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

Posts Tagged ‘fukushima NPP’

Crimes Against Nature: Water Overflows from 12 Fukushima Barriers

Posted by feww on October 21, 2013

Radioactive water may have reached the ocean, says plant operator

Water has overflowed 12 barriers around holding tanks at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and some of it may have reached the ocean, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said on Sunday.

“The utility says workers found water overflowing from five barriers Sunday afternoon. They found additional overflows in seven barriers Sunday evening,” reported NHK.

Although the barriers are 30 centimeter high, they already contained at least 20 centimeters of water due to earlier downpours brought by Typhoon WIPHA. The barriers overflowed after more than 100 millimeters of rain fell in four hours  Sunday afternoon. Workers can pump out the water at a rate of about 1.5 centimeters per day.

“The operator of the crippled plant also says workers released some of the water accumulated inside barriers into the ground. The utility says the water met safety standards for radioactivity set by the Nuclear Regulation Authority.” said NHK.

Other Disaster News in Japan

More rain amplifies misery on Izu Oshima Island

Izu Ōshima Island is keeping its evacuation advisories in effect as town officials brace for more torrential rains that  may cause further destructive mudslides.

Officials in Ōshima have already evacuated more than 580 people and issued evacuation advisories to nearly 2,300 people in 1,200 households on the island on Saturday, reported NHK.

Massive mudslides caused by Typhoon WIPHA last week killed at least 27 people, with 19 others still missing, presumed dead. The typhoon destroyed or damaged more than 300 buildings, and overflowing rivers and mudslides continue to  close roads.

Izu Ōshima, a volcanic island in the Izu Islands, lies about 100 km south of Tokyo and is administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan government.

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Posted in disaster watch, disaster watch 2013, disaster zone, disasters, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013 | 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.

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

Strong Quake Shakes Fukushima NPP

Posted by feww on September 19, 2013

M5.8 Strikes 42km SE of Fukushima Nuke Plant

A strong quake measuring 5.8Mw struck 42km southeast (230º) of the disaster-ridden Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant at a depth of 20km, Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) reported.

Centered at 37.1N, 140.7E, the quake struck at 02:25 JST on September 20, 2013.

Tremors were felt in 17 prefectures across Japan, causing buildings to sway in the capital Tokyo, about 170km away, according to eyewitnesses.

Earthquake Information (Information is based on seismic intensity detected at various sites throughout Japan) – Issued at 02:31 JST – 20 Sep 2013

Event Date and Time: 02:25 JST on 20 Sep 2013
Magnitude: 5.8
Depth: 20km
Location: 37.1N, 140.7E
Region Name: Fukushima-ken, Hamadori
Source: JMA

20130920023119395-200225

Posted in earhquake hazard, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Earthquakes, Significant Event Imagery, significant events, significant geophysical disturbances | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Japan Angry by Cartoon Linking Fukushima to Olympics

Posted by feww on September 12, 2013

“Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport.”

The cartoon shows two sumo wrestlers, each with an extra leg or arm, and missing toes or fingers, facing off with the Fukushima plant in the background as an announcer says, “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport.” It was carried by the French satirical Le Canard Enchaine.

fukushima olympics connection
The caption reads: “Thanks to Fukushima, sumo is now an Olympic sport”, a reference to Tokyo’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games.

“This cartoon hurts the feelings of those who suffered through the Great East Japan Earthquake,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, referring to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the Fukushima nuclear plant, triggering the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

[Surely, "those who suffered through the Great East Japan Earthquake" must be much more hurt by the imbecile government's woefully inadequate response to the ongoing disaster, than a cartoon depicting their plights. More than 2 years on, some 300,000 people remain displaced. Editor]

“It is inappropriate and gives a wrong impression of the Fukushima contaminated water issue. It is extremely regrettable.”

Suga said Japan would lodge the complaint through the French embassy in Tokyo and that the Foreign Ministry had been directed to “thoroughly explain the situation” to avoid similar incidents.

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2011, global disasters 2012, global disasters 2013, highest risk of nuclear disasters, nuclear disasters, nuclear industry, nuclear power mafia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

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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

Related Links

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Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2012, nuclear accidents, nuclear disasters, nuclear electricity, nuclear energy, nuclear industry, nuclear power, nuclear power mafia | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Flooding in the U.S. Northeast Forces Mass Evacuations

Posted by feww on September 9, 2011

Pennsylvania rivers turn toxic after flooding swamps 10 sewage processing plants

The White House Declares states of emergency in New York and Pennsylvania

Virginia Governor declares a state of emergency as  flooding prompts mass evacuations in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia, killing at least 6 people.

READ THIS FIRST

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Disaster Calendar 2011 – September 9

[September 9, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,650 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History

  • Northeast, USA. Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee have dumped more than 12 inches of rain  in parts of New York and Pennsylvania since Monday, submerging small towns along the Susquehanna River near Wilkes-Barre.
    • Earlier, NWS issued flood warnings for Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Flash flood warnings were issued for parts of  Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Flash flood watches were also issued for Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.
    • The White House Declared states of emergency in New York and Pennsylvania.
    • Virginia Governor declared a state of emergency as  flooding prompts mass evacuations in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Virginia, killing at least 6 people.
    • More than 130,000 people were evacuated from flooded areas, and at least 6 were reported killed as a result of flooding, including three in Pennsylvania.
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett warned residents to avoid floodwater because 10 sewage treatment plants were submerged releasing their loads into the rivers and turning the water toxic.
    • Floodwater from Chenango and Susquehanna rivers spilled over dikes in Binghamton, N.Y., submerging streets, said a report.
    • New York Gov. Cuomo surveyed the damage which  “included thousands of destroyed homes and businesses,” the Press & Sun Bulletin said.
    • The town of West Pittston in Pennsylvania was almost entirely submerged.

Other Major Incidents

  • West Coast, USA (and Mexico). A massive blackout affected at least 5 million residents in Arizona, southern California and Mexico.
    • The blackout knocked out about 4,300 megawatts of power, creating havoc on roads and forcing trains and flights to be cancelled.
    • In San Diego, 2 sewage pumps failed due to the blackout, contaminating a lagoon and a river feeding into San Diego Bay and prompting the officials to close nearby beaches, reports said.
    • Economic losses from the blackout could be as high as $118 million, according to estimates by the National University System Institute for Policy Research, a report said.
  • Fukushima, Japan. Radioactive material released into the sea at Fukushima NPP following the triple core meltdown is at plant were at least three times the amount declared by Tokyo Electric Power Co, Japanese researchers reported.
    • TEPCO had reported that 4,720 trillion becquerels of cesium-137 and iodine-131 were released into the Pacific Ocean between March 21 and April 30, but researchers at Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) say the amount was 15,000 trillion becquerels (terabecquerels).
  • Texas, USA. BEAR CREEK (#536), Cass County. Satellite images show about 40,000 acres have burned. “The 40,000-acre Bear Creek Fire in Cass County has exhibited extreme fire behavior for the past few days… The fire is burning very actively in heavy timber and is threatening numerous houses.”  At least 8 homes have been destroyed so far.
    • Fire Management Details(Texas Forest Service, TFS)
      • Date: Friday, September 9, 2011
      • National Preparedness Level: 3
      • Southern Area Preparedness Level: 4
      • TFS Preparedness Level: 5
    • Fire Stats
      • Total Number of Fires YTD: ~ 19,557 4,376
      • Acres burned: ~ 3,669,801 ["That's roughly the size of Connecticut." Rick Perry said.]
      • Structures Destroyed by Fire: 4,376 units [FEWW Estimate: ~5,300]
      • Fires in the past 7 days: TFS has responded to 186 fires for 156,517 acres. “Fire departments reported 266 fires for 6,206 acres in the online fire reporting database.” TFS reported.


YTD Fire Stats. Source: TFS

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Japan’s Fukushima Nuke Plant Still Leaking

Posted by feww on June 28, 2011

Radioactive water leaking from Fukushima NPP

Some 15 tons of radioactive water have leaked from a storage tank at the stricken Fukushima NPP, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency reported.

The plant operators, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), continue to accumulate large volumes of radioactive contaminated water after being used to cool the melting reactors.

Meantime, TEPCO’s majority institutional shareholders have nixed a motion by a large number of individual shareholders to abandon nuclear energy in the wake of the Fukushima plant’s triple core meltdown.

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

The following probability figures are calculated by FIRE-EARTH on April 8, 2011

  • Japan (880)³
  • United States (865)
  • France (855)
  • Taiwan (850)
  • Belgium, China, Finland, India,  South Korea, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania,  Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain,  Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico,  South Africa, Canada (810)
  • Germany, Sweden, Netherlands (800)
  • Switzerland  (750)

Notes:

  1. The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted  here is subject to numerous variable factors.
  2. Figures in the bracket represent the probability of an incident occurring out of 1,000; the forecast duration is valid for the next 50  months.
  3. Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
  4. A nuclear incident is defined as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences), or worse, on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). See below.
  5. Safety issues considered in compiling these lists include the age, number of units and capacity of nuclear reactors in each country/state, previous incidents, probability of damage from human-enhanced natural disasters, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, wildfires, flooding… ]
  6. The  Blog’s knowledge concerning the extent to which the factors described in (3) might worsen during the forecast period greatly influences the forecast. (Last UPDATED: June 26, 2011)

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Japan’s Nuclear Industry: Mega Disaster in the Making

Posted by feww on June 11, 2011

FIRE-EARTH Editorial on the third month anniversary of Japan’s triple disaster and its triple nuclear reactor core meltdown

Today is the third month anniversary of the Tohoku Mega Quake [Great East Japan Earthquake] that shook the country off its rickety foundation.

In the past three months the world has learned that more than ever before Japan’s doomed Fukushima NPP and all of its other nuclear plants pose an existential threat to the entire region and beyond.

In the hand of the Japanese ruling elite who own, operate and invariably fail to safeguard the country’s nuclear industry, the atomic plants have turned into weapons of mass destruction.

Japan’s ruling elite are the remnants of the same diabolic regime that painted the entire region red with human blood in the last century.

Japan MUST now be disarmed and its nuclear “weapons” removed BEFORE the next Mega Quake strikes the country.

The world community must force Japanese authorities to decommission all of their nuclear power plants forthwith.

From 2011 Disaster Calendar – June Entry

  • [June 7, 2011]  Mass die-offs resulting from human impact and the planetary response to the anthropogenic assault could occur by early 2016.  SYMBOLIC COUNTDOWN: 1,744 Days Left to the ‘Worst Day’ in Human History
    • Japan. The ever-conspiring Japanese nuke officials have doubled estimate for the radiation that escaped from the doomed Fukushima NPP soon after the March 11 mega quake and tsunami from 370,000 terabecquerels to 770,000 terabecquerels, a report said. More people will have to be evacuated.
      • As FIRE-EARTH had suspected, complete core meltdown occurred at all three working Reactors 1, 2 and 3 at Fukushima NPP, with massive amounts of radiation penetrating the earth below. (See links below).

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

The following probability figures are calculated by FIRE-EARTH on April 8, 2011

  • Japan (880)³
  • United States (865)
  • Taiwan (850)
  • Belgium, China, France, Finland, India,  South Korea, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Armenia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania,  Hungary, Bulgaria, Spain,  Pakistan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico,  South Africa, Canada (810)
  • Germany, Sweden, Netherlands (800)
  • Switzerland  (750)

Notes:

  1. The list represents a snapshot of events at the time of calculating the probabilities. Any forecast posted  here is subject to numerous variable factors.
  2. Figures in the bracket represent the probability of an incident occurring out of 1,000; the forecast duration is valid for the next 50  months.
  3. Probability includes a significant worsening of Fukushima nuclear disaster, and future quakes forecast for Japan.
  4. A nuclear incident is defined as a level 5 (Accident With Wider Consequences), or worse, on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES). See below.
  5. Safety issues considered in compiling these lists include the age, number of units and capacity of nuclear reactors in each country/state, previous incidents, probability of damage from human-enhanced natural disasters, e.g., earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity, hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, wildfires, flooding… ]
  6. The  Blog’s knowledge concerning the extent to which the factors described in (3) might worsen during the forecast period greatly influences the forecast.

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Chernobyl nuclear disaster: 25th anniversary

Posted by feww on April 26, 2011

1 Million Killed in Chernobyl Disaster

Ukraine marks the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl nuclear disaster

On 26 April 1986 Reactor 4 at Chernobyl NPP in Ukraine, then in the Soviet Union, exploded releasing about one hundred times more radiation than the atom bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. 


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

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 …


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.

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 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.

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.

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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Japan Triple Disasters – Update 19 April

Posted by feww on April 19, 2011

Great East Japan Earthquake: 92 percent of the March 11 victims died of drowning

Japan authorities have revealed that 92 percent of the victims of Great East Japan Earthquake, whose bodies have so far been recovered, died of drowning as a result of the deadly tsunami that was spawned by the Mega Quake in the Tohoku region on March 11.

Human Cost of Japan’s March 11 Disasters

  • Death toll: About 14,000
  • No. of Missing: Just over 14,000
  • Main Cause of Death:  About 92% of the victims died of drowning in the tsunami
  • Age Distribution: About two-thirds of the victims were aged 65 or older
  • Source: NHK

Other Stats:

  • No. of Homeless: At least 155,000 [Many others who have moved in with their relatives are NOT included in the govt stats.]
  • Others Missing: In addition to the 14,030 people who are officially missing, an unknown number of others who lived in remote, inaccessible  areas may also have perished, but no records were available as of posting.

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster

Technicians at Fukushima NPP have begun removing highly radioactive water  from basement of Reactor 2 .

Authorities say a total of 70,000 tons of radioactive water is accumulated in the plant’s reactor and turbine buildings, and surrounding trenches.

Remote-controlled robots sent into reactor buildings 1, 2 and 3 on Sunday and Monday showed  radiation levels inside two of the units (1 and 3) were too high for humans.


A remote-controlled robot dubbed “Packbot,” capable of manoeuvring through buildings, taking photos, and measuring radiation levels, is photographed by another Packbot in the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant No.1 reactor building in Fukushima, N. Japan on April 18, 2011. Photo released by Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) on April 19, 2011. TEPCO handout photo via Reuters.

Other News

“It was clear even before this disaster and the need to secure funds for reconstruction that to ensure a sustainable fiscal situation, some sort of reform of spending and revenues was necessary,” said Internal Affairs Minister Yoshiro Katayama. “The debate over the fiscal situation is not something that began with this disaster,” he told reporters.

A Japanese restaurant in Auckland, New Zealand has attached bells to its charity donation buckets after a thief stole cash intended for Japan’s earthquake and tsunami victims, a report said. “At least seven donation buckets in Japanese businesses around Auckland have been filched recently.”

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Hydrogen Building Up at Reactor 1, Fukushima NPP

Posted by feww on April 6, 2011

UPDATED at 13:00UTC

Will the Scope of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Widen?

Based on the information available, FIRE-EARTH believes there’s a strong probability that the extent of Fukushima nuclear disaster could widen to directly impact large population centers in Japan up to a 250 – 300km radius of the plant, which includes Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

The reactor vessel or sections of its attachments in one or more of the severely damaged reactors at the plant could explode releasing humongous amounts of radiation into the environment [Probability ≥66% as of posting,] dwarfing the Chernobyl disaster by a massive factor.

-

Hydrogen gas may be accumulating in Reactor 1 at Fukushima NPP: TEPCO

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said it may have to inject nitrogen gas into Reactor 1 at the stricken Fukushima NPP to prevent a possible explosion from hydrogen buildup, NHK reported.

According to another report, TEPCO is preparing to also pump nitrogen into Reactors 2 and 3.

Buildup of hydrogen gas in three of the reactors at Fukushima NPP caused several explosions following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and tsunami which crippled the plant on March 11.

Injection of nitrogen gas is meant to dilute the amount of oxygen and hydrogen gasses and prevent them from reaching critical concentration levels, 5 and 4 percent respectively, at which an explosion occurs. 

Meanwhile TEPCO announced that it had stopped the flow of highly radioactive water into the ocean from a cracked concrete duct near Reactor No. 2 , using a sodium-silicate compound as a sealant.

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 …

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Fukushima Radiation Leak NOT Fixed

Posted by feww on April 3, 2011

Japan Nuclear Disaster Update – April 3

Radioactive contaminated water still leaking into the ocean at a rate of about 2 liters per second: TEPCO

More than7 tons  of radioactive water is leaking into the ocean every hour, Tokyo Electric Company said, NHK reported.


A 20-cm crack at the bottom of a concrete duct near Reactor 2 at Fukushima NPP is releasing more than 7 tons or radioactive water into the ocean. Photo released by TEPCO.


An inlet to the damaged maintenance duct near Reactor 2.
Photo released by TEPCO.


Cement mix poured to block crack in the duct
.
Photo released by TEPCO.

Summary of Latest Developments:

  • Contaminated water in the duct is emitting more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour (100,000  millirems per hour)* of radiation into the surrounding environment.
  • Seawater samples taken 330 m south of the plants on March 31 contained both radioactive iodine-131 at 4,385 times and cesium-137 at 527 times above the legal limits. Cesium-137 has a half life of 30 years and persists much longer than iodine (half-life = 8 days, see also list below).
  • Workers made an unsuccessful attempt to plug the crack using concrete.
  • A second attempt made earlier today to fix the crack using a mixture of a chemical polymer, sawdust and shredded newspaper also failed.
  • TEPCO is preparing for a third attempt to plug the leak, using an absorbent gel which expands to contain water and is usually included in baby diapers and litter trays for pets.
  • About  164,000 people are currently living in shelters
  • At least 70,000 people have been evacuated from a 20 km exclusion zone of Fukushima NPP.
  • Up to  140,000 people live inside the next 10 km zone, who have been urged to leave or stay indoors.
  • “The impact of the nuclear crisis is expected to go on for a long time,”  Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said earlier today.

*Note:  Single radiation dose of 2,000 millisieverts (200,000 millirems) and above causes serious illness. See also exposure list below.

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

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 (eg. 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

Megaquake and Tsunami Death Toll

The latest figures released by the authorities put the number of dead at about  12,000 with 16,000 people still listed as missing.

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How Nuclear Reactors Double as Nuclear Weapons!

Posted by feww on March 29, 2011

Japan Govt on “Maximum Alert”

The nuclear situation “continues to be unpredictable. [The government ] will tackle the problem while in a state of maximum alert,” Japan PM Naoto Kan said.

Plutonium Detected Outside Fukushima NPP

Traces of highly radiative plutonium have been detected in soil outside Fukushima NPP in half dozen locations, NHK quoted Japanese officials as saying.

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), said  the radioactive traces may have come from the plutonium fuel in the damaged reactors. But they said the levels present were too small to pose a health risk.

Plutonium-239, the primary fissile isotope used as reactor fuel and for the production of nuclear weapons, is a reactor bred, highly radioactive heavy metal with a half-life of about 24,200 years.


Photo shows part of the wreckage caused by several explosions at Reactor No. 4, Fukushima Daiichi NPP, March 27, 2011. Source: Japan Ground Self-Defence Force/ via Kyodo/ via Reuters.

TEPCO said Monday that water found in a utility tunnel outside  Reactor 2 was highly contaminated, emitting more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour.

Radioactive Iodine in Massachusetts

Trace amounts of radioactive iodine-131 believed  to have originated from the quake-and-tsunami stricken Fukushima NPP have been detected in rainwater samples in Massachusetts, Reuters quoted state officials as saying.

The findings are consistent with similar occurrences in California, Ohio, Washington state and Pennsylvania, but do not pose  any threat to drinking supplies, according to public health officials.

“The drinking water supply in Massachusetts is unaffected by this short-term, slight elevation in radiation,” said Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner.

“We will carefully monitor the drinking water as we exercise an abundance of caution,” he added.

Radio-active iodine has a short life of only 8 days and should not pose any risk to human health at the current levels detected in the U.S.

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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 »

Radiation Contaminates Sea Near Fukushima NPP

Posted by feww on March 26, 2011

Radioactive iodine in the sea near Fukushima NPP 1,250 times higher than the safety limit: Officials

Today’s news is about radioactive leaks in Fukushima, Japan, tomorrow you could hear about similar or worse incidents at a plant near you.

The following article was first published in May 2004 and is one of the most read pieces on the proliferation of nuclear energy. It’s reprinted here with the kind permission of MSRB Blog.

On The Way To Armageddon: Could We Make A Detour?

James Lovelock: ‘Only nuclear power can now halt global warming’

Lovelock’s assertion that “Only nuclear power can now halt global warming” [Independent UK, May 24, 2004] is what Ed Regis (Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition) calls turn of century’s “great wave of fin-de-siècle hubristic mania.” The Professor can be forgiven for his tardiness: He is 84.

Lovelock proposes that a massive expansion of nuclear power is the only thing that “can now check a runaway warming which would raise sea levels disastrously around the world, cause climatic turbulence …”

He says he is concerned by “two climatic events in particular: the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which will raise global sea levels significantly, and the episode of extreme heat in western central Europe last August, accepted by many scientists as unprecedented and a direct result of global warming.” He is right to be concerned.

As well, “climate change is speeding, but many people are still in ignorance of this.” Unfortunately, he is right on target on this one, too.

Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, says: “Climate change and radioactive waste both pose deadly long-term threats, and we have a moral duty to minimize the effects of both, not to choose between them.”

“[A]s of the end of 2000 the world counted 438 reactors with a total of 350 GW, less than 8 percent of the projected nuclear capacity. They produced about 17 percent of the world’s electricity or about 7.5 percent of its commercial primary energy, far behind oil (40%), coal and natural gas (25% each). Nuclear power accounts for only 2 to 3 percent of the world’s commercial final energy consumption.” http://www.greens-efa.org

Lovelock also fails to consider the issue of time frame: It would probably take 15 to 20 years to even double the projected nuclear capacity from 8 to 16 percent (increasing to 5 percent the nuclear share of world’s commercial final energy consumption) without taking too many shortcuts with devastating consequences (the Chernobyl disaster, the Three Mile Island incident, and many recent near misses in Japan and elsewhere spring to mind). By then, however, the rising sea levels will have inundated most of the existing reactors.

How would Lovelock propose to solve the civilization’s mobility dilemma that we have created in the last 100 years? (About 600 million cars are registered worldwide, as well as millions of trucks and buses, thousands of trains, planes, boats … and millions more are being manufactured each year). What is Lovelock proposing, cars running on nuclear powered batteries? [How about nuclear-powered jets flying over Washington DC?]

Soon the additional demand for oil fueled by the increase in the number of vehicles on the roads and planes in the air would render the nuclear conversion ineffective. The only thing to show for a fleeting moment of madness would be a bigger pile of radioactive waste, which no one knows what to do with.

Global Warming is not the disease; it’s a symptom, albeit the most serious symptom of a cancer caused by industrial civilization. Prescribing more nuclear power (even if it were physically possible) as a cure to the civilization’s cancer is tantamount to treating a smoker’s lung-cancer by switching her over to a different brand of cigarettes.

According to Lester Brown (Earth Policy Institute) the world experienced the fourth consecutive harvest shortfalls in 2003. Last year’s shortfall of 105 million tons (5.4 percent of the total world consumption) was “easily the largest on record.” The world’s carryover stocks of grain are at their “lowest level in 30 years,” amounting to “dangerously low level of 59 days of consumption.” The minimum level needed for food security is considered to be 70 days of consumption. Meanwhile, 74 million people will be added to the world population in 2004. (www.earth-policy.org/Updates/Update40_data.htm).

Based on the United Nations projections, by 2015 nearly 1.4 billion people in up to 48 countries will face severe water shortages (we believe this figure is highly optimistic), while the water quality continues to deteriorate globally from pollution and rising temperatures.

World oil production is about 80 million BPD [barrels per day] and the projected demand for 2015 [a conservative estimate] is an unsustainable 135 million BPD. The New Oil-Rule Economy will replace the “old” economy in the very near future. A single company/organization will have a monopoly on about 80 percent of “economically recoverable” global oil reserves. It will dictate “production,” pricing, and delivery (and will even decide on the end user – who may or may not buy the oil). How much is too much for a barrel of oil, $40, $240, or $4,000 a barrel? Soon, the current monetary system will be of no value.

mushroom-cloud-hb.jpg

The world spent about 1,500 billion dollars on military [the war racket] in the last 12 months. The US share of the spending was about 1,000 billion dollars, or 52 cents in every dollar of Federal Funds (current military spending 29 percent; Iraq and Afghanistan 4 percent; past military 19 percent, including national debt created by military spending) while 35 million Americans live at or below the federal poverty level.

All around us we have created a garbage quicksand. We are sinking rapidly in a quicksand of 57 trillion pounds of materials that is turned into waste annually. Of course, there is a price to pay: The Sixth Great Extinction is looming.

To avert extinction we need an ecological revolution. We must unlearn, rethink, undo, and re-do all human activities re-mapping a sustainable path within the framework of eco-centrism.

Unless the dynamics of our civilization pertaining to our morality, militarism, mobility, consumption, and our perceived ideas about possession and waste are reversed rapidly, this writer believes, the “final” war (which is being fought over the control of resources) would, in the very near future, enter its next sinister stage – a global thermonuclear holocaust.

How else could you prevent anyone in China, to quote but one example, from eating a square meal a day, or owning a car, or the gasoline to drive her car, while the United States with less 5 percent of the world population is taking more than 25 percent of the energy and 30 plus percent of all the resources?

We must begin a new chapter in human evolution, one that rejects wars for control over the oil, food, water supplies, and other resources.

But how do we do it? Is there a “single” solution that would avert an all-out nuclear war, prevent further militarism, check global warming, stop consumerist madness, reduce CO2 emissions by more than 80 percent, reduce acid rains, minimize toxins in the land, air, and sea … ?

The Zero Oil Solution

Yes there is. The zero-oil, NO fossil fuel principle—a moratorium on oil extraction and fossil fuel consumption.

Freeze the oil. Seal the oil wells. Cement them, or otherwise make it impossible to pump out any oil for 50 years. Keep all the fossil fuels in the ground, where they belong!

Stopping the flow of oil globally and keeping the fossil fuels in the ground are drastic measures, of course, and cannot be easily implemented. Freezing the consumption of fossil fuels has far-reaching socio-economical implications; it will create great upheavals. The consequences of the zero-oil, NO fossil fuel principle, however, would be far less devastating than the remaining alternatives: The inevitable global thermonuclear war, and global warming.

A moratorium on oil and fossil fuel production can only be reached through global consensus among governments; it would require an unprecedented level of cooperation among the “representatives” of nations.

The existing resources need to be redistributed fairly; populations must be readied to assume new challenges; lifestyles will be changed dramatically; communities would have to learn how to produce their food (and renewable power) locally, be sustainable and learn to do more with less.

Unfortunately, this author does not believe such levels of cooperation could possibly develop between the world governments anytime soon.

We must, therefore, rely on “we the people.” We need non-violent volunteer organizations to develop and promulgate a new, unified value system based on an eco-centric economy at war speed, employing creative ways and means of stopping the flow of oil and consumption of fossil fuels globally to avert The Sixth Great Extinction.

If we choose life, that’s a price well worth paying for.

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Tokyo Water Radiation “TOO HIGH” for Infants

Posted by feww on March 23, 2011

updated at 12:00UTC

CONTAMINATED WATER TOO HOT FOR BABIES

High radiation levels in Tokyo’s tap water makes it unfit for infants to drink: Officials

Up to 210 becquerels per liter of radioactive iodine-131 have been detected in some of Tokyo’s tap water;  the safe level for infants is under 100 becquerels per liter.

Note: One becquerel (Bq) represents one nucleus decay per second in a given quantity of radioactive material. 1 GBq = 0.0270 Curie (Ci). Curie is an older unit of radioactivity equal to the decay of 1 gram of radium-226 ~ 1 Ci = 3.7 x 10^10 decays per second.

Tokyo residents have been warned not to give tap water to infants, but told the radiation poses no short-term health threat to adults.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Naoto Kan, has imposed a ban on a comprehensive range of agriculture produce from Fukushima and neighboring Ibaraki prefectures.

Much higher than normal radiation contamination has been detected on spinach and other green leaf vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, edible flowers and milk, some as far 30 miles from the stricken nuclear plant, Japanese authorities say.

Meanwhile, the US FDA has announced that farm produce and agriculture produce including milk and milk products, and vegetables and fresh fruits from Fukushima and three other Japanese prefectures—Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma—won’t be allowed to enter the United States.

Fukushima Reactors 1, 2 and 3

Work at Reactor 2 was suddenly halted earlier today, but no explanation was given by the authorities, as of posting.

Rising temperature at Reactor 1 is causing mounting concern. The temperature had risen to about 400ºC, some 100 degrees higher than the design permits.

At 4:20pm JST, black smoke was seen rising above Reactor 3, forcing the authorities to evacuate technicians from the area. The cause of the smoke is not known/has not been revealed, as of posting, but the authorities said very high level of radiation was detected before the smoke was released.

Death Toll

About 23,000 people are dead or missing as a result of the March 11 Tohoku Megaquake and the ensuing deadly tsunami.

Japan Forced to Break with Tradition

The overwhelming number of victims and a shortage of kerosene required to cremate their bodies have forced Japan’s local authorities in the stricken prefectures to bury the dead.


Members of the Japan Ground Self Defense Force carry the coffin of a victim of the earthquake and tsunami at a temporary mass grave site in Higashi Matsushima, northern Japan March 23, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao. Image may be subject to copyright. More images …

Aftershocks/New Earthquakes

Japan’s Tohoku region has been hit by at least 2 dozens significant aftershocks in the past 24 hours, with the 3 largest measuring 6.6, 6.4 and 6.6Mw.

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Japan radiation: “serious situation”

Posted by feww on March 21, 2011

Fukushima Nuclear Crisis “very serious”—IAEA

Japan food radiation “serious situation”—WHO

Engineers at Fukushima NPP have restored power to all six reactors, but have managed to start the cooling pump at only one reactor.

IAEA says the situation remains very serious, despite the progress. “There have been some positive developments in the last 24 hours but overall the situation remains very serious,” said a senior IAEA official.

Meanwhile, some of the engineers were evacuated from the plant after a gray plume of steam and smoke escaped from the Reactor 3. The incident was followed by a large plume of steam and smoke rising from Reactor 2.

“The crisis has still not been resolved and the situation at Fukushima [nuclear power plant] remains very serious,” Yukiya Amano, the IAEA boss has announced.

I have no doubt that this crisis will be effectively overcome.” He added.

Contaminated Water

Residents living near the plant have been told not to drink tap water because high levels of radioactive iodine has been detected.

Radioactive contamination detected in the water exceeds three times the legal safety limit, according to local reports.

Food Contamination

“The World Health Organization said it had no evidence of contaminated food reaching other countries. However, China, Taiwan and South Korea have announced plans to toughen checks of Japanese imports.” BBC reported.

However, a spokesman for the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) regional office for the Western Pacific told Reuters that the situation “it’s a serious situation.”

“It’s a lot more serious than anybody thought in the early days when we thought that this kind of problem can be limited to 20 to 30 kilometers … It’s safe to suppose that some contaminated produce got out of the contamination zone.”

The health officials in Tokyo earlier reported that abnormal levels of iodine were found in edible chrysanthemum flowers.

Rising Death Toll

The official death toll in the mega quake and tsunami twin disasters has now climbed to about 8,500, with up to 13,000 reported as missing.

The Humanitarian Crisis

Up to half a million people have been left homeless as a result of the Tohoku Megaquake and the ensuing deadly tsunami. Most of the surving victims are in thousands of emergency shelters, where there are still severe shortages of water, food, heating fuel, warm clothes and other basic essentials.

Up to a million homes are reportedly without water.

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Fire Follows 4th Explosion at Doomed Fukushima NPP

Posted by feww on March 16, 2011

BREAKING NEWS

Large plume of white smoke seen spewing out of Reactor 3

At about 8:30 am today large plume of white smoke was obs3rved spewing out of Reactor 3 at Fukushima NPP, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mr Yukio Edano has just announced at a press conference.

Various radiation levels of up to 1,000 millisivert (mSv, or 1Sv) have been detected at various parts of Fukushima NPP, he added.

[NOTE: The above radiation leak quotes at Fukushima NPP were translated to English during a live broadcast. While they may be accurate, it's also possible that translation error may have occurred.]

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Dai-ichi Reactor 4 on Fire After Fourth Blast at Fukushima Plant Damages Encasement Building

A large fire at Reactor 4 encasement building followed a fourth blast at the doomed nuclear power early Wednesday, which damaged the  reactor.


Fukushima Dai-ichi NPP Satellite Image. DigitalGlobe handout dated March 14, 2011. Reactors 1 to 4 can be seen from bottom to top, with the smoke plume rising from Reactor 3.

Details of the explosion and ensuing fire are sketchy because large releases of radioactive radiation has prevented the fire crews from getting close to the reactor building.

The authorities have also revealed that the cooling system at Reactor 5 was in trouble and the coolant levels in that reactor was running low. However, they are using the auxiliary cooling system in Reactor 6 to cool down No 5.

The latest blast follows a third explosion at Reactor 2, and another major fire at Reactor 4 on Tuesday, when a fire has broken out at the No. 4 Reactor at Fukushima No.1 Nuclear Power Plant and radiation levels are rising considerably as a result of a leak, Japanese PM Naoto Kan has just announced.

Mr Kan has advised people within the 30-km of the doomed nuclear power plant to stay indoors and await further instructions.

He has also asked anyone who has not already been evacuated from the 20-km radius of the two nuclear plants to leave the danger zone.

“I sincerely ask all citizens within the 20-km distance from the reactor to leave this zone,” he said in a televised bulletin.

The fire was reportedly caused by an explosion near a containment pool where spent fuel rods were kept.

Japanese govt then imposed a 30-km NO-FLY ZONE over the doomed Fukushima NPP.

Radiation Reports Tuesday

  • About 400 milisievert detected near Fukushima NPP No1 reactor
  • 100 milisivert near No 4 reactor
  • 30 milisievert near No 2 and 3 reactors

Notes:

1. Exposure to 400 milisievert over a 1.5 to 2-hr period burns the skin and makes the victim very sick.
2. The average background radiation is about 2.2 milisievert per YEAR.

Rolling Blackouts

Meanwhile, the  rolling blackouts are implemented in the Tokyo area for third consecutive day because of major power shortages. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the company that operates the doomed Fukushima Daiichi plant, says the outages will last for at least three hours in the area.

The Basic Points that are Overlooked by the International Atomic Energy Clan

1. Earth is a seismic planet and earthquakes regularly strike various regions.

2. The Pacific Ring of fire is particularly prone to earthquakes, some of them large earthquakes [Megaquakes.]

3. Larger quakes  can and do rip through ALL structures.

4. Offshore megaquakes are invariably followed by large tsunamis.

5. Large tsunamis invariable inundate vast areas, starting with coastal areas.

6. Nuclear power plants use electrical devices to operate vital cooling systems.

7. When inundated, electrical systems invariably fail.

All of the above, of course, is academic.

Other News:

  • Several significant aftershocks have struck the eastern Honshu area in the past 12 hours, including one measuring 6.2Mw(USGS), which struck  about 116 km (72 miles) WSW of Tokyo. (Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 10:31:46 PM — time at epicenter).
  • Gasoline rationing throughout Japan continues.
  • There’s a shortage of paper and other stationery previously manufactured in the Sendai area.
  • “120 maguro tuna at an experimental fish farm in Wakayama mysteriously died suddenly yesterday. Experts suspect it was related to the tsunami.” Said a tweet by The Daily Yomiuri.

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