Radioactive news 18 March 2011

  • Radiation Fears and Distrust Push Thousands From Homes
    YAMAGATA, Japan — Neither last week’s earthquake, nor the tsunami that followed, nor days without electricity, water or heat could drive 70-year-old Sadako Shiga from her home. What finally caused her to flee was something invisible, but to her mind far more sinister: radiation.
    Almost 10,000 residents, according to the national broadcaster NHK, have been spurred by a spreading panic caused in part by distrust that the government is telling the full truth about the nuclear accidents and how widespread the danger is.
    Source.: NYTimes
  • PACOM could evacuate 87k Americans from Japan
    SAN DIEGO — The admiral in charge of all U.S. military forces in the Pacific region said on Thursday the military has developed contingency plans to evacuate 87,000 Americans — including Defense Department personnel — from Japan if the situation deteriorates.
    Adm. Robert Willard, who commands U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii, told Pentagon reporters during a press conference Thursday evening that the United States, in a worst-case scenario, would be prepared to evacuate as many as 87,300 U.S. citizens, including military personnel and family members from Tokyo and the surrounding areas. That would include the large naval base in Yokosuka, located south of the capital near the entrance to Tokyo Bay and home to the forward-deployed aircraft carrier George Washington.
  • Japan crisis: Germany to speed up nuclear energy exit - BBC
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a "measured exit" from nuclear power in response to the crisis affecting four reactors in Japan.

    Defending the temporary closure of Germany's seven oldest reactors, she said the Japanese disaster meant it could no longer be "business as usual".

    Mrs Merkel told parliament that the goal was "to reach the age of renewable energy as soon as possible".

    She urged Germans to show the Japanese people they were not alone.

    She said the two countries had 150 years of diplomatic relations and called on Germans to donate money. "This is help between friends," she said.
    Source.: BBC News
  • Fear of Fallout From Japan Spreads in Russia
    Moscow - Events in Japan have rekindled stark memories of the Chernobyl disaster in the Soviet era, and Russians tend to be skeptical of official pronouncements, especially during crises.
    Fears of radioactive contamination from the crippled nuclear plant in Japan are spreading to Russia’s Far East. Residents there are ignoring official assurances that there is no danger, and are beginning to stockpile food, medicines and face masks.
    Source.: NYTimes
  • Radiation on planes from Japan to Sea-Tac not cause for concern, customs officials say
    Routine radiation monitoring of air travelers, their luggage and cargo arriving at Sea-Tac Airport from Japan has uncovered no harmful levels of radiation, Sea-Tac officials and a Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said late Thursday afternoon.

    “No aircraft entering the United States has tested positive for radiation at harmful levels,” Customs and Border Protection said in a prepared statement in response to specific inquiries about radiation screening of incoming flights at Sea-Tac.

    At the airport, spokesman Perry Cooper said Sea-Tac officials have not been notified of any unusual radiation levels on passengers or cargo arriving from Japan, where several damaged nuclear reactors are emitting radioactive plumes.
  • Japan to call for more help from China, S. Korea over disaster
    Matsumoto, who assumed Japan's top diplomatic post earlier this month following his predecessor's abrupt departure over a funding scandal, is expected to brief his counterparts on Japan's efforts to contain the crisis.

    Matsumoto will hold bilateral talks with each of his counterparts before the trilateral meeting, but is not likely to discuss North Korean issues in depth, the officials said.
    Source.: kyodonews
  • The Fallout Has Arrived in Southern California
    A diplomat with access to U.N tracking of Japan's radioactive fallout says it has reached Southern California but first readings are "about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening.

    The anonymous diplomat's reassurances are not so reassuring, as the natural radiation in the environment is higher than one billionth of levels that are harmful. He sounds like a politician making up random numbers, more interested in keeping power and preventing panic.
    Source.: Foxnews
  • High radiation detected 30km from nuke plant
    Japan's science ministry says relatively high radiation levels have been detected on 2 consecutive days about 30 kilometers northwest of the quake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    The radiation measured 170 microsieverts per hour on Thursday and 150 microsieverts on Friday.
    Source.: NHK World
  • 2nd day of SDF water injection completed
    Attempts to cool down a spent fuel storage pool at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been conducted on 2 fronts, with more attempts planned.
    Source.: NHK World
    Cities may have to be evacuated if winds blow from the sea, the people working at the Fukushima Daiichi plant are risking their lives with their heroic efforts to limit the scale of the damage.

    The accident should be classified at Level 6 right under Chernobyl (Level 7).
  • U.S. nuclear officials suspect Japanese plant has a dire breach
    Reporting from Los Angeles, Kesennuma and Tokyo—
    U.S. government nuclear experts believe a spent fuel pool at Japan's crippled Fukushima reactor complex has a breach in the wall or floor, a situation that creates a major obstacle to refilling the pool with cooling water and keeping dangerous levels of radiation from escaping.

    That assessment by U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials is based on the sequence of events since the earthquake and information provided by key American contractors who were in the plant at the time, said government officials familiar with the evaluation. It was compelling evidence, they said, that the wall of the No. 4 reactor pool has a significant hole or crack.
    Source.: L.A. Times
  • Breathless Fear Mongering Over Japan Continues
    “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff

    Knowing that GE is there and helping produce the scary exaggerations about the situation at the plant, one has to wonder “why?’.

    The answer is simple: in this rigged economy, we privatize the profits and socialize the losses.
  • Outside power source won't be available soon
    The government says an outside power source is unlikely to be available at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant for some time, although electricity is urgently needed to cool the reactors.

    The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said on Friday that the installation of power cables at the Number One and Number 2 reactors is expected to be completed on Saturday. The operation to add power cables at the Number 3 and Number 4 reactors is likely to end on Sunday.
    Source.: NHK World
  • Israeli Security Firm in Charge at Japanese Nuke Facilities Prior to Disaster
    Magna BSP was established by Siboni about 10 years ago and is owned by several partners. Based in Dimona, the firm employs 15 people, a number which Siboni expects to expand dramatically in light of additional orders Magna has received from Japan and interest shown by the operators of nuclear reactors in other countries. Its operations in Japan are conducted through a Japanese government firm.

    “We have an agreement in principle with the Japanese that we will provide protection for all of the country’s nuclear reactors,” Siboni said.
  • Japan weighs need to bury nuclear plant
    Japanese engineers conceded on Friday that burying a crippled nuclear plant in sand and concrete may be a last resort to prevent a catastrophic radiation release, the method used to seal huge leakages from Chernobyl in 1986.
  • First particles from Fukushima reactor reach U.S. soil
    An official with access to the UN Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty data says that their machines have picked up the first particles from the nuclear accident at Fukushima in the United States.

    The particles detected are, according to the Associated Press, said to be “about a billion times beneath levels that would be health threatening.”
  • Japan Raises Severity Of Nuclear Accident
    Japan's nuclear safety agency raised the severity rating of the country's nuclear crisis Friday from Level 4 to Level 5 on a seven-level international scale, putting it on par with the Three Mile Island accident in Pennsylvania in 1979.
  • U.S. nuclear plants store more spent fuel than Japan's
    WASHINGTON — U.S. nuclear plants use the same sort of pools to cool spent nuclear-fuel rods as the ones now in danger of spewing radiation at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, only the U.S. pools hold much more nuclear material. That's raising the question of whether more spent fuel should be taken out of the pools at U.S. power plants to reduce risks.

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission reaffirmed its position that the U.S. pools are operated safely. Pools are necessary to cool spent fuel for five years after it's removed from a reactor. After that, either keeping it in the pool or moving it into dry casks, steel and concrete containers filled with an inert gas, is a safe method for temporary storage, said Scott Burnell, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman.

    The report also said that dry cask storage has two advantages over storage in pools: It relies only on air circulation for cooling, and it splits the spent fuel into multiple containers. Congress didn't ask the committee to recommend whether the country should speed the transfer to dry casks, and the NAS panel didn't address the issue.


  • UC Berkley: Japan Nuclear Fallout Radiation Detected In California
    Coup Media Group reports informs us that the first Radioactive particles from the nuclear fallout are now falling in California. Experts at UC Berkley have confirmed that the radioactive particles are from the MOX Japanese Fukushima reactors.

    Additionally, the Raw Story reports UN officials have also detected the Radiation in the US.

    Supposedly the US was increasing nuclear detection capabilities in a so called "abundance of caution". Ironically there are no reports of the US Government detecting any radiation from their monitoring stations yet.
  • Caldicott: Japan may spell end of nuclear industry worldwide
    People all over the world are watching updates on the Japanese nuclear emergency in growing horror and disbelief. Despite soothing words from nuclear energy industry promoters, each update today has signalled fresh disaster and even more drastic warnings. Anti-nuclear campaigner Dr Helen Caldicott says it could spell the end of the nuclear industry worldwide. David Donovan reports.

    There appears to be massive divergence of opinion between experts about just how cataclysmic the Japanese situation could be.
  • Nuclear Apocalypse in Japan
    As the sun set over quake-stricken Japan on Thursday 17 March 2011, we learned that four of six Fukushima nuclear reactor sites are irradiating the earth, that the fire is burning out of control at Reactor No. 4's pool of spent nuclear fuel, that there are six spent fuel pools at risk all told, and that the sites are too hot to deal with. On March 16 Plumes of White Vapor began pouring from crippled Reactor No. 3 where the spent fuel pool may already be lost. Over the previous days we were told: nothing to worry about.
  • China suspends nuclear building plans
    China has suspended approval for new nuclear power stations following the accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant.

    It will also carry out checks at existing reactors and those under construction.

    China is currently building 27 new reactors - about 40% of the total number being built around the world.

    The news comes as China grows increasingly worried about the nuclear accident in Japan.
    Source.: poorrichards-blog
  • 'Radiation is good for you,' says Ann Coulter as she weighs in on Japan's nuclear crisis
    ‘There is a growing body of evidence that radiation in excess of what the government says are the minimum amounts we should be exposed to are actually good for you and reduce cases of cancer,’ she told Fox News TV host Bill O’Reilly.

    Coulter pointed to articles in the New York Times and The Times of London to back up her argument.

    ‘So we should all be heading for the nuclear reactor leaking and kind of sunbathing,’ joked O’Reilly.
    Source.: Dailymail
  • Why the Jokes about Japan's Tragedy
    Awash in pseudo-facts and snarky commentators (think Rush Limbaugh), Americans continue to drift farther from anything approaching a compassionate and well-informed culture. Indeed, many middle-class Americans have swallowed the Kool-Aid of “free-market” extremism that helps the very rich and hurts almost everyone else.

    Yet, the mindless beat goes on. Limbaugh joked on Tuesday that the Japanese tragedy was some divine punishment for Japan’s environmentalism. “They’ve given us the Prius,” Limbaugh guffawed. “Even now, refugees are recycling their garbage. And yet, Gaia levels them! Just wipes them out!”

    In this guest essay, Phil Rockstroh examines the reasons behind this juvenile disconnect that separates many Americans from the complexities -- and the suffering -- of the real world:
  • Nuclear tomb: Japan may bury stricken plant
    (CBS/AP) Japanese engineers conceded on Friday that they may have to bury the crippled Fukushima Dai Ichi nuclear plant in sand or encase it in concrete to try to contain the radiation.

    However, entombing the facility is considered a last resort and engineers are still hoping to restore power and restart water pumps in order to cool the overheating nuclear rods, Reuters reports.

    "It is not impossible to encase the reactors in concrete. But our priority right now is to try and cool them down first," an official from the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co, said at a news conference, according to Reuters.
    Source.: poorrichards-blog
  • Boeing Radiation Detection Plane Sent for Japan Nuclear Crisis
    The Pentagon is sending a Boeing Co. plane, equipped to detect radioactive “clouds” from nuclear tests, to sample air for radiation from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

    The WC-135W Constant Phoenix, a modified Boeing C-135, has equipment designed to collect particulates and whole-air samples, according to the U.S. Air Force. The craft, similar in size to a Boeing 707 airliner, usually is used for monitoring required by the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits above-ground nuclear weapons testing.

    “I can confirm the WC-135 has deployed to the Pacific region,” said Major Chad Steffey, a spokesman for the Air Force, in an e-mail yesterday.
  • US Troops Ready to Enter Japan's Nuclear Danger Zone
    March 18, 2011 Al Pessin | Pentagon
    "We, when necessary, will conduct operations inside that radius, when they're in support of the Japanese Defense Forces," he said. "So while U.S. citizens are constrained from operating in there, my forces are not, when they're needed to conduct humanitarian assistance, disaster response or logistics support to our Japanese friends or to our own forces or any other forces that we happen to be supporting."
    Admiral Willard has 15 ships and thousands of naval, ground and air force personnel working to help Japan deal with the damaged nuclear reactors and the humanitarian crisis caused by the earthquake and tsunami.
  • You Can View Official EPA Radiation Readings
    As I've previously noted, the San Jose Mercury News reports:

    EPA officials, however, refused to answer questions or make staff members available to explain the exact location and number of monitors, or the levels of radiation, if any, being recorded at existing monitors in California. Margot Perez-Sullivan, a spokeswoman at the EPA's regional headquarters in San Francisco, said the agency's written statement would stand on its own.

    Critics said the public needs more information.

    "It's disappointing," said Bill Magavern, director of Sierra Club California. "I have a strong suspicion that EPA is being silenced by those in the federal government who don't want anything to stand in the way of a nuclear power expansion in this country, heavily subsidized by taxpayer money."
  • Censored Fukushima news: Meltdowns, Nuclear level 5, US fallout recorded
    A grassroots movement of Americans using reports leaking out of Japan, the internet and critical thinking skills have become more than jittery awaiting truth from government about the risk of radioactive material drifting over the United States from Fukushima. Some are now demanding their human right to know and to live as the first amounts of nuclear fallout have reached California and even mid-west states, now 10 times the level of east coast states.
  • US Readies Team For Japan Emergency
    (RTTNews) - A 450-member team of experts equipped to deal with a nuclear emergency has been mobilized by the U.S. military for possible deployment in Japan in the event of a full-blown nuclear disaster there, reports said on Thursday.
    Willard said an advance team of radiological and consequence experts had already been sent to the affected region for taking stock of the situation.
  • Plutonium in Troubled Reactors, Spent Fuel Pools
    The fuel rods at all six reactors at the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi complex contain plutonium — better known as fuel for nuclear weapons. While plutonium is more toxic than uranium, other radioactive elements leaking out are likely to be of greater danger to the general public.

    Only six percent of the fuel rods at the plant’s Unit 3 were a mixture of plutonium-239 and uranium-235 when first put into operation. The fuel in other reactors is only uranium, but even there, plutonium is created during the fission process.
  • Xenon Xe 133 Gas
    Xenon Xe 133 is produced by fission of Uranium U 235.
    Xenon Xe 133 decays by beta and gamma emissions with a physical half-life of 5.245 days.
    Xenon Xe 133 is a readily diffusible gas which is neither utilized nor produced by the body. It passes through cell membranes, freely exchanges between blood and tissue, and tends to concentrate more in body fat than in blood, plasma, water or protein solutions. And it's medicine too!
  • Mainstream media halts accurate reporting on Japan's worsening nuclear catastrophe; disinfo campaign now underway
    In the United States, the nuclear power industry is now in total spin mode, trying to make sure people don't question the future of nuclear power. General Electric, which manufactured the reactors in the Fukushima power plant, experienced huge stock losses over the last few days. Now, it seems the orders from the top are to tell people nuclear power is "still safe." GE, of course, is a huge asset holder in NBC, one of the major media players in this whole charade. I very much doubt NBC openly discloses to its viewers that its news reporting may be entirely biased because it is largely owned by the very same corporate conglomerate that earns money from the construction of nuclear power plants.


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