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Fukushima: now as bad as Chernobyl

by Migeru Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:11:53 PM EST

What level the accident at Fukushima is given on the INES scale does not change the actual environmental or human impact or the radiation released, but on that score it appears that the Japanese government is capitulating to the evidence and admitting it's as bad as it gets.

Kyodo: Japan may raise nuke accident severity level to highest 7 from 5 (12 April 2011)

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan released a preliminary calculation Monday saying that the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been releasing up to 10,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials per hour at some point after a massive quake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan on March 11.

The disclosure prompted the government to consider raising the accident's severity level to 7, the worst on an international scale, from the current 5, government sources said. The level 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale has only been applied to the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe.

The current provisional evaluation of 5 is at the same level as the Three Mile Island accident in the United States in 1979.

Use this thread as an open thread to discuss the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of March 11.


Japan threads:

Display:
We will be fortunate if the final results do not require the addition of a Level 8 to the scale.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:14:45 PM EST
The commission says the release has since come down to under 1 terabecquerel per hour and said that it is still examining the total amount of radioactive materials released.

The commission also released a preliminary calculation for the cumulative amount of external exposure to radiation, saying it exceeded the yearly limit of 1 millisieverts in areas extending more than 60 kilometers to the northwest of the plant and about 40 km to the south-southwest of the plant.

Damn.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 04:17:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the coastal provinces of Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwata were among the leading provinces for rice production.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:20:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My scale goes to eleven.
by njh on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 06:09:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, the geological event shows no signs of letting up...



Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 05:32:08 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
The Japanese government's nuclear safety agency has decided to raise the crisis level of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant accident from 5 to 7, the worst on the international scale.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency made the decision on Monday. It says the damaged facilities have been releasing a massive amount of radioactive substances, which are posing a threat to human health and the environment over a wide area.

The agency used the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, or INES, to gauge the level. The scale was designed by an international group of experts to indicate the significance of nuclear events with ratings of 0 to 7.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:02:30 PM EST
Japan ups Fukushima nuke crisis severity to 7, same as Chernobyl | Kyodo News

The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency upgraded its provisional evaluation based on an estimate that radioactive materials far exceeding the criteria for level 7 have so far been released into the external environment, but added the release from the Fukushima plant is about 10 percent of that from the former Soviet nuclear plant.

The nuclear regulatory agency under the industry ministry and the Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, said that between 370,000 and 630,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials have been emitted into the air from the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors of the plant.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:08:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan ups Fukushima nuke crisis severity to 7, same as Chernobyl | Kyodo News
Japan believes the Fukushima crisis is different from the Chernobyl accident in many ways, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear agency.

As examples, Nishiyama said no one in Fukushima has died from acute diseases caused by exposure to massive amount of radiation, compared with about 30 in the accident that happened in the former Soviet Union, and that the reactors themselves did not explode as in Chernobyl.

''Even though some amount of radiation keeps leaking from reactors and their containment vessels, they are not totally destroyed and are functioning,'' Nishiyama said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:10:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Four people were killed and 3 others seriously injured in a strong aftershock that hit northeastern Japan on Monday, just one month after the March 11th disaster.

Police say 4 people were trapped inside a house in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture. They were buried under mudslide triggered by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck at 5:16 PM.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:02:47 PM EST
The Oil Drum | Fukushima Open Thread Fri 4/11

10000 TeraBq / hour would be for instance 2 kilograms of I-131 per hour

http://www.inkers.nl/js/convert-from-becq.html

Or 75000 kilograms of Cesium-137 (Not likely)



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:19:34 PM EST
Japan ups Fukushima nuke crisis severity to 7, same as Chernobyl | Kyodo News

The safety commission said it estimates the release has come down to under 1 terabecquerel per hour.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:11:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation risks from Fukushima 'no longer negligible' | EurActiv
The risks associated with iodine-131 contamination in Europe are no longer "negligible," according to CRIIRAD, a French research body on radioactivity. The NGO is advising pregnant women and infants against "risky behaviour," such as consuming fresh milk or vegetables with large leaves.

In response to thousands of inquiries from citizens concerned about fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Europe, CRIIRAD has compiled an information package on the risks of radioactive iodine-131 contamination in Europe.

The document, published on 7 April, advises against consuming rainwater and says vulnerable groups such as children and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid consuming vegetables with large leaves, fresh milk and creamy cheese.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:24:51 PM EST
Radiation risks from Fukushima 'no longer negligible' | EurActiv

However, the institute underlines that there is absolutely no need to lock oneself indoors or take iodine tablets.

CRIIRAD says its information note is not limited to the situation in France and is applicable to other European countries, as the level of air contamination is currently the same in Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, for instance.

Data for the west coast of the United States, which received the Fukushima radioactive fallout 6-10 days before France, reveals that levels of radioactive iodine-131 concentration are 8-10 times higher there, the institute says.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:27:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are reports of radiation being found in the water and milk in the USA, much higher than the EPA allowable levels.

http://www.naturalnews.com/032048_radiation_milk.html

Don't know how they know it's from Fukushima, as they don't point out a baseline date, but take it for what it's worth.

Karen in Bischofswiesen

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 11:56:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Iodine-131 has a half-life of 8 days (that is, half the radioactive atoms will remain after 8 days, only a fourth after 16 days, only a thousandth after 80 days...), so there ain't much of it around unless there was some major man-made release in the recent past.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In addition, if
in Hilo, Hawaii, a milk sample collected on April 4, 2011, tested at 18 pCi/l, a level six times the EPA maximum safety threshold
that milk won't be "not unsafe" to drink for 3 weeks.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:27:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of my favourite cheeses have a curing time of 12 to 18 months.

I bet they don't make them in Hawaii, though.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 10:32:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I tried to find the EPA allowable levels, but failed so far. The unit of the data in the table for milk is pico-Curie per litre (equal to 0.037 becquerels per litre), however, Iodine-131 is a beta emitter, and for those, I found an EPA limit that (1) applies to all isotopes combined, (2) is a dose limit (4 millirem a year).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I saw something somewhere a claim that the EU has increased the allowable amount of radiation in food imports from Japan by a factor of 20, but, I haven't seen a reliable source for that claim.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:39:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that happened after Chernobyl, what I saw now was that the opposite happened. EUobserver / EU plans tougher radiation limits for Japanese food

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The European Union is preparing to tighten radiation limits on Japanese food and animal feed imports, as low-level radioactive seawater used for cooling reactors at the crisis-stricken Fukushima plant is returned to the sea.

The lower permissible thresholds will bring the EU into line with tougher domestic limits in Japan, and are likely to be agreed by member states this Friday (8 April).

...The tougher limits would see caesium-134 and caesium-137 thresholds reduced from 1,250 becquerels per kilogramme at present to 500 becquerels per kilogramme.

The new limit for iodine-131 would be 2,000 becquerels per kilogramme and for strontium-90 it would be 750 becquerels per kilogramme, a spokesman for European consumer affairs commissioner John Dalli told AFP.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:49:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How come the limit was OK before?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 10:33:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks it has more to do with concern about consumer concern (heh), after the difference vs. the Japanese limits was highlighted in the media (it was, in the German-language one at least). And Japanese exporters will surely not have problems with selling stuff abroad to the same standards at home.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 05:33:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It appears to come from Alex Jones of Prison Planet.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:50:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ah so definitely bollox then

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 01:36:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
America and EU Agree: Raise Radiation Levels for Food
Which brings us to the new EU mirror of EPA policy.  Actually set as far back as 1989 (by amending standards set in 1987) for the purpose of responding to a nuclear or radiological emergency, the EU ordinance 297/2011 was implemented on March 25, 2011, which finally enacted the standards that were set back in 1989.

I don't know why he has to link to the Google translate of the German versions rather than the English versions; but it's not "finally enacted".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 01:57:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, here I found more limits and explanation.

The 4 millirem per litre per year limit is said to be equivalent to 3 pCi/l (0.1 Bq/l) of continuous exposure. This appears to be the limit referenced by the source, but they forgot that this applies only to an average for a whole year. Meanwhile, the NRC has a limit of 1×10^-6 µCi/ml (in effluent water), that's 1,000 pCi/l if I made all conversions correctly.

(By the way, why can't American government authorities use proper SI symbols? Litre with capitalised L!?...)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:41:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have seen reports that the EPA in the USA is reviewing standards and plans to raise the levels by a couple of orders of magnitude for some exposures. This review was begun in May, 2010, IIRC.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 05:58:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. 'frustrated' over Japan's lack of N-info : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

One month has passed since the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11 triggered a massive tsunami that devastated coastal parts of Tohoku and Kanto. The Yomiuri Shimbun will examine the ensuing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, pinpoint what occurred and analyze how the government, TEPCO and other parties involved should have responded to the series of accidents at the plant that have been an international issue. This is the first installment in a series.

The nuclear power complex crisis has brought to light the vacuum in the government's crisis management capabilities, which analysts say triggered jitters in the United States.

Shortly before 9 a.m. on March 12, when the gravity of the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant began becoming evident, Adm. Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, phoned Gen. Ryoichi Oriki, chief of staff of the Self-Defense Forces' Joint Staff.

Willard was quoted as telling Oriki the U.S. Pacific Command chief had been instructed by the White House to publicly call on Japan to provide accurate information regarding the nuclear plant crisis, including questioning whether the Fukushima plant was safe.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:31:28 PM EST
TEPCO tardy on N-plant emergency : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Prime Minister Naoto Kan's blood must have run cold around 10 p.m. on March 11, the day of the Great East Japan Earthquake, when he received the first report on the terrible situation at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The report from the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry predicted reactor cores at the nuclear power plant--where power and all functions to cool the reactors were lost in the quake and tsunami--would be exposed to air, and that extreme heat generated by fuel rods would damage their encasing tubes later that night.

Fuel rods would melt down, and the following morning the pressure inside the reactors' containment vessels would reach the maximum allowed for by the facilities' designers, the report predicted.

Kan and everyone at the Prime Minister's Office understood the seriousness of the situation described by the report.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:32:28 PM EST
Some new details on the mobile generator story, but without an ending:

TEPCO tardy on N-plant emergency : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

....tsunami destroyed 12 of the 13 emergency generators.

"Round up all the power-supply cars and send them to the plant right now!" shouted a TEPCO supervisor at the utility's head office in Tokyo.

...TEPCO dispatched power-supply vehicles from various power stations around the country to the crippled nuclear plant. However, the vehicles had to travel very slowly because of damage to roads in northeastern Japan. The first power-supply car did not reach the plant until 9 p.m. on March 11.

Once at the site, the lack of preparation became apparent. Cables needed to connect the vehicles' high-voltage electricity to plant facilities were not long enough. TEPCO immediately ordered additional cables, but precious time had been wasted. Power would not be restored at the plant by midnight.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 04:56:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two things become apparent from this:

1.) TEPCO sought to respond with its own assets -- regardless of the consequences. The reactor cores had likely already suffered serious damage while they were failing to bring in power trucks from other areas and failing to be able to connect them to the load. Promptly air-lifting in package 500 or 800Kw generators with sufficient cable to reach the reactors from high ground generator sites could well have averted much of this damage. Power was only restored when TEPCO repaired grid distribution sufficiently to bring in grid power and only then did they appear to start work on distributing that power to all reactors.

2.) No drills had ever been conducted to test the feasibility of bringing in such power trucks or the connection problems would have been identified and remedied. This was likely compounded by insistence on self-reliance and unwillingness to admit lack of preparation, as it is hard to imagine that cables and connectors were not available anywhere in Japan to be delivered by helicopter upon request to the Japanese SDF.

TEPCO seems in need of a face transplant.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 11:33:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO sought to respond with its own assets

Hm? What makes you think that other assets were offered and rejected? The story I see is one of a serial failure to foresee problems. You would have requested an airlift if you realised that the land route will be blocked, which TEPCO didn't. Which is a failure of another kind on TEPCO's part. Then again, as with all of TEPCO's lack-of-preparation problems, it is also a failure of government-side nuclear safety oversight.

The reactor cores had likely already suffered serious damage while they were failing to bring in power trucks

No, the core suffered serious damage when the steam-powered backup-of-backup cooling systems failed a few days later. The article doesn't make clear why the mobile generator route failed – were they still waiting for cables to be delivered (whether from TEPCO's own stock or external they don't say) or were there other issues.

Power was only restored when TEPCO repaired grid distribution

And then it was already too late, with installed cooling systems damaged.

No drills had ever been conducted to test the feasibility of bringing in such power trucks or the connection problems would have been identified and remedied.

Probable, but not certain. I can imagine that they made drills according to a mobile generator concept that foresaw the trucks parking in the area that was then flooded by the tsunami and made inaccessible by the debris left behind.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:06:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That TEPCO sought to respond with its own assets is my surmise based on events as reported. Rejecting offered assets is not the only possible failing. Do you see any evidence that they asked for such assets? I find it hard to believe that they would be refused, given the circumstances.

I find it stunning that, even when the first power truck arrived and was unable to be used effectively, that they did not convene a strategy session with the Japanese government to see what COULD be done immediately. As you note, they had a few days before the steam driven pumps failed, but they could have used local power during that time to great advantage, even if just to restore instruments.

With the human resources they had available, both from TEPCO and from their sub-contractors, and with the time they had until the steam driven pumps failed, given the urgency and the consequences, I find it hard to understand why many preparations were not done in parallel, such as routing cables from the grid connection point to each reactor connection point while the line was being repaired. Meanwhile, portable generators and switch gear could be located adjacent to reactors or at the grid connection point. It might have been possible to save some of the primary cooling systems were power available earlier, but we may never be certain now.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 01:01:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rejecting offered assets is not the only possible failing. Do you see any evidence that they asked for such assets?

I also questioned your assumption that asking for external assets had to be a priority and one obvious to TEPCO emergency staff.

I find it stunning that, even when the first power truck arrived and was unable to be used effectively, that they did not convene a strategy session with the Japanese government to see what COULD be done immediately.

They asked for cables.

As you note, they had a few days before the steam driven pumps failed, but they could have used local power during that time to great advantage, even if just to restore instruments.

I don't think we know enough about the decisions taken and problems faced regarding power connection during that period to judge. The quoted article doesn't say, the info we saw earlier (at least in English) is practically nil. It's quite likely that there were some bad decisions taken and good decisions not taken, but without data, it's all just speculation. And, again, the problems could have been originated in safety preparations rather than in emergency management.

The one thing we know about this period, from this article, is that the government tried but failed to get TEPCO to take quick action on venting.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 01:16:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the problems could have been originated in safety preparations rather than in emergency management.

Got to agree. A retired Toshiba engineer was quoted to have asked his superior 40 years ago about the emergency power generators (which were washed away by the tsunami) "What if a much bigger tsunami than the assumption comes?", to which the superior replied "Don't worry about once in several hundred years event."

It was certainly feasible and not very expensive to install the emergency power generators at a higher ground where the emergency operation center is currently housed unharmed. It was not a question of insufficient technical assessment but a question of common sense to take extra caution to preserve the last resort.

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 03:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The main story of the article is how the government first realised the need to open the valves, then asked, then ordered TEPCO to do it. Apparently, the situation was more problematic and dramatic than we thought:

The three [PM Kan, economy minister Kaieda, Nuclear Safety Commission chairman Madarame] urged TEPCO officials to vent the steam as soon as possible. But TEPCO officials said there was no way of opening the valves because there was no power supply.

Exasperated, Kaieda called the utility's head office in Tokyo and the accident headquarters at the plant every hour, pressuring them to open the valves immediately.

TEPCO workers tried to open the valves by manually overriding the automatic system, but struggled to make progress because they had to work in darkness.

After that, the article tells of increasingly exasperated government officials urging TEPCO to vent while TEPCO continued to discuss what to do. Kan blasted them:

"Now's not the time to make such lackadaisical comments!"

...however, if the problem was to first figure out how to open the valves, orders and expression of impatience from politicians didn't make things any quicker.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:07:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd like the engineers version, rather than corporate PR's version of what was going on there (Which is the only version of a reply were likely to see anytime soon)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:34:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yomiuri Shimbun doesn't indicate in any way who its sources were for the article, but they must have had at least two sources: one in the Fukushima Daiichi accident headquarters and one in the Japanese government emergency team.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:40:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fire seen at Fukushima nuclear plant; flames no longer visible | Reuters

(Reuters) - A fire broke out at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, operator Tokyo Electric and Power (TEPCO) said on Tuesday, although flames and smoke were no longer visible.

A worker saw fire at a building near the No.4 reactor at around 6:38 a.m. (21:38 GMT) and a fire fighting unit of the Self Defence Forces was sent to fight the blaze, a TEPCO spokesman said.

"Flames and smoke are no longer visible but we are awaiting further details regarding whether the fire has been extinguished completely," he said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:51:44 PM EST
Radiation Up To 4 Times Higher Than Chernobyl Evac Zone Found In Soil 30 km Away From Fukushima; Rice Harvest In Question | zero hedge
And some more bad news for rice farmers in Japan, who were already told that planting of this key crop would be banned in contaminated soil ahead of the rice planting season which begins in April and May. The problem so far has been the nobody really knows how to classify contaminated soil, and how far it spreads. Now a new study from Hiroshima and Kyoto Universities has found that the radioactive content of soil samples beyond the 30 km semi-evacuation zone is as much as 400 times the normal. From Asahi: "The predicted changes in the level of radiation at the ground surface were calculated after analyzing the amounts of eight kinds of radioactive materials found in the soil and taking into consideration the half-lives of each material. The study results are considered more accurate than the study conducted by the science ministry, which only released information concerning two types of radioactive material. [Scholars] collected soil samples from five locations in the village at depths of five centimeters. All the locations were outside the 30-km radius and were by roadways in various hamlets. The study found cesium-137 at levels between about 590,000 and 2.19 million becquerels per cubic meter." Comparing this to Chernobyl: "After the Chernobyl nuclear accident in the former Soviet Union in 1986, residents who lived in areas where cesium-137 levels exceeded 555,000 becquerels were forced to move elsewhere. The amounts of cesium-137 found in Iitate were at most four times the figure from Chernobyl."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 11th, 2011 at 08:54:21 PM EST
Cubic or square meter? The 555,000 limit was in Bq/m², not Bq/m³. However, I suspect the new findings were in that unit, too, and the "per cubic meter" is likely an error in the original source: 2.19 million Bq/m³ is not particularly high, earlier we had reports of 163,000 Bq/kg caesium in soil samples and 15,031 Bq/kg caesium in rice paddies.

If so, earlier you quoted a report with an even higher level of 3.26 million Bq/m² (calculated from the above per kilogram value), even earlier I quoted IAEA with preliminary values of 200,000-900,000 Bq/m².

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 04:43:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I found an Asahi Shimbun article (in Japanese) with the numbers, and my suspicion was right: it is indeed 590,000-2,190,000 Bq/².

The article also includes this map, at last showing cumulative radiation (units are milli-Sievert, note that there is a decimal middle dot, so the yellow line is 10 mSv and the black one 1,000 mSv = 1 Sv):

On the top graph, you see the time evolution of cumulative doses in milli-Sieverts at two locations. It's discussed in the various reports that the biggest release was after the hydrogen explosion in the suppression chamber/wet well (torus) of No. 2 on 15 March.

On the bottom left graph, radiation in soil samples in Bq/kg units, with symbols for ten thousand in the numbers, with maximum on the left and average on the right (e.g. the highest value was 227,000 Bq/kg).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Orange Satan has another map:

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 10:00:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1 milli-rem = 10 μSv. The unit is per hour but they indicate a five-day period, I wonder if it is average or maximum.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 10:28:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All those straight lines must be the "aerial monitoring". It's possible that it's neither, it's just that the survey took 5 days as the measurement equipment was moved from one point to another.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 10:44:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be my guess.

I'm not sure what the point of aerial monitoring is, when it's the readings on the ground that really matter (to anyone who isn't a pilot).

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 12:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
282 deaths linked to aftermath / Unsanitary conditions, cold temperatures blamed for postdisaster toll : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Among people who survived the March 11 massive quake and tsunami but died later in the month in the disaster-stricken Tohoku region, at least 282 were believed to have succumbed to postdisaster-linked factors, such as cold temperatures and unsanitary conditions at evacuation sites that aggravated their chronic illnesses, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The findings were made through inquiries to key hospitals designated to handle major natural disasters in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures.

As many of those hospitals located along the Iwate Prefecture coast that were seriously affected by the twin disasters have not responded to the Yomiuri's inquiry, meaning the number of such deaths indirectly linked to the quake and tsunami is certain to rise further.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 05:39:10 AM EST
Map of Radiation Measurements by Greenpeace team - Google Maps
Results of Greenpeace Radiation team independent monitoring of air, soil, and food in the vicinity of the Fukushima nuclear plant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 06:27:05 AM EST
Japan mulls spinning off part of nuclear operator: report | Reuters

(Reuters) - The Japanese government is considering spinning off the part of Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) that oversees the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Jiji news agency reported on Tuesday.

The spun-off unit would become a government funded firm dealing with the nuclear accident and compensation issues, while the remaining part of TEPCO would stay publicly listed, Jiji reported without citing a source.

On March 11 a magnitude 9 earthquake and a massive tsunami triggered the nuclear disaster where reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi facility, 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo, were hit by a loss of power which disabled cooling functions.

The fate of plant operator TEPCO, at the center of the world's worst nuclear disaster in 25 years, remains uncertain as it struggles to contain the accident and faces huge compensation requirements that could total several trillion yen according to media reports.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 08:46:07 AM EST
I said on March 15
Either TEPCO will be bailed out with free money, or it will be split into a good firm and a bad firm with the government taking over the bad firm, or the government will take over the entirety of TEPCO.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 08:51:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The Fukushima prefectural government has begun a program to measure radiation levels at more than 2700 locations across the region.

In response to residents' concerns, on Tuesday officials began examining radiation levels at 2,757 sites in 55 municipalities around the prefecture.

However, they plan to exclude the area within a 20-kilometer radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, where residents have been instructed to evacuate.

In front of the Iwaki railway station, officials measured radiation levels at 1 centimeter and 1 meter above the ground.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 09:12:38 AM EST
Must run to a meeting (morning), but are there radiation reports with background data of increases in fish, leafy vegetables and such for the west coast of the US?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 01:01:59 PM EST
Workers start removing toxic water in level 7-rated nuke crisis | Kyodo News

TEPCO, meanwhile, took 400 milliliters of water from the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 unit to check to what extent the spent nuclear fuel stored there is damaged.

There is a possibility that the fuel may have been temporarily exposed when the water level at the storage pool dropped following the March 11 disaster, but camera footage found that the water level now was enough to cover the fuel. But the temperature of the water was 90 degrees, much higher than the usual 20-30 degrees.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 04:43:56 PM EST
Radioactive strontium detected more than 30 km from Fukushima plant | Kyodo News

Minute amounts of radioactive strontium have been detected in soil and plants in Fukushima Prefecture beyond the 30-kilometer zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, the science ministry said Tuesday.

It is the first time that radioactive strontium has been detected since the Fukushima plant began leaking radioactive substances after it was severely damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

There is no safety limit set by the government for exposure to strontium, but the amount found so far is extremely low and does not pose a threat to human health, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 04:46:34 PM EST
How low is low? It doesn't take much to have some pretty significant effects. From Wikipedia:
The results of a study of hundreds of thousands of teeth collected by Dr. Louise Reiss and her colleagues as part of the Baby Tooth Survey showed that children born after 1963 had levels of 90Sr in their deciduous teeth that was 50 times higher than that found in children born before the advent of large-scale atomic testing.
those children who later died of cancer before the age of 50 had levels of strontium 90 in their stored baby teeth that was twice the level of those who were still alive at 50.
by Andhakari on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 10:13:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Vested Interests?  NPR reports on NHK

Takesato Watanabe, a media scholar at Doshisha University in Kyoto, praises both NHK and Japan's commercial media for their job in reporting on the earthquake and tsunami. "But about the nuke accident," he comments, "I think NHK do know the facts, what's happening, but they are not reporting well, and private broadcasters, they don't have any staff who understand the nuke accidents scientifically."

Watanabe argues that Japanese media have not been critical enough because they themselves are part of the network of vested interests that includes power companies and government regulators. He says that for decades, NHK and other Japanese media have conveyed the nuclear lobby's message that nuclear power is necessary for Japan and nuclear accidents are unlikely. He points out that NHK's funding must be approved by Japan's Diet, or Parliament.

"To get NHK's budget passed in the Diet," he notes, NHK "must follow the ideas of the ruling party, or economic circles' ideas, represented by the power stations."



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 07:21:17 PM EST
Nuclear-themed movies to be shown in Tokyo for Chernobyl anniversary | Kyodo News

A theater in Tokyo's Nakano Ward will screen more than a dozen nuclear-themed movies later this month to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster which took place on April 26, 1986 in the former Soviet Union.

Officials at the theater said they had been planning to screen movies about atomic bombs in conjunction with a similar-themed exhibition scheduled for early April at the Meguro Museum of Art. But the plan was abandoned after the museum canceled the exhibition in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant saying it may spread excessive fear or possible misunderstanding about radiation, according to organizers.

''We hope that the screening event will provide an opportunity for people to discuss why we need nuclear power stations now that a level 7 accident has occurred in Japan,'' said Shohei Ishikawa, one of the organizers, referring to the maximum severity level applied to the ongoing crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, putting it on a par with the Chernobyl accident.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 07:56:11 PM EST
Absent TEPCO execs slowed crucial action  Daily Yomiuri Online

It took TEPCO about 15 hours to vent steam from the nuclear reactor vessel at the Fukushima facility's No. 1 reactor, despite having recognized the need to do so by the evening of March 11.
....

According to some observers, Prime Minister Naoto Kan's on-site inspection of disaster-stricken areas on the morning of March 12 may also have contributed to the delay. "TEPCO might've held off the venting so the prime minister wouldn't be exposed to radiation," one observer said. At a press conference Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano hinted at his distrust in the power utility. "[TEPCO] didn't explain why it hadn't started [the venting] yet. We'd already issued an order [to do so]," he said.

Edano's remark has aroused speculation that the absence of top TEPCO officials from the company early on in the crisis might have adversely affected the company's decision-making process regarding the venting of steam from the reactor. At the time of the earthquake, Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata was in Beijing, while President Masataka Shimizu was in Kansai, both of them on business trips. Lacking their top two executives, the utility's head office in Tokyo launched a disaster management headquarters with Vice President Takashi Fujimoto as its acting chief.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Apr 12th, 2011 at 11:50:08 PM EST
Why absence of TEPCO officers mattered  Daily Yomiuri Online

From the evening of March 11, the Prime Minister's Office and other authorities had asked TEPCO repeatedly to vent the reactor, but the operation did not take place until 10:17 a.m. after Shimizu had arrived at the main office. The decision to inject seawater to cool the reactor cores was another big call, but did not begin until past 8 p.m. on March 12 after Katsumata returned to Japan.

Venting a reactor heightens the risk of radioactive contamination. This decision could place enormous social responsibility on the company and also make it liable for substantial damages. And injecting water into a reactor core essentially destroys it. One reactor costs about 100 billion yen to replace.

A company's shareholders generally are informed before such major actions are taken, and they are not the type of orders that can easily be conveyed over a mobile phone from the Kansai region or China.




As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 12:10:10 AM EST
Kansai Electric president to replace TEPCO head as utility group chief   TOKYO, April 13, Kyodo

The group of Japanese electric power companies plans to appoint Makoto Yagi, president of Kansai Electric Power Co., as its new chairman, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday. The move came as Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Masakatsu Shimizu intends to give up the chairmanship of the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan in the wake of the nuclear crisis at its Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the sources said.

The industry group comprising 10 member firms will formalize the appointment of Yagi at its meeting on Friday, according to the sources. The federation customarily chooses its chairman from among the heads of Tokyo Electric, known as TEPCO, Kansai Electric or Chubu Electric Power Co.

Shimizu declined Wednesday to comment on whether he would resign as TEPCO president to take managerial responsibility for the nuclear crisis, although he plans to resign as vice chairman of Japan's largest business lobby, Nippon Keidanren. The post will remain vacant.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 01:31:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heroes and realists found among the brave "Fukushima 700"

Although lionized as the "Fukushima 50" by the foreign media, there are in fact about 700 workers engaged in the daily struggle with the "invisible enemy" at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

[...]

A man in his 40s, who was dispatched to Fukushima No. 1 from a partner of the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), said, "I did not want to go there. But if I reject the request, I will lose my job."

The daily pay is less than 20,000 yen ($236).

"I hear some construction workers were employed at a wage of several tens of thousands of yen per hour. But we are working on a conventional daily wage as our company has had cooperative relationships with TEPCO," the man said.

by das monde on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 03:14:28 AM EST
Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
by Andhakari on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 10:18:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
System of Disposable Laborers
LA Times, December 30, 1999
Kunio Murai was a struggling farmer from the wrong side of the tracks when he was recruited to work as a day laborer in a nuclear power plant near this farm town. The pay was triple what he could make anywhere else, and he was told that the work would be janitorial.

One day in 1970, he and a co-worker were ordered into a room to mop up a leak of radioactive cooling water. They wore ordinary rubber gloves, but no masks or additional protection. Murai recalls wrapping a cleaning cloth around a pipe that was spewing steam. They worked for two hours, and afterward the needle on Murai's radiation meter pointed off the scale.

"I thought it was broken," Murai said. It wasn't. Within six months, he said, his joints swelled painfully and his teeth and hair fell out.

Murai is one of tens of thousands of people who have worked over the years as subcontractors in Japanese nuclear power plants, doing the dirty, difficult and potentially dangerous jobs shunned by regular employees.

In the wake of Japan's worst nuclear accident, a nuclear fission reaction Sept. 30 at a uranium processing plant in Tokaimura, ugly allegations have surfaced of labor abuses, lackadaisical attitudes toward safety, inadequate worker training and lax enforcement by regulators in the country's nuclear industry.

Workers at the JCO Co. plant in Tokaimura, about 80 miles northeast of Tokyo, were mixing uranium by hand in stainless steel buckets to save time. The ensuing nuclear reaction exposed as many as 150 people to radiation, according to the final report issued this month by Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission. One worker died from a lethal dose of radiation, and another remains hospitalized.

by das monde on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 02:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interview: Specialist on Japan, the sociologist Paul Jobin has studied workplace conditions for workers in the nuclear industry...
...[a man of 48] lived 40 kilometers from the plant, and had been called by someone saying: "We are looking for people over fifty who could intervene in the reactor; the pay is much higher than usual."

You won't come? The wording "over fifty" suggests that in order to come work on the site, you must be ready to die ... Elsewhere, I read that there are locals who are willing to do the maximum because they do not want to see everything lost for thirty or for a thousand years to come. And this is already partly true [...]

Only the bosses are furnished with dosimeters. According to another worker present on that day, Friday the 11th, many simply went home carrying their dosimeter. TEPCO confirms that, due to the tsunami, a large number of dosimeters was damaged. Out of 5000, there remain no more than 320. The manufacturer has virtually no more stock, and Toshiba has sent them only 50.

[...]

In Japan, legislation has accommodated the standard of 20 mSv per year for workers, stipulating that the dose can be calculated as an average over a five year period, with a maximum of 100 mSv during any two years. But as of March 19, probably because they can not recruit enough people to intervene, TEPCO asked to boost the maximum dose to 150 mSv, and the Ministry of Health went further, raising it to 250 mSv -- this perhaps to limit the number of possible applications for recognition of occupational disease.

Meanwhile, TEPCO seeks 20% cut in employees' annual salaries

by das monde on Thu Apr 21st, 2011 at 01:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am still alive and will survive, God willing.

I will become a patissier, God willing.
by tuasfait on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 03:30:46 AM EST
Thanks for stopping by and letting us know.

All we hear about the way Japan is coping is through media reports. WHat does it feel like from where you stand?

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 04:47:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks. In a way we are living in a mild state of disbelief and clinging to the notion that everything cannot be quite that bad. Mass media are doing everything they can to create the sense of normalcy (the same endless gossip talk shows) and focus instead on "reconstruction."

One after another experts come on TV and say the level of radiation is not something of "immediate" concern. As their prediction failed already, they now essentially claim "Chernobyl was not all that bad."

Maybe we are being boiled gradually (you know that famous frog).

I will become a patissier, God willing.

by tuasfait on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 01:34:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The media switch back to talk shows and Korean dramas fast indeed. Here around Osaka, it takes an effort to see a change of mood. Everyone is minding own business and opportunities as nothing happened. (I will be away around the Golden week, from April 26 till May 11.  If there is need, my apartment is like available then.)
by das monde on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 12:17:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK - Radioactive strontium detected outside 30km zone  

Japan's science ministry says small amounts of radioactive strontium have been detected in soil and plants outside the 30-kilometer zone around the Fukushima plant where the government has advised people to stay indoors. Strontium could cause cancer.

The ministry has been monitoring the level of radioactive substances in soil and weeds in Fukushima Prefecture.

It found 3.3 to 32 becquerels of strontium 90 per kilogram of soil in samples taken from 3 locations in Namie Town and Iitate Village, 30 kilometers from the plant.  



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 05:28:28 AM EST
Very very bad news.
It was the worldwide distribution of Strontium 90 and the evidence collected in baby teeth that led Kennedy to sign the test ban treaty.
by Andhakari on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 10:21:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK  High radiation levels in sea off Fukushima coast

 The science ministry says radiation levels in seawater off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture are the highest since it began monitoring them about 3 weeks ago.

The ministry says the level of iodine-131 was 88.5 becquerels per liter in a sample taken on Monday in the sea about 30 kilometers east of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The figure is 2.2 times the government's upper limit for wastewater from nuclear facilities.

The level of cesium-137 was also the highest observed so far, but was below the limit.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 05:30:59 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says the water temperature in the spent fuel storage pool at the No. 4 reactor in the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has risen to about 90 degrees Celsius. It fears the spent fuel rods may be damaged.

TEPCO took the temperature on Tuesday using an extending arm on a special vehicle. It found the temperature was much higher than the normal level of under 40 degrees.

To cool the fuel, TEPCO sprayed 195 tons of water for 6 hours on Wednesday morning.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 09:46:51 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
TEPCO says most of the spent fuel in the storage pool of the No. 4 reactor is apparently undamaged.

At a news conference on Wednesday, the firm said the finding is based on interim results of an analysis of samples taken from the pool water on Tuesday.

But it said levels of radioactive substances including iodine-131 in the samples were higher than those in storage pools under normal circumstances, suggesting that some of the spent fuel may have been damaged.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 09:52:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Radiation surges above 4's fuel pool
Radiation has risen to high levels above the spent-fuel pool at reactor No. 4 and its temperature is rising, the nuclear safety agency said Wednesday, indicating the fuel rods have been further damaged and emitting radioactive substances.

The radiation level 6 meters above the spent-fuel storage pool at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant was measured at 84 millisieverts per hour Tuesday. Normally, it's 0.1 microsievert.

by das monde on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 04:07:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):TEPCO considers plan to remove spent fuel rods from crippled Fukushima plant - English

According to internal TEPCO documents outlining the plan to remove the spent fuel rods, metal structures will be constructed around the buildings housing the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 reactors and huge cranes will be set up on those frames.

The cranes would be used to lower airtight casks into the storage pools. Once the spent fuel rods were moved into the casks, the cranes would the move the casks outside of the reactor buildings.

The casks could weigh as much as 100 tons, and TEPCO officials are unsure if the cranes will be powerful enough to move them safely. Alternatively, TEPCO officials are considering constructing a temporary storage pool outside of the reactor buildings. The spent fuel rods would be moved to that temporary pool and then placed into the casks.

...The U.S. company that developed the remote-control technology and handled the processing of fuel rods at Three Mile Island is now part of the Toshiba Corp. group. TEPCO officials are considering drawing on that expertise.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 08:03:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
More than 28,000 people are dead or missing after the March 11th disaster and recent aftershocks in eastern Japan.

According to the National Police Agency, the deaths of 13,392 people have so far been confirmed. Most of the deaths occurred in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima, the 3 hardest stricken prefectures. Miyagi topped the list at 8,190, followed by Iwate at 3,867 and Fukushima at 1,272.

About 83 percent, or 11,156, of the recovered bodies have been identified and handed or are being handed over to the victims' families.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 09:51:43 AM EST
Still new tsunami videos appearing, each hauntingly surreal on its own.

See here for another.

by das monde on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 10:15:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
each hauntingly surreal on its own

  1. The voices in the background sound like a bunch of stupid teens, and you can feel when they realise that this is serious.
  2. Like on prior videos, I don't get the truck drivers who prior to the tsunami's arrival just drive around as if nothing happened.
  3. WHat's really shocking is that this is the first video in which I see humans running for their life. And again I see people stopping to look back or because some heavy stuff they want to save ot stuck, oblivious to the danger.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 03:53:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Photos capture Iwate news reporter surviving tsunami | Kyodo News

The moments of a local newspaper reporter being engulfed by a massive tsunami in Iwate Prefecture and narrowly escaping with his life were captured in photos taken by a government employee.

Following the magnitude 9 earthquake that rattled the editorial room of Iwate Tokai Shimbun in the city of Kamaishi on March 11, reporter Toya Chiba went to the mouth of Owatari River to cover the scene, after going home to make sure his family had evacuated to higher ground.

...'I didn't think a tsunami of that scale would come. It was a complete error in judgment,'' the reporter said, recalling his experience.

...One of Sasaki's photos shows the reporter holding on to his camera while being swept away, but the camera was eventually lost.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 04:28:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...a complete error in judgment

That was easy to make. It can't possibly come here... Or it will wet the pavement at worst. And then you see your house moving in all shock.

by das monde on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 04:45:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently they notice from 0:15 that houses are moving. "A-re" means "over there", "kaji" - fire, "minna" - all, "shinjiranai" - do not believe, "kuruma" - car, "hayaku" - fast. "Yowai" means "weak", probably meaning that those running should run stronger. The video taker did not wait a moment at 3:30. Those scrambling below at the last minute look so ignorant. The helper in black coming down at the left at 5:09 did not make it apparently.
by das monde on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 05:30:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the first minute or two, it still feels as if it's a happening for the people, it's not until the video taker is urged to run up a few metres 3:30 in when it feels that they get a real subjective sense of danger.

There is a video on YouTube filmed by a worker from the rooftop of a rather high building in some major city (large concrete buildings that aren't washed away). You again see ignorant drivers caught up in the waves. Meanwhile, you hear people in the background laughing and joking. But that stops after about two minutes when people sober up as the water keeps coming.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 05:45:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
At some time people get shocked to see their homes and property go, of course. That alone may leave many speechless. The happening is very personal and not too exiting to them, and they talk about other people or running cars as well. And yes, they realize the need to go higher later still, with things happening fast.
by das monde on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 07:10:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose at the start, lots of people were thinking, "another drill" or something small that would lap up the sea walls and then everyone can go home,  and it takes a few seconds  even after they can see things are definitely not happening that way for them to make the mental change as to what is happening in front of them.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 07:28:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's now (3 pm local time) 13,551 confirmed dead, of which 11,367 identified, and 14,563 missing. (By the way, I don't get why even the Japanese media keeps adding up the total number of confirmed dead – which includes unidentified bodies – and the missing.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 06:14:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 226
A research team from Kyoto, Hiroshima, Kokugakuin, Nihon universities presents its "Interim Report on Radiation Survey in Iitate Village area conducted on March 28th and 29th" : http://www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/se...port110404.pdf. It includes a gamma ray radionuclide analysis of soil samples.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 10:01:15 AM EST
Fukushima 'not comparable' with Chernobyl: French watchdog
Paris (AFP) April 12, 2011
The accident at Fukushima has released "significant" amounts of radiation but at levels and with an impact that are "not comparable" to Chernobyl, France's nuclear safety agency said on Tuesday.

"At present... Fukushima is not, nor will it be, Chernobyl, even though it is a very serious accident," the head of the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), Patrick Gourmelon, said.

Japan earlier Tuesday hiked its rating of the Fukushima accident from five to a maximum of seven on a worldwide scale, a slot previously only occupied by the April 26 1986 catastrophe in Ukraine.

"Releases (of radioactivity at Fukushima) have not changed. It is only a re-evaluation in the light of the strict criteria" used for the International Nuclear Events Scale (INES), said Thierry Charles, in charge of safety at the IRSN.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 03:27:42 PM EST
NHK Quake resistance at nuclear plants in doubt  

The government's nuclear safety agency is set to review safety measures at nuclear power plants across Japan.

This follows the discovery that one of the aftershocks following the March 11th earthquake was stronger than the level thought of as safe for measures in place at the Onagawa nuclear power plant in Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan.

In last month's massive earthquake the intensity of the temblor was up to 10 percent stronger than the level to which the No. 1 to No.3 Reactors were designed for at the Onagawa plant.  



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 13th, 2011 at 11:50:25 PM EST
From this Asahi Shimbun article, ground level changes (all of it subsidence ) after the earthquake:



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 08:05:59 AM EST
Are larger earthquakes a sign of the times? : Nature News

Beginning in late 2004, a flurry of massive, tsunami-spawning earthquakes have rocked the world, first slamming Indonesia, then Chile and most recently Japan. Temblors that size are rare indeed: only 7 quakes as large or larger than 8.8 -- the magnitude of last February's Chilean event -- have occurred since 1900.

So what does it mean that three of those seven shocks have happened almost within the span of six years? While some scientists argue that these 'megaquakes' could be the vanguard of an extended outburst of strong seismic events, many others suggest that the apparent cluster of recent temblors is nothing more than a statistical fluke.

...In an update to an analysis first published in June 2005, Bufe and colleague David Perkins, a USGS geophysicist also in Denver, argue that the most recent round of large temblors may mark the beginning of a new global outbreak of megaquakes. According to their model, Bufe says, the probability of another quake of magnitude 9 or larger striking in the next 6 years is about 63 per cent. "There's now an increased hazard situation for these very large earthquakes," he notes.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 06:25:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Groundwater radiation level at nuke plant rises: TEPCO | Kyodo News

The concentration levels of radioactive iodine and cesium in groundwater near the troubled Nos. 1 and 2 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have increased up to several dozen times in one week, suggesting that toxic water has seeped from nearby reactor turbine buildings or elsewhere, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Thursday.

The announcement came as the plant operator continued to grapple with pools of highly radioactive water found on the plant's premises, with the level of polluted water filling an underground trench edging up again after the company finished pumping out around 660 tons of water.

According to the latest findings, a groundwater sample taken April 6 near the No. 1 reactor turbine building showed radioactive iodine-131 of 72 becquerels per cubic meter, with the concentration level growing to 400 becquerels as of Wednesday. The concentration level of cesium-134 increased from 1.4 becquerels to 53 becquerels.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 12:34:13 PM EST
One crisis after another harried TEPCO's response : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

This is the third installment in a series focusing on delays in implementing emergency steps by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. to deal with the unprecedented nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO's venting of radioactive steam from a reactor at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant came too late, but even after the utility acted, a series of hydrogen explosions at the plant's reactor buildings quickly turned the situation into a nightmare the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency had never anticipated.

Under ordinary circumstances, reactor containment vessels that cover pressure vessels contain nearly no oxygen, making it almost impossible for the substance to chemically react with hydrogen and set off a blast. Even if hydrogen is generated in a reactor, it should not leak from the containment vessel. But after the disaster damaged pipe joints in the reactor building, hydrogen from inside the reactor leaked into the outer structure.

The first blast occurred at the No. 1 reactor at 3:36 p.m. on March 12, about five hours after the radioactive steam was released. The event violently shook an earthquake-resistant building nearby that was housing the crisis headquarters in the compound.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 12:48:09 PM EST
series focusing on delays in implementing emergency steps

Actually, this series is a pretty good exposé of bad preparation, too: the quoted part is not about a delayed emergency action.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 01:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At last more about the cables!

On the night of March 12, workers from the headquarters tried to lay power cable from No. 4 reactor's turbine building to the No. 3 reactor's cooling motor, hoping No. 4's power supply was still functioning. But the door to the turbine building had been warped by the tsunami and was stuck shut. It took the workers about three hours to remove the door, but they soon saw their work had been for nothing. The No. 4 reactor's power supply was dead.

So that's what I read about tsunami damage weeks ago.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 01:44:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why Japan's Mainstream Media Can't Be Trusted To Report Objectively On TEPCO (東京電力)

When the earthquake struck Japan on March 11th and knocked out TEPCO's Fukushima nuclear reactor, setting off a chain reaction of disasters-TEPCO's chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata was nowhere to be found.  Where was he? He was on a tour of China with members of some of Japan's largest media outlets-and TEPCO was footing the bill.

On March 30th, not only did TEPCO admit that the chairman had been taking Japanese mass media power brokers on the trip to China but also that TEPCO paid the majority of the travel fees for the participants. 



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 06:00:20 PM EST
The concluding paragraph:
It's not surprising that much of the Japanese mainstream media has been less than critical of  TEPCO up until now. It's very hard to raise your voice loud enough to be heard from inside the pocket of your sponsor.


As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 09:50:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The Netherlands has started to take stronger measures to check radiation on imports from Japan following the accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

On Thursday, the media was allowed to cover inspections at the Port of Rotterdam, one of the busiest ports in Europe. The first ship from Japan since the nuclear power plant crisis entered the port on the day.

Custom officials checked trucks carrying Japanese goods using devices measuring radioactivity.

In addition to their normal procedures, the Dutch government is conducting radiation checks not only on ships from Japan at sea, but also on Japanese goods before they land in the port.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 14th, 2011 at 06:03:02 PM EST
Melted nuclear fuel likely settled at bottom of crippled reactors | Kyodo News

Nuclear fuel inside the crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has partially melted and settled at the bottom of pressure vessels in the shape of grains, according to an analysis by the Atomic Energy Society of Japan made public by Friday.

The academic body's panel on nuclear energy safety has said the melted fuel at the No. 1 to 3 reactors has been kept at a relatively low temperature, discounting the possibility that a large amount of melted fuel has already built up at the bottom of their reactor vessels given the temperature readings there.

...The panel has also said that the fuel grains with a diameter of between several millimeters and 1 centimeter are believed to have settled flatly at the bottom of the vessels, leaving almost no possibility of a nuclear chain reaction called ''recriticality.''

Takashi Sawada, deputy chairman of the group, gave the assessment that even if the current stabilization efforts proceed smoothly, it would take at least two to three months for the fuel to be stabilized with few if any radioactive emissions.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 04:30:20 AM EST
Parts of the fuel rods in the No. 1 and 2 reactors have apparently been exposed, while those in the No. 3 reactor have been completely submerged in water, according to the panel.

If so, the published water level data (which showed fuel rods exposed in all three reactors) come from unreliable water level meters.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 04:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The report is not explicit, as in "completely and continuously submerged". If #3 core has been completely and continuously submerged the source of the plutonium would have to be from the spent fuel pool, but dual sourcing is possible.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 10:30:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TEPCO has pumped out around 660 tons of highly radioactive water from a tunnel connected to the No. 2 reactor's turbine building into a container inside the building.

The operation resulted in a lower water level in the vertical part of the tunnel, but the agency said that as of Friday morning the level had risen back to the same level as before the water transfer started on Tuesday.

Removing the highly contaminated water that has flooded the basements of the No. 1 to 3 reactor turbine buildings and adjacent tunnels is seen as key to restoring critical cooling systems for the damaged reactors, which were lost in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.


This could indicate that they have a substantial leak from the trench at the level to which it stabilizes or that there is a vastly greater volume at the source, possibly the inside of the reactor building, that is connected via a volume limited siphon or leak.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 10:23:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK -  TEPCO monitoring wastewater at No.2 reactor

 Tokyo Electric Power Company says the level of radioactive water is increasing in a tunnel at the No.2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The large amount of contaminated water in basements and tunnels is hampering operations to restore the plant's cooling systems.

On Wednesday, TEPCO finished transferring some of the wastewater -- about 660 tons -- from the No.2 reactor tunnel to a condenser in a turbine building.

It says the water level in the tunnel dropped 8 centimeters after the transfer, but had returned to its previous level by Friday morning.

So in 40 hours, 660 tons has been replaced, during that time, TEPCO has pumped 7 tons an hour each into reactors 2 and 3 and 6 into reactor 1

if none of the water is boiling away (And steam is visible from at least two of the reactors when the wind is low enough, so some is boiling off and that cant be true) then the ammount that has appeared in the trench is more than has been pumped into reactors 2 and 3 in total....

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 05:14:31 AM EST
Japan continues to struggle to remove highly toxic water at plant | Kyodo News

''As there is believed to be around 20,000 tons of water (in the No. 2 reactor turbine building and the trench connected to it), we feel the difficulty of lowering the level of the water in a stable manner,'' he said.

Tokyo Electric, known as TEPCO, is preparing to transfer more of the highly radioactive water into a facility for nuclear waste disposal in the plant, which can accommodate 30,000 tons of liquid.

Nitpick:

steam is visible from at least two of the reactors

I think those originate from the spent fuel pools, not the cores.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 05:33:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well there is argument that as 2 and 3 have dropped to atmospheric pressure then theres a leak somewhereand at least one picture suggests it could be a steam leak from the top of one of the pressure vessels

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 05:58:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah right, the steam vent on No. 3 filmed from the helicopter/drone, I remember now. No. 2 lost pressure after the explosion in the wet well, so I'm not sure where and how steam escapes there.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 06:08:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All pipe joints and gaskets through the pressure vessel, including the lid and the pressure relief valve themselves, are likely candidates for leaks, especially after high pressure and temperature episodes earlier in the disaster.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 10:38:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Number 2 could well be a case where much of the steam is condensed back into water which leaks out of the containment vessel into the trenches.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 10:40:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Er - is it not obvious from visual inspection which containment vessels are leaking, and how?

Or have the high radiation readings around the cores made inspection impossible?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 11:06:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well the one with the most inhabitable drywell round the reactor is testing at 18 Sieverts per hour, If there is any remote pictures from inside the reactor buildings, then they havent been publicly released

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 11:55:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
is it not obvious from visual inspection which containment vessels are leaking, and how?

#1 still had significant pressurization as of the injection of nitrogen last week end. #2 has been shown in diagrams to have had a breach of the torus and seems to be the source of a lot of the water in the trenches, but I haven't seen a lot of explicit information in the press. Have I missed significant photographic evidence from inside reactors? The release of steam into the atmosphere is obvious, but the source of those leaks is less so. To me pipe joints and gaskets where pipes penetrate the reactor pressure vessel remain obvious sources, but with the loss of pressurization in #2 and #3 it seems hard to say from the available information.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 12:52:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Radioactivity in water dumped from Fukushima plant lower than thought | Kyodo News

The total level of radioactive materials in water dumped in the sea from the crippled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture earlier this month was lower than previously estimated, the plant's operator reported to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency on Friday.

Receiving the report, the agency instructed Tokyo Electric Power Co. to study in more detail the impact on the marine environment of the move, including radiation levels in fish and clams, and to make the results public.

As the nation's worst nuclear crisis drags on more than a month after it was triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, small amounts of plutonium have been detected for the third time in soil samples taken at the six-reactor Fukushima Daiichi complex, the plant operator said.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 01:00:53 PM EST
TEPCO 'solution' caused problems of its own : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

This is the fourth installment in a series focusing on delays in implementing emergency steps by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. to deal with the unprecedented nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Pumping water into nuclear reactors and storage pools for spent fuel rods at the Fukushima No. 1 power plant was an indispensable move. If the reactors were not kept cool and the pools full, an even worse disaster could have occurred at the stricken nuclear facility. But the action was not without consequences.

Since March 12--the day after the plant was damaged by a massive earthquake and tsunami--about 30,000 tons of water have been sprayed into the reactors by Self-Defense Forces, police and other workers.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 01:02:51 PM EST
When Teruaki Kobayashi was asked what would happen to the water being sprayed by fire engines and helicopters. He said it would "stay in the reactor building because it's designed to prevent leaks." His colleague Hikaru Kuroda told reporters, "The water being poured into the reactors will evaporate in due course."

It was designed to prevent leaks, except it was earthquake-damaged... gah.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 02:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Photos 8
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Photos 8


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 01:10:00 PM EST
Japan Earthquake: nuclear plants - Page 241
I believe containment pressures, according to what I have heard (not seen printed) may have been as high as 120 psig. Most Mark 1s in the US have a 56 psig Design Pressure. It is conjectured that 2x design pressure results in stretched Drywell Head closure studs. Resulting in self - venting of the Containment inside the Reactor Building. Steam coming from the shield plugs should be observable and Reactor Bldg Area Radiation Monitors should alarm.

MELCOR analysis study of Peach Bottom was computer modeled in the 1990s - predicting that beyond design basis severe accident the Mark 1 fails at the Drywell Head Seal at 132 psi.

<snip>

If containment venting doesn't occur, pressure builds. Once the flange and head get separated, the Drywell pressure will vent off through the clearance. (Self venting ) This would produce steam escaping with zirc water reaction generated Hydrogen.
Note all three Reactor Buildings appeared to explode on the Refuel Floor.
IMO - purely conjecture - some Hydrogen still trapped below the shield cookies, probably went off and lifted them up."


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 07:24:35 PM EST
TEPCO's venting of radioactive steam from a reactor at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant came too late, but even after the utility acted, a series of hydrogen explosions at the plant's reactor buildings quickly turned the situation into a nightmare the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency had never anticipated.

Under ordinary circumstances, reactor containment vessels that cover pressure vessels contain nearly no oxygen, making it almost impossible for the substance to chemically react with hydrogen and set off a blast. Even if hydrogen is generated in a reactor, it should not leak from the containment vessel. But after the disaster damaged pipe joints in the reactor building, hydrogen from inside the reactor leaked into the outer structure.


So this would be steam that had escaped from the steel reactor pressure vessel via pipe joints and gaskets pressurizing the dry well concrete vessel sufficiently to stretch the bolts holding down the service plug whose removal allows access to the steel reactor vessel from the service floor above. Hydrogen from the thermal decomposition of the zirconium tubes around the fuel pellets in the core gets first into the concrete containment vessel from the steel pressure vessel and then into the service floor. Explosions have variously occurred in the steel vessel, at least in the torus, in the concrete containment vessel, helping to stretch the bolts, perhaps, and in the service area, blowing off the tops of buildings.

In addition, conditions have been such that inspections have not been performed in the reactor buildings to determine if the earthquakes have caused any cracks in the containment vessels. But we are getting statements to the effect that the situation is stabilizing.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 08:15:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile, back in Tokyo:

Pressure grows on Kan to quit / Alleged remark on Fukushima draws fire from both sides Yomiuri

Calls are growing louder in both the ruling and opposition camps for Prime Minister Naoto Kan to step down over his alleged remark that evacuees from around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant "will not be able to return for 10 to 20 years." Kenichi Matsumoto, an advisor to the Kan administration, said Wednesday the prime minister made the remark during talks the two had that day. Kan has strongly denied Matsumoto's claim.

....

A longtime friend of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, Matsumoto is known as part of Kan's brain trust, and recently made a series of proposals to the prime minister regarding restoration work in the disaster-stricken areas. Just after his talks with Kan on Wednesday, Matsumoto quoted the prime minister as having said evacuees near the plant would be unable to return to their hometowns for 10 to 20 years....Later the same day, however, Matsumoto said he had misquoted the prime minister. What was reported as a statement by Kan was actually something said by Matsumoto, he said.

One of the DPJ lawmakers critical of Kan is Shinji Tarutoko, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Fundamental National Policies. In a Thursday meeting of DPJ Diet members he heads, Tarutoko said, "I strongly believe such circumstances are not beneficial to the interests of the nation." He was apparently referring to the alleged remark. A senior DPJ lawmaker close to party heavyweight and Kan rival Ichiro Ozawa said: "The prime minister just doesn't understand how disaster victims feel, and I want him to quit after the first supplementary budget for fiscal 2011 [for disaster relief programs] becomes law."

....

The opposition camp has been more aggressive, with Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki calling on Thursday for Kan to resign as prime minister as soon as possible. LDP legislator Bunmei Ibuki, a former finance minister, said at a meeting of his group the same day: "The existence itself of the Kan Cabinet is a massive disaster [for this country]." Ibuki also said some DPJ legislators have asked the LDP "to help topple the Kan administration."

So, replace a Prime Minister with a physics background who is handling nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima because an advisor spoke an unpalatable truth to the public. Is there anyone with leadership experience that has close to a similar technical background? Is it the public or the power companies with whom they are concerned? The power companies surely would not want the people to realize that many evacuees may never be able to go home, regardless of the truth of the matter.  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 08:39:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the physics background for if the man was a nuclear advocate, and still is?

The following is sick evil if so true:

So what will happen is, for example, they'll take a farm's vegetables that are known to be highly irradiated, and mix them with vegetables from other farms that were not so badly hit, until the average level of radiation in the larger batch is low enough to pass inspection. Because inspections will be looking for averages: "Becquerels per kilogram."

The Japanese people are being encouraged -- made to feel its their patriotic duty -- to slip as much of the hot stuff through as possible! Based on Kan's remarks, and on what happened (and still happens) throughout Ukraine after Chernobyl, and what happened after Three Mile Island to milk supplies (including for chocolate bars sold all around the world from nearby Hershey, Pennsylvania), that's what they will be doing -- are already doing -- in Japan.

And you can be sure of another rule of thumb, thank's to Kan's pronouncements: Sell the "hot" produce to foreigners, especially! Why? Because after all, the more you spread it around, the safer it is, right? If it's below legal limits, it's safe, right? So spread it around! Especially to countries that don't have a good inspection program in place. Or that just don't care.

by das monde on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 06:42:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
das monde:
Because inspections will be looking for averages: "Becquerels per kilogram."

How are inspections done? Methinks with samples smaller than a kilogram, so dilution has its limits.

My other problem with the article is that I couldn't find the actual quote from Kan, only paraphrases. The only relevant news I can find is:

Fukushima no seisanbutsu wo tabete kudasai! | Nippon Sekai - Japan via Videos, Photos, Webcams

In an attempt to calm growing fears regarding radiation contaminated produce from Fukushima Prefecture, the Japanese government has also gotten involved in a public campaign which says it is safe to purchase and consume food from the area which have undergone extensive monitoring for cesium and iodine contamination.

The governments message is simple and clear, "only safe food is being distributed, please eat it."  Both Prime Minister Naoto Kan and his chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano have undertaken individual public "photo/video opportunity" appearances which show them consuming produce from Fukushima that has been declared safe.

...Farmers from Fukushima and surrounding prefectures now fit into two categories. Some cannot be helped by promotion of any kind, because they have products that truly are unfit for sale or consumption. The rest have products that pass inspection, but they are finding that wholesalers are reluctant to buy them, figuring shoppers will still resist.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:28:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
asahi.com(朝日新聞社):Radiation fears heap fresh calamity on quake survivors - English

Fear of radioactive contamination from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is driving down prices of food products from areas near the plant, piling on the misery for producers struggling to recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Representatives from Minami-Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, told Michihiko Kano, the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, on Friday that fear among consumers was the latest in the series of disasters to hit them.

"We have been hit four times: the earthquake, tsunami, nuclear accidents and now these harmful rumors," one representative said.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JA Ibaraki to seek 1.8 bil yen in damages for farm products from TEPCO | Kyodo News
An agricultural cooperative in Ibaraki Prefecture is considering seeking some 1.85 billion yen ($22 million) from the operator of a stricken nuclear plant for hurting the image of the prefecture's farm products, its officials said Monday.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason the fuel is out of reactor number 4 is it is undergoing "fuel shroud replacement" apparently the first 3 and number 5 have already been through this process (although im not certain about it for number 1)

HAZARDS OF BOILING WATER REACTORS IN THE UNITED STATES - NIRS

The core shroud is a large stainless steel cylinder of circumferentially welded plates surrounding the reactor fuel core. The shroud provides for the core geometry of the fuel bundles. It is integral to providing a refloodable compartment in the event of a loss-of-coolant-accident. Extensive cracking of circumferential welds on the core shroud has been discovered in a growing number of U.S. and foreign BWRs. A lateral shift along circumferential cracks at the welds by as little as 1/8 inch can result in the misalignment of the fuel and the inability to insert the control rods coupled with loss of fuel core cooling capability. This scenario can result in a core melt accident. A German utility operating a GE BWR where extensive core shroud cracking was identified estimated the cost of replacement at $65 million dollars. The Wuergassen reactor, Germany's oldest boiling water reactor, was closed in 1995 after wary German nuclear regulators rejected a plan to repair rather than replace the reactor's cracked core shroud.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 15th, 2011 at 09:41:12 PM EST
N-fuel in 'cooling state'   The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Atomic Energy Society of Japan, said Thursday that melted nuclear fuel in the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was in a cooling state after forming into small particles that have settled at the bottom of pressure vessels.

....

The committee said the fuel rods in the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors were damaged and had partly melted. The committee has presumed that the melted nuclear fuel formed into particles measuring several millimeters or less after coming into contact with cooling water. The particles then settled on fuel rod support plates and at the bottom of the pressure vessels and are in a cooling state, it said. The assumption is consistent with the fact that water temperatures in the lower part of the pressure vessels are low.

"The contaminated water that leaked into the turbine buildings also is believed to contain particles of melted fuel," Takashi Sawada, deputy chairman of the AESJ, explained.

Other experts believe the melted fuel became a magmatic lump with a core temperature in excess of 2,000 C, which later settled on the bottom of the pressure vessels. However, the committee considers there is no danger of intense heat from the melted fuel destroying the pressure vessels. The committee also said it was unlikely that an explosion would occur and cause a large volume of radioactivity to be released from the reactors and nuclear fuel temporary storage pools.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 12:04:43 AM EST
World critical of Japan's failure to disclose info  (Part 5) The Yomiuri Shimbun

Many countries have grown frustrated with and distrustful of the Japanese government for its poor handling of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant crisis and its failure to disclose relevant information after the earthquake and tsunami of March 11. What countermeasures will Japan take against tsunami in the future? Also, we need to know the exact details of what's happening with the reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant. These were just a couple of the grueling questions thrown at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency's Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety, Koichiro Nakamura, at a small-group session of a review meeting for contracting parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety in Vienna on April 6.

The session was held to check Japan's compliance with the terms of the treaty. In addition to representatives from the group's 12 member countries, about 200 international representatives and experts attended--an unusually large number. According to some participants, Japan failed to respond clearly to questions and initially described the situation at the nuclear plant as under control. This remark was later corrected to "We're trying to control it," and "We don't know [exactly what is happening inside the nuclear reactors]."

"I doubt any of the foreign participants were satisfied with Japan's explanation," said a visibly disappointed European diplomat. A Russian expert was more critical, saying: "If nuclear plants are built on the coast, it's foreseeable that a major tsunami could occur. Despite being a technologically advanced nation, Japan has no robots that can be used at nuclear plants!"



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 12:23:56 AM EST
Newseum | Handwritten Newspapers From Ravaged Japan at Newseum

When the worst earthquake in Japan's history and the subsequent tsunami knocked out all power in the city of Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, editors at the Ishinomaki Hibi Shimbun, the city's daily newspaper, printed news of the disaster the only way they could: by pen and paper.

For six consecutive days after the twin disasters, reporters used flashlights and marker pens to write their stories on poster-size paper and posted the "newspapers" at the entrances of relief centers around the city. Six staff members collected stories, while three spent an hour and a half each day writing the newspapers by hand.

The Newseum has acquired seven of the originals for its permanent collection of historic newspapers, some of which will be featured in a future exhibit in the Time Warner World News Gallery. The newspapers are a powerful testament to the timeless human need to know and to journalists' commitment to providing that information.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 06:39:28 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says the level of highly radioactive water in a tunnel of the No. 2 reactor has been rising.

Contaminated water in the plant's facilities is hampering efforts to restore reactor cooling systems. Leakages of such water into the ocean and the ground are also raising concern.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, finished transferring part of the wastewater -- about 660 tons -- from the tunnel to a condenser in a turbine building on Wednesday.

The transfer lowered the water level in the tunnel by 8 centimeters, but it began rising again, exceeding the previous level by 2.5 centimeters as of Saturday morning.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 08:36:44 AM EST
Accumulated radiation tops 17,000 microsieverts in Fukushima's Namie | Kyodo News

The accumulated radiation level in Namie, 30 kilometers from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, in the three weeks through Friday stood at 17,010 microsieverts, according to a tally released by the science ministry Saturday.

The accumulated levels during the period starting March 23 stood at 9,850 microsieverts in Iitate and 495 microsieverts in Minamisoma, both near the plant, it said. The readings compare with the level of 1,000 microsieverts that ordinary people in Japan can expect to be exposed to over one year.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 11:04:21 AM EST
Fukushima seawater radioactivity rises inside containment fence | Kyodo News

The level of radioactive substances in seawater increased sharply overnight inside a containment fence installed near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Saturday.

The utility said the rise suggested that the fence is helping to curb the spread of contaminated water, but the government's Nuclear Industrial and Safety Agency remained cautious, citing the possibility that radioactive water could still be seeping from the complex.

The company said the level of radioactive iodine rose Saturday morning to 260 becquerels per cubic centimeter in seawater inside the fence near an intake leading to the No. 2 reactor.

The figure, 6,500 times the legal limit, was around six times the 42 becquerels detected the previous day, the company said, adding the reading of radioactive cesium had also jumped by four times.

TEPCO also said it plans on Sunday or later to throw sandbags containing zeolite, a mineral that absorbs radioactive materials, into the sea near intakes leading to the Nos. 1, 2 and 3 reactors to reduce the levels of contamination.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 11:05:02 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the troubled Fukushima nuclear power plant says it will step up monitoring to assess the environmental impact of radioactive water discharged into the ocean from the plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company says it will measure radiation levels in seawater in 4 locations 3 kilometers off the coast, and 2 locations 8 kilometers off the coast.

This is in addition to the existing monitoring locations along the shore and 15 kilometers offshore


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 12:54:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan nuclear commission fails to send experts to Fukushima | Kyodo News

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan has failed to send designated experts to Fukushima Prefecture to look into the crisis at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant even though a national disaster-preparedness plan requires it to do so, many of the experts said Saturday.

A commission spokesperson said problems following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami such as blackouts had discouraged it from sending any experts to Fukushima Prefecture, but many of the specialists and government officials questioned the claim.

The commission designates 40 nuclear accident experts including university professors and senior officials of relevant institutions as well as five others as members of its panel on emergency technical advice.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 11:05:36 AM EST
New cooling systems may be installed outside Fukushima reactor buildings | Kyodo News

Tokyo Electric Power Co. is considering installing circulating water cooling systems for nuclear reactors and spent fuel storage pools outside the reactor buildings at its crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.

The new systems would cool nuclear fuel inside the reactors and spent fuel pools in a stable manner. They would involve heat exchangers and circulation pumps to drain reactor coolant water from the containment buildings, cooling it with seawater and then sending it back to the reactors, the sources said.

TEPCO appears to have already placed orders for dozens of gasketed plate heat exchangers -- each measuring 3 meters high, 1 meter wide and 2 meters long -- for such systems, the sources said.

The existing circulating water cooling systems at the plant were crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 11:06:03 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The European Commission has advised European ports to check radiation levels on ships and cargoes arriving from Japan to see whether they exceed a new limit.

In an announcement on Friday, it suggested a new limit of 0.2 microsieverts per hour above the normal level, which is 0.1 microsievert per hour.

The announcement says if port authorities detect radiation levels above the limit, the relevant government should inform the Commission and the ship in question should be thoroughly washed.

The announcement came a day after the first ship to leave Japan since the start of the nuclear crisis docked in the Dutch port of Rotterdam.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 04:17:20 PM EST
Smoke rises from control panel at TEPCO nuclear plant in Niigata | Kyodo News

Smoke rose briefly from a control panel at a nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast Saturday, the operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

No one was injured in the 7:45 p.m. incident that occurred during the checking of water purification equipment



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 04:23:01 PM EST
No one was injured in the 7:45 p.m. incident that occurred during the checking of water purification equipment at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear complex, the company said, adding it has yet to determine the cause.
by das monde on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 08:03:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Government considering plan to dismantle TEPCO Asahi Shimbun  (H/T Business Insider)

A secret plan to dismantle Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, is circulating within the government. The proposal, which is associated with a faction of bureaucrats who have long supported liberalization of Japan's power industry, envisages the passing of a special measures law that would put the company under close government supervision before eventually bankrupting it and completely restructuring its remnants.

There are also proposals to smash the company's powerful influence on politicians and the mass media and force executives to give all their pay and severance settlements to victims of the earthquake. However, a rival faction in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy (ANRE) and politicians with links to the power industry may try to fight or emasculate the radical proposals.

Sources said internal government discussions about how to handle TEPCO began in earnest around March 28, as it became clear that trillions of yen would be required just to compensate residents of Fukushima Prefecture affected by the nuclear disaster. The plan to dismantle the firm was being circulated by the end of the month. At its center is a special measures bill placing TEPCO under government supervision and paving the way to pulling it apart.

A former ANRE official who supports the plan said: "The special measures law will be necessary when we consider the need for comprehensive reform of TEPCO's management, including the establishment of a third-party organ to certify compensation decisions, a way to come up with the funds to pay compensation, and the separation of the company's nuclear energy department."


Some pretty tough measures, including asking financial institutions that have loaned TEPCO money to write off those loans. 'A government source said those loans had been "something the private sector did based on its own risk assessments." ' The government is considering not guaranteeing debt assumed prior to finalization of the bailout plan.

Perhaps this has something to do with the calls for PM Kan to step down? At least some in Japan know what bankruptcy is and when it is appropriate.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 16th, 2011 at 10:30:40 PM EST
The proposal, which is associated with a faction of bureaucrats who have long supported liberalization of Japan's power industry

Gah.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 05:31:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Liberalization" can be ambiguous. But how is pulling apart TEPCO, clawing back the salaries of top executives, replacing executives with those of the government's choosing, putting TEPCO through a bankruptcy process that toasts current creditors, etc. consistent with what we are used to seeing from the sorts of "liberalization" that makes us all gag?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 11:24:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the end result of the restructuring that is a question. If this is liberalisation as we know it, then they want the 'good' parts of TEPCO to be re-constituted as newly established smaller companies or subsidiaries of existing majors after a bankruptcy selloff, and the new companies/subsidiaries would then be in wonderful efficiency-bosting la-la-land competition. After the government shouldered the costs of managing the 'bad' parts of the company and caspitalising the 'good' parts, of course.

A serious reform policy would involve a takeover but not necessarily a bankruptcy/dismemberment. It would also be more wide-reaching than just covering TEPCO: it is clear that nuclear safety and labour oversight over TEPCO failed, so the government agencies themselves need reform, and then all the other regional monopolists beyond TEPCO (and nuclear research institutes) have to be thoroughly checked, too. (This won't happen of course.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 05:16:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
DoDo:
(This won't happen of course.)

unless maybe you're underestimating fukushima's capacity to continue spewing isotopes. can we seriously believe their claim to have it all sorted in 6-9 months?

the truly terrifying aspect to this is we may need fukushima to keep releasing to drive home the point that nuclear power is an humanly untenable proposition.

if the species is stubbornly self-destructive enough, what else would cause our elders and betters to reconsider? nothing coming up for me...

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 07:31:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the question is already answered once and for all.  

But the damage is never measured correctly.  

The image is stuffing corpses under the floorboards and then denying there is any problem or anything to see.  

Your question is like asking when they will run out of unused (under) floor space.  But then, won't they just move on to the walls and ceiling?  It's a big house . . .

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 01:16:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well this may be what finally gets it through our thick crania how small the house is in reality.

can't deny something damn stinky's going on for ever.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 02:18:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For others, "The house has always smelled like this."  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 11:16:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so the government agencies themselves need reform, and then all the other regional monopolists beyond TEPCO (and nuclear research institutes) have to be thoroughly checked, too. (This won't happen of course.)

There is actually discussion of the need for some of those measures in the article. That, by itself, is significant in Japan, I beieve, and the point of my comment was not that reforms will succeed but that they are being proposed by elements within the government and that these proposals would be serious reforms if enacted in whole or in part. I suspect that the LDP and rival factions within Kan's own party will use/are using the protective reaction to attempt to topple Kan and spike the reform effort. They may succeed and then we get to see how long that government lasts. I suspect that those pushing this effort are conflicted just now. They don't want to have to assume responsibility just now but don't want to see their patronage base damaged or destroyed.  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 10:47:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
#Fukushima I Nuke Plant: Latest Photos and Vids by a Drone on April 15 (Updated) | EX-SKF
For the rest of the photo, go here.

Here's the video.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 05:43:48 AM EST
NTI: Global Security Newswire - Japan Plant Emits More Radiation After Cooling Lapse
Workers were firing water into the pond from a distance in an effort to prevent the fuel from overheating and releasing radioactive contaminants, but fluid collecting in an adjacent flood control container triggered an incorrect warning that the pond had been filled. Personnel halted water transfers to the pool for a number of days in response to the warning, allowing heat and radiation levels to increase even though the fuel was thought to have remained submerged, Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency Deputy Director General Hidehiko Nishiyama said. Water spraying began again on Wednesday.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 05:59:28 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has issued a schedule for putting the crisis under control in 6 to 9 months.

The chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company, Tsunehisa Katsumata, explained the plan at a news conference on Sunday.

The utility firm said a two-phase process is scheduled.
In the first stage over the next 3 months, it will build new cooling systems outside the Number 1 and 3 reactor buildings to cool down the nuclear fuel, and to ensure that radiation levels around the plant continue to decline.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 08:22:46 AM EST
The firm says the cooling will considerably lower the radiation levels in the environment around the plant.

But in the first 3 months, they will be just building cooling systems. How they radiation will be reduced in the meantime?

If they say they seek radiation levels... continue to decline, they must be sure that radiation is definitely on decline already, right?

Some say plainly: Plan to End Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Leaves Reactor[s] Leaking Radiation For Another 3 Months

by das monde on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 08:36:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well the first three months plans say

Gist of TEPCO plan to end Fukushima nuke crisis | Kyodo News

STEP 1 (In roughly three months)

-- Filling containment vessels of Nos. 1, 3 reactors with water.

-- Sealing with sticky cement part in No. 2 reactor's containment vessel believed breached.

-- Injecting nitrogen into Nos. 2, 3 reactors to avoid possible hydrogen explosion.

-- Restoring circulatory cooling system for spent fuel pools.

-- Installing facility to decontaminate highly tainted water and purify seawater.

So they think there is definitely a hole in reactor 2, and the cooling systems mentioned in the plan only appear to be for the  spent fuel pools

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 10:40:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think what NHK reported does concern the reactor cores, those of No. 1 and 3. They possibly think that the No. 2 cooling system can be restored.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 02:57:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well from the Yomuri report of the same press conference

TEPCO says stabilization months away : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

At a press conference in Tokyo, Katsumata said, "It will take three months to ensure that radiation leaking from the nuclear power plant is in a continual decline." He added it would then take another three to six months to significantly reduce these amounts.

so 3 months till theyre sure that radiation isn't increasing from that wording.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 03:02:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see it's up on the company website: TEPCO : Press Release | Roadmap towards Restoration from the Accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station
With regard to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station due to the Tohoku-Chihou-Taiheiyo-Oki Earthquake occurred on Friday, March 11th, 2011, we are currently making our utmost effort to bring the situation under control. This announcement is to notify the roadmap that we have put together towards restoration from the accident.

I find the reporters of NHK and kyodo News weren't particularly mindful of details: TEPCO does discuss the cooling of both the reactors and spent fuel pools separately.

  • Cooling the reactors: the radiation reducing measure in the first step (first 3 months) is the filling up of the No. 1 and 3 cores to the top of the spent fuel pools. Heat exchangers are needed for these (there is a diagram in the last pdf). The long-term issue is structural stability of the buildings.
  • Spent fuel pools: they want to restore the cooling systems, in No. 2 certainly, in No. 1 and 3 if possible, and build heat exchangers in Step 2 if not possible.
  • Contaminated water: they want to store it, store more, and later build a decontamination and de-salination plant.
  • Contaminated ground: they still want to spray the dust, also collect the rubble and solidify the soil.
  • They mention a concrete cover on the building as air contamination containment measure. I wonder if that makes sense: concrete is porous and cracks, so it can leak. At any rate, they say concrete is needed because the temporary containment could be blown away by a typhoon.

Also, I think I finally got what the nitrogen injection is for (it was in the press releases a week ago but with garbled translation): as the pressure vessels cool down, steam will condensate on the surface of the exposed top of the fuel rods in them, increasing the water-hot zircaloy surface reaction rate vs. the simple steam-zircaloy reaction rate.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 03:28:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
filling up of the No. 1 and 3 cores to the top of the spent fuel pools

Top of the fuel rods, I mean...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 05:03:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Question is if  the heated concrete can take the weight of that much water, there's a video  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/14088840 where they say that they're going to add water slowly for reason of avoiding Hydrogen explosion. Concrete apparently loses around 50% of its strength when exposed to 600 degree Fahrenheit for three hours.  at that temperature reinforcing rods also lose their strength. One would suggest that adding water slowly might be an idea while you watch to see if anything collapses

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 12:32:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the cooling systems are meant for the reactor cores, then the reduction in emissions will be that in the form of contaminated water (now fresh water is injected and comes out contaminated, in the cooling systems circulated).

Unless there is a recriticality, radiation levels are bound to decline due to decay of already emitted particles and the reduced level of steam generation resulting from the cooling of the cores as short-half-life isotopes decay in them.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 03:01:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Daily Yomiuri: TEPCO says stabilization months away
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata said Sunday it would take up to nine months to stabilize the ongoing nuclear crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

At a press conference in Tokyo, Katsumata said, "It will take three months to ensure that radiation leaking from the nuclear power plant is in a continual decline." He added it would then take another three to six months to significantly reduce these amounts.

Katsumata said the company's tasks include cooling the plant's nuclear reactors and storage pools for spent fuel rods; decreasing the amount of radioactive substances released from the power plant; monitoring radiation leaks and decontaminating radioactive substances at areas near the plant.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 04:21:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Japan's industry minister has hinted that the government may be able to tell evacuees if they can return home when the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is stabilized.

Banri Kaieda spoke to reporters on Sunday shortly after Tokyo Electric Power Company presented a road map to cool down the reactors and significantly reduce radiation leaks in 6 to 9 months.

Kaieda called the plan an important step for moving from the first-aid phase to the stabilization phase.

He urged the utility to implement the road map and move up the schedule if possible.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 06:19:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Via Google translate http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=soc_30&k=2011041700293

The first nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima, 17, TEPCO announced that it entered the reactor building of Unit 3 within the No. 1 and two US-made remote-controlled robot. Recovery for recycling cooling, radiation dose and temperature, humidity, oxygen concentration examined, in order to examine whether the workers put into the environment will be announced after the 18th to analyze the data.
 This robot from iRobot received an offer "Pakkubotto." The body length of 70 cm, 53 cm wide and 18 cm in height, the arm with a camera one meter 80 centimeters in length. It weighs 35 kg. One measure, used to monitor the working environment and one.

so two robots have gone in to take samples and they should produce results on the 18th. these tests are to see if the environment is safe enough for workers to enter

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 11:16:28 AM EST


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 11:18:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to the video there are about 3,000 of the I-Robots, such as the two shown, in existence. Why do I suspect that it was foot dragging by TEPCO that resulted in over a month passing before they were deployed at Fukushima?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 10:38:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just seen Widdicombe on the TV standing in front of where I used to sit as a Choirboy back in my youth.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 17th, 2011 at 06:27:17 PM EST
Dont know how i posted this here rather than on the open thread last night.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 03:29:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably a dose of 500 milli-Widdicombes.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 04:34:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thats almost a lethal dose

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 05:59:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And I came >< that close to posting exactly that same comment.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 06:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cryptome
daiichi-assess.pdf Fukushima Daiichi Reactors Condition Assessment


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 at 03:27:25 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
For the first time after the accident at the Fukushima plant, TEPCO has released photos of the inside of the reactor buildings. Remote-controlled robots took the pictures on Sunday and Monday to check the interior of the buildings housing the No.1, No.2 and No.3 reactors.

This photo of the first floor of the No.3 reactor building shows a sheet-like object hanging from the ceiling and what appears to be equipment for moving the control rods. TEPCO says it cannot identify whether there are any pools of water on the floor.

The bright area at the innermost part of the building is an entrance for vehicles to bring in large machinery and materials.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:35:43 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
This is the first time the situation inside the buildings has been made public since the March 11th disaster triggered a series of nuclear accidents. Workers have been unable to approach the buildings due to high radiation levels.
TEPCO said the robots surveyed the first floor of the No.1 reactor for about 50 minutes and detected maximum radiation readings of 49 millisieverts per hour.
A person staying in such an environment for 5 hours would be exposed to 250 millisierverts of radiation -- the legal limit for nuclear workers in emergency situations.

The survey inside the No. 3 reactor lasted for about 2 hours, but the plant operator says the robots had difficulty moving around because of the debris. The maximum radiation reading was 57 millisieverts per hour.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:37:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun transferring highly radioactive water from the No.2 reactor to a waste processing facility.

Ahead of the operation, Tokyo Electric Power Company, known as TEPCO, sealed cracks in the walls of the facility and ensured that other measures were in place to prevent contaminated water from leaking.

After the government's nuclear safety agency checked procedures and safety measures, TEPCO began the operation on Tuesday morning.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:36:20 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will examine the seabed off the facility to ensure that no plutonium has leaked into the ocean.

Tokyo Electric Power Company said on Monday it will conduct the inspection as plutonium is heavier than other radioactive materials and could have accumulated on the floor.

Plutonium is a radioactive substance that could cause lung cancer if inhaled.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:37:48 AM EST
Helpful information:
Plutonium is a radioactive substance that could cause lung cancer if inhaled.

Those fish had better watch out.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 07:15:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lungfish

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 09:54:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A microgram of plutonium is considered a lethal dose. Does anyone know what the reading in rads might be for a fish with one one micorgram speck and how long it might take for said speck to kill the fish? Fortunately, the speck would most likely be found in the gills and the next most likely place would be in the gut.

Plutonium roulette at the fish fry anyone?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 03:05:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One microgram of plutonium is 4 x 10-9 moles, or 2 x 1015 atoms. Such a "speck" would be something like 10 microns across which is about the limit of inhaleable particulate matter:
Larger particles are generally filtered in the nose and throat and do not cause problems, but particulate matter smaller than about 10 micrometers, referred to as PM10, can settle in the bronchi and lungs and cause health problems. The 10 micrometer size does not represent a strict boundary between respirable and non-respirable particles, but has been agreed upon for monitoring of airborne particulate matter by most regulatory agencies. Similarly, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers, PM2.5, tend to penetrate into the gas exchange regions of the lung, and very small particles (< 100 nanometers) may pass through the lungs to affect other organs.
Now, when people say one microgram of plutonium is lethal, are we talking about a single speck of plutonium, or about inhaling thousands, or even billions of smaller particles?

The wikipedia section on Plutonium toxicity is a mess. The Plutonium in the Environment article is a little better, but still doesn't answer the question.

In any case, the article claims that

About 3.5 tons of plutonium have been released into the environment by atomic bomb tests. ... The plutonium from the Pu fuel of the bomb is converted into a high fired oxide which is carried high into the air. It slowly falls to earth as global fallout and is not soluble, hence as a result it is difficult for this plutonium to be incorporated into an animal if taken by mouth. Much of this plutonium will become tightly absorbed onto sediments of lakes, rivers and oceans. However, about 66% of the plutonium from a bomb explosion is formed by the neutron capture of uranium-238; this plutonium is not converted by the bomb into a high fired oxide as it is formed more slowly. As a result this formed plutonium is more soluble and more able to cause harm when it falls to earth.


Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 10:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The Japanese defense ministry has released video footage of a base camp for workers dealing with the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The footage of an athletic training facility, about 20 kilometers from the plant, was made public on Monday.

Self-Defense Force officers and Tokyo Electric Power Company workers are lodging and training at the facility.

Footage taken last Tuesday shows SDF personnel using meters to measure radiation on a helicopter that flew over the nuclear plant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:38:27 AM EST
Fukushima plant not to have meltdown if cooling continues: Edano | Kyodo News

The crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant will not have a total meltdown if the current cooling of its overheating reactors continues, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said Tuesday.

''Compared with before, should I say stabilizing, or it can be said at least that we have been able to do cooling to a certain degree. If we can continue this cooling, such a thing is unlikely,'' Edano said at a news conference, when asked about the possibility of a total meltdown of the plant.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:39:30 AM EST
Global confidence in nuclear energy falls after Japan quake | Kyodo News
Support for nuclear energy worldwide has fallen from 57 percent before Japan's nuclear disaster to 49 percent now, but supporters still outnumber opponents, according to a survey by WIN-Gallup International released Tuesday.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:39:58 AM EST
Over 90% of March 11 quake victims die from drowning | Kyodo News
More than 90 percent of the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster victims in the most severely hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima died from drowning, while over 65 percent of them were aged 60 or older, the National Police Agency said Tuesday


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Apr 19th, 2011 at 05:59:05 AM EST
by das monde on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 01:13:50 AM EST
I believe the phrase is "not work-place safe."  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 11:26:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan Quake Caused Surprisingly Severe Soil Collapse

The 9.0 earthquake in Japan -- the fourth most powerful quake ever recorded -- also caused an unusually severe and widespread shift in soil through liquefaction, a new study suggests.

Near coastlines, harbors and rivers, earthquakes can make the wet, sandy soil jiggle, turning it temporarily from a solid to a liquid state, a process known as liquefaction. Heavy sand and rock sinks, while water and lighter sand bubble to the surface. The slurry spreads, often toward the water, and the surface shifts.

Japan's liquefaction occurred over hundreds of miles, surprising even experienced engineers who are accustomed to seeing disaster sites, including from the recent earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand.

by das monde on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 01:27:26 AM EST
WTF scandal? Japan Forces Top Official To Retract Prime Minister's Revelation Fukushima Permanently Uninhabitable
A top government official forced to retract his report that the Prime minister said Fukushima will be permanently uninhabitable. Milk from Fukushima allowed back on store shelves with record levels of radiation being detected in food from the area. After WHO warns real risk is radiation in food supply and Fukushima upgraded to same level as Chernobyl, WHO says there is no need for new public health measures.

... Apparently the comment made behind closed doors was not supposed to be made public and the official has been forced to retract the report and Prime Minister denies ever making the comment.

Edano apologizes over Kan's reported remark

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has apologized to the public over media reports about the long-term inhabitability of areas around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

An adviser to the Cabinet, Kenichi Matsumoto, at first told reporters on Wednesday that the Prime Minister remarked that areas around the nuclear plant will be inhabitable over a long period. He later retracted his comment and the Prime Minister himself also denied making such a statement.

Is it worth retracting?
by das monde on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 03:28:00 AM EST
The custom of beheading the bearer of bad news springs to mind.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 02:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Next day on the same blog:

Japan Officially Orders Censorship Of Truth About Fukushima Nuclear Radiation Disaster

It quotes:

The government charges that the damage caused by earthquakes and by the nuclear accident are being magnified by irresponsible rumors, and the government must take action for the sake of the public good. The project team has begun to send "letters of request" to such organizations as telephone companies, internet providers, cable television stations, and others, demanding that they "take adequate measures based on the guidelines in response to illegal information. "The measures include erasing any information from internet sites that the authorities deem harmful to public order and morality.
Illegal information... Are we so far?
by das monde on Thu Apr 21st, 2011 at 12:16:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is ridiculous - the truth is the truth.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 10:20:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]


The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:48:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
Tokyo Electric Power Company says radioactive debris and high humidity are hampering the investigation by robots at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The company began using remote-controlled robots to explore the first three reactor buildings on Sunday and Monday.

At the Number 2 reactor building, the robot's camera lens was instantly clouded by high humidity.

TEPCO officials think that the steam is coming from the damaged section of the reactor's suppression pool.
But they have not found a way to resolve the problem as the steam could be highly toxic.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Apr 20th, 2011 at 06:27:29 AM EST
OpEdNews - Article: What Chernobyl Can Tell Us About Fukushima

Dr. Yuri Bandazhevsky was the director of the Gomel Medical Institute in Belarus in 1990 when he began looking at the health problems of children in contaminated areas. There are regions in Belarus where only 10% of the children are healthy. In areas with high levels of cesium 137, the birth rates are very low and children living there have a variety of chronic illnesses.

Bandazhevsky found a high correlation between cesium levels and childhood diseases. His wife, Galena, was a pediatrician and she was seeing many children with strange illnesses, like eight year-olds with heart attacks. When Bandazhevsky made public statements about the diseases being linked to Chernobyl fallout, he was arrested, accused of taking bribes and sentenced to eight years hard labor.

Resisting the temptation to quote the whole article. Must-read.

She mentions a Harvard study from 2005
Autopsy on an Empire: Understanding Mortality in Russia and the Former Soviet Union

Male life expectancy at birth fell by over six years in Russia between 1989 and 1994. Many other countries of the former Soviet Union saw similar declines, and female life expectancy fell as well. Using cross-country and Russian household survey data, we assess six possible explanations for this upsurge in mortality. Most find little support in the data: the deterioration of the health care system, changes in diet and obesity, and material deprivation fail to explain the increase in mortality rates. The two factors that do appear to be important are alcohol consumption, especially as it relates to external causes of death (homicide, suicide, and accidents) and stress associated with a poor outlook for the future. However, a large residual remains to be explained.

... which, amazingly, makes no reference at all to Chernobyl.

[Footnote : I found the article because I have a Google alert on "Chernobyl Bandazhevsky". It fires about once a year... Amazingly.]

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Apr 21st, 2011 at 04:41:24 AM EST
Fukushima may lose N-fuel tax / TEPCO unlikely to pay prefecture as reactors out of commission : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

With reactors at two nuclear power plants out of commission, Fukushima Prefecture is almost certain to lose the 4.47 billion yen in nuclear fuel tax from Tokyo Electric Power Co. that the prefecture has included in its initial budget for fiscal 2011.

Nuclear fuel tax is levied on TEPCO, operator of the nuclear power plants, when the company places nuclear fuel rods in reactors during regular inspections.

However, as TEPCO cannot transfer nuclear fuel rods to or from the reactors at its Fukushima Nos. 1 and 2 plants due to the nuclear crisis, the prefecture expects the tax revenue will be zero.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 21st, 2011 at 09:25:24 AM EST
Is that more than the tax losses from businesses out of commission in the tsunami-hit and the nuclear exclusion zone areas?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Apr 21st, 2011 at 10:20:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well back in 2002 Fukushima prefecture tried to introduce a new nuclear fuel tax, (and from the fact its still in the budget ten years lkater it looks like they succeeded)

TEPCO doesnt appear to have been happy about it

FEPC - News > Press Conference by Chairman of FEPC

Reference 1-2

July 19, 2002
The Federation of Electric Power Companies

  1. The law was enacted without proper explanation to the taxpayer.

I should think the general Budget for this year at least is out of the window and central government might as well resign itself to shoveling money at the prefecture

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Apr 21st, 2011 at 11:07:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Taxpayers, other power firms to help pay TEPCO's compensation bill  Asahi Shimbun

The burden of paying trillions of yen in compensation to people from areas near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will likely be shared by taxpayers and other electricity companies as well as the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. A draft government plan, obtained by The Asahi Shimbun April 20, proposes that TEPCO should remain under private ownership and shoulder the main responsibility for paying the compensation, but that a new public-private agency would bankroll and supervise it.

Under the draft plan, TEPCO will at first use its own money to pay compensation. It will have recourse to between 120 billion yen ($1.5 billion) and 240 billion yen from an insurance-like contract with the government agreed before the disaster under the law on compensation for damage from nuclear accidents.

But that money is expected to fall far short of the final compensation bill, and taxpayers' money is likely to be used to help fund the payouts. If TEPCO's liabilities exceed its assets, the company will ask the government for "special assistance," the plan says.

....

A newly established task force made up of Cabinet ministers will decide whether to give that assistance. If they give the go-ahead, TEPCO will be put under government supervision for as long as it is in receipt of assistance. All of its business plans will have to be approved by the government. A new organization will be set up to provide the special assistance funds, according to the draft plan. It will be established under a new statute and will receive funding from Japan's other major electric power companies.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 06:06:51 AM EST
Tepco to Build Wall for Nuclear Plant After Fukushima Disaster  Bloomberg

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will build a seawall to protect its biggest atomic power station from a tsunami like the one that knocked out its Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, causing the worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.

Japan's biggest power company, known as Tepco, plans to construct a wall to a height of 15 meters (50 feet) above sea level off the coast of its Kashiwazaki Kariwa plant northwest of Tokyo, spokeswoman Ai Tanaka said by phone. Three of seven reactors remain shut at the station after an earthquake in 2007 caused radiation leaks.

....

Tepco said last week it wants to get approvals to restart the remaining idled reactors at the Kashiwazaki plant, the world's biggest atomic power station, to meet potential shortfalls after losing generating capacity in the disaster.

Tepco has been criticized by the government for responding too slowly to the crisis that unfolded at Fukushima after the tsunami washed ashore. The company also received criticism for the way it responded to the quake that hit near the Kashiwazaki station in 2007. Kashiwazaki should be shut permanently, a group of scientists said one month after the 6.6-magnitude quake hit the area.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 06:22:43 AM EST

Three of seven reactors remain shut at the station after an earthquake in 2007 caused radiation leaks.

Is this not a significant data point in the theory that neither corporations nor governments are capable of managing such potentially destructive technology?

earthquake caused radiation leakage enough to keep 3 of 7 plants shut 4 years. Japan has recorded tsunamis since 1200 or more years to be associated with earthquakes. and a 6.6 quake can hardly be called earth-shaking (a joke only one who's lived in an earthquake zone could make), so they should have been ready for far greater.

Technological hubris allied with the general inability of modern civilization to understand its place in the universe. Administered by brain-dead clones. I wonder what the next excuse will be.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 06:47:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Los alrededores de Chernóbil nunca serán aptos para el ser humano · ELPAÍS.comThe surroundings of Chernobyl will never be fit for human beings - ElPais.com
La energía atómica es peligrosa y su explotación está plagada de incertidumbres, según las intervenciones realizadas este jueves en una conferencia internacional con motivo del 25 aniversario de Chernóbil. No obstante, ninguno de los ponentes en el pleno del evento, celebrado en Kiev, puso en cuestión el futuro de la energía nuclear, pese a las graves secuelas del accidente en aquella central nuclear, el peor en la historia del átomo civil. Superar esas secuelas llevará siglos.Atomic energy is dangerous and its use is full of uncertainties, according to the contributions made this Thursday at an international conference on the 25th anniversary of [the] Chernobyl [accident]. Nevertheless, none of the plenary speakers at the event, held in Kiev, questioned the future of nuclear power, despite the serious after-effects of the accident at that nuclear plant, the worst in the history of civilian [use of the] atom. Overcoming these after-effects will take centuries.

I think the article is a good summary of some of the technical things that were said. I haven't been able to find an equivalent in English...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 10:15:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They do make the helpful observation that over 2000 square kilometers of land could be used for solar power installations, as these require little exposure of humans to the radiation. At 250 watts/m2 that would be 5 gigawatts peak power. This would provide a power stream to replace the power generation lost at Fukushima and produce a revenue stream from the land that could pay for the loss of the use of that land by its current owners. Interspersing solar direct with solar thermal plants would provide the capability for 24 hr. power production from the facility.

This might be the best and highest use of that land for the next few centuries. Better yet, Japan has not yet "forgotten" how to do industrial policy, so they could build the facilities themselves without recourse to world capital markets and all that implies.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 01:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
La zona de exclusión y la zona de total reasentamiento en torno a Chernóbil "nunca" serán aptas para vivir en ellas, según Mykola Proskura, vicejefe del departamento encargado de administrar los territorios contaminados. Proskura aclaró que el territorio en cuestión tiene un total de 2600 kilómetros y "en el mejor de los casos se podrá reducir a 2000 kilómetros cuadrados, aunque eso será en el futuro lejano". El funcionario precisó que "entre 1500 y 2000 kilometros cuadrados nunca serán aptos para vivir" porque "hay isótopos radiactivos con un periodo de desintegración de 24.000 años y debido al cesio y al estroncio habrá que esperar por lo menos 300 años". La zona puede tener un uso limitado para la economía, opinó, mediante "alguna explotación limpia y que exija poco personal, como la producción de energía eólica". El atlas divulgado se limita al territorio de Ucrania y no da datos ni de Bielorrusia ni de Rusia, los otros Estados que, como parte de la URSS, fueron especialmente afectados por la catástrofe.The exclusion zone and the total resettlement zone around Chernobyl will "never" be fit to live in, according to Mykola Proskura, deputy chief of the department in charge of managing the contaminated territories. Proskura clarified that the land in question has a total of 2600 square kilometres, and "in the best of cases may be reduced to 2000, though that will be in the far future". The civil servant indicated that "between 1500 and 2000 will never be fit to live in" because "there are radioactive isotopes with a [half life] of 24 thousand years and due to Caesium and Strontium we will have to wait at least 300 years". The area may have a limited economic use, in his opinion, by means of "some clean exploitation demanding little personnel, such as wind power". The atlas [of contaminated regions] is limited to the Ukrainian territory and gives no data form Belarus or Russia, the other states which, as part of the USSR, were particularly affected by the catastrophe.

Yeah, but Japan is still in active denial about exclusion zones.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 01:16:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See top-level comment in reply.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 02:04:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Japan is still in active denial about exclusion zones.

Active and vociferous, it would seem.

Thanks for the translation. I obviously mistook wind for solar -- one word I thought I recognized. :-) I had already looked up three or four words, so you can see why I didn't attempt my own translation.

But the same reasoning should apply to solar installations as to wind. Japan is pushing residential solar with feed in tariffs and installation subsidies, so solar energy farms on otherwise unusable land might be a way to finesse the habitability issue.From the info I dug up quickly on Google it seems the best wind locations are offshore south of Tokyo Bay, and on the north west and north east coast of Honsu. Unfortuantely, the polluted waters off Fukushima are relatively windless.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 03:41:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says conditions at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant are "static but fragile" in its latest assessment of the nuclear emergency.

The Commission compiled the report as of April 15th, along with the US Energy Department and other nuclear organizations.

The report suggests that ongoing operations to feed the reactors with water could be affected by the occurrence of more aftershocks.

It recommends a more diversified and redundant feeding system, along with the automation of operations involving large cranes and other equipment to douse the reactors with water.

The report estimates that 67 percent of nuclear fuel has been damaged at reactor No.1, 44 percent at reactor No.2 and 30 percent at reactor No.3.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 11:41:22 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
Two Japanese residents of the disaster-stricken northeast are included in Time magazine's annual list of the world's 100 most influential people.

The weekly US news magazine announced this year's list on Thursday.

Katsunobu Sakurai is the mayor of Minamisoma City in Fukushima Prefecture, located north of the damaged nuclear power plant.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 11:42:09 AM EST
NHK WORLD English
The Japanese government has announced the official expansion of the evacuation zone around the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to selected areas beyond the existing 20-kilometer radius. Residents of the new areas are being asked to evacuate by the end of May.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Friday that the government made the designation since residents there could be exposed to cumulative radiation levels of 20 millisieverts or more per year if they stay.

The 5 new municipalities are located to the northwest of the plant and are more than 20 kilometers from it.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 12:03:12 PM EST
NHK WORLD English
Tobacco farmers in Fukushima Prefecture are seeking damages from Tokyo Electric Power Company after losing this year's crop due to radiation leaks from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The head of a national association of tobacco growers, Shoji Terai, made the request at a meeting with TEPCO officials on Friday.

Terai said farmers in Fukushima are at a loss about how to earn a living after making the voluntary decision to give up growing this year.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 12:06:18 PM EST
(This comment on Chernobyl), to avoid blowing the margin wide:

See the subthread in the Salon Tuesday, and this map:

The exclusion zone is 30 km around Chernobyl, which practically corresponds to what Proskura is saying in your citation. (√(2600/3.14) = 29). But the map shows that there are uncontaminated (green) areas within the exclusion zone, and that heavily contaminated areas continue beyond it. The Belarus border can be seen top left, and the contamination levels are displayed across it. So it would be interesting to have the complete map this Ukraine section was taken from.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 02:01:42 PM EST
Wish people could pick one standard unit for maps and stick to them so we can compare japanese and russian maps :)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 07:28:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 03:02:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Source?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 05:43:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was in a directory of images on the site it is hotlinked from. However, it appears to be one status between multiple revisions of the border, because the Chernobyl Tour site's map of the Ukrainian side Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (here) is somewhat more extensive to the southwest, while the maps here and National Geographic's 2006 map cut off just that part.

Wikipedia also has this (without source):

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The most contaminated zone had a radius of 30 km (19 mi) from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The border of the zone was later adjusted to better parallel the locations of highest contamination.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 06:41:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, the NatGeo map matches the one I posted. So the Chernobyl Stalker maps (with further reduction to the southeast) are probably the newest state.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 06:45:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say the outsideonline.com map you posted was based on The Nat Geo one, with a mistake in the scale.

Otherwise, there are different contours in each map. In particular, some include Belarus territory in the exclusion zone, others stop at the border. The Wikipedia map suggests there are different levels of control within the overall exclusion zone.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 08:22:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The scale is surely kilometres, not miles. There are 30 "units" from centre to periphery (ie 3 x the bar that is labelled "10 miles").
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 06:11:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Exclusion Zone, which is sometimes referred to as The Chernobyl Zone, The 30 Kilometer Zone, The Zone of Alienation, or simply The Zone (Ukrainian official designation: Зона відчуження Чорнобильської АЕС, zona vidchuzhennya Chornobyl's'koyi AES, colloquially: Чорнобильська зона, Chornobyl's'ka zona оr Четверта зона, Chetverta zona) is the 30 km/19 mi exclusion zone around the site of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster and is administered by a special administration under the Ukrainian Ministry of Extraordinary Situations (Emergencies).

...

The Exclusion Zone was established soon after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, in order to evacuate the local population and to prevent people from entering the heavily contaminated territory. The area adjoining the site of the disaster was originally divided into 4 concentric zones. The most contaminated zone had a radius of 30 km (19 mi) from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The border of the zone was later adjusted to better parallel the locations of highest contamination.

According to the map, the "adjustment" must have been considerable...

And how it's administered in Belarus and Russia is not covered.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 06:02:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.slideshare.net/energy/radiation-monitoring-data-from-fukushima-area-04182011?from=ss_embe d

page 3 on here  is the aerial survey map of Fukushima, unfortunately in Different units.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 06:55:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:30:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
need to blow that up larger

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never let a disaster opportunity go to waste

NHK - TEPCO plans wage cuts to fund damage payments  

The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is to cut annual salaries of its workers by around 20 percent as part of efforts to fund compensation payments over the nuclear accident.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company has reportedly informed its labor union of the plan.  




Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 07:44:21 PM EST
manichi -Helicopter water drop was message of Japan's determination in nuclear crisis  

Earlier, hydrogen explosions at the plant and the spread of radioactive materials over a wide area had created an image in the international community of Japan being left powerless, unable to control a runaway nuclear power plant. The Kan administration feared that Japan would be abandoned by the rest of the world, and hoped the helicopter mission would help the country overcome the negative images.

"The release of water was a display to the U.S. We were showing them how serious Japan was," a high-ranking Japanese government official commented.  




Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 08:08:53 PM EST
Study: Wind can generate power on par with nuclear plants  Asahi Shimbun

Wind power can generate electricity up to that produced by 40 nuclear reactors, the Environment Ministry said April 21. The ministry calculated the amount of electricity that can be produced using natural energy sources in Japan. The result: Wind theoretically shows a significantly greater likelihood of generating power across the country compared with other natural energy sources.

The results show that even on the assumption that windmills are not continuously operational, they still have the capacity to produce electric energy equivalent to that generated by 40 nuclear reactors. Japan has 54 commercial reactors, generating nearly 30 percent of the country's electricity output.

In the disaster-stricken Tohoku region, where wind is generally strong, it is estimated that wind power could produce the same amount of electricity as that generated by three to 11 nuclear reactors, according to the ministry. The ministry plans to propose the introduction of wind power generation and other natural energy source power generation as part of its rebuilding efforts in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 11:02:04 PM EST
Sunflowers to clean up radioactive soil  The Yomiuri Shimbun

Japanese researchers who study space agriculture believe growing sunflowers will remove radioactive cesium from contaminated soil around the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant, and are planning a project to plant as many of the yellow flowers as possible this year. They have invited people to sow sunflower seeds near the Fukushima Prefecture power station, hoping the sunflower will become a symbol of recovery in the areas affected by the nuclear crisis. After the sunflowers are harvested, they will be decomposed with bacteria, according to a plan by a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency group led by Prof. Masamichi Yamashita.

After the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, sunflowers and rape blossoms were used to decontaminate soil in Ukraine. Radioactive cesium is similar to kalium, a commonly used fertilizer. If kalium is not present, sunflowers will absorb cesium instead.

If the harvested sunflowers are disposed of by burning them, radioactive cesium could be dispersed through smoke, which is why the researchers are considering using hyperthermophilic aerobic bacteria--used to produce compost--to decompose the plants. The decomposing process will reduce the sunflowers to about 1 percent of their previous volume, which will slash the amount of radioactive waste that needs to be dealt with.



As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Apr 22nd, 2011 at 11:08:47 PM EST
ARGeezer:
They have invited people to sow sunflower seeds near the Fukushima Prefecture power station

Huh? In the (growing) exclusion zone?

The media will run with any story. Gah.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 01:16:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if the sunflowers are a good accumulator of radioactive elements I would think it a very good idea to plant them throughout school grounds not covered with cement or asphalt anywhere on Honshu north of Tokyo. Having children doing the planting -- not so much.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 23rd, 2011 at 11:15:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If there's a sufficient amount of caesium in school grounds to cause concern, the schools should be closed. Then (the authorities) can perhaps find out "if" composting sunflowers and carting the result away is a solution.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 03:01:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If there's a sufficient amount of caesium in school grounds to cause concern, the schools should be closed.

The Japanese press demands your resignation as Prime Ministerial advisor. </snark>

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:01:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ny medical problems won't show up till way after the current raft of politicians are in their graves, so it isn't a problem

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:23:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, thyroid cancer and other tumours in adolescents would be likely to manifest within the next 20 years. Of course, any link will be denied.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 03:15:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even with cesium levels well below the mandatory evacuaton level it would seem prudent to sop up any that could be removed by simple biological means from around schools, especially. Ideally, playgrounds should be brought back close to status quo ante.

As Mig and I have noted in previous comments, the truth about the extent and duration of radiation dangers is unpalatable to the Japanese public just now, especially to those who may never be able to return to their land and homes. That makes mitigation at schools all the more urgent.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:51:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK - TEPCO discloses radiation map  

 Tokyo Electric Power Company has disclosed a map of radiation levels at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The utility plans to urgently remove radioactive rubble, and the map will help to protect workers from unnecessary exposure to radiation.

TEPCO began making the map in late March, and has posted copies in the plant's buildings.

The map shows radiation levels that controllers measured around the first 4 reactors before the start of the working day.

Radiation levels around the Number 3 reactor building, which was damaged by a powerful hydrogen explosion, are higher than in other locations, and 300 millisieverts per hour of radiation was detected in debris on a nearby mountainside.




Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:18:29 PM EST
NHK - Highly radioactive concrete fragment found  

The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says that concrete debris emitting a high level of radiation has been found near the Number 3 reactor.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says its workers detected radioactivity of 900 millisieverts per hour being emitted from a 30-by-30 centimeter concrete fragment, 5 centimeters thick, on Wednesday.  




Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:21:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could there be damaged fuel rod debris from the spent fuel pool in #3?

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:55:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Methinks on one hand, contamination by solid-state fuel rod debris would have much higher radioactivity, on the other hand, such debris would be sunken at the bottom of the No. 3 spent fuel pool. My hypothesis: we saw in a video that vent from the containment vessel to the top floor on the No. 3 reactor, now that steam is extremely radioactive, so what if this concrete fragment was part of a beam soaked by that steam jet before the hydrogen explosion?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:38:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For very radioactive debris the spent fuel origin might be possible. For most the condensed steam contaminants origin is probably the more likely. The isotopic composition of the radioactive contamination MIGHT be a tell. If it were skewed towards U235 and P239 that might favor the spent fuel origin hypothesis.  

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 11:40:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/2011/04/87424.html

Two robots that were used to search in the sea for people missing following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami did not find any bodies in five days of operations through Saturday in Pacific coastal waters off northeastern Japan, a research group involved with the project said Sunday.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 01:27:34 PM EST
Anyone up for drafting a new Thread, perhaps with the theme Fukushima: Dropping off the Radar Screen? (Back to normal drone life, folks, step right along, nothing new here.)

I wonder how much measurement is happening on a regular basis at various depths and distances out in the ocean (including the seabed). Until proven otherwise, i'm going on the assumption that things are "stable" because tons of water are continually dousing reactors and pools. And it's got to be running into the ocean, no matter what they've tried to stop it. Doesn't it?

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 02:58:24 PM EST
I'm thinking of "Fukushima: nothing to see here, move along" (would put it up around midnight...), but if you want to do "Fukushima: back to normalcy" yourself, feel free and I'll add the list of threads when it's up.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 02:59:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm off the radar screen at the moment, as well.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sun Apr 24th, 2011 at 03:23:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll do it if no one else is

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 11:29:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:25:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Atmospheric radiation leak underestimated : National : DAILY YOMIURI ONLINE (The Daily Yomiuri)

Data released by the government indicates radioactive material was leaking into the atmosphere from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in early April in greater quantities than previously estimated.

Radioactive material was being released into the atmosphere from the plant at an estimated rate of 154 terabecquerels per day as of April 5, according to data released by the Cabinet Office's Nuclear Safety Commission on Saturday.

The NSC previously estimated radiation leakage on April 5 at "less than 1 terabecquerel per hour."

Iodine-131 and cesium-137 were released into the atmosphere that day at the estimated rates of 0.69 terabecquerel per hour and 0.14 terabecquerel per hour, respectively, the NSC said.

Emissions are converted into iodine-131 equivalents for assessment on the international nuclear event scale (INES), to arrive at the total 154 terabecquerels per day, the nuclear safety watchdog said



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 11:55:46 AM EST
Inspiring trust and confidence.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:13:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently it's converting the earlier numbers into Iodine equivalency,there hasn't been any actual change in the numbers of release.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 01:00:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They actually don't know, with a huge margin of error.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 01:15:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fukushima Radiation - Comparison Map « rchoetzlein - Theory
The new map incorporates many of the changes requests by readers, while new features include a time series visualization of regional effects, a local site map, selected news reports, and data up through March 30th. Radiation by distance has also been updated to show several trend lines at different dates.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 12:44:08 PM EST
Looks like on March 15 and 16 levels at the main gate averaged around 1 Sievert! Wonder what the levels were for the subsequent month.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 11:56:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1 Sievert per hour?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 26th, 2011 at 11:23:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NHK WORLD English
The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is carefully monitoring the situation at the Number 4 spent fuel pool, where the water temperature is rising despite increased injections of cooling water.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, says it will inject 210 tons of water into the pool on Monday, after finding on Sunday evening that the temperature in the pool had risen to 81 degrees Celsius.

The utility firm had earlier limited the amount of water being injected into the pool to 70 tons a day, saying the weight of the water could weaken the reactor building, which was already damaged in last month's hydrogen explosion.

On Friday, TEPCO found that the pool's temperature had reached 91 degrees, so it began injecting 2 to 3 times the amount of water.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Apr 25th, 2011 at 02:47:38 PM EST


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