Last updated on May 25th, 2012
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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