update-from-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown

Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Update

update-from-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown

What is going on in Fukushima Japan?  It has been 8 months since the massive magnitude 9 earthquake, the tsunami, and resulting nuclear disaster / meltdown, and we do not hear ANYTHING from the news media anymore. How about an update once in a while?

I did my own bit of digging and came up with the following updated information from December 26, mostly from Arnie Gunderson who I respect and trust for his word.

 

Tepco announced that a large part of the nuclear core melted down through the nuclear reactor. Unit 1 is worse than Unit 2 and 3. The bottom of the nuclear reactor is a bowl about 8 inches thick and made of steel. In a BWR (boiling water reactor), it has 64 holes in the bottom for the control rods to go in and out. The melted molten nuclear blob at the bottom didn’t have to melt through 8 inches of steel in the vessel, it went through some of the holes – drizzled out like soft ice-cream.

Then, after breaching the reactor vessel (steel shell), the melted core got to the bottom of the containment vessel, which is about 3 feet of concrete. Concrete pops like popcorn when it gets hot (from the oxygen), and the molten core blob would pop and disintegrate, pop and disintegrate… The blob has worked its way into the concrete. The question is how deep did it go…

The melted nuclear core cannot be cooled from above, and is gradually working its way down further through the concrete. They (Tepco) claim there is about 1 foot left. After the concrete there there is a final barrier of 2 inches of steel (which will melt quickly). Over time, it may melt all the way through.

“We’re not going to have a steam explosion.” There’s not enough heat left (less than a megawatt). Instead, it will drizzle out. It doesn’t matter though… The nuclear core is leaking through the containment anyway – in other areas of the building. It has run throughout the entire complex anyway, and is getting out nearly everywhere.

Unit 2 and 3 had cooling for several hours longer. Unit 1 however did not. So, 90% of the core has melted in Unit 1, and 60% in 2 and 3.

They had a leak this week in the water purifying system (cooling water), and approximately 45,000 pounds of radioactive water got into the Pacific ocean (along with all of the other previous releases and runoffs), which was very high in strontium, all coming from a surface leak.

In addition, there are cracks in the concrete allowing groundwater to get in and radioactive water to get out into the groundwater. The groundwater flow is from the land into the ocean, so the radioactivity is moving into the ocean. This is absolutely the largest radioactive contamination of the ocean that has occurred in all of history, by a factor of at least 10.

30 tetra becquerels (with 15 zeros after the ’30’) is what they (Tepco) believe has been released into the ocean. 30, 000,000,000,000,000 becquerels. That’s 30 million billion disintegration’s per second for decades to come.

The radiation is not only coming out from near the plant, but now it’s also washing down from the mountain streams and collecting in the sediment in the shallows where the ocean meets the stream. That’s where the fish love to eat, and they are getting contaminated, especially with cesium. 90% of the cesium is trapped in muddy particles which gets absorbed by seaweed and works its way up the food chain. Cesium is a muscle seeker and Strontium is a bone seeker. We’re seeing cesium in the fish meat and strontium in the fish bone.

Eventually it works its way up to the Tuna, Salmon, and Mackerel. Next year there is concern about what we’ll see. It’s likely that a year from now a truck load of tuna will fire off a radiation alarm at the dock (the radiation alarms are meant to detect nuclear weapons). The government is minimizing it all because there is way too much money on the line.

The summary… There’s a witches brew of chemicals in the ocean. Eat your salmon and tuna now, because next year, you may likely be ingesting high levels of radiation.

 

Note: I am not an anti-nuclear activist, however I do see this disaster for what it is, and it is not a joke…

 

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9 Comments

  1. It is certainly countless orders of magnitude worse in their local region of Fukushima, and it’s a good thing for the inverse-square law. However there will no doubt that given the half-life of some of the radiation being discussed, that some fish there will become contaminated (to what degree – i do not know – i’m not trained in nuclear science), and these fish will migrate, and be fished for our consumption.

    I do believe that ‘any’ radiation is bad radiation (for us humans) while I also realize that your odds of developing a ‘problem’ increases with dosage (and type). It’s sort of like eating too much tuna because of the harmful levels of mercury which add up in your body. I do know too that there isn’t a heck of a lot that can be done at this point over there – the damage is done. I also know that the industry will not want ANY bad press regarding the possibility of even partially contaminated seafood, etc. I think that it’s in our best interest to discover the realities through sources other than (in addition to) the main-stream and from any industry that stands to profit from the topic at hand (they will be biased).

    1. I understand exactly, regarding the plutonium example (having researched a fair degree following the Fukushima disaster), and you are precisely correct. And, as you indicate, there is much confusion and therefore ‘some’ unwarranted fear in general. Most people are more emotional than logical, and their emotions rule. In any event, it is a complicated subject which requires a balance of knowledge and realism regarding the way it is. In general, ‘zero tolerance’ mindsets are sometimes illogical. It may be a good ideal, but in reality, things are often quite different. My natural instinct is to always find ‘balance’. It must be the ‘Libra’ in me…

  2. Concrete and heat.

    In 1983 in Victoria Australia there occurred a massive tragic bushfire. 1000’s of homes were destroyed and many lives were lost.

    A friend of mine’s house was one of the destroyed. It was a huge wooden house in the hills. For fire protection he had two x two thousand corrugated iron water tanks and a 1000 gallon concrete water tank mounted on a concrete base.

    The day after the fire went through we went up to check out the damage expecting perhaps to find some recoverable items.

    It took us some time to find out where the house had been located….it had disappeared..even the wooden stump foundations were gone.

    The corrugated iron water tanks had disappeared. There was no trace of the concrete base or tank left.
    It was hard to believe that a house had even stood in the spot.

    I was so shocked I even forgot to take photographs.

    My friend was left with the clothes he stood in and his car.

    The point is here that heat has no respect for concrete.

  3. “Out of sight and out of mind…”

    Isn’t that the truth in so many parallel’s! You are so correct that most people are “self absorbed”, I witness this sad fact every day when I’m out and about.

  4. Fukushima reactors were within 3 years of being decommissioned; if they were brand new, they wouldn’t have overfilled spent fuel ponds and likely wouldn’t have been so problematic.

    I recently came across these atmospheric simulations, produced an American independent organization, that indicate TEPCO vastly under-reported radionuclide emissions from the Fukushima Plant.

    http://www.datapoke.org/blog/8/study-modeling-fukushima-npp-radioactive-contamination-dispersion-utilizing-chino-m-et-al-source-terms/

    http://www.datapoke.org/partmom/a=40

    I’ve suspected for some time that the publicly released emissions data had been manipulated – If the models are correct I suppose this re enforces my hunch. Is there anyone here that can help us explain the implications of this model?

  5. The perception that all the harmful radiation has stayed ‘over there’ is quite untrue. The Fukushima plant has been steadily belching radioactive material into the air since the whole triple meltdown fiasco began. Make no mistake, this is the worst disaster to ever befall us. The radiation knows no boundaries, it won’t be magically repelled by such imaginary lines as the American, Canadian, or European borders.

    Though this article mentions a few of the problem TEPCO has had at the plant during their horribly long stretch of inaction, it fails to mention the most immediately critical aspect of the disaster; the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4. By some miracle, this crippled second-floor structure has managed to last an entire year without falling over. That won’t be the case for much longer. When it does fall, and spill its nuclear contents onto the ground, the many tons of fuel will quickly catch fire. This event, as many experts worldwide are now declaring, will be the end. The end of the world as we know it. The entire site will become so radioactive that no human will be able to survive anywhere near it. That means nobody will be around to continue their ‘efforts’ of controlling the disaster. The plant will spiral out of control again, as will neighbouring nuclear plants when the workers present drop dead from the incoming radioactive plume. In short order the entire island of Japan will become an uninhabitable wasteland of immeasurable counts per minute. This chain reaction will continue to grow in magnitude across the globe until the Earth is nothing but a radioactive dustball whirling through space.

    “Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident. Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4—with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground—collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4. In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries. Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375)”
    (quoted from here: http://akiomatsumura.com/2012/04/682.html)

    It is a rather inconvenient truth, but it is the truth. The Pacific Ocean has been irrevocably contaminated with radiation. Take a look at the seals and now the polar bears in Alaska showing signs of severe radiation poisoning; hair loss, oozing lesions, bleeding noses.. all on the table for every one of us humans as well, as soon as SFP #4 comes crashing down.
    You may have heard about that ‘ghost ship’, the Ryou-Un Maru, that drifted across the ocean with the tsunami debris. Over the weekend it was blasted with cannons and eventually sunk by the US Coastguard. The reason given was that the ship was decided to be ‘not worth saving’. I have my own suspicions that the reason it was ‘not worth saving’ was because it was highly radioactive. It spent a year floating across the ocean, no doubt getting rained on quite often and soaking up the fallout.

    If you still believe the radiation is staying put ‘over there’, you should check out a few youtube videos of good old North American folks doing their own dose-hunting with their own Geiger counters. Better yet, find your own Geiger counter and verify for yourself. Wipe some rainwater off your windshield and give it a test, maybe shit your pants a little when the screen goes red and declares DANGEROUS RADIATION BACKGROUND. By all means, if you’re preparing for the shit to hit the fan, you’re going to want a Geiger counter in your survival gear. Test your food, test your water, stay out of the rain, don’t eat the snow. The world is a tiny sandbox, and now that the radioactive genie is out of the bottle, it can’t be put back in. You may have heard about Cesium and Iodine, maybe Plutonium and Uranium, but there is a veritable smorgasbord of different radioisotopes like Cobalt-60 spewing out of that hole in the ground, many of them whose half-lives will outlast the sun. The shit has already hit the fan. The end has already begun. I wish luck to all of you.

    1. i gotta say… i live in new york and spend alot of time outside.. especially in the rain and different types of weather.. about 6 months ago i noticed as i got out of the shower for a couple days that alot of my hair was falling out.. not all of it, like i was balding.. but i got a thick head of hair, im a young man… it definitely got my attn and i wondered could it be due to the jet stream carrying those big upper level lows from japan all the way to the northeast us… it has to be possible.. this is definitely something to stay on top of though.. its a shame we cant get any help thats willing to take this seriously enough to sit down and come up with a real plan to contain this somehow.. i think its possible to that the sun may hurt us more in the near future with this current solar cycle and the weakening in our planets magnetic field.. southward bz alot lately… we have to be exposed to something.. just a month or so ago there was a gemagnetic storm from a dense solar wind stream that put enough energy into out atmosphere in heat to power new york homes for 2 years… in just a couple days this happened.. its amazing.. not to get to far off.. but all these forces that are becoming so intense lately.. the center of our galaxy is tugging at us and its effecting our entire solar system.. very interesting stuff.. we really are like a grain of sand in the sahara… wild..

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