“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
http://enenews.com/smoke-billowing-from-japan-nuclear-plant-possible-fire-reported-near-reactors-tepco-has-not-identified-the-cause-of-the-incident

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…
https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20170223/p2g/00m/0dm/083000c

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…
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-02/23/c_136080119.htm

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

Advertisements

ENENews: “No one yet knows how deeply those 3 cores melted into the ground… No one knows where the cores are”


Reporter: Many experts now believe Fukushima’s melted fuel burned through the concrete floors and has gone down into the groundwater — “No one yet knows how deeply those 3 cores melted into the ground… No one knows where the cores are” (AUDIO)

 http://enenews.com/reporter-many-experts-believe-fukushimas-melted-fuel-burned-concrete-floors-gone-down-groundwater-one-deeply-3-cores-melted-ground-one-cores-audio?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: May 12th, 2016 at 1:44 pm ET
By
Email Article Email Article
18 comments

Coast to Coast AM – ‘Fukushima & Nuclear Issues, Mar 31, 2016 (emphasis added):

At 42:00 in — Linda Moulton Howe, Regional Emmy Award-winning reporter: “Five years later now in March 2015, no one yet knows how deeply those three cores melted into the Fukushima ground.”

At 44:30 — Howe: “In the first days of the March 2011 catastrophe, [nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen] told media that Fukushima was ‘Chernobyl on Steroids’. Arnie meant that the Fukushima disaster would turn out to be much worse than the April 1986 core explosion at the Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Many experts believe now that the three missing Fukushima cores have melted right through the concrete floors, and are contaminating any water that reaches them — going down, perhaps touching, the groundwater.”

At 45:30 in — Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer: “Scientists and engineers knew exactly where the nuclear core was at Chernobyl a year later, but at Fuksuhima we’ve got three nuclear cores that are in direct contact with groundwater. Now that mean the containment broke and water is coming in and is contaminating the groundwater — so clearly the liquid releases from Fukushima are way, way more severe than Chernobyl.”

At 57:30 in — Howe: “The concept is… when water from mountain run-off reaches the ice wall, it will freeze or flow around the frozen ground out to the Pacific Ocean without passing by the highly radioactive melted cores. But everybody says, ‘How do you know that’s going to work because no one knows where the cores are, or how deep they are in the ground right now?’”

At 1:16:45 in — Howe: “[Fukushima] is a cleanup challenge that is now expected to take decades more, into the end of the 21st century — re-enforcing what Arnie Gundersen said five years ago in that very first week, that ‘Fukushima is Chernobyl on steroids’. And so far over these five years, it appears that he has been right.”

From March 2016: Reuters: Fukushima fuel melted through containment vessels and is “spewing radiation” — Nuke Expert: Fuel has “scattered all over the place” — Gov’t: Fuel may have burned out into environment — Tepco Official: Fuel could have flowed out “like lava in a volcano” (VIDEOS)

ENENews: TV: Radiation in ocean off Fukushima at highest levels in years — Out of control leakage coming from plant — ‘Big spikes’ in radioactivity observed


TV: Radiation in ocean off Fukushima at highest levels in years — Out of control leakage coming from plant — ‘Big spikes’ in radioactivity observed — “Surprising… Concerning… Crisis” — 1,000s of tons of contaminated liquid being released — Scientists: Japan gov’t covering up situation (AUDIO)

 http://enenews.com/tv-radiation-fukushima-highest-levels-years-control-leakage-coming-plant-big-spikes-strontium-90-observed-scientists-japan-govt-trying-cover-situation-audio?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
Published: March 16th, 2016 at 6:29 pm ET
By

draft
(Fukushima Dock washed up at Portland Oregon Beach)
KGW (NBC channel in Portland, OR), Mar 7, 2016 (emphasis added): Crisis continues 5 years after FukushimaRadiation in the Pacific Ocean near Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant is at levels as high, or higher, than has been measured in the past three years, as the crippled plant continues to bleed contamination into the sea, new results from a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research cruise show. “We think it’s related to the ongoing leaks,” said Ken Buesseler, a Woods Hole chemical oceanographer… “It’s a little surprising and contrary to claims they’ve stopped all flow. So we’re not out of the woods yet.”… Unlike Chernobyl, however, this crisis played out slowly, and continues today, on both sides of the Pacific… In October 2015, Buesseler’s team took new samples from as close as a half-mile away from the nuclear power plant. Levels there remain elevated, he said, confirming continued releases from the plant… “The fact that it’s still leaking is always of concern.”

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mar 7, 2016: Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows… Buesseler [sampled off Fukushima] in October 2015… his analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation… [C]esium levels have remained relatively constant… “we are not seeing the steady decrease we would expect to see off Fukushima if all sources had stopped; rather, we are finding values are still elevated, which confirms that there is continued release from the plant.”… The highest level of cesium Buesseler’s team found in a sample taken off Japan in October 2015 measured 200 Becquerels per cubic meter… Strontium, too, is not falling as expected… [Scientists] have found that strontium is not decreasing as fast as cesium. Whereas there was approximately 40 times more cesium than strontium in the waters off Japan in 2011, by 2013, there was approximately 10 times more cesium than strontium The concern lies in the thousands of tons of strontium still stored in tanks at the nuclear power plant and accumulated in buildings and soils, some of it still leaking into the ocean.

Scientific American, Mar 8, 2016: Crippled Fukushima Reactors Are Still a Danger… [M]ajor questions still loom today… [S]ome scientists are complaining that important questions about the disaster’s impact are not being addressed. Authorities, they suspect, are subtly discouraging certain kinds of scientific research, possibly because they fear findings that could further alarm the public… This February, the company reported a spike in strontium levels at the plant site… Remarkably, research on Fukushima’s impact on the marine ecosystem is even more scarce [than on land]—even though the disaster represented the single largest pulse of radioactivity ever injected into an ocean… [T]he cesium concentration… many kilometers off Fukushima remains well above pre-accident levels… Another concern is radioactive strontium. Scientists say levels in seawater near the plant are not declining, possibly because of recurrent leaks from the on-site tanks. “You could actually see in the ocean when one of these tanks would leak—you’d get a big spike in Strontium-90,” Buesseler notes… Indeed, unanswered questions abound… The Japanese government seems to be cutting off funds for monitoring radionuclides in water alongside Fukushima, Buesseler says… [A]nother Japanese scientist, who asked not to be named, claimed that whereas grants are readily available for researchers whose projects are unlikely to discover significant impacts from the disaster, they are exceedingly scarce for others… Buesseler reports [an] experience [when Japanese scientists who aided in research asked not to be credited in its published papers, fearing adverse impacts on their careers]…

CapeCod.com, Mar 8, 2016: Buesseler says that releases of radioactive cesium from the plant are still not under control…”we are finding values are still elevated, which confirms that there is continued release from the plant.”

NY Times, Mar 10, 2016: Fukushima has become a place… where they struggle to control radiation-contaminated water and must release it into the sea… [T]he plant also releases 2,000 tons of the water into the ocean every week after a process that removes most, but not all, of the radioactive particles… it is a public-relations nightmare for the government…

Broadcasts: PRI | KPBS

Fukushima Site Still Leaking After Five Years, Research Shows

SHARE THIS:

March 7, 2016

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear accident, there is still no U.S. federal agency responsible for studies of radioactive contaminants in the ocean. But scientific data about the levels of radioactivity in the ocean off our shores are available publicly thanks to ongoing efforts of independent researchers, including Ken Buesseler, a radiochemist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), who has led the effort to create and maintain an ocean monitoring network along the U.S. West Coast.

Since 2011, Buesseler has received contributions from citizens, small businesses, foundations and large companies to enable the sampling of nearly 1000 seawater samples for Fukushima radionuclides. Buesseler has been involved in seven cruises off Japan, sampling off Fukushima at least once every year, most recently in October 2015, and has published 19 peer-reviewed papers based on his analysis of seawater and sediments from the Pacific.

Buesseler’s work reveals that levels of radioactive forms of cesium in the ocean off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011, however, his analysis of cesium and strontium indicate releases from the plant are not yet “under control,” a statement that has been used by the Japanese government to describe the situation when levels are below regulatory limits.

“To date, we have focused our efforts on testing for the two isotopes of cesium (137 and 134) and strontium,” says Buesseler. “The cesium isotopes were the most abundant after the accident and provide the first indication of whether contamination from Fukushima is present in a seawater sample.” Because cesium-134 has a half-life of just two years, researchers know, when detected, that it comes from Fukushima. Cesium was 40 times more abundant in the water after the accident than strontium – a ratio that the scientists discover is changing.

The changing concentrations of both these elements in the waters off Japan tell a story of continued small leaks and raise concerns about the materials still stored at the reactor site.

Cesium off Japan

Cesium levels in the water off Japan spiked after the accident, then fell dramatically in the following year. Since then, however, rather than a steady decline, the cesium levels have remained relatively constant.

“Levels today off Japan are thousands of times lower than during the peak releases in 2011,” says Buesseler. “But we are not seeing the steady decrease we would expect to see off Fukushima if all sources had stopped; rather, we are finding values are still elevated, which confirms that there is continued release from the plant.”

The highest level of cesium Buesseler’s team found in a sample taken off Japan in October 2015 measured 200 Becquerels per cubic meter (about 264 gallons) of seawater. (A Becquerel equals one decay event per second.) The samples were collected following a typhoon in September that delivered unusually heavy rains, which the researchers suspect may have caused elevated cesium levels in the ocean. These levels are still higher than prior to the accident but much lower than at the peak of the releases in 2011 when there were 50 million Bq/m3 in the ocean immediately off the dock at Fukushima.

While not declining as quickly as researchers had expected, the levels detected near Japan are still more than 40 times lower than US government safety limits for drinking water, and well below limits of concern for direct exposure while swimming, boating, or other recreational activities. At these lower levels, the concern remains for seafood safety and internal consumption of radioactive contaminants in fish.

Strontium off Japan
The scientists have learned that cesium is just part of the story: Strontium, too, is not falling as expected. Strontium-90 has nearly the same half-life of cesium-137, and the researchers expected its levels would drop in step with cesium. Yet Buesseler and colleagues led by Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona, Spain have found that strontium is not decreasing as fast as cesium. Whereas there was approximately 40 times more cesium than strontium in the waters off Japan in 2011, by 2013, there was approximately 10 times more cesium than strontium. The concern lies in the thousands of tons of strontium still stored in tanks at the nuclear power plant and accumulated in buildings and soils, some of it still leaking into the ocean.

“We think that when there is heavy rain, more cesium, strontium, and other isotopes from the nuclear power plant are carried into the ocean,” says Buesseler. “We are still investigating how that occurs –whether carried in the groundwater or from the run off of sediment – but clearly it is highest near the contaminated site of the Fukushima nuclear power plants.”

Because strontium-90 mimics calcium in humans and animals, it is taken up by and concentrated in bones, where it remains for long periods of time, making it a greater health concern than cesium. Cesium, on the other hand, flushes out of the body much faster.

“Whereas it takes approximately two months for half of the radioactive cesium to flush out of fish, it takes more like two years for strontium to flush out of fish because it’s in their bones,” says Buesseler. “So if the supply of strontium to the ocean gets worse, it would take longer for the levels to decrease in seafood. So far, strontium levels are more than a hundred times lower than cesium when measured in fish, so it has not been a concern, but we have to monitor it.”

Monitoring the North American West Coast
In addition to studying the waters off Japan, Buesseler and his colleagues have been actively monitoring the Pacific waters off the North American West Coast, primarily for cesium, the most abundant element after the accident. So far, they have detected only minute quantities of Fukushima cesium.

Fukushima-derived cesium first arrived along the west coast of North America in February 2015, measuring 6 Bq/m3 in Ucluelet, British Columbia. The highest numbers the researchers have seen in the eastern Pacific are almost 10 Bq/m3, found some 1,500 miles north of Hawaii.

“If you were to swim in waters at this level the health effects, or dose, would be 1000 times less than a single dental x-ray. This is not zero, but a very small risk that would not stop me from swimming or eating seafood from our side of the Pacific,” said Buesseler.

Because cesium levels have been so small and the cost of analyzing samples for strontium is so great, the researchers have not been analyzing samples off North America for strontium, until recently.

The researchers receive enough questions about strontium that they re-analyzed some of the West Coast samples that contained Fukushima cesium-134 looking for strontium, and have not detected any above the background levels that were there before Fukushima.

“So little strontium was released relative to cesium from Fukushima in 2011, that even though Fukushima cesium is detectable, the strontium-90 signal is not detectable in these samples, at least in the eastern Pacific,” says Buesseler.

The researchers continue to collect and analyze samples both from citizen scientists and, when possible, from ships and research cruises on the eastern side of the Pacific. The data are made publically available through the Our Radioactive Ocean, the crowd-funding website Buesseler created for this purpose. The site’s map interface allows the public to see where samples were collected and the cesium values measured in each sample.

Levels in the ocean are expected to peak along the West Coast of the U.S. some time in 2015 or 2016, so continued monitoring is needed.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit http://www.whoi.edu.March 7, 2016

ENENews: Scientists: West Coast bird die-off “is biggest ever recorded” — Stomachs completely empty — “Staggering… Alarming… Unheard of… Never seen anything like it” — “Unprecedented in size, scope, duration” — “Deaths could reach many hundreds of thousands” — “A host of other freakish phenomena”


Scientists: West Coast bird die-off “is biggest ever recorded” — Stomachs completely empty — “Staggering… Alarming… Unheard of… Never seen anything like it” — “Unprecedented in size, scope, duration” — “Deaths could reach many hundreds of thousands” — “A host of other freakish phenomena” (VIDEO)

Published: February 4th, 2016 at 9:41 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/scientists-west-coast-bird-die-biggest-recorded-staggering-unheard-never-anything-like-unprecedented-size-scope-duration-worst-case-scenario-deaths-could-reach-many-hundreds-thousands-host?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


http://www.adn.com/article/20160129/scientists-think-gulf-alaska-seabird-die-biggest-ever-recorded
Alaska Dispatch News, Jan 29, 2016 (emphasis added): Scientists think Gulf of Alaska seabird die-off is biggest ever recorded… The mass of dead seabirds that have washed up on Alaska beaches in past months is unprecedented in size, scope and duration, a federal biologist said… The staggering die-off… is a signal that something is awry in the Gulf of Alaska, said Heather Renner, supervisory wildlife biologist at the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge… It coincides with widespread deaths of other marine animals, from whales in the Gulf of Alaska to sea lions in California… Common murres and whales… are not the only Gulf of Alaska marine animals to fall victim to ailments… Kachemak Bay saw an eight-fold increase in sea otter deaths… Sea stars in Kachemak Bay in 2015 were found stricken with a wasting disease similar.

http://www.adn.com/article/20160129/scientists-think-gulf-alaska-seabird-die-biggest-ever-recorded
Heather Renner, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge: “We are in the midst of perhaps the largest murre die-off ever recorded”… [In Homer] the beaches are “littered” with murre carcasses… A breeding colony in the Barren Islands that is usually teeming in late summer with adult murres tending their young was deserted this year… “nobody was home… In more than three decades of monitoring murres in the Barrens, we’ve never had complete reproduction failure before“… Similar failures occurred at some other nesting colonies.

http://www.nprb.org/assets/amss/images/uploads/files/2016_AMSS_Poster_Sessions.pdf
USGS (pdf), Jan 2016: During March through September 2015, at least 25 seabird mortality events were reported across Alaska… The primary avian species reported included common and thick-billed murres, black-legged kittiwakes, horned and tufted puffins, glaucous-winged gulls, and sooty and short-tailed shearwaters… Some of these avian mortalities were concurrent with whale, pinniped, sea otter, and fish mortalities…

Marine Science Symposium – LIVEBLOG – Thursday

Alaska Public Radio, Jan 28, 2016: [T]his event will likely be the largest and most widespread on record. And seeing the starving birds dying far inland apparently searching for food is “nearly unheard of,” said USFWS’s Heather Renner.

Dead murres wash up on Haines’ beach

KHNS, Jan 15, 2016: “We’re seeing the effects of this throughout the food web,” [Rob Kaler U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist] says… The murres’ stomachs are completely empty, Kaler says… Not only is the bird die-off unsettling, the implications are scary, [bird expert Pam Randles] says. “Our salmon eat that stuff and who knows what else is dying off, or starving, or having trouble?” Norm Hughes has been commercial salmon fishing in Alaska for more than 30 years. He says last season saw skinnier fish – up to 20 percent smaller… “there’s less fish”…

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/21/us/alaska-bird-die-off/
CNN, Jan 22, 2016: “We have never found close to 8,000 birds on a 1-mile long beach before,” [seabird biologist David Irons] said… “It is an order of magnitude larger than any records that I am aware of… Seabird biologists say seabirds are indicators of the health of the ecosystem. Now they’re dying and that is telling us something… this is bigger than I’ve ever seen.”

APRN, Jan 28, 2016: Scientists say murre die-off comparable to Exxon Valdez spill… Heather Renner with USFWS says it is already one of the largest die-offs in history and, unlike when the tanker went aground, not many people have gone out to remote beaches to survey for dead seabirds… “there’s dead murres on the ground everywhere, and it’s hard not to notice them.”

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21689605-thousands-seabirds-are-washing-up-dead-alaskas-shores-murre-mystery
The Economist, Jan 30, 2016: [Probably hundreds] of thousands of these birds have drifted in dead… last summer they failed to raise chicks. And they have been dying in large numbers along the Pacific coast, from California to Alaska… “Whole systems are out of whack,” says Heather Renner… Old-timers in Homer have never experienced anything like this. And they are perplexed by a host of other freakish phenomena…

KTOO, Jan 28, 2016: “[T]here’s dead murres on the ground everywhere, and it’s hard not to notice them.”… The reason for the dead birds is still a mystery… “I think it suggests something more related to the food web structure,” said Renner.

http://homertribune.com/2016/01/murre-deaths-lead-to-more-questions/
Homer Tribune, Jan 2016: Irons found an estimated 7,800 dead murres on a one-mile stretch of beach… he had never seen anything like that. Similar reports came in from other areas… “The really frustrating question of why they are starving to death”… said Heather Renner… [M]urres abandoned their breeding attempts mid-season at many colonies in the Gulf of Alaska, something very uncommon.

http://news.discovery.com/animals/massive-bird-die-off-puzzles-alaska-scientists-1602031.htm

LiveScience, Feb 3, 2016: Massive Bird Die-Off Puzzles Alaska Scientists — Dead common murres have washed ashore in Alaska in alarming numbers … leaving scientists concerned and confused… [The birds] have nothing in their stomachs… [S]imilar events affected seabird populations in Washington, Oregon and California.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/alaskan-scientist-thinks-murre-die-off-related-to-algal-blooms-1.3424246

CBC News, Jan 28, 2016: Bruce Wright, a senior scientist Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association… estimates up to 200,000 Alaskan murres could die. With a population he puts at more than two million, Wright said the species should recover, as long as the food base comes back.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/19/science/what-does-it-mean-when-animals-suffer-a-vast-die-off.html
New York Times, Jan 18, 2016: Animals Die in Large Numbers, and Researchers Scratch Their Heads… The latest victims are common murres… this die-off has surprised experts, because it has been going on for around a year and it covers such a vast area… “I still don’t think we’ve seen the worst,” said [John F. Piatt, USGS seabird expert], who… speculated that if the worst happened, the deaths could reach into the many hundreds of thousands.

Watch CNN’s broadcast here:
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/21/us/alaska-bird-die-off/

“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton…secret pact with Japan within one month of the meltdown for the U.S. to continue importing Japanese foodstuff, no questions asked”


Is Fukushima Getting Worse?
http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/is-fukushima-getting-worse/
by Robert Hunziker / June 28th, 2015

There are some really interesting issues within this article from June 2015.
One of those is this:

“Japan would be wise to suggest China first consult with the United States because confidently, audaciously, imperturbably Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allegedly signed a secret pact with Japan within one month of the meltdown for the U.S. to continue importing Japanese foodstuff, no questions asked”. (Deborah Dupre, “Radiating Americans: Fukushima rain, Clinton’s Secret Food Pact”, Examiner.com, August 14, 2011).

Another is:
“Of the three major nuclear disasters, Fukushima has its own uniqueness. The seriousness of the problem is immense, far-reaching, and daunting as its containment vessels are leaking radioactivity every day, every hour, every minute. How to stop it is not known, which is likely the definition of a nuclear meltdown!”
———————————————————————

Is Fukushima Getting Worse?
http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/06/is-fukushima-getting-worse/
by Robert Hunziker / June 28th, 2015

The Fukushima multiple nuclear disasters continue spewing out hot stuff like there’s no tomorrow. By all appearances, it is getting worse, out-of-control nuclear meltdowns.

On June 19th TEPCO reported the highest-ever readings of strontium-90 outside of the Fukushima plant ports. The readings were 1,000,000 Bq/m3 of strontium-90 at two locations near water intakes for Reactors 3 and 4. TEPCO has not been able to explain the spike up in readings. The prior highest readings were 700,000 Bq/m3.

Strontium-90 is a byproduct of nuclear reactors or during the explosion of nuclear weapons; e.g., it is considered the most dangerous component of radioactive fallout from a nuclear weapon.1 It is a cancer-causing substance because it damages genetic material (DNA) in cells. Strontium-90 is not found in nature. It’s a byproduct of the nuclear world of today; e.g., strontium-90 was only recently discovered, as of August 2014, for the first time ever, by the Vermont Health Department in ground water at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station. Coincidentally, Vermont Yankee, as of December 29, 2014, is being shut down.

When a fission chain reaction of uranium-235 or plutonium-239 is active in a nuclear power station containment vessel, it produces a vast array of deadly radioactive isotopes. Strontium-90 is but one of those. So, somewhere in Fukushima Dai-ichih a lot of atoms are splitting like crazy (meanwhile Einstein e=mc2 turns over in his grave) and ergo, a lot of strontium-90 pops out and hangs around for decades upon decades. This is not a small problem.

Which may be why Einstein famously said, “Nuclear power is one hell of a way to boil water.”

For example, a large amount of strontium-90 erupted into the atmosphere from the Chernobyl nuclear explosion (1986), spread over the old Soviet Republics and parts of Europe. Thereby, strontium-90, along with other radioactive isotopes, kills and maims people, a lot of people, to this day, more on this later.

Farming in Fukushima

Because of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, farmers in the greater area have had a tough go of it. For example, on June 6, 2013 Japanese farmers met with TEPCO and government officials, including the official in charge of Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Translated and Edited by World Network for Saving Children from Radiation).

The 13-minute video of the farmers’ meeting with officials shows farmers testifying about contaminated food that, “We won’t eat ourselves, but we sell it… I know there is radiation in what we grow. I feel guilty about growing and selling them to consumers.”

Well, sure enough, officials from New Taipei City’s Department of Health (Taipei, Taiwan), and other law-enforcement authorities, seized mislabeled products from Japan. It seems that “more than 283 Japanese food products imported from the radiation-stricken areas near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster were found to be relabeled as having come from other areas of Japan and sold to local customers.”2

Meanwhile, within a couple of months of the illicit underhanded devious mislabeling incident, Taiwan draws a line in the sand for Japanese foodstuff.3

Not only that but on the heels of Taiwan’s discovery of the mislabeling gimmick, and only three months later, this past week, Japanese authorities are asking China to remove the restrictions.4 Previously, China banned food imports from ten prefectures in Japan, including Miyagi, Nagano, and Fukushima.

Japan would be wise to suggest China first consult with the United States because confidently, audaciously, imperturbably Secretary of State Hillary Clinton allegedly signed a secret pact with Japan within one month of the meltdown for the U.S. to continue importing Japanese foodstuff, no questions asked.5

Meantime, Chancellor Merkel (PhD, physics) ordered a shutdown of nuclear power plants throughout Germany. Hmm.

Fukushima and Our Radioactive Ocean

According to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Video- March 2015:

When Fukushima exploded, radioactive gases and particles escaped into the atmosphere. Most fell nearby on land and in the ocean. A smaller amount remained in the air, and within days, circled the globe… in the ocean close to Fukushima, levels of cesium-137 and 134, two of the most abundant radioactive materials released, peaked at more than 50,000,000 times above background levels.

Nevertheless, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute:

Scientists who have modeled the plume predict that radioactivity along the West Coast of North America will increase, but will remain at levels that are not a threat to humans or marine life.

To date, based upon actual testing of water and marine life in the Pacific Ocean by Woods Hole, radioactive levels along the North American West Coast remain low, not a threat to humans, not a threat to marine life, so far.

Fukushima and its Ocean Impact

According to Dr. Ken Buesseler, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, March 11, 2015, cesium uptake in the marine food web is diluted, for example, when Bluefin tuna swim across the Pacific, they lose, via excretion, about one-half of the cesium intake that is ingested in Japanese waters.

Expectantly, there are no commercial fisheries open in the Fukushima-affected areas of Japan. On a continual monitoring basis, no fishing is allowed in contaminated areas off the coastlines.

When contamination levels of fish in Japan are compared to fish along the coast of North America, the levels of radiation are relatively low in Canada and in the U.S. As a result, according to studies by Woods Hole, eating fish from the U.S. Pacific region is okay.

Not only that, but rather than categorical acceptance of U.S. government statements about safety from radiation in ocean currents, Dr. Buesseler established a citizen’s network called “How Radioactive is Our Ocean?” where individuals contribute by voluntarily taking samples. Every sample from the West Coast had cesium-137, but the numbers are low and at levels harmless to humans, thus far.

But, on a cautionary note, Dr. Buesseler is the first one to admit the situation requires constant monitoring.

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s findings are not sufficient to dismiss health concerns for many reasons, among of which Fukushima is white hot with radioactivity, tenuously hanging by a thread, extremely vulnerable to another earthquake or even an internally generated disruption. Who knows? It is totally out of control!

The California Coastal Commission issued a report that agrees with the low levels of Fukushima-derived radionuclides detected in air, drinking water, food, seawater, and marine life in California; however, “it should be noted that the long-term effects of low-level radiation in the environment remain incompletely understood….”6

The risk of long-term exposure to low-level radiation is unclear. Studies of radiotherapy patients and others indicate that there is a significant increase in cancer risk if lifetime exposure exceeds 100,000 microsieverts, according to the World Health Organization. A person exposed daily to radiation at the high end of the levels now seen at Miyakoji [a village in Fukushima Prefecture] would reach that lifetime exposure level in fewer than 23 years.7

Current Status of Fukushima Nuclear Site

According to Dr. Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who travels to Japan to measure radiation levels: The site continues to leak radioactive materials. In fact, release of strontium-90 has grown by a factor of 100 when compared to 2011 levels. In other words, the situation is worsening. One hundred times anything is very big, especially when it is radiation.

Strontium-90 is acutely dangerous, and as it happens, highly radioactive water continuing to spew out of the Fukushima Dai-ichih facilities is seemingly an endless, relentless problem. The mere fact that strontium-90 has increased by a factor of 100 since the disaster occurred is cause for decisive sober reflection. Furthermore, nobody on the face of the planet knows what is happening within the nuclear containment vessels, but apparently, it’s not good. More likely, it’s real bad.

According to Dr. Helen Caldicott:

There is no way they can get to those cores, men die, robots get fried. Fukushima will never be solved. Meanwhile, people are still living in highly radioactive areas.8

Comparison analysis of Three Mile Island (1979), Chernobyl (1986), and Fukushima (2011)

The world’s three most recent nuclear disasters are dissimilar in many respects. However, all three are subject to the same adage: “an accident is something that is not planned.” Thus, by definition, in the final analysis, the risk factor with nuclear power is indeterminate. Fukushima is proof.

Three Mile Island’s containment vessel, in large measure, fulfilled its purpose by containing most of the radiation so there was minimal radiation released. As such, Three Mile Island is the least harmful of the three incidents.

By way of contrast, Chernobyl did not have an adequate containment vessel and as a result, the explosion sent a gigantic plume of radioactive material blasting into the atmosphere, contaminating a 70 square kilometer (approximately 30 sq. mi.) region, a “dead zone” that is permanently uninhabitable, forever unlivable.

To this day, tens of thousands of people affected by Chernobyl continue to suffer, and die, begging the question of whether Fukushima could be worse. After all, the incubation period for radiation in the body is 5-to-40 years (Caldicott). As, for example, it took 5 years for Chernobyl children to develop cancer (Caldicott), and Fukushima occurred in 2011.

“Fukushima is not Chernobyl, but it is potentially worse. It is a multiple reactor catastrophe happening within 150 miles of a metropolis of 30 million people,” claims John Vidal. Whereas, Chernobyl was only one reactor in an area of 7 million people.

John Vidal, environmental editor, The Guardian newspaper (UK), traveled to Chernobyl:

Five years ago I visited the still highly contaminated areas of Ukraine and the Belarus border where much of the radioactive plume from Chernobyl descended on 26 April 1986. I challenge chief scientist John Beddington and environmentalists like George Monbiot or any of the pundits now downplaying the risks of radiation to talk to the doctors, the scientists, the mothers, children and villagers who have been left with the consequences of a major nuclear accident. It was grim. We went from hospital to hospital and from one contaminated village to another. We found deformed and genetically mutated babies in the wards; pitifully sick children in the homes; adolescents with stunted growth and dwarf torsos; fetuses without thighs or fingers and villagers who told us every member of their family was sick. This was 20 years after the accident, but we heard of many unusual clusters of people with rare bone cancers… Villagers testified that ‘the Chernobyl necklace’ – thyroid cancer – was so common as to be unremarkable.9

There’s more.

Konstantin Tatuyan, one of the ‘liquidators’ who had helped clean up the plant [Chernobyl], told us that nearly all his colleagues had died or had cancers of one sort or another, but that no one had ever asked him for evidence. There was burning resentment at the way the UN, the industry and ill-informed pundits had played down the catastrophe.10

And still more yet:

Alexy Yablokov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and adviser to President Gorbachev at the time of Chernobyl: ‘When you hear no immediate danger [from nuclear radiation] then you should run away as far and as fast as you can’… At the end of 2006, Yablokov and two colleagues, factoring in the worldwide drop in births and increase in cancers seen after the accident, estimated in a study published in the annals of the New York Academy of Sciences that 985,000 people had so far died and the environment had been devastated. Their findings were met with almost complete silence by the World Health Organisation and the industry.11

The environment is devastated and almost one million dead. Is nuclear power worth the risks? Chancellor Merkel doesn’t seem to think so.

Of the three major nuclear disasters, Fukushima has its own uniqueness. The seriousness of the problem is immense, far-reaching, and daunting as its containment vessels are leaking radioactivity every day, every hour, every minute. How to stop it is not known, which is likely the definition of a nuclear meltdown!

The primary containment vessels at Fukushima may have prevented a Chernobyl-type massive release of radioactivity into the atmosphere in one enormous explosion. Even though, Fukushima did have four hydrogen explosions in the secondary containment structures, and as previously mentioned, according to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute:

When Fukushima exploded… levels of cesium-137 and 134, two of the most abundant radioactive materials released, peaked at more than 50,000,000 times above background levels.

But, more significant, troublesome, and menacing the primary containment vessels themselves are an afflictive problem of unknown dimension, unknown timing, unknown levels of destruction, as the nuclear meltdown left 100 tons of white-hot radioactive lava somewhere, but where?

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here,” William Shakespeare The Tempest.

Postscript: Quietly into Disaster is an alluring, exquisite, handsome full-length film that examines the consequences of nuclear fission, Produced by: Holger Strohm, Directed by Marcin El.

HyperPhysics, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Georgia State University [↩]
Stephanie Chao, 283 Mislabeled Japanese Food Products Originated Near Fukushima, The China Post, March 25, 2015. [↩]
“Taiwan Enforces Stricter Controls on Japanese Food Imports”, J.R. Wu in Taipei and Ami Miyazaki in Tokyo, Reuters, May 15, 2015 [↩]
“Japan Asks China to Ease Food Import Restrictions Introduced After Fukushima Nuclear Disaster”, South China Morning Post, June 25, 2015. [↩]
Deborah Dupre, “Radiating Americans: Fukushima rain, Clinton’s Secret Food Pact”, Examiner.com, August 14, 2011 [↩]
Report on the Fukushima Dai-ichih Nuclear Disaster and Radioactivity along the California Coast, California Coastal Commission, April 30, 2014. [↩]
Patrick J. Kiger, “Fukushima Return: At Nuclear Site, How Safe is Safe?” National Geographic, April 2, 2014. [↩]
Helen Caldicott, Speech at Seattle Town Hall, September 28, 2014. [↩]
John Vidal, “Nuclear’s Green Cheerleaders Forget Chernobyl at Our Peril”, The Guardian, April 1, 2011. [↩]
Ibid [↩]
Ibid. [↩]

Robert Hunziker (MA, economic history, DePaul University) is a freelance writer and environmental journalist whose articles have been translated into foreign languages and appeared in over 50 journals, magazines, and sites worldwide. He can be contacted at: rlhunziker@gmail.com. Read other articles by Robert.

This article was posted on Sunday, June 28th, 2015 at 11:11pm and is filed under China, Environment, Germany, Japan, Nuclear Energy, Oceans/Seas.

ENENews: TV: “Carcasses littering beaches for miles” on Pacific coast of Alaska — “Complete reproductive failure” — “Horrifying… Horrid… Mind-boggling… Off the charts”


TV: “Carcasses littering beaches for miles” on Pacific coast of Alaska — “Complete reproductive failure” — “Horrifying… Horrid… Mind-boggling… Off the charts” — Unprecedented die-off “has potential to be biggest mortality event in state history” — “The most extreme I’ve ever seen” (VIDEOS)

Published: January 13th, 2016 at 3:00 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/tv-carcasses-littering-beaches-miles-pacific-coast-alaska-horrifying-mind-boggling-charts-unprecedented-die-could-be-biggest-mortality-event-states-history-extreme-ive-videos?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


(In this Jan. 5, 2016 photo, Guy Runco, director of the Bird Treatment and Learning Center, releases…)
AP, Jan 12, 2016 (emphasis added): “It was pretty horrifying,” [Seabird biologist David Irons] said… An estimated 8,000 of the black and white birds were found dead on the Whittier beach, said [USGS’s] John Piatt… “That’s unprecedented, that sheer number in one location is off the charts,” he said… “The length of time we’ve been seeing dead birds, and the geographic scope, is much greater than before in other die-off events,” said Kathy Kuletz, a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We’re looking at many times that. So possibly a good chunk of the population.”… Many females in 2015, however, were too weak to breed, Kuletz said.

http://www.ktva.com/thousands-of-dead-seabirds-wash-up-in-whittier-888/
KTVA, Jan 6, 2016: “It’s a major event and it’s difficult to see,” said Kathy Kuletz, the seabird coordinator for Fish and Wildlife. On Wednesday afternoon, Justin Siemens [said] “It’s super crazy. I’ve always seen a little bit of die off… but nothing like this,” [Kuletz] said this has the potential to be the biggest mortality event in the state’s history — numbers could reach more than 100,000.


(Photo by Anna Frost, Homer News/Homer News reporters counted 126 dead murres washed up on the trail by Mud Bay on Dec. 31. Biologists don’t know what is causing the murres to die in such huge numbers).
Alaska Journal of Commerce, Jan 7, 2016: Anyone who has walked Homer’s beaches the past few weeks has seen a horrid event. Every few yards… dead birds… In the summer of 2015, the murres also suffered a complete colony collapse and failed to breed… “We had complete reproductive failure, which is really rare for murres,” said Heather Renner, a bird biologist… 8,000 dead murres on a 1-mile stretch of beach in Whittier. “That number is totally off the charts,” Renner said. “This whole region is having through-the-roof numbers in the last couple of days.”… In an interview in July, [Julia Parrish, a fisheries professor at the University of Washington] said a big die off would be like one seen at Kayak Island near Prince William Sound, with 1,000 dead birds per kilometer. “That’s knee deep in birds,” she said then… other species like auklets and guillemots have been found dead… Murres also have been dying in above-average numbers in areas of the Washington and Oregon coast… “These are scrappy birds. They’re used to it. Something else is going on… They’re telling us something is going on in the marine ecosystem,” she said.

http://www.adn.com/sites/default/files/styles/ad_slideshow_wide/public/Common%20Murre%20on%20beach%203×2.jpg?itok=M_fItOSN
(Dead murres line a beach in Prince William Sound the first week of January, 2016.
David Irons / USFW)
Alaska Dispatch News, Jan 5, 2016: Thousands of dead common murres are washing up on the beaches of Whittier, an unprecedented die-off that has scientists wondering how many more thousands remain uncounted… The scale of the die-off is unprecedented along the Sound, longtime residents say. “It’s just mind-boggling,” said David Janka, a Cordova charter owner… [It’s] the worst Piatt has seen in 40 years of research in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. “It’s a regular part of their life history, but I would say this is the most extreme I have ever seen or heard of,” he said… It’s possible that… there’s a disease or some other medical condition that’s causing them to starve… “It’s turning out to be something that does have the potential for population-level effects,” she said. “It is just off the chart as far as what we typically see with these events.”

http://www.ktva.com/scientists-counting-number-of-dead-common-murres-in-southcentral-alaska-571/
KTVA, Jan 7, 2016: Carcasses littered beaches for miles outside Whittier… “Scientists tend to get blasé about this but this is bigger than I’ve ever seen,” [Irons] said. They know the birds are starving to death, they just don’t know why. “Seabird biologists say seabirds are indicators of the health of the ecosystem. Now they’re dying and that is telling us something.”

Alaska Dispatch News, Dec 30, 2015: Normally found skimming the North Pacific, seabirds known as common murres are appearing inland… starving and unable to fly… [Biologists] say the seabirds may already be pushing away from the ocean in a desperate quest to find food… [It’s] part of a widespread seabird die-off up and down the Pacific coast, possibly due to shortages of squid, krill and little fish the birds usually eat.

Murre die-off around Kachemak Bay estimated to be in the thousands

KTOO, Dec 26, 2015: Seabird die-offs have been recorded all along the West Coast of the U.S. in Washington, Oregon and California this year… “Based on the duration of the time that we’ve had carcasses being reported to us, I would say, it’s into the thousands, certainly, throughout Kachemak Bay,” [??] Slater said… They’ve also had reports of dead tufted puffins, horned puffins and an ancient murrelet…

Alaska Sealife Center Common Murre Mini-Rehab

Seward City News, Dec 30, 2015: It’s hard to miss the bloody bird carcasses strewn about town… None of this is normal… Alarming numbers of seabird die-offs are also occurring this year from California up the coast to the Gulf of Alaska.

http://homertribune.com/2016/01/stranded-seabirds-crowd-alaska-rescue-center/
Homer Tribune, Jan 2016: Dead murres litter Homer’s Mud Bay beach… and [continue to] baffle scientists…. This most recent wave of murre strandings is part… of a widespread seabird die-off up and down the Pacific coast.

Seward City News, Nov 16, 2015: It’s hard to miss the many seabird carcasses scattered along the beach, and in town… [Many] paddle lethargically as if in a daze… Murres are also acting strange in other ways, paddling towards people and other birds, not recognizing danger.

Watch broadcasts here: KTVA:
http://www.ktva.com/scientists-counting-number-of-dead-common-murres-in-southcentral-alaska-571/
| KTUU:
http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/rescue-efforts-underway-for-starving-exhausted-seabirds-found-far-inland/37221704
| KTVA:
http://www.ktva.com/thousands-of-dead-seabirds-wash-up-in-whittier-888/

ENENews: “Florida is experiencing Cesium-137 deposition”


Official Report: Fukushima affecting radiation levels in U.S. — Recent elevated measurements “a direct result” of 2011 nuclear disaster — “Florida is experiencing Cesium-137 deposition” — “Not unusual” to detect Fukushima fallout in citrus fruit

Published: November 16th, 2015 at 7:12 am ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/official-report-fukushima-fallout-affecting-radiation-levels-orlando-fl-experiencing-cesium-137-deposition-years-after-disaster-began-unusual-detect-fukushima-fallout-citrus-fruit?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1513/ML15134A231.pdf
Duke Energy Florida, Inc. (Crystal River Unit 3 – 2014 Annual Radiological Environmental Operating Report to U.S. NRC), May 5, 2015 (emphasis added):

In 2011 there were positively measured results of iodine and cesium… These measurements are a direct result of [the] Fukushima nuclear plants… The Japanese event also affected broad leaf vegetation sample media throughout the year as long-lived radionuclides (Cs-137) were released at Fukushima multiple times.
The vegetation measurements in 2014 are still affected by the Fukushima event due to the long-lived radionuclides deposited. The vegetation control sample station located in Orlando, Fl. is also experiencing similar Cs-137 deposition on the broad leaf sample media…
In 2014, sixteen of twenty four indicator [vegetation] samples had measurable amounts of cesium-137 [up to] 159 pCi/kg… The cesium-137 values are similar in concentration as compared to samples collected in 2013 which experienced radionuclide deposition as a result of the Fukushima earthquake event…
In 2013, fifteen of twenty four indicator samples had measurable amounts of cesium-137 [up to] 147 pCi/kg… Orlando, Fl. also had measurable amounts of cesium-137 [up to] 258 pCi/kg. The cesium-137 values are similar in concentration as compared to samples collected in 2012 which experienced radionuclide deposition as a result of the Fukushima earthquake event…
In 2012, thirteen of twenty four indicator samples had measurable amounts of cesium-137 [up to] 172 pCi/kg… Orlando, Fl. also had measurable amounts of cesium-137 [up to] 201 pCi/kg. The cesium-137 values are similar in concentration as compared to samples collected in 2011 which experienced radionuclide deposition as a result of the Fukushima earthquake event…
In 2014… Cs-137 (in grapefruit) at a concentration of 4 pCi/kg. It is not unusual to periodically see Cs-137 in citrus samples due to widespread deposition of Cs-137 from fallout due to past weapons testing and more recent from the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami event…
Broad Leaf Vegetation [samples taken during 2014 with] elevated Cs-137 values… are a direct result of the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami event that occurred in 2011.

See also: Fukushima radioactive material still raining down on U.S. in 2013 — Contamination “worked its way into local ecosystems” — Health implications ‘incompletely understood’
http://enenews.com/california-govt-report-fukushima-cesium-raining-down-2013-contamination-worked-local-ecosystems-incremental-impacts-radiation-released-fukushima-health-implications-incompletely-understood

And: US hit with worst fallout the year AFTER Fukushima began — Cesium spiked to highest levels ever recorded in history of EPA’s radiation network
http://enenews.com/epa-data-hit-worst-fukushima-fallout-year-after-crisis-began-large-radiation-spike-california-rain-detected-during-2012-500-previous-test-results