Radioactive sulfur was “the highest ever measured in any atmospheric sample” — “Very high” concentrations detected in Tokyo
‘Detection of radioactive 35S at Fukushima and other Japanese sites‘, authors include scientists from the University of California San Diego and the University of Tokyo, 2013 (emphasis added):
- An effect of [the Fukushima] disaster was secondary formation of radioactive 35S… when neutrons… activated the coolant sea water. Here we report the first measurements of 35S [which oxidized to 35SO2, then 35SO42-] collected at six Japanese sampling sites… during March-September 2011.
- Even after 6 months, 35SO42- activity remains very high… in the Fukushima region, which implies that the reactor core was producing radioactive sulfur.
- 35S is a unique tracer in that it provides information on the number of neutrons emitted from the reactor core and can be used to probe the condition of the reactor core as well as the containment vessel.
- 35SO42- concentrations [of 61,000 atoms/m3 in Kashiwa (200 km from FDNPP) and 120,000 atoms/m3 in Kawamata (50 km from FDNPP)] arethe highest 35S activities ever measured in any atmospheric sample and are nearly 100 times higher than the natural background.
- Figure 3 [right]: 35SO42- measured… at Fukushima prefecture… shows that, even after 6 months… the reactor core was active and producing 35S.
- The natural background 35SO42- concentration [is] 300 to 900 atoms/m3.
- Even after 6 months, 35S activity was very high… which implies that the reactor core wasstill active and releasing neutrons. However, the presence of a viable chlorine source is not known. The neutrons might be reacting… with sea water coming in and out across a crack developed in the containment vessel.
- 35SO42- was detected several thousand miles away from the source
- A very high 35SO42- activity was observed at [Kawamata, Kashiwa], Tsukuba [175 km from FDNPP], and Tokyo Tech Yokohama [250 km from FDNPP].
And: IAEA: Fukushima reactors may have been active long after meltdowns — This completely changes our idea of what happened — Very surprised over extremely high I-131 levels, which shows fission went on for weeks/months (VIDEO)
- AP: Radioactive material spews into air & sea at Fukushima — Asahi: Exposure levels spike — Nuclear Expert: We don’t even know where 3 melted reactor cores are… it’s not under control at all; Still getting worse 3 years later (AUDIO) March 11, 2014
- Japan Journalist: Melted nuclear fuel going through Fukushima containment vessels, they don’t even know where the 3 reactor cores went — Senior Scientist: I’m being told Japan may never be able to remove radioactive materials from site; ‘Solution’ may be to leave it in place (AUDIO) June 10, 2014
- TV: Highest ever radiation levels detected outside reactor buildings at Fukushima — People exposed to it would die in 20 minutes (VIDEO) December 7, 2013
- NHK: Extremely high levels of radiation detected just above Reactor 2 containment vessel — Radioactive substances suspected to have moved through location (VIDEO) June 15, 2012
- Nuclear Engineer: “Very huge catastrophe” for melted fuel to burn into ground — Radioactive material “will go all around the world” once in underground water — Chernobyl made cement barrier below reactor, #Fukushima did not (VIDEO) February 1, 2014
ABC Tours Fukushima Plant: This could go on for centuries, and some say problems can never be fixed; “Tepco admits it doesn’t know extent of meltdowns” — Official: We don’t know ‘real situation’ of the molten fuel, “nobody has seen it”; We need help from the world (VIDEO)
ABC News (Australia), Feb 18, 2015 (emphasis added): Inside Fukushima: ABC tours crippled power plant… TEPCO [says] major steps have been taken to decommission the molten reactors.Others say the plant cannot be fixed… With vacuum-sealed protection gear and special breathing apparatus, TEPCO gave the ABC an exclusive tour of the crippled plant… Reactors 1, 2 and 3 were strictly off limits, and looking from about 500 metres away the area was clearly deserted, with cars and equipment abandoned. Removing the molten fuel from these reactors will be an enormous challenge… [TEPCO guide Kenichiro Matsui] admitted they did not know the extent of the problems… Locals distrust TEPCO, say future is ‘hopeless’… Fourth-generation fisherman Hisashi Yoshida said any trust with TEPCO was broken a long time ago… Shinichi Kumadah, a Fukushima evacuee [told ABC] “When I think of the future I can’t think of anything. It’s hopeless.”
ABC News (Australia) transcript, Feb 18, 2015:
- Matthew Carney, ABC North Asia correspondent: “Sorting out Reactor No. 4 will be the easy part. Fixing Reactors No. 1, 2, and 3 will be much more difficult. They’re full of molten nuclear fuel. Humans can’t enter, it would result in instant death. And robots have yet to be invented that can withstand the massive radiation levels near the melted cores. TEPCO admits it doesn’t know the exact location and extent of the meltdowns. They claim it will take 40 years to fix, but others say centuries.”
- Kenichiro Matsui, TEPCO public affairs department (voiceover translation): “We don’t know the exact situation in detail. Fuel has been melted down, but nobody has seen it. We need to develop technology with help from around the world to know the real situation.”
Watch the broadcast hereRelated Posts
- BBC: Work at Fukushima Unit 4 a “distraction”; The “real nightmare” is coming from 3 molten cores — NYTimes: Melted fuel is “all over the place… First goal is simply to stop uncontrolled releases of radioactive material” (AUDIO) December 7, 2013
- Japan Official: Fuel from Fukushima reactors is “melting down daily” — AP: No way of confirming melted fuel is at bottom of containment vessels — Tepco Adviser: “Schedule for decommissioning the plant is pure supposition” — The Economist: This is ‘Mission Impossible’ (VIDEO) February 8, 2015
- NPR: How can Fukushima’s molten fuel be contained so it stops contaminating the planet? Nuclear Expert: There’s no way to get at molten fuel… I’ve not seen a solution to this (AUDIO) September 17, 2013
- Experts: Nuclear chain reactions may have lasted over 7 months at Fukushima — Neutron leakage from ‘active’ molten fuel — “Core producing radioactive sulfur” — Top Gov’t Official: MOX fuel could be neutron source April 10, 2014
- TV: Only ‘some’ of Fukushima melted fuel is now solid — Nuclear Expert: Molten core ‘re-melts’, even with enough cooling water — Japan Engineer: “The Fukushima accident was the first of its kind” (VIDEO) January 29, 2015