Here’s an update on this story …
Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska’s Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals’ fur coats.
Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor.
‘We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity,’ said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
‘There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor’s damage,’ he said.
The results of the tests would not be available for ‘several weeks,’ Kelley said.” Read more.
Alaska: Deaths of Ringed Seals Declared an ‘Unusual Mortality Event’, Cause Remains Unknown – “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today declared the recent deaths of ringed seals in the Arctic and Bering Strait regions of Alaska an unusual mortality event, triggering a focused, expert investigation into the cause of these deaths. Since mid-July, more than 60 dead and 75 diseased seals, most of them ringed seals, have been reported in Alaska, with reports continuing to come in. During their fall survey, scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also identified diseased and dead walruses at the annual mass haul-out at Point Lay. A decision by the Service on making an an unusual mortality declaration for Pacific walrus in Alaska is pending.” Read more.
Japan: ‘The China Syndrome’ Begins as Ground Under Facility Continues to Crack, ‘It Seems Like Nuclear Reaction is Happening Underground’
This tragic catastrophe continues to worsen. It is an epic global disaster of Biblical proportions, yet one that remains ‘blacked out’ from being adequately reported in the mainstream media. One Fukushima employee wrote recently that “cracks came up in the ground, massive steam is coming up from there. It’s too smoggy here, can’t see a thing. It seems like nuclear reaction is happening underground. Now we are evacuating. Watch out for the direction of wind.” This is a chilling admission …
Paul Gunter of Beyond Nuclear – “We know now that there have been three meltdowns at the reactors at this six-unit site and that the vessel has failed. Now what seems to be the situation is that this Corium, this melted reactor core, has burned through the concrete core of the reactor building or buildings and has now burned into the earth and, reaching groundwater, is creating steam. The readings we’re seeing now suggests that it’s off scale for the instrumentation that’s being used by workers … 500 rem is a lethal dose. This is 1000 rem coming out of these cracks … The permissible dose for the public is 100 millirem per year. This is 1,000,000 millirem per hour …”
Flashback: Dr. Helen Caldicott Explains Why She Is Leaving British Columbia Forever
Japan: Decrease in White Blood Cells, Headaches, Nausea in Sendai City Hospital; Hair From Patients ‘Comes Off in a Clump’
Where is the mainstream media? The Japanese are eating radioactive vegetables, eggs, rice, beef, and who knows what else, not to mention what they’re drinking. Biologists are now saying that this disaster is much worse than they had thought, and TEPCO admits that this is going to continue for at least another decade. Expect to hear more and more about patients in Japan getting sick and dying. And, eventually, not just in Japan either …
Increasing number of patients with unexplainable decrease in white blood cells, headache, nausea. They are diagnosed for existing illness and undergo treatment, but they don’t respond to the treatment at all. I’ve seen those cases in my hospital. I’m not saying they are all because of the radiation exposure, but I’m telling you what I’m seeing.
When we wash their hair, it comes off in a clump. It is really scary. The doctor says, ‘I really wonder why the white blood cell count is down…’ Doctor, don’t be so relaxed about it. There is going to be more and more people who don’t respond to treatment.
She suspects internal radiation from hospital meals, which the in-patients have no choice but eat.” Read more.
NHK Special – Japan researchers found radiation levels exceeding most contaminated zone in Chernobyl called Red Forest:
Japan Nuclear Firm Aims to End Crisis Within Nine Months; Update: ‘Major Delay’ to Containing the Situation
Update May 30, 2011: TEPCO now admits that obstacles are causing major delays in getting the situation under control …
TEPCO believes stabilizing Fukushima reactors by year-end impossible – “Tokyo Electric Power Co. is coming to the view that it will be impossible to stabilize the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant by the end of this year, senior company officials said Sunday, possibly affecting the timing for the government to consider the return of evacuees to their homes near the plant.
The revelation that meltdowns had occurred at the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors at the plant, most likely with breaches to pressure vessels encasing nuclear fuel, has led the officials to believe that ‘there will be a major delay to work’ to contain the situation, one of them said.
The plant operator, known as TEPCO, announced on April 17 its road map for bringing the troubled reactors at the plant into a stably cooled condition called ‘cold shutdown’ in six to nine months.” Read more.
April 17, 2011: In other words, they really have no idea when this will all end. They just HOPE to have a ‘cold shutdown’ achievable by early 2012 while radiation continues to spew for at least another three months (best case scenario) or more. It’s like the nuclear version of the BP oil spill disaster. And this is itself based upon the hope, however, that there will not be another major earthquake in the area, or any other unforeseen obstacles, that would complicate their efforts even further …
By Justin McCurry – “The company at the centre of Japan’s nuclear crisis says it hopes to bring the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant under control in six to nine months, but cannot say when tens of thousands of people forced to evacuate the area will be able to return home.
In the first indication of how long it will take to stabilise the plant, the Tokyo Electric Power Company [Tepco] revealed on Sunday a two-stage process it hopes will end with the safe ‘cold shutdown’ of the stricken reactors.
Tepco’s announcement came as the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, arrived in Tokyo to pledge Washington’s support for Japan as it recovers from the worst disaster in its postwar history.” Read more.
“… As Dr. Michio Kaku, a world renowned CUNY theoretical physicist pointed out on CNN March 18, 2011, Chernobyl involved one reactor and only 57.6 Tons of the reactor core went into the atmosphere. In dramatic contrast, the Fukushima Daiichi disaster immediately involved six reactors and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN Agency) documented 2,800 Tons of highly radioactive old reactor cores.
Simple division tells us there are at least 48.6 Chernobyls in the burning old reactor cores pumping fiery isotopes into the Earth’s atmosphere. It is no stretch to say Fukushima Daiichi’s six reactors and the dry holding pools for old reactor cores are equal to more than 50 Chernobyl disasters.
Further clarification is needed, of course, and it is being worked out now by independent physicists. Note that the lethality of radioactive reactor cores goes up the first 250,000 years they are out of the reactor – not down.
Looking at the current Japanese meltdown as more than 50 Chernobyls is just the start. In addition, the fate of the four nearby reactors at Fukushima Daini is as yet unknown by the outside world. Working at the nearby reactors, only 10 km (6 miles away) is a quick, painful death sentence. They are inside the mandatory evacuation zone.
This much is known. All radioactive exposures are cumulative for each human, animal and plant. What’s more, mutated genetic codes are passed on to offspring forever. This means all Japanese and all Northern Hemisphere inhabitants are suffering internal radioactive contamination from Fukushima Daiichi reactors already.” Read more.
Extraordinarily High Levels of Radioactive Materials Found Off Miyagi and Ibaraki – “Japan’s science ministry has detected extraordinarily high levels of radioactive cesium in seafloor samples collected off Miyagi and Ibaraki Prefectures. Experts say monitoring should be stepped up over a larger area to determine how fish and shell fish are being affected.” Read more.
Fukushima’s Apocalyptic Threat Demands Immediate Global Action – “Fukushima may be in an apocalyptic downward spiral. Forget the corporate-induced media coma that says otherwise…or nothing at all. Lethal radiation is spewing unabated. Emission levels could seriously escalate. There is no end in sight. The potential is many times worse than Chernobyl.” Read more.
IRSN: 70,000 More People Must Evacuate Around Fukushima; TEPCO Now Admits Likely Meltdown in Reactors 2 and 3
Updating its assessment of the March 11 disaster, France’s Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) highlighted an area northwest of the plant that lies beyond the 20km zone whose inhabitants have already been evacuated.
Radioactivity levels in this area range from several hundred becquerels per square metre to thousands or even several million bequerels per square metre, the IRSN report, issued late on Monday, said.
Around 70 000 people, including 9 500 children aged up to 14, live in the area, ‘the most contaminated territory outside the evacuation zone’, the agency said.” Read more.
TEPCO Stating the Obvious After 2 Months: Reactors 2, 3 Total Meltdown More Likely – “TEPCO reported on May 23 that the Reactors 2 and 3 at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant had a core meltdown just like the Reactor 1, based on their analysis on the reactor parameters right after the earthquake on March 11.” Read more.
‘Situation at Fukushima Out of Control’: All Three Reactors Have Likely Melted Down, Melted Core Outside Containment Vessel No. 1
And like the No. 1 reactor, the melted fuel appears to have created holes in the pressure vessel of the No. 3 reactor, according to the data of Tokyo Electric Power Co. released May 16.
Goshi Hosono, special adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, acknowledged the likelihood of meltdowns at the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors.
‘We have to assume that meltdowns have taken place,’ Hosono said at a news conference May 16.” Read more.
“Situation at Fukushima out of control” – The situation at the Fukushima plant is currently out of control, says Professor Christopher Busby from the European Committee on Radiation Risks, who gave RT his insight into the recent developments in Japan. ‘Of course, it’s time for the Japanese government to take control. But having said that, it’s very hard to know how you could take control of the situation. The situation is essentially out of control,’ … ‘I believe personally that it’s a global problem – and not the Japanese government’s problem only,’ he added.” Read more.
Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University: ‘Melted Core Outside the Containment Vessel’ – “Hiroaki Koide of Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute is quoted by Mainichi Shinbun as saying that the melted core of the Reactor 1 is not just out of the Reactor Pressure Vessel but out of the Containment Vessel.” Read more.
By EBEN HARRELL – “The China Syndrome refers to a scenario in which a molten nuclear reactor core could could fission its way through its containment vessel, melt through the basement of the power plant and down into the earth. While a molten reactor core wouldn’t burn ‘all the way through to China’ it could enter the soil and water table and cause huge contamination in the crops and drinking water around the power plant. It’s a nightmare scenario, the stuff of movies. And it might just have happened at Fukushima.” Read more.
By Julian Ryall – “Engineers from the Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) entered the No.1 reactor at the end of last week for the first time and saw the top five feet or so of the core’s 13ft-long fuel rods had been exposed to the air and melted down.
Previously, Tepco believed that the core of the reactor was submerged in enough water to keep it stable and that only 55 per cent of the core had been damaged.
Now the company is worried that the molten pool of radioactive fuel may have burned a hole through the bottom of the containment vessel, causing water to leak.
‘We will have to revise our plans,’ said Junichi Matsumoto, a spokesman for Tepco. ‘We cannot deny the possibility that a hole in the pressure vessel caused water to leak’.” Read more.
TEPCO admits nuclear meltdown occurred at Fukushima reactor 16 hours after quake – “According to TEPCO, the operator of the crippled nuclear power plant, the emergency condenser designed to cool the steam inside the pressure vessel of the No. 1 reactor was working properly shortly after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake, but it lost its functions around 3:30 p.m. on March 11 when tsunami waves hit the reactor.” Read more.
By MARI YAMAGUCHI – “TOKYO (AP) — One of the reactor cores at Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant has been damaged more severely than originally thought, officials said Thursday, in a serious setback for efforts to stabilize the radiation-leaking complex.
The new findings followed repairs to monitoring equipment, which also showed that the water level in the core of Unit 1 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant is much lower than previously thought, totally exposing remaining fuel rods and pointing to a greater-than-expected leak in the chamber.” Read more.
DAMAGED JAPANESE POWER STATION HAS NEW RADIOACTIVE LEAK – “(AGI) Tokyo – Reactor 3 at the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station is leaking, a TEPCo spokesman announced. It is not confirmed whether the radioactive water has gone from the holding tank into the ocean. TEPCO, the company that manages the power station, is conducting tests. A similar leak happened last month at Reactor 2 and was plugged with a mixture.” Source.
Chief Nuclear Engineer A. Gundersen discusses Fukushima ground water contamination, which could be the worst contamination in the history of the nuclear industry, and discusses a letter from a Japanese government nuclear official and how the Island of Japan was “just plain lucky due to the favorable meteorological conditions during the entire developments of the accident… We were very lucky even with a large release from 1F3, due to the most severe hydrogen explosion, that could have induced a heavy land contamination. This resulted from the wind direction toward the sea at the time of the release, although this must have resulted in a wider ocean contamination far from the Fukushima Daiichi.”
“Japanese officials say radiation readings are 100 to 1,000 times the normal level on the Pacific seabed near the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was damaged in a natural disaster in March.
Local news media Tuesday quoted the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, as saying that high levels of radioactive materials were found in samples taken from the seabed at points 20 to 30 meters deep.” Read more.
IAEA: Contaminated water may reach US West Coast – “The International Atomic Energy Agency says radioactive water leaked from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan may reach the West Coast of North America in one or 2 years.
The nuclear watchdog held a briefing for member countries in Vienna on Thursday on the current situation at the plant, which has not been brought under control since the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.
The IAEA said that, based on an analysis of data provided by Japan and other sources, the contaminated water may spread across the Pacific on the Kuroshio current, and reach the coast of North America by next year at the earliest.” Read more.