Tag: Fukushima

US Military Personnel Sickened By Fukushima Radiation

U.S. Sailors and Marines Allege Fukushima Radiation Sickness

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Three years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that caused the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The tsunami’s immediate death toll was more than 15,000, with close to 3,000 still missing. Casualties are still mounting, though, both in Japan and much farther away. The impact of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown on health and the environment is severe, compounded daily as radioactive pollution continues to pour from the site, owned by the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO.

In an unusual development, more than 100 U.S. Marines and Navy sailors have joined a class action suit, charging TEPCO with lying about the severity of the disaster as they were rushing to the scene to provide humanitarian assistance. They were aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan and other vessels traveling with the Reagan, engaged in humanitarian response to the disaster. The response was dubbed “Operation Tomodachi,” meaning “Operation Friendship.”

Three years after the triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, scores of U.S. sailors and marines are suing the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, for allegedly misleading the Navy about the level of radioactive contamination. Many of the servicemembers who provided humanitarian relief during the disaster have experienced devastating health ailments since returning from Japan, ranging from leukemia to blindness to infertility to birth defects. We are joined by three guests: Lieutenant Steve Simmons, a U.S. Navy sailor who served on board the USS Ronald Reagan and joined in the class action lawsuit against TEPCO after suffering health problems; Charles Bonner, an attorney for the sailors; and Kyle Cleveland, sociology professor and associate director of the Institute for Contemporary Asian Studies at Temple University’s Japan campus in Tokyo. Cleveland recently published transcripts of the Navy’s phone conversations about Fukushima that took place at the time of the disaster, which suggest commanders were also aware of the risk faced by sailors on the USS Ronald Reagan.

Documents Show the Navy Knew Fukushima Dangerously Contaminated the USS Reagan

By Harvey Wasserman, Huffington Post

A stunning new report alleges the U.S. Navy knew that sailors from the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan took major radiation hits from the Fukushima atomic power plant after its meltdowns and explosions nearly three years ago.

If true, the revelations cast new light on the $1 billion lawsuit filed by the sailors against Tokyo Electric Power. Many of the sailors are already suffering devastating health impacts, but are being stonewalled by Tepco and the Navy. The Reagan had joined several other U.S. ships in Operation Tomodachi (“Friendship”) to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 quake and tsunami. Photographic evidence and first-person testimony confirms that on March 12, 2011 the ship was within two miles of Fukushima Dai’ichi as the reactors there began to melt and explode. In the midst of a snow storm, deck hands were enveloped in a warm cloud that came with a metallic taste. Sailors testify that the Reagan’s 5,500-member crew was told over the ship’s intercom to avoid drinking or bathing in desalinized water drawn from a radioactive sea. The huge carrier quickly ceased its humanitarian efforts and sailed 100 miles out to sea, where newly published internal Navy communications confirm it was still taking serious doses of radioactive fallout. Scores of sailors from the Reagan and other ships stationed nearby now report a wide range of ailments reminiscent of those documented downwind from atomic bomb tests in the Pacific and Nevada, and at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

Carl Jung on our present condition

Via Ilargi:

Here’s Jung from his book ‘Memories, Dreams, Reflections’, published in 1963, 2 years after his death, in the paragraphs with which he closes the chapter “The Tower”:

 Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The “newness” in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components. Body and soul therefore have an intensely historical character and find no proper place in what is new , in things that have just come into being. That is to say, our ancestral components are only partly at home in such things. We are very far from having finished completely with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity, and primitivity, as our modern psyches pretend.

   Nevertheless, we have plunged down a cataract of progress, which sweeps us on into the future with ever wilder violence the farther it takes us from our roots. Once the past has been breached, it is usually annihilated, and there is no stopping the forward motion. But it is precisely the loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the “discontents” of civilisation and to such a flurry and haste that we live more in the future and its chimerical promises of a golden age than in the present, with which our whole evolutionary background has not yet caught up.

   We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognise that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is cancelled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us.

   The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.

   Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications, which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before. Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est – all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.

   Reforms by retrogressions, on the other hand, are as a rule less expensive and in addition more lasting, for they return to the simpler, tried and tested ways of the past and make the sparsest use of newspapers, radio, television, and all supposedly timesaving innovations.

   In this book I have devoted considerable space to my subjective view of the world, which, however, is not a product of rational thinking. It is rather a vision such as will come to one who undertakes, deliberately, with half-closed eyes and somewhat closed ears, to see and hear the form and voice of being. If our impressions are too distinct, we are held to the hour and minute of the present and have no way of knowing how our ancestral psyches listen to and understand the present – in other words, how our unconscious is responding to it. Thus we remain ignorant of whether our ancestral components find elementary gratification in our lives, or whether they are repelled. Inner peace and contentment depend in large measure upon whether or not the historical family, which is inherent in the individual, can be harmonised with the ephemeral conditions of the present.

   In the Tower at Bollingen it is as if one lived in many centuries simultaneously. The place will outlive me, and in its location and style it points backwards to things of long ago. There is very little about it to suggest the present. If a man of the sixteenth century were to move into the house, only the kerosene lamp and the matches would be new to him; otherwise, he would know his way about without difficulty. There is nothing to disturb the dead, neither electric light nor telephone. Moreover, my ancestors’ souls are sustained by the atmosphere of the house, since I answer for them the questions that their lives once left behind. I carve out rough answers as best I can. I have even drawn them on the walls. It is as if a silent, greater family, stretching down the centuries, were peopling the house. There I live in my second personality and see life in the round, as something forever coming into being and passing on.

Fukushima Disaster: Worse Than Reported

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Fukushima nuclear disaster is getting worse and everyday there seems to be another report that the public has been not told the full truth of its impact or what is actually being done to contain it.

Fukushima’s Radioactive Plume Could Reach U.S. Waters By 2014

by Jeremy Hsu, Huffington Post

A radioactive plume of water in the Pacific Ocean from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, which was crippled in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, will likely reach U.S. coastal waters starting in 2014, according to a new study. The long journey of the radioactive particles could help researchers better understand how the ocean’s currents circulate around the world.

Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016. Luckily, two ocean currents off the eastern coast of Japan – the Kuroshio Current and the Kuroshio Extension – would have diluted the radioactive material so that its concentration fell well below the World Health Organization’s safety levels within four months of the Fukushima incident. But it could have been a different story if nuclear disaster struck on the other side of Japan.

Leaky Fukushima nuclear plant raises seafood poisoning concerns

by John Rch, NBC News

The 300 tons of radioactive water leaked to date from a storage tank at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan is raising new concerns about the safety of seafood from the region, according to scientists.

Highly contaminated water from the newly reported leak is seeping into the ground, officials with Tokyo Electric Power Company told reporters Tuesday. They do not believe the water has reached the ocean, given the distance of the tank from the harbor. Still, it is likely only a matter of time before it does, said William Burnett, an oceanographer at Florida State University, who studies environmental radioactivity. [..]

The new tank rupture is the latest in a string of incidents to raise concerns about radioactive material from the damaged nuclear plant reaching the ocean. Earlier this month, a government official estimated that 330 tons of contaminated water was leaking into the ocean every day from the plant near the reactors (though not all of that water is as radioactive as the contents of the latest storage tank leak).

Fukushima radiation levels 18 times higher than previously thought

by Justin McCurry, The Guardian

Operator of Japanese nuclear power plant claims there has been no leak but has yet to discover cause of radiation spike

Radiation levels 18 times higher than previously reported have been found near a water storage tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing fresh concern about the safety of the wrecked facility. [..]

Japan’s nuclear watchdog confirmed last week it had raised the severity of that leak from level 1, an “anomaly”, to level 3, a “serious incident”, on an eight-point scale used by the International Atomic Energy Agency for radiological releases.

Earlier, the utility belatedly confirmed reports that a toxic mixture of groundwater and water being used to cool melted fuel lying deep inside the damaged reactors was seeping into the sea at a rate of about 300 tonnes a day.

Experts said those leaks, which are separate from the most recent incidents, may have started soon after the plant was struck by a powerful tsunami on 11 March 2011.

And in a “you’ve got to be kidding me” moment.

High radiation spreads at ruined Fukushima plant, Japan vows aid

by Sumio Ito and Mari Saito, The Sydney Morning Herald

High radiation levels are spreading at the ruined Fukushima nuclear plant, its operator said on Monday, and the Japanese government prepared to offer more funding and oversight to try to contain the crisis.

Japanese authorities were seeking to address criticism that Tokyo Electric Power Co has bungled the response to the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. [..]

Japan’s nuclear industry, which once provided a third of its energy, has ground nearly to a halt since the earthquake, causing reactor meltdowns. Restarting Japan’s idled reactors, and reducing its reliance on foreign energy supplies, is a central element of Abe’s economic growth plans.

Japanese officials also fear that international attention to the Fukushima crisis could threaten Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics, a decision set to be made by the International Olympic Committee on Saturday in Buenos Aires.

The Japanese government’s response to this disaster has been wholly inadequate, often refusing to accept help or advice and hiding the critical facts from the public. While the US and world governments are so concerned over the use of a chemical weapon in Syria, willing to ignite the region in a full blown war, this crisis which will have deep impact on the environment and a major source of the world’s food supply is virtually ignored.  

Aging Vermont Nuclear Plant to Shut Down

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The owners of the aging Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant announced the plant’s shut down by 2014, citing that the plant was no longer financially viable due to the lower costs of natural gas. The president of Entergy, Bill Mohl, dismissed the fact that the plant, built in 1972, has been the target of anti-nuclear demonstrations and court battles.

The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has been the subject of one of the longest and most intensive anti-nuke campaigns in the region. Even before the plant was constructed on the banks of the Connecticut River in 1972, anti-nuclear activists demonstrated against Vermont Yankee with a fervor that bordered on religious conviction.

Anti-nuke groups formed – the New England Coalition, Citizens Awareness Network, Shut It Down Affinity Group and the Safe and Green Campaign – and environmental organizations like VPIRG, the Vermont Natural Resources Council and the Conservation Law Foundation took up the cause, too. From the 1970s and 1980s and again in the early 2000s, Vermont Yankee attracted a wide range of activists who pressed for one ultimate goal: closing the plant.

When a new out-of-state owner – Entergy Corp. – purchased the Vernon plant for $180 million in 2002, and the facility began to age and show signs of deterioration (including the collapse of a cooling tower, a transmission fire and tritium leaks from underground pipes), activists ramped up the outrage, and eventually politicians – the state’s Democrats and Progressives – took up the cause, too. In 2010, Sen. Peter Shumlin, a Democrat from Windham County where the plant is located, engineered a vote in the Senate to deny Entergy an opportunity to extend its license to operate beyond a predetermined shutdown date of March 21, 2012.

The long fight to close the plant has had its political impact, as well, ousting the long reign of Republican in the governor’s mansion. In 2012, the popular Republican lieutenant governor, Brian Dubie, who supported the nuclear plant was defeated by Democrat Peter Shumlin. In the wake of the ongoing nuclear crisis from the Fukushima reactor, whose design is identical to Yankee Vermont, this is seen as a first step in the shut down of the other reactors of similar design.


The Fukushima rain

the Fukushima rain is soaking through my shoes; I may never be the same, when I reach Baton Rouge.

It’s finally raining. The Sierras are high and dry. It’s been Spring all Winter. Sunny and 70 degrees. Every fucking thing is in blossom. The acacias, eucalyptus, the bulbs, magnolias, you name it.

Can Tin Ball Bearings Save the Fukushima nuclear reactors from the China Syndrome?

I have a simple idea that I would like to hear feedback on. Let me admit, right off, that I haven’t studied the nuclear reactor geometry in any detail, and this idea depends on such geometric (or layout) conditions.

As some of you may know, Fukushima is threatening (or has already begun), to go China Syndrome.

The simple idea is this: Build a wall around the Fukushima reactors, and start dumping in tin ball bearings. Very tiny ones, so that they are more space-filling, and can pour through smaller openings. If you need to, drill some holes through floors, tops of containments, etc.

If the nuclear materials are hot enough to melt concrete, then they are hot enough to melt the ball bearings. Concrete becomes “crumbly” at around 1000 C, and it’s constituent stone and sand don’t melt until 2600 C, according to this. The melting point of tin is 231.9 C.

Meanwhile, the thermal conductivity of tin is 67 W/(m.K), vs. .1- 1.8 W/(m.K) for concrete. (Ref).

Consequently, provided that you can get the tin ball bearings close enough to the bottom of the reactor where the nuclear materials are eating through the concrete, they should both melt faster than the concrete, and furthermore conduct the vast majority of heat upwards, through the mass of tin, rather than downwards.

Should the tin that’s enclosed become completely melted, you build a second wall, knock a hole in your first wall, to let the liquid tin pour through, and dump fresh tin ball bearings on the top of the reactor, within the circumference of the first wall. Repeat, as necessary. (I.e., as many additional walls as you need.

If you want to conserve energy, and the tin is not too radioactive, you can create a tin can factory, right there! 🙂 (I don’t think tin cans have tin, anymore. Just kidding, in this last paragraph.)



Tepco says that temperatures (assisted by water cooling) have been under 100C for a while, now. See http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/f… . They also say “according to the gas sampling result in PCV, the gas caused by core concrete reaction is currently not detected. Therefore, it is estimated it is highly unlikely that the core concrete reaction still goes on.”   My reference gives a source as the architect of the #3 reactor, but AFAIK, he doesn’t address the claims in the TEPCO report, point by point.

A Nuclear Lobbyist


Westinghouse Nuclear and the rest of the nuclear industry had a very good day in the US Senate on Tuesday, August 2, 2011, and although Senators Dick Durbin and Barbara Boxer actually mentioned Fukushima, the five NRC Commissioners agreed to do absolutely nothing about anything, unless you count “reviewing” whatever and “re-evaluating” whatever else as doing something, and then you can rejoice about plans for…

Re-evaluating earthquake and flooding hazards.

Reviewing with operators the location and operation of “hardened vents” that are supposed to get rid of any hydrogen created in an accident so that it does not cause explosions, as it did at the Japanese reactors.

Reviewing the status of extra pumps, hoses and other emergency equipment added after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


Making sure operators are trained in the use of that emergency equipment.

So Westinghouse Nuclear was grinning from ear to ear, and that’s all there was to it.  

Fukushima Could Kill 920 Million People


Just in case you ever wonder about the worst-case scenario at Fukushima…

If all the plutonium at Fukushima burns and disperses into the atmosphere, a LOW ESTIMATE of the death-toll adds up to about 920,000,000 people, and that’s applying the nuclear industry’s own “myth-busting” refutation of Ralph Nader’s “alarmist” arithmetic.

A commonly cited quote by Ralph Nader, states that a pound of plutonium dust spread into the atmosphere would be enough to kill 8 billion people. However, the math shows that one pound of plutonium could kill no more than 2 million people by inhalation. This makes the toxicity of plutonium roughly equivalent with that of nerve gas.

And isn’t that soothing!

Plutonium is almost the same as oatmeal!

It’s only as toxic as nerve gas!

But there’s a heck of a lot of that plutonium-oatmeal stored at Fukushima!

The 1,458 tons of plutonium held as “Unirradiated new fuel at reactor sites etc.” includes 210 kg at Fukushima I-3 (TEPCO).

210 kilograms is about 460 pounds, and even if we accept the low-ball estimate of 2,000,000 fatalities per pound, that’s still an awful lot of people!

460 X 2000000 = 920,000,000 people.


“Fukushima is leaking like a sieve!”


“Fukushima nuclear plant is leaking like a sieve,” says Nature, a journal which isn’t exactly prone to hyperbole, and this screaming headline is actually an understatement, because…  

Fukushuima is really leaking like five sieves!

1. The pressure vessels around the reactor cores are leaking!

2. The primary containment vessels are leaking!

3. Pipes between the buildings are leaking!

4. The storage pools which were supposed to contain 100,000 tons of radioactive water are leaking!


5. There are leaks in the basements of the buildings which contain the containment vessels!

Everything is leaking, and outside the tight little circle of TEPCO and Japanese government nobody knows how much radiation has already leaked into the air and soil and ocean, because…

Tepco and Japan’s nuclear regulators haven’t updated the total radiation leakage from the plant in northern Japan since April 12.

And of course April 12 was the day Fukushima was declared a Level 7 Nuclear Event, the same as Chernobyl.  

Fukushima Gets Worse

While you were sleeping…


The Leaning Tower of Fukushima went right on tilting, with an enormous mass of enriched uranium inside it!

Dr. Robert Jacobs, a Nuclear Historian at the Hiroshima Peace Institute, offered the diagram above in an interview on Tuesday with Russia Today. According to Jacobs (which he says has been confirmed by the Japanese Government), Unit 4 is starting to lean, a collapse certain to expose the fuel rod pools at the top of the building.

Expose the fuel rods? If Unit 4 collapses, it will fling 1479 intensely radioactive fuel rods all over the landscape!

And in addition to this really spectacular prospect, everything else about Fukushima is… surprise! …much much worse than the Tepco and the Japanese government admitted!

The Japanese media are not amused!

Accurate data shattered the overly optimistic assessment of Tokyo Electric Power Co. concerning the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant and raised doubts about the company’s game plan for ending the crisis.

TEPCO officials admitted on May 12 that a “meltdown” had occurred in the No. 1 reactor. Fuel rods had melted, and the molten fuel accumulated and caused small cracks at the bottom of the reactor pressure container, they said.

Reactor 2 and Reactor 3 are probably also cracked! 3000 tons of extremely radioactive cooling water leaked out of Reactor 1 and nobody knows where it went! They can’t even measure how much water remains in any of the reactors!

They don’t even have a plan any more!

An adviser to Prime Minister Naoto Kan indicated Sunday that a plan to flood and cool the No. 1 reactor’s containment vessel at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant with water will be abandoned as holes have been created by melted nuclear fuel at the bottom of the pressure vessel.

Meltdowns! Collapsing reactors! No plan! Nothing is under control!

And that’s the news from Fukushima.

The Leaning Tower of Fukushima

The building containing Reactor 4 at Fukushima might fall over!

Would that be a significant problem?

“Of course not! There are never any significant problems with nuclear power! Shut up!”

But what about those 1535 fuel assemblies stored in the spent fuel pool at Reactor 4?

If the whole building falls over, wouldn’t they all be exposed to the air, with no cooling whatsoever? Would it be a significant problem if they all started burning? According to the BBC…

If you are in any doubt as to what this means, it is that in the company’s view, it is possible that enough fissile uranium is present in the cooling pond in enough density to form a critical mass – meaning that a nuclear fission chain reaction could start.

Would an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction at Fukushima be a significant problem?

“Of course not! There are never any significant problems with nuclear power! Shut up!”  

Deadly Silence on Fukushima

I received the following email a few days ago from a Russian nuclear physicist friend who is an expert on the kinds of gases being released at Fukushima. Here is what he wrote:

“About Japan: the problem is that the reactor uses “dirty” fuel. It is a combination of plutonium and uranium (MOX).

I suspect that the old fuel rods have bean spread out due to the explosion and the surrounding area is contaminated with plutonium which means you can never return to this place again.

It is like a new Tchernobyl. Personally, I am not surprised that the authority has not informed people about this”.

I have been following the Fukushima story very closely since the earthquake and devastating tsunami. I have asked scientists I know, nuclear physicists and others about where they find real information. I have also watched as the news has virtually disappeared. There is something extremely disturbing going on and having lived through the media blackout in France back in April and early May 1986, and speaking to doctors who are deeply concerned by the dramatic increase in cancers appearing at very young ages, it is obvious that information is being held back. We are still told not to eat mushrooms and truffles from parts of Europe, not wild boar and reindeer from Germany and Finland 25 years later.

Vivian NorrisPhd, Based in Paris-Globalization Studies, via huffpo

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