Posts Tagged ‘Fukushima’

Chief Nuclear Engineer Postulates that Fukushima Reactor 3 Explosion was Nuclear

04/28/2011 Leave a comment

Chief nuclear engineer A. Gundersen postulates that the Fukushima Reactor No. 3 explosion may have been nuclear and not just a hydrogen explosion.  Pieces of nuclear fuel rods were discovered as far away as 2 miles from the plant, which would have happened with a detonation, but unlikely with a deflagration.

Nuclear Engineer Analyzes Current Condition of Fukushima Reactors 1-3, Unit 4 Pool and Monitoring of Fish

04/19/2011 2 comments

A. Gundersen, Chief Nuclear Engineer:  “… What they’re measuring in Unit 2 is not water or steam at all.  It’s hot air, or hot hydrogen.  And that’s a problem.  It tells me that Unit 2 is not being cooled … we should be very concerned that we’re exhausting hot gases out the top of that reactor …

… If we take TEPCO at its word … the iodine deposition on a square meter [Unit 4] was 30,000 MBq.  That’s pushing the numbers at Chernobyl … If we take TEPCO at its word, they had Chernobyl-level releases on the other units which caused the iodine to fall on Unit 4 …

Over the weekend the FDA announced it would not be monitoring fish on the west coast, and I don’t think that’s a good idea … I don’t think we’ll find anything initially, but over the next year as the little fish get eaten by bigger fish get eaten by bigger fish and the plume spreads, we might …”

Radiation Near Japan Reactors Too High for Workers

04/18/2011 Leave a comment

MARI YAMAGUCHI – “TOKYO (AP) — A pair of thin robots on treads sent to explore buildings inside Japan’s crippled nuclear reactor came back Monday with disheartening news: Radiation levels are far too high for repair crews to go inside.

Nevertheless, officials remained hopeful they can stick to their freshly minted ‘roadmap’ for cleaning up the radiation leak and stabilizing the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant by year’s end so they can begin returning tens of thousands of evacuees to their homes.

‘Even I had expected high radioactivity in those areas. I’m sure (plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co.) and other experts have factored in those figures when they compiled the roadmap,’ Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said.

Officials said Monday that radiation had spiked in a water tank in Unit 2 and contaminated water was discovered in other areas of the plant. They also described in detail for the first time the damage to fuel in three troubled reactors, saying pellets had melted.”  Read more.

Radioactivity Rises in Sea Off Japan Nuclear Plant

04/16/2011 Leave a comment

By MARI YAMAGUCHI – “TOKYO (AP) – Levels of radioactivity have risen sharply in seawater near a tsunami-crippled nuclear plant in northern Japan, signaling the possibility of new leaks at the facility, the government said Saturday.

The announcement came after a magnitude-5.9 earthquake jolted Japan on Saturday morning, hours after the country’s nuclear safety agency ordered plant operators to beef up their quake preparedness systems to prevent a recurrence of the nuclear crisis.

… The level of radioactive iodine-131 spiked to 6,500 times the legal limit, according to samples taken Friday, up from 1,100 times the limit in samples taken the day before. Levels of cesium-134 and cesium-137 rose nearly fourfold.” Read more.

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Dr. Michio Kaku: Fukishima Daiichi Nuclear Facility is a ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

04/15/2011 Leave a comment

Dr. Michio Kaku: This accident has already released something on the order of 50 thousand trillion Becquerels of radiation.  You do the math.  That puts it right smack in the middle of a Level 7 nuclear accident.  Still less than Chernobyl, however radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors, the situation is not stable at all.  So you’re looking at basically a ticking time bomb … a secondary earthquake, a pipe break … could set off a full-scale meltdown at 3 nuclear power stations far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl...

An international team of top physicists and engineers should take over with the authority to use the Japanese military.  I think the Japanese military is the only organization capable of bringing this raging accident under control … because of the fact that the radiation levels are so great.  Workers can only go in for perhaps 10 minutes, 15 minutes at a time and they get their year’s dose of radiation.  You’re there for one hour and you have radiation sickness … you’re there for a day and you get a lethal amount of radiation.  At Chernobyl there were 600,000 people mobilized, each one going in for just a few minutes, dumping sand, concrete, boric acid on to the reactor site.  Each one got  a medal.  That’s what it took to bring one raging nuclear accident under control… In the best case scenario … they hope to bring it under control by the end of this year.

Radiation Levels in Fukushima Underground Water Rise 38x During Past Week

04/15/2011 Leave a comment

“The operator of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says radiation levels in underground water gathered in so-called sub-drain pits rose by up to 38 times during the past week.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, is working to remove contaminated water from the basements of the turbine buildings and tunnels. The contaminated water is hindering efforts to restore the reactors’ cooling systems.

TEPCO said that in its monitoring on Wednesday, it found 400 becquerels of iodine-131 and 53 becquerels of cesium-134 per cubic centimeter in the No. 1 reactor’s sub-drain pit. These levels are 6 times and 38 times higher than a week ago respectively.”  Read more.

Melting of Japan Plant’s Fuel Rods Confirmed

04/15/2011 2 comments

DAVID McNEILL – “SCIENTISTS SAY the fight to bring Japan’s crippled nuclear power plant under control could take three months or more, even if not hampered by further earthquakes. The announcement comes after another day of aftershocks, including one with an epicentre about 25km from the Fukushima plant.

The head of the Atomic Energy Society of Japan, Takashi Sawada, said yesterday that fuel rods in reactors 1 and 3 have melted and settled at the bottom of their containment vessels, confirming fears that the plant suffered a partial meltdown after last month’s huge earthquake and tsunami.”  Read more.

NIC: Japan Government ‘Is At Last Beginning to Wake Up to the Reality of the Scale of the Disaster’

04/11/2011 Leave a comment

By Michio Nakayama and Aaron Sheldrick – “… [T]he government widened the surrounding evacuation zone yesterday … [and] ‘is at last beginning to wake up to the reality of the scale of the disaster,’ said Philip White, International Liaison Officer at the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center, a Tokyo-based group opposed to atomic energy. ‘Its belated move to evacuate people from a larger area around the nuclear plant, likewise, is a recognition that the impact on public health is potentially much greater than it first acknowledged.’…

Level 7 means there has been a ‘major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures,’ the factsheet says.”  Read more.


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Japan Officially Raises Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Level to 7, Matching Chernobyl

04/11/2011 Leave a comment

“The Japanese government’s nuclear safety agency has decided to raise the crisis level of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant accident from 5 to 7, the worst on the international scale.

The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency made the decision on Monday. It says the damaged facilities have been releasing a massive amount of radioactive substances, which are posing a threat to human health and the environment over a wide area.

The agency used the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale, or INES, to gauge the level. The scale was designed by an international group of experts to indicate the significance of nuclear events with ratings of 0 to 7.”  Read more.

Japan Evacuation Area to Soon be Declared ‘Off-Limits’

04/11/2011 Leave a comment

Kyodo News – “The 20-km evacuation zone around the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will soon be turned into a legally binding off-limits zone, senior officials said Sunday.

The step is aimed at increasing government control over the area. Desperate residents have been braving radiation fears for quick return trips to pick up essential belongings. Officials suggested Sunday that they will now be able to force anyone out of the evacuation zone who refuses to leave.”  Read more.

Nuclear Experts on Japan: ‘No End In Sight’, ‘Uncharted Territory’, ‘Effort in Danger of Failing’, Reactors ‘Too Hot to Pour Concrete’

04/10/2011 Leave a comment

By Matt Smith, CNN -“… A month into the crisis, the utility acknowledges, there is no end in sight.

The problems are so far ‘beyond the design capacity’ of the plant that the Japanese are working in uncharted territory, said Michael Friedlander, a former senior operator at U.S. nuclear power plants.

‘No nuclear power plant has ever considered the inability to get on long-term core cooling for more than a week, much less three weeks,’ Friedlander said.

Some Japanese experts now say the effort is in danger of failing unless Japan seeks more help from international experts to bring it to an end. Tetsunari Iida, an engineer-turned-industry critic, said the situation is ‘beyond the reach’ of Japan’s closely knit nuclear establishment.”  Read more.


EPA: New Radiation Highs in Little Rock Milk, Philadelphia Drinking Water

04/10/2011 Leave a comment

By Jeff McMahon – “Milk from Little Rock and drinking water from Philadelphia contained the highest levels of Iodine-131 from Japan yet detected by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to data released by EPA Saturday.

The Philadelphia sample is below the EPA’s maximum contaminant level (MCL) for iodine-131, but the Little Rock sample is almost three times higher.”  Read more.

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