Fukushima plant is dumping nuclear waste into ocean on a daily basis; “There’s no foreseeable end to it… and nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it”

By ENENewsAsahi Shimbun, Oct 26, 2015 (emphasis added): [TEPCO announced] the construction of seaside walls to block radiation-contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea has been completed at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant… TEPCO officials said the underground walls will reduce the daily flow of contaminated groundwater into the sea from the previous estimated 400 tons to 10 tons. However, they said it will take a month or two to confirm the effectiveness of the barriers.

Japan Times, Oct 26, 2015: Tepco hopes the wall will significantly reduce the amount of contaminated water that has continued to flow into the Pacific more than four years after the 2011 meltdown crisis… 400 tons of groundwaterwas draining along the sides of the buildings and into the sea each day, after being contaminated with fallout from the 2011 meltdown crisis, according Tepco. The utility says an estimated 150 tons of underground water is still flowing into the basements of the damaged reactor buildings each day… Recent tests of water samples from the nearby sea have detected radioactive substances such as cesium-137 and strontium-90, but scientists have said the density is so low that it poses no immediatedanger to human health. Yet, the ongoing flow of tainted water from the plant has raised anxiety and concerns among local fishermen and many consumers across the country. Tepco plans to keep monitoring the density of radioactive materials in the nearby sea over the next month. To isolate the four reactor buildings from the underground water, Tepco hopes to freeze the soil around them… The Nuclear Regulation Authority has yet to give permission for the operation, saying creation of frozen soil could drastically change the underground water level around the plant. If the water level outside falls lower than that inside, the contaminated water could leak out. Meanwhile, Tepco has not explained exactly how it will control the water levels, an NRA official said.

Dr. Keith Baverstock, former World Health Organization regional adviser for radiation and public health, published Oct 23, 2015 (at 37:00 in): “I’m reallyappalled at the way the international system has failed… Quite frankly, we don’t get anything through the media… There is no general understanding of the situation here in Europe, because the media are not putting this view forward. In fact, I think many people would be very surprised that it was still  a matter for discussion. They would be even more surprised to learn that it’s still an ongoing accident, and that it hasn’t terminated yet. They’d be even more surprised that nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it. So this is a very big black point… for the nuclear industry — that they can cause a situation like this, where there’sno foreseeable end to it. It’s against international law to dump radioactivity into the sea, but that is precisely what is happening on a daily basis.”

Watch Baverstock’s presentation here

  1. Officials have “admitted failure” at Fukushima plant — Giving up on attempts “to prevent highly contaminated water from pouring into ocean” — Regulator asks “What was all the trouble over the past months for?” — Gov’t experts worried cement barrier is going to crack (VIDEO) November 23, 2014
  2. Engineer: Outright failures continue to plague Fukushima plant — “Public may think worst is over… Nothing could be further from the truth” — Japan TV: New method failing to stop flow of highly contaminated water — Experts: ‘Diluting’ radiation in ocean adds to danger; Spreading it out only makes health damages worse (VIDEO)January 12, 2015
  3. NHK: Attempts to stop Fukushima contamination flowing into ocean have failed — Japan Nuclear Expert: “Most likely flowing fairly quickly into sea” from nearby Reactor No. 2 September 11, 2013
  4. TV: Fukushima underground dam not working, radiation levels now exceeding gov’t limit near shore — Tepco Official: “The flow of contaminated water into ocean is causing problems… It’s quite difficult to stop” (VIDEO) February 9, 2014
  5. Japan Expert: Contamination from Fukushima is traveling “under the seabed” and spreading further out in Pacific Ocean — Measures needed to stop flow September 3, 2013

UPI: ‘Skyrocketing’ cancer cases in Fukushima — AP: ‘Alarming’ cancer rates after nuclear disaster — Times: Child cancers up 5,000% — Radiation doses may be “considerably higher” than estimated — Expert: Cancer outbreak shows officials must now prepare for onset of leukemia, other diseases (VIDEO)

By ENENews

The Times, Oct 8 2015 (emphasis added): Child cancers up fiftyfold after Fukushima disaster — Cases of thyroid cancer among children living close to the Fukushima nuclear power plant have increased fiftyfold since the meltdown in 2011, according to Japanese scientists… in one of the most pessimistic assessments of the health implications of the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster. He urged the Japanese authorities to stop quibbling over the interpretation of cancer statistics, and to muster medical resources. “We need to prepare for leukaemia, breast cancerand (remainder of article only available to subscribers)… Photo Caption: 104 cases of thyroid cancer have been identified, a far higher rate than the national average

AP, Oct 9, 2015: Study showsalarming thyroid cancer rates in children living near Fukushima… “This is more than expected and emerging faster than expected,” lead author Toshihide Tsuda said…

UPI, Oct 8, 2015: Fukushima radiation has been linked to a surgein thyroid cancer among children near the disaster area… A team of Japanese researchers led by Toshihide Tsuda, a professor of environmental epidemiology at Okayama University, said cases of thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture have skyrocketed since March 2011… and the culprit was increased radiation exposure since the Fukushima nuclear disaster…

T. Tsuda, A. Tokinobu, E. Suzuki, E. Yamamoto (Okayama Univ.), Oct 5, 2015:

  • Thyroid Cancer Detection by Ultrasound Among Residents Ages 18 Years and Younger in Fukushima… 2011 to 2014
  • The highest incidence rate ratio… was observed in the central middle district of the prefecture… incidence rate ratio = 50
  • … estimated doses ranged from 119 to 432 mSv among mothers and from 330 to 1,190 mSv in their infants for those living 45 to 220 km south or southwest, including Iwaki City in the Fukushima Prefecture, Ibaragi Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture.
  • … we could infer that the incidence of thyroid cancer in Fukushima rose more rapidly than expected… as estimated by the World Health Organization.
  • The radiation burden to the thyroid in Fukushima Prefecture might have been considerably higher than estimated…
  • The minimum empirical induction time for thyroid cancer is 2.5 years for adults and 1 year for children, according to the [CDC].Therefore, we considered it possible to detect thyroid cancer… even within the 2011 fiscal year.
  • In Chernobyl, excesses of thyroid cancer became more remarkable 4 or 5 years after… the observed excess alerts us to prepare for more potential cases.

Watch a recent presentation by Prof. Tsuda here

Related Posts

  1. Officials: 6,000% cancer rate increase in Fukushima children’s thyroids — Expert: Urgent countermeasures against the suspected outbreak are necessary — Professor: Gov’t stopped me from checking thyroid exposure levels after 3/11 (VIDEO) May 19, 2015
  2. ABC Radio: “Cancer cases in Fukushima emerging faster than expected” — Japan Surgeon: I’m very angry, it’s very strange officials won’t release basic data (AUDIO) November 4, 2013
  3. Tokyo Press Conference: Gov’t is committing crimes against humanity; Fukushima children living in war zone and can’t leave — Childhood cancer developing much faster than Chernobyl; Rate now 14 times higher — Parent: “I’m revealing the reality of what’s going on… it’s only way to get rid of the criminals” (VIDEO) August 19, 2014
  4. Fukushima Doctor: Cancer found in over 40 children… We believe it’s related to the nuclear disaster — Physician: Leukemia cases to increase in next few months? (AUDIO) October 11, 2013
  5. Japan Lawmaker: “Children coming down with many health problems… this is reality” — CNN: “Many parents of Fukushima blame nuclear accident” for higher cancer rate (VIDEOS) November 9, 2013

Multiple species wiped out in days — Mortality rate of 99.99% over large region — “No documented event has been so severe”

Univ. of California (Davis), Jun 3, 2015 (emphasis added): In August 2011, scientists at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory walked into their labs to a strange, disturbing sight: Thousands of purple sea urchins and other marine invertebrates were dead in their tanks, which are fed directly by seawater. [The] ocean washed up carcasses of red abalone, large sea stars, and football-sized, snail-like chitons… even more heavily impacted as a population were the millions of purple sea urchins and tiny sea stars that died along a 62-mile stretch of coast… “We might not have known urchins and six-armed sea stars were affected if lab-held animals hadn’t died right in front of us,” said the study’s lead author Laura Jurgens… “We’re expecting real ecological changes in how these tide pools operate”… this die-off was fast, wiping out these two species in as little as a few days. The die-off also occurred about two years before [observance of] sea star wasting syndrome

Santa Cruz Sentinel, Jun 3, 2015: [It was] a grim scene, with dead red abalone, purple sea urchins and tiny sea stars rotting across the Northern California shoreline… the same carnage [took place] at the UC Davis Bodega Marine Lab… scientists tallied almost 100 percent mortality of purple sea urchins and six-armed sea stars throughout the 62-mile study area… Researchers found only 10 purple sea urchins in the area once home to millions

Study by scientists from CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, Bodega Marine Lab, UC Davis/Santa Cruz/Merced, Jun 3, 2015: Patterns of Mass Mortality among Rocky Shore Invertebrates across 100 km of Northeastern Pacific Coastline— In late August 2011, formerly abundant intertidal populations of the purple sea urchin [and] six-armed sea star were functionally extirpated from ~100 km of coastline… studies by others indicated moderate to severe impacts on… red sea urchin… and red abalone… There were no obvious physical stressors (e.g., a storm, heavy rainfall)… we did not find a single six-armed star at these six locations… Ochre sea stars and gumboot chitons also experienced elevated mortality… We found only ten surviving intertidal purple urchins out of a prior regional population we estimate at many millions…. [The] mortality rate was therefore >99.99% over 100 km[N]o previously documented mortality event has been so severe over such a large region… its sudden onset [is] a pattern that israre in marine systems… typically [it takes] several months or years… [W]e cannot unambiguously ascribe the current die-off to a particular cause or set of causes… A disease outbreak is plausible… The most likely cause…appears to be a toxin produced by phytoplankton… yes so toxins have not previously been known as lethal… the possibility remains that unidentified species and/or toxin(s) were responsible.

Press Democrat (Sonoma), Feb 2014: Biologists were initially stumped by the die-off, which stunned local divers and was erroneously attributed to a red tide. The cause has since been identified as a bloom of microscopic algae called Gonyaulax membranacea, which produce a toxin called yessotoxin…

Watch a video documenting the 2011 mass mortality event here

Related Posts

  1. Reports: Sea stars decimated on West Coast — SoCal ravaged as mystery disease spreads south; Saw hundreds last year, now none… got hit really hard — Mortality event like this never before documented — “Uncharted waters… likes of which we haven’t seen” — Turning to ‘bacterial goop’ (RADIO) April 5, 2014
  2. Gov’t reports “big, big decline” in Alaska caribou — “Mortality very high” after Fukushima releases began — “Low survival rate” for calves also in 2011 and 2012 — Official: “Worrisome” how quickly this happened… In truth, we don’t have an answer why (AUDIO) July 23, 2014
  3. “Sea creatures sick, dying or disappearing at alarming rate all along Pacific coast… Some wonder if it’s fallout from Fukushima” — New York Times: “Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction” — Study: “We may be on precipice of major extinction event” in marine wildlife (VIDEO)January 18, 2015
  4. CBS: This is really disturbing, sea stars dying by the millions on West Coast — Like the Black Death, only faster and deadlier — ‘Mystery plague’ affecting 20+ species — TV: Disappears from Orange County coast over 2 week period — Expert: “Largest epidemic ever in ocean… Something has changed in marine environment to lead to this” (VIDEO)July 29, 2014
  5. ‘Marine Mystery’ in California: “Toxic outbreak threatening marine life” — Birds falling from sky, sea lions convulsing — “Worst they’ve ever seen” — Toxin hits record level, almost 1,000% above gov’t limit — Heart lesions, severe shrinking in part of brain, nervous system failure (VIDEO) May 3, 2014

KSBW, May 29, 2015 (emphasis added): Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary: Mass die-off could happen – “We are beginning with continuing coverage of that algae bloom in the Monterey Bay. Scientists say they’re seeing the highest levels of red tide in more than a decade, and they’reworried it will have grave impacts on marine life… [It] spreads all up and down the West Coast. Researchers in Santa Cruz have alreadyrecorded a mass die-off of anchovies and they expected more species could follow.”

KSBW, May 29, 2015: Scientists with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary are predicting a mass die-off on the Central Coast… Up and down the West Coast, a large algal bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia is growing rapidly.

Chris Scholin, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), May 28, 2015: Very Toxic Algal Bloom in Monterey Bay — I wanted to let you know we have been following a very big bloom of Pseudo-nitzschia over the past couple of weeks here in the bay, and the amount of associated domoic acid is really extraordinary… Yesterday I noticed anchovies washing upon the beach in front of MBARI as far as I could see. There’s also lines of fish scales (anchovy?) marking the high tide line… One of the staff went snorkeling off the beach here, and saw the seafloor littered with anchovies… keep an eye out for seizuring sealions, sick birds, maybe sick otters… We think this is a very large event… Don’t eat shellfish or forage fish from MB — very nasty right now!!!

KSBW, May 29, 2015: “New tonight… researchers say a large algae bloom has taken over the Monterey Bay“… Jim Birch, MBARI: “We’re seeing these really high domoic acid levels in both locations, which is very, very unusual“… “Scientists with MBARI say the toxins from the algae bloom are going to have a chain reaction on marine animals, and they’ve already seen more dead seabirds on Central Coast beaches… It has started to really grow in the last few days.

KSBW, May 29, 2015: Raphael Kudela, a researcher at [UCSC] said the bloom… is being found from Washington to Santa Barbara… reports of dead seabirds are already coming in.

Monterey Herald, May 28, 2015: A mysterious neurotoxin… returned with a vengeance… “This is an unusual one,” said Raphael Kudela… “We haven’t seen a bloom this big in 15 years.”… why the toxin periodically blooms in Monterey Bay is still a marine mystery… scientists are getting closer to pinning down the reason for the blooms, with human impacts among the range of possibilities… Domoic acid is also suspected in a recentspate of bird deaths.

UC Santa Cruz, June 2, 2015: The toxin was first detected in early May, and by the end of the month researchers had detected some of the highest concentrations of domoic acid ever observed in Monterey Bay. “It’s a pretty massive bloom. The domoic acid levels are extremely high right now… the event is occurring as far north as Washington state. So it appears this will be one of the most toxic and spatially largest events we’ve had in at least a decade,” said Raphael Kudela, [UCSC] professor of ocean sciences.

MBARI, Jun 1, 2015: Researchers measured some of the highest concentrations of harmful algae and their toxin ever observed in Monterey Bay… During a normal [bloom] 1,000 nanograms per liter would be considered high… [It’s] reached 10 to 30 times this level. On May 27, 2015, very high levels… were found in dead anchovies… The researchers do not know if the anchovies died because of domoic acid poisoning.

Watch: KSBW’s broadcast | San Diego 6 News broadcast

Fukushima: “Astounding” levels of radiation measured in U.S. from Fukushima — Around 500,000 times our normal levels…

ENENews

Harry Miley, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington, Mar 7, 2014 (emphasis added): “We’re surrounded by souvenirs of scientific achievement here in the National Security Building Showcase lobby. Each one of these items tells a story of scientists working quietly on projects of societal impact. This yellow thing you see behind me is an aerosol sample… It was taken here a few days after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters in Japan, and contains radioactivity that allowed us to determine the nature [and] magnitude of the release, but most importantly that there will be no human health impacts in North America… The Fukushima nuclear disaster… was not something we expected. We normally work on things of societal impact invisibly… But when the disaster occurred, the things we were doing suddenly became of national importance. You could hardly imagine anything more important. In fact, it was a matter of life and death.” >> Watch the video here

A colleague of Miley’s at PNNL, Ted Bowyer, discussed the air samples at a CTBTO meeting:

  • 0:30 in – “I agree with everything that previous speakers said, especially the aspect that more work is necessary… We have a lot of work to do… We have a lot of questions that we need to answer. There are a lot of people working on it. I also really thought it was very valuable to have this email exchange with… interested parties about events as they were unfolding in Japan. The accident as everyone knows was a terrible tragedy.”
  • 3:30 in – Slide: Evidence of radionuclide release reached the Japanese IMS station within 2-3 days; First evidence of the plume hitting the U.S. came to PNNL’s equipment about 1 day later
  • 4:30 in – “This is very amazing to me, having been working in the radioactive xenon monitoring field for about 17 years now. This was astounding to me… You can see background levels around 0.1 mBq/m3… Note the peak concentration we saw was in the range of 45,000 mBq/m3 — so that is 450,000 times our background level. For me that’s astounding. We never have ever seen anything even close to that. So the concentrations went up and up and up every day, and so that was quite amazing to see this 7,000 kilometers away from the event… I only show some of the data here, but it actually persisted for weeks at very measurable levels, and filled the entire northern hemisphere and mixed into the southern hemisphere.”
  • 12:00 in – “Xenon isotopic ratios appear to generally agree with calculations. However, there’s some uncertainty… We have a lot of work to do to try to understand whether there are calibration issues, whether there were physics here that we had not accounted for, etc. We do know that there are very high count rates at these detectors, which is similar to what you’d expect in an atmospheric detonation. On the other hand, the part I didn’t tell you was the amount of xenon we saw was consistent with a one megaton atmospheric detonation — we obviously wouldn’t expect to see that high. But it was a huge amount.”
  • Watch Bowyer’s presentation here

Related Posts

  1. US Gov’t Expert: Large marine animals likely sensed danger of Fukushima plume and fled, “Not going to wait until they start to die off” — Explains unprecedented concentrations of whales and other sea life clustering off West Coast? (VIDEO) March 2, 2014
  2. Canadian scientists detect “significant” concentrations of radioactive material off West Coast, levels double in months since last test — Marine Chemist: “Much greater concern” over Fukushima releases that will be hitting shores of US & Canada; Lack of data “really disturbing” (AUDIO) November 10, 2014
  3. Leader of Fukushima Study: “Intense exposure” headed toward US west coast; Plume traveling very fast via oceanic jet — “High concentrations” to impact California coastal areas; Prolonged period of radioactive upwelling expected (VIDEO) September 18, 2014
  4. Study: Global consequences from Fukushima-like nuclear disaster; Many nations at risk of ‘great exposure’ — Transport of hot particles to US was especially effective during worst releases after reactor explosions — Radioactivity confined ‘close to surface’ due to seasonal factors (VIDEO) January 28, 2015
  5. Experts: Disease explosion in West Coast sea stars — “Extinction event” is pretty close — “Epidemic of historic magnitude… threatens to decimate entire population” of species in Oregon — Sudden 50-fold increase in recent weeks — Entire ecosystem could be disrupted — “We have no clue” (VIDEO) June 11, 2014

“Huge, unprecedented die-off like we’ve never seen”

KQED Science, Apr 5, 2015 (emphasis added): About thirty miles out from the Golden Gate, the federally protected Farallones are breeding grounds visited by hundreds of thousands of seabirds – many of which use the islands as a  winter way station — but not this year. Gerry McChesney, manager of the site for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says that’s a bad sign not just for the Farallon Islands but also for wildlife more broadly along California’s coast. There was also hardship for breeding marine mammals. Dozens of pregnant sea lions proved too weak to carry their pups to term “That’s such a bizarre thing,” McChesney says. “We were seeing multiple aborted fetuses every day,” 94 in total – or nearly half the number of sea lions born there in 2014. Nor was the warm winter kind to elephant seal pups. Russ Bradley, Farallon program manager for Point Blue Conservation Science, says elephant seal mothers, trying to cool off amid the unusual heat, led their pups up to a cliff that, while breezy, proved perilous – “and actually had a fair amount of pups fall into this sea channel, because they’re pups and they’re clumsy and they got too close to the edge.” “It is pretty brutal for the biologists out here that had to watch it,” McChesney says. “It was pretty tough.” Among the conspicuously absent birds was a type called Cassin’s Auklet, which feeds on krill. All along the Pacific coast, McChesney says, these birds have been suffering “a huge, unprecedented die-off like we’ve never seen” for want of food. That’s also bad news for other species that eat krill, he says, from salmon to blue whales.

US Fish & Wildlife Service, Apr 1, 2015: Over the past four months, seals and sea lions are having difficulty reproducing, local seabirds have had low colony attendance… Observations of disrupted breeding activities include: California sea lions aborting pups due to poor body condition of the mothers. Since January 9th, 94 aborted sea lion fetuses have been recorded on the islands, well in advance of their June due date. Ninety-four is almost half the total number of sea lions born on the island in 2014. High elephant seal pup mortality due to warmer air temperaturesPup survival was low this year… Many pups died when overheating mothers led them to a cliff edge in attempts to get cool; pups then fell to their deaths.  Low attendance of breeding seabirds – Farallon nesting seabirds usually visit the islands during winter, but this year winter attendance was unusually low. In fact, the Cassin’s Auklet… has been largely absent from the islands in the last few months… Since auklets feed mainly on krill, their activity and nesting success are good indicators of the availability of this food resource, which is very important for many marine predators including whales and salmon… “These unusual observations highlight the importance of monitoring our coastal wildlife,” says [Gerry McChesney, manager of the site for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service]. “They are significant indicators of ocean health.”

KGO, Apr 2, 2015: Researchers view the Farallon Islands as a barometer for the health of the overall ocean and this year in particular has been tough. Hundreds of sea lion pups have beached themselves, but elephant seals are having trouble too… — Doug Cordell, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: “Some of them have died when the mothers lead them to a cliffs edge attempting to get cool and the pups then fell to their deaths. We’re seeing unusual occurrences with the bird populations. Very low attendance of the breeding sea birds… Any of these things in isolation you might say, ‘Hmm, that’s interesting.’”

Feb. 22, 2015 winter pelagic trip, Monterey Bay: Shearwaters were extremely low in numbers, either because of the warm water, or because of the declining numbers which I have been talking about for the past several years, or because of both reasons.

Full KGO broadcast here

Related Posts

  1. Gov’t: It’s getting “even worse” on West Coast this year — Experts say over 35,000 baby sea lions could be dead; “This phenomenon is unprecedented in scale” — Hundreds of times more pups than usual at rescue center — Doctor: “Definitely indicates ocean not normal… Really, we should be worried” (AUDIO) March 4, 2015
  2. 10,000 baby sea lions dead on one California island — Experts: “It’s getting crazy… This is a crisis… Never seen anything like it… Very difficult to see so much death” — TV: “Numbers skyrocketing at alarming rates” — “Woman is burying the rotting mammals” after digging graves at beach (VIDEOS) March 16, 2015
  3. TV: Huge increase in dead and sick sea mammals on California coast — Unprecedented numbers, annual record broken in 7 months — Starving, drooling, brain damaged, suffering seizures — Sea lions ‘mysteriously’ vanishing on other side of Pacific — Experts: We don’t know what’s happening (VIDEO) August 3, 2014
  4. “Alarming Numbers”: Over 15,000 baby sea lions may have died off California coast — “Marine biologists warn it could deplete an entire generation” — “Heralding the demise of something else beneath the waves”? (VIDEO) February 15, 2015
  5. Radio: Mysterious disease killing seals in Atlantic Ocean — Fukushima fallout testing underway by gov’t scientists (AUDIO) September 1, 2012

Fukushima: Scientists detect Fukushima radiation on North American shores”

ENENews

Journal, Apr 6, 2015: BREAKING NEWS Scientists detect Fukushima radiation on North American shores — Seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster has reached North America… cesium-134 and cesium-137 in a sample of seawater taken in February from a dock on Vancouver Island… It’s the first time radioactivity from the March 2011 triple meltdown has been identified on West Coast shores [see: April 2011 — California seawater squeezed from kelp sample had 400,000 Bq/m3 of Iodine-131]… sample was taken Feb. 19… It contained 1.5 becquerels per cubic meter (Bq/m3) of cesium-134, the Fukushima fingerprint, and 5 Bq/m3 of cesium-137 [actually 1.4 and 5.8, respectively]… Fukushima radiation concernscoastal communities… models have predicted that in general, the plume would hit the shore in the north first, then head south toward California… currents can be unpredictable… Woods Hole has received support from the National Science Foundation to analyze about 250 seawater samples that will be collected next month…

CTVNews, Apr 6, 2015: First low-level trace of Fukushima radioactivity detected off B.C. — But the levels are so low they are likely of little concern… Still, researchers say this is the first detectable of radioactivity from Fukushima found in a water sample taken from the U.S. and Canadian West Coast… Ken Buesseler, a marine chemist at WHOI who has been measuring radioactivity in Pacific seawater since 2011, says it’s been important to carefully monitor the oceans, given that the Fukushima disaster saw the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history.

Buesseler’s statement: “Even if the levels were twice as high, you could still swim in the ocean for six hours every day for a year and receive a dose more than a thousand times less than a single dental X-ray. While that’s not zero, that’s a very low risk.. We expect more of the sites will show detectable levels… Predicting the spread of radiation becomes more complex the closer it gets.”

CBC Radio, March 2015: Four years after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, scientists like UVic’s Jay Cullen are still monitoring the Pacific waters near us for radiation. Listen to what he’s found and what he hasn’tCullen: “If we see cesium-134 in a water sample or a fish for example we know that that’s been affected by the Fukushima disaster… Not only is cesium a marker for other isotopes that were released… it also represents a potential radiological health risk because if its internalized… it can damage our cells and cause illness. So the risk of illness appearing in individuals relates to the activity, how much of that isotope ends up in their body. Given the nature of this disaster, with most of the isotopes going into the North Pacific Ocean, the most likely way that a human being would be exposed to this radioactivity at this point would be through the consumption of seafood.” >> Full interview here

Watch Woods Hole’s latest projection of Fukushima Cs-137 levels through 2021 here

Related Posts

  1. “Radioactive metal from Fukushima” detected in Pacific Northwest — Professor: “That was a surprise, it means there are still emissions … and trans-Pacific air pollution… It’s a concern to us, this is an international issue” March 12, 2014
  2. US Nuclear Professor: Fukushima “a really major event here”, Washington had radioactive aerosols 100,000 times normal; “Far more bigger accident than we’re hearing” — Model shows West Coast completely blacked out due to particles covering area — Gundersen: Lung cancers to start increasing in Pacific Northwest (AUDIO) November 16, 2014
  3. “Prestigious group of international scientists” interested in risk to West Coast from Fukushima radioactive plume — “Major concern for public health of coastal communities” — Bioaccumulation potential in region must be understood April 30, 2014
  4. Professor: California bluefin tuna may have been contaminated by radioactive substances from Fukushima that traveled across Pacific, rather than contamination off coast of Japan — We don’t know exactly what is happening (VIDEO) October 10, 2013
  5. California Official: Information on risk from Fukushima needs to be made public — State in contact with NRC — CBS: ‘Health Scare Over Possible Fukushima Radiation In Pacific-Caught Fish’ — Surfer: I’d never go surfing right now (VIDEO) January 11, 2014

Fukushima: Melted fuel may have “dropped even beyond” the bottom of plant — ‘China Syndrome’ predicted by US gov’t analysis — IAEA Expert: Pools of corium beneath reactors are up to 2 stories high

ENENews

AP, Mar 27, 2015 (emphasis added): [It] was billed as a way to decipher where, exactly, the morass of nuclear fuel might sit at the bottom of reactors… But what went wrong, even in a simple demonstration for reporters… was a sobering reminder of the enormous challenges that lie ahead… a programming glitch could not be fixed in time for Friday’s demonstration… No one knows where the molten fuel debris lies, and in what shape or state. [TEPCO] has said itlikely sank to the bottom of the plant. But the fuel could have dropped even beyond. Tadashi Yotsuyanagi, an official in charge of the muon project at Toshiba… acknowledged the technology will not be able to get the complete image toward the bottom of the reactor… David Ireland, a professor who heads the Nuclear Physics Group at the University of Glasgow, said muons may be the only way to probe inside atomic reactors. “There are not really any other noninvasive options that will allow inspection,” he said in an email.

The Japan Times published the AP report above, however one sentence was altered. Tepco has said it likely sank to the bottom of the plant. But the fuel could have dropped even beyond” vs. “But the fuel could possibly have escaped even beyond the containment facility to the outside environment.”

IAEA technical meeting Managing the Unexpected, Harri Tuomisto, Sr. Nuclear Safety Officer at Finland’s Fortum Power, 2012:

  • Part 4: “If the cooling is not successful, it means the corium melts through the vessel… When this massive amount of corium enters into the containment zone, there are very, very many different energetic consequences… Interaction of molten core and concrete starts… concrete is eroding, and this eroding of concrete, for a long time it was known as China Syndrome.”
  • Part 5: “The corium will be in 3 parts, there is a solid crust formation in the bottom of the pool, then there’s a pool of oxidic materials… The metals and oxides are not soluble with each other and the metals will be separated… which is bad news in the sense that theheat transfer to the vessel is much higher, and it’s much more difficult to guarantee the integrity of the [containment] vessel in that case.”
  • Part 6: “Molten corium on the containment floor, it’s eroding the concrete and going partially downward. Actually it will never go to China, because it also erodes sideways… The final size of the pooling maximum case is 10 to 15 meters in diameter, and 6-7 meters [20-23 ft or 2 stories] deep — or even deeper.”
  • Part 9: “There are quite many challenges… There are different energetic phenomenon… which can lead to different combustions… accelerating flames, or even detonations — which can cause a very high pressure in the containment and even break the containment… Then there’s this China Syndromeattack of containment liner by corium — which can also bypass containment.” (See US gov’t analysis: Fukushima containment breached due to “failure of the drywell liner by melt-attack“)
  • Slides 3-4: If corium melts through the vessel, there are various energetic consequences caused by ejected high-temperature molten corium… Molten corium on the containment basemat initiates core-concrete interaction that releases aerosols and non-condensible gases to containment atmosphere and erodes the concrete (‘China syndrome‘)

Watch the IAEA presentation here

Related Posts

  1. IAEA Paper: Corium was not cooled in majority of tests using water injected from above, as done at Fukushima — Were studying how to stop molten core from melting through concrete December 26, 2013
  2. IAEA ***NOT for distribution***: Molten core is suspected to have penetrated Fukushima containment vessel — Prime Minister on 3/11: We couldn’t be in Tokyo if melted fuel went through containment vessel (VIDEO) December 18, 2013
  3. Nuclear Engineer: New video appears to show molten corium that melted out of Fukushima reactor — “Some of it is still oozing” — We’ve been talking about criticalities going on and causing continued heat for a long time now” (AUDIO & VIDEO) February 23, 2015
  4. Gov’t Doc.: Re-criticality a threat at Fukushima; Concern melted fuel to change it’s form — M.I.T. Q&A: Coolability of the molten corium is questionable (VIDEO) December 4, 2013
  5. Nuclear Expert: Disgusting that Fukushima’s corium hasn’t been located — If melted fuel burned to center of Earth it’d be nice, that gets rid of it — Impossible to retrieve all of it (AUDIO) September 28, 2013

Kyodo, Mar 27, 2015 (emphasis added): [Tepco] disclosed that a 35-ton piece of machinery debris might be resting on the inner gate of the spent fuel pool for reactor 3… and that the gate is slightly out of position. Tepco said Thursday that a fuel-handling machine… is
touching one of two gates that stand between the pool and the reactor containment vessel [and] both… gates are slightlyout of position but said the pool… does not appear to be leaking… If the gates are damaged, it might trigger a water leak from the pool

The Japan Times changed the headline on Kyodo’s report from ‘Debris poses risk to spent-fuel pool gate in Fukushima No. 1′s reactor 3‘ to ‘Setback at Fukushima No. 1 plant threatens reactor 3 rod removal’.

NHK, Mar 27, 2015: Fuel pool gates found shifted at Fukushima plant… [TEPCO] says 2 iron gates that keep cooling water inside a spent fuel pool were found to be out of position… officials say this could affect the removal of debris… TEPCO officials said on Thursday that both of the iron gates in the pool hadshifted from their original positions. They say the innergate was likely damaged by a large machine that fell into the pool. The operator says it will examine if removal of the machine from the pool may trigger water leaks.

Enformable, June 2012: Nuclear engineer Chris Harris identified the “weakest link” which may initiate a spent fuel pool draindown… The gate is a long rectangular “dam” in the side of the fuel pool… The gate has seals so that the fuel pool doesn’t drain into the cavity and dangerously expose fuel assemblies… If the seal were to fail, then the fuel pool would drain to dangerously low levels right through the damaged gate.

Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer, Nov 2012: “One of the Tepco releases that really intrigued me was that there is something called ‘curing material’… to me it means they know about a tear or a rip in the spent fuel pool liner [of Unit 3 and] they tried to repair with some sort of epoxy and something that needs to cure or cure time on it before they can proceed.”

Tepco, Sept 2012: Prior to removing the steel beam which fell into the spent fuel pool… liner curing of the pool will be implemented in mid November once the preparation is complete.

See also: Kyodo: Tepco finds 35-ton machine fallen in No. 3 fuel pool — Appears to have dropped on nuclear fuel racks (VIDEO)

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  1. Damaged fuel rods are cracked and leaking radioactive gases in Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Wire appears trapped in racks — Another assembly bent when “mishandled during a transfer” November 14, 2013
  2. Nuclear Expert: Fuel rods in Fukushima Unit 4 “may not be in their original position” — Concern over “way the spent fuel is sitting in pool” (AUDIO) November 1, 2013
  3. IAEA Meeting: Concern of Fukushima spent fuel pool collapse as aftershock “should be caused in near future” September 24, 2012
  4. Kyodo: Steel beam removed from Fukushima plant’s No. 3 pool after falling on fuel racks — Another steel beam found soon after (PHOTOS) December 20, 2012
  5. Tepco: Fuel assemblies could be damaged from shock in Fukushima Unit 3 pool December 21, 2012

200-year wait faced at Fukushima — Plant Chief: “No idea” how to decommission reactors… “the technology does not exist”; “No viable method” to deal with melted fuel; “So many uncertainties… we don’t have accurate information” — Engineers declared problems ‘insurmountable’

By ENENews

Morning Glow

The Times of London, Mar. 27, 2015 (emphasis added): Japan faces 200-year wait for Fukushima clean-up — The chief of the Fukushima nuclear power station has admitted that the technology needed to decommission three melted-down reactors does not exist, and he has no idea how it will be developed. In a stark reminder of the challenge facing the Japanese authorities, Akira Ono conceded that the stated goal of decommissioning the plant by 2051 may be impossible without a giant technological leap. “There are so many uncertainties involved. We need to develop many, many technologies,” Mr Ono said. “Forremoval of the debris, we don’t have accurate information (about the state of the reactors) or any viable methodology… [The rest of the article is only available to Times’ subscribers]

The Telegraph (UK), Mar 26, 2015:  Japan may be obsessed with robots, but it is a British company that has solved the “impossible” problem of visualising the radiation leaks inside the crippled reactor buildings at Fukushima — State-of-the-art British imaging technology has been deployed at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant to overcome problems that Japanese engineers declared to be insurmountable… [The] system is able to create a real-time, three-dimensional image of the area being surveyed and identify “hot-spots” of radioactivity. More than four years after… radiation levels within the structures remain too high for humans to enter. That has severely hampered efforts to… clean up the site. Experts have already estimated that process will take three decades but progress to date has been slow. [TEPCO] was only able to confirm on Thursday previous suspicions that nearly all the fuel from the No. 1 reactor at the plant has melted and fallen into the containment vessel. Two more reactors appear to have experienced similar fates… “One of their guys said it was like finding a Picasso in the loft because their experts had told them that what we do was impossible“, [said Dr Matt Mellor, director of Createc]… Createc engineers first visited the Fukushima plant in 2013. “It was a shocking sight… so it was clear this was going to be a major challenge from the outset”, he added.

See also: ABC at Fukushima: 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)

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  1. NHK: Officials admit it may be impossible to stop leaking at Fukushima reactors — Will be investigating ‘bottom of containment vessels’ for holes — Gov’t asking engineers from outside Japan for help with melted fuel (VIDEOS) April 30, 2014
  2. Nuclear Expert: Water may NOT have stopped melted fuel from going down into concrete at Fukushima — I raised this issue years ago, but it’s too difficult for regulators to deal with (VIDEO) November 6, 2013
  3. New images show all melted fuel is “gone” from Fukushima reactor — Experts: Molten core may have reached outer environment, can’t tell if fuel is still contained — Official: “We presume fuel still in containment vessel… but we need to check one day” (PHOTOS & VIDEO) March 20, 2015
  4. Japanese Nuclear Expert: Melted reactor cores not in one piece at Fukushima, as gov’t claims — I think nuclear fuel scattered everywhere, stuck to walls — Chernobyl-like sarcophagus may be needed — Nothing has been done, by time they deal with this I’ll be long dead June 12, 2014
  5. 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) February 19, 2015