Fukushima Japan, Meltdown Update


Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associate Inc., has provided several video-opinion updates regarding the Fukushima-Japan nuclear power plant disaster. Given his credentials (listed below), his practical and straight-forward demeanor, I find it beneficial to hear what he has to say. So much so that I’m writing this short post regarding his most recent update that he posted today.

The main stream media has not dedicated much of its time to covering this disaster as it continues to unfold, which is probably one of the reasons why I feel more compelled to stay on the general topic given that this site is about ‘modern survival’. This situation certainly presents a big time threat to survival there in Japan, while so far it has not ‘apparently’ escalated to the point of other nations. Even if it never goes beyond Japan’s borders in a big way, we can all learn valuable lessons from what has happened, and what may be still to come.

None of this is fear mongering whatsoever. Instead it is highlighting, examining, and commenting on a real-time disaster, it’s effects on the local region, and the possible effects outside of the region in the time to come. Becoming educated about a given disaster scenario will only empower you to take better control of yourself and your actions, without entirely relying on outside organizations for information (e.g. government, corporation spokespeople, main-stream-media, etc..).

The following are the notes that I wrote down while watching Arnie’s video, 29-Mar:

Plutonium has been found at 5 different locations on site (all 5 soil samples), which implies that no doubt there will be more discovered – probably outside the nuclear plant location.

Plutonium detection is not detected or picked up with traditional Geiger counters.

Belief that plutonium coming from fuel pool no. 4, but can’t rule out the other reactors.

Highly radioactive water found outside in ‘trenches’, means the container building isn’t ‘containing’.

Radioactivity in the water is over 100 Rem/h (anyone standing near it for 3 or 4 hours receives a lethal dose of radiation).

Believes the trench water is leaking into the ocean.

Damage inside of the core is enormous (fuel rods used for 4 years – built up ‘decay heat’, exposed without cooling for days).

70 – 80 percent of core is probably damaged.

Molten slag drops to the bottom of the reactor, damaging seals and gradually eating its way through the reactor.

Quote: “Frankly, I don’t see how it’s going to be stopped in the short term.”

Arnie Gundersen Fukushima Meltdown Update, 29-Mar-2011

Arnie Gundersen Fukushima Meltdown Update #1, 31-Mar-2011

Arnie Gundersen Fukushima Meltdown Update #2, 31-Mar-2011

Arnie Gundersen Fukushima Meltdown Update, 03-Apr-2011

Arnie Gundersen is an energy adviser with 39-years of nuclear power engineering experience. A former nuclear industry senior vice president, he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in nuclear engineering, holds a nuclear safety patent, and was a licensed reactor operator. During his nuclear industry career, Arnie managed and coordinated projects at 70-nuclear power plants around the country.

Follow the following thread for more recent updates and for more of a daily update diary on the overall situation (keeping it all on one post for convenience).


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  1. It’s already 7.5 mrem equivalent child dose iodine at UC Berkeley plus cesium. They’ve decided to test milk now too. Iodine is in seaweed in BC. It’s above Federal level in rain cisterns in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. It’s crossed the Atlantic ocean and European countries are detecting it. I called my local PUC, but they don’t test for radionuclides in SF water -it isn’t a state mandated contaminant. They didn’t even know about it.

  2. Sorry, that’s 7.5 mrem equivalent child dose per liter from Berkeley rainwater. I felt I should clarify. At 132 liters that’s one rem per child with an 80 day life if emissions stopped today.

  3. I think you’re doing a great job.
    This is the balanced view from an insider.
    Thanks for posting this.

    1. @R. de Haan, Thank you. I agree with your assessment of Arnie. It is a breath of fresh air to hear a voice of reason. There is a saying, “The truth has a ring to it”, and this guy has that ring…

  4. Thank you for your measured response and continuing information. I’m watching about a dozen news and information sites daily for information, including yours. I don’t think you are fear mongering at all, and I’m frankly getting sick of all the general complaints I see on the web about fear mongering. I’m really not seeing it. People are concerned and the fact is, corporations, governments, and new agencies have not proven to be very trustworthy. I believe in educating ourselves and I’m so thankful for the internet and being able to connect with others who are concerned and curious. Thank you.

  5. Wouldn’t a quick freeze process of the mass work ? and then keep it froze … until a solution is found

  6. I guess no one is talking about the anymore. I guess that’ a….good thing? I can only hope.

  7. French research body reports-
    “One thing we do know is that a respected group of scientists have put out a forecast that shows a Cesium-137 high altitude radiation cloud concentrated over the U.S. West Coast on April 12th.”
    How’s that inverse square law working for ya now?

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