Fukushima: It Ain't Over Yet
Posted 27 May 2012 - 07:12 AM
This is one of the better sites I've found so far:
I've been hearing respected nuclear scientists hinting at the possibility that the population of Japan might need to be relocated. This is something that the more sensational websites are playing up as much as possible, but even the more subdued and rational alt. news sites are mentioning it as a realistic possibility. Good thing that China just so happens to coincidentally have several brand-new and totally empty cities with enough capacity to absorb the entire population of Japan.
Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:15 AM
Good thing that China just so happens to coincidentally have several brand-new and totally empty cities with enough capacity to absorb the entire population of Japan.
I had heard that on mainstream news and wondered........??? What a strange coincidence?
Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:34 AM
Apparently there are all ready camps in Russia set up for an evacuation of Japan...
Like it will really matter.
Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:56 AM
How many nuclear weapons are littered all over the world right now? How many similarly unsafe nuclear power plants are there all over the world with unsafe pools for storing the spent fuel?
A global disaster could occur in many places of the world at any time. All it would take would be some sort of natural disaster in the wrong place and at the wrong time.
Much like a meteor or burst of gamma rays...
Having one more potential disaster of our own making is just so typically human. If only it did not have to be this way.
- mollymauler likes this
Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:10 AM
Fourteen months after the accident, a pool brimming with used fuel rods and filled with vast quantities of radioactive caesium still sits on the top floor of a heavily damaged building, covered only with plastic.
The public's fears about the pool have grown in recent months as some scientists have warned that it has the most potential for setting off a new catastrophe. The three nuclear reactors that suffered meltdowns are in a more stable state, but frequent quakes continue to rattle the region.
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The worries gained new traction in recent days after the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, said it had found a slight bulge in one of the walls of the reactor building, stoking fears over the building's safety.
To try to quell such worries, the government sent the Environment and Nuclear Minister to the plant on Saturday, where he climbed a makeshift staircase in protective garb to look at the structure supporting the pool, which he said appeared sound. The minister, Goshi Hosono, added that although the government accepted TEPCO's assurances that reinforcement work had shored up the building, it had ordered further studies because of the bulge.
Some outside experts have also worked to allay fears, saying that the fuel in the pool is now so old that it cannot generate enough heat to start the kind of accident that would allow radioactive material to escape.
But many Japanese have scoffed at those assurances and point out that even if the building is able to withstand further quakes, a claim that they question, the jury-rigged cooling system for the pool has already malfunctioned several times, including a 24-hour failure in April. Had the failures continued, they would have left the rods at risk of dangerous overheating.
Government critics are especially concerned, since TEPCO has said the soonest it could begin emptying the pool is late next year, dashing hopes for earlier action. ''The No. 4 reactor is visibly damaged and in a fragile state, down to the floor that holds the spent fuel pool,'' said Hiroaki Koide, an assistant professor at Kyoto University's research reactor institute and one of the experts raising concerns. ''Any radioactive release could be huge and go directly into the environment.''
The fears over the pool at reactor No. 4, amplified over the web, are helping to undermine assurances by TEPCO and the Japanese government that the Fukushima plant has been brought to a stable condition and are highlighting how complicated the clean-up of the site, expected to take decades, will be. The concerns are also raising questions about whether Japan's all-out effort to convince its citizens that nuclear power is safe kept the authorities from exploring other - and some say safer - options for storing used fuel rods.
''It was taboo to raise questions about the spent fuel that was piling up,'' said Hideo Kimura, who worked as a nuclear fuel engineer at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in the 1990s. ''But it was clear that there was nowhere for the spent fuel to go.''
The worst-case situations for reactor No. 4 would be for the pool to run dry if there is another problem with the cooling system and the rods catch fire, releasing enormous amounts of radioactive material, or that fission restarts if the metal panels that separate the rods are knocked over in a quake. That would be especially bad because the pools, unlike reactors, lack containment vessels to hold in radioactive material.
Attention has focused on No. 4's spent fuel pool because of the large number of assemblies filled with rods that are stored at the reactor building.
According to TEPCO, the pool at the No. 4 reactor, which was not operating at the time of the accident, holds 1331 spent fuel assemblies, which each contain dozens of rods.
Professor Koide and others warn that TEPCO must move more quickly to transfer the fuel rods to a safer location. But such transfers have been greatly complicated by the accident. Ordinarily the rods are lifted by cranes, but at Fukushima those cranes collapsed during the series of disasters that started with the earthquake and included explosions that destroyed portions of several reactor buildings.
TEPCO has said it will build a separate structure next to reactor No. 4 to support a new crane. But under the plan, released last month, the fuel removal will begin late next year.
Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:40 AM
Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:47 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.
"We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday 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 U.S. 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 metabolize and shed radioactive substances.
Posted 29 May 2012 - 02:40 PM
In a video posted on that site it was pointed out that soil samples taken recently from Tokyo would be classified as "nuclear waste" in the U.S. (meaning it would have to be gathered up and stored at a secure facility). Thanks to the media being asleep at the wheel (or closing their eyes on purpose) people in Tokyo are planting their vegetable gardens in it and the cesium isotopes act like potassium as far as plants are concerned (the plants draw up the cesium and incorporate it into their tissue as if it were potassium). http://www.fairewind...uclear-waste-us
Here's another variable to toss into the mix:
Major Tokyo quake more likely than government says: academics
(Reuters) - A major earthquake is far more likely to hit Tokyo in the next few years than the government predicts, researchers at the University of Tokyo said on Monday, warning companies and individuals to be prepared for such an event.
There is a 70 percent chance a magnitude 7 quake will jolt the southern part of the Tokyo metropolitan area in the next four years, the university's Earthquake Research Institute said. In contrast, the government estimates a 70 percent probability of such an event in the next three decades.
Tokyo Bay has seen a spike in seismic activity since the big 9.0 quake that triggered the tsunami. I don't even want to speculate about what would happen in the event of a major disaster in Tokyo on top of everything else Japan has been dealing with recently.
And another Fun Fact about Fukushima mentioned on the wikipedia page about the timeline of the disaster states that on March 7th (4 days before the quake!) "Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) submits a report to Japan's nuclear safety agency which predicts the possibility of a tsunami up to 10.2 metres high at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in the event of an earthquake similar to the magnitude 7.2 earthquake with accompanying tsunami that devastated the area in 1896. TEPCO actually made this prediction in 2008 but delayed in submitting the report because they "did not feel the need to take prompt action on the estimates".
So they knew that the area was prone to 10+ meter tsunamis (and knew this in 2008) but the wall protecting Fukushima Daiichi was only 5.7 meters (19 ft) tall. The tsunami that actually hit it was 14 meters (46 ft). On the Fairewinds site, it was mentioned in one of the videos that the rationale for building it so short was cost. Building it 10 meters high would've made the plant economically unfeasible, but if they thought a bigger wall was too expensive then I wonder what they think of the current costs associated with it (and never mind the fact that the too-expensive 10 meter wall would still have been too short!).
Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:26 PM
Posted 10 June 2012 - 12:01 AM
1am - 5am ET
10pm - 2am PT
John B. Wells hosts various experts in nuclear power, energy, and health for a discussion on the situation in Fukushima, and what the possible outcomes are for containing the crippled reactor, as well as how the situation may affect our health and environment. The line up, in order of appearance: Arnie Gundersen, David Blume, Dr. John Apsley, Theresa Dale.
It's about to start.
One Internet feed is here (there are many live feeds--this one repeats in four hours):
Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:02 AM
Posted 29 June 2012 - 07:51 AM
Guess we know why media consolidation has been happening at such a brisk pace; has YOUR local news outlet been purchased by a large conglomerate recently? Mine has, and the local reporting staff were mostly laid off so now it's just another mouthpiece for unquestioningly reprinting corporate and government press releases.
Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:20 AM
It warms me just to see this many people together..
Especially since the whole world knows whats going on..
Now if the whole world would cover Japan..
Media blackout at its best..
Just like Cameroon when they were butchering people there.
Good Vibes Japan.. We love you.
Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:14 AM
Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:54 AM
Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:18 AM
Record radiation levels detected at Fukushima reactor
(AFP) – 2 days ago
TOKYO — TEPCO, the operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, said Wednesday record amounts of radiation had been detected in the basement of reactor number 1, further hampering clean-up operations.
TEPCO took samples from the basement after lowering a camera and surveying instruments through a drain hole in the basement ceiling.
Radiation levels above radioactive water in the basement reached up to 10,300 millisievert an hour, a dose that will kill humans within a short time after making them sick within minutes.
The annual allowed dose for workers at the stricken site is reached in only 20 seconds.
"Workers cannot enter the site and we must use robots for the demolition," said TEPCO.
The Fukushima operator said that radiation levels were 10 times higher than those recorded at the plant's two other crippled reactors, number two and three.
This was due to the poor state of the nuclear fuel in the reactor compared to that in the two others.
The meltdown at the core of three of Fukushima's six reactors occurred after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and ensuing massive tsunami shut off the power supply and cooling system.
Demolition of the three reactors as well as the plant's number 4 unit is expected to take 40 years and will need the use of new technologies.
Just found this posted by Google.