Jiji Press, Feb. 6, 2014: TEPCO Corrects Last Summer’s Water Pollution Data to Record High […] Samples collected from an observation well close to the sea in early July contained a record 5 million becquerels of strontium-90 per liter of groundwater, the company said. When TEPCO announced the original data that month, the firm said the total amount of radioactive materials emitting beta particles, including strontium-90, was 900,000 becquerels […] the total amount of beta particle-emitting materials […] are likely to be around 10 million becquerels, far higher than the previous record high of 3.1 million becquerels for the well.
Kyodo News, Feb. 6, 2014: Record-high strontium-90 in past Fukushima plant groundwater sample — [TEPCO] said Thursday that a groundwater sample taken from a well at the site in July last year contained a record-high 5 million becquerels per liter of radioactive strontium-90.[…] TEPCO official said that “all beta radiation could have been 10 million becquerels in total.”
– Kyodo: Robot data reveals hole in Unit 2 suspected to be almost 10 square cm; Highly radioactive water draining out bottom of containment vessel — Tepco model shows molten fuel barely underwater — Temperature irregulaties started earlier this month (GRAPHIC) (ENENews, Jan 30, 2014):
Kyodo News, Jan. 30, 2014: Fukushima No. 2 reactor suppression pool may have 3-cm hole — The suppression pool connected to the No. 2 reactor at the disaster-struck Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have a 3-centimeter hole through which highly radioactive water is leaking out, the plant operator said Thursday. Tokyo Electric Power Co. said data gathered by a robot this month near the doughnut-shaped suppression pool at the bottom of the No. 2 reactor’s primary containment vessel indicated that the structure is damaged somewhere. […] TEPCO estimated the damaged section could be 8 to 9 square cm in size. If it were a hole, it is expected to be between 3.2 and 3.6 cm in diameter.
A previous estimation by Japan government experts determined there was a hole over 30 times larger: 300 square centimeter hole in Reactor No. 2 pressure suppression pool: NISA analysis
– Radiation at Fukushima well hits ‘record high’ (RT, Jan 18, 2014):
A record high level of beta rays released from radioactive strontium-90 has been detected at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant beneath the No. 2 reactor’s well facing the ocean, according to the facility’s operator.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) measured the amount of beta ray-emitting radioactivity at more than 2.7 million becquerels per liter, Fukushima’s operator said as reported in Japanese media. The measurements were taken on Thursday.
– Former Prime Minister of Japan: We’ve been lied to, nuclear experts lying to us… They’ve been telling a pack of lies — Governor: Tepco needs to reveal who gave orders to lie about Fukushima meltdowns (VIDEO) (ENENews, Jan 16, 2014):
Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 12, 2014 (h/t Anonymous tip): ‘We’ve been lied to,’ said ex-Prime Minister Koizumi […] “This is not an interview,” the acquaintance stressed, reminding me that [Junichiro] Koizumi has not granted a single request for an interview or TV appearance since he stepped down as prime minister.[…] I asked him, “What was the biggest reason for your change of heart?” […] “Denjiren (the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan) has been telling a pack of lies,” he began. “When experts say nuclear power generation is safe and doesn’t cost much and this is the only way to go if we want to stop relying on coal, well, we believe them. But they’ve been lying to us for years. […] we certainly had no idea how difficult it is to control nuclear energy.” “You felt you were taken for a ride?” I ventured. “That’s it. Exactly,” he replied. Wow. So, he switched sides when he realized he had been deceived by bureaucrats and nuclear experts. […] here was a man who held Japan’s highest political office for five and a half years, lamenting now–and openly admitting–that he’d been lied to. When you think about it, Japan is really a dreadful country where critical information is deliberately withheld from the prime minister who determines the fate of the country, and even he is made to believe the “myth” of nuclear safety.
America Tonight, Al Jazeera America, Jan. 7, 2014:
Part I at 3:45 in
Anonymous Fukushima worker ‘Tanaka’: “My job was to help workers remove their gear when they came back from dealing with contaminated water and debris, and to check them with a Geiger counter for contamination […] We used to wear charcoal filters, but because of the cost cuts, we got dust filters, like those you’d buy at a convenient store. Tepco employees wore charcoal filters in all locations. […] Tepco is God, the main contractors are kings, and we are slaves. […]
– Official: Tepco has failed at Fukushima, no progress made — Tepco to change name, start new business — Tepco demands nuclear workers return payments, anger passed tipping point (ENENews, Jan 11, 2014):
Mainichi, Jan. 9, 2014: [TEPCO] plans to create a new brand name under which the utility will sell electricity in regions outside its own service area across the country as part of efforts to boost its earnings, it has been learned. […] TEPCO made the decision apparently because the beleaguered utility thought that clients could accept the service more easily if it were provided under a brand name other than TEPCO […] One of the main reasons why TEPCO is rushing to enter into the business of selling electricity throughout the country is that unless it boosts its earnings by increasing the number of its clients, it will not be able to secure enough funds to cover the costs of dealing with the Fukushima nuclear accident […]
– Radiation jumps around Fukushima plant — Now ~1,000% previous levels — Tepco kept strontium-90 data secret for months — Officials knew of increase but ‘too busy’ to do anything — Gov’t holds Friday meeting about what can be done (ENENews, Jan 10, 2014):
Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 10, 2014 (emphasis added): [TEPCO] withheld 140 measurements of radioactive strontium levels taken in groundwater and the port of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant between June and November last year. […] strontium levels exceeded the all-beta readings in some instances, leading the utility to decide they were “wrong” and to withhold them from public releases, TEPCO officials said Jan. 8. Previously, TEPCO officials said they had not released the data because the numbers were not confirmed. Company officials on Jan. 8 insisted the utility had no intention to conceal information. […]
– ‘Pacific Wasteland’? Japan Gov’t Scientist: ‘Big problem’ for whole ocean if Fukushima’s water released with strontium-90 — TV: It may not get filtered out; “All bets are off” without way to plug plant leaks — NHK: All decontamination systems stop working, may not restart for “long time” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Jan 9, 2014):
Al Jazeera America, Jan. 8, 2014 (Emphasis Added): After years of denial, TEPCO admitted in the fall that contaminated groundwater is flowing into the Pacific […] It’s this deluge of radioactive water that worries many Americans. […] all bets are off if TEPCO doesn’t come up with a long-term strategy to plug the leaking plant. […] Pacific wasteland […] TEPCO plans to […] install a new system to deal with the contaminated water. There’s still uncertainty, though, about whether some of this tainted water will end up in the Pacific. […] The question is whether the water will truly be decontaminated to a safe level. If TEPCO’s latest strategy fails, it’s possible that the more dangerous forms of radiation won’t get filtered out.
– TV: Fukushima plant “an undefused bomb for decades to come” — Japan Journalist: They only have the vaguest idea of what happened to 100s of tons of molten fuel — An ongoing crisis on edge of disaster (ENENews, Jan 9, 2014):
Al Jazeera America, Jan. 8, 2014: Is Fukushima at risk for another nuclear disaster? At the Fukushima Daiichi plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO, is struggling to contain the ongoing nuclear disaster. […] Fukushima Daiichi itself will remain on the edge of disaster — an undefused bomb for decades to come. “The government said it will take 30 to 40 years to decommission the plant, so there’s always the potential for another problem to come up,” [David McNeill, a journalist who has lived in Japan since 2000 and has been covering the Fukushima disaster from March 2011] said. “And that’s what keeps some people awake at night.”
More from Journalist David McNeill: Continue reading »
Tokyo is doomed. (Links are down below.)
– Harvard Website: Media blindly reports Tepco’s false radiation levels, says Fukushima official; Press won’t report truth — “It’s still scary” in Tokyo, people move away due to hotspots; “Environment abruptly changed for half of Japan” (VIDEO) (ENENews, Jan 6, 2014):
Scholars at Harvard, Interview with Hisashi Shoji of Fukushima Prefecture, K. Lee Lerner, Apr. 7, 2013: Hisashi Shoji drives a taxi in areas just outside the Fukushima exclusion zone. […] Shoji isn’t allowed to live in his home located about 40km from the power plant […] Shoji says he stopped believing media reports long ago, and that he distrusts local media as much as the national press. “They are all pretty much the same. It’s hard to trust anything in the media […] They don’t report the truth.”
– TV: 70 Navy sailors in new Fukushima lawsuit — They rode right into plume, could be thousands more seriously exposed — 1 or 2 sick could be coincidence, but 50-60 people in their 20s off one ship? Variety of cancers, blindness, impotence (VIDEO) (ENENews, Dec 19, 2013):
FOX5 San Diego, Dec. 19, 2013:
Kathleen Bade, FOX5 San Diego: Sailor who served on the USS Ronald Reagan claim they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation […]
Mike Seabourn, in charge of decontaminating aircraft: It hit me like a ton of bricks. I could be at about 60% power through the right side of my body — that’s arms, legs, everything.
Jaime Chambers, FOX5 San Diego: Seabourn believes he is just one of potentially thousands of US sailors who’ve been exposed to serious radiation contamination after working near the Fukushima disaster zone […] but his true concern lies with the sailors who were aboard the USS Ronald Reagan.
– Jiji: No solution seen for Fukushima’s radioactive water — Kyodo: Toxic ocean leakage to go on into 2020s — Experts: “High potential for marine life and human health effects through ingestion over generations” (ENENews, Dec 16, 2013):
Jiji Press, Dec. 16, 2013: No Solution in Sight for Fukushima N-Plant Tainted Water […] No solution is in sight as [Tepco] struggles with ever-increasing amounts of radioactive water […] The situation has improved little in the [past] six months […] very high-level radioactive water has been detected under the ground […] TEPCO detected 1.8 million becquerels of radioactive materials per liter of water collected on Thursday from an observation well some 40 meters from the seawall, the highest on record.
Kyodo News, Dec. 11, 2013: A government panel […] estimated that the utility will not be able to fully address the risks of water leaks by the end of fiscal 2020. […] “If measures are taken smoothly, a large part of the risks (posed by leaks from tanks) will be reduced around the end of fiscal 2020, but the amount of toxic water could surpass the tank storage capacity depending on the situation…and risks associated with keeping a large amount of tritium-water will remain,” the report said.
– Tepco: We should have told public this sooner… we failed to cool molten fuel after meltdowns began — Experts: Fukushima cesium release could be more than triple Chernobyl (PHOTO) (ENENews, Dec 14, 2013):
Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 14, 2013: Fire engines were used in a desperate, and ultimately futile, attempt to pump water to cool overheating reactors during the early phase of the 2011 Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant disaster, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said. According to a Dec. 13 report by the operator of the crippled facility, water was pumped in sufficient quantity to avert core meltdowns in the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, but much of it strayed into irrelevant pipes and ended up elsewhere. […] water failed to cool it and the other reactors efficiently, and could not stop the core meltdowns in the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors. […] TEPCO officials said they knew as early as late March 2011 […] “We should have shared the finding with the public in the belief it would help promote universal safety, but failed to do so,” said [a] TEPCO Managing Executive Officer […]
– Another 20 Navy Sailors: USS Ronald Reagan crew with thyroid cancers, leukemia, brain tumors, bleeding, blindness after Fukushima disaster — Young kids developing problems — Gov’t and Tepco involved in major conspiracy (AUDIO) (ENENews, Dec 12, 2013):
Nuclear Hotseat #129, Dec. 10, 2013:
At 27:00 in
Charles Bonner, attorney representing sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan: They’re not only going to the rescue by jumping into the water and rescuing people out of the water, but they were drinking desalinated sea water, bathing in it, until finally the captain of the USS Ronald Reagan alarmed people that they were encountering high levels of radiation. As a result of this exposure, the 51 sailors that we represent right now have come down with a host of medical problems, including cancers and leukemias, all kinds of gynecological problems […] people who are going blind, pilots who had perfect eyesight but now have tumors on the brain. These service men and women are young people 21, 22, 23 years old and no one in their family had ever (inaudible) any of these kinds of illnesses before.
YouTube Added: Dec 4, 2013
Abby Martin calls out the International Atomic Energy Agency for their endorsement of the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s response to the nuclear disaster, despite the company’s gross mismanagement of disaster.
– Gundersen: They want to dump all Fukushima’s radioactive water in Pacific — Tepco: It will be diluted, then released — Professor suggests pumping it out in deep ocean (VIDEOS) (ENENews, Dec 2, 2013):
Interview with Arnie Gundersen, The Real News Network, Dec. 1, 2013: Dale Klein is now suggesting is that we’re just going to take [Fukushima’s radioactive water] and pump it into the Pacific. And I don’t think that’s a very good idea. It’s cheap and it’s fast, it’s the expedient way of doing it, but really there’s something called the London dumping convention. And back in 1972, Greenpeace was very active in preventing radiation from being dumped into the ocean and to my way of thinking, this would violate the London Dumping Convention if they did it.
Interview with Tepco adviser Dale Klein, ABC Australia, Nov. 20, 2013: “At the end of the day, when the water is discharged, it will be released in a way that it’s diluted so there’s no risk to public health and safety. But it’s an emotional issue.”
Enformable, Dec. 2, 2013: TEPCO forced to shut down contaminated water processing system at Fukushima Daiichi again
From the article:
The Reactor 4 spent fuel pool contains an estimated 400 tons of uranium and plutonium oxide, compared with just 6.2 kilograms of plutonium inside Fat Man, the hydrogen bomb that obliterated Nagasaki in 1945.
The un-irradiated rods inside the Unit 4 spent-fuel pool are, in all probability, made of a new type of MOX fuel containing highly enriched plutonium. If the frame collapses, triggering fire or explosion inside the spent-fuel pool, the plutonium would pulse powerful neutron bursts that may well possibly ignite distant nuclear power plants, starting with the Fukushima No.2 plant, 10 kilometers to the south.
Evacuation would be impeded by the scale and intensity of multiple reactor explosions, which would shut down all transport systems, telecommunications and trap most residents. Tens of millions would die horribly in numbers topping all disasters of history combined.
An alternative possibility is of a tritium-plutonium reaction creating gas plasma inside the spent fuel pool. The condition of the cladding on the rods, which would have been melted by plasma, can indicate the heat source during those two fires. None dare mention are tritium-plutonium inter-reaction because that is the formula for a thermonuclear bomb, that is, the H-bomb. MOX fuel does have the potential to generate sufficient tritium for a thermonuclear, and that is what so rattled Naoto Kan by March 12, 2011.
Fukushima reactor No. 4 SFP contains something on the order of 400.000 kg of hot plutonium.
They say that one microgram of plutonium could theoretically kill a person.
There are billion micrograms in a kilogram and there are 400.000 hot kilograms in this pool.
More info on Fukushima reactor no. 4 SFP down below.
– Why TEPCO is Risking the Removal of Fukushima Fuel Rods. The Dangers of Uncontrolled Global Nuclear Radiation (Global Research, Nov. 24, 2013):
By Yoichi Shimatsuformer, former editor of the Japan Times Weekly in Tokyo
After repeated delays since the summer of 2011, the Tokyo Electric Power Company has launched a high-risk operation to empty the spent-fuel pool atop Reactor 4 at the Dai-ichi (No.1) Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.
The urgency attached to this particular site, as compared with reactors damaged in meltdowns, arises from several factors:
– over 400 tons of nuclear material in the pool could reignite
– the fire-damaged tank is tilting badly and may topple over sooner than later
– collapse of the structure could trigger a chain reaction and nuclear blast, and
– consequent radioactive releases would heavily contaminate much of the world.
The potential for disaster at the Unit 4 SFP is probably of a higher magnitude than suspected due to the presence of fresh fuel rods, which were delivered during the technical upgrade of Reactor 4 under completion at the time of the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The details of that reactor overhaul by GE and Hitachi have yet to be disclosed by TEPCO and the Economy Ministry and continue to be treated as a national-security matter. Here, the few clues from whistleblowers will be pieced together to decipher the nature of the clandestine activity at Fukushima No.1. Continue reading »
ENENews, Nov 21, 2013:
– TV: Mentally disabled are working at Fukushima Daiichi, says journalist — Many men forced to go to plant — Homeless treated like ‘disposable people’ (VIDEO)
– Tepco President: “Be prepared for the worst” — Fukushima is “a warning to the world” — “We made a lot of excuses to ourselves”
– Oregon Official: Reports coming in of seafood with radioactive contamination, “They’re kind of secretive, they don’t want to give up their sources” — Locals concerned about impact Fukushima disaster is having on area fish (VIDEO)
– Conservative Radio Host: Fukushima could be going on for centuries — Nobody knows how deep fuel went after melting — It’s sad people not paying attention, busy watching TV and football — Interviews Arnie Gundersen (AUDIO)
Fairewinds has fielded a number of questions regarding the removal of the fuel rods from the spent fuel pool in Unit 4 at Fukushima Daiichi. Today’s video shows Arnie debunking TEPCO’s animated film point by point, and highlights the issues TEPCO will have removing the fuel rods. TEPCO needs to be removed as the organization overseeing the cleanup of the site prior to the removal of the fuel rods.
– Tepco to start fuel removal from Fukushima reactor 4 pool Monday (Japan Times/Kyodo, Nov 15, 2013):
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will start removing nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pool of the reactor 4 building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant from Monday.
“Full-scale removal (from the accident-stricken unit) is a very important process in moving ahead with the plant’s decommissioning,” Tepco spokesman Masayuki Ono told a press conference, adding that the experience will be useful in dealing with the three other units that were damaged in the 2011 nuclear crisis.
The unit 4 spent fuel pool contains 1,331 spent fuel assemblies and 202 unused ones. Workers will begin with the removal of unused fuel assemblies, which are easier to handle.
– Damaged fuel rods are cracked and leaking radioactive gases in Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Wire appears trapped in racks — Another assembly bent when “mishandled during a transfer” (ENENews, Nov 14, 2013):
Japan Times, Nov. 14, 2013: Earlier this week, Tepco found three damaged assemblies that will be difficult to remove, but officials said the damage appeared to have occurred before the March 11 disasters.
Reuters, Nov. 14, 2013: One of the assemblies was damaged as far back as 1982, when it was mishandled during a transfer, and is bent out of shape, Tepco said in a brief note at the bottom of an 11-page information sheet in August. In a statement from April 2010, Tepco said it found two other spent fuel racks in the reactor’s cooling pool had what appeared to be wire trapped in them. Rods in those assemblies have pin-hole cracks and are leaking low-level radioactive gases, Tepco spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai told Reuters on Thursday. […] Having to deal with the damaged assemblies is likely to make [removing the other fuel] more difficult […]
Tepco spokeswoman Mayumi Yoshida: “The three fuel assemblies … cannot be transported by cask […] We are currently reviewing how to transport these fuel assemblies to the common spent fuel pool,” she said.
So all it takes is just one ‘little mistake’ or a large (HAARP induced) earthquake and we are all (as good as) dead.
But, luckily for us, TEPCO is fully aware of the unprecedented danger for the entire planet and has the best experts at hand to remove the fuel rods:
What could possibly go wrong?
Yomiuri Shimbun translated by EXSKF, Nov. 12, 2013: On November 12, TEPCO disclosed that there were three fuel assemblies […] in the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4 […] that were deformed and would be difficult to remove.
Fukushima Minyu translated by EXSKF, Nov. 13, 2013: According to TEPCO, one of the damaged fuel assemblies is bent at a 90-degree angle [literal meaning: bent in the shape of a Japanese character “く”; actual angle could be less]. It was bent 25 years ago when a mistake occurred in handling the fuel. The other two were found to be damaged 10 years ago; there are small holes on the outside from foreign objects.
– BBC: ‘The real dead zone’ at Fukushima — Monitor went off scale, over 180,000 CPM — Experts shook their heads when asked where melted fuel is — Tepco: Don’t ask what we’ll do with Reactors 1, 2, 3 — CNN: Tepco only wanted to show us Reactor 4, strict rules about what we could film (VIDEO) (ENENews, Nov 8, 2013):
BBC, Nov. 8, 2013: […] But visiting the plant, it struck me that in our obsession with reactor four we may be missing the real story at Fukushima. […] As our bus left reactor four and drove along the sea front, I pointed my new monitor out of the window towards reactor building three. Suddenly the needle started to spike – 1,000 counts per second, then 2,000, 3,000, finally it went off the scale. There, outside the bus, just a few dozen meters away is the real dead zone, a place where it is still far too dangerous for anyone to go. No human has been inside reactor three since the disaster. To do so would be suicide. No-one knows when it will be possible to go in. When I asked the same experts how long it would be until reactors one, two and three could be dismantled, they shook their heads. When I asked them where they thought the melted reactor cores were, they shook their heads again. [Tepco] was happy to show us reactor four, but please do not ask what they intend to do with reactors one, two and three.
– Why are they ‘speeding up’ at Unit 4? — Expert in 2010: Megathrust quake to hit Fukushima ~Nov. 2013… Recurrence interval of 75 years with last rupture Nov. 1938 — Planet’s most powerful type of seismic event — WSJ: Top official concerned quake to destabilize fuel pool (ENENews, Oct 31, 2013):
Wall St. Journal, October 30, 2013 (Emphasis Added): Tepco will remove about 1,300 spent fuel rods and 200 new fuel rods […] the 4 meter-long rods will be pulled out of the pool at a time, is considered unprecedented in its scale. Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, has expressed concerns about the fragile state of the nuclear fuel left in three reactors and the spent fuel pool in the No.4 building. If improperly handled or destabilized by another major earthquake at the site, the fuel could discharge large amounts of radiation into the environment. […]
- Kyodo, Oct. 2013: “Tepco plans to start removing nuclear fuel from the spent-fuel pool at the top of the reactor 4 building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant as early as Nov. 8, about a week earlier than scheduled“
- Euronews, June 2013: “The Japanese government along with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) are aiming to speed up the removal of spent fuel rods”
- NHK, Dec. 2012: “Due to concerns over the ability of the destroyed reactor building to withstand earthquake activity as well as emergency operations, TEPCO has decided to speed up operations one year ahead of schedule to remove the spent nuclear fuel”
From the article:
“The operation to begin removing fuel from such a severely damaged pool has never been attempted before. The rods are unwieldy and very heavy, each one weighing two-thirds of a ton,” fallout researcher Christina Consolo earlier told RT.
Should the attempt fail, a mishandled rod could be exposed to air and catch fire, resulting in horrific quantities of radiation released into the atmosphere. The resulting radiation will be too great for the cooling pool to absorb as it simply has not been designed to do so.
In the worst-case scenario, the pool could come crashing to the ground, dumping the rods together into a pile that could fission and cause an explosion many times worse than in March 2011.
“The worst-case scenario could play out in death to billions of people. A true apocalypse,” Consolo said.
– Fukushima readies for dangerous operation to remove 400 tons of spent fuel (RT, Oct 23, 2013):
Fukushima operator TEPCO is getting ready for its toughest and the most dangerous clean-up operation. In November it will try to remove 400 tons of spent fuel from plant’s Reactor No. 4. But even a little mistake may result in a new nuclear disaster.
The operation is scheduled to start in the beginning of November and be completed by around the end of 2014.
Under normal circumstances, the operation to remove all the fuel would take about 100 days. TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co) initially planned to take two years, but reduced the schedule to one year in recognition of the urgency, as even a minor earthquake could trigger an uncontrolled fuel leak.
– Heavy rains overflow barriers surrounding Fukushima water tanks (RT, Oct 20, 2013):
Water has overflowed at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is attempting to discern the quality of the water and possible radioactive substances which could have been spilled.
TEPCO announced on Monday that the water overflowed in 12 areas of the plant.
Heavy rains caused water to flow over the barriers of an artificial embankment which surrounds a dozen tanks of radioactive water at the plant. TEPCO reported that liquid containing a source of beta radiation was found beyond the levees.
YouTube Added: 17.10.2013
Paul Gunter, Beyond Nuclear, joins Thom Hartmann. There are new concerns coming out of Japan – as the stricken Number 4 reactor at the Daichii nuclear power plant is on the verge of collapsing. How is TEPCO responding to this newest threat – and can they stop a complete nuclear disaster?
The leakage of water from these cores is bad enough but the most dangerous thing is the cooling pool of unit 4. Now it is terribly dangerous because the entire hot core of reactor 4 had been removed and put in this cooling pool shortly before the tsunami. So, there was a hot core in this cooling pool the entire superstructure building was blown off in a hydrogen explosion.
The entire area is weakened and there is a great risk of an aftershock. Now this pool contains something on the order of 400.000 kg of hot plutonium. So, the thing that people should be aware of is that TEPCO is going to begin attempting to remove these rods from this pool to some other type of storage. This has never been done with plutonium rods that have been out of a core for such a short period of time.
There is a great danger of a thermonuclear reaction if these rods become exposed to the air and the cooling pool itself is just barely containing the temperature levels of the core as it is.
The media coverage of the situation has been almost non-existent. The public must become engaged and the governments must become engaged because this is a global threat. They say that one microgram of plutonium could theoretically kill a person.
There are billion micrograms in a kilogram and there are 400.000 hot kilograms in this pool. So, if these rods combust, if the set of rods begins a thermonuclear reaction, it will vaporize the water in the pool and the entire pool can become an uncontrolled nuclear reaction open to the air. These particles will be spread through the northern hemisphere.
This is perhaps the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. And I think you would acknowledge there has been far too little attention given to this at this point and the measures that the Japanese government is discussing at this point are not sufficient, I believe. Other governments must become engaged in this.
The Japan Times, Oct 18, 2013: Strontium readings spike 6,500-fold in one day […] Radiation levels in groundwater under Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant are soaring, Tepco said Friday after taking samples from an observation well. Tepco said 400,000 becquerels per liter of beta ray-emitting substances such as strontium were detected in water sampled Thursday from the well […] The level of becquerels, a record high for water in that well, was up 6,500-fold from the 61 becquerels found Wednesday. Tepco was planning to pump groundwater up […] before the water flows into the damaged reactor buildings and becomes heavily contaminated with radioactive materials. But that plan appears in jeopardy because the sharp increase in the levels of radioactive materials in the observation well suggest the radioactive groundwater is spreading. […] It is believed some 400 tons of radioactive groundwater is flowing into the Pacific daily. […]
NHK, Oct. 18, 2013: They also said the level of radioactive tritium also tripled to the highest-ever figure of 790,000 becquerels per liter.