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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.]


  • 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


  • 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.

Related Links

3 Responses to “Fukushima Radiation Leak NOT Fixed”

  1. Robin Davies said

    Is “natural” radiation (like from granite in Cornwall U.K., going in an airplane) absolutely identical to radiation created by man through fission,
    X-ray, etc.???
    Although there is a minute amount of plutonium everywhere because everyone stupidly wanted to test their bombs, there must also be some
    “natural” plutonium as “natural” uranium becomes plutonium by giving off radiation. Is this true too?
    Could this minute amount of plutonium be the cause of the huge surge in cancer in the past half century? I believe cancer was NOT such a common disease in history but now it kills about a third of us. However man’s lack of knowledge about plutonium, the “element from hell” and therefore research again brings doubt to if man really should mess around with [nuclear power.]

    • feww said

      There are different types of ionizing radiation created by ionizing particles including alpha particles, beta particles, neutrons, and cosmic rays.

      The background radiation in Cornwall, U.K, is caused by Radon, a decay product of uranium that exists naturally as ores.

      Although Radon has a relatively short half-life of 4 days, it decays into other radioactive nuclides which, when inhaled, remain lodged in the lungs and causes lung cancer.

      However, the cases of thyroid cancer and number of deaths from Chernobyl explosion are many factors greater.

      When uranium-238 absorbs neutrons, produced by fissioning of uranium-235 in a reactor, it produces plutonium-239 as well as other isotopes.

      The fission of one atom of Plutonium-239 generates a massive 207 MeV = 3.3 × 10E-11 J, about 83.6 TJ/kg (8.36 x 10E13 J per kg).

      Iodine-131, on the other hand, emits beta particles with a maximal energy of 600 keV, but is notorious for its ability to cause mutation and to kill the cells that it penetrates.

      Any human activity that releases radiation into the environment either INTENTIONALLY (e.g., exploding atomic bombs, firing DU shells, testing nuclear weapons, generating electricity in nuclear power plants, as well as in coal burning plants) or “ACCIDENTALLY” (accident being a direct consequence of intention, e.g., as in Chernobyl, Fukushima and many other nuclear disasters worldwide caused by the international atomic energy mafia, consisting greedy corporations, corrupt government and fake regulatory authorities), clearly raises the cancer and unnatural death statistics globally and MUST be avoided.

      Excessive energy consumption is unethical because it is tearing the fabric of life on this planet.

      Nuclear energy is EVIL! It’s highly hazardous, unnecessary and extremely expensive.

      Though all of this is academic now as large scale dynamics of collapse move in to shake the life-styles out of us.

  2. H said

    And all the media is taking about how it won’t be “fixed” for awhile.

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