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Posts Tagged ‘meltdown’

Fukushima: 6 Years of Catastrophe and Counting

Posted by feww on March 13, 2017

Unending Nightmare: Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster

Key Facts and Figures as Fukushima Disaster Enters 7th Year

  • 3 Reactor core meltdowns continue releasing radioactive nanoparticles into the environment.
  • Contaminated water is still leaking continuously into the Pacific ocean
  • Partially decontaminated water is being dumped into the ocean.

<span “>Contaminated Water
Tepco injects a total of 252m³ of water each day into reactors 1, 2 and 3 to cool the corium.http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu17_e/images/170217e0101.pdf.

The strongly contaminated water infiltrates basements under the reactor and turbine buildings where it mixes with the ground water that floods those areas.

Tepco is also pumping an additional 135 m³ of contaminated water and 62 m³ of groundwater into the basements of the reactors and turbine buildings daily, in addition to the water injected for cooling. A total of 197 m³ is accumulated daily in tanks after treatment. It is more when it is raining, and more still during the typhoons. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2017/images/handouts_170213_01-e.pdfTepco

To keep about 2 million cubic meters of contaminated and processed water and hundreds of tons of sludge, Tepco has erected about 1,000 shoddily constructed holding tanks hat occupy almost the entire plant site. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu17_e/images/170217e0101.pdf 

Since March 2016, Tepco has been trying to freeze the ground around the stricken reactors to reduce infiltration and dispersal of radioactive water, but this has proved far less effective than expected. http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/handouts/2017/images/handouts_170209_02-e.pdf

Full article is posted at https://nuclear-news.net/tag/6-years-anniversary/

 

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Nuclear fuel debris possibly found at Fukushima Daiichi NPP

Posted by feww on January 30, 2017

  • CJ Members
  • EAC
  • OC Teams

Decommissioning of crippled Fukushima NPP hits new snag

Workers have found a black mass, most likely Nuclear fuel debris, below the containment vessel at Fukushima Daiichi reactor No. 2  left over since the 2011 meltdown disaster, plant operator Tepco said today.

  • Details are available from FIRE-EARTH PULSARS.

 

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Pripyat: 16 Years a City, 30 Years a Ghost Town

Posted by feww on April 26, 2016

30th Anniversary of Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster

Pripyat was founded on 4 February 1970 to serve the nearby Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. By the time it was evacuated, on April 27, 1986, the day after the Chernobyl disaster, the ninth nuclear city in the Soviet Union had a population of about 49,400.

Chernobyl NPP, [The V. I. Lenin Nuclear Power Station] was commissioned in 1970. The first reactor came online in 1977, followed by Reactor No. 2 (1978), No. 3 (1981), and No. 4 (1983). Between them, the four reactors were producing about 10 percent of Ukraine’s electricity before the core meltdown.

A power surge blew the roof off the reactor No. 4, releasing radioactive clouds across Eastern Europe, and leaving entire regions in three countries—Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—unlivable.

The explosion has so far claimed at least a million lives, and counting.

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.

The radiation contaminated 50,000 square kilometers of land across 12 regions in Ukraine, and forced hundreds of villages to be relocated. In neighboring Belarus 20 percent of the entire country’s land area was also contaminated.

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

Today, a second casing is being built to contain the radiation, which is still being emitted by the reactor because the old sarcophagus is crumbling.

Never Ending Nightmare at

“In mid-February [2013,] 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 200 tons of radioactive corium [a molten, lava-like mixture of nuclear reactor core materials, containing nuclear fuel, fission products, control rods, structural materials and other substances found in a reactor core,] several dozen tons of highly contaminated dust and 16 tons of uranium and plutonium 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 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 within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.”

Related Links

 

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First Cancer Case Linked to Fukushima Triple Meltdown

Posted by feww on October 20, 2015

Over 21,000 Fukushima NPP workers exposed to illegal radiation levels: Report

A worker involved in clean-up operations at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant may have developed cancer as a result, Japanese health authorities have revealed.

The plant, severely damaged by a mega earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 11 March 2011, underwent a triple meltdown, releasing massive quantities of radiation to the environment.

The victim, a man in his late 30s, reportedly worked at the crippled plant for more than a year and is now suffering from leukemia.

He was exposed to a total of 19.8 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation, including 15.7 millisieverts at the Fukushima plant, according to NHK.

“While the causal link between his exposure to radiation and his illness is unclear, we certified him from the standpoint of worker compensation,” a health ministry official was reported as saying.

Several other workers at the planet, who have also developed cancer are yet to be assessed by the health authorities.

Former plant manager Masao Yoshida died of esophageal cancer two years ago; however, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has denied liability.

Workers who develop cancer more than a year after they have been exposed to annual radiation of 5 milliseverts are entitled to compensation.

More than 45,000 people have worked on the clean up at the crippled Fukushima plant, and about half of them have been exposed to annual radiation levels of [at least] 5 millisieverts, NHK quoted officials as saying.

Only 13 nuclear workers have ever been granted compensation for work-related cancer in plants other than Fukushima.

The highest dose of radiation received so far by a worker responding to the Fukushima emergency was 670 mSv, while estimated maximum dose to evacuees who lived closest to the Fukushima plant was 70 mSv.

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

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

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

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

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

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

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.) – millirems per year

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

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

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

Adults

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

Under 18

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

Fetal Exposure

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

Medical

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

Air Travel

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

Space Travel

  • 6 months stay on the International Space Station: 8,000 millirems
  • 260-day trip to Mars: 36,000 millirems
  • Maximum allowed radiation exposure for astronauts over their career: 100,000 millirems (1 Sv)

*Notes:

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

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

Half-life of some radioactive elements

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

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

Related Links

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

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Chernobyl Ecological Disaster 28 Years On

Posted by feww on April 23, 2014

CHERNOBYL LEGACY TO LINGER LONG AFTER MOST HUMANS HAVE GONE
CHERNOBYL FALLOUT COVERED THE ENTIRE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
.

Chernobyl: Another Year After 

The explosion at Chernobyl nuclear power plant 28 years ago has so far claimed at least a million lives, affecting about 2,500km² of land, and leaving vast tracts ecologically sterile. 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.

What Happened to Wildlife?

Researchers found that there were “areas with an abundance of 100 animals per square meter. And then there are areas with less than one specimen per square meter on average; the same goes for all groups of species.”

The researchers also found that animals living near the Chernobyl reactor were subject to more incidences of deformities, including discoloration and stunted limbs, than normal.

“We wanted to ask the question: Are there more or fewer animals in the contaminated areas? Clearly there were fewer,” said Moller, one of the researchers who has worked on Chernobyl since 1991.

Effects of Chernobyl radioactive contamination on decomposition of plant material

A new study has found that the microbial communities, which are responsible for natural cycle of decay of organic materials,  have been significantly reduced in radioactively contaminated zones near Chernobyl.

The following is Abstract from  the report E-pubulished on March 4,  2014.

Highly reduced mass loss rates and increased litter layer in radioactively contaminated areas

The effects of radioactive contamination from Chernobyl on decomposition of plant material still remain unknown. We predicted that decomposition rate would be reduced in the most contaminated sites due to an absence or reduced densities of soil invertebrates. If microorganisms were the main agents responsible for decomposition, exclusion of large soil invertebrates should not affect decomposition. In September 2007 we deposited 572 bags with uncontaminated dry leaf litter from four species of trees in the leaf litter layer at 20 forest sites around Chernobyl that varied in background radiation by more than a factor 2,600. Approximately one quarter of these bags were made of a fine mesh that prevented access to litter by soil invertebrates. These bags were retrieved in June 2008, dried and weighed to estimate litter mass loss. Litter mass loss was 40 % lower in the most contaminated sites relative to sites with a normal background radiation level for Ukraine. Similar reductions in litter mass loss were estimated for individual litter bags, litter bags at different sites, and differences between litter bags at pairs of neighboring sites differing in level of radioactive contamination. Litter mass loss was slightly greater in the presence of large soil invertebrates than in their absence. The thickness of the forest floor increased with the level of radiation and decreased with proportional loss of mass from all litter bags. These findings suggest that radioactive contamination has reduced the rate of litter mass loss, increased accumulation of litter, and affected growth conditions for plants.

Oecologia. 2014 May;175(1):429-37. doi: 10.1007/s00442-014-2908-8. Epub 2014 Mar. Authors: Mousseau TA(1), Milinevsky G, Kenney-Hunt J, Møller AP. PMID: 24590204 [PubMed – in process]

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.

 




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.”

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 …

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.

 


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.

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

Related Links:

 

 

Posted in environment, Global Disaster watch, global disasters, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Fukushima Radiation Level 8 Times Govt Standard: TEPCO

Posted by feww on January 13, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Background Radiation in millirems per year (mrem/yr)

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

“Safe Levels” of Radiation (U.S.)

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

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

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

Adults

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

Under 18

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

Fetal Exposure

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

Medical

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

Air Travel

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

*Notes:

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

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

Half-life of some radioactive elements

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

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

Related Links

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

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Record Radiation Detected at Fukushima [AGAIN]

Posted by feww on December 22, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On November 7, 2013 FIRE-EARTH said:

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

Related Links

For additional links to Fukushima disasters, search blog content.

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

80 Percent Chance of Major Catastrophe at Fukushima NPP

Posted by feww on November 7, 2013

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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

Four major factors would contribute to the probability of a major nuclear catastrophe occurring at Fukushima NPP during the fuel rods extraction operations at the plant’s No.4 reactor. —FIRE-EARTH Assessment

1. Probability of  significant earthquakes causing further damage to the reactor building during the recovery cycle: P≥ 0.9

2. Record of disastrous errors by the operator, TEPCO, especially after the 2011 Mega quake and tsunami struck: P≥ 0.9

3. State of fuel rods after the building was damaged by a hydrogen explosion in March 2011: UNKNOWN

4. Suitability of the  new “common pool” used for cooling the fuel rods: UNKNOWN

Based on the two known factors alone, the probability of a major catastrophe can be calculated at ≥ 0.81 [rounded down to eighty percent. ]

Fuel rod extraction process is scheduled to begin tomorrow, November 8, 2013, and would take about 14 months to complete, according to the operator.

The Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) at No. 4 reactor located on the upper floor of the building contains 1,533 units, includes 1,331 spent fuel units still emitting high levels of radiation, with the remaining units being unused fuel rods. The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is about to extract and relocate the rods.

TEPCO says removal of the fuels rods, which are currently in a precarious state due to an explosion in the reactor building caused by hydrogen buildup in 2011, is the first step in the decommissioning of the nuclear plant which has so far been subject to triple meltdowns.

fukushima NO4 pool
The Spent Fuel Pool (SFP) at No. 4 reactor located on the upper floor of the building. Image shows debris scattered over spent fuel assemblies at the reactor’s storage pool as a result of a large explosion caused by buildup of hydrogen in the reactor building in March 2011. The explosion may have damaged some of the fuel rods, and cause them to fuse together. Image source: Handout – Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO).

FIRE-EARTH has a 100% record of forecasting disasters at Fukushima NPP. See blog content.

More details to follow…

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Disaster Deepens at “Nuked” Fukushima Plant

Posted by feww on August 21, 2013

More tanks may be leaking contaminated water: NRA

Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) has raised the severity of the Fukushima crisis from a level 1 “anomaly” to a level 3 “serious incident” on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), an international scale for radiological releases.

[NOTE: Each step increase on INES represents a 10-fold jump in severity.]

The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said on Tuesday that highly contaminated water was leaking from a storage tank; however, the NRA fears that more of the storage tanks may be leaking.

NRA Chairman has likened the nuked Fukushima plant to a house of horrors at an amusement park. “I don’t know if describing it this way is appropriate, but it’s like a haunted house and, as I’ve said, mishaps keep happening one after the other,” he told reporters. “We have to look into how we can reduce the risks and how to prevent it from becoming a fatal or serious incident.”

Meantime, the deadly farce continues…

JPNUKE facilities enJapan’s Nuclear Facilities. Copyright © Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA, Japan). All Rights Reserved.

TEPCO: Press Release (Aug 21,2013) Water Leak at a Tank in the H4 area in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Follow-up Information 6)

This is follow-up information on the “water leak at a tank in the H4 area in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station” found on August 19.

We would like to announce analysis results on seawater near the exit of the side ditch of the south water outlet and water in the side ditch in front of the core warehouse, sampled yesterday (on August 20), as follows.

As a result of the analysis this time, the densities in seawater near the exit of the side ditch of the south water outlet were found to fall within the fluctuation ranges of the past densities measured on a regular basis in seawater near the exit of the side ditch of the south water outlet. The densities in water of the side ditch in front of the core warehouse were found almost unchanged from the results obtained yesterday.

<Seawater of the south water outlet (near the exit of the side ditch) (sampling performed at 2:20 PM on August 20)>
Cesium-134:Below the detection limit value [the detection limit value: 1.1Bq/L (1×10-3Bq/cm3)]
Cesium-137:1.8Bq/L (1.8×10-3Bq/cm3)
All β:Below the detection limit value [the detection limit value: 19Bq/L (1.9×10-2Bq/cm3)]

<Water of the side ditch in front of the core warehouse (sampling performed at 11:40 AM on August 20)>
Cesium-134:Below the detection limit value [the detection limit value: 19Bq/L (1.9×10-2Bq/cm3)]
Cesium-137:Below the detection limit value [the detection limit value: 27Bq/L (2.7×10-2Bq/cm3)]
All β:93Bq/L (9.3×10-2Bq/cm3)

We are to continuously conduct analysis today on seawater of the south water outlet (near the exit of the side ditch) and water of the side ditch in front of the core warehouse.

For the past sampling results, please refer to the following page on our website:  http:// www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/f1/smp/index-e.html

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:

[NOTE: Each step increase on INES represents a 10-fold jump in severity.]

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.]

Related Links

Also search the blog for dozens of additional entries on “Fukushima.”

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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Nuclear alert level raised at Fukushima

Posted by feww on March 18, 2011

Japan raises alert level at Fukushima NPP

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Crisis Deepens

Quote of the week on dumping water from helicopters to try to cool melting nuclear reactors:

“One can put out forest fires like this—by pouring water from far above… It is not clear where this water is falling. There is no control.”   ~ Gennady Pshakin, a Russian nuclear expert

Japanese authorities have raised the alert level at the doomed Fukushima Daiichi NPP from 4 to 5 [“Accident With Wider Consequences”] on 7-notch international danger scale for nuclear disasters.

This news comes amid earlier warnings by French scientists who had already classified the incident as a category 6, just one notch below the Chernobyl disaster.


Damage sustained at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP taken March 16, 2011 and released March 17, 2011. Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO)/Handout/via Reuters

IAEA Boss Returns to Japan

Meanwhile, Yukiya Amano, head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog (IAEA),  himself a Japanese national, has flown to Tokyo to obtain “first-hand” information on the unfolding disaster. However, he has made it quite clear that he does NOT intend to visit the Fukushima NPP. Instead, he  has requested “more information.”


Steam rising from the No. 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP on March 16, 2011, released March 17, 2011.  Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO)/Handout/via Reuters.

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.]

Serious Health Risks

Experts have warned that a major leak of radioactive substances from the stricken nuclear plant could pose serious health risks.

“At this point, there is still no evidence that there’s been significant radiation spread beyond the immediate zone of the reactors themselves,” Michael O’Leary, WHO’s representative in China said at a news conference.

“At the same time, we know that the situation is evolving and we need to monitor closely and see what happens over time. Things can obviously change, and have changed, over this last week.”

Although the risk to China would be minute at this stage, O’Leary said, there are other factors to consider.

“The reactors, of course, are quite far from China. The risk of spread depends on several factors. One is obviously the amount of radioactive material, or radionuclides, that are released from the reactor itself. Beyond that are weather and wind conditions that determine,” he said.

“As with anything that spreads or can spread out, the farther away you are, the more dispersed it is.”

Chinese Panic Buying of Iodized Salt

“The emergency has sparked panic buying of iodized salt in China, based on the misunderstanding that the iodine it contains could prevent the body’s intake of radioactive iodine that could be released in the event of a major explosion at the plant.” Said a report.

“The amount of iodine in salt is very small. It wouldn’t be possible to consume enough salt to get a protective dose. In the end, not many people will need iodine supplements.”O’Leary said.

According to one estimate, you would need an intake of about 1.5kg of salt, a lethal dose, to obtain a “protective dose” from salt.

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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.]

.

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.

Related Links:

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FUKUSHIMA NPP: No 4 REACTOR ON FIRE, NEW EXPLOSION ROCKS No 2

Posted by feww on March 15, 2011

BREAKING NEWS:

MAJOR FIRE AT NO 4 REACTOR CAUSES HIGHLY RADIOACTIVE LEAK AT FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICH NPP

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 has 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

Note: Exposure to 400 milisievert over a 1.5 to 2-hr period burns the skin and makes the victim very sick.

In Tokyo up 20 times the amount of background radiation was detected, though the elevated amount is not believed to cause any harm to humans.

Above background radiation have also been detected in all surrounding and nearby prefectures.

NEW EXPLOSION ROCKS FUKUSHIMA DAI-ICH NUCLEAR PLANT

Another explosion at No. 2 Reactor rocked the Fukushima Daiichi plant Tuesday

The latest explosion occurred at reactor 2 at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, as engineers were trying to pump sea water into the three partially destroyed reactors.

The radiation reading at 8:31am (JST) had climbed to 8,217 microsievert per hour from a previous level of 1,941 microsievert half an hour earlier earlier, TEPCO the plant operators said. The background radiation to which people are exposed to is about 1,000 to 2,400  microsievert per year.


The No.3 nuclear reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at Minamisoma continues to burn after an explosion that occurred at  11:01 on Monday March 14, following the Sendai Megaquake and tsunami. Handout satellite image taken by Digital Globe/via Reuters.

The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear plants are located  about 240km (150 miles) north-east of Japan capital city, Tokyo.

Meanwhile, the U.S. 7th Fleet, operating about 160km (100miles) northeast of the nuclear plants, moved away its ships and aircraft carriers after detecting radioactive contamination on aircraft operating in the area.

Low levels of radiation were found on 17 air crew members, operating in three helicopters, when they returned to the USS Ronald Reagan, reports say.

The nuclear began after a 9.0Mw Megaquake followed by a deadly tsunami struck the eastern coast of Japan’s main island of Honshu Friday.

Up to 200,000 people have so far been evacuated from a 20-km radii of both Fukushima Plants Nos. 1 and 2. The quake and tsunami has left about 550,000 people homeless, as millions of people endure their fourth day without water, food, gas, fuel, electricity and adequate clothing in freezing temperatures.

Petrol has been rationed throughout the country.  Our colleagues in different Japan were only allowed to buy only 10 liters of gasoline this morning.

The mounting death toll stands at 2,000 to more than 10,000 depending on the source of different reports.

The Sendai Megaquake is now officially the world’s 4th strongest quake since 1900, and Japan’s largest recorded shock since records began 140 years ago.

Explosions Timline:

  • The first explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant occurred at 3:45.45 pm on Saturday, March 12, 2011
  • The Second explosion occurred at reactor 3 at 11:01 on Monday, March 14.
  • The third explosion occurred at reactor 2  just after 6:13 am on Tuesday March 15.

Japan has 55 nuclear reactors, 14 of which are in the quake and tsunami-hit areas.

Japanese govt has reportedly distributed about a quarter of a million units of stable iodine to evacuation centers near the damaged nuclear plants, as a precautionary measure. Iodine can help protect against thyroid cancer if a person is is exposed to low-levels of radiation.

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Worst Disaster since WWII: Japan PM

Posted by feww on March 14, 2011

WARNING: SEISMIC CHAIN REACTIONS MAY OCCUR IN JAPAN REGION

CONTINUED OCCURRENCES OF SIGNIFICANT AFTERSHOCKS COULD LEAD TO A SEISMIC CHAIN REACTION UNLEASHING MORE MEGA QUAKES IN JAPAN REGION AND/OR SURROUNDING REGIONS: FIRE-EARTH

[Time Period: Up to 18 months from now; probability ≥0.6]

March 14, 2011 at 00:48 UTC

The Aftermath of Japan’s Megaquake and the Unfolding Nuclear Crisis is Japan’s Worst Calamity since World War II:  Prime Minister Naoto Kan

This Page would be updated throughout today, as new information becomes available.

Japan’s  Nuclear Crisis:

The cooling system has failed at a third nuclear facility in Japan, following the M9.0 Mega Quake near Sendai.

The Tokai Nuclear Plant in Ibaraki prefecture is causing great concern. Two of its three diesel generators used to operate the cooling system have failed. The plant is located about 120km north of Tokyo.


Tokai 1 and 2 Nuclear Power Plants. Click image to enlarge and view licensing details.

Built in 1962, 1 was Japan’s first nuclear power plant. Having generated electricity for about 32 years it was decommission in 1998.  Tokai 2 was built in 1973 and commissioned in 1978,  Japan’s largest at the time with a generating capacity of  1,060 MW.

Meanwhile, a state of emergency has been declared at the Onagawa plant, where radiation readings have exceeded allowed limits, said Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.


Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant is located in  Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture, and is operated by the Tohoku Electric Power Company.  Click image to enlarge and view licensing details.

The latest declaration is the third to be issued by the agency, with the first two still in force at Fukushima plant Nos 1 and 2.

  • At Fukushima Plant No.1, at least two reactors may be experiencing partial meltdown.   As a last option, sea water is being pumped into reactors 1 and 3 to prevent them from total core meltdown.
  • On May 12 an explosion said to have been caused by hydrogen buildup tore through the walls of containment building of reactor 1.
  • Up to 4 other reactors face the threat of explosion, due to excessive pressure, and possibly meltdown.
  • As of 10:00UTC Saturday  May 12,  up to 300 people had received varying degrees of radiation, including 60 students at high school in Fukushima located about 3.5km from Plant No. 1, who were waiting to be evacuated.
  • UPDATE: Radiation at Onagawa plant has returned to operating background levels, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has announced.
  • Up to 170,000 people have been evacuated from a 20-km radii of Fukushima Plants 1 and 2.
  • Tens of thousands of people were due to be evacuated from a 20-km radius of  the Tokai plant.

People throughout Japan have been asked tio save electricity. About 1.8 million customers are currently without power.

In Tokyo area there’s a sever shortage of electricity, with only 75 percent of the demand currently being met. [Demand: 41 gigawatt;  supply: 31 gigawatt]

Second Round of Tsunami Warnings

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA)  issued a new round of Tsunami Warnings for Japan Region at 03:20 JST, Saturday March 12. A Major Tsunami Warning covered the entire eastern seaboards of Honshu and Hokkaido islands.

See below for tsunami map and list of the prefectures under TSUNAMI WARNING.


Source: JMA. Click image to enlarge.

Maximum Tsunami Observation

The following Tsunami Observation Map (NUMBER 64) was issued at 18:05 JST 13 Mar 2011.

The Surviving Victims of the Mega Quake and Tsunami

The surviving victims are well and truly trapped. There are  severe shortages of water, food and fuel, as well as clothes, sanitation and other basic amenities. Large areas have had no electricity sine the Megaquake struck about 70 hours ago. Many people are attempting to leave the disaster zones; however, there are no plains, trains or any other form of transport.  Automobiles are not going anywhere, anytime soon.  There are long lines of vehicles outside gas stations waiting to be filled, some reportedly as long as 10-mile. Many people are sleeping in their car in order not to miss their turn.

Many roads have been destroyed or severely damaged in Miyagi prefecture, as far as in the Tokyo area, in northern Japan, and in the far-northern Iwate prefecture. The toll road highways are restricted to emergency vehicles only, according to reports.

The Aftershocks

As expected, the aftershock, some of them powerful quakes in their own right, continue to rattle the eastern seaboard of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

10-degree Map Centered at 40°N,140°E


Earthquake Location Map.
Source: USGS. Click image to enlarge.

List of Significant Aftershocks (≥M5.0)

March 14 UTC

March 13 UTC


March 12 UTC

March 11 UTC


Source: USGS.  Click images to enlarge.

The Death Toll and the Number of Missing

More than 2,000 bodies have been found this morning on the shores of Miyagi prefecture, the area worst affected by the tsunami,  Kyodo news agency has just reported. The latest gruesome discovery brings the total death toll so far to about 4,000. At least 10,000 others are believed to be missing.

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Meltdown Threat at a Sixth Fukushima Reactor

Posted by feww on March 13, 2011

A 6th Reactor at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant Faces Core Meltdown

Pressure buildup has reached a critical level in a sixth reactor at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has said in a statement.

Authorities are pumping in massive amounts of seawater to cool down all the reactors at the two Fukushima plants.

Radiation has reportedly been detected outside more than one reactor unit as a total of 6 reactors are either undergoing at least partial meltdown, or face the eminent threat of  explosion or meltdown

Meanwhile, Japan govt has mobilized a rescue team consisting of more than 100,000 personnel to assist victims of the deadly earthquake and tsunami.

According to the latest NHK news bulletin, the rescue and recovery teams in Miyagi prefecture have recovered  another 200 bodies. The official death toll currently stands at more than 1,000, with another 1,000 reported as missing,  but the total could reach into many thousands, possibly tens of thousands.

A video of the first explosion at Fukushima Plant No. 1

Comment by an Expert

“An early tipoff that Japanese authorities felt that events at Fukushima were very serious was the ordering of an evacuation within a couple of hours of the earthquake.  Though the area was small and the evacuation was called ‘precautionary,’ the fact is that ordering several thousand more people into motion during the immediate aftermath of a major earthquake and tsunami is something that no government would do if it could possibly help it.” Said a former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Peter Bradford.

Trying to avert multiple core meltdown

Tokyo Electric Power Co is planning to vent more steam from the core containment units to reduce the danger of explosion and core meltdown, but that entails releasing even more radiation into the environment.

Power Shortages

Several areas near the quake area have been without electricity [as well as water, gas and phone services] since the megaquake struck two days ago.

Tokyo electricity is currently buying power from western Japan districts, and people have been asked to conserve electricity.

Mounting Aftershocks

A total of 170 significant aftershocks (≥5.0) have now struck near the east coat of Honshu, mostly close to the Mega Quake’s epicenter.

The Sinking Land

The land in many areas of Miyagi prefecture has sunk by about 70cm, trapping water brought in buy the deadly tsunami waves.

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