* * *
Concerns about a potential, and so far unsubstantiated, nuclear “incident”, reportedly in the vicinity of the Arctic circle, spread in the past week after trace amounts of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin were detected in January over large areas in Europe according to a report by the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, the French national public expert in nuclear and radiological risks. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is an indication of a rather recent release. As the Barents Observer adds, “where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.”
The air filter station at Svanhovd – located a few hundred meters from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north – was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January. Shortly thereafter, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.
H/t reader squodgy:
“I thought it was all sorted and there’s nothing to report?”
* * *
H/t reader kevin a.
* * *
Record high radiation levels that’s lethal even after brief exposure have been detected at a damaged reactor at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Specialists also found a hole, likely caused by melted nuclear fuel.
Radiation levels of up to 530 Sieverts per hour were detected inside an inactive Reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex damaged during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami catastrophe, Japanese media reported on Thursday citing the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).
A dose of about 8 Sieverts is considered incurable and fatal.
– Experts: US hit with sudden spikes of rare radioactive material from Fukushima — Has 15.7 Million year half life — “Orders of magnitude” rise in levels on West Coast — Much higher amounts than were detected near Fukushima plant just after 3/11:
Royal Society of Chemistry, National Institute for Physics & Nuclear Engineering, Romania, 2015 (emphasis added): AMS analyses of I-129 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in the Pacific Ocean waters of the Coast La Jolla, San Diego, USA — This paper presents the results of an experimental study we performed by using the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) method with iodine 129 (Halflife = 15.7 Million years], to determine the increase of the radionuclide content in the USA West Pacific Coast waters, two years after the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident… The results of the experiments showed a significant increase of the radionuclide concentration during the late spring of 2013. Compared to the isotopic ratio 129I/127I, measured at a 40 km distance, offshore of Fukushima and immediately after the accident, our results show an increase on the USA West Coast that was more than a 2.5 factor higher. Also, compared with the pre-Fukushima background values [in San Diego], our results show an isotopic ratio of about two orders of magnitude higher…
– Huge crane collapses on to Japan nuclear plant – Damages spent fuel pool building – Area covered in mangled wreckage – TV: “Workers checking building’s functions to prevent radioactive materials from leaking” (VIDEOS & PHOTOS):
Kyodo News. Jan. 21, 2017 (emphasis added): Crane falls on building storing spent nuclear fuel at Takahama plant — A crane collapsed Friday night at the Takahama power station… damaging a building housing spent nuclear fuel, the plant operator said Saturday… An official apologized for the accident at a news conference at the plant, saying the utility would re-examine the risk of crane accidents amid strong winds and investigate the cause of the latest incident…
Asahi Shimbun, Jan 21, 2017: The mangled wreckage of the construction crane at the Takahama nuclear power plant… The 113-meter tall [nearly 400 foot] crane used for construction work collapsed around 9:50 p.m. … The plant’s operations have been suspended. The mangled wreckage lies on [a] building used to store spent nuclear fuel… Winds gusting at 50.4 to 54 kph [31 to 34 mph] were raging at the time, and a warning had been issued…
– Massive die-off of sea creatures from California to Alaska — Animals starving as food chains continue to collapse — Mass starvation events plague West Coast — Scientist: “Felt like I was doing nothing but counting dead animals” — TV: Deaths really quite troubling (VIDEO):
The Press Democrat, Dec 25, 2016 (emphasis added): Ocean changes upend North Coast fisheries… once reliable ocean rhythms have been seriously unsettled of late, confounding those who depend on predictable, seasonal cycles… a symptom of widespread marine anomalies that have prevailed for the past three years, threatening everything from seabirds and sea lions to treasured catches such as salmon and abalone. “The ocean is changing,” one glum crabber aboard the vessel New Horizon said… Irregularity “is starting to look like the new normal,” he said… Evidence of starvation in abalone populations prompted authorities to impose new restrictions in the sport abalone fishery next year to limit the catch. The commercial red urchin fishery is suffering, as well… Meanwhile, the commercial salmon harvest, California’s most valuable ocean fishery, continues to suffer, with spawning populations reduced significantly… Mass-starvation events have hit a spectrum of other West Coast marine wildlife, mostly due to the collapse of food chains… Large dieoffs of Cassin’s auklets, a tiny seabird, were first noticed when dead birds began washing ashore in fall of 2014. A year later, it was malnourished and dead common murres that were found adrift. Juvenile California sea lions, Guadalupe fur seals and other marine mammals have suffered for several years, as well, both from starvation and, to a lesser extent, from domoic acid poisoning.
Chernobyl’s new sarcophagus took two decades to make. Bigger than Wembley Stadium and taller than the Statue of Liberty, it will seal in the entire disaster site for 100 years.
* * *