Radiation leaks from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will force people in Iitatemura to abandon satoyama–natural woodlands near human communities. Residents of Nagadoro district in southern Iitatemura have been devoted to preserving the picturesque satoyama woodlands. A gentle stream burbles through the landscape, where residents grow vegetables.
Hatsuo Sugishita, 61, who left his company to operate a stone processing and sales business in the town after he inherited a plot of land there, has cherished the satoyama with his wife, Takiko.
“We haven’t decided anything–where we’ll go or how to earn a living. If nobody lives in the satoyama, this place will soon be ruined. Even if we can come back, the satoyama can’t be returned to its original state,” Sugishita said. “I want people in the Kanto region who received the benefits of the nuclear power plant to understand our feelings.”
Apr 24 2011
Apr 21 2011
An official at Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, admitted Wednesday that fuel of the plant’s No. 1 reactor could be melting.
Describing the possible meltdown, Matsumoto said it can be compared to a state in which molten fuel accumulates like lava.
So what happens if that red-hot nuclear lava melts through the bottom of the containment vessel?
And meanwhile, what’s happening at Reactor No. 2?
The core at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel, Democratic Congressman Edward Markey told a hearing on the nuclear disaster on Wednesday.
“I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that the core of Unit Two has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel,” said Markey, a prominent nuclear critic in the House of Representatives.
The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has reported to a Cabinet Office safety panel that nuclear fuel pellets in the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima power station are believed to have partially melted.
And at No. 4?
Fukushima No. 4
100 tons of plutonium are stored in that beautiful facility!
Apr 11 2011
The basic problem was revealed by the NRC’s (Reactor Safety Team), which drafted a report that combined the collective assessment of nuclear physicists and engineers around the world. Contrary to the rosy press releases by the utility, this report revealed the true depth of the nuclear accident.
When emissions of toxic misinformation at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor #3 exceeded 100,000 times the normal corporate background, X-ray diagrams of the site revealed a previously unsuspected source.
Mar 31 2011
The risk to workers might be greater than previously thought because melted fuel in the No. 1 reactor building may be causing isolated, uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions, Denis Flory, nuclear safety director for the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, said at a press conference in Vienna.
Nuclear experts call these reactions “localized criticality,” which will increase radiation and hamper the ability to shut down the plant. The reactions consist of a burst of heat, radiation and sometimes an “ethereal blue flash,” according to the U.S. Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory web site.
Uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions!
Just like an atomic bomb, only smaller!
And what could happen if the meltdown continues, and all the plutonium in Reactor #3 melts into a blob that’s bigger than critical mass?
Mar 29 2011
Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant “continues to further stabilize,” said Bill Borchardt, the executive director for operations at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Meanwhile, back in reality…
“The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell,” said Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima. “I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards.”
Core through the floor!
That’s a guy from GE talking, and isn’t it weird when corporate whores like “Beltway Bill” Borchardt who run “regulatory” commissions are even more corrupt than corporate whores who are openly employed by corporations?
Mar 28 2011
UPDATE 1-Japan says plutonium found at Fukushima
TOKYO, March 28 (Reuters) – Plutonium has been found in soil at various points within Japan’s stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex but does not present a risk to human health, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said on Monday.
Hazardous Radiation Detected Outside Damaged Japanese Reactor
Radiation levels that can prove fatal were detected outside reactor buildings at Japan’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant for the first time, complicating efforts to contain the worst disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.
Mar 28 2011
For the search terms “worst case, Fukushima,” Google returns the same very short story from “experts” all over the world.
And here’s the official story from the Chief Scientific Officer of the entire United Kingdom, Professor John Beddington!
Let me now talk about what would be a reasonable worst case scenario. If the Japanese fail to keep the reactors cool and fail to keep the pressure in the containment vessels at an appropriate level, you can get this, you know, the dramatic word “meltdown”. But what does that actually mean? What a meltdown involves is the basic reactor core melts, and as it melts, nuclear material will fall through to the floor of the container. There it will react with concrete and other materials … that is likely… remember this is the reasonable worst case, we don’t think anything worse is going to happen. In this reasonable worst case you get an explosion. You get some radioactive material going up to about 500 metres up into the air. Now, that’s really serious, but it’s serious again for the local area. It’s not serious for elsewhere even if you get a combination of that explosion it would only have nuclear material going in to the air up to about 500 metres.
So if only we can persuade all those melting reactors to behave reasonably, like an official scientist, then even the worst case isn’t “serious for elsewhere!”
And likewise at Scientific American, where “Nuclear Experts Explain Worst-Case Scenario at Fukushima!”
And just what is that worst-case scenario? “They’re venting in order to keep the containment vessel from failing. But if a core melts, it will slump to the bottom of the reactor vessel, probably melt through the reactor vessel onto the containment floor. It’s likely to spread as a molten pool-like lava-to the edge of the steel shell and melt through. That would result in a containment failure in a matter of less than a day.”
Containment failure! And that’s the end of the SciAm story! They don’t even get as far as the Official Chief Scientific Officer, who mentioned a relatively small explosion, which wouldn’t be much of a problem outside the the immediate environs of Fukushima Prefecture.
But we might also ask ourselves how accurate all those “nuclear experts” have been so far.
Are they getting it right, or getting it wrong, and how far wrong?
For example, when they sent a couple of engineers wading into radioactive water at Fukushima #2 just a couple of days ago, how far wrong were the “nuclear experts” about how much radioactivity thoise unfortunate waders would encounter?
The real situation was ten thousand times worse than their reasonable prediction!
So maybe we should ask a few common-sense questions about the reassuring official story, such as…
Mar 27 2011
Bloomberg’s daily status report from Fukushima…
No. 2: Contaminated water in the turbine structure contains 10 million times more radiation than normal cooling water, NHK said.
The water in the Fukushima Dai-Ichi No. 2 reactor’s turbine building was measured at more than 1,000 millisieverts per hour, Japan’s nuclear safety agency said today.
The normal radiation level that we receive over a year is about four millisieverts,” said Stephen Lincoln, a nuclear power and uranium specialist at the University of Adelaide.
In other words, the dose you get at Fukushima in one hour is the same as what you would normally absorb in 250 years!
Mar 27 2011
Two articles tonight point to the exponentially growing catastrophe in Japan. The first is an NHK report of radiation levels 10 million times greater than normal. In the second, Michio Kaku discusses the increasing evidence for a possible [probable?-dsyd] breach of containment. Even if it is still only “possible,” it seems to be becoming more and more “probable.” This is a tragic catastrophe.
The only possible positive result would be for the people of the world to now rise up and say “NO” to all things nuclear — at least until such time, perhaps 1K years from now, when humans might have learned how to handle it in a respectful, humble manner.
UPDATE, 11:30 AM PST, 3/27/11: I found the correction upon arising this morning. TMC and Mishima both pointed out that Tepco officials had retracted the 10 million report, calling it a math error. Instead of 10 million, the specified radioctivity was 100,000 times normal. See the discussion and link to AP article in the comments below.
The article“Extreme radiation detected at No.2 reactor” is below the fold:
The link vid & print here
Mar 25 2011
Japanese officials have expressed alarm over a possible fracture of a reactor core at one unit of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Okay! That’s the (extremely) bad news! Now for the good news!
“Our data suggest the reactor retains certain containment functions,” says Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the nuclear safety agency.
“Certain containment functions!” You could say the same thing about a sieve!
But the worst news was buried way way down in the article from PressTV, and never even mentioned by the NY Times.
“Reports indicate that a number of Japanese people who lived between 200 and 350 kilometers away from the plant have been hospitalized for exposure to radioactive materials.”
HOSPITALIZED for radiation! 200 MILES AWAY FROM FUKUSHIMA!
And Tokyo, that enormous city, is only 130 miles away from Fukushima.
Mar 24 2011
Fukushima Daiichi’s Reactor No. 3 began belching black smoke for an hour late in the afternoon, leading its operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, to evacuate workers. No. 3 is considered one of the most dangerous of the reactors because of its fuel – mixed oxides, or mox, which contain a mixture of uranium and plutonium and can produce a more dangerous radioactive plume if scattered by fire or explosions.
This is very bad news, kiddies! Black smoke ain’t steam! It means something dirty is burning!
And what could be burning, in a nuclear reactor full of melting uranium and plutonium?