Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History


Move Over Chernobyl, Fukushima is Now Officially the Worst Nuclear Power Disaster in History

 

The radiation dispersed into the environment by the three reactor meltdowns at Fukushima-Daiichi in Japan has exceeded that of the April 26, 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the “second worst” nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima are estimated to be between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Professor Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the report’s Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News then, “Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”

Tokyo Electric Power Co. has estimated that about 900 peta-becquerels have spewed from Fukushima, and the updated 2016 TORCH Report estimates that Chernobyl dispersed 110 peta-becquerels.[1](A Becquerel is one atomic disintegration per second. The “peta-becquerel” is a quadrillion, or a thousand trillion Becquerels.)

Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4 in Ukraine suffered several explosions, blew apart and burned for 40 days, sending clouds of radioactive materials high into the atmosphere, and spreading fallout across the whole of the Northern Hemisphere — depositing cesium-137 in Minnesota’s milk.[2]

The likelihood of similar or worse reactor disasters was estimated by James Asselstine of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), who testified to Congress in 1986: “We can expect to see a core meltdown accident within the next 20 years, and it … could result in off-site releases of radiation … as large as or larger than the releases … at Chernobyl.[3] Fukushima-Daiichi came 25 years later.

Contamination of soil, vegetation and water is so widespread in Japan that evacuating all the at-risk populations could collapse the economy, much as Chernobyl did to the former Soviet Union. For this reason, the Japanese government standard for decontaminating soil there is far less stringent than the standard used in Ukraine after Chernobyl.

Fukushima’s Cesium-137 Release Tops Chernobyl’s

The Korea Atomic Energy Research (KAER) Institute outside of Seoul reported in July 2014 that Fukushima-Daiichi’s three reactor meltdowns may have emitted two to four times as much cesium-137 as the reactor catastrophe at Chernobyl.[4]

To determine its estimate of the cesium-137 that was released into the environment from Fukushima, the Cesium-137 release fraction (4% to the atmosphere, 16% to the ocean) was multiplied by the cesium-137 inventory in the uranium fuel inside the three melted reactors (760 to 820 quadrillion Becquerel, or Bq), with these results:

Ocean release of cesium-137 from Fukushima (the worst ever recorded): 121.6 to 131.2 quadrillion Becquerel (16% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq). Atmospheric release of Cesium-137 from Fukushima: 30.4 to 32.8 quadrillion Becquerel (4% x 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq).

Total release of Cesium-137 to the environment from Fukushima: 152 to 164 quadrillion Becquerel. Total release of Cesium-137 into the environment from Chernobyl: between 70 and 110 quadrillion Bq.

The Fukushima-Daiichi reactors’ estimated inventory of 760 to 820 quadrillion Bq (petabecquerels) of Cesium-137 used by the KAER Institute is significantly lower than the US Department of Energy’s estimate of 1,300 quadrillion Bq. It is possible the Korean institute’s estimates of radioactive releases are low.

In Chernobyl, 30 years after its explosions and fire, what the Wall St. Journal last year called “the $2.45 billion shelter implementation plan” was finally completed in November 2016. A huge metal cover was moved into place over the wreckage of the reactor and its crumbling, hastily erected cement tomb. The giant new cover is 350 feet high, and engineers say it should last 100 years — far short of the 250,000-year radiation hazard underneath.

The first cover was going to work for a century too, but by 1996 was riddled with cracks and in danger of collapsing. Designers went to work then engineering a cover-for-the-cover, and after 20 years of work, the smoking radioactive waste monstrosity of Chernobyl has a new “tin chapeau.” But with extreme weather, tornadoes, earth tremors, corrosion and radiation-induced embrittlement it could need replacing about 2,500 times.

John Laforge’s field guide to the new generation of nuclear weapons is featured in the March/April 2018 issue of CounterPunch magazine.

Notes.

[1]Duluth News-Tribune & Herald, “Slight rise in radioactivity found again in state milk,” May 22, 1986; St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch, “Radiation kills Chernobyl firemen,” May 17, 1986; Minneapolis StarTribune, “Low radiation dose found in area milk,” May 17, 1986.

[2]Ian Fairlie, “TORCH-2016: An independent scientific evaluation of the health-related effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster,” March 2016 (https://www.global2000.at/sites/global/files/GLOBAL_TORCH%202016_rz_WEB_KORR.pdf).

[3]James K. Asselstine, Commissioner, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Testimony in Nuclear Reactor Safety: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, May 22 and July 16, 1986, Serial No. 99-177, Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1987.

[4] Progress in Nuclear Energy, Vol. 74, July 2014, pp. 61-70; ENENews.org, Oct. 20, 2014.

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Seven Years Later, Still Leaking Lethal Levels, Catastrophic! Have Fun at the Olympics 2020!


Report: Massive radiation leak at Fukushima plant — Extremely high levels being detected outside reactor — Officials can’t explain why — Expert warns of global threat: “It’s a disaster of unseen proportions” (VIDEO)

http://enenews.com/report-massive-radiation-leak-at-fukushima-plant-extremely-high-levels-found-outside-reactor-expert-warns-of-global-threat-its-a-disaster-of-unseen-proportions-video?
utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29

Published: February 6th, 2018 at 7:23 am ET
By ENENews

The Independent, Feb 2, 2018 (emphasis added): Fukushima nuclear disaster: Lethal levels of radiation detected in leak… Expert warns of ‘global’ consequences unless the plant is treated properly… [Tepco] found eight sieverts per hour of radiation, while 42 [sieverts] were also detected outside its foundations… It came as Tepco said the problem of contaminated water pooled around the plants three reactors that is seeping into the ground has caused a major headache in its efforts to decommission the plant… Mycle Schneider, an independent energy consultant and lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, said that Tepco “hasn’t a clue what it is doing” in its job to decommission the plant. He added that the contaminated water that is leaking at the site could end up in the ocean if the ongoing treatment project fails and cause a “global” disaster, he told The Independent… “I find it symptomatic of the past seven years, in that they don’t know what they’re doing, Tepco, these energy companies haven’t a clue what they’re doing, so to me it’s been going wrong from the beginning. It’s a disaster of unseen proportions.” Mr Schneider added that the radiation leaks coupled with the waste from the plant stored in an “inappropriate” way in tanks could have global consequences… “This can get problematic anytime, if it contaminates the ocean there is no local contamination, the ocean is global, so anything that goes into the ocean goes to everyone.” He added: “It needs to be clear that this problem is not gone, this is not just a local problem. It’s a very major thing.”

NHK, Feb 1, 2018: High radiation detected at Fukushima plant… A remote-controlled inspection of the Unit 2 reactor containment vessel last month detected a maximum of 8 sieverts per hour of radiation… [Tepco] said the radiation reading was taken near what appeared to be fuel debris, the term used to describe a mixture of molten fuel and broken interior parts… radiation levels remain so high that they present a major challenge to decommissioning work. During the probe, 42 sieverts per hour of radiation was also detected outside the foundations of the reactor. But officials said they have doubts about the accuracy of the reading because a cover had not been removed from the measuring instrument at the time.

They added that they don’t know why radiation levels were lower near the suspected fuel debris than around the foundations. They gave a number of possible reasons, such as that cooling water may have washed radioactive materials off the debris…

RT, Feb 2, 2018: An inspection of the Fukushima nuclear plant has detected extremely high amounts of radiation, says operator TEPCO… Experts can’t explain why radiation levels in fuel debris were lower than outside the reactor’s foundations…

Sputnik, Feb 4, 2018: ‘Global Consequences’ of Lethal Radiation Leak at Destroyed Japan Nuclear Plant… While 8 Sv/h is deadly, outside of Fukushima’s Reactor Number 2 foundations… a much higher level of 42 Sv/h was detected. A strange occurrence, and experts are still arguing what caused the discrepancy. One possible explanation is that cooling water washed radioactive material off debris, taking it somewhere else. But here’s a truly terrifying catch: according to the report, Tepco highly doubts the new readings, because, as was discovered later, a cover was not removed from the robot-mounted measurement device at the time of the inspection, NHK World reports… While that radiation dosimeter cover negligence prevents precise calculations, the actual picture inside Unit 2 is thought to be much worse…

Watch NHK’s broadcast here: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/nhknewsline/nuclearwatch/highradiationatfukushimadaiichi7yearson/

Published: February 6th, 2018 at 7:23 am ET

A Chinese/French Nuclear Power Plant? And the Parts are Made in China? Sounds like harmony to me…



Cracks found in Taishan nuclear power plant
– Friday, December 15, 2017 – 2 weeks ago No Comments 2,596 Views

https://macaudailytimes.com.mo/cracks-found-taishan-nuclear-power-plant.html

One of the key power generation system components of Unit 1 of Taishan nuclear power plant cracked during an earlier pre-production test, according to a report by FactWire News Agency.

“A ‘boiler’ in Unit 1 appeared to have cracked during functional testing and must be replaced, according to a nuclear plant employee,” the FactWire News Agency report reads.

“He also told FactWire undercover reporters when they visited the site last month that representatives from Harbin Electric, the Chinese manufacturer of the ‘boiler’, came to the plant for a week in late October to discuss with the plant operator, Taishan Nuclear Power Joint Venture, a plan to replace the faulty ‘boiler’,” according to FactWire.

Taishan Nuclear Power plant is being made by the joint venture between the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), which is a China state-owned company, and the French electricity company Électricité de France.

CGN, in a reply to Fact Wire News Agency, said “the Unit 1 of of Taishan nuclear power plant has already completed the cold functional and thermal functional tests. The test results were in line with design requirements. The deaerator is a common equipment of a conventional island thermal system, […] it does not belong to the nuclear safety related system.”

“China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), the developer of the Taishan nuclear project, said on Tuesday afternoon that there were ‘partial defects’ in the welding of the deaerator in question, but insisted ‘replacement work was near completion’,” FactWire News Agency writes.

CGN’s official document says that the deaerator of Taishan Unit 1 is 46.6 meters long and 4.76 meters in diameter.

“Last week, a Dongfang Electric engineer also confirmed to FactWire that the deaerator was supplied by Harbin Electric and the welding on the deaerator was ‘problematic’,” the FactWire News Agency report reads.

Dongfang Electric is also co-responsible for manufacturing components for the Taishan nuclear power Unit 1.

The power plant is located 67 kilometers from Macau and 130 kilometers from Hong Kong, and is still under construction.

Safety concerns were raised last year after components of the nuclear plant were discovered to have been made in mainland China, not in France as previously thought.

According to FactWire, China had been hoping to launch Unit 1 this year, whereas French engineers who were sent to Taishan for the project, told FactWire that it could only be launched in 2018 at the earliest.

“The National Nuclear Safety Administration of China stipulates that a nuclear plant must seek permission from the agency before loading fuel assemblies to conduct tests. But public records show that Taishan Unit 1 has yet to have received such a permit,” FactWire reported.

Last year, members of the civil society had asked the MSAR government to clarify both issues related to the emergency plan and possible risks posed by the nuclear plant to Macau’s population. A local delegation visited the nuclear plant to check the safety of the infrastructure.

The head of the Security Forces Coordination Office, Choi Lai Hang, led the local delegation and explained that Macau would not require protective measures, even in the event of a very serious nuclear incident (level 7) at the Taishan nuclear power plant.

ENENews: Hanford, the most radioactive site in USA In the News Again!



TV: EPA data reveals “sharp spike in radiation level” around US nuclear site — “It’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks” — Evacuations enacted… Almost 50 workers have sought medical attention… Symptoms include bleeding ulcers, burned lungs (VIDEOS)
http://enenews.com/tv-epa-data-reveals-sharp-spike-radiation-level-around-nuclear-site-leaking-huge-amounts-radioactive-materials-2-weeks-evacuations-enacted-almost-50-workers-sought-medical-attention-symtoms-incl
Published: May 7th, 2016 at 2:40 pm ET
By ENENews

KING 5 News, May 5, 2016 (emphasis added): Record number of Hanford workers sickened by toxic vapors — An unprecedented number of workers at Hanford have been exposed to dangerous chemical vapors since Thursday, April 28. In one week’s time a total of 47 people either sought medical attention… Symptoms reported by workers include a headache, burning nose and throat, nausea, a metallic taste in the mouth, elevated blood pressure, and dizziness… [T]hose familiar with the nuclear site cannot remember so many people falling victim in such a short period… On May 4, two more evacuations were enacted at the site after workers smelled odors and experienced symptoms… “Forty-two employees have been evaluated as a precautionary measure due to reported odors or symptoms at the on-site medical facility since Thursday. Thirty-one employees reported health symptoms while 11 went for cautionary reasons. All have been released to return to work” said Rob Roxburgh of the Dept. of Energy, in a statement sent to KING 5 on Wednesday. Chemical vapor releases at Hanford come from underground nuclear waste storage tanks that vent the gasses without warning.

RT, May 7, 2016: Spike in radiation levels after toxic waste leak at Washington nuclear site — Radiation levels at the Hanford, Washington nuclear waste site have spiked to “elevated risk” after thousands of gallons of toxic waste leaked in April… The recent readings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) obtained by RT have revealed that a sharp spike in the radiation level had been registered in Richland on the morning of May 5. The readings show the random jump when the toxic fume rates briefly reached around 410 CPM (counts per minute), nearly the highest possible level… As of Friday afternoon, there have been no media reports suggesting that an evacuation or other measures and guidance have been ordered for Richland… The most recent radiation spike comes less than a month after a massive leak was first detected…

RT transcript, May 5, 2016: On Thursday last week at least 19 workers at the Hanford nuclear site were hospitalized after inhaling poisonous fumes, from tasting metal in their mouth to bleeding ulcers and burned lungs.

RT transcript, May 3, 2016: At the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state… more workers sought medical attention after inhaling radioactive fumes. This adds to 19 workers hospitalized last week for the same reason — reinforcing burning concerns about the facility as it’s been reportedly leaking huge amounts of radioactive materials for more than 2 weeks… [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “It’s an environmental disaster, at some point the [Columbia] River becomes so contaminated that you can’t use the river.”… Ecologists say the situation can always get worse. They hate to think what would happen in case of even a minor earthquake in a geologically unstable area that it is. But even in the current state of things with tanks leaking nuclear poison into the environment, Hanford is already way past the ticking time bomb stage.

RT transcript, May 2, 2016: [Tom Carpenter, Executive Director of Hanford Challenge:] “A second double-shelled nuclear waste tank is showing signs of having failed, you find that out because there’s high radiation levels in between the two shells of the tank. There should be no radiation in that space… but instruments they have deployed there show high radiation levels, plutonium, cesium, strontium-90, etc. – well where did that come from? It probably came from the tank, meaning there’s a hole.”… So we’re looking at potentially a catastrophe, a disastrous catastrophe? [Carpenter:] “Every day we’re looking at that at Hanford – I’m totally serious.”

RT transcript, Apr 21, 2016: ‘Washington state nuke plant leaks thousands of gallons of toxic waste‘… Experts say it’s time for every American to be worried.

Watch the broadcasts here: KING 5 | KING 5 | RT | RT | RT | RT

ENENews: “100% death rate of baby seals on California coast — ‘None have survived'”


100% death rate of baby seals on California coast — “None have survived” — “Many are starving, suffering from shortage of food in Pacific Ocean” — “Extremely thin… all sorts of illnesses, infections” — “Milkless moms immediately abandoning pups” — TV: “The problem is getting worse” (VIDEOS)

ENENews: Bizarre mutated animal found near US nuclear site



Bizarre mutated animal found near US nuclear site — CNN: “It can only be described as monstrous” — Fully-formed teeth and extra jaw growing out of head — Scientists “mystified… stunned… puzzled” by extremely rare deformity — Official: “We haven’t seen anything like this” (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)
Published: January 19th, 2016 at 6:52 pm ET
By ENENews
http://enenews.com/bizarre-mutated-animal-found-nuclear-site-fully-formed-teeth-growing-head-mountain-lion-scientists-mystified-puzzled-official-anything-like-photos-videos?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29


East Idaho News, Jan 9, 2016 (emphasis added): The following is a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game… The mountain lion had an unusual deformity—fully-formed teeth and what appears to be small whiskers were growing out of hard fur-covered tissue on the left side of the animal’s forehead… It is possible that the teeth could be the remnants of a conjoined twin… It is also possible that deformity was a teratoma tumor… They are rare in humans and animals. Biologists from the southeast region of Idaho Fish and Game have never seen anything like this particular deformity before… Mountain lions have large home ranges (50 to 150 square miles).

East Idaho News, Jan 7, 2016: “We haven’t seen anything like this in our region” [said Idaho Fish and Game’s Jennifer Jackson] The young male was killed Dec. 30 in Franklin County … “we determined something really interesting was going on.”

Inquistr, Jan 9, 2016: Mutant Mountain Lion With Horns Deformed By Idaho’s Nuclear Weapons Testing Fallout?… [It’s] head has a fairly hideous looking growth sprouting from the back of its skull… some on social media wonder if it’s possible that Idaho’s fallout from Nevada nuclear weapons testing is somehow linked to the bizarre creature… “It has all of us scratching our heads. It’s a bizarre situation and a bizarre photo,” said biologist Zach Lockyer… [S]ome on social media believe it’s possible that Idaho’s nuclear weapons testing history may be involved… [A] 2010 study by a researcher of the University of South Alabama concluded the “rates of conjoined twins and teratomas also seem to be elevated” in humans from the Chernobyl fallout… [T]hose medical conditions happen to be the two leading explanations for the deformed mountain lion…

KBOI, Jan 8, 2016: Idaho Fish and Game mystified by rare, deformed mountain lion — A mountain lion with an extremely rare deformity is a puzzling discovery for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game… [A] possibility is a teratoma tumor… and are incredibly rare…

CBS, Jan 11, 2016: State wildlife biologists have been left puzzled over a mountain lion found with teeth growing out the side of its forehead… Idaho Fish and Game biologists say they’ve never seen such a “bizarre” abnormality before.

Idaho State Journal, Jan 14, 2016: [It] has turned into a worldwide media sensation… [S]tories can be found on YouTube with commentators linking the deformity to radioactive forests and Atomic City, Idaho… “We had a three-headed calf,” [Local veterinarian Lincoln Mumford] said. “The calf had a jaw on one side of its head and one the other side, it had a jaw, teeth and whiskers.”… From Riverdale to the Utah border, there are just five adult cougars that [Boone Smith, a local big cat expert] knows of…

Idaho State Journal, Jan 6, 2016: [W]ildlife biologists were stunned by what they saw… an abnormality local Fish and Game biologists say they have never seen before.

CNN, Jan 11, 2016: It had fully-formed teeth growing out of the top of its head… The deformity could be a “monster tumor“… [It] can only be described as bizarre, even monstrous.

Watch broadcasts here: KSTU | CNN | CBS

ENENews: “Dead body found at facility”… “Officials confirm one death” — “Sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident” Published: December 29th, 2015


I can’t help but wonder what killed this poor soul. We will most likely never hear anything more about it, unless he killed over from a heart attack or something, easy to explain.


(Image courtesy of Department of Defense)
Emergency center activated at U.S. nuclear site — “Dead body found at facility”… “Officials confirm one death” — “Sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident”

Published: December 29th, 2015 at 6:19 pm ET
By ENENews


http://www.abqjournal.com/697959/news/wipp-employee-found-dead-on-the-job.html
Albuquerque Journal, Dec 28, 2015 (emphasis added): A 62-year-old employee was found dead Sunday at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. Robert Staffel, an employee at the nuclear waste repository’s quality assurance department, was found unresponsive by emergency response personnel around 8 p.m. after family members alerted staff that they had tried to reach him by phone, according to a spokesman… Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and state medical examiner responded to the site and an investigation is ongoing. Staffel is believed to have died of natural causes… Phil Breidenbach, NWP president and project manager [said] “We will continue to support the investigation into Mr. Staffel’s death.”

http://www.scsun-news.com/story/news/2015/12/28/dead-body-found-radioactive-waste-facility/77982028/
Silver City Sun News, Dec 28, 2015: Dead body found at radioactive waste facility… deputies responded to a call at about 8:43 p.m. on Sunday reporting an unconscious man at [WIPP]… Further investigation revealed that the man had been located on the facility grounds and was an employee of WIPP… The cause of the man’s death is unknown, according to the news release… The incident remains under investigation…

http://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2015/12/28/officials-confirm-one-death-wipp/77981446/
Carlsbad Current-Argus, Dec 28, 2015: Officials confirm one death at WIPP — The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office said a man who was found unconscious at the [WIPP] on Sunday is dead. Emergency service responders were dispatched to WIPP at around 9:45 p.m. when the employee was found unresponsive at the facility… Chief Deputy Mark Cage said in a news release that the man was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of death is unknown and the sheriff’s office is actively investigating the incident, said Sgt. Matt Hutchinson…


http://krqe.com/2015/12/28/waste-isolation-pilot-plant-employee-found-dead-at-wipp-facility/
KRQE, Dec 28, 2015: The death of a [WIPP] employee is under investigation after he was found dead Sunday. The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office says the man was found dead at the plant. Officials say the cause of his death is unknown. The incident is still under investigation.

http://wipp.energy.gov/pr/2015/EOC_Level1_activation_weather.pdf
U.S. Department of Energy (pdf), Dec 29, 2015: At approximately, 9 a.m. Mountain Time, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) announced a Level 1 activation to support coordination of resources needed to safely restore normal operations at WIPP due to the recent severe snow storm in southeast New Mexico.

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s4005226.shtml#.VoZN1_x0t4n
AP, Dec 29, 2015: Officials at an underground nuclear waste repository in southeastern New Mexico say they have activated their emergency operations center in response to the severe weather that has hit much of New Mexico. [WIPP] has been closed for the past couple of days due to the inclement weather…