Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Posts Tagged ‘fukushima disaster’

Fukushima Radiation Level 8 Times Govt Standard: TEPCO

Posted by feww on January 13, 2014

Radiation Level at Fukushima Rises to 8*mSv/yr: Report

NOTE: THE TEPCO REPORT, QUOTED BY JAPAN’S ASAHI SHIMBUN MAY BE SERIOUSLY FLAWED.

ACCORDING TO http://new.atmc.jp/ THE RADIATION LEVEL AT OR NEAR FUKUSHIMA PLANT IS ≥ 40 MICROSIEVERT PER HOUR (OR ~ 350 mSv/yr)

Radiation levels near the boundary of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have increased to 8 millisievert per year, or eight times the government standard, said Tokyo Electric Power Co. said, Asahi Shimbun quotyed the operator TEPCO as saying.

Following the discovery of leaks from the underground waste storage tanks in April,  TEPCO transferred the radioactive wastewater to hastily built storage tanks near the plant’s southern boundary, company officials said.

TEPCO says the main reason for the dramatic increase in the radiation levels are the X-rays emitted by the radioactive water held in the notorious storage tanks.

However, the background radiation level had already reached 7.8 millisievert per year in May 2013, according to the report.

fukushima
The No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, March 15, 2011. Source:  TEPCO handout.

TEPCO says the X-rays are released when beta rays from radioactive strontium and other substances in the water react with iron and other elements in the storage tank containers.

It’s true that high energy beta particles released from radioactive substances can give off bremsstrahlung x-rays when they decelerate during electromagnetic interactions as they pass through matter; however, most beta particles can be stopped by just  a few millimeter of aluminum.

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv
1 Sv = 100 rem
1mSv = 0.1 rem
1mSv = 100 millirems (mrem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  300 (3 mS/yr)
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400 (4 mS/yr)

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year, or 3 mSv/yr) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000  (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 300

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person's age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

*Notes:

1. Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

2. The average annual radiation dose per person in the U.S. is currently 620 millirem (6.2 mSv), according to EPA. “Half of our average dose comes from natural background sources: cosmic radiation from space, naturally occurring radioactive minerals in the ground and in your body, and from the radioactive gases radon and thoron, which are created when other naturally occurring elements undergo radioactive decay. Another 48 percent of our dose comes from medical diagnostics and treatments.”

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

Related Links

For earlier links, where they have not been removed or hacked, search blog content.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Record Radiation Detected at Fukushima [AGAIN]

Posted by feww on December 22, 2013

At least two of the links posted below have been censored by Google/WordPress

Record 1.9 million becquerels (Bq) per liter of radioactivity detected at Fukushima No.2 reactor: TEPCO

Radioactive substances have been found in water samples taken from deep underground layers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, reported Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

This is the first time TEPCO has admitted to detecting radioactivity in groundwater taken from a layer 25 meters beneath the No. 4 reactor well that faces the ocean, which implies radioactive substances have been leaking into the sea from yet another source.

reactor NO 2 FDINPP
No. 2 reactor buildings at the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear power plant seen at the center of the above screen dump taken from a news video clip.

Water sample taken on December 17, showed 6.7 becquerels per liter of Cesium 137 and 89 becquerels per liter of strontium and other beta ray-emitting radioactive substances.

“TEPCO officials are putting a new spin over their own report, saying that radioactive substances may have been accidentally mixed during the, according to a report.

Since July, TEPCO has admitted to three major incidents of contaminated water escaping from the power plant into the ocean, including two major leaks of highly radioactive water from storage tanks—a 300-ton spill in August followed by at least 430 liters in October this year.

Meantime, the company reported that density of beta ray-emitting radioactivity in groundwater has been rising since November. On December 19, the activity reached a record 1.9 million becquerels per liter.

[Note: The becquerel, the SI unit of radioactivity, is equivalent to one disintegration per second.]

On November 7, 2013 FIRE-EARTH said:

Scale of potential catastrophe at Fukushima could dwarf a limited nuclear war.

Related Links

For additional links to Fukushima disasters, search blog content.

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, health, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Japan Better Off On Horse Manure Than Nuclear

Posted by feww on October 10, 2013

Radiation levels near Fukushima hit 2-year high

Radiation levels in seawater just outside one of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear reactors was 13 times the previous day’s reading, said the operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on Thursday.

The combined level of radioactivity from Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 just outside the damaged No. 2 reactor surged to 1,200 becquerels per liter on Wednesday, the highest level reported since late 2011.

Regulatory limits for Cesium, which emits powerful and potentially fatal gamma radiation, is a maximum of 90 bq/l for Cesium-137 and 60 bq/l for Cesium-134.

google logo of the day 2
Two workers in protective gears presumably discussing leaking tanks at the nuked Fukushima power plant. Image hand out by TEPCO. Original image removed by Editor. [Google is not listing most of the images posted on FIRE-EARTH, or delay listing them for several days until they’ve lost their immediate relevance. Editor]

Adding insult and injury to tragedy and disaster, six workers were exposed to highly radioactive water on Wednesday.

Japanese politicians, scientists and technicians are evidently unable [too incompetent] to deal with this ever-worsening disaster.

Japan would have been better off sticking to horse manure for its energy needs, instead of going nuclear.

Related Links

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, global disasters 2013, News Alert, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Chernobyl Disaster: Ukraine Marks 27th Anniversary

Posted by feww on April 26, 2013

Radioactive cloud from Chernobyl explosion traveled half way around the world

The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 27 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, and counting. The core meltdown, which occurred on Saturday, April 26, 1986 at reactor No. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, as it was then called, left entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.

The radionuclide levels still exceed the normal background in 60 Ukrainian towns and villages.

z-chernobyl-meltdown
Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant underwent a core meltdown [center] in 1986 with disastrous consequences. The radionuclide levels still exceed the normal background in 60 Ukrainian towns and villages. This image was taken by authorities in the former Soviet Union.

Ongoing Health Issues

“The nation’s health is deteriorating,” Mykhailo Kurik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Ecology, told Xinhua, asserting that the damage to nature and environment was severe and long-lasting.

“Just after the accident, a huge quantity of radionuclides, including the burning particles, which are extremely dangerous for the environment, were released. These isotopes have very long half-lives, so Ukraine will feel the devastating effects of the catastrophe for decades,” Kurik said.

Radioactive emissions from Chernobyl explosion were more than 100 times higher than the combined contamination caused by the atomic bombs dropped on Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki, experts have said.

Remembering Chernobyl Victims


The sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is seen behind a building decorated with a graffiti in the abandoned city of Prypiat April 4, 2011. Belarus, Ukraine and Russia will mark the 25th anniversary of the nuclear reactor explosion in Chernobyl, the place where the world’s worst civil nuclear accident took place, on April 26. Engineers are still struggling to regain control of damaged reactors at the Fuskushima plant after last month’s earthquake and tsunami, in the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986, with the government urging the operator of the plant to act faster to stop radiation spreading. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich. Image may be subject to copyright. Reuters images …

Never Ending Nightmare at

“In mid-February, a 600-square-meter section of the roof at the Chernobyl site collapsed, sparking fears of another disaster. The collapse occurred 70 meters above the sarcophagus that contains the radiation from the damaged No. 4 reactor.” Said a report.

Experts estimate that 190 tons of reactor fuel remain under the existing sarcophagus that covers the disaster stricken power plant.


Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

1 Million Killed in Chernobyl Disaster

“A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.”

Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere

Consequences of the Catastrophe. Authors  Alexey Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow), Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko ( Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus) studies about 5,000 reports and scientific  papers mostly published in Slavic languages and compiled their finding in the  book “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was published last year on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor core meltdown.

“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” They wrote.

“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” the authors said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

According to the book, a total of about 830,000 people, referred to as the “liquidators,” were responsible for various emergency works at the Chernobyl site including fire extinguishing, decontamination and cleanup.

The authors say between 112,000 and 125,000 of the  liquidators had died by 2005.  The authors also estimate that between 1986 and 2004 some 985,000 people died as a result of Chernobyl fallout {2011 estimates are well over a million deaths.]

“Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.” The authors said last year.

Chernobyl and Other Nuclear Stats

  • More than 95% of the radioactive material (180 metric tons with a radioactivity of about 18 million curies) still remains inside the Chernobyl reactor.
  • The  core meltdown at Chernobyl was said to have released radiation estimated at 50 million curies. Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations said in 1995 that the meltdown had released about 140 million curies. [Researchers Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko say the radiation released from Chernobyl may have been up to 10 billion curies. In comparison, the Hiroshima bomb released about 3 million curies.]
  • Immediately after the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, and 31 died within the first 90 days of the disaster.
  • About 135,000 people were evacuated from the area surrounding the plant, including 50,000 from the town of Pripyat.
  • The Academy’s  estimate for the number of casualties  are more than 90,000 deaths and more than a quarter of a million cancer cases.
  • The Ukrainian National Commission for Radiation Protection calculates the number of radiation casualties at half a million  deaths so far.
  • In a book published by the New York Academy of Sciences last year on the 24th anniversary of the reactor core meltdown, the researchers maintain that about one million people have died from exposure to radiation released by the Chernobyl reactor so far [as of 2010.]
  • “In the former Soviet Union at least 9 million people have been effected by the accident; 2.5 million in Belarus; 3.5 million in Ukraine; and 3 million in Russia. In total over 160 000 Km2 are contaminated in the three republics.” source
  • Some 441 commercial nuclear power reactors are  operating in 31 countries ( total capacity of 376 gigawatts) each of which is potentially as lethal as Chernobyl, if not worse. [This item, updated here, was written before the Fukushima nuclear disaster began unfolding.]
  • An estimated 56 countries operate more than 250 research reactors.
  • At least 220 nuclear reactors power military ships and submarines.

Legacy: More than 4,000 cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed among children and adolescents between 1992 to 2002 in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Victims under 14 years were most severely affected by the elevated concentrations of radioiodine found in milk.

  • Incidents of skin lesions, respiratory ailments, infertility and birth defects were readily found among the more than five million people who inhabit the affected areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine for many years following the accident.

The Poisoned land. Up to 5 million people continue to live on radioactive contaminated land. About 85% of the children who live in contaminated areas of Belarus today are ill, a near 6-fold increase compared to the time before the explosion (15%), according to The Belarusian National Academy of Sciences.

Fukushima NPP

Fukushima NPP is said to contain about 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel, about 24 times as much as Chernobyl (~ 180 tons).

“The Fukushima Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4′s reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.” AP reported.

On April 12, Japanese authorities raised the measure of severity of the Fukushima NPP disaster to the maximum level of 7 on INES. (See below for details.)

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

The INES, a logarithmic scale, which was introduced in 1990 by the IAEA to enable prompt communication, classifies the intensity of nuclear incidents as follows:

7 – Major Accident [Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986]

6 – Serious Accident [e.g., Kyshtym incident, Mayak, former Soviet Union, steam explosion released up to 80 tons of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere, September 1957. ]

5 – Accident With Wider Consequences [e.g., Three Mile Island accident  Pen State, U.S., partial meltdown release radioactive gases  into the environment, March 1979.]

4 – Accident With Local Consequences [e.g., Sellafield, UK, at least 5 incidents reported between 1955 to 1979]

3 – Serious Incident [e.g., Vandellos NPP, Spain, fire destroyed control systems; the reactor was shut down, July1989]

2 – Incident [e.g., Forsmark NPP, Sweden, a backup generator failed, July 2006]

1 – Anomaly [e.g., TNPC, France, 1,600 gallons of water containing 75 kilograms (170 lb) of uranium leaked into the environment,  July 2008]

0 – Deviation (No Safety Significance) — [e.g., Atucha, Argentina - Reactor shutdown caused by tritium increase in reactor encasement, December 2006.]

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv  (1 Sv = 100 rem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  300
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000  (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 300

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person's age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

*Note:  Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

Related Links

Related Links:

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Japan Underestimating Nuclear Fallout Risks: U.N.

Posted by feww on November 27, 2012

DISASTER CALENDAR SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,201 Days Left 

[November 27, 2012] Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.

  • SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,201 Days Left to the most Fateful Day in Human History
  • Symbolic countdown to the ‘worst day’ in human history began on May 15, 2011 ...

.

Global Disasters/ Significant Events

When was the last time Japan cared about its victims?

Japanese government has adopted overly optimistic views of radiation risks and has conducted only limited health checks after the core meltdowns at multiple reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, said Anand Grover, a UN special rapporteur on the right to health, who is charged with investigating Japan’s handling of the health risks from the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

  • More than 2 million people lived in the Fukushima area surrounding the power plant, but only a quarter of them have been tested for radiation effects so far.
  • The U.N. official said the health tests should cover “all radiation-affected zones” because the impact of radiation affected large areas far beyond Fukushima’s borders.
  • “The scope of the survey is unfortunately narrow as they draw on the limited lessons from the Chernobyl accident and ignore epidemiological studies that point to cancer as well as other diseases in low-dosage radiation,” Grover said.
  • According to some studies there’s no clear evidence that radiation exposures of up to 100 millisieverts per year pose higher cancer risks, he said. “But that is controversial. And there are a lot of studies which indicate otherwise. The government need not say which is right. The government has to err on the side of caution and be inclusive,” he said.
  • “They draw on the limited lessons from the Chernobyl accident and ignore epidemiological studies that point to cancer as well as other diseases in low-dosage radiation,” Grover said.
  • The cumulative radiation exposure from Fukushima in towns around the disaster stricken power plant was between 43 and 122 millisieverts, according to a report by World Health Organization (WHO), which “leaked” to the Asahi Shimbun newspaper over the weekend.

Korea

South Korean nuclear regulators have reportedly discovered about a thousand more fake parts supplied for their nuclear plants with bogus quality certificates.

  • Earlier this month, eight companies were found to have submitted 60 fake  certificates that covered more than 7,000 parts mostly used in the two reactors that were shut, said a report.
  • S. Korean government is planning an additional 11 nuclear reactors, to add to its existing fleet of 23, reports said. 
  • About 12,500 tons of nuclear waste filled more than 70 percent of the country’s  storage capacity at reactors, as of June 2012.
  • S. Korea’s four nuclear power plant complexes, which provide onsite storage facility for spent fuel and other radioactive waste, will run out of waste storage space by as early as 2016, said a report.
  • South Korea is slightly larger than Indiana, and has a population of more than 50 million.
  • More than half of South Korea’s population, and about 1/3 of a million international residents, live in the Seoul metropolitan area.

See also

Related Links

Global Disasters: Links, Forecasts and Background

GLOBAL WARNING

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chernobyl legacy to linger long after most humans have gone

Posted by feww on April 26, 2012

Chernobyl fallout covered the entire Northern Hemisphere

The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 26 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, and counting. The core meltdown, which occurred on Saturday, April 26, 1986 at reactor No. 4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station, as it was then called, left entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.

The long-term consequences of the Chernobyl disaster are still disputed.




Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

Consequences of the Catastrophe. Authors  Alexey Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow), Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko ( Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus) studied about 5,000 reports and scientific  papers mostly published in Slavic languages and compiled their finding in the  book “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was published last year on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor core meltdown.

“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” They wrote.

“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” the authors said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

According to the book, a total of about 830,000 people, referred to as the “liquidators,” were responsible for various emergency works at the Chernobyl site including fire extinguishing, decontamination and cleanup.

The authors say between 112,000 and 125,000 of the  liquidators had died by 2005.  The authors also estimate that between 1986 and 2004 some 985,000 people died as a result of Chernobyl fallout [2011 estimates are well over a million deaths.]

“Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.” The authors said.

Chernobyl and Other Nuclear Stats

  • More than 95% of the radioactive material (180 metric tons with a radioactivity of about 18 million curies) still remains inside the Chernobyl reactor.
  • The  core meltdown at Chernobyl was said to have released radiation estimated at 50 million curies. Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations said in 1995 that the meltdown had released about 140 million curies. [Researchers Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko say the radiation released from Chernobyl may have been up to 10 billion curies. In comparison, the Hiroshima bomb released about 3 million curies.]
  • Immediately after the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, and 31 died within the first 90 days of the disaster.
  • About 135,000 people were evacuated from the area surrounding the plant, including 50,000 from the town of Pripyat.
  • The Academy’s  estimate for the number of casualties  are more than 90,000 deaths and more than a quarter of a million cancer cases.
  • The Ukrainian National Commission for Radiation Protection calculates the number of radiation casualties at half a million  deaths so far.
  • In their book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment, published by the New York Academy of Sciences  on the 24th anniversary of the reactor core meltdown, researchers Yablokov, Nesterenko and Nesterenko maintain that about one million people have died from exposure to radiation released by the Chernobyl reactor [as of 2010 .]
  • “In the former Soviet Union at least 9 million people have been effected by the accident; 2.5 million in Belarus; 3.5 million in Ukraine; and 3 million in Russia. In total over 160 000 Km2 are contaminated in the three republics.” source
  • As of April 1, 2011, some 437 nuclear reactors were operating in 31 countries ( total capacity of 376 gigawatts) each of which is potentially as lethal as Chernobyl, if not worse. [The above figure may have changed due to the nuclear reactor shutdowns in Japan.]
  • An estimated 56 countries operate more than 250 research reactors.
  • At least 220 nuclear reactors power military ships and submarines.

Fukushima NPP

Fukushima NPP is said to contain about 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel, about 24 times as much as Chernobyl (~ 180 tons).

“The Fukushima Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4′s reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.” AP reported.

On April 12, Japanese authorities raised the measure of severity of the Fukushima NPP disaster to the maximum level of 7 on INES. (See below for details.)

The International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES)

The INES, a logarithmic scale, which was introduced in 1990 by the IAEA to enable prompt communication, classifies the intensity of nuclear incidents as follows:

7 – Major Accident [Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986]

6 – Serious Accident [e.g., Kyshtym incident, Mayak, former Soviet Union, steam explosion released up to 80 tons of highly radioactive material into the atmosphere, September 1957. ]

5 – Accident With Wider Consequences [e.g., Three Mile Island accident  Pen State, U.S., partial meltdown release radioactive gases  into the environment, March 1979.]

4 – Accident With Local Consequences [e.g., Sellafield, UK, at least 5 incidents reported between 1955 to 1979]

3 – Serious Incident [e.g., Vandellos NPP, Spain, fire destroyed control systems; the reactor was shut down, July1989]

2 – Incident [e.g., Forsmark NPP, Sweden, a backup generator failed, July 2006]

1 – Anomaly [e.g., TNPC, France, 1,600 gallons of water containing 75 kilograms (170 lb) of uranium leaked into the environment,  July 2008]

0 – Deviation (No Safety Significance) — [e.g., Atucha, Argentina - Reactor shutdown caused by tritium increase in reactor encasement, December 2006.]

What is a lethal dose of radiation from a single Exposure?

Studies of the 1945 atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki show that 100 percent of victims whose bodies were exposed to 600,000 millirems (6,000 mSv) died from radiation. About 50 percent of victims who received  450,000 millirems (4,500 mSv) of radiation also died.

(Note: Rem is a unit of ionizing radiation equal to the amount that produces the same damage to humans as one roentgen of high-voltage x-rays.  Source: MIT)

1 rem = 10 mSv  (1 Sv = 100 rem)

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

  • Average background radiation (US):  300
  • Higher altitudes (e.g, Denver): 400

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

Limits above natural background radiation levels (average 300 millirems per year) and medical radiation:

  • Occupation Limit: Maximum of 5,000  (the limit for a worker using radiation)
  • Average Natural Background: 300

[Note: Lifetime cumulative exposure should be limited to a person's age multiplied by 1,000 millirems, e.g., a 70-year-old person, 70,000 millirems.]

Adults

  • Max single dose for an adult: 3,000
  • Annual total dose: 5,000

Under 18

  • Max single dose for a person aged under 18 years: 300 millirems (whole body equivalent)
  • Annual total exposure: 500

Fetal Exposure

  • Maximum limit for fetal exposure during gestation period:  50 millirems per month above background levels

Medical

  • Single Chest X-ray (the whole body equivalent): 2 millirem

Air Travel

  • Coast-to-coast US round trip flight: 12 millirems

*Note:  Radiation dose of about 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) cause serious illness.

Half-life of some radioactive elements

[NOTE: Half-life is the time taken for a radioactive substance to decay by half.]

  • Cesium-134 ~ 2  years
  • Cesium-137 ~ 30 years
  • Iodine-131 ~ 8 days
  • Plutonium-239 ~ 24,200 years
  • Ruthenium-103 ~ 39 days [Ruthenium is a fission product of uranium-235.]
  • Ruthenium-106 ~ 374 days
  • Strontium-90 ~ 28.85 years  [Strontium-90 is a product of nuclear fission and is found in large amounts in spent nuclear fuel and in radioactive waste from nuclear reactors.]
  • Uranium-234 ~  246,000 years
  • Uranium-235 ~ 703.8  million years
  • Uranium-238  ~ 4.468 billion years

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The Silent Summer in Fukushima

Posted by feww on August 17, 2011

No Birds, Bees or Even Cicadas

Fukushima’s native fauna have all but disappeared

[August 17, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,673 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

READ THIS FIRST

Continued hacking and content censorship

In view of the continued hacking and censorship of this blog by the Internet Mafia, the Moderators have decided to maintain only a minimum presence at this site, until further notice.

FIRE-EARTH will continue to update the 2011 Disaster Calendar for the benefit of its readers.

WordPress is HACKING this blog!

WordPress Continues to Hack Fire-Earth, Affiliated Blogs

The Blog Moderators Condemn in the Strongest Possible Terms the Continued Removal of Content and Hacking of FIRE-EARTH and Affiliated Blogs by WordPress!

Disaster Calendar 2011 – August 17 Entry

  • Fukushima, Japan. A number of colleagues who recently visited Fukushima, Japan have confirmed that the native fauna including birds, bees, the ubiquitous cicadas and crickets, and all other summer insects normally found in abundance throughout the Japan Region, have all but disappeared from a vast area surrounding the Fukushima Dai-Ich Nuclear Power Plant.
    •  In a move reminiscent of the war atrocities committed by the old, evil empire against own nationals, Japanese government is coercing electricians throughout the country to “volunteer” for work at the crippled Fukushima Dai-Ich NPP, informed sources say.  They are told, “if you consider yourself Japanese, then you must do your bit for the country by working at the nuclear plant,” or words to that effect.
    • Each technician is expected to work 3 to 4 hours a day for about 4 weeks before the accumulated levels of radiation exposure would exceed the “danger limits.”
    • Time and time again, the Japanese elite have demonstrated that they are incapable of running their national affairs without hurting own subjects, or harming people in other countries.
  • Sindh Province, Pakistan. The government has declared southern Pakistani province of Sindh a disaster area following widespread flooding caused by monsoon rains. About 150 villages have so far been inundated seriously affecting at least a quarter of a million people, reports said.
  • Louisiana, USA.The St. Tammany Parish has declared a State of Emergency following large scale fish kill in the Pearl River Basin, a report said. The authorities have discovered “tens of thousands of dead fish and other river animals” in a section of the river that covers St. Tammany and Washington parishes and part of neighboring Mississippi.
    • “The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is advising residents not to swim, wade, fish or come in contact with waterways in the Pearl River watershed, including its tributaries.”

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Global Tectonics Alert

Posted by feww on April 8, 2011

Japan Earthquake Forecasts

THIS SECTION WAS REVISED ON APRIL 9

SEE: JPTRMT1

The earthquakes could potentially rip through one or more of Japan’s nuclear power plants creating  a radioactive hell.

Japan MUST ACT NOW to prevent further RADIOACTIVE NIGHTMARES by decommissioning all of its nuclear reactors at war speed.

Previously …

March 16, 2011

Global Disaster Forecast – 16 Mar 2011

TOKYO AREA QUAKE WARNING
Large Earthquake Could Strike Tokyo Area – Megaqauke measuring up to 9.2Mw could strike Tokyo / Chiba Area:  FIRE-EARTH Forecast

March 13, 2011

FIRE-EARTH Forecasts: Japan Earthquakes
Japan Earthquakes: A Summary of Forecasts by FIRE-EARTH Blog

  • NEW FORECAST: As Many as 4 Large Earthquakes Could  Strike Japan Region by 2015

Global Disasters

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Posted in earthquake energy, earthquake forecast, Japan earthquake forecast, Japan Trench Megathrust earthquake | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Japan’s Nuclear Crisis: Worst of its Triple Disasters

Posted by feww on March 27, 2011

Submitted by a reader, with additional materials added by FIRE-EARTH

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster, the Third of Japan’s Triple Disasters, Could Prove to Be its Worst

Potentially deadly levels of radiation have been detected in water at the earthquake-and-tsunami-stricken Fukushima NPP.


Fukushima NPP 1. (L-R) Reactors 1 to 4. Image dated March 18, 2011. Credit: Digital Globe.

The amount of radioactive iodine detected in water at Reactor 2 was more than 1,000 millisieverts an hour, or 10 million times higher than when reactor operates normally, said the plant operator TEPCO.

The IAEA boss, Yukiya Amano, has warned that the nuclear crisis could continue for many weeks, even months. “This is a very serious accident by all standards,” NY Times quoted him as saying.

Radioactivity in seawater near the plant jumped to 1,850 times the normal up from 1,250 on Saturday, said Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Fukushima Disaster: Will it Become Much Worse than Chernobyl?

The Chernobyl nuclear plant reactor was destroyed when two explosions blew away its roof exposing the core on April 26, 1986. A large plume of radioactive materials escaped into the atmosphere covering large regions in the former Soviet Union, Europe and across much of the Northern Hemisphere.


Ukrainian city of Chernobyl had managed to live for 793 years… that is until the Chernobyl nuclear power plant underwent a core meltdown on April 26, 1986 at about 1:00am local time. This image was taken by authorities in the former Soviet Union


Birth defects and cancer were the norm for many years following the Chernobyl disaster.  By the time  residents of Pripyat, a town located near the plant, were ordered to evacuate, about two days after the Chernobyl core meltdown had occurred, many had already been exposed to varying doses of radiation poisoning.

Fukushima NPP is said to contain about 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel, about 24 times as much as Chernobyl (~ 180 tons).

“The Fukushima Dai-ichi site has a considerable number of fuel rods on hand, according to information provided Thursday by Toyko Electric Power Co., which owns the atomic complex: There are 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools within the six-reactor plant, including one joint pool storing very old fuel from units 3 and 4. There are 877 tons in five of the reactor cores. Officials have said that the fuel in Unit 4’s reactor vessel was transferred to its spent fuel pool when the unit was temporarily shut in November.” AP reported.

The Incident: A meltdown of the reactor’s core in the Chernobyl power plant killed thirty people in 1986. About 135,000 people were evacuated. It is believed that about one hundred times more radiation was released in the accident than by the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Legacy: More than 4000 cases of thyroid cancer were diagnosed among children and adolescents between 1992 to 2002 in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Victims under 14 years were most severely affected by the elevated concentrations of radioiodine found in milk.

Incidents of skin lesions, respiratory ailments, infertility and birth defects were readily found among the more than five million people who inhabit the affected areas of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine for many years following the accident.

The Poisoned land. Up to 5 million people continue to live on radioactive contaminated land. About 85% of the children who live in contaminated areas of Belarus today are ill, a near 6-fold increase compared to the time before the explosion (15%), according to The Belarusian National Academy of Sciences.

Disputed Facts: The above facts, however, have been disputed by a number of individuals including the author of a recent WHO report, and the retired “nukophile” British academic, James Lovelack. Local and international experts, however, have dismissed the WHO report findings. A UN report released in 2005 estimated the number of victims at just 4,000. Their figure is hotly disputed  by NGOs and independent experts.

“A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.”

Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere

Consequences of the Catastrophe. Authors  Alexey Yablokov (Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow), Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko ( Institute of Radiation Safety, Minsk, Belarus) studies about 5,000 reports and scientific  papers mostly published in Slavic languages and compiled their finding in the  book “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” which was published last year on the 24th anniversary of the Chernobyl reactor core meltdown.

“For the past 23 years, it has been clear that there is a danger greater than nuclear weapons concealed within nuclear power. Emissions from this one reactor exceeded a hundred-fold the radioactive contamination of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” They wrote.

“No citizen of any country can be assured that he or she can be protected from radioactive contamination. One nuclear reactor can pollute half the globe,” the authors said. “Chernobyl fallout covers the entire Northern Hemisphere.”

According to the book, a total of about 830,000 people, referred to as the “liquidators,” were responsible for various emergency works at the Chernobyl site including fire extinguishing, decontamination and cleanup.

The authors say between 112,000 and 125,000 of the  liquidators had died by 2005.  The authors also estimate that between 1986 and 2004 some 985,000 people died as a result of Chernobyl fallout {2011 estimates are well over a million deaths.]

“Official discussions from the International Atomic Energy Agency and associated United Nations’ agencies (e.g. the Chernobyl Forum reports) have largely downplayed or ignored many of the findings reported in the Eastern European scientific literature and consequently have erred by not including these assessments.” The authors said last year.

Chernobyl and Other Nuclear Stats

  • More than 95% of the radioactive material (180 metric tons with a radioactivity of about 18 million curies) still remains inside the Chernobyl reactor.
  • The  core meltdown at Chernobyl was said to have released radiation estimated at 50 million curies. Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations said in 1995 that the meltdown had released about 140 million curies. [Researchers Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko say the radiation released from Chernobyl may have been up to 10 billion curies. In comparison, the Hiroshima bomb released about 3 million curies.]
  • Immediately after the accident, 237 people suffered from acute radiation sickness, and 31 died within the first 90 days of the disaster.
  • About 135,000 people were evacuated from the area surrounding the plant, including 50,000 from the town of Pripyat.
  • The Academy’s  estimate for the number of casualties  are more than 90,000 deaths and more than a quarter of a million cancer cases.
  • The Ukrainian National Commission for Radiation Protection calculates the number of radiation casualties at half a million  deaths so far.
  • In a book published by the New York Academy of Sciences last year on the 24th anniversary of the reactor core meltdown, the researchers maintain that about one million people have died from exposure to radiation released by the Chernobyl reactor so far [as of 2010.]
  • “In the former Soviet Union at least 9 million people have been effected by the accident; 2.5 million in Belarus; 3.5 million in Ukraine; and 3 million in Russia. In total over 160 000 Km2 are contaminated in the three republics.” source
  • Some 441 commercial nuclear power reactors are  operating in 31 countries ( total capacity of 376 gigawatts) each of which is potentially as lethal as Chernobyl, if not worse. [This item, updated here, was written before the Fukushima nuclear disaster began unfolding.]
  • An estimated 56 countries operate more than 250 research reactors.
  • At least 220 nuclear reactors power military ships and submarines.

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References:

Posted in fukushima nuclear disaster, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, japan earthquake, Japan Nuclear alert | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Japan’s Triple Disaster Update Mar 20

Posted by feww on March 20, 2011

UPDATED 12:00UTC

TEPCO FALSIFIED SAFETY RECORDS

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) the operator of Fukushima Daiichi NPP has admitted faking repair reports.

TEPCO submitted a report to the Japan’s nuclear watchdog on 28 February, 11 days before the Tohoku Megaquake, admitting it had not  inspected 33 pieces of equipment in the plant’s six reactors.

‘Long-term inspection plans and maintenance management were inadequate,’ the nuclear safety agency concluded in its follow-up report two days later.

The company also admitted that the voluntary inspections didn’t cover substantial section of the cooling systems, including water pumps and diesel generators.

In 2002, TEPCO again admitted to falsifying safety reports, prompting the nuclear safety authorities to shut down all 17 of its boiling-water reactors for  inspection, including Fukushima.

In 2007,  after an earthquake struck the Kashiwazaki Kariwa NPP, the world’s largest, TEPCO submitted false reports concerning the amount of radioactive leak.

Radioactive contamination found in food products from Fukushima prefecture: Officials

Radioactive iodine has been found in milk samples and spinach produced in the Fukushima and could be harmful to human health if ingested, Japan’s science and technology ministry reported.

Minute amounts of radioactive iodine have also been detected in tap water in Tokyo and five other prefectures neighboring Fukushima: Gunma, Tochigi, Niigata, Chiba and Saitama.

In addition to the iodine, traces of radioactive cesium have also been found in tap water in Gunma and Tochigi prefectures, the ministry added.

The radioactive traces fall within the government safety limits, but tests don’t normally show iodine contamination, AP reported.

Radioactive iodine has a short half-life of eight days, but it can poses short-term risk to human health if ingested. It can also cause damage to the thyroid gland, IAEA health experts say.

“Progress”

“We are making progress … (however) we shouldn’t be too optimistic,” the deputy-general at Japan’s Nuclear Safety Agency has said.

Fukushima Reactor 3, which contains plutonium, a highly radioactive element, has bee stabilized after being doused for a day with large volumes of  seawater.

UPDATE: Shortly after announcing Reactor 3 had been stabilized, the authorities said pressure was again building up in the reactor’s containment vessel.

Aftershocks

A magnitude 6.1 aftershock struck Ibaraki prefecture south of Fukushima on Saturday at 06:57 PM local time. However, no significant aftershocks were reported Sunday (local time), as of posting. But the “fireworks” are by no means over, FIRE-EARTH believes.

UPDATE: Magnitude 6.1 Strikes Near the East Coast of Honshu

Magnitude: 6.1
Date-Time: Sunday, March 20, 2011 at 12:03:48 UTC
Location: 39.365°N, 142.105°E
Depth: 53.1 km (33.0 miles)
Region: NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN
Distances:

  • 90 km (55 miles) ESE of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
  • 139 km (86 miles) SSE of Hachinohe, Honshu, Japan
  • 162 km (100 miles) NE of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
  • 458 km (284 miles) NNE of TOKYO, Japan

Source: USGS

RADIATION RISKS TO HEALTH

A Joint Statement from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the American Thyroid Association, The Endocrine Society, and the Society of Nuclear Medicine

The recent nuclear reactor accident in Japan due to the earthquake and tsunami has raised fears of radiation exposure to populations in North America from the potential plume of radioactivity crossing the Pacific Ocean. The principal radiation source of concern is radioactive iodine including iodine-131, a radioactive isotope that presents a special risk to health because iodine is concentrated in the thyroid gland and exposure of the thyroid to high levels of radioactive iodine may lead to development of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer years later. During the Chernobyl nuclear plant accident in 1986, people in the surrounding region were exposed to radioactive iodine principally from intake of food and milk from contaminated farmlands. As demonstrated by the Chernobyl experience, pregnant women, fetuses, infants and children are at the highest risk for developing thyroid cancer whereas adults over age 20 are at negligible risk.

Radioiodine uptake by the thyroid can be blocked by taking potassium iodide (KI) pills or solution, most importantly in these sensitive populations. However, KI should not be taken in the absence of a clear risk of exposure to a potentially dangerous level of radioactive iodine because potassium iodide can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes, salivary gland inflammation, hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism in a small percentage of people. Since radioactive iodine decays rapidly, current estimates indicate there will not be a hazardous level of radiation reaching the United States from this accident. When an exposure does warrant KI to be taken, it should be taken as directed by physicians or public health authorities until the risk for significant exposure to radioactive iodine dissipates, but probably for no more than 1-2 weeks. With radiation accidents, the greatest risk is to populations close to the radiation source. While some radiation may be detected in the United States and its territories in the Pacific as a result of this accident, current estimates indicate that radiation amounts will be little above baseline atmospheric levels and will not be harmful to the thyroid gland or general health.

We discourage individuals needlessly purchasing or hoarding of KI in the United States. Moreover, since there is not a radiation emergency in the United States or its territories, we do not support the ingestion of KI prophylaxis at this time. Our professional societies will continue to monitor potential risks to health from this accident and will issue amended advisories as warranted.
______________________________________________________________________
For additional information, please contact Stephanie Kutler, Director of Government and Public Affairs, at skutler@endo-society.org.

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