Five years after the Fukushima tragedy, TEPCO’s chief of decommissioning Naohiro Masuda admits that the company still has no idea exactly where 600 tons of melted radioactive fuel from three nuclear reactors is located.
As we discussed when we profiled the status of Fukushima on its five year anniversary, the radiation at the plant is still so powerful that it is impossible to get deep enough into the area to find and remove the melted fuel rods. The situation is so severe that even the robots that were sent in to find the highly radioactive fuel have died. Continue reading »
El País Semanal (Spanish newspaper), May 2, 2016 (emphasis added): Fukushima: Contaminated lives… Spanish media investigates how the 2011 Japanese tsunami changed the course of the country’s history… the Fukushima nuclear plant started to leak radiation that seeped insidiously into the atmosphere, the soil and the Pacific Ocean… Mr Toru Anzai, 63, wanders around the house he abandoned five years ago [in] Litate… Two years ago, he had a heart attack and a stroke… in the hospital they found a hole in the frontal lobe of his brain that was producing paralysis down the left side of his body. The doctor said it could have been caused by absorbing cesium over a period of time… [After the reactor explosion on] March 14, he heard a thunderous noise… It didn’t take long for the wind to bring the penetrating smell of melted iron mixed with sulfur to Litate as a massive toxic cloud blew towards his home. In spite of the mayor of Litate’s assurance that there was no risk of radiation, Mr Anzai bought his first dosimeter on April 18… the radiation in the room where he and his brothers had been sleeping for the past month was at six microSieverts an hour – 20 times higher than the level stipulated by the government for relocating residents… Continue reading »
Annals of Nuclear Energy, Apr 2016 (emphasis added): The importance of severe accident research has been again seen after [Fukushima]… As the accident analysis showed, it seems that in the Daichi Unit 3 a steam explosion occurred… A steam explosion… is an energetic fuel coolant interaction (FCI) process, which may occur during a severe accident when the hot reactor core melt comes into contact with the coolant water… Steam explosions… potentially jeopardize the primary system and the containment integrity… Continue reading »
Satomi Horikiri, Host(8:30 in): Have you heard of any health hazards in Fukushima?
Hisae Unuma, evacuee Futabamachi: I know many saying they have cancers, even in Saitama Prefecture…
Setsuko Kida, evacuee from Tomiokamachi: My daughter [got] pregnant in the fall of 2013, but she was diagnosed with tethered miscarriage… the womb grew… but her unborn baby didn’t grow at all. She… got a second opinion from another clinic in Mito, only to get the same result. When the Mito doctor asked her why she came for the second opinion, she told she couldn’t trust the doctor in Fukushima… Many with a birth defect were born after Hiroshima/Nagasaki A-bomb, but the number dropped in one or two years. I only knew the reason in 2013; many women had to have an abortion, so that inconvenient babies wouldn’t be born… One month later, I was happy to know my daughter got pregnant. But in only 3 months my daughter told me the bad news and my mind got flooded with that story of Hiroshima/Nagasaki. That’s where I started to doubt. Although I asked the doctor to wait and see since my daughter could give birth if she tried, but the doctor said that the unborn child inside her was not alive anymore… So she had the abortion. My daughter called and told her friend about her abortion… She was told that out of 4 in her friends group, 3, including herself, had abortion during early pregnancy. The only one who could give birth was told by her doctor that she was unable to give birth because of the baby’s weak heart sound. So my daughter began to doubt her doctor, thinking her unborn baby could have made it. I became doubtful as well. A nurse I knew told me that many get abortions in Fukushima. My daughter and friends are just a few of those. Continue reading »
Interview with nuclear engineer Hiroaki Koide (translation by Prof. Robert Stolz, transcription by Akiko Anson), published Mar 8, 2016 (emphasis added): [Radioactive] material has been dispersed, contaminating Tohoku, Kanto [Tokyo area], and western Japan… [The law says] that absolutely nothing may be removed from a radioactive management area in which the levels exceed 40,000 Becquerels per square meter… [H]ow much area has been contaminated beyond 40,000 Bq/m2… that answer is 140,000 km^2 [54,054 square miles]… Indeed, while centered on Fukushima, parts of Chiba and Tokyo have also been contaminated. The number of people living in what must be called a radiation-controlled area is in the millions, and could exceed ten million… I believe the government has the responsibility to evacuate these entire communities… the government decided to leave them exposed to the real danger of radiation. In my view, Fukushima should be declared inhabitable… but if that were to be done, it would likely bankrupt the country… They’ve decided to sacrifice people… In my view, this is a serious crime committed by Japan’s ruling elite… [F]undamentally, people must not be forced to live in contaminated areas… First must come complete evacuation… [W]hen it comes to radiation… “removal of contaminants” is impossible… This stuff contaminates everything. Continue reading »
CCTV, Apr 5, 2016 (emphasis added) — Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen: [During my recent trip to Japan] I met in one of the resettlement areas… The unofficial mayor of this group – a real dynamo of a woman – she experienced hair loss, bloody nose, speckles on her skin and the doctors told her it was stress and not to worry about it. That’s not stress. It was radiation damage. But again, that’s this inhumanity that I was experiencing… Every time I turned around, I saw people that definitely experienced radiation damage. We had one woman who ran from her house to evacuate carrying her dog. About a day after the accident, they realized that she needed to be evacuated. And so she runs barefoot to her car, gets in her car, drives to the resettlement community. She’s highly radioactive. They make her – especially her feet – they make her take her socks off and take showers, wash her down before they let her in. And her feet were black for three years from radiation damage. And that’s not being spoken about in any of the medical journals… [The government wants] to get these other nuclear plants up and running. And if the population is getting ill from radiation effects, it’s a lot harder. So they have… banded together with the medical community. We had numerous doctors say that they were going to lose hospital privileges and things like that. And the people that are keeping track of deaths in Fukushima Prefecture aren’t publishing the data. So the entire government infrastructure, from the people in Tokyo to the underlings in the Prefecture, are all singing the same song: that this is stress, there’s no radiation. And it sure isn’t what I found, I’ll tell you… Were it not for the internet, they would have won. And I think the difference between the disaster at Fukushima and the disaster at Chernobyl and TMI is that now we have the internet. It still is an unlevel playing field. There’s still so much money on the other side of it that people are being brainwashed. Oh, that bloody nose you’ve had for the last 3 weeks is stress. So they are being brainwashed. Continue reading »
AP, Mar 24, 2016 (emphasis added): Alaska’s massive seabird die-off spreads… Federal biologists last week walked… Katmai National Park and counted 2,000 dead seabirds… “[That’s only] a hint of what probably was there… every beach we looked at had dead birds” [US Fish & Wildlife Service’s Robb Kaler said]… “if we had rakes we would have found a lot more,” [said retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange]… [Officials surveyed the area] in 2009 and 2012 [and] counted zero and 14 common murres… Last week [they] counted hundreds.
AP, Mar 24, 2016: Seabird die-off takes twist… thousands of common murres were found dead [in an Alaskan] lake… experts were puzzled. “We’ve talked about unprecedented things about this die off. That’s another one,” said [USGS biologist] John Piatt… “6,000, 8,000 birds in the lake is pretty mind-blowing, really… I’ve never heard of any such a thing anywhere in the world.”… [F]ederal agencies are trying to determine if the murre deaths are connected to lack of food… or something else…”This is the thing about this die-off,” Piatt said. “We don’t even know what we don’t know.” Continue reading »
Pisces Sportfishing Fleet, Mar 29, 2016 (emphasis added): ALIEN FISH IN CABO? Jaime Rendon is the well known and liked local captian [sic] of the panga Dr. Pescado; he is also a great fisherman… he caught this strange creature off of Cabo today. It appears to be some kind of shark. He realized it was something special and RELEASED it him/her back into the Sea… Photos have been sent to local experts to try and find out what it is.
Pete Thomas (former reporter for The Los Angeles Times), Mar 30, 2016: Mysterious, alien-like shark caught off Cabo San Lucas — A Cabo San Lucas sportfishing captain on Tuesday reeled from the depths a mysterious alien-like fish that somewhat resembles an albino shark, or shark fetus. But the bizarre-looking fish, with a distended stomach, was said to be alive when it was caught… The photos appeared Tuesday night on the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet’s Facebook page, under the heading, “ALIEN FISH IN CABO?”… Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces general manager, has sent the photos to biologists in Mexico, and we’ve sent out inquiries as well, hoping to obtain an identification. The shark – or shark-like fish – is somewhat reminiscent of the infamous one-eyed “Cyclops” shark caught in the Sea of Cortez in [July] 2011… the shark fetus was pulled from either a bull or dusky shark… Continue reading »
The Fukushima disaster was over five years ago, and may have been largely forgotten by the general public and the media (perhaps because the Japanese olympics are just four years from now), but its effects still linger. Perhaps nowhere more so than for those who took pare in the Fukushima clean up effort: as Starts and Stripes reports, sixteen U.S. ships that participated in relief efforts after Japan’s nuclear disaster five years ago remain contaminated with low levels of radiation from the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant
As for the scale of the [Fukushima] accident… we simply don’t know… all the measuring equipment was destroyed at the time of the accident…
The Japanese government has reported estimates [of] 1.5×10^16 Becquerels of Cs-137, which would make it a release of 168 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima bombing. And this is only material released into the atmosphere… Continue reading »
Today, Japan marks the fifth anniversary of the tragic and catastrophic meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear plant. On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit the northeast coast of Japan, killing 20,000 people. Another 160,000 then fled the radiation in Fukushima. It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, and according to some it would be far worse, if the Japanese government did not cover up the true severity of the devastation. Continue reading »
U.S. Department of Commerce – NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (pdf), Dec 2015 (emphasis added): Results of testing for Fukushima Radiation in northern fur seals on St. Paul Island, AK – In summer 2014, NOAA Fisheries in partnership with Colorado State University collected tissue from northern fur seals harvested from St. Paul Island for lab testing of the radiation levels… We detected very small amounts of Fukushima-derived radioactive material in the seal tissue… Continue reading »
Tokyo (AFP) – Japan’s Olympic football teams will train for the Tokyo 2020 Games at a complex currently being used as a base for thousands of workers cleaning up the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) said Monday that the Japanese men’s and women’s teams would hold their training camps at J-Village, once the country’s centre of excellence until it was taken over by plant operators following the 2011 nuclear disaster. Continue reading »
Washington Post, Feb 10, 2016 (emphasis added): Five years after nuclear meltdown, no one knows what to do with Fukushima… one huge question remains: What is to be done with all the radioactive material?… Tepco has built a 1,500-yard-long “ice wall” around the four reactor buildings… however, Japan’s nuclear watchdog blocked the plan, saying the risk of leakage was still too high… [M]ost problematically, there’s the nuclear fuel from the plant itself… “The biggest challenge is going to be the removal of the nuclear fuel debris,” [Akira Ono, Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi superintendent] said. “We don’t even know what state the debris is in at the moment.”… one of the options the government is considering is building a nuclear waste dump under the seabed, about eight miles off the Fukushima coast… Many groups… staunchly oppose the idea of burying the radioactive material at sea in such a seismically active area. “At some point it would leak and affect the environment,” said Hideyuki Ban, co-director of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center. Continue reading »
Matt Herod, Univ, of Ottawa Ph.D Candidate, Dec 21, 2015 (emphasis added): A recently published paper (by myself and colleagues from uOttawa and Environment Canada) investigates… [Iodine-129] which was released by the Fukushima-Daichii [sic] Nuclear Accident… Within 6 days of the FDNA 129I concentrations in Vancouver precipitation increased 5-15 times… sampling of groundwater revealed slight increases in 129I… The results in rain show an increase in 129I concentrations of up to 220 million atoms/L… 129I anomalies [in groundwater wells], which occurred exactly when the recharge age predicted they would, suggests that some of the 129I deposited by Fukushima was reaching the wells… [P]ulses of elevated 129I occurred for another several months. Elevated 129I concentrations were measured in two wells… indicating that 129I from Fukushima can be traced into groundwater… [M]odeling has shown that 129I can be rapidly transported to the water table… Continue reading »
On Tuesday we got the latest revision from Statcan on Canada’s labor market and for Alberta, 2015 was the worst year for job losses since 1982. Net job losses for the province were 19,600 for the year, far more than Alberta lost during the Great Recession.
“5 years & an ever increasing frequency of mass die-offs is slowly but irrevocably pointing fingers towards the continuous dumping of galactic amounts of extinction level radioactive water into the Pacific by the Fukushima Tepco/US/Japanese Government & the World Nuclear lobbyists…yet they still whitewash it all…
Squid have washed up on Santa Maria Island off Chile this week in what some have described as biblical proportions. Thousands of dead and dying squid are piled up on the shore. While some squid normally do wash up this time of year, it’s never been in this large of a quantity.
Author and Pediatrician Helen Caldicott takes time out of her busy schedule to join me to discuss the unfolding events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan. Fukushima was devastated by a massive earthquake on March 11, 2011 which led directly to a massive failure causing hydrogen explosions which blew the roof off of at least two of the reactor buildings. Tepco and the Japanese government have understated the radiation dangers and the dire reality of the situation from day one.
Helen says, at this point there is no “best case scenario” for Fukushima, just worsening degrees of horror because it’s scientifically impossible to clean up what has already occurred. And with thousands of spent fuel rods and thousands more active rods still in the fuel pools of the damaged reactor buildings, the worst case scenario – if another major earthquake hits the area – is an ecological nightmare of biblical proportions for everyone living in the Northern hemisphere.