“Smoke emerged at a service building of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Thursday but it quickly halted after a firefighting effort by workers”

“Smoke billowing” from Japan nuclear plant — Possible fire reported near reactors — TEPCO “has not identified the cause of the incident”
By ENENews, on February 23rd, 2017
Published: February 23rd, 2017 at 8:58 pm ET
By ENENews

Kyodo, Feb 23, 2017: Smoke emerges at TEPCO’s Niigata nuclear plant — Smoke emerged at a service building of the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture on Thursday but it quickly halted after a firefighting effort by workers, its operator said. Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. said there was no radiation leak in the incident. The utility has not identified the cause of the incident. The plant operator confirmed smoke coming out around 3:25 p.m. from a locker room inside the service building, located near the No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the plant…

Xinhua, Feb 23, 2017: TEPCO unaware of cause of smoke at Niigata nuclear plant in latest blunder – Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) on Thursday said that it had detected smoke billowing from a service room near two reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture, located on the west coast of Honshu island. TEPCO said that there was no radiation leak as a result of the possible fire which occurred close to its Sea of Japan-facing reactors, although the utility has yet to comment on the cause of the fire. The plant operator said that it noticed smoke billowing out of a locker room inside the service building near its No. 6 and No. 7 reactors at the facility…

Tepco is dangerous to the rest of the world!

See also: Tepco finds bent, damaged spent fuel assemblies in multiple fuel pools at Japan nuclear plant — Concern about prompt moderated criticality

China warns nationals visiting Japan over high radiation levels in Fukushima

China warns nationals visiting Japan over high radiation levels in Fukushima

China warns nationals visiting Japan over high radiation levels in Fukushima

The Chinese Embassy in Japan on Sunday issued an alert to its nationals who have plans to travel in Japan, reminding them of the high-level radiation inside a damaged reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the facility’s operator, announced last week that the radiation levels detected inside the plant’s No. 2 reactor had reached 650 Sieverts per hour, even higher than the previous record of 530 Sieverts per hour in January.

Even with a 30 percent margin of error, the reading is described by many experts as “unimaginable.” It is much higher than the 73 Sieverts an hour, which was detected in 2012, one year after the nuclear plant’s collapse. Under such exposure, a person would only be able to survive a few minutes at most.

The TEPCO on Thursday sent a remotely controlled robot into the reactor, equipped with a camera that is designed to withstand up to 1,000 Sieverts of cumulative exposure. The robot was pulled out after it broke down only two hours into the probe.

The company is planning to send better robots to conduct more detailed probes. However, it insists that radiation has not leaked outside the reactor.

Last week, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China has issued safety alerts to its nationals over the high-level radiation. He added that China hopes that the Japanese government could clarify how they are going to thoroughly eliminate the impact caused by the nuclear accident.

Six years have now passed after three reactors at Fukushima’s nuclear power plant were damaged by a devastating 9.0-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami on March 11, 2011. After the accident, the local government ordered residents living within 30-kilometer radius around the Fukushima nuclear plant to evacuate.


Thought that you could forget about Fukushima? WRONG!

ALERT: Collapse imminent at Fukushima — TV: Officials find large section under reactor is “unstable… about to collapse” — “Bad, bad news… Time to reconsider that trip to the east coast of Japan” (VIDEOS)
By ENENews, on February 3rd, 2017

Published: February 3rd, 2017 at 9:41 pm ET
By ENENews

NHK World, Feb 3, 2017 (emphasis added): The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is examining if it can go ahead with a plan to deploy a robot into one of the damaged reactors at the facility… An analysis of the images found that the radiation level inside the vessel was up to 530 sieverts per hour. Officials speculate that fuel debris–a mixture of nuclear fuel and melted parts of the reactor’s facility–may be emitting strong radiation inside the vessel… Last week’s probe found that part of a metal grating just beneath the reactor was missing. The robot was supposed to move around on the grating. The image analysis also found that an around one square-meter section near the missing segment is about to collapse.

NHK World transcript, Feb 3, 2017: “[Tepco] is facing more setbacks. Tepco has found unstable grating near a rector that will make it difficult to conduct further surveillance to help it decommission the plant… They found a section the size of a square meter is about to collapse. They had already found holes in other sections… A nuclear power expert suggests that will make it difficult for workers to locate the fuel.”

NHK World transcript, Feb 3, 2017 (at 1:30 in): “Engineers were able to get a glimpse inside Reactor No. 2… They found that a section one meter square is about to collapse. They had already found holes in other sections.”

Asahi, Feb 3, 2017: TEPCO said it will consider a different route for the robot… Fumiya Tanabe, an expert on nuclear safety… said the findings show that both the preparation for and the actual decommissioning process at the plant will likely prove much more difficult than expected. “We have few clues on the exact locations, the sizes and the shapes of the nuclear fuel debris,” he said. “The planned investigation by the robot needs a rethink. Work to decommission the plant will require even more time.”

CNET, Feb 3, 2017: High radiation levels at Fukushima reactor is bad, bad news — Time to reconsider that trip to the east coast of Japan. A containment vessel at the destroyed Fukushima No. 1 power plant has reached off-the-chart radiation levels, reported the Japan Times… Experts believe that escaped melted fuel can account for the spiked reading.

Watch NHKs’s broadcast here: #1 | #2

“Orders of magnitude” rise in levels on West Coast

Experts: US hit with sudden spikes of rare radioactive material from Fukushima — Has 15.7 Million year half life — “Orders of magnitude” rise in levels on West Coast — Much higher amounts than were detected near Fukushima plant just after 3/11
By ENENews, on January 23rd, 2017

Published: January 23rd, 2017 at 6:42 am ET
By ENENews

Royal Society of Chemistry, National Institute for Physics & Nuclear Engineering, Romania, 2015 (emphasis added): AMS analyses of I-129 from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in the Pacific Ocean waters of the Coast La Jolla, San Diego, USA — This paper presents the results of an experimental study we performed by using the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) method with iodine 129 (Halflife = 15.7 Million years], to determine the increase of the radionuclide content in the USA West Pacific Coast waters, two years after the March 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident… The results of the experiments showed a significant increase of the radionuclide concentration during the late spring of 2013. Compared to the isotopic ratio 129I/127I, measured at a 40 km distance, offshore of Fukushima and immediately after the accident, our results show an increase on the USA West Coast that was more than a 2.5 factor higher. Also, compared with the pre-Fukushima background values [in San Diego], our results show an isotopic ratio of about two orders of magnitude higher…

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant… released an enormous amount of liquid waste of 129I and other fission isotopes directly into the Pacific Ocean that were subsequently dispersed eastwards. This paper reports on the determination of the nuclear plume impact on the West Coast of the USA that happened during April–July 2013… The determined maximum 129I concentration increase was in an amount of more than 2 times greater than the concentration of the isotope measured offshore of Fukushima at a 40 km distance immediately after the accident…

129I concentrations were measured… from the ocean water of the West Coast of the USA [at] La Jolla, San Diego… This work reports two sudden increases of the 129I/127I isotopic concentration in the ocean water, which were observed at the end of spring 2013…

Our exploratory measurements on the USA West Coast started on samples collected at the beginning of 2013. The lowest 129I concentrations that we measured had values between [6-20 million] atoms per L. Such values correspond to the equilibrium concentration of iodine… offshore of La Jolla, San Diego…

Our results… measured offshore of Cove La Jolla, San Diego, USA, during the spring of 2013, are presented in Fig. 5. Two high and distinct spike maxima are visible. They reveal the maximum concentration values of [1.2 billion] atoms per L measured on May 24, 2013 and [1.7 billion] atoms per L measured on June 18, 2013, with 24 days in between. Both peaks occurred in the measurement spectrum after a slow increase in concentration that started about 15-20 days before the main increase…

Samples collected [by Fukushima Daiichi, Jun 2011] at a distance of about 40 km away from the coast [had] a maximum concentration value of [620 million] atoms per L for 129I in the surface water of the ocean. Taking into account this value as a reference value, the maximum 129-iodine concentration reaching the USA West Coast was 2.5 times stronger than in the contaminated ocean water offshore of Fukushima after the accident. If we compare it to the equilibrium value of 129I concentration in the ocean water [near San Diego], then during the impact its concentration was about 100 times higher…

AMS measurements of 129I were performed on ocean water… offshore of Cove La Jolla, San Diego, USA, and definitely have shown an increase of the radioactivity more than two orders of magnitude over the natural level of the Pacific Ocean before the accident…

Animals starving as food chains continue to collapse They just will not place the blame where it belongs. Radiation From Fukushima

Massive die-off of sea creatures from California to Alaska — Animals starving as food chains continue to collapse — Mass starvation events plague West Coast — Scientist: “Felt like I was doing nothing but counting dead animals” — TV: Deaths really quite troubling (VIDEO)

Published: January 12th, 2017 at 1:49 pm ET

The Press Democrat, Dec 25, 2016 (emphasis added): Ocean changes upend North Coast fisheries… once reliable ocean rhythms have been seriously unsettled of late, confounding those who depend on predictable, seasonal cycles… a symptom of widespread marine anomalies that have prevailed for the past three years, threatening everything from seabirds and sea lions to treasured catches such as salmon and abalone. “The ocean is changing,” one glum crabber aboard the vessel New Horizon said… Irregularity “is starting to look like the new normal,” he said… Evidence of starvation in abalone populations prompted authorities to impose new restrictions in the sport abalone fishery next year to limit the catch. The commercial red urchin fishery is suffering, as well… Meanwhile, the commercial salmon harvest, California’s most valuable ocean fishery, continues to suffer, with spawning populations reduced significantly… Mass-starvation events have hit a spectrum of other West Coast marine wildlife, mostly due to the collapse of food chains… Large dieoffs of Cassin’s auklets, a tiny seabird, were first noticed when dead birds began washing ashore in fall of 2014. A year later, it was malnourished and dead common murres that were found adrift. Juvenile California sea lions, Guadalupe fur seals and other marine mammals have suffered for several years, as well, both from starvation and, to a lesser extent, from domoic acid poisoning.

Pete Thomas Outdoors (Former columnist for the LA Times), Dec 22, 2016: Young orca found dead near Vancouver; are iconic mammals starving to death?… J34 becomes the fifth member of J Pod to have died this year, reducing the pod’s number to 25. The cause of J34’s death is not known, but he was reported to have appeared noticeably thin during recent sightings. Also, the necropsy revealed signs of physical injury. The cause of death for the four other J Pod members was not determined because bodies were not recovered – the animals simply vanished. But it appears as through Southern Residents as a whole are suffering from a slow starvation

KOMO, Dec 22, 2016: [The orcas] go through periodic bouts of nutritional deficiency,” said [Howard Garrett, who runs the Orca Network]. “There’s just not enough of the chinook salmon and the coho chum salmon which are basically all they will eat.”

CTV, Dec 23, 2016: After the October 2016 deaths of a 23-year-old female, J28, and likely her 10-month-old calf, experts from the Center for Whale Research said dwindling food sources were a main factor in the population’s decline.

CTV transcript excerpt, Dec 23, 2016: Dr Anna Hall zoologist: “It died virtually in the prime of its life… It’s very, very concerning that a second animal just died.”…

CTV transcript excerpts, Dec 21, 2016: The numbers keep declining, mothers and babies dying — some experts say because of a lack of food…. so the death is really quite troubling.

Alaska Dispatch News: Nov 11, 2016: Kachemak Bay has seen massive die-offs of sea stars and other species. What’s going on? — I came to the beach to count sea star corpses..  About 10 species once were common in the intertidal zone here…hundreds of which had been dismembered and scattered over the beach, as if a monster had stalked through before us, tearing their bodies apart… We’re left with an absence, another mystery… A few months earlier… tens of thousands of murres starved to death and washed up along beaches all over Southcentral and Southwest Alaska. Biologists counted more dead seabirds than they ever had before, but there were more than anyone could count, leading to the second consecutive summer of empty nesting colonies… It was also the second summer in a row with no clams or clammers on Ninilchik beaches, and no young clams to promise a recovery. Otters washed up dead on the shores of Kachemak Bay. Dead whales rotted on the surface… How weird is all this? And does it all fit together?… Soon there were no more sunflower stars to be found. Other species followed… and then almost no sea stars at all… [Katie Aspen Gavenus, a naturalist with the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies] reported dead sea stars to researchers in California, as she’d reported dead seabirds to researchers in Washington state. “Sometimes this summer, it felt like I was doing nothing but counting dead animals.”… “It’s probably a pathogen plus environmental factors,” said Melissa Miner, a researcher with University of California, Santa Cruz who’s been tracking the outbreak for years… We don’t know what will happen with the sea stars. We don’t even know what is happening with the sea stars. The scientists I spoke to didn’t know why the Kachemak Bay sea stars died this summer — they didn’t even know it had happened… Last winter, tens of thousands of murres starved to death. This summer, the remaining murres abandoned their nesting colonies and failed to raise chicks.

Watch the CTV broadcast here

ENENews: “Highly radioactive ‘glass’ rained on Tokyo — Fukushima nuclear fuel with 500 Trillion Bq/kg found “

Highly radioactive ‘glass’ rained on Tokyo — Fukushima nuclear fuel with 500 Trillion Bq/kg found — “Significant consequences for human health” — Scientists: This changes understanding of disaster… Extreme importance… Our ideas of health implications should change… Do not discuss on social media

Published: June 28th, 2016 at 12:46 pm ET
By ENENews

Public Release from Goldschmidt Conference, Jun 26, 2016 (emphasis added): New research shows that most of the radioactive fallout which landed on downtown Tokyo a few days after the Fukushima accident was concentrated and deposited in non-soluble glass microparticles, as a type of ‘glassy soot’. This meant that most of the radioactive material was not dissolved in rain and running water… The particles also concentrated the radioactive caesium (Cs), meaning that in some cases dose effects of the fallout are still unclear… Japanese geochemists… analysed samples collected from within an area up to 230 km from the FDNPP… [I]t had been anticipated that most of the radioactive fallout would have been flushed from the environment by rainwater. However… most of the radioactive caesium in fact fell to the ground enclosed in glassy microparticles… [T]hese particles… formed during the molten core-concrete interaction inside the primary containment vessel in the Fukushima reactor units 1 and/or 3. Because of the high Cs content in the microparticles, the radioactivity per unit mass was as high as ~4.4×10^11 Bq/g [440,000,000,000,000 Bq/kg]… Analysis from several air filters collected in Tokyo on 15 March 2011 showed that 89% of the total radioactivity was present as a result of these caesium-rich microparticles, rather than the soluble Cs, as had originally been supposed.

Discovery (Seeker), Jun 27, 2016: Fukushima Accident Rained Glass Particles on Tokyo… Most of the radioactive fallout that descended upon downtown Tokyo in the days after the March 2011 accident [was] glass microparticles — essentially, glass-filled soot. As a result, the fallout, which contained concentrated radioactive cesium, wasn’t dissolved by rainfall, and probably lingered in the environment… Japanese scientists thought that most of it would be washed away by rainwater. Instead, analysis… revealed that most of the radioactive cesium in fact fell to the ground enclosed in glassy microparticles.

ANI, Jun 28, 2016: Research indicates Fukushima radioactive fallout may be worse than expected… Most of the radioactive fallout, which landed on downtown Tokyo a few days after the Fukushima accident, was concentrated and deposited in non-soluble glass microparticles, as a type of ‘glassy soot’…

Inverse, Jun 26, 2016: Radioactive “Glassy Soot” Fell Over Tokyo After the Fukushima Meltdown… The findings… show that the radioactive fallout… has been poorly understood. Previously, it was assumed that most of the radiation that fell dissolved in rain. This would mean that it would wash out of the soil and through the environment… These tiny glass particles entered the air and fell as soot on the surrounding region. Because the radioactive molecules are contained in an insoluble medium, they will not wash out of the soil with rainwater to the same extent… Beyond the consequences for the environment, there are significant consequences for human health. Breathing caesium encased in glass particles may have a very different impact from exposure to it as radioactive rain…

Scientists from Fukushima Univ., Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Stanford Univ., etc, June 2016: Cesium-rich micro-particles unveil the explosive events in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant — Cesium-rich micro-particles (CsMPs) retain novel information on the molten core-concrete interaction… CsMPs specimens were discovered… in atmospheric particulates collected at Suginami, Tokyo… [Note: “The author has requested that this abstract is not discussed on social media.”]

Dr Satoshi Utsunomiya, Kyushu Univ.: “This work changes some of our assumptions about the Fukushima fallout… This may mean that our ideas of the health implications should be modified“.

Prof. Bernd Grambow, Director of SUBATECH laboratory, France: “[The observations] presented here are extremely important. They may change our understanding of the mechanism of long range atmospheric mass transfer of radioactive caesium from the reactor accident at Fukushima to Tokyo, but they may also change the way we assess inhalation doses from the caesium microparticles inhaled by humans. Indeed, biological half- lives of insoluble caesium particles might be much larger than that of soluble caesium“.

See also: Nuclear fuel found 15 miles from Tokyo — Fukushima uranium in ‘glassy’ spheres flew over 170 km (PHOTOS)

ENENews: uncontrollable fission of the melted nuclear fuel assemblies continue somewhere under the remains of the station…

TV: “Truly unsettling” discovery at Fukushima… problem “far greater than previously thought” — Boss reveals 600 tons of fuel melted, can’t find it — Top Official: “Nobody really knows where fuel is”… We may never be able to get it and just leave wherever — “Uncontrollable fission” is continuing under site (VIDEO)
Published: June 2nd, 2016 at 1:18 am ET
By ENENews

ABC Australia, May 24, 2016 (emphasis added): [ABC’s Mark Willacy] has been invited on a tour of [Fukushima Daiichi]… What Willacy discovers is truly unsettling… retrieving hundreds of tonnes of melted nuclear fuel turns out to be far greater than previously thought.

ABC Australia transcript excerpts, May 24, 2016:

Willacy: Tonight we go on a journey into the heart of this ongoing crisis… and we reveal the frightening enormity of the clean-up… and how dangerous it still is.
Gregory Jaczko, former Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission: This really is unchartered territory. Nobody really knows where the fuel is… There’s no playbook – they’re making this up as they go along.
Willacy: The man in charge of decontaminating and decommissioning the Fukushima plant, Naohiro Masuda. Has anything like this ever been attempted before?
Masuda: There has never been an accident at a nuclear plant like the one at Fukushima where three reactors had meltdowns. We are currently working on a timetable to decommission the reactors over the next 30 to 40 years.
Naoto Kan, Former Prime Minister: I think it will take longer… This is a major accident, which has never happened anywhere in the world… 40 years is an optimistic view.
Willacy: We are heading to the buildings housing the melted reactors… Tepco is worried about possible nuclear terrorism, and won’t allow us to film certain security sites.
Masuda: This is a job we’ve never done and there is no textbook.
Willacy: [At Reactor 3 there was an] explosion right after the nuclear fuel melted… What happened inside [Reactor 2] no-one really knows… [Reactor 1] is where probably the worst meltdown occurred. They don’t know where the nuclear fuel is.
Masuda: We haven’t actually seen where the melted fuel fell, so it’s important to find it as soon as possible.
Willacy: For the first time, Foreign Correspondent can reveal just how vast the amount of melted nuclear fuel is, the three molten blobs that lie somewhere deep within each of these buildings.
Masuda: It’s estimated that 200 tonnes of debris lies within each unit… 600 tonnes of melted debris fuel and a mixture of concrete and other metals are likely to be here.
Willacy: The most daunting task, one the nuclear industry has never faced, is getting the melted fuel out. TEPCO admits the technology it needs hasn’t been invented.
Jaczko: It may be possible that we’re never able to remove the fuel. You may just wind up having to leave it there and somehow entomb it as it is. I mean that’s certainly a possibility. There is no playbook, they’re making this up as they go along.
Kan: If all the reactors had had a meltdown, there was a risk that half or all of Japan could have been destroyed… the accident took us to the brink of destruction.
Jaczko: You have to now accept that in all nuclear power plants… there’s a chance you can have this kind of a very catastrophic accident… that’s the reality of nuclear power.

ABC Australia, May 24, 2016: Fukushima clean-up chief still hunting for 600 tonnes of melted radioactive fuel… [TEPCO] has revealed that 600 tonnes of reactor fuel melted during the disaster, and that the exact location of the highly radioactive blobs remains a mystery… [C]hief of decommissioning at Fukushima, Naohiro Masuda, said the company hoped to… begin removing it from 2021… “But unfortunately, we don’t know exactly where (the fuel) is” [said Masuda]. [Gregory Jaczko, Chairman of the US NRC] at the time of the meltdowns at Fukushima doubts the fuel can be retrieved… “Nobody really knows where the fuel is… It may be possible that we’re never able to remove the fuel. You may just have to wind up leaving it there and somehow entomb it as it is.”… For the first time, TEPCO has revealed just how much of the mostly uranium fuel melted down… [Masuda said] “about 600 tonnes of melted debris fuel and a mixture of concrete and other metals are likely to be there.”

RT, May 24, 2016: 600 tons of melted radioactive Fukushima fuel still not found, clean-up chief reveals… [The fuel] burnt through the respective reactor pressure vessels, concentrating somewhere on the lower levels of the station… fuel from Reactor 1 poured out completely… the exact location of the highly radioactive “runaway” fuel remains mystery for TEPCO. The absolutely uncontrollable fission of the melted nuclear fuel assemblies continue somewhere under the remains of the station… [TEPCO’s] plan for Fukushima nuclear power plant implies a 30-40 year period… Yet experts doubt the present state of technology is sufficient to deal with the unprecedented technical task.

Watch ABC Australia’s broadcast here