium-238 found in the soil samples from the six locations as evidence that plutonium release was not limited to the plant's compound.

Strontium-89 and -90 were also found in almost half of the 100 samples, in one case as far as the edge of the 50-mile zone registering measurement of 500 becquerels per square meter of Strontium-89 and 130 becquerels of Strontium-90.

Separately, reflecting the mounting costs of cleaning up from the accident, government agencies have requested about ¥400 billion, or about $5 billion, to cover the cost of cleaning up after the nuclear accident in the budget for the next fiscal year, beginning in April 2012, local media reported.






First glimpse into Fukushima graveyard (VIDEO)

RT



Japan has opened the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to journalists for the first time since the disaster of last March. RT has obtained a video of the inside of the crippled complex.

On Saturday, representatives of the Japanese and international media – more than 30 reporters, photographers and cameramen – were taken on a tour of the facility which was the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster in 25 years.

Despite TEPCO’s assurances that the radiation leaks pose much less danger now, the visitors had to wear a full set of protective gear during the tour.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, some 225 kilometers northeast of Tokyo, was severely damaged by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami, and spewed large amounts of radioactive materials onto the surrounding countryside, much of which remains off-limits.

Since then, the authorities have struggled to contain the crisis, with pledges being given in the summer that it would be resolved by the end of this year. However the Japanese government has admitted that it will take up to 30 years to completely neutralize the radiation released from the reactors.



Fukushima guilty of world's worst sea contamination

A new report shows the Fukushima disaster is responsible for the world's worst nuclear sea contamination.

During the peak of Chernobyl, the Black Sea was registering 1,000 becquerels per cubic meter of water - at Fukushima's peak, it was 100,000 becquerels.

Scientists first believed the ocean would dilute it, but Al Jazeera has learned that dangerous concentrations of radioactive caesium remain.

Al Jazeera's Steve Chao reports from Fukushima, Japan.





'Radioactive fallout scatters in Japan'

Japan's Science Ministry says radioactive substances from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have spread across the country following Japan's devastating temblor in March.



28 November, 2011

The ministry said that the cesium from the stricken nuclear plant has now reached all prefectures including Uruma in Okinawa Prefecture, about 1,700 kilometers from the plant, Japan's daily newspaper The Japan Times reported on Friday. 

The news comes against a backdrop of unwavering and illegal supports by the Japanese Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano, which have helped prevent the country's nuclear scandal from being revealed in international circles. 

The ministry confirmed the radioactive substances came from the stricken nuclear plant since, in all cases, they contained cesium-134, which has a half-life of about two years. 

A destructive 9-magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami struck Japan's northern coasts on March 11, setting off a nuclear crisis by knocking out power to cooling systems of reactors at the Fukushima plant and causing radioactive leaks. 

Before the earthquake, radioactive substances were hardly detectable in most areas. 

On November 18, The Japan Times reported that large areas of eastern and northeastern Japan were probably contaminated with concentrations of cesium-137


Study shows deeper meltdown than thought at Fukushima nuclear reactor


1 December, 2011

Radioactive debris from melted fuel rods may have seeped deeper into the floor of a Japan’s tsunami-hit nuclear reactor than previously thought, to within a foot from breaching the crucial steel barrier, a new simulation showed Wednesday.
  
The findings will not change the ongoing efforts to stabilize the reactors more than eight months after the Fukushima Daiichi plant was disabled, but they harshly depict the meltdowns that occurred and conditions within the reactors, which will be off-limits for years.
  
The plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co said its latest simulation showed fuel at the No. 1 reactor may have eroded part of the primary containment vessel’s thick concrete floor. The vessel is a beaker-shaped steel container, set into the floor. A concrete foundation below that is the last manmade barrier before earth.
  
The fuel came within a foot of the container’s steel bottom in the worst-case scenario but has been somewhat cooled, TEPCO’s nuclear safety official Yoshihiro Oyama said at a government workshop. He said fuel rods in the No. 1 reactor were the worst damaged because it lost cooling capacity before the other two reactors, leaving its rods dry and overheated for hours before water was pumped in.
  
The nuclear crisis following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami caused massive radiation leaks and the relocation of some 100,000 people.
  
Another simulation on the structure released by the government-funded Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization, or JNES, said the erosion of the concrete could be deeper and the possibility of structural damage to the reactor’s foundation needs to be studied.
  
JNES official Masanori Naito said the melting fuel rods lost their shape as they collapsed to the bottom of the vessel, then deteriorated into drops when water pumping resumed, and the fuel drops spattered and smashed against the concrete as they fell, Naito said.
  
TEPCO and government officials are aiming to achieve “cold shutdown” by the end of the year _ a first step toward creating a stable enough environment for work to proceed on removing the reactors’ nuclear fuel and closing the plant altogether.
  
The government estimates it will take 30 years or more to safely decommission Fukushima Daiichi.
  
Wednesday’s simulations depict what happened early in the crisis and do not mean a recent deterioration of the No. 1 reactor. Oyama said, however, the results are based only on available data and may not match the actual conditions inside the reactors, which cannot be opened for years.
  
Some experts have raised questions about achieving the “cold shutdown,” which means bringing the temperature of the pressure vessel containing healthy fuel rods to way below the benchmark 100 Celsius (212 Fahrenheit). They say the fuel is no longer there and measuring the temperature of empty cores is meaningless, while nobody knows where and how hot the melted fuel really is.
  
Kiyoharu Abe, a nuclear expert at JNES, said it’s too early to make a conclusion and more simulations should be done to get accurate estimates.
  
“I don’t think the simulation today was wrong, but we should look at this from various viewpoints rather than making a conclusion from one simulation,” Abe said. “It’s just the beginning of a long process.”


Fukushima governor wants all 10 nuclear reactors in prefecture scrapped


1 December, 2011

The governor of Fukushima Prefecture called Wednesday for all 10 of the area’s reactors to be scrapped as it attempts to recover from an ongoing nuclear crisis.

Yuhei Sato said he would include the demand in the prefecture’s reconstruction plan to be compiled by the end of this year following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that sparked the nuclear disaster.

The Fukushima prefectural assembly has already adopted a petition to seek the decommissioning of the 10 reactors housed at Fukushima’s Daiichi and Daini plants, both run by Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).

“I decided to stipulate the reactor decommissioning in the reconstruction plan so that young people can live here without worries,” Sato told a news conference.

The Daiichi plant suffered the most damage after the earthquake and tsunami knocked out its cooling system. Some of its reactors went into meltdown and caused the world’s worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

It continues to leak radiation, although TEPCO and the government insist the reactors will all be brought to cold shutdown by the end of the year.

View blog seemorerocks Seemorerocks · Post Update Revert to draft Preview Close ComposeHTML Link Post settings Labels Fukushima, Japan, nuclear catastrophe Published on 02/12/2011 09:41 New Zealand Standard Time Permalink Location Options Send feedback

Not exactly plastered over the world’s headlines - not so mcuh as a word from the NZ media and I couldn’t find anything on Reuters.

Reactor Core Melted Fully, Japan Says
Fuel Breached Vessel Floor, Operator Says, In Its Gravest Fukushima Status Report


1 December, 2011

TOKYO—Japan's tsunami-stricken nuclear-power complex came closer to a catastrophic meltdown than previously indicated by its operator—who on Wednesday described how one reactor's molten nuclear core likely burned through its primary containment chamber and then ate as far as three-quarters of the way through the concrete in a secondary vessel.

The assessment—offered by Japan's government and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex—marked Japan's most sobering reckoning to date of the nuclear disaster sparked by the country's March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

But it came nearly six months after U.S. and international nuclear experts and regulators had reached similar conclusions. That lag echoes international allegations, in the tense weeks following the disaster, that Japan was underplaying the severity of the contamination and was slow to provide information to outside nuclear regulators.

For the first time, Tokyo Electric, known as Tepco, said that nuclear-fuel rods in the complex's No. 1 reactor had likely melted completely, burning through their so-called pressure vessel and then boring through concrete at the bottom of a second containment vessel. Tepco estimates the fuel then eroded about 65 centimeters (about two feet) deep into the 2.6-meter (8.5-foot) concrete bottom. The government model estimated the erosion at up to 2 meters.

The molten core stopped short of reaching the vessel's steel casing, under which lies an additional 7.6 meters of concrete foundation, Tepco said.

That brought the fuel closer than previously believed to breaching the containment vessel and foundation and continuing to burn through the ground below—a scenario sometimes described as the "China Syndrome," from the fanciful notion, popularized in a U.S. film by the same name, that in a catastrophic meltdown, molten reactor fuel could sink through the earth until it reached China.

The findings are the latest reminder of how much remains unknown about the extent of the mid-March Fukushima Daiichi accident: Workers still can't get close enough to the stricken reactors to make first-hand reckonings. Wednesday's assessment was based on separate analyses by Tepco and the government of the latest radiation and temperature data from around Fukushima Daiichi's reactors.

Tepco said there is no danger of further damage now.



In its last major update on reactor No. 1, in May, Tepco said the reactor's fuel had more than half melted, and some had fallen into the containment vessel.

Around the same time, models run by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had already pointed to a complete melting and containment breach. "This was not at all unexpected," said Eliot Brenner, a spokesman with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. "It really does nothing to change our assumptions—because we based our decisions on very pessimistic scenarios."

Officials at the International Atomic Energy Agency have been frustrated by their slow access to information concerning events at Fukushima Daiichi, according to a Vienna-based diplomat familiar with the United Nations nuclear watchdog. An IAEA spokesman declined to comment on Japan's report.

Fuel rods in Fukushima Daiichi's No. 1 reactor, in March aerial photo, melted fully out of their pressure vessel, Tepco said Wednesday.

The precise timeline of melting remains unclear, but it likely stopped as Tepco began dousing the complex's overheating reactors with seawater about a day after the quake and tsunami cut power to its cooling pumps. Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, says it remains unclear why the fuel rods didn't also breach the containment wall. 

"Why this didn't happen is still unknown," Mr. Lyman said.

Steven Kraft, a nuclear-industry engineer who participated in a briefing with Tepco officials on Wednesday said that even if the molten fuel, known as corium, did reach and breach the containment vessel's steel lining, it had several meters of steel-reinforced cement to melt through before reaching soil.

As for a so-called China Syndrome, "They were a great distance and a long time away from that scenario," said Mr. Kraft, the senior director of Fukushima response for the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear-power industry's policy arm.

Had the corium eroded enough concrete, ground-water contamination could become an issue, according to an analysis by Argonne National Laboratory, a federally funded research lab outside of Chicago. Argonne said such a failure, while serious, would pose less of a public health risk than airborne releases of radioactive iodine, which can be spread widely by wind.

Tepco said Wednesday the damage in reactors No. 2 and No. 3—the others among Fukushima Daiichi's six reactors that overheated dangerously—was less severe than in No. 1. It said their cores had partially melted, and some fuel had burned through the reactors' surrounding vessels to the concrete base of their containment vessels.

In all three units, the fuel has now cooled to below the critical temperature of 100 degrees Celsius, and thus poses no further threat, officials said. "The fuel is now being kept safely cooled at all three reactors," a government spokesman said at a briefing following the Tepco report.

Officials have said the fuel in all reactors is approaching a state of cold shutdown, by year's end, at which point there would be no nuclear reaction or radiation release. It is then expected to take decades to dismantle and clean the site.

In April, Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency rated the Fukushima Daiichi episode a "major accident," or a Level 7 emergency, the highest level on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale. It said in June the total radiation release was roughly 1/10th that from the accident in Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, the only accident that exceeds Fukushima Daiichi in severity.

In a recent safety assessment, Tepco said the biggest risk to the plant remains another large tsunami, which could destroy water-supply lines and prevent further cooling of the reactors. The company stressed, however, that the availability of multiple water-supply sources, including on-site fire trucks, reduces the risks.

Corrections & Amplifications 

A photo of smoke rising from a reactor at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant showed the No. 3 reactor. A caption that accompanied the photo in an earlier version of this article incorrectly identified it as reactor No.1.

Steven Kraft, a nuclear-industry engineer, participated in a face-to-face briefing with Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials on Wednesday. An earlier version of this article about the accident at the company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant incorrectly described it as a phone briefing.

and from the Australian


Fukushima nuclear catastrophe closer than thought




 2 December, 2011

MOLTEN nuclear fuel in one reactor at Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant burned through the steel pressure vessel and three-quarters of the surrounding concrete containment vessel that formed the reactor's last substantial internal barrier.

The revelation of the near "China Syndrome" meltdown is yet another revision of the severity of the disaster following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Had the fuel, which would have reached more than 2000C, burnt through the containment vessel it would have escaped into the basement of the reactor, where it would have been far more difficult to contain. The plant's operator, TEPCO, and the Japanese government yesterday released the results of simulations that showed for the first time how close the No 1 reactor's defences came to being breached.

TEPCO said the damage in reactors No 2 and No 3 was less severe than in the No 1 reactor, although it believed a small amount of fuel did burn through the stainless steel and on to the concrete base of the secondary containment vessels.

Officials say the fuel in all three units has now cooled to below the critical temperature of 100C and poses no further threat.

"The fuel is now being kept safely cooled at all three reactors," a government spokesman said at a briefing where the results were announced.

In the case of the No 1 reactor, any fuel that escaped the secondary concrete vessel would have landed on a protective steel plate. Had it burned through that, it would then have confronted a 10m thick steel foundation beyond which lays ordinary soil.

The TEPCO and government analyses - which may not be the final word on the extent of the meltdown - showed that the fuel burned through a total of about 2m of the 2.6m thick secondary containment vessel.

The operator and the government agencies in charge of regulating the nuclear industry have consistently underestimated the severity of events at the plant.

The meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi occurred in the days after the deadly tsunami cut power to the plant.

Subsequent explosions amid the venting of gas radiation spewed out of the plant and into the surrounding air, sea and soil.

More than 80,000 people have been forced out their homes as a result of the disaster, which ranks second only to the 1986 Chernobyl incident in terms of severity. Japan has also been forced to endure a run of food scares thanks to radioactive cesium deposited across wide areas around the plant.

The Japanese government has conceded that it may take 30 years to fully decommission the plant and that some areas around it may be uninhabitable for decades.

Keiji Miyazaki, a professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at Osaka University, told The Wall Street Journal that questions now had to be posed about why it took so long to come up with a way to cool this reactor.

"There has to be a long period of time without any (cooling) water being injected into the reactor for the fuel to melt through the concrete bottom," he said.

Reactor No 4 at the plant had its fuel removed for periodic maintenance while the No 5 and No 6 reactors were able to be shut down without major problems.




Fukushima guilty of world's worst sea contamination
al-Jazeera






Fukushima - Could it Have a China Syndrome?

Fairewinds' Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen discusses whether the accidents at Fukushima were a meltdown, a melt-through, or a China Syndrome. 
Whatever the accidents are named, thousands of tons of water contaminated with plutonium, uranium, and other very toxic radioactive isotopes are flooding the site, the surrounding water table, and the ocean




I can't vouch for the source, but wouldn't expect anything to come from mainstream media

Red alert: Fukushima nuclear reactor 4 possibly collapsing, say sources, mass evacuations may be necessary



Monday, December 12, 2011


After enduring many months of total information blackout on the situation, an intelligence source connected with NaturalNews has just informed us that Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor 4 may now be on the verge of collapsing, and that mass evacuations in northern Japan could be necessary if such a collapse occurs and is confirmed.

NaturalNews presents this only as a precautionary alert, as we have not yet been about to double or triple confirm this report, but we are actively investigating and will bring you updates in a timely manner.

Reactor 4, you may remember, had been given the silent treatment by the plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), immediately following the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the fragile plant back in March. For weeks, the public was left in the dark about the status of reactor 4's cooling pools, and about whether or not the reactor's spent fuel rods were exposed

It now appears, however, that reactor 4's cooling tower, which had previously been reported to be leaning and in danger of falling, is now following course with its inevitable fate, which is a possible total collapse.

According to our source, the entire reactor 4 structure has been deemed "highly unstable," and the south wall of the reactor appears to be headed into an imminent structural failure. This situation, of course, is extremely dangerous and could have devastating consequences for Northern Japan as well as North America, which is why mass evacuations in Japan would be a likely outcome in the hours following such a collapse.

As soon as NaturalNews learns more information about this breaking situation, we will provide the details to our readers. Until then, stay tuned as we investigate the situation further, and work to verify the details of the situation with second and third sources

Compare that with this headline!



Fukushima Ocean Radiation Was 50 Million Times Above Normal, But No Threat: Scientists

12 December, 2011

• Radiation Still Leaking Into Ocean
• Concern About Marine Sediments

Last April, about a month after the Fukushima nuclear accident, concentrations of cesium-137 in the ocean near the plant peaked at 50 million times above normal levels, according to a study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Society

For article GO HERE


Nuclear Expert: Tepco is admitting they are very close to China Syndrome at Fukushima


Thom Hartmann talks with Kevin Kamps, Beyond Nuclear: www.beyondnuclear.org about concerns of a major environmental catastrophe at Japan's damaged nuclear power reactor.







Fukushima radioactive water 'leaked into Pacific'
Highly radioactive waste water from a crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has leaked to the Pacific, its operator said Tuesday, promising to prevent similar incidents.

Bangkok Post, 6 December, 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it believes 150 litres (40 US gallons) of waste water including highly harmful strontium, linked with bone cancers, has spread to the open ocean.

The announcement came a day after TEPCO said it found 45 tonnes of waste water pooled around the leaky water-treatment system at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

TEPCO said Monday it believed about 300 litres of waste water have escaped and run into a nearby gutter that leads to the ocean before crews could contain the leaks.

The water leaked to the sea is believed to contain 26 billion becquerels of radioactive materials, TEPCO said.

The company said, however, human health should not be affected even after eating sea food caught in the area for every day for one year.

"We again sincerely apologise for causing worries and troubles to the area residents as well as the society at large for releasing water containing radioactive materials," TEPCO said in a statement.

In the weeks after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami hit the plant, TEPCO dumped 10,000 tonnes of lower-level radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

Subsequent reports have found the radiation was widely dispersed and did not pose a threat to human or animal life.

Fukushima's makeshift water-treatment system has been hit by a series of problems which forced officials to temporarily shut it down.

But TEPCO said the leak would not hinder its plans to bring the reactors to a state of cold shutdown by the end of the year.

Large areas around the Fukushima plant have been left contaminated with radiation after a series of meltdowns in the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The accident has not directly claimed any lives, but has left tens of thousands of people displaced and rendered whole towns uninhabitable, possibly for decades.





Fukushima 45 ton radioactive water leak poisons ocean





Shocking Tokyo Japan Radiation Test by Dr. Chris Busby (Fukushima Fallout)




Published on Jul 25, 2012
Dr Chris Busby: radioactivity in apartment in central Tokyo Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3YMa3..
.
In this and Part 2
http://youtu.be/oeS5dRkyBi0


Dr Busby describes measurements made on an air conditing unit filter from inside an apartment in central Tokyo. This was sent by a lady in Tokyo who wanted to know if it was safe to live there. The filter only collected air from inside the apartment. It shows the presence of 130000Bq/kg radio Caesium in the dust plus enriched Uranium and for the first time Lead-210/Polonium-210. The apartment was evacuated from the Tuesday after the catastrophe and the machine switched off; and the family returned 5 months later. This and much other information about the health effects and cover ups, including leaked data are to be found in Dr Busby's new book in Japanese: the Horror of Fukushima, published on 25th July by Kodansha in Tokyo
http://youtu.be/AOobTcwzElw


Chris Busby: the Horror of Fukushima





Published on Jul 25, 2012


Chris Busby introduces a new Japanese language book published today in which he presents the truth about the health effects of the Fukushima Catastrophe to the Japanese people. In this book is much new information about the cover-ups including leaked documents showing the the US knew from the very beginning that the radioactivity had reached Tokyo as they were measuring it on their Embassy roof. However no-one was informed. Also in the book is evidence that the F3 reactor explosion was a nuclear criticality. The book describes evidence from leaked measurements of samples from Tokyo and nearer to Fukushima and presents the predictions of the risk model of the European Committee on Radiation Risk for cancer increases in specific areas of Tokyo and other contaminated areas. The book discusses evidence from many measurements made by Chris Busby and laboratories commissioned by Green Audit on vehicle air filters, soil and water samples. The effects on the sea, particularly the dangers of sea to land transfer and of living near the sea are presented.The video ends with reference to new results of measureements made on an air conditioner filter from an apartment in central Tokyo showing dust inside the apartment on the 20th floor near the Tokyo tower had 130,000Bq/kg of Radioactive Caesium.


Chris says there is no English version yet; this is for the Japanese people
 who are those most affected and who need to know what has happened so they can take action.




Fukushima: The MASSIVE 

COVER-UP

Published on Oct 17, 2012




Fukushima Criminal "SHARING" of RADIOACTIVE WASTE! Helen Caldicott


Published on Nov 27, 2012






Fukushima Cover Up Unravels: “The Government Can No Longer Pull the Wool Over the Public’s Eyes”

Posted on January 23, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog


Too Much Radiation to Cover Up

As I’ve pointed out since day one, the Japanese government and Tepco have covered up the extent of the radiation released by Fukushima and its health effects on the Japanese and others. See this and this.

The New York Times notes:

The government inspectors declared Onami’s rice safe for consumption after testing just two of its 154 rice farms.

Then … more than a dozen [farmers] found unsafe levels of cesium. An ensuing panic forced the Japanese government to intervene, with promises to test more than 25,000 rice farms in eastern Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is located.

***
The repeated failures have done more than raise concerns that some Japanese may have been exposed to unsafe levels of radiation in their food, as regrettable as that is. They have also had a corrosive effect on public confidence in the food-monitoring efforts, with a growing segment of the public and even many experts coming to believe that officials have understated or even covered up the true extent of the public health risk in order to limit both the economic damage and the size of potential compensation payments.

Critics say … the government can no longer pull the wool over the public’s eyes, as they contend it has done routinely in the past.

“Since the accident, the government has tried to continue its business-as-usual approach of understating the severity of the accident and insisting that it knows best,” said Mitsuhiro Fukao, an economics professor at Keio University in Tokyo who has written about the loss of trust in government. “But the people are learning from the blogs, Twitter and Facebook that the government’s food-monitoring system is simply not credible.”


***
“No one trusts the national government’s safety standards,” said Ichio Muto, 59, who farms organic mushrooms in Nihonmatsu, 25 miles northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi plant.

The Japan Times reports:

The government buried a worst-case scenario for the Fukushima nuclear crisis that was drafted last March and kept it under wraps until the end of last year, sources in the administration said Saturday.

After the document was shown to a small, select group of senior government officials at the prime minister’s office in late March, the administration of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan decided to quietly bury it, the sources said.

“When the document was presented (in March), a discussion ensued about keeping its existence secret,” a government source said.

In order to deny its existence, the government treated it as a personal document of Japan Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Shunsuke Kondo, who authored it, until the end of December, the sources said.

It was only then that it was actually recognized as an official government document, they said.

The content was so shocking that we decided to treat it as if it didn’t exist,” a senior government official said.

Major Japanese broadcaster NHK purportedly stopped a reporter in mid-sentence on March 12th as he was discussing the exposure of the nuclear fuel rods above the cooling pool, telling him:

They say you mustn’t read this draft.

Finally, the Economist and Boing Boing note that a Canadian journalist was grilled about who he spoke with at Fukushima, and:

Held, threatened, and shaken down for bribes before being detained without counsel or a phone call. He says he was eventually deported, though not before being ordered to sign a falsified confession and being threatened by an official at gunpoint.

(Many journalists and nuclear experts are alleged to have been monitored, harassed or blocked by the Japanese government.)


1/3 of Fukushima kids have lumps in thyroids: Arnold Gunderson


Shining the Light on the Triple Meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi from Fairewinds Energy Education on Vimeo.


CCTV host Margaret Harrington interviews Maggie and Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education Corp regarding the triple meltdown in March 2011 at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The video is 58 minutes, so if you want to read the points of significance within this interview, a bullet list is provided below. -- JB, Supervising Editor

10:30: enormous number of Japanese people requesting more information from regulators about radiation levels in contaminated rice, fish, beef, green tea, water, fall-out etc–without getting answers

12:30: within 4 days of Fukushima, 40,000 times normal levels of noble gases, Xenon, Krypton etc from Fukushima reached Seattle. That was followed by heavier radioisotopes, such as Iodine, Cesium and Strontium

13:00: One third of Fukushima kids tested have lumps in their thyroids

14:30: Why is this information marginalized by the media?

15:15: US government down-played extent of the accident early on. Hillary Clinton reached agreement with Prime Minister of Japan that US would not interfere with Japanese exports….

15:30: NRC knew extent of accident 9 days before Japanese people were warned and evacuated

16:30 Governments played with people’s lives for sake of economy. In US and Canada all monitoring was shut down on westcoast…Independent labs showed tremendous amounts of radiation. FDA is not testing. The attitude is: If you don’t know, it’s not there….What you don’t know can’t hurt you

17:00 There is a concerted effort among the nuclear industry to deliberately downplay risks of low-level radiation. World-wide push controlled by nuclear industry

19:00 chances of kids in Fukushima getting cancer are 1:20 to 1:100

19:30 Germany has put in place plan to end nuclear power. Also unrest and demonstrations in France, premier nuclear power country. Italy is also phasing out nuclear power

21:00 German study showing cancer risk from nuclear power plants, esp. early childhood cancers. French study just substantiated that study

25:00 many other illnesses can be attributed to radiation

25:30 Govt of Japan will do its best to mask/ downplay deaths and illnesses related to Fukushima. Statistics not available

27:00 Safecast.com–crowdsourcing of radiation monitoring

28:30: Bill Gates is handing over new Uranium reactors with questionable safety standards to China

31:30 Biological effects of ionizing radiation (BEIR). US National Academy of Sciences study. Concern over release of radiation from cedar buds and highly radioactive locusts (eaten by Japanese)

34:15 Radiation exposure and cancer rate are linear (LNTA). Cancer risk in evacuated areas: 1/500 (2 REM/ year). Japanese govt willing to let people go back. Young girls have 5x higher cancer risk than general population!, i.e., 1/100 young girls will get cancer due to radiation exposure for each year in Fukushima Prefecture. Hot particles effect not included in calculation of risk

36:00 Ian Goddard video: Japan govt. raised allowable exposure per year from 1 to 20 MilliSieverts. US National Academy of Sciences (www.nsa.edu) predicts that this level will cause cancers everywhere, primarily women and children

41:15 Children are most vulnerable to radiation

42:00 There is no harmless dose of radiation. Children, and especially girls, are much more vulnerable to radiation effects (girls 2x or greater more vulnerable than same-aged boys)

44:00 International comprehensive study (largest study ever of nuclear workers, involving 15 countries): statistical correlation between radiation exposure and cancer at average annual dose: 2 milli Sieverts/ yr –this is 1/10th of exposure of people in Fukushima

49:00 slow dose rate may be associated with higher cancer risk than fast dose rate. Higher risk of nuclear workers than atom bomb survivors

51:00 comparison of risk models–slow and fast dose. Leading models may underestimate low dose radiation risk. Genetic damage due to radiation.

57:00 Japan’s allowance of 20 Milli Sievert radiation/ year is NOT SAFE.


Radiation from disaster detected 643 kms off Japan's coast
22 February 2012

Radioactive contamination from the Fukushima power plant disaster has been detected as far as almost 643 kilometers off Japan in the Pacific Ocean, with water showing readings of up to 1,000 times more than prior levels, scientists reported Tuesday.
  
But those results for the substance cesium-137 are far below the levels that are generally considered harmful, either to marine animals or people who eat seafood, said Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
  
He spoke Tuesday in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the annual Ocean Sciences Meeting, attended by more than 4,000 researchers this week.
  
The results are for water samples taken in June, about three months after the power plant disaster, Buesseler said. In addition to thousands of water samples, researchers also sampled fish and plankton and found cesium-137 levels well below the legal health limit.
  
“We’re not over the hump” yet in terms of radioactive contamination of the ocean because of continued leakage from the plant, Buesseler said in an interview before Tuesday’s talk. He was chief scientist for the cruise that collected the data.
  
The ship sampled water from about 32 kilometers to about 640 kms off the coast east of the Fukushima plant. Concentrations of cesium-137 throughout that range were 10 to 1,000 times normal, but they were about one-tenth the levels generally considered harmful, Buesseler said.
  
Cesium-137 wasn’t the only radioactive substance released from the plant, but it’s of particular concern because of its long persistence in the environment. Its half-life is 30 years.
  
The highest readings last June were not always from locations closest to the Fukushima plant, Buesseler said. That’s because swirling ocean currents formed concentrations of the material, he said.
  
Most of the cesium-137 detected during the voyage probably entered the ocean from water discharges, rather than atmospheric fallout, he added.
  
Hartmut Nies of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Buesseler’s findings were not surprising, given the vastness of the ocean and its ability to absorb and dilute materials.
  
“This is what we predicted,” Nies said after Buesseler presented his research.
  
Nies said the water’s cesium-137 concentration has been so diluted that just 32 kms offshore, “if it was not seawater, you could drink it without any problems.”
  
“This is good news,” he said, adding that scientists expect levels to continue to decrease over time.
  
“We still don’t have a full picture,” Nies said, “but we can expect the situation will not become worse.”


TEPCO to cement 73,000 sq meters of seabed off Fukushima

22 February,, 2012

The operator of Japan’s tsunami-crippled nuclear plant is to cover a large swathe of seabed near the battered reactors with cement in a bid to halt the spread of radiation, the company said Wednesday.

A clay-cement compound will be laid over 73,000 square meters of the floor of the Pacific in front of the Fukushima Daiichi plant on the nation’s northeast coast, said Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO).

The area is equivalent to around 10 soccer pitches.

“This is meant to prevent further contamination of the ocean… as sample tests have shown a relatively high concentration of radioactive substances in the sea soil in the bay,” a company spokeswoman said.

Reactors at the plant went into meltdown after their cooling systems were knocked out by the monster tsunami of March last year, which was generated by a huge undersea earthquake.

Contaminated water from the plant leaked into the sea and radioactive particles concentrated on the seabed. Scientists fear ocean currents could pollute areas further afield.

The cover will be 60 centimeters thick, with 10 centimeters expected to be eaten away by seawater every 50 years, the TEPCO official said.


8.5 tons of radioactive water leak from Fukushima plant


2 February, 2012

Some 8.5 tons of radioactive water leaked from a reactor at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant but it had not flowed outside the reactor building, Kyodo News said Wednesday, quoting the plant’s operator.

Tokyo Electric Power Co said the leak occurred in the No. 4 reactor after a pipe connected to the reactor dropped off, the news agency reported.

The leak was discovered Tuesday night and was stopped shortly afterwards
.
The Fukushima Daiichi plant was crippled by meltdowns and explosions caused by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March last year.

Radiation was scattered over a large area and made its way into the oceans, air and food chain in the weeks and months after the disaster.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated from their homes in a large area around the plant and swathes of this zone remain badly polluted, with the clean-up proceeding slowly amid warnings that some towns could be uninhabitable for three decades.


Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US

While traveling in Japan several weeks ago, Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen took soil samples in Tokyo public parks, playgrounds, and rooftop gardens. 

All the samples would be considered nuclear waste if found here in the US. 

This level of contamination is currently being discovered throughout Japan. At the US NRC Regulatory Information Conference in Washington, DC March 13 to March 15, the NRC's Chairman, Dr. Gregory Jaczko emphasized his concern that the NRC and the nuclear industry presently do not consider the costs of mass evacuations and radioactive contamination in their cost benefit analysis used to license nuclear power plants. 

Furthermore, Fairewinds believes that evacuation costs near a US nuclear plant could easily exceed one trillion dollars



Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US from Fairewinds Energy Education on Vimeo.


-- All of the damaged reactors at Fukushima require close quarter, constant attention to prevent them from going critical. Water must be pumped in (from Diesel or fuel-oil or natgas generation), Heavily damaged buildings require constant maintenance and exposed reactor cores inside damaged or compromised containment vessels must be cooled and monitored.

As we noted yesterday, radiation levels are now so high as to cripple (kill) even robots quickly. What that means is that the region is contaminated for 100,000 years and it seems inevitable that all four reactors at Fukushima are going to share the same fate. No one even comprehends the amount of radiation that will be released. As our coverage and reporting has noted over the last year, that much radiation is a threat to all life on the planet. Not next month. Not next year or in five years... Right now. -- MCR


Still critical: radiation levels at Fukushima can kill in minutes
Latest readings from tsunami-stricken nuclear plant overturn claims that reactors have been made safe


29 March, 2012

A lethal level of radiation has been detected inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, throwing fresh doubts over the operator's claims that the disabled complex is under control.

Engineers for Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) say readings of airborne radiation inside the containment vessel of Reactor 2 showed nearly 73 sieverts per hour this week, the highest since the crisis began following the earthquake and tsunami on 11 March last year. Exposure to radiation at that level is deadly within minutes, according to Japan's public broadcaster, NHK.

Tepco said the find would have "no impact" on the company's long-term plans to decommission the plant's six reactors. "We were not surprised that the radiation was this high because the reading was taken from inside the pressure vessel,"a spokesperson said.

Tepco announced in December that the Daiichi complex had achieved a state of cold shutdown, meaning that radiation emissions are under control and the temperature of its 260 tons of nuclear fuel has stabilised below boiling point. The company plans to remove the fuel and dismantle the plant's steel and concrete structure – a task it estimates will take decades.

But engineers have only a rough idea of where the melted fuel inside three of the six reactors is, or how badly it has corroded the base of the reactors and their containment vessels. Reactors 1 and 3 are too badly damaged to allow close inspection, while engineers had to use modified equipment to peer inside Reactor 2 this week for only the second time since the earthquake.

Workers are able to work near Reactor 2 only for short periods and Tepco says it will need to develop devices to withstand the harsh conditions inside.

In addition, an industrial endoscope inserted into the reactor's containment vessel on Monday found only 60cm of water inside, far below the three to six metres expected. Tepco – which has poured thousands of gallons of water on to the crippled reactors in an effort to keep the fuel cool – insists that, despite the low level, the melted fuel is underwater "judging by the temperature of 48.5C to 50C".

Critics say the fresh findings illustrate the still precarious state of the complex. "The problem for Tepco is that the damage is so severe to the base of the reactor, and the amount of water is so low, that any interruption to the water pumping could be serious," said Shaun Burnie, an independent nuclear consultant. Mr Burnie said the company must get more water on to the melted fuel and stop contamination from making its way into the environment.

The difficulties of that process were illustrated again this week when the plant's makeshift cooling system sprang another leak. Workers estimate that about 80 litres of contaminated water escaped from pipes carrying water to and from the Pacific. The build-up of toxic water is another major headache for Tepco, as the company is running out of space to store it.

The struggle to decommission the Daiichi plant continues as a potentially epic battle looms between pro- and anti-nuclear forces. Only one of Japan's 54 reactors is still online after Reactor 6 of the world's largest nuclear complex, Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, shut down for maintenance earlier this week.

With Japan's nuclear power capacity down to less than two per cent, from 30 per cent, the Government and businesses fear a summer power crisis unless idling plants are restarted. However, each plant needs approval from sceptical local communities, and post-Fukushima surveys put opposition to nuclear power in Japan at around 80 per cent. Public fears have forced regulators to order tests to determine whether the plants will stand up to another large earthquake or tsunami.

Tepco's disgraced executives also face a 5.5-trillion-yen (£42bn) lawsuit by shareholders. "The company repeatedly ignored tsunami and earthquake research showing that the plant would be overwhelmed," said lead lawyer Hiroyuki Kawai this week. "The plant was run haphazardly and carelessly."

The disaster: How it unfolded

Cooling systems down

The 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a tsunami more than 15 metres tall knocked out cooling systems at the six-reactor plant. Meltdowns are believed to have occurred at reactors 1, 2 and 3.

Explosions and radiation leaks

Hydrogen explosions occurred at the No 1 and No 3 reactor buildings a few days after the quake. Radiation leaks forced some 80,000 residents to evacuate the immediate area and more fled voluntarily.

Spent-fuel pool catches fire

Reactor No 4 was under maintenance and 550 fuel rods had been transferred to its spent-fuel pool, which already contained about 1,000 fuel rods. The pool caught fire and caused an explosion.

Cold shutdown

Reactors 5 and 6 reached cold shutdown (meaning water used to cool the fuel rods fell below boiling point) 10 days after the tsunami – but it took more than nine months to achieve that at reactors 1, 2 and 3.

California Slammed With Fukushima Radiation
The Journal Environmental Science and Technology reports in a new study that the Fukushima radiation plume contacted North America at California “with greatest exposure in central and southern California”, and that Southern California's seaweed tested over 500% higher for radioactive iodine-131 than anywhere else in the U.S. and Canada


30 March, 2012

Projected paths of the radioactive atmospheric plume emanating from the Fukushima reactors, best described as airborne particles or aerosols for 131I, 137Cs, and 35S, and subsequent atmospheric monitoring showed it coming in contact with the North American continent at California, with greatest exposure in central and southern California. Government monitoring sites in Anaheim (southern California) recorded peak airborne concentrations of 131I at 1.9 pCi m−3

Anaheim is where Disneyland is located.

EneNews summarizes the data:




  • Corona Del Mar (Highest in Southern California)

    2.5 Bq/gdwt (gram dry weight)= 2,500 Bq/kg of dry seaweed

    Santa Cruz (Highest in Central California)

    2.0 Bq/gdwt = 2,000 Bq/kg of dry seaweed

    Simon Fraser University in Canada also tested North American seaweed after Fukushima:

  • In samples of dehydrated seaweed taken on March 15 near the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, the count was zero; on March 22 it was 310 Bq per kilogram; and by March 28 it was 380 Bq/kg.” -Vancouver Sun
  • Seaweed in Seattle also tested positive for iodine-131; levels were not reported -KIRO
  • No results after March 28 were reported

Corona Del Mar (Highest in Southern California)


  • 2.5 Bq/gdwt (gram dry weight)= 2,500 Bq/kg of dry seaweed


    Santa Cruz (Highest in Central California)
  • 2.0 Bq/gdwt = 2,000 Bq/kg of dry seaweed
  • Simon Fraser University in Canada also tested North American seaweed after Fukushima:
  • In samples of dehydrated seaweed taken on March 15 near the North Vancouver SeaBus terminal, the count was zero; on March 22 it was 310 Bq per kilogram; and by March 28 it was 380 Bq/kg.” -Vancouver Sun
  • Seaweed in Seattle also tested positive for iodine-131; levels were not reported -KIRO
  • No results after March 28 were reported

In addition, radioactive debris is starting to wash up on the Pacific Coast. And because the Japanese are burning radioactive materials instead of disposing of them, radioactive rain-outs will continue for some time … even on the Pacific Coast.

Of course, the government is doing everything it can to help citizens cover up what’s occurring. We pointed out in January:

Instead of doing much to try to protect their citizens from Fukushima, Japan, the U.S. and the EU all just raised the radiation levels they deem “safe”.
Nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that high-level friends in the State Department told him that Hillary Clinton signed a pact with her counterpart in Japan agreeing that the U.S. will continue buying seafood from Japan, despite that food not being tested for radioactive materials [see this].
And the Department of Energy is trying to replace the scientifically accepted model of the dangers of low dose radiation based on voodoo science. Specifically, DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley Labs used a mutant line of human cells in a petri dish which was able to repair damage from low doses of radiation, and extrapolated to the unsupported conclusion that everyone is immune to low doses of radiation….

Indeed:

American and Canadian authorities have virtually stopped monitoring airborne radiation, and are not testing fish for radiation. (Indeed, the EPA reacted to Fukushima by raising “acceptable” radiation levels.)
So – as in Japan – radiation is usually discovered by citizens and the handful of research scientists with funding to check, and not the government. .
The Japanese government’s entire strategy from day one has been to cover up the severity of the Fukushima accident. This has likely led to unnecessary, additional deaths.
Indeed, the core problem is that all of the world’s nuclear agencies are wholly captured by the nuclear industry … as are virtually all of the supposedly independent health agencies.
So the failure of the American, Canadian and other governments to test for and share results is making it difficult to hold an open scientific debate about what is happening.

And it’s not just radiation from Japan. An effort by the Southern California Edison power company to secretly ramp up production to avoid public disclosure may have led to a leak at the San Onofre nuclear power plant.




Cesium-137 is 85 times greater than at Chernobyl Accident


3 April, 2012

Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident. Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated 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. 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 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).

I asked top spent-fuel pools expert Mr. 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, for an explanation of the potential impact of the 11,421 rods.

I received an astounding response from Mr. Alvarez [updated 4/5/12]:

In recent times, more information about the spent fuel situation at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site has become known. It is my understanding that of the 1,532 spent fuel assemblies in reactor No. 304 assemblies are fresh and unirradiated. This then leaves 1,231 irradiated spent fuel rods in pool No. 4, which contain roughly 37 million curies (~1.4E+18 Becquerel) of long-lived radioactivity. The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements. If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.

The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors. 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.. As this has never been done before, the removal of the spent fuel from the pools at the damaged Fukushima-Dai-Ichi reactors will require a major and time-consuming re-construction effort and will be charting in unknown waters. Despite the enormous destruction cased at the Da–Ichi site, dry casks holding a smaller amount of spent fuel appear to be unscathed.

Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 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 (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).

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.

Many of our readers might find it difficult to appreciate the actual meaning of the figure, yet we can grasp what 85 times more Cesium-137 than the Chernobyl would mean. It 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.

There was a Nuclear Security Summit Conference in Seoul on March 26 and 27, and Ambassador Murata and I made a concerted effort to find someone to inform the participants from 54 nations of the potential global catastrophe of reactor unit 4. We asked several participants to share the idea of an Independent Assessment team comprised of a broad group of international experts to deal with this urgent issue.

I would like to introduce Ambassador Murata’s letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to convey this urgent message and also his letter to Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for Japanese readers. He emphasized in the statement that we should bring human wisdom to tackle this unprecedented challenge.

It seems to us that the Nuclear Security Summit was focused on the North Korea nuclear issue and on the issue of common security from a terrorist attack. Our appeal on the need for the independent assessment at Reactor 4 was regarded as less urgent. We predicted this outcome in light of the nature of the Summit. I suppose most participants fully understood the potential disaster which will affect their countries. Nevertheless, they decided not to raise the delicate issue, perhaps in order to not ruffle their diplomatic relationship with Japan.

I was moved by Ambassador Murata’s courage in pressing this issue in Japan. I know how difficult it is for a former career diplomat to do this, especially in my country. Current and former government officials might be similarly restricted in the scope of their actions, as Ambassador Murata is, but it is their responsibility to take a stand for the benefit of our descendants for centuries to come—to pass on a world safer than our ancestors passed us.

If Japanese government leaders do not recognize the risk their nation faces, how could the rest of us be persuaded of the looming disaster? And if the rest of us do not acknowledge the catastrophe we collectively face, who will be the one to act?
Tokyo, March 25, 2012

Dear Secretary-General,
Honorable Ban Ki-moon,

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude for your considerate letter dated 2 March, 2012. Your moral support for a United Nations Ethics Summit will remain a constant source of encouragement for my activities.

Please allow me to pay a tribute to your great contribution to strengthen nuclear safety and security. The current Nuclear Summit in Seoul is no doubt greatly benefiting from the high-level meeting you convened last September.

I was asked to make a statement at the public hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 23. I raised the crucial problem. of N0.4 reactor of Fukushima containing1535 fuel rods. It could be fatally damaged by continuing aftershocks. Moreover, 50 meters away from it exists a common cooling pool for 6 reactors containing 6375 fuel rods!

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.

Please allow me to inform you of an initiative being taken by a former UN official who is endeavoring to have the Nuclear Security Summit take up the crucial problem. of N0.4 reactor of Fukushima. He is pursuing the establishment of an independent assessment team. I think his efforts are very significant, because it is indispensable to draw the attention of world leaders to this vital issue.

I am cooperating with him, writing to some of my Korean acquaintances that this issue deserves the personal attention of President Lee Myung-bak. I have written today to Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. I asked him to consider taking the initiative of mobilizing human wisdom on the widest scope to cope with the Fukushima reactor No.4 problem, fully taking into account the above-mentioned “independent assessment team”.

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. Please accept, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Mitsuhei Murata
Former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal
Executive Director, the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics



-- Within two weeks of the earthquake and tsunami I was making the exact same points right here at Collapsenet. We have never stopped covering Fukushima for just that reason. As with climate change, and global economic corruption and Peak Oil, I have always maintained the position that these are not national problems but nuclear problems.

And an empathic refocus of human attention along these lines is the only thing that can prevent us all from sharing the same fate. The Japanese government cannot and will never be able to deal with Fukushima alone. As we have shown here repeatedly the Japanese government, buried in unrepayable debt cannot muster the resources, manpower or skill necessary to even approach Reactor #2. TEPCO is in the process of being nationalized.

And in the meantime the fate of our entire species rest upon the rickety supports holding up the spent fuel pool at Reactor #4. - MCR


Fukushima crisis may become 'global catastrophe'
By Elliott Freeman


26 April, 2012





A nuclear watchdog official told RT News that the ongoing crisis at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan could become a "global catastrophe", echoing warnings from other experts.

Kevin Kamps, a radioactive waste watchdog with Beyond Nuclear, described the potential nightmare to "The Big Picture" host Thom Hartmann, stating that if the pools of nuclear fuel at the plant caught on fire, the area would become so radioactive that the entire containment operation would have to be permanently abandoned.

Mitsuhei Murata, the former Japanese ambassador to Switzerland, also expressed grave concerns about what would happen if the damaged building that houses Reactor 4 collapsed. According to the Huffington Post, he explained to the Swiss House of Councilors last month that should such an event occur, it would adversely affect the thousands of spent nuclear fuel rods nearby, which are dangerously exposed to air.

Nuclear expert Robert Alvarez, the former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, spelled out the potential disaster in more specific -- and chilling -- terms in an email sent to renowned Japanese diplomat Akio Matsumura.

"If an earthquake or other event were to cause the pool to drain, this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of [radioactive] Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl incident," Alvarez stated.
However, things could get much worse. According to Alvarez, if the 11,138 spent nuclear fuel rods contained in the facility also went up in flames, it would unleash 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl disaster.

In addition, a recent study of the meltdown at Chernobyl offers a sobering analysis of the situation, ENS News reports. According to research compiled by Russian scientists and published in the New York Academy of Sciences, the nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster killed over one million people worldwide from 1986 to 2004. If the worst-case scenario at Fukushima becomes a reality, the effects could lead to millions of casualties around the globe.





Prof. Takeda “3/31/2015 is the last day of Japan”
Prof. Takeda Kunihiko from Chubu university roughly estimated anyone can no longer live in Japan after 3/31/2015.



27 April, 2012

According to his explanation, the yearly dose will reach 5mSv/y (External dose and the slight internal dose) in 3 years and 4 months from January of 2012.

He states, he receives radiation data from one of his readers. The person measures radiation three times a day, at work, doorway of house, and the living room in Mie prefecture (500km from Fukushima). Prof. Takeda admits the data is scientific enough.

From the radiation level has been in the increasing trend since last September. In linear equations (y=ax+b), the average from January to March (=b) is 0.10 μSv/h, a is +0.004 μSv/h. y reaches 5mSv/y in 3 years and 3 months, so yearly dose will be over 5mSv/y in 3 years and 4 months from January of 2012, when is 3/31/2015.

Prof. Takeda admits the data was collected by an individual and a and b are calculated by least squares but it’s rational enough.

The reason why radiation level is increasing is not explained.



Fukushima is Falling Apart: Are You Ready for a Mass Extinction Event?


21 April, 2012

Thirteen months have passed since the Fukushima reactors exploded, and a U.S. Senator finally got off his ass and went to Japan to see what is going on over there.

What he saw was horrific.

And now he is saying that we are in big trouble.

See the letter he sent to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Ichiro Fujisaki, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and NRC’s Chairman Gregory Jaczko here.

But what is so ironic about this is that we have been in this heap of trouble since March of 2011. March 17th, to be exact, when the plume of radioactive materials began bombarding the west coast of California.

And Oregon. And Washington. And British Columbia. And later Maine, Europe, and everywhere in between.

Independent researchers, nuke experts, and scientists, from oceanography to entomology and everywhere in between, having been trying to sound the alarm ever since.

The scientists most upset are those who have studied the effects of radiation on health. I’ll say it again, so its really clear: we are in big trouble.

The most preliminary reports of soil contamination are starting to come in from the USGS, who has seemed reluctant to share this information. Los Angeles, California, Portland, Oregon, and Boulder, Colorado, so far have the highest radioactive particle contamination out of the entire US.

That being said, every single city tested across the country showed contamination from Fukushima. What is even more alarming, however, about the numbers coming in, is that they are from samples taken April 5th, of last year.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, has only recently confirmed that there were three meltdowns, and they have been ongoing, unabated, for thirteen months, and no effort has been made to contain them.

Technology has to be developed/invented to deal with the melted out corium under the reactors. Until then, they will keep doing what they have been doing.

TEPCO just keeps dumping water on them, after which they let it pour into the ocean, and steam up through the ground, every second of every day. The jet stream, and a highly dynamic portion of our atmosphere called the troposphere, have been swirling around massive amounts of radioactive particles and settling them out, mostly in rain, over the entire northern hemisphere, especially the west coast of North America, from Alaska down to Baja and even further.

Iodine, cesium, strontium, plutonium, uranium, and a host of other fission products have been coming directly from Japan to the west coast for thirteen months.

Maybe you have heard about sick seals, polar bears, tainted fish, mutations in dandelions and fruits and vegetables, possibly even animals already, and seaweed. In fact the kelp from Corona del Mar contained 40,000,000 bcq/kg of radioactive iodine, as reported in Scientific American several weeks ago.

If you don’t know your becquerels, its a lot. That’s what your pacific fish feed on. And that was only ONE isotope reported. There were up to 1600 different isotopes that have been floating around in our air, pouring out of the reactors, and steaming out of the ground, every second of every day, for 13 months.

And there has been silence from our mainstream media, for which the depths of depravity are so severe I will devote an entire article just to the “why” at a future time.

But back to the research: reports in the past week indicate the pollen in southern California is radioactive now too, and it is flying around, and if you live there and go outside, you are breathing it in. And so are your children.

Along with fission products blowing over from Japan. And radiation in your drinking water. And in your rain. And in the fish you are eating. And your vegetables. And the milk supply. And its happening every second, of every day. For 13 months. Are you starting to see a problem here?

Problem is, that’s not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem is what Senator Wyden is all bent out of shape about, even though independent researchers and nuke experts have been warning about this for a year.

And that is that the Reactor #4 building is on the verge of collapsing. Seismicity standards rate the building at a zero, meaning even a small earthquake could send it into a heap of rubble. And sitting at the top of the building, in a pool that is cracked, leaking, and precarious even without an earthquake, are 1565 fuel rods (give or take a few), some of them “fresh fuel” that was ready to go into the reactor on the morning of March 11th when the earthquake and tsunami hit.

If they are MOX fuel, containing 6% plutonium, one fuel rod has the potential to kill 2.89 billion people. If this pool collapses, as Senator Wyden is now saying too, we would face a mass extinction event from the release of radiation in those rods.

That is, if we aren’t in one already. Nuke experts like Arnie Gundersen and Helen Caldicott are prepared to evacuate their families to the southern hemisphere if that happens. It is that serious.

So now you know, if you didn’t before. We are in big trouble.

Get informed. Start paying attention to this. Every single statement in this article is verifiable, and I will continue to verify and validate the seriousness of this situation at every opportunity I have.

This may be the most important thing you ever pay attention to, for the sake of your family, friends, your neighbors, every one you know and meet, all of humanity.

It’s been thirteen months, you have some catching up to do.


This article continues. To see more GO HERE



Fukushima Daiichi: The Truth and the Future
An update from Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds


As part of a presentation in Kansai, Japan on May 12th 2012, Maggie and Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education answered specific questions asked by symposium organizers regarding the condition of the spent fuel pool at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 4. Fairewinds analyzes the explosion at Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3. Also, Arnie discusses what the future may hold for Japan if it chooses a path without nuclear power






Radioactive tuna crosses Pacific to US
Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 9600 kilometres away - the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

 
AP RADIOACTIVE FISH: A file photo shows of bluefin tuna caught near Ensenada, Mexico. New research has found increased levels of radiation in Pacific bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California. Scientists believe the radiation found in the fish came from Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant that was crippled by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

29 May, 2012

"We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online overnight (NZ time) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that's still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the US and Japanese governments.

Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors.

But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolise and shed radioactive substances.

One of the largest and speediest fish, Pacific bluefin tuna can grow to three metres and weigh more than 450 kilograms. They spawn off the Japan coast and swim east at breakneck speed to school in waters off California and the tip of Baja California, Mexico.

Five months after the Fukushima disaster, Fisher of Stony Brook University in New York and a team decided to test Pacific bluefin that were caught off the coast of San Diego. To their surprise, tissue samples from all 15 tuna captured contained levels of two radioactive substances - ceisum-134 and cesium-137 - that were higher than in previous catches.

To rule out the possibility that the radiation was carried by ocean currents or deposited in the sea through the atmosphere, the team also analysed yellowfin tuna, found in the eastern Pacific, and bluefin that migrated to Southern California before the nuclear crisis. They found no trace of cesium-134 and only background levels of cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s.

The results "are unequivocal. Fukushima was the source," said Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who had no role in the research.

Bluefin tuna absorbed radioactive cesium from swimming in contaminated waters and feeding on contaminated prey such as krill and squid, the scientists said. As the predators made the journey east, they shed some of the radiation through metabolism and as they grew larger. Even so, they weren't able to completely flush out all the contamination from their system.

"That's a big ocean. To swim across it and still retain these radionuclides is pretty amazing," Fisher said.

Pacific bluefin tuna are prized in Japan where a thin slice of the tender red meat prepared as sushi can fetch US$24 per piece at top Tokyo restaurants. Japanese consume 80 per cent of the world's Pacific and Atlantic bluefin tuna.

The real test of how radioactivity affects tuna populations comes this summer when researchers planned to repeat the study with a larger number of samples. Bluefin tuna that journeyed last year were exposed to radiation for about a month. The upcoming travelers have been swimming in radioactive waters for a longer period. How this will affect concentrations of contamination remains to be seen.

Now that scientists know that bluefin tuna can transport radiation, they also want to track the movements of other migratory species including sea turtles, sharks and seabirds.



Fukushima: a disaster nightmare rapidly spiraling out of control

27 May

May 27, 2012 – JAPAN – 

According to the simulation of Disaster Prevention Research Institute Kyoto University, cesium will be accumulated in Tokyo bay for the following 3 years and it will reach 4,000 Bq/Kg at some spots in March of 2014. This is the same level of cesium measured at 16 km from Fukushima plants this January. They estimate cesium level will decrease to spread around after April of 2014, but the peak may come sooner than March of 2014 depending of the precipitation. Also, in North Tokyo bay, where is estimated to be the most contaminated, the average contamination of sea ground soil will be 300 ~ 500 Bq/kg. According to Fukushima Diary, a TEPCO worker at the distressed plant said: “If another major aftershock hits Fukushima, they can’t even get close to the reactors and the risk is not only SFP4, it would be all the reactors. I tweeted this before but in case of another major aftershock or Tsunami, it won’t be only reactor4. I think all the reactors will be in crisis. TEPCO says they have prepared multiple coolant means, but if the radiation level goes too high, we cannot even get close. Also even if the reactor buildings remain safe, roads won’t be safe to approach the reactors. Actually 311 caused a lot of cracks on the ground; there were a lot of places where you cannot drive by car. Even pumper trucks or fire trucks cannot drive maybe. Above all, now we don’t have enough human resource or engineers to settle down reactor4 in addition to other reactors.”

Fukushima Dairy

Nuclear Disaster Spreads to Houses, Food
CNN REPORT





CNN : Japanese dock from tsunami drifts, lands on Oregon beach


7 June, 2012

Residents near Agate Beach in Oregon were shocked when they saw a 66-foot long dock had washed ashore.

The massive dock was spotted earlier in the week floating offshore, a mile north of Newport, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. And upon closer examination it was clear that it wasn’t just your ordinary ocean debris. The placard, bearing Japanese writing, gave them a hint.

A metal placard bearing Japanese writing was found attached to the dock.

Instantly the question was: Is this another giant piece of debris from the tsunami in Japan last year that’s made its way to U.S. shores? It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time – and likely won’t be the last.

Debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan began showing up on western U.S. shores in recent months.

After some testing and translation officials confirmed that the derelict dock was indeed debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the parks department said, citing the Japanese Consulate in Portland.

The parks department said they were able to trace the dock back to Japan after having the local Japanese consulate translate the placard which reveals a company name, location and phone number. Havel added that tires on the dock were determined to have come from a company in Japan. And officials testing plants and wildlife found on the dock learned they were native to Japan.

At first residents were told to stay away from the giant dock, which is 7 feet tall and 19 feet wide.

The dock, made of concrete and metal, posed concerns about whether it might be radioactive at first. Oregon parks spokesman Chris Havel told CNN that officials tested the dock for radiation but the tests were negative.

There have been concerns that tsunami debris from Japan could be contaminated by radiation because of problems at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said that it is unlikely that radioactive material will make landfall in North America.






Water in Fukushima No. 4 spent fuel pool warms after pump troubles


7 June, 2012

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant said Wednesday that the temperature of water inside the No. 4 unit's spent fuel pool rose to 42 C as of 5 p.m. following problems with the water circulation system pumps.

One of two pumps which stopped was later reactivated, and the water temperature is expected to start falling, said Tokyo Electric Power Co. spokesman Junichi Matsumoto. On Tuesday morning, the water was 34 C.

There are two pumps to cool water which is used to remove heat emitted from the spent nuclear fuel stored inside the No. 4 reactor's pool. But the main pump stopped working on Tuesday, and the backup pump stopped on Wednesday.

The backup pump had an insulation failure in the section connecting a motor and a cable, and the utility known as TEPCO suspects that the other pump had similar trouble.

TEPCO said it needs several days to one week to repair the main pump.




Arnie Gunderson: Update on Fukushima

Robert Knight hosts Arnie Gundersen, of Fairewinds Energy Education, for an update concerning the ongoing situation in Japan. Gundersen and Knight talk about the science of bioaccumulation in the Pacific Ocean and on the Japanese mainland and the current status of radioactivity surrounding the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Gundersen and Knight also discuss the magnitude of radioactive contamination inside Japanese homes and outdoors in Tokyo parks.

For interview GO HERE



I especially recommend the video below from Australia's ABC.

Fukushima Reactor 4 is bulged worse than announced before




25 June, 2012

Following up this article..West side of the reactor4 building bulged
Government’s and Tepco’s traditional way of manipulation is like this,
1. Release data.
2. Secretly revise it to be worse.

Again, Tepco revised the data of the reactor4 building on 6/25/2012. They haven’t announced the next schedule of revision.
The South-West corner of reactor4 building turned out to be bulged/leaned to outward.
The third floor is 46mm outward compared to the first floor. On their last report, it was 33mm.



Reactor4 is bulged worse than announced before

It is the blue circled part. Last time, they reported the bulging range of the yellow spot was 33mm, which was supposed to be worst.

Reactor4 is bulged worse than announced before 2

Source

A must-see video from Australia's ABC

Japanese Diplomat urges UN intervention on SFP4






Radioactive “Dirt” Hits  Tokyo!



25 June, 2012


Hi Mike, When in Tokyo don’t touch the black or blue dirt OK!

Sweet Jesus, Tokyo a city with 34 Million inhabitants is now being covered with radioactive dirt just as a friend goes over to visit his son. This brings it very close to home!

Fukushima has been decimated by radiation.

But Fukushima City has less than 300,000 residents.  And all of Fukushima prefecture has 2 million.  On the other hand, greater Tokyo – the world’s largest megacity – has 35 million inhabitants.

Tokyo soil has been blanketed by Fukushima radiation, even though the Japanese capital is 170 miles from the Fukushima nuclear complex. Indeed, officials just found “high levels” of radiation at 

Now, substances with even higher levels of radiation are showing up around Tokyo.

Minamisoma city council member Koichi Oyama writes:

People in Tokyo, the black substance is here!
***
Please, people who live around, look at that!
***
It’s on the roof, on the asphalt, on concrete… Everywhere on all surfaces.
Almost every part where is black”.
Those black substances have fallen away and because of the rain water it accumulates underfoot”.
I think 1 micro is almost 100000 becquerels, 1 second α,β,γ Ray 100 needles~”.
Never touch them with naked hands”.

What is he talking about?

City council member Koichi filmed black “dirt” on the ground in various areas of Tokyo, showing very high radiation levels.

For example, here’s Tokyo University last month:






Tokyo-based Writer: Over 1,000,000 Japanese still living in areas with high daily radiation exposure — Previous cesium limit in rice was just 0.1 Bq/kg; Now 1,000 times higher


Ene News,
25 June, 2012



Tokyo-based Taiwanese writer Liu Li-erh (劉黎兒) yesterday in Taipei shared her latest fact-finding from Japan
[...]
Having lived in Tokyo for 30 years and experienced the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11 last year and led to the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, Liu said that more than 1 million Japanese continue to live in areas with high daily radiation exposure and the total cost of damage from the nuclear disaster is still too high to estimate.
[...]
Liu said that although her house is located about 80km away from the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, the property has lost almost all of its value due to the high levels of radiation present since the disaster.
She said that the Japanese government had set provisional regulations for radiation-contaminated food at 500 Bq/kg for radioactive cesium levels immediately after the disaster, and reduced the limit to 100 Bq/kg in April. However, this is still 1,000 times the limit for rice (0.1 Bq/kg) in force prior to the disaster.
[...]
Many experts from Japan and other countries are now very concerned about the more than 1,500 fuel rods housed in the storage pool inside the damaged No. 4 reactor building at Fukushima Dai-ichi, warning that a disaster worse than the three reactor meltdowns could happen if the pool collapses, she added.
[...]
Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun on April 2 said that “if this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate.”
[...]

Radioactive river mud threatens lakes, Tokyo Bay
Lakes across eastern Japan are being contaminated with radioactive cesium from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and scientists are warning of a growing problem in Tokyo Bay


5 July, 2012, 2012


Radioactive mud carried down rivers is slowly accumulating in the lakes, in some cases making fish and shellfish dangerous to eat.

In March, a maximum cesium concentration of 9,550 becquerels per kilogram was detected in mud on the bottom of the Bizengawa river, 1.65 kilometers from where it flows into Japan’s second-largest lake, Lake Kasumigaura in Ibaraki Prefecture.

A month later, the highest reading was 800 meters closer to the lake and had increased to 9,980 becquerels per kilogram.

Hiroshi Iijima, who heads the Asaza Fund nonprofit organization, which conducted the surveys, has asked the central and prefectural governments to put cesium-absorbing zeolites in the lake and set up a temporary dam to stop the mud flowing from the river.

Ibaraki Prefecture is known for producing the largest eel catch in Japan. In May, the central government suspended shipments of eels caught in Kasumigaura and other locations in Ibaraki Prefecture after cesium levels exceeding the government standard of 100 becquerels per kilogram for food were detected.

In fiscal 2011, cesium levels over 100 becquerels per kilogram were found in fish and shellfish caught in the lake in eight of 71 surveys. The frequency increased to 28 of 87 surveys in the current fiscal year.

The prefectural government on April 1 asked fishermen to refrain from shipping three other fish from two rivers and other locations due to high levels of cesium.

Since April, cesium levels over 100 becquerels per kilogram have also been found in fish and shellfish in Lake Numazawako, Lake Inawashiroko and Lake Akimotoko in Fukushima Prefecture, Hinuma marsh in Ibaraki Prefecture, Teganuma marsh in Chiba Prefecture and Lake Chuzenjiko in Tochigi Prefecture.

Despite decontamination work, radioactivity could remain in lakes as long as cesium flows in,” an Environment Ministry official said. “While giving priority to decontamination efforts on land, we want to find out to what extent radioactive materials will move to fish through the rivers.”

Scientists say freshwater fish tend to retain ingested cesium longer than their saltwater counterparts. They do not discharge as much of the material due to low osmotic pressure between their bodies and surrounding waters.

The Environment Ministry found higher cesium concentrations in fish and water insects in lakes and rivers than sea life in a survey in Fukushima Prefecture from December to February.

The highest level was 2,600 becquerels per kilogram in a type of rhinogobius in Manogawa river north of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The concentrations in most saltwater fish were below 100 becquerels.

Meanwhile, Yosuke Yamashiki, an associate professor of environmental engineering at Kyoto University, estimates that cesium concentrations at the bottom of Tokyo Bay will peak in 2014 and then remain roughly stable through 2021.

His modeling predicts that levels will rise to 300-500 becquerels per kilogram of sand at the bottom of the bay near the mouths of Edogawa and Arakawa rivers in March 2014. Those rivers flow through areas with relatively high radiation levels.

Hotspots with cesium levels of 4,000 becquerels per kilogram are possible, Yamashiki said.

Even if no impact of radiation has yet to be found on fish and shellfish, we cannot tell what will happen in the future,” he said. “We need to begin to prevent contamination immediately by reducing the amount of sand flowing into the bay.”

Sand containing cesium tends to accumulate in Tokyo Bay because it has a relatively narrow opening to the Pacific Ocean.

Yamashiki simulated sand and mud movements in Tokyo Bay and rivers flowing into the bay since March 2011 and used cesium concentrations in soil measured by the government to produce his estimates.





Record radiation levels found in fish caught off Fukushima
A pair of rock trout have shown the highest level of radioactive cesium detected in fish and shellfish caught in waters off Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, its operator said Tuesday.


22 August, 2012

The fish, caught 20 kilometers offshore from the plant on Aug 1, registered 25,800 becquerels of cesium per kilo, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said—258 times the level the government deems safe for consumption.

The previous record in fish and shellfish off Fukushima was 18,700 becquerels per kilo detected in cherry salmon, according to the government’s Fisheries Agency.

TEPCO said the trout might have fed in radioactive hotspots and that it would sample more of the fish, their feed and the seabed soil in the area in the coming weeks to determine the cause of the high radiation.

Fishermen have been allowed since June to catch—on an experimental basis—two kinds of fish and shellfish, but only in areas more than 50 kilometers off the plant.

Those catches have shown only small amounts of radioactivity.

Rock trout have not been caught by fishermen off Fukushima since the massive earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 triggered meltdowns in reactors at the plant.


Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America
George Washington


19 September, 2012

Radiation from Japan’s nuclear accident has turned up in seaweed on the coasts of CaliforniaWashington and other parts of the West Coast of North America.

The ocean is so big … how could this be happening? Why didn’t the gigantic Pacific Ocean better dilute Fukushima radiation?

A 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents.

MIT says that seawater which is itself radioactive may begin hitting the West Coast within 5 years.

In 10 years, peak radioactive cesium levels off of the West Coast of North America could be 10 times higher than at the coast of Japan.

As we’ve previously noted, Reuters reports that Alaskan seals are suffering mysterious lesions and hair loss:

Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.


Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats.
***
We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity,” said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor’s damage,” he said.

Here’s a picture of one of the injured seals:

Seal Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America

We reported yesterday that a new scientific paper shows that the Fukushima radioactive plume contaminated the entire Northern hemisphere during a relatively short period of time, and Ene News today reports on a potential correlation:
Map from a study appearing in the upcoming edition of the journal Science of the Total Environment
Plume Map Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America
  (Note the blue line):
Map of Marine Life Deaths:

Seal Map Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North AmericaEne Comparison Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America
(The correlation is not exact … but close enough to ask whether the radioactive plume hit Western Alaska and was then carried around the coast by ocean currents.)

Radioactive fish are also being found off the West Coast.

California-sized island of debris from Japan is also hitting the West Coast.
And West Coast residents have also been exposed to Fukushima radiation from the air.  See thisthis and this.

Indeed, some doctors claim that people living on the West Coast have already been killed from Fukushima radiation.

Fukushima … the gift that keeps on giving.



Waves of anger: Japan tsunami victim aid spent on whalers, officials and fighter pilots
A quarter of Japan’s tsunami relief fund has been spent on unrelated projects, including renovating a government office and subsiding whaling. The revelations have ignited outcry as more than 320,000 tsunami victims remain displaced.


RT,
1 November, 2012

The expenditure was identified after the publication of an independent government-backed audit into the allocation of the $150 billion relief fund, created after the earthquake and tsunami of March last year.

The fund intended not only to restore damaged cities, but to “reinvigorate Japan”, stimulating local economies into recover. Nevertheless, the relevance of some of the funded projects have been raising eyebrows.

Among the expenses listed are $30 million dollars to protect Japan’s yearly whale hunt from environmental activists, $380,000 to promote Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest free-standing broadcast tower, free training for fighter pilots and a subsidy for a contact-lens factory located nowhere near the site of the disaster-hit coast.

"Taxpayers accepted tax hikes because they thought the money would go to disaster victims and the disaster victims were grateful," said Kuniko Tanioka, who is a member of a group that studied the expenses in the Upper House of the Diet, Japan’s parliament.

"But the funds have been used for projects they never imagined. It is a direct blow to the willpower of those who are trying to rebuild their lives.”
At first the report was largely ignored by the Japanese media, as clientelism – the allocation of budget money to those with close ties, often in exchange for political support, is not unusual in the country’s politics.
But anger rose, sparked by those most in need of help who feel like they’ve  been ignored.

Exploiting the construction effort is treacherous to the first degree,” proclaimed a Tokyo Shimbun editorial.


Iwate prefecture, a regions that says it isn′t being given the money it needs by the central government. (Reuters / Carlos Barria )
Iwate prefecture, a regions that says it isn't being given the money it needs by the central government. (Reuters / Carlos Barria )

Cities on the coastline remain disaster sites, with administrators and former inhabitants unsure they will ever be rebuilt. More than 200,000 are still living in temporary housing.

Victims were allocated around $40,000 per household to rebuild their homes. The money is not nearly sufficient to rebuild the houses, particularly as many victims also lost their jobs.

240 ports – often economic hubs for smaller Japanese towns – remain closed.

Across the disaster zone itself 60 percent of applications from businesses seeking help to re-open have been rejected by authorities due to insufficient funds and red tape. Businesses have to re-open first before they are given financial aid, and have to be judged as “essential” by a local administrative panel. 

Stunningly, not only has the money been misallocated, but half of the relief fund has not been given to anyone at all, due to a nominal lack of suitable applicants and red tape. The recovery is being blighted by the slowness of Tokyo’s bureaucrats to make centralized decisions to relieve troubled regions.  Whilst affected areas are worsening the situation, through apparent inexperience in managing such large-scale construction projects.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, whose DPJ party came to power in 2009 on promises of confronting long-standing corruption, was forced to defend the government in the Diet.
 
"We must listen sincerely to the voices calling for the utmost priority to be accorded to disaster area reconstruction,”said Noda, who was finance minister at the time of the disaster. He also promised to “narrow down” apparent unrelated spending, though he did not specify to what extent or on what criteria.


The government has lost all public trust,” said Masako Mori, from the opposition Liberal Party.


"That's a fundamental characteristic of bureaucrats. It is the Diet that should check how money is used, but the Diet hasn't put any effort into it," Takayoshi Igarashi, a professor at Hosei University, told Japan Times.
Yoshimitsu Shiozaki, an academic specializing in urban planning at Kobe University, who has conducted his own survey of the spending, believes that little will be done to reverse the spending priorities.
 
"Legally speaking, there are no problems with these projects," Shiozaki told the Japan Times, noting that before signing off on huge subsidies, bureaucrats only had to prove that a company was in some way connected to the disaster area, even if it is through a single supplier.
 
He also pointed out that previous relief efforts in the country, such as the Kobe earthquake recovery in 1995, have also been marred by similar scandals.

"But this time the funds are being used in a more deceptive way," said Shiozaki.
In total Japan plans to spend $295 billion on disaster recovery over the next decade.

Kesennuma city, Miyagi prefecture – one of more than 200 ports that still haven′t reopened. (AFP Photo / Toshifumi Kitamura)
Kesennuma city, Miyagi prefecture – one of more than 200 ports that still haven't reopened. (AFP Photo / Toshifumi Kitamura)


Reports: “Something may have happened at Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant” after M7.3 quake — Tepco “did not know cause of pressure rise”








Current status of the Fukushima Daiichi NPS and Fukushima Daini NPS after the earthquake (M7.3) at the offshore of Sanriku at 5:18 pm on December 7, 2012.


[...]


[As for the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station]


After the earthquake occurred at 5:18 pm on December 7, 2012, we have conducted checkups at the Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station, and have found there was no problem.


Since we had found positive pressure in the reactor building of Unit 1, we have started Stand by Gas Treatment System* (the pressure was 0.05 kPa at that time of the start), and confirmed negative pressure in the reactor building. The negative pressure has been kept currently. We will conduct inspections for the cause of this matter.


The fluctuation of the monitoring post readings is being maintained within the range of normal fluctuation before and after the earthquake and currently no radiation impact to the outside of the power station has been reported due to the earthquake.


Eight US Sailors Sue Japan's TEPCO For Lying About Fukushima Radiation


27 December, 2012


It was only a matter of time before Japan's criminal lying about the radioactive exposure in the aftermath of the Fukushima catastrophe caught up with it. What is surprising is that those holding Japan accountable are not its citizens but eight US sailors who have just filed a suit against semi-nationalized energy operator TEPCO - the company which repeatedly ignored internal warnings about the ability of the Fukushima NPP to withstand an earthquake/tsunami -  seeking $110 million in damages.




"Eight U.S. sailors have filed a damages suit against Tokyo Electric Power Co., claiming they were exposed to radiation and face health threats as the utility did not provide appropriate information about the Fukushima nuclear disaster while they engaged in rescue operations on board an aircraft carrier, U.S. media reported.

The plaintiffs who filed the suit at the U.S. federal court in San Diego -- seeking a total of $110 million, or 9.4 billion yen, in damages -- were aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan when it was involved in "Operation Tomodachi," a disaster relief effort shortly after a big earthquake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear accident in decades, the reports said."


What is sad is that while everyone in the alternative media was repeatedly warning about the radiation exposure being misrepresented by both TEPCO and various Japanese ministries, it was the mainstream media that was constantly complicit in disseminating official and unofficial lies that there is nothing to fear. Which begs the question: shouldn't the lawsuit stretch to everyone who - without inquiring deeper and merely serving as a mouthpiece to a lying government and utility - gave the "all clear" even as radiation levels were approaching, and in many occasions, passing critical levels?


But hey: they were merely following orders, and were worried about keeping their jobs if they stepped out of line and questioned the line of propaganda command. Luckily, this will be the first time in world history this excuse will have been used.



Fukushima Radiation News 12/21/12:Updated
Japan Quake Risk;US Urged to Stop Sub-critical Tests



Experts update quake risk projections across Japan

Japanese seismic experts have updated their earthquake risk projections for the country's major cities over the next 30 years.


Members of the government's Earthquake Research Committee released the estimates on Friday for the first time in two years.


Reactor screening to begin in July or later


The head of Japan's nuclear watchdog says it cannot begin safety screening of off-line reactors until new safety standards are set up next July.

All but two of Japan's reactors are suspended following the Fukushima accident last year.


Team finds faults at nuclear plant possibly active

 
A panel of nuclear experts has found that 2 faults under a nuclear power plant in northern Japan may be active.


The findings could keep the plant offline for some time.


Floating pier washed ashore in Washington
Authorities in the US state of Washington are considering what to do with a floating pier that has apparently washed ashore from Japan.
A US Coast Guard helicopter spotted the 9-meter-long concrete pier on Tuesday on the shore of the Olympic Peninsula.


15 giant tsunami hit western Japan over 6000 years
A university research team says about 15 massive tsunami have occurred near the Nankai Trough along Japan's Pacific coast in the last 6,000 years, devastating the country's western region.

Mother: Child with severe nose bleeds, full body rash after playing in Fukushima contaminated water — So much blood, thought head was cut open — Fingers covered in open sores
http://enenews.com/mother-child-severe-nose-bleeds-full-body-rash-after-playi...


Tepco admits link between death and Fukushima disaster for 1st time
http://enenews.com/tepco-admits-link-between-death-and-fukushima-disaster-for...
Nuclear fuel rods in Common Pool to be inspected for 'soundness' at Fukushima plant (PHOTO)

Nuclear fuel rods in Common Pool to be inspected for 'soundness' at Fukushima plant (PHOTO)
http://enenews.com/fuel-rods-in-common-pool-at-fukushima-to-be-inspected-for-...

Tepco concerned about liner of No. 3 Spent Fuel Pool at Fukushima plant? (PHOTOS)
http://enenews.com/tepco-trying-repair-liner-3-spent-fuel-pool-fukushima-plan...

http://www.jma.go.jp/en/quake/20121221003540391-210031.html
IPPNW urges Obama to stop subcritical tests


An international medical doctors' association that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize has urged US President Barack Obama to give up subcritical nuclear tests without delay.
An international medical doctors' association that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize has urged US President Barack Obama to give up subcritical nuclear tests without delay.

More Fukushima nuclear pollution to hit U.S. starting in 2015 — Study: Impact strength of Cesium-137 on West Coast to be as high as 4 PERCENT
http://enenews.com/report-nuclear-pollution-from-fukushima-to-hit-u-s-in-2015...

Tepco: Fuel assemblies could be damaged from shock in Fukushima Unit 3 pool
http://enenews.com/tepco-fuel-assemblies-could-be-damaged-unit-3-pool-fukushi...

Fukushima Worker: Rats now being found in many places around plant — Concern about biting cables, tripping electrical systems, spreading high level contamination

http://enenews.com/fukushima-worker-rats-being-found-many-places-around-plant...


http://fukushima-diary.com/
Tepco vented PCV of reactor1 after nuclear fuel melted through the RPV, twice

Environmental consequence analysis by JAEA is worse than monitoring data by MEXT

Tepco removed the steel beam from SFP reactor3, "3 months after they dropped it into the pool"

[Column] 3 facts to support the hypothesis that fractured nuclear fuel is in individual stages of nuclear reaction

11,000 Bq/Kg of cesium was measured from wild boar in Minamisoma city

120 Bq/kg of cesium measured from soybeans and sold for transitional measures

Meteorological agency warns to stay alert to further aftershocks

 
[Reader's post] "Common spent fuel pool is more heated than SFP of reactor1, 2, 3″

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/10/radiation-level-spiked-in-hokkaido-still-i...


No solution to tainted water at Fukushima plant
Nearly 2 years have passed since a massive earthquake and tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.



Please ignore the fluffy images of cats at the start of the movie – and go to main content


NHK,
4 January, 2013

But since then, no drastic solution has yet been found to manage the plant's growing amounts of contaminated water.

Each day about 400 tons of underground water has been flowing into reactor buildings since a nuclear accident triggered by the disaster on March 11th, 2011. The water becomes contaminated with radioactive materials.

The tainted water needs to be safely managed after being rid of radioactive substances.

But the volume of the water is continuing to rise, increasing radiation levels at the plant. If it leaks outside, it could contaminate the environment.

The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, initially aimed to start operating a new water treatment facility last September.

It's designed to remove 62 kinds of radioactive elements from the contaminated water, including radioactive strontium, which could not have been removed before.

The facility has been already completed, but TEPCO is significantly delaying the start of its operation.

That's because containers to store radioactive waste from the facility were found to be of insufficient strength. The government is requiring Tokyo Electric to conduct additional tests and to strengthen the containers.

TEPCO says it wants the facility to begin operating as early as possible this year. But no clear date has yet been set.

The company plans to pump underground water to prevent it from flowing into reactor buildings. It will also install steel walls underground to block contaminated water from leaking into the sea.

TEPCO is also facing a series of problems with a currently operating treatment facility.

Glitches have frequently forced the utility to halt the facility. TEPCO also discovered contaminated water leaking from the facility.


For video GO HERE


Radioactive Waste Dumped Into Rivers During Fukushima Clean Up


7 January, 2013

As the fallout from the Fukushima disaster continues to deepen, more information is being uncovered about the negligence and dishonesty on the part of the government and other responsible agencies.
According to The Asahi Shimbun:
Cleanup crews in Fukushima Prefecture have dumped soil and leaves contaminated with radioactive fallout into rivers. 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.
Decontamination is considered a crucial process in enabling thousands of evacuees to return to their homes around the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and resume their normal lives.  But the decontamination work witnessed by a team of Asahi Shimbun reporters shows that contractual rules with the Environment Ministry have been regularly and blatantly ignored, and in some cases, could violate environmental laws.
Just afew weeks ago we reported that A former worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant has filed a lawsuit against TEPCO, the Tokyo Electric Power Company for downplaying the danger and severity of the disaster.


It was also reported last month that irradiated fish captured near the inoperative nuclear plant showed 25,800 becquerels of caesium per kilo, which is actually 258 times the level determined ‘safe’ by the government.


Fukushima 50: 'We felt like kamikaze pilots ready to sacrifice everything'
Nuclear plant staff live unseen in the shadow of the disaster, says worker Atsufumi Yoshizawa, as Japan grapples with the fallout from the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl


The Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant control room. Jolts from an earthquake caused ceiling panels to crash to the floor. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

11 January, 2013


Dressed in a dark-blue work jacket with his company motif stamped on his breast pocket, Atsufumi Yoshizawa does not look like a man who spent the best part of a year in the thick of battle.

Yet that is how he describes his time among the group of engineers, technicians, soldiers and firefighters who risked their lives to remain at the heart of Japan's worst nuclear crisis.

The international media named them the Fukushima 50, although the actual number of workers who stayed to handle the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant ran into the hundreds.

They became the heroes of the disaster. The world feted their bravery and selfless dedication, an antidote to the opprobrium being poured on Japan's hapless nuclear safety officials and politicians. But at home, almost all of the Fukushima 50 have remained anonymous. Some shun the spotlight, but many others fear reprisals as the public continues to grapple with the environmental and political fallout from the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

In a rare interview, Yoshizawa describes how the crisis unfolded, and why he does not consider himself a hero.

When Japan's north-east coast was shaken by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake on the afternoon of 11 March 2011, Yoshizawa was certain of two things: he would not flee, and he would not die.

The 54-year-old nuclear engineer was about to end his shift at Fukushima Daiichi when the first powerful jolt arrived. Violent swaying ensued, causing panels to crash from the ceiling. Yoshizawa, who was in a corridor outside the plant's main control room, was forced to crouch on the floor before talking shelter beneath a desk.

"I managed to look out of a window and saw parked cars bouncing up and down from the sheer force of the earthquake. I had never experienced anything like it," he said in a recent interview at the headquarters of the plant's operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco).

Yoshizawa, who joined the company straight from university 30 years ago, was one of 6,000 workers on site that afternoon, a third of them in the restricted area near the plant's six reactors. His immediate thoughts were not with his wife and two daughters, who he assumed were safe at home in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, but with his colleagues, most of whom had families living near the plant.



Atsufumi Yoshizawa, a member of the Fukushima 50 who was in charge of two reactors at Fukushima Daiichi. Photograph: Tokyo Electric Power Company


Tsunami

Once the shaking had subsided, Yoshizawa, a slight, bespectacled man who has swapped his anti-radiation suit for a shirt and tie since his transfer last year to the Tepco headquarters, where he is general manager of the nuclear fuel cycle department, headed to an earthquake-proof room where senior staff had gathered to discuss their response.

It was there, less than an hour after the quake, that news began to circulate that the plant had been struck by a tsunami much bigger than the 3-metre wave predicted in news bulletins – and far higher than the facility's protective seawall had been built to withstand.

The evacuation building had no windows, so none of the men inside could see the tsunami as it ripped into the front of the reactor buildings, uprooting everything its path and sweeping them away on a tide of filthy seawater. "The next I heard was that there was a problem with the electricity supply, and there were reports of debris floating in the sea," Yoshizawa says.

But the reality was even more menacing. The tsunami had crippled the plant's backup power supply, plunging it into darkness. Worse still, it had deprived four of the six reactors of the power required to cool the nuclear fuel rods inside.

If Yoshizawa could consider himself fortunate in those circumstances, it was that the two reactors under his control – units five and six – were already in cold shutdown for planned maintenance checks. But for as long as the power stayed off, nuclear fuel rods in the remaining four reactors would melt, causing a potentially catastrophic release of radioactive material that would reach far beyond Fukushima.


Atsufumi Yoshizawa meets a member of an International Atomic Energy Agency delegation at the Fukushima plant in May 2011. Photograph: Tepco

Withdrawal

The prime minister at the time, Naoto Kan, has since claimed Tepco was poised to pull out all of its employees, believing the situation had become irrevocable. Kan, who has converted to the anti-nuclear cause since leaving office in autumn 2011, told staff a withdrawal would spell the end of Tepco. In his darkest moments, he would later admit, he was making mental preparations for a possible evacuation of greater Tokyo, an area of 35 million people.

Disagreements over a possible withdrawal rumoured to have taken place in the capital never filtered through to the men on the frontline, according to Yoshizawa. Some among the vast network of Tepco contractors and subcontractors ordered their employees to leave the plant. They were joined by other workers who lived in the communities in the path of the tsunami or which were imperilled by the reactor meltdowns. None of the workers had been able to communicate with their families; some would return to find their homes had been swept away. But at no point was anyone forced to stay, Yoshizawa said.

"I never thought of leaving. I had to stay and get a grip on the situation. I wasn't thinking about my family, only about the other workers and how worried they must have been about their own families.

"We knew that we would not be replaced. No one was forced to stay, but those of us who remained knew that we would be there until the end. We knew that we were the only people capable of saving the plant. Our determination surpassed all other considerations."

Yoshizawa says the hardest part of his job was sending junior colleagues into dangerous situations. The plant was frequently rocked by strong aftershocks, and the proximity of so much water to electrical equipment was an ever-present danger, as was the risk of acute radiation sickness.

The day after the tsunami, the plant was rocked again when a hydrogen explosion ripped though the building housing reactor No 2. Within days, two more units would suffer similar explosions.

"Several workers were injured during the hydrogen explosions, and telling people to go back into dangerous areas was tough. But [Masao] Yoshida [the then plant manager] never asked anyone to do the impossible; he knew that would only put lives at risk. By taking that approach, he united us all behind our mission."

Aerial shot of the No 3 nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Minamisoma. Photograph: Reuters/Digital Globe


Explosions

Momentary relief came when Yoshizawa was moved to a disaster-response headquarters 5km from the plant. While he was there, the Fukushima crisis entered an even more dangerous phase, as two explosions in reactor buildings hampered efforts to direct a constant stream of coolant water at overheating fuel rods.

After three days off-site, Yoshizawa and several Tepco colleagues decided they had no choice but to return to Fukushima Daiichi. As they left the crisis headquarters, firefighters, police officers, soldiers and nuclear officials lined up to salute them. "We felt like members of the Tokkotai [the kamikaze pilots of the second world war] in that we were prepared to sacrifice everything," he says. "The people lined up outside never said as much, but I could tell by their expressions that they didn't think we would return."

By the time Yoshizawa arrived back at the plant, the international media were referring to him and his colleagues as the Fukushima 50, though the actual number of workers probably ran into the hundreds, with each team working shifts shortened by their exposure to constantly spiking atmospheric radiation. "I had heard the term Fukushima 50, but in fact there were many more people at the site, many more than I had imagined. And no one was panicking."

Over the weeks that followed, the Fukushima 50 resigned themselves to a daily routine of long shifts, wrapped head to toe in protective clothing, and uncomfortable nights sleeping on the floor of a radiation-proof building.

The scale of the disaster left the plant workers short of vital equipment. At one point there were not enough protective suits to go round, and stocks of personal radiation monitors had been damaged in the tsunami. "In normal circumstances you order what you need from outside, but we were in the middle of a nuclear evacuation, Japan was the scene of a major disaster, so no one could come near the plant," Yoshizawa says. "The few supplies we did have, we got ourselves."

Initially, the men survived on a diet of biscuits and other dried food. Deliveries of emergency supplies were out of the question while soldiers were still pulling bodies from the tsunami debris and getting aid to hundreds of thousands of survivors. The water shortage meant the Fukushima 50 were denied even bowls of warming instant noodles.

Tepco workers spray a green, resin-based dust protectant on the ground in the common pool area of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant. Photograph: Tepco/EPA

Deprivation


For the first fortnight of the crisis, each worker was given just one 500-millilitre PET bottle of water that had to last two days. "It was two weeks before I had my first cup of coffee," Yoshizawa says. "It tasted fantastic."

The long working hours, combined with a poor diet and sleep deprivation, took their toll on his health. He lost a lot of weight and his blood pressure soared.

It wasn't until December 2011, when the government declared the damaged reactors had reached a stable state known as cold shutdown that he and his colleagues could return to anything resembling regular working conditions.

Almost two years after the tsunami, the men who stayed behind at Fukushima Daiichi and spared Japan from an even worse fate occupy an uncomfortable place in the country's post-disaster psyche. While the Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped deep underground in 2010 were feted as national heroes, most of the Fukushima workers continue to live unseen in the shadow of the disaster.

Tepco turns down most interview requests, and all but two of the handful of workers who have commented publicly did so on condition of anonymity. Most have chosen to remain silent, fearing they would be ostracised in the communities they tried, but failed, to prevent from turning into post-nuclear wastelands for years, perhaps decades.

Yoshizawa understands their anger. "Generally speaking, people in Japan believe we were the cause of the accident, and it's important to bear that in mind. As Tepco employees we have to take responsibility for the accident, and ensure that it never happens again. It's a matter of regaining people's trust, but it will take time.

"Looking back, maybe there were things we could have done better to prepare, but at the time we did everything possible to respond to the accident."

The perception that the workers perpetrated the accident and then botched their response appeared to permeate every level of Japanese society. The Fukushima 50 waited 18 months before the then prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda, publicly thanked them for "saving Japan", a gesture repeated this month by his successor, Shinzo Abe.


Another explosion rocks the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan Photograph: ABC TV/EPA

Gratitude


If official expressions of gratitude were a long time coming, the men were buoyed from messages of support from all over the world, some of which decorate a huge Japanese flag that hangs in the Fukushima Daiichi central control room. Yoshizawa said Noda's visit to the plant last October was an honour, but added: "I don't consider myself a hero, but when I hear people thanking us for what we did, I'm grateful."

His account of a temporary return to "civilian" life one month after the disaster is perhaps the most telling commentary on the Fukushima 50's unheralded heroism.

As Yoshizawa left the plant, along with several other workers, to spend a few days with his family, he stripped to his underpants, completed a compulsory radiation check and changed into a tracksuit that was at least a size too big. He had grown an impressive beard, and his hair had become greasy and matted after four weeks without a bath or shower.

A few hours later, their bus arrived at Tokyo Station, where they were left to catch trains to their respective homes. "We must have looked strange, stepping off that bus in ill-fitting tracksuits, with long beards and dishevelled hair, and each carrying a plastic bag containing a few possessions," he says.

"But as we walked into the station no one gave us a second glance. Life in Tokyo appeared to be carrying on as normal, as if the Fukushima disaster had never happened. I sat down on the train and immediately noticed that people were avoiding sitting next to me."

A child undergoes a radiation test in Nihommatsu, Fukushima prefecture. Photograph: Newscom/Kyodo/Wenn.com

Choice


Yoshizawa declined to divulge his internal radiation levels. They are abnormal, he admits, but not so high that he can never work at a nuclear power plant again. "I am not worried about my health." He has, by choice, had just one counselling session since he left Fukushima Daiichi. "Others have done it more regularly, it's important to have someone to talk to freely. But I don't kid myself that life will ever be the same. As a Tepco employee, returning to a normal life is impossible."

While they slowly withdraw from Japan's public consciousness, the ranks of the Fukushima 50 say they will never forget their time at the centre of a nuclear disaster that, without them, could have been far worse.

"There is a special bond between us," Yoshizawa says. "I can't put it into words – it's just a feeling we have towards one another. I guess it's the same as the camaraderie soldiers experience in wartime. In our case, the enemy was a nuclear power plant. And we fought it together."




FUKUSHIMA: NOT RETURNING TO NORMAL



Fairewinds

What Is Life Like In Northeastern Japan After the Fukushima Daiichi Disaster? Arnie and Kevin talk with Fairewinds board member, Chiho Kaneko, to discuss her recent trip to northeastern Japan. Ms. Kaneko discusses the difficulties of trying to live there surrounded by radioactive contamination, and the psychological pressure people experience as the try to reestablish their lives after the accident


To hear audio GO HERE

U.S. gov’t model of Fukushima cesium-137 particles covering Northern Hemisphere (VIDEO)



14 March, 2013


[...] The 2011 Tohuku East Japan earthquake and resulting tsunami caused a variety of failures at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant which resulted in radioactive emissions to the atmosphere. The earthquake occurred on March 11th at 14:26 Japan Standard Time (JST), the tsunami about one hour later at 15:41, and by 16:36 a nuclear emergency was reported. By the early morning hours of March 12th, radioactive emissions were occurring from the plant.


In this dataset, the simulation from NOAA’s HYSPLIT model shows a continuous release of tracer particles from 12-31 March at a rate of 100 per hour representing the Cesium-137 emitted from Fukushima Daiichi. Each change in particle color represents a decrease in radioactivity by a factor of 10. Radioactivity decreases due to removal by rainfall and gravitational settling. Decay is not a factor for Cesium in this short duration simulation compared to its 30 year long-half life. The air concentration would be computed from the particle density so it is only partially related to the color scale. The released particles are followed through the end of April using meteorological data from the 1-degree resolution NOAA global analyses. […]

Source: NOAA


To watch the Fukushima Radioactive Aerosol Dispersion GO HERE
Crucial system fails at Japan's quake-damaged nuclear plant
Workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant scrambling to fix broken cooling system in 3 reactors


CBC,
19 March, 2013

Workers at the tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan are trying to fix a crucial part of the plant that stopped working today.

The system that cools hundreds of spent fuel rods that are stored at the facility has stopped working, which could have dangerous consequences, CBC News producer Craig Dale has learned.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company confirmed that it had a partial power failure Monday evening and then discovered the problem with an electricity supply unit.

Currently the cooling systems in reactors one, three and four are not operational and representatives from TEPCO are unsure how to fix them.

However TEPCO says it should have a solution within a few days and that the fuel rods stored in the pools will remain safe for at least four days without fresh cooling water

The disabled plant was seriously damaged by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, which destroyed the plant's power and cooling systems.

Three reactor cores melted and fuel storage pools overheated because of this. The plant is now using makeshift systems.





TEPCO reports power failure at Fukushima, stops cooling system
Workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant scrambling to fix broken cooling system in 3 reactors


RT,
18 March, 2013

An electrical fault at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has left three of seven fuel pools without a supply of fresh cooling water, the operator of Japan’s tsunami-damaged nuclear plant has warned.


Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) reported the blackout Monday night did not affect the ongoing water injection at reactors No.1 and 3, which suffered core meltdowns in the early days of the March 2011 nuclear crisis, triggered by the earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO assured the cause of the incident has been found and work to fix the system has been started. So far the temperature in pools has remained around 25 degrees Celsius, which is considered not dangerous. If the cooling system cannot be fixed, temperatures would likely rise in the fuel pools, becoming unsafe at 65 degrees.  While it is unclear how long repairs might take, the operator said fuel stored in the pools would remain safe for at least four days without fresh cooling water.

Meanwhile, no abnormality has been detected in radiation levels in areas surrounding the plant in Fukushima Prefecture.

However, the day before TEPCO issued a worrying report saying it had discovered a record 740,000 Becquerels per kilogram of radioactive caesium in fish caught in the waters near the crippled Fukushima plant, two years after the nuclear disaster.


The operator installed a net on the seafloor of the port exit near the plant to prevent the fish from escaping.

The March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami devastated the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant’s power and cooling systems, causing three reactor cores to melt and fuel storage pools to overheat. The natural disaster claimed around 19,000 lives and hundreds of thousands evacuated. Some 160,000 are still not allowed back to their houses in the vicinity of the power plant. Scientists say it could take up to 40 years to make some parts of the area safe again, while others warn it may never be habitable


UPDATE:



Kyodo at 6:41p ET: Fukushima Daiichi power failure still underway — Residents anxious, Tepco remains unable to fix problem






Kyodo News, 6:41p ET: [TEPCO] still remained unable as of Tuesday morning to resume the spent fuel cooling system at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the system’s suspension on Monday due to a power failure. TEPCO is continuing its probe into the cause of the outage affecting the cooling system for the spent fuel pools of the No. 1, 3 and 4 reactors. According to the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the outage may have stemmed from the power distribution board or cables attached to it. [...]



Kyodo News, 4:20p ET: Residents of Fukushima Prefecture expressed anxiety about an outage hit the disaster-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Monday. Masahide Matsumoto, mayor of Katsurao village where all of its residents have been forced to evacuate after the March 2011 nuclear disaster, said that the incident came at a sensitive time as evacuation zones are scheduled to be reclassified Friday and some residents are allowed to make day trips to their homes. [...]



Radioactive Reality (20 March 2013) Mouse Kills Fukushima Power






The blackout was caused by a mouse in the panel board, the board has been left on the truck since 3/18/2011http://fukushima-diary.com/category/d...

11:45 AM EST on March 20th, 2013
Fairewinds: Radiation release during massive power failure at Fukushima Daiichi — 24-hour outage is unconscionable, shows plant unstable
http://enenews.com/



TOKYO: The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant says it has found what it believes is the cause of an extended blackout that disabled vital cooling systems earlier this week: the charred body of a rat.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power, said when its engineers looked inside a faulty switchboard, they found burn marks and the rodent's scorched body. The company said it appeared the rat had somehow short-circuited the switchboard, possibly by gnawing on cables.

TEPCO has blamed problems with the switchboard for the power failure that began on Monday, cutting off the flow of cooling water to four pools used to store more than 8800 nuclear fuel rods. It took TEPCO almost a day to restore cooling to the first of the affected pools, with cooling of the final pool resuming early on Wednesday

TEPCO said it would have taken several days for temperatures in the pools to have risen above the safe level of 65 degrees. Still, the blackout served as an uncomfortable reminder to many Japanese about the continuing vulnerability of the plant, which suffered a triple meltdown in March 2011 after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out cooling systems. It was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Two years later, the Fukushima plant still relies on makeshift cooling systems, some of which were built as stopgap measures in the frantic weeks after the accident. The spent fuel pools have been a particular source of concern because they contain much more radioactive material than the three reactor cores that melted down two years ago, forcing the evacuation of 160,000 people.

A TEPCO spokesman, Masayuki Ono, said temperatures in the pools were cooling, though it would take several days for them to get back to their pre-blackout levels.





Is Fukushima Radiation Causing the Epidemic of Dead and Starving Sea Lions In California?
George Washington


31 March, 2013


Associated Press reports:


At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die.

It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.” That will allow more scientists to join the search for the cause, Melin said.

***

Even the pups that are making it are markedly underweight ….

***

Rescuers have had to leave the worst of them in an effort to save the strongest ones, she said.

***

Routine testing of seafood is being done by state and federal agencies  and consumer safety experts are working with NOAA to find the problem.”No link has been established at this time between these sea lion strandings and any potential seafood safety issues,” NOAA said in a statement.

Given that the FDA has refused to test seafood for radiation, we’re not that confident that the government is looking that hard to see if Fukushima fallout is the cause.
Reuters notes:

From the beginning of this year through last Sunday, 948 sea lion pups came ashore in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, according to figures from NOAA.

There really isn’t an oceanographic explanation for what we’re seeing,” Melin said. “We’re looking at disease as a possibility and also at the food supply, and it could be some combination.”

CNN reports:

This is an unprecedented crisis for the species in this state says the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

***

So we are seeing exponentially higher numbers” [Keith Matassa, who runs the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach said].

***
When you say off the charts, this is what you’re talking about.

CBS News reported last week:

They’re very sick,” said Keith Matassa, who runs the Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach. His team is nursing 115 sea lions back to health. “A normal sea lion at this age — 8 to 9 months old — should be around 60, 70 pounds,” said Matassa.

We’re seeing them come into our center at 20 to 25 pounds, and really they look like walking skeletons.”

AP notes:

Biologists knew last spring that this year’s supply of anchovies and sardines could be limited, Boehm said.

These two species of fish are an extremely important part of California sea lions’ diets, and females simply may not have been able to nurse their young sufficiently, resulting in abandonment, premature weaning and subsequent strandings,” he said.

Besides anchovies and sardines, sea lions also eat squid and other ocean creatures.

Time reported in April 2011:

Few people want to see the ocean’s anchovy stocks wiped out by radiation either. That’s just the scenario that seemed to be developing, however, when reports coming out of Japan revealed that elevated levels of cesium-137 had been found in anchovies in the waters off Chiba, near Toky0—a direct result of the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

***

In the big-fish-eats-little-fish way of the ocean, the radioactive contamination eventually gets passed up the food chain, concentrating in fats which get consumed and stored, until the isotopes finally come to rest in the very largest creature at the top of the food chain ….

Huge die-offs of sardines were also reported in the Chiba area of Japan after Fukushima.
Moreover, the Vancouver Sun reported in January 2012 that 94 per cent of the anchovies and 92 per cent of the sardines sold by the Japanese to Canada contained radioactive cesium. Some of the fish were caught in Japanese coastal waters; but others were made many hundreds of miles away in the open ocean.
(Note: there may be additional reasons for fluctuations in the numbers of anchovies and sardines other than radiation.)
Moreover, radiation from Fukushima was directly deposited into the kelp off the Western coast of North America … especially in Southern California.
Fish that eat the kelp have also gotten exposed to the radiation … as have the animals that eat those fish.
NOAA reports:

Sea lions … feed on the fish that live in kelp forests.

There are numerous other routes in which the Fukushima radiation could be getting to the sea lion pups.  We noted last year:

A 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents.

MIT says that seawater which is itself radioactive may begin hitting the West Coast within 5 years.

In 10 years, peak radioactive cesium levels off of the West Coast of North America could be 10 times higher than at the coast of Japan.

As we’ve previously noted, Reuters reports that Alaskan seals are suffering mysterious lesions and hair loss:


Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.

Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats.

***

We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity,” said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor’s damage,” he said.

Here’s a picture of one of the injured seals:




Radioactive fish are also being found off the West Coast.

A California-sized island of debris from Japan is also hitting the West Coast.

And West Coast residents have also been exposed to Fukushima radiation from the air.  See this, this and this.

Unfortunately, the nuclear accident is nowhere near contained.  Japanese experts say that Fukushima is currently releasing up to 93 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium into the ocean each day, the reactors have lost containment, and groundwater is flooding into the stricken reactors (delaying clean-up).
Almost third of US West Coast newborns hit with thyroid problems after Fukushima nuclear disaster
Researchers have discovered that the Fukushima nuclear disaster has had far-reaching health effects more drastic than previously thought: young children born on the US West Coast are 28 percent more likely to develop congenital hyperthyroidism.


3 April, 2013


In examining post-Fukushima conditions along the West Coast, researchers found American-born children to be developing similar conditions that some Europeans acquired after the 1986 meltdown of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Fukushima fallout appeared to affect all areas of the US, and was especially large in some, mostly in the western part of the nation,” researchers from the New York-based Radiation and Health Project wrote in a study published by the Open Journal of Pediatrics.

Children born after the 2011 meltdown of Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant are at high risk of acquiring congenital hyperthyroidism if they were in the line of fire for radioactive isotopes. Researchers studied concentration levels of radioiodine isotopes (I-131) and congenital hypothyroid cases to make the association.


Just a few days after the meltdown, I-131 concentration levels in California, Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon and Washington were up to 211 times above the normal level, according to the study. At the same time, the number of congenital hypothyroid cases skyrocketed, increasing by an average of 16 percent from March 17 to Dec. 31, 2011. And between March 17 and June 30, shortly after the meltdown, newly born children experienced a 28 percent greater risk of acquiring hyperthyroidism.

In 36 other US states outside of the exposure zone, the risk of congenital hyperthyroidism decreased by 3 percent – a finding that researchers believe may serve as further proof that Fukushima had something to do with the unusually high results found on the West Coast.

The disease is usually rare, but can manifest into a serious condition if left untreated. Affected fetuses and children may suffer serious developmental delay – and a recent report found that 44.2 percent of 94,975 sampled Fukushima children have had thyroid ultrasound abnormalities as a likely result of their exposure to the radiation.

Americans often doubted that radiation from the meltdown would affect the US West Coast, but the latest research sheds light on alarming scientific data that indicates otherwise. Radioactive iodine that enters the human body typically gathers in the thyroid, which release growth hormones. Radiation exposure can therefore stunt the growth of a child’s body and brain. Exposure can have long-lasting effects, which scientists have studied in those who were near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant during its 1986 meltdown. Decades after the accident, a 2011 study by the National Institutes of Health found that higher absorption of I-131 radiation led to an increased risk for thyroid cancer among victims of Chernobyl radiation – a risk that has not diminished over time.

The children who were unfortunate enough to be exposed to Fukushima radiation on the US West Coast, Alaska or Hawaii could face similar risks of congenital hypothyroidism or thyroid cancer throughout their lives, although the Radiation and Health Project Researchers said they are still investigating further to see what other factors might be involved in their findings before drawing any solid conclusions about the effects of Fukushima.


Nuclear fuel cooling system cuts out in latest Fukushima glitch
A glitch at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant caused its cooling system for spent fuel to go offline. Technicians worked quickly to restore systems amid fears of a potential meltdown.



RT,
4 April, 2013



It is the latest in a series of glitches to hit the nuclear site following the multiple meltdowns caused by the tsunami of 2011.

Tokyo Electric Power confirmed that the pool attached to the plant’s Number 3 reactor was no longer operational.

Technicians are now working to get the cooling system back online. TEPCO stated the pool was at a stable 15.1C, indicating the reactor poses no immediate danger.

If the temperature of spent nuclear fuel is allowed to increase unchecked it can potentially reach the point where a nuclear reaction begins, leading to a meltdown.

Two weeks ago a massive power outage at the facility caused cooling systems to go offline. The origin of the power cut was identified as a 25cm-long “rat-like animal” that was found dead on the switchboard, a TEPCO official told Kyodo news.

The TEPCO official went on to say stronger measures would be put in place to prevent small animals from entering the switchboard.

It took 30 hours for specialists to repair the problem and bring systems back online.

The Fukushima meltdown two years ago was the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986, forcing tens of thousands from their homes and spilling radiation over the surrounding countryside.

And you think somehow you're going to escape?

There are 450 commercial reactors and storage facilities in the world. Many of them are failing (San Onofre, Palisades, Fort Calhoun, Hanford...) and -- in an act of desperation -- Japan is going to restart the reactors that have been shut down there since Fukushima. Many of those are the ones with the same defective designs. They are on earthquake faults and they are vulnerable to tsunamis.

--- Mike Ruppert


Kyodo: Highest levels of Fukushima contamination in plankton already EAST of Hawaii? (MAPS)

Where is 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees west longitude?



22 May, 2013



Title: Researchers find high cesium in some Pacific plankton
Source: Kyodo
Date: May 22, 2013

Researchers find high cesium in some Pacific plankton

Scientists said Tuesday they have detected radioactive cesium from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in plankton collected from all 10 points in the Pacific they checked, with the highest levels at around 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees west longitude. [...]

The researchers collected plankton at 10 points in the Pacific from off Hokkaido to Guam between January and February 2012.

They detected cesium-134 in plankton at all 10 points. The density of radioactive cesium was the highest at 8.2 to 10.5 becquerels per kilogram in samples collected from waters around 25 degrees north latitude and 150 degrees west longitude. [...]

The density of cesium in seawater was highest in waters at around latitude 36 to 40 degrees north, the team said. [...]

Fighting a dragon I cannot see



On today’s podcast, host Nathaniel White-Joyal and Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen talk with renowned diplomat Akio Matsumura and Fairewinds board member Chiho Kaneko about nuclear power and the effects of the Fukushima disaster on the Japanese people today.






Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America
George Washington


19 September, 2012

Radiation from Japan’s nuclear accident has turned up in seaweed on the coasts of CaliforniaWashington and other parts of the West Coast of North America.

The ocean is so big … how could this be happening? Why didn’t the gigantic Pacific Ocean better dilute Fukushima radiation?

A 1955 U.S. government report concluded that the ocean may not adequately dilute radiation from nuclear accidents.

MIT says that seawater which is itself radioactive may begin hitting the West Coast within 5 years.

In 10 years, peak radioactive cesium levels off of the West Coast of North America could be 10 times higher than at the coast of Japan.

As we’ve previously noted, Reuters reports that Alaskan seals are suffering mysterious lesions and hair loss:

Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.


Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats.
***
We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity,” said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor’s damage,” he said.

Here’s a picture of one of the injured seals:

Seal Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America

We reported yesterday that a new scientific paper shows that the Fukushima radioactive plume contaminated the entire Northern hemisphere during a relatively short period of time, and Ene News today reports on a potential correlation:
Map from a study appearing in the upcoming edition of the journal Science of the Total Environment
Plume Map Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America
  (Note the blue line):
Map of Marine Life Deaths:

Seal Map Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North AmericaEne Comparison Fukushima Radiation: Japan Irradiates the West Coast of North America
(The correlation is not exact … but close enough to ask whether the radioactive plume hit Western Alaska and was then carried around the coast by ocean currents.)

Radioactive fish are also being found off the West Coast.

California-sized island of debris from Japan is also hitting the West Coast.
And West Coast residents have also been exposed to Fukushima radiation from the air.  See thisthis and this.

Indeed, some doctors claim that people living on the West Coast have already been killed from Fukushima radiation.

Fukushima … the gift that keeps on giving.

Radioactive Fish, Pacific Ocean, Fukushima Leaking
MORE Radiation
Update 7/11/13






Fukushima hero died of cancer

http://youtu.be/tiDCCnw2cXE
This week - we learned that the manager of Japan's crippled Fukishima nuclear plant - Masao Yoshida - died from cancer, his illnesses reportedly had nothing to do with the radiation levels at the Fukushima plant that he worked in around the clock alongside a group of men referred to as the "Fukushima Fifty" trying to contain the nuclear crisis in the days and months following the eathquake and tsunami. But - although Mr. Yoshida's cancer can't be traced back to Fukushima - how many others in Japan may contract cancer in the future that CAN be traced back to Fukushima? On Tuesday - radioactive contamination of groundwater at the plant surged to levels 90-times greater than they were just three days ago, so what effect is the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis having in Japan - and what lessons should we be learning in the United States? Kevin Kamps , the radioactive waste watchdog at Beyond Nuclear joins us to answer these questions.

High Levels of Cesium Found in Fish off Ibaraki 

High levels of cesium found in fish off Ibaraki

Researchers have found high levels of radioactive cesium in fish caught early this month off Hitachi in Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.

Prefectural officials said 1,037 becquerels of cesium were discovered per kilogram of Japanese sea bass. That's more than 10 times the government safety limit.

They said it is the 3rd highest level found in marine products in the region. Higher levels were only previously detected in April 2011 -- one month after the Fukushima nuclear accident. The contaminated fish then was sand lance.
The officials said the sea-bass shipment will not hit the market as it does not meet government restrictions.

They admitted they don't know why such a high dose was detected more than 2 years after the accident.

But they said they are working hard to keep the food supply safe.
Jul. 11, 2013 - Updated 16:05 UTC
WOW! More nuclear waste leaking from Fukushima

Thom Hartmann gets an update on the situation at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant from Kevin Kamps, Nuclear Waste Watchdog-Beyond Nuclear 
Website: www.beyondnuclear.org.

FUKUSHIMA Breaking News, Fukushima PLANT manager KILLED by NUCLEAR CANCER kevin d blanch 7/9/13
http://youtu.be/ZJsiqXvfwiQ
Fukushima breaking news, IT IS GETTING worse every day, for 845 days, kevin d blanch 7/12/13
http://youtu.be/EKM6PxFEwoE
Fukushima breaking news; China syndrome, cancer death of the Pacific, kevin d blanch 7/11/13
http://youtu.be/4UvZzmAEcqE






Toxic water at Fukushima likely contaminating sea - Japan’s nuclear watchdog
Japan's nuclear watchdog says that highly contaminated radioactive water is likely seeping into the ground from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors and contaminating the Pacific Ocean.





Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), said the contamination is "strongly suspected" and has been occurring since March 2011, when a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered three meltdowns in the Fukushima plant.

"I think contamination of the sea is continuing to a greater or lesser extent," Tanaka said. "It was contaminated at the time of the accident, but I think it has been continuing for the last two years. Coming up with countermeasures against all possible scenarios is a top priority."
The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), claims that the source of contamination is the pit from which radioactive water is leaking into the sea. However, Tanaka believes that this may be not the only source of contamination.
"We must find the cause of the contamination...and put the highest priority on implementing countermeasures," Tanaka told a meeting of commissioners after they studied recent surveys on the radiation level of groundwater at the plant, Kyodo News agency reported. The results show that radioactive substances such as cesium and tritium are present in high density.
The NRA Chairman added that he would form a panel of experts to look into ways to contain the problem. Tepco had no immediate comments on Tanaka’s remarks and is evaluating the levels of contamination.
On Tuesday, the electric giant that is in charge of the nuclear disaster cleanup said that the levels of possibly cancer-causing radioactive substances in the ground waters at the plant have risen 90 times in just three days. The test results show that cesium-134 levels in the ground water are 150 times the legal level. Cesium-137 levels are 200 times the permitted level.
AFP Photo / Issei Kato

"I see (Tepco) has not been able to find the cause of these spikes in readings,” Tanaka said at the conference, as quoted by AFP.
Experts have long indicated that the threat of contamination exists, and the NRA findings underscore Tepco's delayed response in containing the problem.
Tepco has been continuously monitoring cesium levels in underground water and seawater off the coast of the plant. There have been reported spikes of the radioactive substance since May. However, the company claims that most of the contamination has been there since the nuclear disaster in March 2011 and there has been "no significant impact" on the environment. According to Tepco, cesium tends to be absorbed in the soil. The electric utility denies that water contaminated with cesium reached the sea.
The threat of radioactive substances spreading into the Pacific Ocean has prompted concerns from Japan’s neighbors.
An official with the South Korean fisheries ministry commented that fish caught off the country's coast is being regularly tested. Another ministry official said the direction of currents made it unlikely that any radioactive substances would reach South Korea from Japan.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Wednesday that she was unaware of reports of contamination leaking into the ocean.
The 9.0 magnitude earthquake and the tsunami that followed hit the northeast coast of Japan on March 11, 2011. It damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, causing meltdowns in three reactors, causing radiation to spill into the surrounding soil and water.
The crippled power units are currently in a state of cold shutdown. Used fuel rods stored in special cooling pools in the reactor buildings of the plant are scheduled to be extracted by the end of this year. Tepco has been flushing the water over the melted fuel rods, although the contaminated water has been quickly building up and there have been repeated leaks.
The melted reactor fuel is expected to be removed by 2022. Dismantling of the nuclear power plant could take at least 40 years, although the government is looking for ways to speed up the process.




It's boiling inside Fukushima Unit No. 3 - With MOX Fuel!






For orginal & any of the missing links please go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmtvUW...

BBC: It's boiling inside Fukushima Unit No. 3 — Reactor supposed to be in cold shutdown — Situation 'worrying' (23 July 2013 )


Enenews article, please read threads, they are a great source of information and links from guys like Sickputer.



(Tepco) said steam was seen around the fifth floor of the building housing Reactor No 3 



It is not clear what is causing the steam 



The sight of steam rising is worrying because it means somewhere inside the reactor building water is boiling, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo.



Th badly damaged reactors are supposed to be in what is called "cold shutdown"; the temperature of the cooling water inside the reactor should be well below boiling point.



It is another sign that Tepco still does not fully know what is going on inside the damaged reactors 

Fukushima nuclear plant: Japan takes steps over sea leak


The plant's operator recently admitted for the first time that radioactive water was still going into the sea.


Original article from BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-...
‪http://tinyurl.com/ljw2zh3



AFP: 'Fukushima reactor site engulfed by steam' — Kyodo: 'Something like steam' coming from unknown source at Unit No. 3 — Tepco: 'Continuously wafting through the air' — Work to remove rubble suspended
http://enenews.com/just-in-fukushima-...
‪http://tinyurl.com/knrrk7k



Kyodo, July 23, 2013: [... Tepco] said Tuesday it has confirmed "something like steam" is coming out of the No. 3 reactor building again [...Tepco] said one of its monitoring cameras showed what appeared to be steam coming out of the building's fifth floor just above the reactor container at around 9:05 a.m. Tuesday.

The steam continued to be seen at 10:30 a.m. [...] TEPCO has suspended work to remove rubble at the reactor building due to the apparent steam emission, they said.



Washington Post, July 23, 2013: Tepco also said in an e-mailed statement today that steam from an unknown source that was first spotted near the fifth floor of the Fukushima plant's No. 3 reactor building on July 18 was seen again this morning. 



The Australian, July 23, 2013 (h/t RadChick): Fukushima reactor site engulfed by steam Workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan have reported steam inside a battered reactor building for the second time in less than a week. The operator said today steam was seen around the fifth floor of the building housing Reactor No 3 shortly after 9am Steam was spotted in the same area on Thursday with TEPCO saying it did not know for sure what had caused it.




TEPCO Press Release, July 23, 2013: Steam Found Near the Central Part of the Fifth Floor (Equipment Storage Pool Side) of Unit 3 Reactor Building at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station [...] This is a follow-up report on the statuses of steam found wafting through the air near the central part of the fifth floor (equipment storage pool side) of Unit 3 on July 18. At around 9:05 AM today (July 23), we found steam coming from near the central part of the fifth floor (equipment storage pool side) of Unit 3 by a camera. [...] The steam is continuously wafting through the air as of 10:30 AM. We will continue to monitor the status closely.



Watch the latest Fukushima nuclear plant videos here
http://www.youtube.com/user/fuku1live...
‪http://tinyurl.com/lhobxgn



Alarm as steam rises from Fukushima No. 3 reactor — Concern about uncontrolled chain reaction — Contains highly lethal MOX fuel — Tepco: "We don't believe an emergency situation is breaking out"

vapor on fifth floor near MOX in fuel poolReactor 3, is the only one at the plant to use the highly lethal mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel, some of which is in its spent-fuel pool near the top of the reactor. "Steam has been seen around the fifth floor of the reactor 3 building," 


Watch video of the steam at Reactor 3 here


All about the world's largest, provable cover-up...over 100,000 estimated American casualties, by the year 2030 projected to be 1.3 million American deaths...http://plumegate.wordpress.com/




source 
RED ALERT!!! It's boiling inside Fukushima Unit No. 3
http://youtu.be/Aq2_V7zNjho



Plume-Gate PROOF Cover-up of Fukushima via the NRC Documents PLAYLIST


Original BBC story

Fukushima nuclear plant: Japan takes steps over sea leak
Japan says it is taking steps to prevent contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant leaking into the sea.



BBC,
23 July, 2013


The plant's operator recently admitted for the first time that radioactive water was still going into the sea.

A government spokesman said the authorities had taken immediate action.

Workers were asked to act promptly to stop the leak as steam was seen rising from one of the reactor buildings for the second time in a week.

On Tuesday, Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) said steam was seen around the fifth floor of the building housing Reactor No 3 shortly after 09:00 local time (00:00 GMT).

Workers were continuing with the ongoing operation to inject cooling water into the reactor and a pool storing nuclear fuel, it added.

It is not clear what is causing the steam, but levels of radiation around the reactor have not changed.

The sight of steam rising is worrying because it means somewhere inside the reactor building water is boiling, says the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Tokyo.

The badly damaged reactors are supposed to be in what is called "cold shutdown"; the temperature of the cooling water inside the reactor should be well below boiling point.

It is another sign that Tepco still does not fully know what is going on inside the damaged reactors, our correspondent adds.

Steam was last seen rising from a reactor building at the plant on 18 July.

The plant was crippled by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which knocked out cooling systems to the reactors, three of which melted down.

Leak

On Monday, Tepco said the plant was likely to be leaking contaminated water into the sea, something that has been suspected for some time, but previously denied by the company.

Outside experts have long suspected that the damaged reactors are leaking water, because of the very high levels of radioactive caesium still being found in samples of fish taken near the plant.

"High readings of radiation were detected from the soil [ground] of the turbine building. We are very sorry for causing concerns to many people, and especially we deeply apologise to the people of Fukushima," a company spokesman said.

Plant officials believe a leak is possible because the underground water levels in suspected areas fluctuate according to tide movements and rainfall, he added.

The Japanese government says it is taking the issue seriously.

"The ministry of trade, economy and industry was instructed to act promptly to prevent contaminated water from leaking to the ocean," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Tuesday.

Since 2011, the plant has seen a series of water leaks and power failures.

Earlier this month, a sharp increase in radioactive caesium was detected in groundwater 25 metres (82ft) from the sea.

In June, radioactive water was also found to be leaking from a storage tank.

Experts say years of work lie ahead before the problems at the plant can be fully contained.



Deplorable Radiation Surges & TEPCO Lies More! Fukushima Update 7/23/13

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50oOn01Khb8




Gizmodo: Entirely possible leaking nuclear material from Fukushima is going to U.S. and Canada — Bloomberg: “Fish contamination concerns have spread beyond Japan”


23 July, 2013

Gizmodo, July 22, 2013: Fukushima’s Leaking Radioactive Water into the Ocean After All [...] So we have to wonder: If the radioactive water is leaking into the ocean but the water’s radioactivity levels don’t raise, where does the radiation go? TEPCO officials say it’s been contained by the silt fences erected in the water around the nuclear power plant. If they’re wrong—or obfuscating—and it made it out, it’s entirely possible that the ocean’s carrying the radiation off to far flung places like it’s been doing tons of debris. Meanwhile, TEPCO admitted earlier this month that radiation levels in the nearby groundwater were spiking, further raising suspicion about the levels in the ocean. [...]


Bloomberg, July 23, 2013: Tepco Says Toxic Water Leaked to Sea From Fukushima Plant [...]Fish Worries [...] In August last year, the utility found record high levels of radioactive cesium in fish it caught for tests within 20 kilometers of the coast from the nuclear plant. [...] Fish contamination concerns have spread beyond Japan. A study of 15 Pacific bluefin caught off San Diego in August 2011 found radioactive cesium 10 times higher than in fish caught in previous years. [...]





More steam in Fukushima reactor building
WORKERS at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan have reported steam inside a battered reactor building for the second time in less than a week


24 July, 2013


The operator said on Tuesday steam was seen around the fifth floor of the building housing Reactor No 3 shortly after 9am (1000 AEST), Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said, adding workers are continuing with the operation to inject cooling water into the reactor and a pool storing nuclear fuel.

TEPCO said monitoring equipment showed no significant changes, including in the levels of toxic substances the broken reactor is releasing.

Steam was spotted in the same area on Thursday last week but had disappeared by the next day, with TEPCO saying it did not know for sure what had caused it.

It said it was looking at the possibility that accumulated rainwater had been the source.

The reactor, devastated by a massive tsunami in March 2011, is too dangerous to approach, and workers had seen the steam on a camera feed, the utility said.

The roof of the building was blown off in a hydrogen explosion days after meltdowns that were sparked when cooling systems were flooded as the tsunami swept ashore.




Arnie Gundersen on Radio New Zealand


.

Last Tuesday's revelation that the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant is leaking contaminated water into the ocean and that the Japanese government has known about the spillage, confirms the fears of independent experts. Wayne looks at the aftermath of the disaster





Comments from Mike Ruppert -



Forget about 10 years. What is happening at Fukushima now is an out-of-control and worsening situation in which we have three China Syndromes underway, TEPCO is rapidly losing all ability to even mitigate the crisis and has admitted to being overwhelmed. We can expect one or more imminent uncontrolled chain reactions taking place in the open atmosphere which will release inconceivable amounts of radiation from MOX fuel directly into the atmosphere or environment. We can anticipate that soon the fuel storage vessels in #3 and #4 to be compromised. Soon the unbelievably contaminated ground water will be seeping from the surface... The list of catastrophic failures grows by the day.



In these cases, the west coast could become uninhabitable within 10 weeks, not ten years. These projections are based upon an assumption of maintenance of containment levels that are stable or improving. They are not based upon what we absolutely know are containment structures that have failed catastrophically as evidenced by the fact that radiation levels are as high or higher that 2011, increasing, and in which radiation outside the plant is higher than inside the reactor buildings themselves.


Add to that the fact that radiation levels increase the deeper one digs into the soil and water table and you have incontrovertible evidence that the cores have melted deep into the ground. The radiation gets hotter, deeper, because it's getting closer to where the cores are.

Three China Syndromes.


Radiation On West Coast of North America Could End Up Being 10 Times HIGHER than in Japan



16 July, 2013

We’ve extensively documented the fact that ocean currents bring Japanese radiation to the West Coast of North America, and that – rather than adequate ocean dilution -  there could be “pockets” and “streams” of highly-concentrated radiation.

Joke F Lübbecke of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and 3 scientists from the GEOMAR Research Center for Marine Geosciences poured tracer dye into coastal waters off of Fukushima, and monitored its progress as it traveled to the West Coast of North America, to find out what might really happen.
They have revealed their results in a new paper published by journal Environmental Research Letters.

The paper shows that the West Coast of North American could end up with 10 times more radioactive cesium 137 than the coastal waters off of Japan itself.
How could radiation levels be lower closer to the source of contamination: Fukushima?
Because the currents are swift off of the Eastern coast of Japan, and quickly move the contaminated water away.
The paper explains:
In the following years, the tracer cloud continuously expands laterally, with maximum concentrations in its central part heading east. While the northern portion is gradually invading the Bering Sea, the main tracer patch reaches the coastal waters of North America after 5–6 years, with maximum relative concentrations ( > 1 × 10−4) covering a broad swath of the eastern North Pacific between Vancouver Island and Baja California. Simultaneously some fraction of the southern rim of the tracer cloud becomes entrained in the North Equatorial Current (NEC), resulting in a westward extending wedge around 20°N that skirts the northern shores of the Hawaiian Archipelago. After 10 years the concentrations become nearly homogeneous over the whole Pacific, with higher values in the east, extending along the North American coast with a maximum (~1 × 10−4) off Baja California. The southern portion of the tracer cloud is carried westward by the NEC across the subtropical Pacific, leading to increasing concentrations in the Kuroshio regime again.
***
With caution given to the various idealizations (unknown actual oceanic state during release, unknown release area, no biological effects included, see section 3.4), the following conclusions may be drawn. (i) Dilution due to swift horizontal and vertical dispersion in the vicinity of the energetic Kuroshio regime leads to a rapid decrease of radioactivity levels during the first 2 years, with a decline of near-surface peak concentrations to values around 10 Bq m−3 (based on a total input of 10 PBq). The strong lateral dispersion, related to the vigorous eddy fields in the mid-latitude western Pacific, appears significantly under-estimated in the non-eddying (0.5°) model version. (ii) The subsequent pace of dilution is strongly reduced, owing to the eastward advection of the main tracer cloud towards the much less energetic areas of the central and eastern North Pacific. (iii) The magnitude of additional peak radioactivity should drop to values comparable to the pre-Fukushima levels after 6–9 years (i.e. total peak concentrations would then have declined below twice pre-Fukushima levels). (iv) By then the tracer cloud will span almost the entire North Pacific, with peak concentrations off the North American coast an order-of-magnitude higher than in the western Pacific.

Order-of-magnitude” is a scientific term which means 10 times higher.  The “Western Pacific” means Japan’s East Coast.

Here are some of the important graphics from the paper:

Figure 4. Decadal evolution of relative surface tracer concentration in the 0.1°-model simulation; boxes in (d) indicate regions for which the temporal evolution is computed in figure 7; contour lines mark power of 10 intervals.
Figure 5. (a) Temporal evolution of relative vertical tracer distribution (in m−1), horizontally integrated over the North Pacific, from the 0.1-simulation, contour lines mark a 2.5 × 10−4 interval; (b) vertical profiles from (a) after 15 days (black), 90 days (red), 2 years (green), 5 years (blue) and 10 years (light blue).


Figure 7. Temporal evolution of absolute peak concentrations (in Bq m−3, logarithmic scale; grey shaded) and within individual regions (see figure 4(d)) from the 0.1°-model simulation, assuming a total input of 10 PBq of 137Cs. Regions: western Pacific (I, black), off North America (II, green), Hawaii Islands (III, light blue), off Baja California (IV, blue), Aleutian Islands (V, red). The inset is a zoom into the part of the figure with levels below 2 Bq m−3 (pre-Fukushima values) on a linear scale.


Postscript: Prussian Blue may be used to treat cesium poisoning.  But don’t take any Prussian Blue before consulting with a qualified healthcare professional.  Antioxidants may also help reduce damage from low-level radiation.

For Radio New Zealand this seemed to be of less interest than a hamburger made of stem cells - it did, however, make it onto the main news item - briefly.
Never mind -just go back to sleep - it's only a matter of life or slow death.
Watchdog Issues Fresh Fukushima Radioactivity Alert


5 August, 2013

The troubled Fukushima nuclear plant's operators are facing yet more criticism. On Friday the Tokyo Electric Power Co released this footage of a probe from one of the reactors. But Japan's nuclear watchdog said on Monday that radioactive water is seeping into the ocean creating an "emergency" Tepco is struggling to contain. The contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier and is rising towards the surface, says the nuclear regulator.








Japan Finally Admits The Truth: "Right Now, We Have An Emergency At Fukushima"





5 August, 2013


Tepco is struggling to contain the highly radioactive water that is seeping into the ocean near Fukushima. The head of Japan's NRA, Shinji Kinjo exclaimed, "right now, we have an emergency," as he noted the contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier and is rising toward the surface - exceeding the limits of radioactive discharge. 

In a rather outspoken comment for the typically stoic Japanese, Kinjo said Tepco's "sense of crisis was weak," adding that "this is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone" to grapple with the ongoing disaster. 

As Reuters notes, Tepco has been accused of covering up shortcomings and has been lambasted for its ineptness in the response and while the company says it is taking actions to contain the leaks, Kinjo fears if the water reaches the surface "it would flow extremely fast," with some suggesting as little as three weeks until this critical point.









Highly radioactive water seeping into the ocean from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is creating an "emergency" that the operator is struggling to contain, an official from the country's nuclear watchdog said on Monday.
This contaminated groundwater has breached an underground barrier, is rising toward the surface and is exceeding legal limits of radioactive discharge, Shinji Kinjo, head of a Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) task force, told Reuters.
Countermeasures planned by Tokyo Electric Power Co are only a temporary solution, he said.
Tepco's "sense of crisis is weak," Kinjo said. "This is why you can't just leave it up to Tepco alone" to grapple with the ongoing disaster.
"Right now, we have an emergency," he said.
...
If you build a wall, of course the water is going to accumulate there. And there is no other way for the water to go but up or sideways and eventually lead to the ocean," said Masashi Goto, a retired Toshiba Corp nuclear engineer who worked on several Tepco plants. "So now, the question is how long do we have?"

Contaminated water could rise to the ground's surface within three weeks, the Asahi Shimbun said on Saturday. Kinjo said the three-week timeline was not based on NRA's calculations but acknowledged that if the water reaches the surface, "it would flow extremely fast." 
... 
The admission on the long-term tritium leaks, as well as renewed criticism from the regulator, show the precarious state of the $11 billion cleanup and Tepco's challenge to fix a fundamental problem: How to prevent water, tainted with radioactive elements like cesium, from flowing into the ocean.



"The most cogent speculation now centers on the reality that, simply enough, water flows downhill.

"Aside from its location in an earthquake-prone tsunami zone, Fukushima Daichi was sited above a major aquifer. That critical reality has been missing from nearly all discussion of the accident since it occurred.

There can be little doubt at this point that the water in that underground lake has been thoroughly contaminated."


The Danger at Fukushima Grows Even Worse
Just when it seemed things might be under control at Fukushima, we find they are worse than ever. Immeasurably worse

Harvey Wasserman


12 August, 2013

.

Massive quantities of radioactive liquids are now flowing through the shattered reactor site into the Pacific Ocean. And their make-up is far more lethal than the "mere" tritium that has dominated the headlines to date.
Tepco, the owner/operator -- and one of the world's biggest and most technologically advanced electric utilities -- has all but admitted it cannot control the situation. Their shoddy performance has prompted former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner Dale Klein to charge: "You don't what you are doing."
The Japanese government is stepping in. But there is no guarantee or even likelihood it will do any better.
In fact, there is no certainty as to what's causing this out-of-control flow of death and destruction. Some 16 months after three of the six reactors exploded at the Fukushima Daichi site, nobody can offer a definitive explanation of what is happening there or how to deal with it.
The most cogent speculation now centers on the reality that, simply enough, water flows downhill.
Aside from its location in an earthquake-prone tsunami zone, Fukushima Daichi was sited above a major aquifer. That critical reality has been missing from nearly all discussion of the accident since it occurred.
There can be little doubt at this point that the water in that underground lake has been thoroughly contaminated.
In the wake of the March 11, 2011 disaster, Tepco led the public to believe that it had largely contained the flow of contaminated water into the Pacific. But now it admits that not only was that a lie, but that the quantities of water involved -- apparently some 400,000 gallons per day -- are very large.
Some of that water may be flowing from the aquifer. Much of it also, simply enough, flows down Japan's steep hillsides, through the site and into the sea.
Until now the utility and regulatory authorities have assured an anxious planet that the contaminants in the water have been primarily tritium. Tritium is a relatively simple isotope with an 8-day half-life. Its health effects can be substantial, but its short half-life has been used to proliferate the illusion that it's not much to worry about.
Reports now indicate the outflow at Fukushima also includes substantial quantities of radioactive iodine, cesium and strontium. That, in turn, indicates there is probably more we haven't yet heard about.
This is very bad news.
Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer.
Cesium-137 from Fukushima has been found in fish caught as far away as California. It spreads throughout the body, but tends to accumulate in the muscles. Strontium-90's half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.
That these are among the isotopes being dumped into the Pacific is the worst news to come from Japan since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, whose bombings occurred 68 years ago this week, and whose fallout has been vastly exceeded at Fukushima.
Indeed, Japanese experts have already estimated Fukushima's fallout at 20-30 times as high as the 1945 bombings. This latest revelation will send that number soaring.
The dominant reality is this: There is absolutely no indication how or when this lethal outflow will stop. Thus far Tepco has built scores of tanks on the site to contain whatever contaminated water they can capture. But they by no means are getting all of it, and they are running out of space. Some of the tanks, of course, have already sprung leaks.
There is no clear idea whether this outflow is accelerating. Tepco has injected chemicals into the ground meant to harden and form a wall between the reactors and the sea. There's also a surreal discussion of super-cooling a part of the site to conjure up a wall of ice.
But water has a way of flowing around such feeble devices.
We may yet hear that this massive outflow is a temporary phenomenon, but that's not likely.
The dire reality is that the site is still unpredictably radioactive. It remains unclear what has happened to the melted cores of the three exploded reactors. The recent appearance of a steam plume has raised the spectre that fission may still be occurring somewhere in the area.
It is also unclear what will happen to the hundreds of tons of spent fuel perched precariously in a pool 100 feet in the air above Unit Four. Sustaining that cooling system until the rods can be removed -- and it's unclear when that will happen -- is a major challenge. Should the inevitable earthquake come before that's done, and should those rods go crashing to the ground where they and their zirconium cladding could ignite in the open air, the consequences could only be described as apocalyptic.
Through it all, Japan's new pro-nuclear administration has been talking of re-starting the 48 reactors that remain shut since Fukushima. Tepco has been among the utilities pushing to resume operations at its other plants. In the U.S., there is talk of atomic reactors somehow solving the global warming crisis.
But what we now know all too well at Fukushima is that the world's worst atomic catastrophe is very far from over. The only thing predictable is that worse news will come. And that when it does, our increasingly fragile planet will be further irradiated, at immeasurable cost to us all.



Dangerous Operation at Fukushima’s Reactor No. 4 Could Ignite “Atomic Chain Reaction”
Attempt to remove fuel rods from crippled building could cause “unprecedented” disaster



15 August, 2013


Threatening to trigger a new—and possibly more devastating—nuclear disaster than the original or ongoing one at the Fukishima plant in Japan, a risky plan to remove fuel rods from a damaged reactor building could unleash an “unprecedented” level of radiation, according to experts, if things go wrong.

According to reporting by Reuters, the radioactive material within the fuel rods slated for removal are equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and the plan to move them “has never been attempted before on this scale.”

The 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel and other nuclear materials will be taken from the crippled building and moved to a safer location, but the manner of the operation should be put in serious doubt, say the experts.

They are going to have difficulty in removing a significant number of the rods,” said Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education. The fuel rods are being stored in a cooling pool, but if a reaction begins, Gundersen expressed serious concern to Reuters about the company’s ability to respond.

To jump to the conclusion that it is going to work just fine,” said Gundersen, “is quite a leap of logic.”

There is a risk of an inadvertent criticality if the bundles are distorted and get too close to each other,” Gundersen continued.

The problem with a fuel pool criticality is that you can’t stop it. There are no control rods to control it,” he said. “The spent fuel pool cooling system is designed only to remove decay heat, not heat from an ongoing nuclear reaction.”

Reuters also quoted from a recent independent report which stated, a “full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date.”

The site’s operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has been mired in crisis ever since an earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the plant 2011. Most recently it was discovered that as much as 300 tons of “highly radioactive water” has been pouring into the Pacific Ocean on a daily basis from the plant, with no promising remedy offered by either the plant’s owner TEPCO or the Japanese government.



This is unreferenced and comes from Facebook

FUKUSHIMA UPDATE



Fukushima: Japan’s Nuclear Accident Response Director Warns that Tepco’s Actions Might Cause Reactor BuIldings to Collapse Engineers are now facing a new emergency. The Fukushima plant sits smack in the middle of an underground aquifer. Deep beneath the ground, the site is rapidly being overwhelmed by water.

What happens when you pour hundreds of thousands of tons of water (400 metric tons each day times 2.5 years times 365 days in a year equals 365,000 metric tons of water) onto soil which sits above a massive aquifer?

Tepco’s ill-considered efforts to change soil permeability and water flow have caused severe problems at the site … including highly radioactive groundwater bubbling up to the surface.

The spent fuel pool at Fukushima Unit 4 is the top short-term threat to humanity, and is a national security issue for America.

As such, it is disturbing news that the ground beneath unit 4 is sinking.

As [Tepco] prepares to start work on a new set of measures that would ring off and cap the area where the most highly contaminated water has been found, some experts and regulators are saying that the battle to completely contain radioactivity to the site of one of the world’s worst nuclear accidents may be a losing one.



Fukushima scientists brace for riskiest nuclear fuel clean up yet



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3S8cc8NUMmU


Fukushima Engineers DIDN'T THINK of THIS?!?! ClusterFuku update





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS7WO_P0Kr4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUQHopfPwfFjn37JgO1l-axg







5 parts of power cable trench of reactor3&4 found empty / Tepco “Contaminated water have already gone underground



According to Tepco, power cable trench on the seaside of reactor3 and 4 were found empty from 5 locations at the moment of 8/13/2013.

The trench is located on the east side of reactor3 and 4. They assumed the facility still retained the contaminated water.

In the press conference of 8/14/2013, Tepco’s spokesman stated the contaminated water have possibly gone underground through the cracks and the spaces between the parts made by the quakes.








Years of ‘duct tape fixes’ could result in ‘millions of deaths’
Even the tiniest mistake during an operation to extract over 1,300 fuel rods at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan could lead to a series of cascading failures with an apocalyptic outcome, fallout researcher Christina Consolo told RT.



RT,
17 August, 2013

Fukushima operator TEPCO wants to extract 400 tons worth of spent fuel rods stored in a pool at the plant’s damaged Reactor No. 4. The removal would have to be done manually from the top store of the damaged building in the radiation-contaminated environment.

In the worst-case scenario, a mishandled rod may go critical, resulting in an above-ground meltdown releasing radioactive fallout with no way to stop it, said Consolo, who is the founder and host of Nuked Radio. But leaving the things as they are is not an option, because statistical risk of a similarly bad outcome increases every day, she said.

RT: How serious is the fuel rod situation compared to the danger of contaminated water build-up which we already know about?

Christina Consolo: Although fuel rod removal happens on a daily basis at the 430+ nuclear sites around the world, it is a very delicate procedure even under the best of circumstances. What makes fuel removal at Fukushima so dangerous and complex is that it will be attempted on a fuel pool whose integrity has been severely compromised. However, it must be attempted as Reactor 4 has the most significant problems structurally, and this pool is on the top floor of the building.

There are numerous other reasons that this will be a dangerous undertaking.

  • The racks inside the pool that contain this fuel were damaged by the explosion in the early days of the accident.

  • Zirconium cladding which encased the rods burned when water levels dropped, but to what extent the rods have been damaged is not known, and probably won't be until removal is attempted.
  • Saltwater cooling has caused corrosion of the pool walls, and probably the fuel rods and racks.
  • The building is sinking.
  • The cranes that normally lift the fuel were destroyed.
  • Computer-guided removal will not be possible; everything will have to be done manually.
  • TEPCO cannot attempt this process without humans, which will manage this enormous task while being bombarded with radiation during the extraction and casking.
  • The process of removing each rod will have to be repeated over 1,300 times without incident.
Moving damaged nuclear fuel under such complex conditions could result in a criticality if the rods come into close proximity to one another, which would then set off a chain reaction that cannot be stopped.

What could potentially happen is the contents of the pool could burn and/or explode, and the entire structure sustain further damage or collapse. This chain reaction process could be self-sustaining and go on for a long time. This is the apocalyptic scenario in a nutshell.

The water build-up is an extraordinarily difficult problem in and of itself, and as anyone with a leaky basement knows, water always 'finds a way.’

'Trivial in light of other problems at Fukushima, water situation could culminate in the chain reaction scenario'

At Fukushima, they are dealing with massive amounts of groundwater that flow through the property, and the endless pouring that must be kept up 24/7/365 to keep things from getting worse. Recently there appears to be subsidence issues and liquefaction under the plant.

TEPCO has decided to pump the water out of these buildings. However, pumping water out of the buildings is only going to increase the flow rate and create more of these ground issues around the reactors. An enormous undertaking - but one that needs to be considered for long-term preservation of the integrity of the site - is channelling the water away, like a drain tile installed around the perimeter of a house with a leaky basement, but on an epic scale.

Without this effort, the soils will further deteriorate, structural shift will occur, and subsequently the contents of the pools will shift too.


The damage to TEPCO's No.1 Fukushima nuclear power plant's third reactor building in the town of Okuma, Fubata district in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)


Any water that flows into those buildings also becomes highly radioactive, as it is likely coming into contact with melted fuel.

Without knowing the extent of the current liquefaction and its location, the location of the melted fuel, how long TEPCO has been pumping out water, or when the next earthquake will hit, it is impossible to predict how soon this could occur from the water problem/subsidence issue alone. But undoubtedly, pumping water out of the buildings is just encouraging the flow, and this water problem needs to be remedied and redirected as soon as possible.

RT: Given all the complications that could arise with extracting the fuel rods, which are the most serious, in your opinion?

CC: The most serious complication would be anything that leads to a nuclear chain reaction. And as outlined above, there are many different ways this could occur. In a fuel pool containing damaged rods and racks, it could potentially start up on its own at anytime. TEPCO has been incredibly lucky that this hasn't happened so far.

'One of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do'

My second biggest concern would be the physical and mental fitness of the workers that will be in such close proximity to exposed fuel during this extraction process. They will be the ones guiding this operation, and will need to be in the highest state of alertness to have any chance at all of executing this plan manually and successfully. Many of their senses, most importantly eyesight, will be hindered by the apparatus that will need to be worn during their exposure, to prevent immediate death from lifting compromised fuel rods out of the pool and placing them in casks, or in the common spent fuel pool located a short distance away.

Think for a moment what that might be like through the eyes of one of these workers; it will be hot, uncomfortable, your senses shielded, and you would be filled with anxiety. You are standing on a building that is close to collapse. Even with the strongest protection possible, workers will have to be removed and replaced often. So you don't have the benefit of doing such a critical task and knowing and trusting your comrades, as they will frequently have to be replaced when their radiation dose limits are reached. If they exhibit physical or mental signs of radiation exposure, they will have be replaced more often.


The stricken Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) Fukushima daiichi No.1 nuclear power plant reactor number three (L) and four (R), with smoke rising from number three at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)


It will be one of the worst, but most important jobs anyone has ever had to do. And even if executed flawlessly, there are still many things that could go wrong.

RT: How do the potential consequences of failure to ensure safe extraction compare to other disasters of the sort – like Chernobyl, or the 2011 Fukushima meltdown?

CC: There really is no comparison. This will be an incredibly risky operation, in the presence of an enormous amount of nuclear material in close proximity. And as we have seen in the past, one seemingly innocuous failure at the site often translates into a series of cascading failures.

'The site has been propped up with duct tape and a kick-stand for over two years'

Many of their 'fixes' are only temporary, as there are so many issues to address, and cost always seems to be an enormous factor in what gets implemented and what doesn't.

As a comparison: Chernobyl was one reactor, in a rural area, a quarter of the size of one of the reactors at Fukushima. There was no 'spent fuel pool' to worry about. Chernobyl was treated in-situ...meaning everything was pretty much left where it was while the effort to contain it was made (and very expeditiously I might add) not only above ground, but below ground.

At Fukushima, we have six top-floor pools all loaded with fuel that eventually will have to be removed, the most important being Reactor 4, although Reactor 3 is in pretty bad shape too. Spent fuel pools were never intended for long-term storage, they were only to assist short-term movement of fuel. Using them as a long-term storage pool is a huge mistake that has become an 'acceptable' practice and repeated at every reactor site worldwide.


A destroyed building of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) atomic power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

We have three 100-ton melted fuel blobs underground, but where exactly they are located, no one knows. Whatever 'barriers' TEPCO has put in place so far have failed. Efforts to decontaminate radioactive water have failed. Robots have failed. Camera equipment and temperature gauges...failed. Decontamination of surrounding cities has failed.

'If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people'

We have endless releases into the Pacific Ocean that will be ongoing for not only our lifetimes, but our children’s' lifetimes. We have 40 million people living in the Tokyo area nearby. We have continued releases from the underground corium that reminds us it is there occasionally with steam events and huge increases in radiation levels. Across the Pacific, we have at least two peer-reviewed scientific studies so far that have already provided evidence of increased mortality in North America, and thyroid problems in infants on the west coast states from our initial exposures.

We have increasing contamination of the food chain, through bioaccumulation and biomagnification. And a newly stated concern is the proximity of melted fuel in relation to the Tokyo aquifer that extends under the plant. If and when the corium reaches the Tokyo aquifer, serious and expedient discussions will have to take place about evacuating 40 million people from the greater metropolitan area. As impossible as this sounds, you cannot live in an area which does not have access to safe water.

The operation to begin removing fuel from such a severely damaged pool has never been attempted before. The rods are unwieldy and very heavy, each one weighing two-thirds of a ton. But it has to be done, unless there is some way to encase the entire building in concrete with the pool as it is. I don't know of anyone discussing that option, but it would seem much 'safer' than what they are about to attempt...but not without its own set of risks.

And all this collateral damage will continue for decades, if not centuries, even if things stay exactly the way they are now. But that is unlikely, as bad things happen like natural disasters and deterioration with time...earthquakes, subsidence, and corrosion, to name a few. Every day that goes by, the statistical risk increases for this apocalyptic scenario. No one can say or know how this will play out, except that millions of people will probably die even if things stay exactly as they are, and billions could die if things get any worse.

Workers spraying resin on the ground near the reactor buildings to protect the spread of radioactive substances at TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)

RT: Are the fuel rods in danger of falling victim to other factors, while the extraction process is ongoing? After all, it’s expected to take years before all 1,300+ rods are pulled out.

CC: Unfortunately yes, the fuel rods are in danger every day they remain in the pool. The more variables you add to this equation, and the more time that passes, the more risk you are exposed to. Each reactor and spent fuel pool has its own set of problems, and critical failure with any of them could ultimately have the end result of an above-ground, self-sustaining nuclear reaction. It will not be known if extraction of all the fuel will even be possible, as some of it may be severely damaged, until the attempt is made to remove it.

RT: Finally, what is the worst case scenario? What level of contamination are we looking at and how dire would the consequences be for the long-term health of the region?

CC: Extremely dire. This is a terrible answer to have to give, but the worst case scenario could play out in death to billions of people. A true apocalypse. Since we have been discussing Reactor 4, I'll stick to that problem in particular, but also understand that a weather event, power outage, earthquake, tsunami, cooling system failure, or explosion and fire in any way, shape, or form, at any location on the Fukushima site, could cascade into an event of that magnitude as well.

'Once the integrity of the pool is compromised that will lead to more criticalities'

At any time, following any of these possible events, or even all by itself, nuclear fuel in reactor 4's pool could become critical, mostly because it will heat up the pool to a point where water will burn off and the zirconium cladding will catch fire when it is exposed to air. This already happened at least once in this pool that we are aware of. It almost happened again recently after a rodent took out an electrical line and cooling was stopped for days.

Once the integrity of the pool is compromised that will likely lead to more criticalities, which then can spread to other fuel. The heat from this reaction would weaken the structure further, which could then collapse and the contents of the pool end up in a pile of rubble on the ground. This would release an enormous amount of radioactivity, which Arnie Gundersen has referred to as a “Gamma Shine Event” without precedence, and Dr. Christopher Busby has deemed an “Open-air super reactor spectacular.”

This would preclude anyone from not only being at Reactor 4, but at Reactors 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, the associated pools for each, and the common spent fuel pool. Humans could no longer monitor and continue cooling operations at any of the reactors and pools, thus putting the entire site at risk for a massive radioactive release.

'At least the northern half of Japan would be uninhabitable, and some researchers have argued that it already is'

Mathematically, it is almost impossible to quantify in terms of resulting contamination, and a separate math problem would need to be performed for every nuclear element contained within the fuel, and whether or not that fuel exploded, burned, fissioned, melted, or was doused with water to try to cool it off and poured into the ocean afterward.


Workers using a German-made pump to pump water from the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 at Fukushima No.1 (Dai-Ichi) nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)


Some researchers have even ventured to say that other nuke plants on the east coast of Honshu may need to be evacuated if levels get too high, which will lead to subsequent failures/fires and explosions at these plants as well. Just how profound the effect will be on down-winders in North America, or the entire northern hemisphere for that matter, will literally depend on where the wind blows and where the rain falls, the duration and extent of a nuclear fire or chain-reaction event, and whether or not that reaction becomes self-sustaining. At least the northern half of Japan would be uninhabitable, and some researchers have argued that it already is.

This is already happening to the nuclear fuel in the ground under the plant, but now it would be happening above ground as well. There is no example historically to draw from on a scale of this magnitude. Everything is theory. But anyone who says this can't happen is not being truthful, because nobody really knows how bad things could get.

The most disturbing part of all of this is that Fukushima has been this dangerous, and precarious, since the second week of March 2011. The ante will definitely be upped once the fuel removal starts.

'The mainstream media, world governments, nuclear agencies, health organizations, weather reporters, and the health care industry has completely ignored three ongoing triple meltdowns that have never been contained'

An obvious attempt to downplay this disaster and its consequences have been repeated over and over again from 'experts' in the nuclear industry that also have a vested interest in their industry remaining intact. And, there has been a lot of misleading information released by TEPCO, which an hour or two of reading by a diligent reporter would have uncovered, in particular the definition of 'cold shutdown.’

Over 300 mainstream news outlets worldwide ran the erroneous 'cold shutdown' story repeatedly, which couldn't be further from the truth…[it was] yet another lie that was spun by TEPCO to placate the public, and perpetuated endlessly by the media and nuclear lobby.

Unfortunately, TEPCO waited until a severe emergency arose to finally report how bad things really are with this latest groundwater issue...if we are even being told the truth. Historically, everything TEPCO says always turns out to be much worse than they initially admit.

'Unfortunately there is no one better qualified to deal with this than the Russians, despite their own shortcomings'

I think the best chance of success is…that experts around the world drop everything they are doing to work on this problem, and have Russia either lead the containment effort or consult with them closely. They have the most experience, they have decades of data. They took their accident seriously and made a Herculean effort to contain it.

Of course we also know the Chernobyl accident was wrought with deception and lies as well, and some of that continues to this day, especially in terms of the ongoing health effects of children in the region, and monstrous birth defects. Unfortunately there is no one better qualified to deal with this than the Russians, despite their own shortcomings. Gorbachev tried to make up for his part in the cover-up of Chernobyl by opening orphanages throughout the region to deal with the affected children.

Underwater silt fence with orange floats being set in the sea near the drain of TEPCO's Fukushima nuclear power plant at Okuma town in Fukushima prefecture (AFP Photo)


But as far as Fukushima goes, the only thing that matters now is if world leaders and experts join forces to help fix this situation. Regardless of what agendas they are trying to protect or hide, how much it will cost, the effect on Japan or the world’s economy, or what political chains this will yank.

The nuclear industry needs to come clean. If this leads to every reactor in the world being shut down, so be it. If the world governments truly care about their people and this planet, this is what needs to be done.

Renowned theoretical physicist Michio Kaku stated in an interview a few weeks after the initial accident that “TEPCO is literally hanging on by their fingernails.” They still are, and always have been. The Japanese have proven time and time again they are not capable of handling this disaster. Now we are entrusting them to execute the most dangerous fuel removal in history.

We are extremely lucky that this apocalyptic scenario hasn't happened yet, considering the state of Reactor 4. But for many, it is already too late. The initial explosions and spent fuel pool fires may have already sealed the fate of millions of people. Time will tell. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being honest, because there is just no way to know.


Radioactive Water Leaking From Fukushima: Why Millions Of Lives Are At Stake



17 August, 2013




In lieu of the Japanese government doing the right thing and finally coming clean about the epic environmental catastrophe that is Fukushima, which it hopes to simply dig under the rug even as the inconvenient reality gets worse and thousands of tons of radioactive water make their way into the ocean, one is forced to rely on third-party sources for information on this tragedy. We present a useful primer from Scientific American on Fukushima "water retention" problem and "what you need to know about the radioactive water leaking from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean."


Scientists on both sides of the Pacific have measured changing levels of radioactivity in fish and other ocean life since the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. On Aug. 2, 2013, when Japan’s Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) gave its first estimate of how much radioactive water from the nuclear plant has flowed into the ocean since the disaster, the company was finally facing up to what scientists have recognized for years.

"As an oceanographer looking at the reactor, we've known this since 2011," said Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Mass. "The news is TEPCO is finally admitting this."

TEPCO estimated that between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels (units of radioactivity representing decay per second) of radioactive tritium have leaked into the ocean since the disaster, according to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. The Fukushima plant is still leaking about 300 tons of radioactive water into the ocean every day, according to Japanese government officials. [Infographic: Inside Japan's Nuclear Reactors]

Japan is haunted by two lingering questions from this aftermath of the disaster: First, how the radioactivity might seriously contaminate ocean life that represents a source of seafood for humans; second, whether it can stop the leaks of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant.

Radioactivity is not created equal

The Fukushima plant is leaking much less contaminated water today compared with the immediate aftermath of the nuclear meltdown in June 2011 — a period when scientists measured 5,000 to 15,000 trillion becquerels of radioactive substances reaching the ocean. Even if radioactivity levels in the groundwater have spiked recently, as reported by Japanese news sources, Buesseler expects the overall amount to remain lower than during the June 2011 period.

"The amount of increase is still much smaller today than it was in 2011," Buesseler told LiveScience. "I'm not as concerned about the immediate health threat of human exposure, but I am worried about contamination of marine life in the long run."

The biggest threat in the contaminated water that flowed directly from Fukushima's reactors into the sea in June 2011 was huge quantities of the radionuclide called cesium. But the danger has changed over time as groundwater became the main source for leaks into the ocean. Soil can naturally absorb the cesium in groundwater, but other radionuclides, such as strontium and tritium, flow more freely through the soil into the ocean. (TEPCO is still coming up with estimates for how much strontium has reached the ocean.)

Tritium represents the lowest radioactive threat to ocean life and humans compared with cesium and strontium. Cesium’s radioactive energy is greater than tritium, but both it and tritium flow in and out of human and fish bodies relatively quickly. By comparison, strontium poses a greater danger because it replaces the calcium in bones and stays for much longer in the body.

Not fishing for trouble
: 
A number of fish species caught off the coast of the Fukushima Prefecture in 2011 and 2012 had levels of cesium contamination greater than Japan's regulatory limit for seafood (100 becquerels per kilogram), but both U.S. and Japanese scientists have also reported a significant drop in overall cesium contamination of ocean life since the fall of 2011. The biggest contamination risks came from bottom-dwelling fish near the Fukushima site.

The radioactive groundwater leaks could still become worse in the future if TEPCO does not contain the problem, U.S. scientists say. But they cautioned against drawing firm conclusions about the latest impacts on ocean life until new peer-reviewed studies come out.

"For fish that are harvested 100 miles [160 kilometers] out to sea, I doubt it’d be a problem," said Nicholas Fisher, a marine biologist at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. "But in the region, yes, it's possible there could be sufficient contamination of local seafood so it'd be unwise to eat that seafood."

The overall contamination of ocean life by the Fukushima meltdown still remains very low compared with the effects of naturally occurring radioactivity and leftover contamination from U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s. Fisher said he’d be "shocked" if the ongoing leaks of contaminated water had a significant impact on the ocean ecosystems.

Source of radioactive water

TEPCO is facing two huge issues in stopping the radioactive water leaks. First, groundwater from nearby mountains is becoming contaminated as it flows through the flooded basements of the Fukushima plant's reactor buildings. The water empties into the nuclear plant's man-made harbor at a rate of about 400 tons per day — and TEPCO has struggled to keep the water from leaking beyond existing barriers into the ocean.

"This water issue is going to be their biggest challenge for a long time," said Dale Klein, former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. "It was a challenge for the U.S. during Three Mile Island [a partial nuclear meltdown in Pennsylvania on March 28, 1979], and this one is much more challenging."

Second, TEPCO must also deal with contaminated water from underground tunnels and pits that hold cables and pipes for the Fukushima nuclear plant’s emergency systems. The underground areas became flooded with highly radioactive water during the initial meltdown of the Fukushima plant’s reactors, and have since leaked water into the ocean despite TEPCO’s efforts to seal off the tunnels and pits.

TEPCO has also been racing to deal with the problem of storing hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive water from the Fukushima plant, said Hiroaki Koide, a nuclear engineer at Kyoto University in Japan. The Japanese utility is testing a water decontamination system called ALPS that can remove almost all radioactive substances except for tritium, but has put much of the contaminated water in storage tanks in the meantime.

"The tanks are an emergency solution that is not suitable for long-time storage," Koide said. "Water will leak from any tank, and if that happens, it will merge with the groundwater."

What must be done

So what solutions exist beyond building more storage tanks? Klein reviewed a number of possible solutions with TEPCO when he was picked to head an independent advisory committee investigating the Fukushima nuclear accident.

One possible solution involves using refrigerants to freeze the ground around the Fukushima plant and create a barrier that stops the inflow of groundwater from the mountains. TEPCO is also considering a plan to inject a gel-like material into the ground that hardens into an artificial barrier similar to concrete, so that it can stop the contaminated groundwater from flowing into the ocean.

Such barriers could help hold the line while TEPCO pumped out the water, treated it with purification systems such as ALPS, and then figured out how to finally dispose of the decontaminated water.

"My priority would be stop the leak from the tunnel immediately," Klein said. "Number two would be to come up with a plan to stop the inflow and infiltration of groundwater. Number three is to come up with an integrated systematic water treatment plan."

Meanwhile, both Japanese and U.S. scientists continue to gather fresh scientific data on how the radioactivity impacts ocean life. Despite low contamination levels overall, studies have shown great differences in certain species depending on where they live and feed in the ocean.

"The most straightforward thing the Japanese can do now is measure the radionuclides in fish tissue, both at the bottom of the ocean and up in the water column at different distances from the release of contaminated groundwater," Fisher said.


There's more: RT interviews fallout researcher Christina Consolo, who says that if Japan continues on its course of doing nothing, then years of "duct tape fixes" could result in millions of death.


This is the first of two parts – next week will incorporate an interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott.

In this edition of the Lifeboat Hour Mike Ruppert addresses THE most important issue of the day - Fukushima – and the possibility of an apocalyptic scenario – a nuclear fission chain reaction – that could bring about the deaths of million and making large areas uninhabitable.

This is something that is only being talked about in limited circles – the truth is being suppressed by governments and the mainstream media.

Mike Ruppert's introduction:

Biting The Bullet. There are times when the only ethical course of action is to present the whole unvarnished truth, no matter how painful that may be. Tonight we will take a solid, hard look at the realities of Fukushima. We will start with an audio clip from Dr. Helen Caldicott who has been the most visionary, judicious and articulate voice to warn of these dangers. Then I will read an email sent to her today asking her to appear on the show ASAP so that all who are mature enough and hungry enough can hear and come to terms with reality.

I will also be reviewing a number of stories from this week that reveal our imminent peril. Those stories have also sadly confirmed and validated the analysis I have brought to you here and at Collapsenet since the earthquake occurred.

This will be hard for me. But it is as it was in 1978 when I realized in my heart that if the American people did not deal with the fact that CIA was bringing drugs into this country there would prove to be no backstop for the progressive disease of insanity and evil.

Let us know and look the situation in the eyeballs so that whatever we do next may be based in reality, rather than fantasy. Let us face the shadows that we have made and carry.

Chernobyl, Fukushima and Dr. Helen Caldicott




According to Radio NZ the NZ fishing industry refused to submit samples for testing.

Is Fukushima Radiation Contaminating Tuna, Salmon and Herring On the West Coast of North America?



26 August, 2013


Demand that Fish Be Tested for Radiation

We’ve extensively documented that radioactivity from Fukushima is spreading to North America.
More than a year ago, 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna tested in California waters were contaminated with radioactive cesium from Fukushima.
Bluefin tuna are a wide-ranging fish, which can swim back and forth between Japan and North America in a year.
But what about other types of fish?
Sockeye salmon also have a range spanning all of the way from Japan to Alaska, Canada, Washington and Oregon:

Associated Press reports that both scientists and native elders in British Columbia say that sockeye numbers have plummeted:
Sockeye salmon returns plunge to historic lows.
***
Last month, [the Department of Fisheries and Oceans] noted returns for the Skeena River sockeye run were dire.
[Mel Kotyk, North Coast area director for the Department] said department scientists don’t know why the return numbers are so low…. “When they went out to sea they seemed to be very strong and healthy and in good numbers, so we think something happened in the ocean.”
***
We’ve never seen anything like this in all these years I’ve done this. I’ve asked the elders and they have never seen anything like this at all.” [said Chief Wilf Adam]
Vancouver News 1130 notes that Alaskan and Russian salmon stocks have crashed as well:
The sockeye runs way up north in the Skeena are low. The [fish] out of Bristol Bay, Alaska is down 30 to 35 per cent over last year. Russia has got a limited number of fish in the market. They are down about 40 per cent over all their salmon fisheries.”
(Russia’s East Coast sits on the Sea of Japan.  Indeed, Japan is closer to Russia than to Korea.)
Alaska’s Juneau Empire newspaper writes:
We are concerned this hazardous material is hitching a ride on marine life and making its way to Alaska.
Currents of the world’s oceans are complex. But, generally speaking, two surface currents — one from the south, called the Kuroshio, and one from the north, called the Oyashio — meet just off the coast of Japan at about 40 degrees north latitude. The currents merge to form the North Pacific current and surge eastward. Fukushima lies at 37 degrees north latitude. Thousands of miles later, the currents hit an upwelling just off the western coast of the United States and split. One, the Alaska current, turns north up the coast toward British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. The other, the California current, turns south and heads down the western seaboard of the U.S.
The migration patterns of Pacific salmon should also be taken into consideration. In a nutshell, our salmon ride the Alaska current and follow its curve past Sitka, Yakutat, Kodiak and the Aleutian Islands. Most often, it’s the chinook, coho and sockeye salmon migration patterns that range farthest. Chum and pink salmon seem to stay closer to home. Regardless of how far out each salmon species ventures into the Pacific, each fish hitches a ride back to its home rivers and spawning grounds on the North Pacific current, the same one pulling the nuclear waste eastward.
We all know too much exposure to nuclear waste can cause cancer. And many understand that certain chemicals, such as cesium-137 and strontium-9, contained in said waste products can accumulate in fish by being deposited in bones and muscle permanently.
We are concerned our Alaska salmon are being slowly tainted with nuclear waste. We are worried about the impact this waste could have on our resources, and especially the people who consume them.
***
We urge scientists in Alaska to be proactive about conducting research and monitoring our salmon species.
Similarly, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that salmon are migrating through the radioactive plume, but Canadian authorities aren’t testing the fish:
[Award-winning physician and preventative health expert Dr. Erica Frank, MD, MPH]: There are Pacific wild salmon that migrate through the radioactive plumes that have been coming off of Fukushima. Then those fish come back to our shores and we catch them.
CBC Reporter:  The Canada Food Inspection Agency says it now relies on Japan for test results concerning radiation.
Another example – pacific herring – is even more dramatic.   Pacific herring is wide-ranging fish, spanning all the way from Japan to Southern California:

Every single pacific herring examined by a biologist in Canada was found to be hemorrhaging blood.  As Ene News reports:
 See also: Alexandra Morton via Vancouver 24 hrs,  Vancouver 24 hrs, Alexandra Morton)
 The Globe and Mail, Aug 13, 2013 (Emphasis Added):
Independent fisheries scientist Alexandra Morton is raising concerns about a disease she says is spreading through Pacific herring causing fish to hemorrhage. [...] “Two days ago I did a beach seine on Malcolm Island [near Port McNeill on northern Vancouver Island] and I got approximately 100 of these little herring and they were not only bleeding from their fins, but their bellies, their chins, their eyeballs.  [...] “It was 100 per cent … I couldn’t find any that weren’t bleeding to some degree. And they were schooling with young sockeye [salmon]
Sun News, Aug 12, 2013:
[Morton] dragged up several hundred of the fish this past weekend and found the apparent infection had spread – instead of their usual silver colour the fish had eyes, tails, underbellies, gills and faces plastered with the sickly red colour. “I have never seen fish that looked this bad,” [...] In June, the affected fish were only found in eastern Johnstone Strait, but have since spread to Alert Bay and Sointula, she said.
Canada.com, Aug 16, 2013:
Morton [...] pulled up a net of about 100 herring near Sointula and found they were all bleeding. “It was pretty shocking to see,” said Morton [...] Herring school with small sockeye salmon and are also eaten by chinook and coho.
Response’ from Canadian Government
Vancouver 24 hrs, Aug 11, 2013:
[Morton] says Fisheries and Oceans Canada [FOC] is ignoring the problem. [...] According to emails from FOC, the federal authority had asked the marine biologist to send in 20 to 30 herring in September 2011, saying that would be “more than sufficient for the lab to look for clinical signs of disease and provide sufficient diagnostics.” She did, and hasn’t heard back since. [...] FOC officials did not respond to a request for comment by the 24 hours presstime.
Canada.com, Aug 16, 2013:
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is trying to confirm reports from an independent biologist that herring around northern Vancouver Island have a disease that is causing bleeding from their gills, bellies and eyeballs. [...] Arlene Tompkins of DFO’s [Department of Fisheries and Oceans'] salmon assessment section said staff in the Port Hardy area have not found bleeding herring. “We are trying to retrieve samples, but [Monday] we were not successful because of heavy fog,” she said. “We haven’t had any other reports of fish kills or die-offs [see salmon report below].” Tompkins has seen photographs provided by Morton [...]
There have been many other reports of mysterious sickness among West Coast North American sealife.  For example, sea lions’ main food is herring:
Sea lions will eat a lot of different prey items: octopus, squid, small sharks. But their bread and butter is herring ….
Given that pacific herring are suffering severe disease, it is worth asking whether the “unusual mortality event” of Southern California sea lions is connected.
The bottom line – as nuclear experts said 4 days after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami – is that we all need to demand that fish be tested for radiation.

Postscript: Apologists for reckless nuclear policy claim that low-level radiation is safe.  Scientists have thoroughly debunked those claims.




Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Caught Off California Coast
Every bluefin tuna tested in the waters off California has shown to be contaminated with radiation that originated in Fukushima. Every single one.



24 August, 2013


Over a year ago, in May of 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported on a Stanford University study. Daniel Madigan, a marine ecologist who led the study, was quoted as saying, “The tuna packaged it up (the radiation) and brought it across the world’s largest ocean. We were definitely surprised to see it at all and even more surprised to see it in every one we measured.”


Another member of the study group, Marine biologist Nicholas Fisher at Stony Brook University in New York State reported, “We found that absolutely every one of them had comparable concentrations of cesium 134 and cesium 137.”

That was over a year ago. The fish that were tested had relatively little exposure to the radioactive waste being dumped into the ocean following the nuclear melt-through that occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March of 2011. Since that time, the flow of radioactive contaminants dumping into the ocean has continued unabated. Fish arriving at this juncture have been swimming in contaminants for all of their lives.

Radioactive cesium doesn’t sink to the sea floor, so fish swim through it and ingest it through their gills or by eating organisms that have already ingested it. It is a compound that does occur naturally in nature, however, the levels of cesium found in the tuna in 2012 had levels 3 percent higher than is usual. Measurements for this year haven’t been made available, or at least none that I have been able to find. I went looking for the effects of ingesting cesium. This is what I found:

When contact with radioactive cesium occurs, which is highly unlikely, a person can experience cell damage due to radiation of the cesium particles. Due to this, effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding may occur. When the exposure lasts a long time, people may even lose consciousness. Coma or even death may then follow. How serious the effects are depends upon the resistance of individual persons and the duration of exposure and the concentration a person is exposed to.

The half life of cesium 134 is 2.0652 years. For cesium 137, the half life is 30.17 years.
The Fukushima disaster is an ongoing battle with no signs that humans are gaining the upper hand. The only good news to come out of Japan has later been proven to be false and was nothing more than attempts by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to mislead the public and lull them into a sense of security while the company searched vainly for ways to contain the accident. This incident makes Three Mile Island and Chernobyl pale in comparison. Those were nuclear meltdowns. A nuclear melt-through poses a much more serious problem and is one that modern technology doesn’t have the tools to address. Two and a half years later and the contaminants are still flowing into the ocean and will continue to for the foreseeable future.

The FDA assures us that our food supply is safe, that the levels of radiation found in fish samples are within safe limits for consumption. But one has to question if this is true and, if it is true now, will it remain true? Is this, like the statements issued from TEPCO, another attempt to quell a public backlash in the face of an unprecedented event that, as yet, has no solution and no end in sight?

As for me, fish is off the menu.


Fukushima open air fission? Radiation surge can’t be blamed just on random leaks
The latest surge in radiation at Fukushima nuclear plant may suggest not only additional water leaks at the site, but could also mean fission is occurring outside the crippled reactor, explains Chris Busby from the European Committee on Radiation Risk



RT,
2 September, 2013


.
The increase in radiation reading is too significant to be blamed on random water leaks, believes Busby.
  
RT:
 Just how serious is the situation now in Japan?
Chris Busby:
 I think this is an indication that it has actually deteriorated significantly, very suddenly in the last week. What they are not saying and what is the missing piece of evidence here is that radiation suddenly cannot increase unless something happens and that something cannot be leakage from a tank, because gamma radiation goes straight through a tank. The tank has got very thin metal walls. These walls will only attenuate gamma radiation by 5 per cent, even when it is 1 cm thick. 
Although they may think this is a leak from the tank, and there may well be leaks from the tank, this sudden increase of 1.8 Sieverts per hour is an enormously big doze that can probably kill somebody in 2 to 4 hours.

Today there was another leak found at 1.7 Sieverts per hour in more or less the same place. This huge radiation increase, in my mind means something going on outside the tanks, some radioactive fission is occurring, like an open air reactor, if you like, under the ground.

RT: What impact will this have on the clean-up operation and those who are involved in that operation?

CB: First of all it is clearly out of control and secondly no one can go anywhere near it. Nobody can go in to measure where these leaks are or do anything about them, because anybody who is to approach that sort of area would be dead quite quickly. They would be seriously harmed. 
AFP Photo / Nuclear Regulation Authority
AFP Photo / Nuclear Regulation Authority


RT: Then presumably, someone who was there earlier, not knowing that the radiation levels were so high, are at risk now?

CB: I think many people are going to die as a result of this just like liquidators died after Chernobyl. They were dying over the next ten years or so.

RT:
 Why has TEPCO failed to contain the radiation?

CB: I think no one has actually realized how bad this is, because the international nuclear industries have tried to play it down so much, that they sort of came to the idea that somehow it can be controlled. Whereas all along, it could never be controlled.

I’ve seen a photograph taken from the air recently, in which the water in the Pacific Ocean is actually appearing to boil. Well, it is not boiling. You can see that it’s hot. Steam is coming off the surface. There is a fog condensing over the area of the ocean close to the reactors, which means that hot water is getting into the Pacific that means something is fissioning very close to the Pacific and it is not inside the reactors, it must be outside the reactors in my opinion.

RT: Surely international nuclear industry should have come to TEPCO’s help before this?

CB: Yes. They should have done that. This is not a local affair. This is an international affair. I could not say why it has not. I think they are all hoping that nothing will happen, hoping that this will all go away and keeping their fingers crossed. But from the beginning it was quite clear that it was very serious and that there is no way in which this going not going to go very bad.

And now it seem to have suddenly got very bad. If that photograph I’ve seen is true, they should start evacuating people up to a 100 kilometer zone.

RT: So not only those that live in the vicinity but also those that live within 100 km could be at risk?

CB: I say that this might be a faked dubbed photograph, but if that is real and these levels of 1.8 Sieverts per hour are real, than something is very serious has happened and I think people should start to get away.

RT: Since the radiation is leaking into the ocean, will it not have a major ecological impact elsewhere?

CB: Of course. What happens there is that it moves all the radioactivity up and down the coast right down to Tokyo. I’ve seen a statement made by Tokyo’s mayor saying this will not affect the application of Tokyo to be considered for the Olympic Games. I actually thought they ought to consider evacuating Tokyo. It is very, very serious. 






Japan promises 'prompt' measures amid reports of deadly radiation levels at Fukushima
Following revelations that radiation levels around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant are enough to kill an exposed person, the Japanese prime minister said he will take immediate steps to improve the cleanup efforts


RT,
2 September, 2013

The Japanese government will initiate “prompt, comprehensive steps” to clean up the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant amid lingering doubts over the plant owner's ability to handle the crisis, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters on Monday.

The pledge follows a weekend of negative news concerning the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant that was devastated by the 2011 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), the beleaguered owners of the facility, said on Saturday that radiation levels of 1,800 millisieverts per hour near a leaking tank holding contaminated water was 18-times worse than previously believed - a level that could prove fatal within four hours of exposure.

TEPCO managers, however, remain confident they can guarantee safety for workers on the ground at Fukushima.

"We will find out the cause of this issue and make proper countermeasures immediately, and continue to make every effort to secure safety of workers," the company said in a statement released Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), Japan’s nuclear watchdog, announced on Monday it may release water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant that contains radiation levels below the maximum threshold level into the ocean.

Vast amounts of water are being pumped continuously into the damaged facility to cool the melted fuel rods and prevent further radioactive contamination. This procedure requires TEPCO to store the contaminated water in an ever-growing number of holding tanks, some of which are leaking their radioactive contents into the ground.

Experts have said the scale of water leakage may be worse than nuclear industry engineers and government officials are willing to admit. 

This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on August 26, 2013 and received on September 1, 2013 shows Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (C-red helmet) inspecting TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima prefecture. (AFP Photo)
This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on August 26, 2013 and received on September 1, 2013 shows Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshimitsu Motegi (C-red helmet) inspecting TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma, Fukushima prefecture. (AFP Photo)


Abe pledged that his government will take all necessary measures to handle the emergency cleanup efforts of the world's worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, adding it will draw up a plan of action on the measures "quickly."



The Fukushima nuclear disaster, combined with the perplexity of the cleanup efforts, has triggered a public backlash against nuclear energy in the country.
Of the 17 nuclear plants prior to the Fukushima catastrophe that provided Japan with about one-third of its energy needs, only two facilities remain operational. However, those plants are scheduled to be completely shut down on Monday with “no restarts in sight,” AFP reported.
Engineers will switch off one of Japan's two working reactors Monday, with the other set for shutdown on September 15.
Japan has been forced to revert back to using expensive and less efficient fossil-fuels to fill the demand for energy in the resource-deficient country. 
Fukushima, however, represents more than just an environmental and energy disaster for Japan. Government officials also fear the nuclear crisis could dash Tokyo's hopes for hosting the 2020 Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee will elect the host city – a contest between Istanbul, Madrid and Tokyo - on September 7 in Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, Tokyo is going to great lengths to ensure the world that the Japanese capital has not been adversely affected by the events in Fukushima. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, for example, now publishes the latest information on radiation levels on its website, demonstrating that radiation levels in Tokyo, which is situated some 230 km (140 miles) from the disabled plant, are on par with or lower than those of other major cities, including London and New York. 


Fukushima More Bad News – Earth Softening and Leaks Out Of Control




1 September, 2013



Published on 1 Sep 2013
Where do I begin? Expect MORE leaks of highly radioactive water from the hundreds and hundreds of on site storage tanks built piss poor. The entire Pacific Ocean to be fully contaminated in 6 years? Qualification on that story, not sure they are using the right map on that one.. Trouble to remove the Highly Radioactive Damaged spent fuel rods in (simply reactor spent fuel pool #4 ALONE) that contains approx 14,000 Times the radiation from the single Hiroshima Bomb. Pacific Ocean already Boiling?… You’ll just have to see this report to believe all the problems they are having. Not to mention, they are mistreating employees… so they are also going to run out of workers. It’s suggested TEPCO step aside and let the government handle the ongoing crises. The problems they face seem insurmountable to overcome. Too many to even list…. WAY WAY WAY TOO MANY. (way to many to edit today, too)

Latest Headlines: http://enenews.com/
Contamination levels skyrocket at Fukushima plant, up nearly 2,000% — NHK: Quadrillions of becquerels already released; “Gov’t needs to take charge entirely” (VIDEO)
U.S. Nuclear Insider: Will be challenge to get “what’s left” of Fukushima’s melted fuel — Eventually they want to limit “material in substructure” from escaping (VIDEO)
Japan Official: Fukushima contamination “increasingly seen as international problem… lawsuits may be filed overseas” — “Gov’t should take preventive actions based on a worst-case scenario” says S. Korea newspaper
TV: “Simulation shows ENTIRE Pacific being polluted by radioactive water in just 6 years” after start of Fukushima crisis — “Experts now fear it may become a scary reality” (VIDEO)
BBC website links to report claiming ocean is ‘boiling’ in front of Fukushima Daiichi (PHOTOS)


Experts: Fukushima “literally a matter of national security” — “This is becoming rapidly an international issue” — “Something must be failing” as Japan gov’t not dealing with crisis
Very clear and present danger”: New push to dump radioactive Fukushima water in Pacific — Or boil it in large kettle and release steam into atmosphere for many years — Or do both says UC Berkeley professor
*Experts on Fukushima Unit 4* CNBC: “Far from under control, could get a lot worse” — Japan Times: “Could very quickly get much worse” — CNN: “Could still get a lot worse” — “Tokyo, Yokohama, even neighboring countries at serious risk” (VIDEO)
Nuclear Consultant on CNN: “Nobody knows how far the molten fuel went through containment” at Fukushima — “Challenges of unprecedented complexity”
Professor: Fukushima disaster “beyond a cover-up” — Japan gov’t thinks they can get away with tricking masses about extent of problem — Officials and Tepco cannot be trusted, they are lying to the camera
NHK: There was a melt-through so Fukushima fuel is definitely down with the groundwater, and that’s flowing into Pacific — Americans need to watch, it gets international very quickly — May already be at West Coast — No ‘immediate’ risk (VIDEO)
TV: Mystery spots on Fukushima cows ignored by gov’t — Veterinarian: It’s extremely important, Japan has to think of what to do with this problem (VIDEO)
Fukushima plant in national emergency says governor — “Severe radioactive contamination with serious health affects on local population” — ‘Global intervention’ suggested
Will Fukushima now officially be referred to as worst nuclear disaster in world history? Study estimates Japan plant released 100 quadrillion becquerels (PBq) of cesium into atmosphere… In a single day
Bloomberg: Japan gov’t needs to understand crisis at Fukushima is a matter of life and death — ABC Interview: “They are slowly killing us… They know full well it’s leaking, but they’ve done nothing” (AUDIO)
UPI: Fukushima plume to reach U.S. West Coast in months; Measurable increase in radioactive material — Study: Prolonged exposure for California lasting 10 years; Hits Hawaii early 2014… may already be surrounded (PHOTO)
Underground water just 4 inches from surface by Fukushima reactor — AP: Groundwater closer to surface than Tepco told officials investigating tank leak
Popular Mechanics: Contaminated water threatens to swamp Fukushima site as it rises to surface — Radioactive liquid will continue entering ocean despite attempts to block it
Big Problem”: Cracked floors in Fukushima reactors leaking into groundwater that’s rising and rising and rising due to Tepco wall — “Can no longer be stopped from getting in ocean” — “Worse than that… buildings now on mushy land” (AUDIO)
Newspaper: Nations across Pacific are fearing impact from Fukushima — Many expecting cancer will increase in Pacific Rim — Japan exporting their environmental problem to the ocean


Big Problem”: Cracked floors in Fukushima reactors leaking into groundwater that’s rising and rising and rising due to Tepco wall — “Can no longer be stopped from getting in ocean” — “Worse than that… buildings now on mushy land”




27 August, 2013



At 11:30 in
Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer: The big problem is the nuclear reactors themselves have cracked floors. The buildings in those reactor buildings have cracked floors. And groundwater is getting into those buildings, and becoming contaminated, and then leaking out. So, in addition to what’s in those tanks, the physical plant itself is contaminating the groundwater as well.
So what Tepco tried to do is to build a wall along the water. They injected basically a concrete type of a compound and made the ground less porous. That’s not a good idea — it’s a poor idea — because what happened is the mountain that’s behind Fukushima continues to pour the water into the ground. Now it’s got no place to go. So now the groundwater’s rising and rising and rising and likely over-topping this wall, certainly going around it on the sides. So we’ve got radioactive water that can no longer be stopped from getting in the ocean.
It’s worse than that though. The radioactive water has made the site seismic response different. The buildings that were on dry land are now on mushy land. So that if there were to be another earthquake, the seismic response of these buildings — which was already marginal — is further compromised because the ground that they are now on is wet soggy soil, when before it had been firm.


To hear Fairewinds podcast GO HERE


300,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of all β nuclide to include Sr-90 detected from the leaked water of tank


2 September, 2013


Following up this article..One of the new tank leakage still continuing [URL]
According to Tepco, 300,000,000,000 Bq/m3 of all β nuclide was measured from the dripping water to leak of the tank.
All β includes Strontium-90.
They didn’t analyze the sample for Cesium-134/137. The reason is because “The volume of the sample was not adequate.”.
The sampling date was 8/31/2013.


Fukushima is 1,000x's worse than we thought!



Kevin Kamps of Beyond Nuclear explains what the increase severity at Fukushima really means for the planet.





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1ZFjK7RRMk&feature=youtu.be



Fukushima "Serious" 

Leak(s) in Tank(s) of 

Highly Radioactive 

Water, Doomsday 

Clock update 8/21/13







Arnie Gundersen: Fukushima reactor cores are in crisis as bad as ‘China Syndrome’ (AUDIO)



8 September, 2013


Title: Fukushima leaking radiation into Pacific
Source: WPFW – 
Radio Ecoshock 
Host: Alex Smith
Date: Sept. 5, 2013
At 9:30 in
To hear podcast GO HERE




Tritium Levels At Fukushima Surge To New Highs



12 September, 2013



As if the "developed" world did not have enough things to worry about, moments ago VOA's Steve Herman reported that the radioactive problem in Japan, the country hosting the 2020 summer olympics, continues to deteriorate uncontrollably, and citing Jiji, said that Tepco revealed tritium levels in the Fukushima groundwater have just surged to a new high.

From Jiji, google translated:


A problem radioactive contamination water leaks in large quantities from a storage tank of TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the 12th, from underground water collected on the 11th in observation wells that were dug near the leak location, radioactive tritium TEPCO (triple It was announced today that it has been 97 000 becquerels per liter detection of hydrogen). Compared with values ??when measured groundwater same location on the 10th, then increased to about 1.5 times, and highs tritium concentration in groundwater was collected in this vicinity leakage after.

Which perhaps may explain why a few hours ago, an official PR statement was released exonerating Japan of any evil, and promising that Fukushima is "Not a Threat" to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

Japan's reputation as a 'safe pair of hands' gave it the edge to win the race to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The decision immediately boosted investor confidence - despite the ongoing Fukushima nuclear crisis.

'Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assured the International Olympic Committee that the Fukushima leak was not a threat to Tokyo and took personal responsibility for keeping it safe,' writes leading economist Professor Dr Stefan Lippert in World Review.

Persistent concerns over the leak of radioactive water from the nuclear power plant had dogged Tokyo's Olympic bid. The crippled nuclear plant is about 250 km (155 miles) north east of Tokyo and there are fears the amount of contaminated water is getting out of control.

But winning the bid gave shares in Japan 'an instant lift with construction companies, real estate and tourism expecting to benefit from the economic impact of staging the games,' says Professor Dr Lippert.

This is expected to create 150,000 jobs and have a US$30 billion economic impact for Japan while boosting the mood of investors and spurring Japan's economic recovery after two decades of lacklustre growth and the March 2011 triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident.

'It will support the popular belief that that Japan's turnaround has finally begun, and contribute to the upbeat feeling in Japan since the beginning of Abenomics,' he adds.

Dr Lippert believes that the International Olympic Committee's decision on September 7, 2013, emphasises that the international community sees Japan as a haven of stability and wealth in the region.

'Internationally, the vote is as an expression of confidence in Japan and its revival,' he says.

Goebbels would be proud. Surely economist Professor Dr Lippert (odd that he could only stick two titles behind his name: doesn't he know that his credibility grow exponentially with the number of titles - just ask any economist who signed the Yellen support letter) will demonstrate to the world just how safe Fukushima is and take a big swig of tritium from the irradiated groundwater.


This is part two of an article by Dr. Helen Caldicott. Part one is Endless Fukushima catastrophe: Many generations’ health at stake

Endless Fukushima catastrophe: 2020 Olympics under contamination threat
Helen Caldicott



RT,
15 September, 2013


As the escape of radiation at Fukushima seems virtually unstoppable, there are still steps that governments all over the world should take to prevent worst case consequences. One of them would be canceling the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Scientific estimates predict that the radioactive plume travelling east across the Pacific will likely hit the shores of Oregon, Washington State and Canada early next year. California will probably be impacted later that year. Because the ongoing flow of water from the reactor site will be virtually impossible to stop, a radioactive plume will continue to migrate across the Pacific affecting Hawaii, North America, South America and eventually Australia for many decades.
We are only talking about ocean currents, however, fish swim thousands of miles and don’t necessarily follow the currents. As noted in Part I, big fish concentrate radiation most efficiently, and tuna have already been caught off the coast of California containing cesium from Fukushima. Seaweed also efficiently concentrates radioactive elements.
As I contemplate the future at Fukushima, it seems that the escape of radiation is virtually unstoppable. The levels of radiation in buildings 1, 2 and 3 are now so high that no human can enter or get close to the molten cores. It will therefore be impossible to remove these cores for hundreds of years if ever.
Buildings 1, 2 & 3

If one of these buildings collapses, the targeted flow of cooling water to the pools and cores would cease, the cores would become red hot and possibly ignite releasing massive amounts of radiation into the air and water and the fuel in the cooling pools could ignite. It is strange that neither the US government in particular nor the global community seem to be concerned about these imminent possibilities and exhibit no urge to avert catastrophe.
Similarly the global media is strangely disconnected with the ongoing crisis. Most importantly, the Japanese government until very recently has obstinately refused to invite and collaborate with foreign experts from nuclear engineering companies and/or governments.
Building 4

This structure was severely damaged during the initial quake, its walls are bulging, and it sank 31 inches (79cm) into the ground. On the roof sits a cooling pool containing about 250 tons of hot fuel rods, most of which had just been removed from the reactor core days before the earthquake struck. This particular core did not melt because TEPCO was able maintain a continuous flow of cooling water, so the rods and their holding racks are still intact, but geometrically deformed due to the force of the hydrogen explosion. 
The cooling pool contains 8,800 pounds of plutonium plus over 100 other highly radioactive isotopes. Instead of this core melting into a larval mass like the other three cores, it sits exposed to the air atop the shaky building. A large earthquake could disrupt the integrity of the building, causing it to collapse and taking the hot fuel rods with it. The cooling water would evaporate and the intrinsic heat of the radioactive rods would ignite a fire as the zirconium cladding reacted with air, releasing the radioactive equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs and 10 times more cesium than Chernobyl.

AFP Photo / TEPCO
Not only would the Northern Hemisphere become badly contaminated, but the Japanese government is seriously contemplating evacuating 35 million people from Tokyo should this happen. TEPCO has constructed a steel frame to strengthen the shaky building in order to place a massive crane on the roof so they can extract the hot rods by remote control. This operation is always performed by computer and a remote manually-controlled extraction has never been attempted before. If the rods are deformed, a rod could fracture releasing so much radiation that the workers would have to evacuate or, should they touch each other, a chain reaction could release huge amounts of radiation.
I defer to Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer in whom I have great faith. He says that a 2-meter thick zeolite wall should be constructed some distance from the reactors on the mountainside, which would effectively absorb the cesium from the water surrounding the reactor cores so it could not get out and further pollute the pure water descending from the mountain. At the same time, channels must be constructed to pump and divert the unpolluted mountain water into the sea. Then the three molten cores and their associated buildings could be immersed in concrete as the Soviets did at Chernobyl, and the situation could possibly be neutralized for about 100 years. What our poor descendants will then decide to do with this radioactive rubbish dump is beyond my comprehension.
However, as one Japanese official said, “If we just buried them no one would look at another nuclear plant for years.” An interesting reaction, so it is perfectly obvious that despite the calamity, they still want to pursue the nuclear option.
North America and Canada the EPA should immediately start monitoring the fish routinely caught off the west coast and it must also, as a matter of urgency, establish many effective airborne monitors up and down the west coast and across the US continent, so that if there is another large release of radiation it will be effectively measured and the information rapidly passed on to the public. The same holds true for Canada.
The US and Canadian governments must forthwith ban imported food from Japan, unless each batch is monitored for contamination, and the food grown in the US and Canada needs to be effectively monitored pending another major accident. The US has allowed food measuring up to 1,200 Becquerels per kilo to be sold in the US from Japan, while the Japanese allowable concentration for food is only 100 Becquerels per kilo. What does the US government think it is doing purposely exposing people to radioactive food? This situation must be urgently amended.
An aerial view shows the Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s (TEPCO) tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and its contaminated water storage tanks (top) in Fukushima, in this photo taken by Kyodo August 31, 2013.(Reuters /
Kyodo)

Nuclear Olympics

Given these impending problems, how can Japanese Prime Minister Abe possibly say that Tokyo will be safe for the Olympics? He actually said that “there is absolutely no problem” and “the situation is under control.” Does he not understand that parts of Tokyo are already radioactively contaminated and that his government is dumping ashes from the incineration of thousands of tons of radioactive debris from the tsunami and earthquake into Tokyo Bay? Is this what the athletes will be swimming in?
What if there is another major release of radiation before the Olympics? Young fit people who have spent years in rigorous training must, under no circumstances be exposed to radioactive air, food or water. And how can Abe possibly consider spending all thatmoney housing people in expensive accommodation and constructing stadiums etc. when his own people - 160,000 Fukushima refugees - live in shacks and millions still live in highly radioactive zones and when the Fukushima complex is out of control?

Dr Helen Caldicott is one of the most articulate and passionate advocates of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises.

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