Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

M6.3 Quake Strikes 77km ESE Tokyo

Posted by feww on April 12, 2011



Strong Earthquake Strikes Near the East Coast of Honshu, Japan

The 6.3Mw quake,which occurred at 08:08 JST (Monday, April 11, 2011 at 23:08 UTC), was epicentered at 35.4ºN, 141.0ºE and struck at a depth of about 30km, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said.

The quake reportedly swayed buildings in Tokyo and shut down runways at Narita international airport.

Yesterday’s 7.1Mw quake killed at least 1 person and knock out power to about a quarter of a million households, Japanese authorities reported earlier.

Earthquake Location Map

Note: JPTRMT1 is an acronym for Japan Trench Megathrust Earthquake No.1

Japan Nuclear Disaster

Meanwhile, Tokyo Electric power Company (TEPCO) announced that its technicians  were fighting a fire near Reactor 4 at the stricken Fukushima NPP earlier today, amid reports that the country was raising its nuclear disaster alert to the maximum level.

Japanese government’s Nuclear Safety Commission has now revealed that the amount of radioactive iodine 131 released from Fukushima NPP had reached 10,000 terabecquerels per hour, for several hours at one stage, a level that classifies the breach as a Major Accident [level 7 on INES, e.g, Chernobyl disaster, criticality accident, April 1986, see below,] Kyodo news reported.

Iodine 131 is believed to have caused the high incidence of thyroid cancer among children living near the Chernobyl plant when the 1986 nuclear disaster occurred.

Reactor 3 at TEPCO’s crippled Fukushima Daiichi NPP is seen in this frame grab  from a video clip  by an unmanned helicopter on April 10, 2011. Image by TEPCO/Handout/ via Reuters

Japan’s Triple Disaster: Human Cost

  • Official Death Toll: 13,127
  • Missing:  14,348
  • Homeless: At least 155,000
  • Others: In addition to the above, an unknown number of people in remote areas may have perished, but no records are available as of posting.

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.]

Probability of a Nuclear Disaster by Country

The following probability figures are calculated by FIRE-EARTH


Probability of a Nuclear Disaster – by Country

on April 18, 2011


  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.

Will the Scope of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Widen?

Posted on April 6, 2011 UPDATED at 13:00UTC

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.

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.]


  • 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

*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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