Radioactive news 23 March 2011

  • Fukushima Smoking Gun Emerges: Founding Engineer Says Reactor 4 Has Always Been A "Time Bomb", Exposes Criminal Cover Up
    "One of the reactors in the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may have been relying on flawed steel to hold the radiation in its core, according to an engineer who helped build its containment vessel four decades ago. Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd. in 1974. The reactor, which Tanaka has called a “time bomb,” was shut for maintenance when the March 11 earthquake triggered a 7-meter (23-foot) tsunami that disabled cooling systems at the plant, leading to explosions and radiation leaks....“
  • What They're Covering Up at Fukushima
    After reading his account, you will wonder, why do they keep on sprinkling water on the reactors, rather than accept the sarcophagus solution [ie., entombing the reactors in concrete. Editors.] I think there are a couple of answers. One, those reactors were expensive, and they just can't bear the idea of that huge a financial loss. But more importantly, accepting the sarcophagus solution means admitting that they were wrong, and that they couldn't fix the things. On the one hand that's too much guilt for a human being to bear. On the other, it means the defeat of the nuclear energy idea, an idea they hold to with almost religious devotion. And it means not just the loss of those six (or ten) reactors, it means shutting down all the others as well, a financial catastrophe.
    Source.: poorrichards-blog
  • US bars some Japan foods over radiation fears
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has announced it was barring some food imports from Japan due to fears of radiation and nuclear contamination in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami disaster.

    The US Food and Drug Administration said it had placed an import alert on all milk, milk products, fresh vegetables and fruits from certain regions...
  • Radiation Level At Fukushima Reactor No. 2 At Its Highest Level Recorded So Far, Neutron Beam Observed 13 Time
    Per the Japan Nuclear Agency: the Radiation level at Fukushima reactor No. 2 at its highest level recorded so far. From Reuters: "Radiation at the crippled Fukushima No.2 nuclear reactor was recorded at the highest level since the start of the crisis, Japan's nuclear safety agency said on Wednesday. An agency spokesman said 500 millisieverts per hour of radiation was measured at the No.2 unit on Wednesday. Engineers have been trying to fix the plant's cooling system after restoring lighting on Tuesday." And some more truthy news from Kyodo:

    Electric Power Co. said Wednesday it has observed a neutron beam, a kind of radioactive ray, 13 times on the premises of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant after it was crippled by the massive March 11 quake-tsunami disaster.
  • Nuclear power plants shut down in Germany
    Ed note–Ostensibly, the reason for the nuclear reactors in Japan going into meltdown mode was an earthquake followed by a tsunami. No such dangers exist in Germany, yet they are shutting down their reactors–Do they know something the rest of us don’t, perhaps dealing with a computer worm known as Stuxnet designed to destroy reactors such as these?

    Germany has temporarily shut down seven of its nuclear reactors while it reconsiders its nuclear strategy.

    Was the helicopter incident a warning?
  • FDA Stopping Japan Food Imports: Uses Border Patrol: Dairy, produce, baby formula
    The Food and Drug Administration issues ALERT that will halt imports of produce and dairy products at entry to the U. S. from certain areas of Japan where a leaking radiation has comtaminated food and water.

    The Alert provides "Detention Without Physical Examination of Products from Japan Due to Radionuclide Contamination"

    The U. S. Customs and Border Patrol will also be involved in the effort.

    The FDA Alert product list includes:
    - Vegetable/Vegetable Products
    - Milk/Butter/Dried Milk Products
    - Filled Milk/Imitation Milk Products
    - Milk Base Formula Product (Similac, Enfamilm Etc.)(Baby)
  • HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — The Japanese government said Wednesday that the economic cost of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami could be as much as $308 billion, more than double the cost of the 1995 Kobe earthquake and four times the cost of Katrina.
    Source.: DailyBail
  • Seawater radioactivity high / Sample shows large iodine concentrations near nuclear plant
    Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Tuesday seawater near an outlet at the quake-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant had a concentration of radioactive iodine-131 that was 127 times higher than can be safely ingested by a person continuously for one year, according to government standards.

    In a phenomenon called biological concentration, radioactive materials in seawater will become more concentrated in fish and marine plants.
  • Radioactive Iodine In Tokyo Water Found Too High For Infants
    Local authorities in Tokyo said Wednesday that iodine exceeding permissible levels for infants has been detected in tap water in northern Tokyo, adding to concerns over contamination from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi plant.

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said that a sample of water from Katsushika ward had found radioactive iodine levels of 210 becquerels per kilogram, about double the permissible level for infants, although still considered safe for adults. While not certain, officials said they suspect that the airborne iodine had drifted over rivers that feed Tokyo's water system and had come down in recent rainfall.
    Source.: Nikkei
  • Japan Finds More Vegetables, Water Affected By Radiation
    Japanese authorities discovered more leafy vegetables and water contaminated by radiation on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after a quake-hit nuclear plant went on alert.

    Prime Minister Naoto Kan warned consumers across the country against eating a wide range of leafy vegetables harvested in Fukushima Prefecture, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and spinach.

    It is the first time that Kan has restricted consumption of some farm products in the wake of the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi power station, which has been crippled by the March 11 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
    Source.: Nikkei
  • Fukushima Engineer Says He Covered Up Flaw at Shut Reactor No. 4
    One of the reactors in the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant may have been relying on flawed steel to hold the radiation in its core, according to an engineer who helped build its containment vessel four decades ago.

    Mitsuhiko Tanaka says he helped conceal a manufacturing defect in the $250 million steel vessel installed at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 4 reactor while working for a unit of Hitachi Ltd. in 1974. The reactor, which Tanaka has called a “time bomb,” was shut for maintenance when the March 11 earthquake triggered a 7-meter (23-foot) tsunami that disabled cooling systems at the plant, leading to explosions and radiation leaks.
    Source.: Bloomberg
  • Extremely high radiation found in soil
    Japanese authorities have detected a concentration of a radioactive substance 1,600 times higher than normal in soil at a village, 40 kilometers away from the troubled nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
    Source.: NHK World
  • Japanese nuclear reactor workers evacuated again
    Workers at the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan were evacuated Wednesday as smoke spewed into their facilities for the second day in a row. According to CNN, officials with the Tokyo Electric Power Company said that “something is on fire” but didn’t say what.
  • Exclusive: Fukushima babies, pregnant women nuclear fallout rescue underway
    Babies and pregnant women are being rescued from the Fukushima Nuclear power plant fallout area despite Japanese government telling everyone within the 20-mile radius danger zone of the leaking plants to remain indoors where people are being radiated. A grassroots group began the high-risk rescue mission Monday.

    The first eight of approximately 1000 women and babies to be rescued within the 20 miles radius left the area Monday with help by Connected Light according to the group's co-founder, Yumi Kikuchi who contacted Dupré for help late Tuesday night.
  • Restoration at nuke plant disrupted, radiation fears spread to Tokyo
    Work to restore power and key cooling functions was disrupted again Wednesday at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as smoke caused workers to evacuate, while fear of radioactive pollution spread to Tokyo with an alert not to give tap water to infants.
  • Israeli firm’s cameras recording Japanese nuclear core
    Security cameras installed by Israeli defense company at Fukushima plant have ability to detect presence of radioactive clouds in air.

    As the world continues to gaze with concern at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, hi-tech security cameras installed by an Israeli defense firm are recording events at the troubled core from an insider’s vantage point.

    The Arava-based Magna BSP company, which specializes in producing and installing stereoscopic sensory and thermal imaging cameras, had been contracted to place cameras around one of the plant’s six cores – the core that has been experiencing explosions and overheating.
  • Was Japan supplying nuclear fuel to Iran?.
    was Japan supplying nuclear fuel to Iran?..Israel supplied the security at Fukushima
    Iran has announced readiness for nuclear interaction with other countries and Japan could be one of them, said Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Ramin Mehmanparast, on Tuesday.
    Speaking in his weekly press conference, when asked whether Japan will replace Russia for nuclear cooperation with Iran, he said, “the visit to Japan’s nuclear power plants by Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili were upon invitation by the Japanese side.”
  • New Problems at Japanese Plant Subdue Optimism
    The restoration of electricity at the plant, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, stirred hopes that the crisis was ebbing. But nuclear engineers say some of the most difficult and dangerous tasks are still ahead — and time is not necessarily on the side of the repair teams.
    Source.: NY Times
  • Suspended due to radiation the second reactor "Fukushima-1". Contaminated drinking water in Tokyo
    Japanese liquidators to elude a difference at an NPP "Fukushima-1". On Wednesday the rehabilitation work on the second reactor had to be suspended due to high levels of radiation, and the first reactor temperature jumped sharply. All employees were evacuated from the building of the second reactor after instruments showed that radiation reaches 500 millizivertov per hour, the Agency explained on Japan's nuclear and industrial safety (NISA).

  • Japan nuclear crisis revives long U.S. fight on spent fuel
    The threat of the release of highly radioactive spent fuel at a Japanese nuclear plant has revived a debate in the United States about how to manage such waste and has led to new recriminations over a derailed plan for a national repository in Nevada.

    Pools holding spent fuel at nuclear plants in the United States are even more heavily loaded than those at the Japanese reactors, experts say, and are more vulnerable to some threats than the ones in Japan. However, utility companies have taken steps since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to make them safer.
  • More U.S. states find traces of radiation from Japan
    Colorado and Oregon have joined several other Western states in reporting trace amounts of radioactive particles that have likely drifted about 5,000 miles from a quake and tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant in Japan, officials say.

    But, on a portion of its website dedicated to tracking such radiation, the Environmental Protection Agency noted Wednesday that these and other readings "show typical fluctuation in background radiation levels" and -- thus far -- "are far below levels of concern."
    Source.: CNN
  • IAEA unsure where Japan plant radiation coming from
    Japan’s earthquake-hit nuclear complex is still emitting radiation but the source is unclear, a senior UN atomic agency official said, as workers faced another day of struggle on Wednesday to cool damaged reactor cores.

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also raised concerns about a lack of information from Japanese authorities, as rising temperatures around the core of one reactor threatened to delay work.
    Source.: National Post
  • Food problems worsen
    The government has instructed Fukushima Prefecture to halt shipments of broccoli and 10 other vegetables, and has told consumers in the prefecture not to eat 10 of the products, excluding turnips, as radiation levels far beyond legal limits were detected in them. The government has also told Ibaraki Prefecture to stop shipments of parsley and unprocessed milk.
  • Steam rising from 4 reactors at Fukushima plant
    An NHK helicopter crew has confirmed what appears to be steam rising from No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 reactor buildings at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    This is the first time that steam has been seen coming out of the No.1 reactor.
    Source.: NHK World
  • Radioactive iodine found in Kawaguchi
    The city of Kawaguchi, north of Tokyo, says radioactive iodine-131 has been detected in one of its 7 water purification facilities.

    The municipal government announced on Thursday that it detected 120 becquerels of iodine per liter of water in a survey carried out on Tuesday. The reading is above the 100-becquerel safety level for infants but is safe for adults.

    The city is calling on residents to refrain from letting infants drink tap water.
    Source.: NHK World


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