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Thread: Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War

  1. #21
    Fukushima radiation leaks reach deadly new high

    Exposure to emissions would be fatal within hours, say Japanese authorities, as race to build frozen wall begins

    The crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has radiation leaks strong enough to deliver a fatal dose within hours, Japanese authorities have revealed, as the government prepares to step in to help contain leaks of highly toxic water at the site.

    On Wednesday the country's nuclear regulation authority said radiation readings near water storage tanks at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have increased to a new high, with emissions above the ground near one group of tanks were as high as 2,200 millisieverts [mSv] per hour – a rise of 20% from the previous high.
    Earlier this week the plant's operator, Tepco, said workers had measured radiation at 1,800 mSv an hour near a storage tank.

    That was the previous highest reading since Tepco began installing tanks to store huge quantities of contaminated water that have built up at the plant.
    An unprotected person standing close to the contaminated areas would, within hours, receive a deadly radiation dose. The nuclear regulation authority said the radiation comprised mostly beta rays that could be blocked by aluminium foil, unlike more penetrative gamma rays.

    Tepco's admission in August that about 300 tonnes of radioactive groundwater is escaping into the nearby Pacific Ocean every day, and the more recent discovery of leaking storage tanks and pipes, prompted the government to inject more than £300m to contain the water crisis.

    The emergency measures, announced on Tuesday, involve building a mile-long impenetrable frozen wall beneath the plant to prevent groundwater from mixing with contaminated coolant water. The coolant becomes tainted after coming into contact with melted uranium fuel deep inside the damaged reactors.
    Currently about 400 tonnes of groundwater are streaming into the reactor basements from the hills behind the plant each day. The water is pumped out and held in about 1,000 storage tanks. The tanks contain 330,000 tonnes of water with varying levels of toxicity.
    Fukushima radiation leaks reach deadly new high | Environment |

    I don't know how this whole thing will badly end...
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  2. #22
    How Japan's ice barrier will seal off Fukushima's nuclear ruins

    Japan’s government gave the go-ahead on Tuesday to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create a underground barrier of frozen earth around the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant. It's a seemingly crazy idea that's based on solid engineering — but this wall of ice would have to be built on an unprecedented scale, and would require tremendous energy to stay frosty.The plan calls for burying refrigeration pipes to a depth of 100 feet, every yard or so, for almost a mile around the radioactive site. Those pipes would freeze the ground to keep water from flowing in or out — and any new water that comes in contact with it would freeze as well, making the wall even stronger. The job is scheduled to take 18 months, but once the barrier is fully in place, 10 feet of ice would seal off Fukushima's contaminated soil.
    Ice-barrier technology has been used at conventional construction sites for decades. It’s even been demonstrated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the only place in the world to date where such a barrier was built to contain radioactive waste.
    But the technology has never been used on a problem as big as Fukushima. “This is 150 times bigger,” said Ed Yarmak, president and chief engineer at Alaska-based Arctic Foundations, which played a role in the Oak Ridge project.
    Ironically, one of the biggest potential challenges for sealing off the defunct Fukushima power facility is the enormous electrical demand: Experts estimate that it would take several megawatts of electricity to create and then maintain the ice shield, and the ruined reactors aren’t an option.
    “I don’t think those plants will ever operate again,” Yarmak said. "It's basically a cleanup project."
    'The world is watching'
    For months, the power plant’s operator — the Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO — has been considering the ice-barrier plan among other options for remediation, in the wake of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the plant and spread radioactive contamination. Fresh readings, indicating that hundreds of tons of radioactive water were still leaking from the site, added to the urgency.

    On Tuesday, the Japanese government said it was stepping in. "Instead of leaving this up to TEPCO, the government will step forward and take charge," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a Tokyo news conference. "The world is watching if we can properly handle the contaminated water, but also the entire decommissioning of the plant."

    The government is setting aside $320 million for the ice barrier, and another $150 million for upgraded water treatment facilities. Kajima Corp., the same company that built the Fukushima Daiichi plant, is conducting feasibility studies for the barrier and would put it in place by March 2015.
    The engineering challenges start at the very beginning: “The hard part on this job is keeping your people safe while doing the work, and not spreading the contamination,” Yarmak told NBC News.

    Yarmak is familiar with the challenges because of his role in the $1 million ice-barrier project at Oak Ridge, which was put into place in 1997 to demonstrate that the technology could be used to contain radioactive waste. "It's a big problem," he acknowledged. "People have to understand that if you have big problems, sometimes it takes a lot of money to fix them."
    How Japan's ice barrier will seal off Fukushima's nuclear ruins - NBC

    The Japanese government taking over, perhaps the smartest decision. It is not going to be easy, but they must do everything they can to curb this mess.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  3. #23
    Fukushima out of control

    Fukushima Plant Operator Reports New Leak

    The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Tuesday that four tonnes of rainwater contaminated with low levels of radiation leaked during an operation to transfer the water between tank holding areas.

    Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, has been trying to contain contaminated water at the Fukushima site after it found 300 tonnes of radioactive water had leaked from a tank at the plant. Fukushima suffered triple nuclear meltdowns and hydrogen explosions after a March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

    Heavy rain during a recent typhoon flooded one of the tank holding areas where Tepco stores excess water flushed over damaged reactors to keep them cool, a spokesman said.

    After tests last month showed the rainwater contained 160 becquerels per litre of radiation, a relatively low level, Tepco officials decided to transfer the water to another holding area for tanks, he said.

    During the transfer a worker found the leak, which the company estimated to be 4 tonnes and was absorbed into the ground, the spokesman said.

    The company faces the prospect of more heavy rain in the next few days as another storm approaches Japan from the south.

    Tropical Depression Sepat is forecast to gain strength overnight and arrive in the vicinity of Fukushima by 1200 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Centre said.

    Tepco has been pumping hundreds of tonnes of water a day over the Fukushima reactors to keep them cool and storing the radioactive wastewater in tanks above ground. In August, the utility said at least one of those hastily built tanks was leaking.

    It has also found high levels of radiation just above the ground near other tanks, suggesting widespread structural problems with the tanks.

    Tepco's stock, which was up in the morning, fell after the utility announced the latest problem with water storage, closing down 4.1 percent.

    Earlier on Tuesday, Tepco said one of three units for injecting nitrogen into the damaged reactors shut down due to a worker mishandling the equipment, but was restarted later. Tepco injects nitrogen into the reactors to prevent explosions similar to those that rocked the site in the early days of the disaster.
    Fukushima Plant Operator Reports New Leak
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  4. #24
    Japan asks international community to help solve Fukushima crisis

    Japan's prime minister has appealed to the international community to help fix the on-going crisis at its damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant.

    Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, confirmed that Japan was open to receiving assistance from overseas in a bid to help resolve the world's worst nuclear crisis in decades.

    "We are wide open to receive the most advanced knowledge from overseas to contain the problem," said Mr Abe, during a speech made in English at a science forum in Kyoto. "My country needs your knowledge and expertise."

    His comments were made against a backdrop of on-going technical issues, with operators confirming that the latest mishap was an accidental power cut stopping pumps used to inject water to cool damaged reactors.

    The incident occurred when a worker carrying out system inspections accidentally pushed a button which switched off power to some of the systems within the four reactor buildings.

    Although a backup system was implemented immediately, the accident is the latest in a spate of high-profile problems at the plant, which is currently in the sensitive early stages of a decades-long decommissioning process.

    Other issues relate to the contamination of groundwater with radioactive leakages which has been seeping into the Pacific since the reactors melted down shortly after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
    The issue of how to dispose of vast quantities of contaminated water, used for critical cooling purposes, has also been top of the agenda at the plant, where further leakages have been reported from hastily-built storage tanks.
    Japan has faced widespread criticism for its handling of the disaster, in particular its perceived hesitancy in taking decisive action and accepting foreign assistance in resolving the on-going technical problems.
    However, with the seven year countdown to Tokyo's 2020 Olympic Games underway, the government is showing tentative signs that it is increasingly open to foreign assistance.
    Testimony to this was the recent establishment of an organisation among major utilities and nuclear experts, including advisors from the UK, France and Russia, in order to discuss decommissioning.
    Japan asks international community to help solve Fukushima crisis - Telegraph

    That's a wise decision, I believe foreign nuclear experts could help more Japan.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  5. #25
    Fukushima out of control NOVEMBER 2013

    The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

    The crisis in Japan has been described as "a nuclear war without a war". In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:

    "This time no one dropped a bomb on us ... We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives."

    Nuclear radiation --which threatens life on planet earth-- is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

    While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes -- Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer Global Research, September 10, 2010, See also Matthew Penney and Mark Selden The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima, Global Research, May 25, 2011)

    Moreover, while all eyes were riveted on the Fukushima Daiichi plant, news coverage both in Japan and internationally failed to fully acknowledge the impacts of a second catastrophe at TEPCO's (Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc) Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

    The shaky political consensus both in Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe is that the crisis at Fukushima has been contained.

    The realties, however, are otherwise. Fukushima 3 was leaking unconfirmed amounts of plutonium. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, "one millionth of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled can cause cancer".

    An opinion poll in May 2011 confirmed that more than 80 per cent of the Japanese population do not believe the government's information regarding the nuclear crisis. (quoted in Sherwood Ross, Fukushima: Japan's Second Nuclear Disaster, Global Research, November 10, 2011)

    The Impacts in Japan

    The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that "the severity rating of its nuclear crisis ... matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster". In a bitter irony, however, this tacit admission by the Japanese authorities has proven to been part of the cover-up of a significantly larger catastrophe, resulting in a process of global nuclear radiation and contamination:

    "While Chernobyl was an enormous unprecedented disaster, it only occurred at one reactor and rapidly melted down. Once cooled, it was able to be covered with a concrete sarcophagus that was constructed with 100,000 workers. There are a staggering 4400 tons of nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima, which greatly dwarfs the total size of radiation sources at Chernobyl." ( Extremely High Radiation Levels in Japan: University Researchers Challenge Official Data, Global Research, April 11, 2011)

    Fukushima in the wake of the Tsunami, March 2011

    Worldwide Contamination

    The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California:

    "Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow's meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements -- called internal emitters -- migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer". (Helen Caldicott, Fukushima: Nuclear Apologists Play Shoot the Messenger on Radiation, The Age, April 26, 2011)

    While the spread of radiation to the West Coast of North America was casually acknowledged, the early press reports (AP and Reuters) "quoting diplomatic sources" stated that only "tiny amounts of radioactive particles have arrived in California but do not pose a threat to human health."

    "According to the news agencies, the unnamed sources have access to data from a network of measuring stations run by the United Nations' Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. ...Headquarterd in Austria.

    ... Greg Jaczko, chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission,(a Commission with no current funding) told White House reporters on Thursday (March 17) that his experts "don't see any concern from radiation levels that could be harmful here in the United States or any of the U.S. territories".

    M O'Rourke
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  6. #26
    And if you still have doubts, perhaps you should take a look at this scientific document:
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  7. #27

    Many children in Fukushima were never evacuated after the nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011. Now the number of Fukushima children found to have thyroid cysts and nodules is increasing. What will this mean for their future?

    I am wondering besides Japan, where are the tests of the food chain and environmental areas in US. I have the impression that the silence mean a lot.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  8. #28
    Fukushima: now for the tough part

    The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will as early as this week begin removing 400 tonnes of highly irradiated spent fuel in a hugely delicate and unprecedented operation fraught with risk. Carefully plucking more than 1,500 brittle and potentially damaged fuel assemblies from the plant's unstable Reactor No. 4 is expected to take about a year, and will be seen as a test of Tokyo Electric Power Co's ability to move ahead with decommissioning the whole facility - a task likely to take decades and cost tens of billions of dollars.
    If the rods - there are 50-70 in each of the assemblies, which weigh around 300 kg (660 pounds) and are 4.5 meters (15 feet) long - are exposed to air or if they break, huge amounts of radioactive gases could be released into the atmosphere.
    The hazardous removal operation has been likened by Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, to trying to pull cigarettes from a crushed pack.
    When the time comes, extracting spent fuel from the plant's other reactors, where radiation levels are much higher because of core meltdowns, will be even more challenging. Reactors No. 1 and No. 3 sustained heavier damage than No. 4 as a result of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that knocked out power and cooling at the Fukushima station, triggering three meltdowns that sent a plume of radiation into the air and nearby Pacific Ocean.
    The urgency to clear Reactor No. 4 of the fuel assemblies is because of the risk in having spent fuel stored at such a height - some 18 meters above ground level - in a building that has buckled and tilted and could collapse if another quake strikes.
    Also, if the pool housing the fuel assemblies is punctured and the water drains away, there could be a fire that releases more radiation than during the 2011 disaster, threatening Tokyo, some 200 kms (125 miles) to the south.
    "Full release from the Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date," independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt wrote in a recent World Nuclear Industry Status Report.
    Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, has shored up Reactor No. 4 and erected a giant steel frame over the top of the building which lost its roof in the 2011 explosion. It says the building can withstand shaking similar to the 2011 quake.
    The utility has removed the larger debris left from that explosion from the pool that has been cooling the fuel assemblies for the past two and a half years. As the water used to cool the rods has had to be pumped in from the ocean, there is a risk that some may have corroded from the seawater.
    Tepco has already removed two unused fuel assemblies from the pool in a test operation at Reactor No. 4 last year, but these rods are less dangerous than the spent bundles. Extracting spent fuel is a normal part of a nuclear plant's operations, but there is little normal about Fukushima today.
    Widely criticized for a series of missteps in its handling of the post-disaster clean-up, Tepco says it recognizes the operation will be difficult, but believes it can carry it out safely. The utility has struggled to stop radioactive water overflowing from another part of the Fukushima facility, and experts have questioned whether it should still be in charge of the clean-up and decommissioning.
    Tepco says the assembly removal process will begin around mid-November, withholding the actual date for what it says are security reasons.
    "I agree with doing Unit 4 first as it may give them some experience as to how to approach the more difficult jobs at Units 1-3," said Dale Bridenbaugh, a former General Electric engineer and manager, who has previously worked at Japanese nuclear plants including Fukushima Daiichi's Reactor No. 1. "It will also provide a pathway for use in deciding how to move the remaining fuel and debris from Units 1-3."
    The steel frame that now perches above the damaged reactor holds the cranes that will pluck the 1,331 used radiated fuel assemblies, which are packed tightly together, and another 202 unused assemblies also stored in Reactor No. 4's cooling pool. The cranes and equipment normally used to extract used fuel from the reactor's core were destroyed in the disaster.
    The fuel assemblies are held in a 10 x 12 meter concrete pool, the base of which is on the fourth storey of the complex. The assemblies - which contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances known - are under 7 meters of water.
    "They must be handled one by one, very carefully," Shunichi Tanaka, the chairman of Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority, said after approving the operation recently.
    The assemblies must first be pulled from their storage racks and individually placed in a heavy steel chamber - kept all the while under water to prevent overheating. The chamber, which weighs around 90 tonnes when filled and shields the radiation pulsating from the rods, is then removed from the pool, lowered to ground level and transported by trailer to a common storage pool in an undamaged building about 100 meters away.
    Teams of six will operate in 2-hour shifts, with as many as three rotations each day, manually guiding and operating the cranes that will transfer the rods, Tepco said.
    Spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai said Tepco will carry out a test operation for moving the heavy chamber later on Wednesday.
    "A lot of debris fell into the fuel pool as a result of the March 2011 hydrogen explosion. The large pieces of debris have been removed," Takashi Hara, a Tepco employee in charge of the fuel removal, told reporters during a recent plant tour. "If, for some reason, the water levels drop, the fuel would quickly heat up," he added.
    The operation to remove all the fuel would normally take about 100 days, and Tepco initially planned to take two years before having that timeframe in recognition of the urgency.

    "We are all worried ... Every day we read news about the plant, and we are aware of their plans to remove the spent fuel rods," said Ichiro Kazawa, 61, a former real estate manager from the nearby town of Hirono. He lost his home to the tsunami and now lives in temporary housing.
    "Everybody's concerned and just hoping there will be no major accidents. No one here trusts Tokyo Electric."
    Fukushima: now for the tough part | Reuters

    The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will as early as this week begin removing 400 tonnes of highly irradiated spent fuel in a hugely delicate and unprecedented operation fraught with risk.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


  9. #29
    Wow. It appears that the situation is much worse than they thought. I am surprised that the worldwide media is not on this like flies on poop.

    The steam escaping from the ground reminds me of the scenes from the original Godzilla and Mothra movies when the critters emerged. Perhaps we will soon see a bigger monster than Obamacare.

    I read that Germany got spooked by the Fukushima problem and is now planning to shut down their 17 nuclear reactors by 2022.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by TopDogger View Post
    Wow. It appears that the situation is much worse than they thought. I am surprised that the worldwide media is not on this like flies on poop.
    I guess they don't want a general panic, they prefer silent deaths so they can do business as usual, except if the whole thing smoke or explode, they are forced to report what is visible.

    The steam escaping from the ground reminds me of the scenes from the original Godzilla and Mothra movies when the critters emerged. Perhaps we will soon see a bigger monster than Obamacare.

    I read that Germany got spooked by the Fukushima problem and is now planning to shut down their 17 nuclear reactors by 2022.
    I am waiting to see if the next generation of power supply ITER will be safer.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.


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